Skip to main content

Full text of "The Malay Archipelago : the land of the oranguatan, and the bird of paradise. A narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature"

See other formats






















lis §ivm u\ {lis ^nrte. 


MY readers will natjirally ask why I have delayed writing this 
book for six years after my return ; and I feel bound to give 
them full satisfaction on this point. 

When I reached England in the spring of 1862, 1 found myself 
surrounded by a room full of packing-cases, containing the collec- 
tions that I had from time to time sent home for my private use. 
These comprised nearly three thousand bird-skins, of about a' thou- 
sand species ; and at least twenty thousand beetles and butterflies, 
of about seven thousand species ; besides some quadrupeds and land- 
shells. A large proportion of these I had not seen for years ; and iif 
my then weak state of health, the unpacking, sorting, and arranging 
of such a mass of specimens occupied a long time". 

I very soon decided that, until I had done something toward 
naming and describing the most important groups in my collection, 
and had worked out some of the more interesting problems of varia- 
tion and geographical distribution, of which I had had glimpses 
while collecting them, I would not attempt to publish my travels. I 
could, indeed, at once have printed my notes and journals, leaving all 
reference to questions of natural history for a fiiture work ; but I felt 
that this would be as unsatisfactory to myself, as it would be disap- 
pointing to my friends, and uninstructive to the public. 

Since my return, up to this date, I have published eighteen pa- 
pers, in the Transactions or Proceedings of the Linnsean Zoological 
and Entomological Societies, describing or cataloguing portions of 
my collections ; besides twelve others in various scientific periodicals, 
on more general subjects connected with them. 

l!Tearly two thousand of my Coleoptera, and many hundreds of my 
butterflies, have been already described by various eminent natural- 
ists, British and foreign ; but a much larger number remains unde- 
scribed. Among those to whom science is most indebted for this la- 
borious work, I must name Mr. F. P. Pascoe, late President of the En- 
tomological Society of London, who has almost completed the clas- 
sification and description of my large collection of Longicorn beetles 
(now in his possession), comprising more than a thousand species, of 

vi Preface^ 

wMch at least nine Mindred were previously undescribed, and new 
to European cabinets. 

The remaining orders of insects, comprising probably more than two 
thousand species, are in the collection of Mr. William Wilson Saun- 
ders, who has caused the larger portion of them to be described by 
good entomologists. The Hymenoptera alone ^amounted to more 
than nine hundred species, among which were two hundred and 
eighty different kinds of ants, of which two hundred were new. 

The six years' delay in publishing my travels thus enables me to 
give what I hope may be an interesting and instructive sketch of 
the main results yet arrived at by the study of my collections ; and 
as the countries I have to describe are not much visited or written 
about, and their social and physical conditions are not liable to rapjd 
change, I believe and hope that my readers will gain much more 
than they willlose, by not having read my book six years ago, and 
by this time perhaps forgotten all about it. 

I must now say a few words on the plan of my work. 

My journeys to the various islands were regulated by the seasons 
and the means of conveyance. I visited some islands two or three 
-times at distant intervals^ and in some cases had to make the same 
voyage four times over. A chronological arrangement would have 
puzzled my readers. They would never have known where they 
were ; and my frequent references .to the groups of islands, classed in 
accordance with the peculiarities of their animal productions and of 
their human inhabitants, would have been hardly intelligible. I have 
adopted, therefore, a geographical, zoological, and ethnological ar- 
rangement, passing from island to island in what seems the most 
natural succession, while I transgress the order in which I myself 
visited them as little as possible, 

I divide the Archipelago into ^yb groups of islands, as follow: 

I. The iNDO-MAiAY Isi/Airosj comprising the Malay Peninsula 
and Singapore, Borneo, Java, and Sumatra. 

II. The Timor Gkoup : comprising the islands of Timor, Flores, 
Sumbawa, and Lombock, with several smaller ones. 

III.. Celebes : comprising also the Sula Islands and Bouton. 

lY. The Moluccas Group: comprising Bouru, Ceram, Batchian, 
Gilolo, and Morty ; with the smaller islands of Temate, Tidore, Maki- 
an, Kaioa, Amboyna, Banda, Goram, and Matabello. 

V. The Papuan Group : comprising the great island of New 
Guinea, with the Aru Islands, Mysol, Salwatty, Waigiou, and several 
others. The Ke Islands are described with this group on account of 
their ethnology, though zoologically and geographically they belong 
to the Moluccas. 

The chapters relating to the separate islands of each of these 

Preface. vii 

groups are followed by one on the Natural History of that group ; 
and the work may thus be divided into five parts, each treating of 
one of the natural divisions of the Archipelago. 

The first chapter is an introductory one, on the physical geogra- 
phy of the whole region ; and the last is a general sketch of the 
races of man in the Archipelago and the surrounding countries. 
With this explanation, and a reference to the maps which illustrate 
the work, I trust that my readers will always know where they are, 
and in what direction they are going. 

I am well aware that my book is far too small for the extent of 
the subjects it touches upon. It is a mere sketch; but so far as it 
goes I have endeavored to make it an accurate one. Almost the 
whole of the narrative and descriptive portions were written on the 
spot, and have had little more than verbal alterations. The chap- 
ters on Natural History, as well as many passages in other parts of 
the work, have been written in the hope of exciting an interest in 
the various questions connected with the origin of species and their 
geographical distribution. In some cases I have been able to ex- 
plain my views in detail ; while in others, owing to the greater com- 
plexity of the subject, I have thought it better to confine myself to 
a statement of the more interesting facts of the problem, whose solu- 
tion is to be found in the principles developed by Mr. Darwin in his 
various works. The numerous illustrations will, it is believed, add 
much to the interest and value of the book. They have been made 
from my own sketches, from photographs, or from specimens ; and 
such subjects only have been chosen as would really illustrate the 
narrative or the descriptions. 

I have to thank Messrs. Walter and Henry Woodbury, whose ac- 
quaintance I had the pleasure of making in Java, for a number of 
photographs of scenery and of natives, which have been of the great- 
est assistance to me. Mr. William Wilson Saunders has kindly al- 
lowed me to figure the curious horned flies ; and to Mr. Pasco I am 
indebted for a loan of two of the very rare Longicoms which appear 
in the plate of Bomean beetles. All the other specimens figured are 
in my own collection. 

As the main object of all my journeys was to obtain specimens of 
natural history, both for my private collection and to supply dupli- 
cates to museums and amateurs, I will give a general statement of 
the number of specimens I collected, and which reached home in 
good condition. I must premise that I generally employed one or 
two, and sometimes three Malay servants to assist me ; and for near- 
ly half the time had the services of an English lad, Charles Allen. I 
was just eight years away from England, but as I travelled about 
fourteen thousand miles mthin the Archipelago, and made sixty or 
seventy separate journeys, each involving some preparation and loss 

viii Preface. 

of time, I do not think that more than six years were really occupied 
in collecting. 
, I find that my Eastern collections amounted to : 

310 specimens of Mammalia. 


















other insects. 

125,660 specimens of natural history. 

It now only remains for me to thank all those Mends to whom I 
am indebted for assistance or information. My thanks are more es- 
pecially due to the Council of the Royal Geographical Society, 
through whose valuable recommendations I obtained important aid 
from our own Government and from that of Holland ; and to Mr. 
William Wilson Saunders, whose kind and liberal encouragement in 
the early portion of my journey was of great service to me. I am 
also greatly indebted to Mr. Samuel Stevens (who acted as my agent), 
both for the care he took of my collections, and for the untiring as- 
siduity with which he kept me supplied, both mth usefiil informa- 
tion, and with whatever necessaries I required. 

I trust that these, and all other friends who have been in any way 
interested in my travels and collections, may derive from the perusal 
of my book some faint reflection of the pleasures I myself enjoyed 
amid the scenes and objects it describes. 



I. Physical Geography 13 


II. Singapore 32 

III. Malacca and Mount Ophir 87 

IV. Borneo— The Orang-Utan 46 

V. Borneo — Journey in the Interior 75 

VI. Borneo— The Dyaks 98 

VII. Java 105 

VIII. Sumatra 132 

IX. Natural History of the Indo-Malay Islands 148 


X. Bali amd Lombock , 160 

XI. Lombock — Manners and Customs 173 

XII. Lombock — How the Rajah took the Census. 180 

XIII. Timor 193 

XIV. Natural History' of the Timor Group 210 


XV. Celebes— Macassar 219 

XVT. Celebes — Macassar 236 

XVII. Celebes— Menado 249 

XVIII. Natural History op Celebes 277 


XIX. Banda 292 

XX. Amboyna 298 

XXr . Tbrnate 312 


XXIII. Voyage to the Kaioa Islands and Batchian 325 

XXIV. Batchian 383 

XXV. Ceram, Goram, and the Matabello Islands 355 

XXVI. BouRu 387 

XXVII. The Natural History of the Moluccas 396 

X Contents. 



XXVIII. Macassar to the Aku Islands in a Native Prau 408 

XXIX. The Ke Islands 420 

XXX. The Aru Islands— Residence in Dobbo 432 

XXXI. The Aru Islands— Journey and Residence in the Inte- 
rior 445 

XXXII. The Aru Islands— Second Residence in Dobbo 476 

XXXIII. The Aru Islands— Physical Geography and Aspects of 

Nature 487 

XXXIV. New Guinea— Dorey 496 

XXXV. Voyage from Geram to Waigiou 516 

XXXVI. Waigiou 528 

XXXVII. Voyage from Waigiou to Ternate . . .' 540 

XXXVIII. The Birds of Paradise 552 

XXXIX. Natural History of the Papuan Islands 576 

XL. The Races of Man in the Malay Archipelago 584 

APPENDIX ON Crania and Languages 600 

INDEX 627 



1. Orang-Utan attacked by Dyaks Wolf Frontispiece 

2. Natives shooting the Great Bird of Paradise. T. W. Wood Do. 

3. Rare Ferns on Mount Ophir. (From specimens) Fitch 42 

4. Remarkable Bornean Beetles Robinson — to face p, 48 

5. Flying Frog. (From a drawing hy the Author') Keulemans 50 

6. Female Orang-utaii. (From a photograph hy 

Woodbury) Wolf 52 

7. Portrait of a Dyak Youth. (From sketch and 

photographs) Baines 77 

8. Dyak Suspension-bridge. (From a slcetch hy 

the Author) Fitch 89 

9. Vanda Lowii. (From specimens) Fitch 92- 

10. Remarkable Forest-trees. (From a sTcetch hy 

the Author) Fitch 93 

11. Ancient Bas-relief. (From a specimen in pos- 

session of the Author) Baines 112 

12. Portrait of a Javanese Chief. (From a photo- 

graph) Baines 120 

13. The Calliper Butterfly (Charaxes Kadenii) T. W. Wood 124 

14. Primula imperialis. (From specimens) Fitch . . 127 

15. Chief's House and Rice-shed in a Sumatran Vil- 

lage. (From a photograph) Robinson 186 

16. Females of Papilio memnon Robinson 138 

17. Papilio coon » - Robinson 139 

1^. Leaf-butterfly in flight and repose T. W. Wood. 141 

19. Female Hornbill and young bird T. W. Wood 146 

20. Gram matophy Hum, a gigantic Orchid. (From a 

slcetch hy the Author) : Fitch 149 

21. Gun-boring in Lombock. (From a sketch hy the 

Author) Baines 179 

22. Timor Men. (From a photograph) Baines 204 

23. Native Plow and Yoke, Macassar. (From a 

sketch by the Author) Baines 233 

24. Sugar Palms. (From a sketch hy the Author) Fitch 238 

25. Skull of the Babirusa > . . . = Robinson 283 

26. Peculiar form of Wings of Celebes Butterflies Wallace 288 

27. Ejecting an Intruder. Baines. .... .to face p. 304 

xii List of Illusteations. 


28. Racquet-tailed Kingfisher Robinson 305 

29. "Wallace's Standard Wing," a new Bird of 

Paradise Keulemans. .to/t^ce j?. 336 

30. Sago Club Baines 383 

31. Sago-washing in Ceram. {From a sketch by the 

Author) Baines 384 

32. Sago Oven. (From a sketch by the A uthor) . . . Baines 385 

33. Cuscus ornatus, a Moluccan Marsupial Robinson 399 

34. Moluccan Beetles Robinson to face p. 406 

35. Great Black Cockatoo T. W. Wood 451 

36. Dobbo in the Trading Season. (From a sketch 

by the Author) Baines to face p. 476 

37. Male Brenthidas fighting Robinson 482 

38. Papuan, New Guinea Baines 500 

39. Papuan Pipe. (From a sketch by the Author) Baines 503 

40. Horned Flies Robinson 505 

41. Clay-beater, used in New Guinea Robinson 512 

42. The Red Bird of Paradise T. W. Wood 531 

43. My house at Bessir, Waigiou. (From a sketch 

by the Author) Baines 535 

44. Malay Anchor. (From a sketch by the Author) Baines 546 

45. The "Twelve-wired" and the "King" Birds 

of Paradise Keulemans. . ^o/ace jp. 552 

46. The Magnificent Bird of Paradise Keulemans 562 

47. The Superb Bird of Paradise Keulemans 563 

48. The Six-shafted Bird of Paradise Keulemans 564 

49. The Long-tailed Bird of Paradise Keulemans 569 

50. The Great-shielded Grasshopper Robinson 580 

51. Papuan Charm Robinson 588 


Map showing Mr. Wallace's Route (tinted) at beginning of Preface 

The British Isles and Borneo on the same scale 15 

Physical Map (tinted) Jo face p. 21 

Map of Minahasa, North Celebes • 254 

Map of Amboyna 299 

Amboyna, with parts of Bouru and Ceram , 356 

The Islands between Ceram and Ke. . « 359 

Map of the Aru Islands » 446 

Voyage from Ceram to Waigiou 517 

Voyage from Waigiou to Ternate. , , 541 

The Malay Archipelago. 



If we look at a globe or a map of the eastern hemisphere, 
we shall perceive between Asia and Australia a number of 
large and small islands, forming a connected group distinct 
from those great masses of land, and having little connection 
with either of them. Situated upon the equator, and bathed 
by the tepid water of the great tropical oceans, this region 
enjoys a climate more uniformly hot and moist than almost 
any other part of the globe, and teems with natural produc- 
tions which are elsewhere unknown. The richest of fruits 
and the most precious of spices are here indigenous. It pro- 
duces the giant flowers of the Rafflesia, the great green-wing- 
ed Ornithoptera (princes among the butterfly tribes), the man- 
like orang-utan, and the gorgeous birds of paradise. It is in- 
habited by a peculiar and interesting race of mankind — the 
Malay, found nowhere beyond the limits of this insular tract, 
which has hence been named the Malay Archipelago. 

To the ordinary Enghshman this is perhaps the least known 
part of the globe. Our possessions m it are few and scanty ; 
scarcely any of our travellers go to explore it ; and in many 
collections of maps it is almost ignored, being divided be- 
tween Asia and the Pacific Islands. It thus happens that few 
persons realize that, as a whole, it is comparable with the 
primary divisions of the globe, and that some of its separate 
islands are larger than France or the Austrian empire. The 
traveller, however, soon acquires different ideas. He sails for 
days, or even for weeks, along the shores of one of these great 
islands, often so great that its inhabitants believe it to be a 
vast continent. He finds that voyages among these islands 

14 The Malay Aechipelago. 

are commonly reckoned by weeks and months, and that their 
several inhabitants are often as little known to each other as 
are the native races of the northern to those of the southern 
continent of America. He soon comes to look upon this re- 
gion as one apart from the rest of the world, with its own 
races of men and its own aspects of nature ; with its own ideas, 
feelings, customs, and modes of speech, and with a climate, 
vegetation, and animated life altogether peculiar to itseK. 

From many points of view these islands form one compact 
geographical whole, and as such they have always been treat- 
ed by travellers and men of science ; but a more careful and 
detailed study of them under various aspects reveals the un- 
expected fact that they are divisible into two portions nearly 
equal in extent, which widely differ in their natural products, 
and really form parts of two of the primary divisions of the 
earth. I have been able to prove this in considerable detail 
by my observations on the natural history of the various parts 
of the Archipelago; and as in the description of my travels 
and residence in the several islands I shall have to refer con- 
tinually to this view, and adduce facts in support of it, I have 
thought it advisable to commence with a general sketch of 
such of the main features of the Malayan region as will ren- 
der the facts hereafter brought forward more interesting, 
and their bearing on the general question more easily under- 
stood, I proceed, therefore, to sketch the limits and extent 
of the Archipelago, and to point out the more striking feat- 
ures of its geology, physical geography, vegetation, and ani- 
mal life. 

JDefinition and Boundaries, — ^For reasons which depend 
mainly on the distribution of animal life, I consider the Malay 
Archipelago to include the Malay Peninsula as far as Tenas- 
serim, and the Mcobar Islands on the west, the Philippines 
on the north, and the Solomon Islands beyond N'ew Guinea 
on the east. All the great islands included within these limits 
are connected together by innumerable smaller ones, so that 
no one of them seems to be distinctly separated from the rest. 
With but few exceptions, all enjoy a uniform and very similar 
climate, and are covered with a luxuriant forest vegetation. 
Whether we study their form and distribution on maps, or 
actually travel from island to island, our first impression will 

Physical Gteography. 


be that they form a connected whole, all the parts of which 
are intimately related to each other. 

Extent of the Archipelago and Islands, — The Malay Ar- 
chipelago extends for more than 4000 miles in length from east 
to west, and is about 1300 in breadth from north to south. It 
would stretch over an expanse equal to that of all Europe 


from the extreme west far into Central Asia, or would cover 
the widest parts of South America, and extend far beyond the 
land into the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It includes three 
islands larger than Great Britain ; and in one of them, Borneo, 
the whole of the British Isles might be set down, and would 
be surrounded by a sea of forests. ISTew Guinea, though less 

16 The Malay Aechipelago. 

compact in shape, is probably larger than Borneo. Sumatra 
is about equal in extent to Great Britain ; Java, Luzon, and 
Celebes are each about the size of Ireland. Eighteen more 
islands are, on the average, as large as Jamaica ; more than a 
hundred are as large as the Isle of Wight ; while the isles and 
islets of smaller size are innumerable. The absolute extent of 
land in the Archipelago is not greater than that contained by- 
Western Europe from Hungary to Spain ; but, owing to the 
manner in which the land is broken up and divided, the varie- 
ty of its productions is rather in proportion to the immense 
surface over which the islands are spread, than to the quantity 
of land which they contain. 

Geological Contrasts. — One of the chief volcanic belts upon 
the globe passes through the Archipelago, and produces a 
striking contrast in the scenery of the volcanic and non-volcan- 
ic islands. A curving line, marked out by scores of active 
and hundreds of extinct volcanoes, may be traced through the 
whole length of Sumatra and Java, and thence by the islands 
of Bali, Lombock, Sumbawa^ Flores, the Serwatty Islands, 
Banda, Amboyna, Batchian, Makian, Tidore, Ternate, and Gi- 
lolo, to Morty Island. Here there is a slight but well-marked 
break, or shift, of about 200 miles to the westward, where the 
volcanic belt again begins, in North Celebes, and passes by Siau 
and Sanguir to the Philippine Islands, along the eastern side of 
which it continues, in a curving line, to their northern extremity. 
From the extreme eastern bend of this belt at Banda, we pass 
onward for 1000 miles over a non-volcanic district to the vol- 
canoes observed by Dampier, in 1699, on the north-eastern 
coast of N^ew Guinea, and can there trace another volcanic 
belt, through New Britain, New Ireland, and the Solomon Isl- 
ands, to the eastern limits of the Archipelago. 

In the whole region occupied by this vast line of volcanoes, 
and for a considerable breadth on each side of it, earthquakes 
are of continual recurrence, slight shocks being felt at inter- 
vals of every few weeks or months, while more severe ones, 
shaking down whole villages, and doing more or less injury 
to life and property, are sure to happen, in one part or anoth- 
er of this district, almost every year. In many of the islands 
the years of the great earthquakes form the chronological 
epochs of the native inhabitants, by the aid of which the ages 

Physical G-eography. 17 

of their children are remembered, and the dates of many im- 
portant events are determined. 

I can only briefly allude to the many fearful eruptions that 
have taken place in this region. In the amount of injury to 
life and property, and in the magnitude of their effects, they 
have not been surpassed by any upon record. Forty villages 
were destroyed by the eruption of Papandayang, in Java, in 
1'7'72, when the whole mountain was blown up by repeated ex- 
plosions, and a large lake left in its place. By the great erup- 
tion of Tomboro, in Sumbawa, in 1815, 12,000 people were de- 
stroyed, and the ashes darkened the air and fell thickly upon 
the earth and sea for 300 miles round. Even quite recently, 
since I quitted the country, a mountain which had been quies- 
cent for more than 200 years suddenly burst into activity. 
The island of Makian, one of the Moluccas, was rent open in 
1646 by a violent eruption, which left a huge chasm on one 
side, extending into the heart of the mountain. It was when 
I last visited it, in 1860, clothed with vegetation to the sum- 
mit, and contained twelve populous Malay villages. On the 
29tli of December, 1862, after 215 years of perfect inaction, it 
again suddenly burst forth, blowing up and completely alter- 
ing the appearance of the mountain, destroying the greater 
part of the inhabitants, and sending forth such volumes of 
ashes as to darken the air at Ternate, forty miles off, and to 
almost entirely destroy the growing crops on that and the sur- 
rounding islands. 

The island of Java contains more volcanoes, active and 
extinct, than any other known district of equal extent. They 
are about forty-five in number, and many of them exhibit most 
beautiful examples of the volcanic cone on a large scale, single 
or double, with entire or truncated summits, and averaging 
10,000 feet high. 

It is now well ascertained that almost all volcanoes have 
been slowly built up by the accumulation of matter — -mud, 
ashes, and lava — ejected by themselves. The openings or 
craters, however, frequently shift their position; so that a 
country may be covered with a more or less irregular series 
of hills in chains and masses, only here and there rising into 
lofty cones, and yet the whole may be produced by true vol- 
canic action. In this manner the greater part of Java has been 


18 The Malay Archipelago. 

formed. There has been some elevation, especially on the 
south coast, where extensive cliffs of coral limestone are found, 
and there may be a substratum of older stratified rocks ; but 
still essentially Java is volcanic ; and that noble and fertile isl- 
and — the very garden of the East, and perhaps upon the whole 
the richest, the best cultivated, and the best governed tropical 
island in the world — owes its very existence to the same in- 
tense volcanic activity which stiU occasionally devastates its 

The great island of Sumatra exhibits, in proportion to its 
extent, a much smaller number of volcanoes, and a consider- 
able portion of it has probably a non-volcanic origin. 

To the eastward, the long string of islands from Java, 
passing by the north of Timor and away to Banda, are prob- 
ably all due to volcanic action. Timor itself consists of an- 
cient stratified rocks, but is said to have one volcano near its 

Going northward, Amboyna, a part of Bouru, and the west 
end of Ceram, the north part of Gilolo, and all the small isl- 
ands around it, the northern extremity of Celebes, and the 
islands of Siau and Sanguir, are wholly volcanic. The Philip- 
pine Archipelago contains many active and extinct volcanoes, 
and has probably been reduced to its present fragmentary 
condition by subsidences attending on volcanic action. 

All along this great line of volcanoes are to be found more 
or less palpable signs of upheaval and depression of land. 
The range of islands south of Sumatra, a part of the south 
coast of Java and of the islands east of it, the west and east 
end of Timor, portions of all the Moluccas, the Ke and Aru 
Islands, Waigiou, and the whole south and east of Gilolo, con- 
sist in a great measure of upraised coral rock exactly corre- 
sponding to that now forming in the adjacent seas. In many 
places I have observed the unaltered surfaces of the elevated 
reefs, with great masses of coral standing up in their natural 
position, and hundreds of shells so fresh-looking tJiat it was 
hard to believe that they had been more than a few years out 
of the water ; and, in fact, it is very probable that such changes 
have occurred within a few centuries. 

The united lengths of these volcanic belts is about nine- 
ty degrees, or one-fourth of the entire circumference of the 

Physical Geography. 19 

globe. Their width is about fifty miles ; but, for a space of 
two hundred on each side of them, evidences of subterranean 
action are to be found in recently elevated coral rock, or in 
barrier coral reefs, indicating recent submergence. In the 
very centre or focus of the great curve of volcanoes is placed 
the large island of Borneo, in which no sign of recent volcanic 
action has yet been observed, and where earthquakes, so char- 
acteristic of the surrounding regions, are entirely unknown. 
The equally large island of IsTew Guinea occupies another 
quiescent area, on which no sign of volcanic action has yet 
been discovered. With the exception of the eastern end of 
its northern peninsula, the large and curiously-shaped island 
of Celebes is also entirely free from volcanoes ; and there is 
some reason to believe that the volcanic portion has once 
formed a separate island. The Malay Peninsula is also non- 

The first and most obvious division of the Archipelago 
would therefore be into quiescent and volcanic regions, and 
it might, perhaps, be expected that such a division would cor- 
respond to some differences in the character of the vegetation 
and the forms of life. This is the case, however, to a very 
limited extent ; and we shall presently see that, although this 
development of subterranean fires is on so vast a scale, has 
piled up chains of mountains ten or twelve thousand feet high, 
has broken up continents and raised up islands from the 
ocean, yet it has all the character of a recent action, which has 
not yet succeeded in obliterating the traces of a more ancient 
distribution of land and water. 

Contrasts of Vegetation. — Placed immediately upon the 
Equator and surrounded by extensive oceans, it is not surpris- 
ing that the various islands of the Archipelago should be al- 
most always clothed with a forest vegetation from the level 
of the sea to the summits of the loftiest mountains. This is 
the general rule. Sumatra, Xew Guinea, Borneo, the Philip- 
pines and the Moluccas, and the uncultivated parts of Java 
and Celebes, are all forest countries, except a few small and\ 
unimportant tracts, due perhaps, in some cases, to ancient cul- 
tivation or accidental fires. To this, however, there is one 
important exception in the island of Timor and all the small- 
er islands around it, in which there is absolutely no forest such 

20 The Malay Archipelago. 

as exists in the other islands, and this character extends in a 
lesser degree to Flores, Sumbawa, Lombock, and Bali. 

In Timor the most common trees are Eucalypti of several 
species', so characteristic of Australia, with sandal- wood, acacia, 
and other sorts in less abundance. These are scattered over 
the country more or less thickly, but never so as to deserve 
the name of a forest. Coarse and scanty grasses grow be- 
neath them on the more barren hills, and a luxuriant herbage 
in the moister localities. In the islands between Timor and 
Java there is often a more thickly-wooded country, abounding 
in thorny and prickly trees. These seldom reach any great 
height, and during the force of the dry season they almost 
completely lose their leaves, allowing the ground beneath them 
to be parched up, and contrasting strongly with the damp, 
gloomy, ever-verdant forests of the other islands. This pecul- 
iar character, which extends in a less degree to the southern 
peninsula of Celebes and the east end of Java, is most probably 
owing to the proximity of Australia. The south-east mon- 
soon, which lasts for about two-thirds of the year (from March 
to ]N"ovember), blowing over the northern parts of that coun- 
try, produces a degree of heat and dryness which assimilates 
the vegetation and physical aspect of the adjacent islands to 
its own. A little further eastward, in Timor-laut and the Ke 
Islands, a moister climate prevails, the south-east winds blow- 
ing from the Pacific through Torres Straits and over the damp 
forests of I^ew Guinea, and as a consequence every rocky islet 
is clothed with verdure to its very summit. Further west 
again, as the same dry winds blow over a wider and wider 
extent of ocean, they have time to absorb fresh moisture, and 
we accordingly find the island of Java possessing a less and 
less arid climate, till in the extreme west near Batavia rain 
occurs more or less all the year round, and the mountains are 
everywhere clothed with forests of unexampled luxuriance. 

Contrasts in Depth of Sea, — It was first pointed out by 
Mr. George Windsor Earl, in a paper read before the Royal 
^ographical Society in 1845, and subsequently in a pamphlet 
" On the Physical Geography of South-eastern Asia and Aus- 
tralia," dated 1855, that a shallow sea connected the great isl- 
ands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo with the Asiatic continent, 
with which their natural productions generally agreed ; while 

Physical GEoaRAPHY. 21 

a similar shallow sea connected New Guinea and some of the 
adjacent islands to Australia, all being characterized by the 
presence of Marsupials. 

We have here a clew to the most radical contrast in the 
Archipelago, and, by following it out in detail, I have arrived 
at the conclusion that we can draw a line among the islands, 
which shall so divide them! that one-half shall truly belong to 
Asia, while the other shall no less certainly be allied to Aus- 
tralia. I term these respectively the Indo-Malayan, and the 
Austro-Malayan divisions of the Archipelago. {See Physical 

On referring to pages 12, 13, and 36 of Mr. Earl's pam- 
phlet, it will be seen that he maintains the former connection 
of Asia and Australia as an important part of his view, whereas 
I dwell mainly on their long continued separation. N^otwith- 
standing this and other important differences between us, to 
him undoubtedly belongs the merit of first indicating the di- 
vision of the Archipelago into an Australian and an Asiatic 
region, which it has been my good-fortune to establish by 
more detailed observations. 

Contrasts in Natural Productions. — ^To understand the im- 
portance of this class of facts, and its bearing upon the former 
distribution of land and sea, it is necessary to consider the re- 
sults arrived at by geologists and naturalists in other parts of 
the world. 

It is now generally admitted that the present distribution 
of living things on the surface of the earth is mainly the result 
of the last series of changes that it has undergone. Geology 
teaches us that the surface of the land and the distribution 
of land and water is everywhere slowly changing. It further 
teaches us that the forms of life which inhabit that surface 
have, during every period of which we possess any record, 
been also slowly changing. 

It is not now necessary to say any thing about how either 
of those changes took place ; as to that, opinions may differ ; 
but as to the fact that the changes themselves have occurred, 
from the earliest geological ages down to the present day, 
and are still going on, there is no difference of opinion. 
Every successive stratum of sedimentary rock, sand, or gravel 
is a proof that changes of level have taken place ; and the dif- 

22 The Malay Archipelago. 

ferent species of animals and plants, whose remains are found 
in these deposits, prove that corresponding changes did occur 
in the organic world. . 

Taking, therefore, these two series of changes for granted, 
most of the present peculiarities and anomalies in the distri- 
butio^ of species may be directly traced to them. In our 
own islands, with a very few trifling exceptions, every quadru- 
ped, bird, reptile, insect, and plant is found also on the adjacent 
continent. In the small islands of Sardinia and Corsica there 
are some quadrupeds and insects, and many plants, quite pe- 
culiar. In Ceylon, more closely connected to India than Brit- 
ain is to Europe, many animals and plants are different from 
those found in India, and peculiar to the island. In the Gala- 
pagos Islands almost every indigenous living thing is peculiar 
to them, though closely resembling other kinds found in the 
nearest parts of the American continent. 

Most naturalists now admit that these facts can only be ex- 
plained by the greater or less lapse of time since the islands 
were upraised from beneath the ocean, or were separated from 
the nearest land ; and this will be generally (though not al- 
ways) indicated by the depth of the intervening sea. The 
enormous thickness of many marine deposits through wide 
areas shows that subsidence has often continued (with inter- 
mitting periods of repose) during epochs of immense duration. 
The depth of sea produced by such subsidence will therefore 
generally be a measure of time ; and in like manner the change 
which organic forms have undergone is a measure of time. 
When we make proper allowance for the continued introduc- 
tion of new animals and plants from surrounding countries, 
by those natural means of dispersal which have been so well 
explained by Sir Charles Lyell and Mr. Darwin, it is remark- 
able how closely these two measures correspond. Britain is 
separated from the continent by a very shallow sea,*and only 
in a very few cases have our animals or plants begun to show 
a difference from the corresponding Continental species, 
Corsica and Sardinia, divided from Italy by a much deeper 
sea, present a much greater difference in their organic forms. 
Cuba, separated from Yucatan by a wider and deeper strait, 
differs more markedly, so that most of its productions are of 
distinct and peculiar species ; while Madagascar, divided from 

Physical G-eogeaphy. 23 

Africa by a deep channel three hundred miles wide, possesses 
so many peculiar features as to indicate separation at a very 
remote antiquity, or even to render it doubtful whether the 
two countries have ever been absolutely united. 

Returning now to the Malay Archipelago, we find that all 
the wide expanse of sea which divides Java, Sumatra, and 
Borneo from each other, and from Malacca and Siam, is so 
shallow that ships can anchor in any part of it, since it rarely 
exceeds forty fathoms in depth ; and if we go as far as the 
line of a hundred fathoms, we shall include the Philippine Isl- 
ands and Bali, east of Java. If, therefore, these islands have 
been separated from each other and the continent by subsi- 
dence of the intervening tracts of land, we should conclude 
that the separation has been comparatively recent, since the 
depth to which the land has subsided is so small. It is also 
to be remarked that the great chain of active volcanoes in 
Sumatra and Java furnishes us with a sufficient cause for such 
subsidence, since the enormous masses of matter they have 
thrown out would take away the foundations of the surround- 
ing district ; and this may be the true explanation of the often- 
noticed fact that volcanoes and volcanic chains are always 
near the sea. The subsidence they produce around them will, 
in time, make a sea, if one does not already exist. 

But it is when we examine the zoology of these countries 
that we find what we most require — evidence of a very strik- 
ing character that these great islands must have once formed 
a part of the continent, and could only have been separated at 
a very recent geological epoch. The elephant and tapir of 
Sumatra and Borneo, the rhinoceros of Sumatra and the allied 
species of Java, the wild cattle of Borneo and the kind long 
supposed to be peculiar to Java, are now all known to inhabit 
some part or other of Southern Asia. None of these large 
animals could possibly have passed over the arms of the sea 
which now separate these countries, aipd their presence plainly 
indicates that a land communication must have existed since 
the origin of the species. Among the smaller mammals, a 
considerable portion are common to each island and the con- 
tinent ; but the vast physical changes that, must have occurred 
during the breaking up and subsidence of such extensive re- 
gions have led to the extinction of some in one or more of the 

24 The Malay Aechipelago. 

islands, and in some cases there seems also to have been time 
for a change of species to have taken place. Birds and insects 
illustrate the same view, for every family, and almost every 
genns of these groups found in any of the islands, occurs also 
on the Asiatic continent, and in a great number of cases the 
species are exactly identical. Birds offer us one of the best 
means of determining the law of distribution ; foi- though at first 
sight it would appear that the watery boundaries which keep 
out the land quadrupeds could be easily passed over by birds, 
yet practically it is not so ; for if we leave out the aquatic 
tribes which are pre-eminently wanderers, it is found that the 
others (and especially the Passeres, or true perching-birds, 
which form the vast majority) are generally as strictly limited 
by straits and arms of the sea as are quadrupeds themselves. 
As an instance, among the islands of which I am now speak- 
ing, it is a remarkable fact that Java possesses numerous birds 
which never pass over to Sumatra, though they are separated 
by a strait only fifteen miles wide, and with islands in mid- 
channel. Java, in fact, possesses more birds and insects pe- 
culiar to itself than either Sumatra or Borneo, and this would 
indicate' that it was earliest separated from the continent; 
next in organic individuality is Borneo, while Sumatra is so 
nearly identical in all its animal forms with the peninsula of 
Malacca that we may safely conclude it to have been the most 
recently dismembered island. 

The general result, therefore, at which we arrive is, that the 
great islands of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo resemble, in their 
natural productions, the adjacent parts of the continent, almost 
as much as such widely-separated districts could be expected 
to do even if they still formed a part of Asia ; and this close 
resemblance, joined with the fact of the wide extent of sea 
which separates them being so uniformly and remarkably shal- 
low, and lastly, the existence of the extensive range of volca- 
noes in Sumatra and Java, which have poured out vast quan- 
tities of subterranean matter, and have built up extensive pla- 
teaux and lofty mountain ranges, thus furnishing a vera causa 
for a parallel line of subsidence, all lead irresistibly to the 
conclusion that at a very recent geological epoch the continent 
of Asia extended far beyond its present limits in a south-east- 
erly direction, including the islands of Java, Sumatra, and 

Physical Geography. 25 

Borneo, and probably reaching as far as the present 100-fath<^ 
om line of soundings. 

The Philippine Islands agree in many respects with Asia 
and the other islands, but present some anomalies, which seem 
to indicate that they were separated at an earlier period, and 
have since been subject to many revolutions in their physical 

Turning our attention now to the remaining portion of the 
Archipelago, we shall find that all the islands from Celebes 
and Lombock eastward exhibit almost as close a resemblance 
to Australia and New Guinea as the Western Islands do to 
Asia. It is well known that the natural productions of Aus- 
tralia differ from those of Asia more than those of any of the 
four ancient quarters of the world differ from each other. 
Australia in fact stands alone : it possesses no apes or monkeys, 
no cats or tigers, wolves, bears, or hyenas ; no deer or antelopes, 
sheep or oxen ; no elephant, horse, squirrel, or rabbit : none, in 
short, of those familiar types of quadruped which are met 
with in every other part of the world. Instead of these, it has 
Marsupials only, kangaroos and opossums, wombats and the 
duck-billed platypus. In birds it is almost as peculiar. It 
has no woodpeckers and no pheasants, families which exist in 
every other part of the world ; but instead of them it has the 
mound-making brush-turkeys, the honeysuckers, the cockatoos, 
and the brush-tongued lories, which are found no where else 
upon the globe. All these striking peculiarities are found 
also in those islands which form the Austro-Malayan division 
of the Archipelago. 

The great contrast between the two divisions of the Archi- 
pelago is nowhere so abruptly exhibited as on passing from 
the island of Bali to that of Lombock, where the two regions 
are in closest proximity. In Bali we have barbets, fruit- 
thrushes, and woodpeckers; on passing over to Lombock 
these are seen no more, but we have abundance of cockatoos, 
honeysuckers, and brush-turkeys, which are equally unknown 
in Bali,^ or any island further west. The strait is here fifteen 
miles wide, so that we may pass in two hours from one great 

^ I was informed, however, tliat there were a few cockatoos at one spot on the 
west of Bali, showing that the intermingling of the productions of these islands 
is now going on. 

26 The Malay Archipelago. 

division of the earth to another, differing as essentially in 
their animal life as Europe does from America. If we travel 
from Java or Borneo to Celebes or the Moluccas, the differ- 
ence is still more striking. In the first the forests abound in 
monkeys of many kindSj wild-cafcs, deer, civets, and otters, and 
numerous varieties of squirrels are constantly met with. In 
the latter none of these occur ; but the prehensile- tailed Cus- 
cus is almost the only terrestrial mammal seen, except wild 
pigs, which are found in all tne islands, and deer (which have 
probably been recently introduced) m Celebes and the Moluc- 
cas. The birds which are most abundant in the Western Isl- 
ands are woodpeckers, barbets, trogons, fruit-thrushes, and 
leaf-thrushes : they are seen daily, and form the great ornitho- 
logical features of the country. In the Eastern Islands these 
are absolutely unknown, honeysuckers and small lories being 
the most common birds ; so that the naturalist feels himself 
in a new world, and can hardly realize that he has passed from 
the one region to the other in a few days without ever being 
out of sight of land. 

The inference that we must draw from these facts is un- 
doubtedly, that the whole of the islands eastward beyond Java 
and Borneo do essentially form a part of a former Australian 
or Pacific continent, although some of them may never have 
been actually joined to it. This continent must have been 
broken up not only before the Western Islands were separa- 
ted from Asia, but probably before the extreme south-eastern 
portion of Asia was raised above the waters of the ocean ; 
for a great part of the land of Borneo and Java is known 
to be geologically of quite recent formation, while the very 
great difference of species, and in many cases of genera also, 
between the productions of the Eastern Malay Islands and 
Australia, as well as the great depth of the sea now sepa- 
rating them, all point to a comparatively long period of iso- 

It is interesting to observe among the islands themselves 
how a shallow sea always intimates a recent land-connection. 
The Aru Islands, Mysol, and Waigiou, as well as Jobie, agree 
with New Guinea in their species of mammalia and birds 
much more closely than they do with the Moluccas, and we 
find that they are all united to New Guinea by a shallow sea. 

Physical GEoaRAPHY. 27 

In fact, tlie 100-fatliom line round New Guinea marks out ac- 
curately the range of the true paradise birds. 

It is further to be noted — and this is a very interesting 
point in connection with theories of the dependence of special 
forms of life on external conditions — that this division of the 
Archipelago into two regions characterized by a striking di- 
versity in their natural productions, does not in any way cor- 
respond to the main physical or climatal divisions of the sur- 
face. The great volcanic chain runs through both parts, and 
appears to produce no effect in assimilating their productions. 
Borneo closely resembles ISTew Guinea not only in its vast 
size and Its freedom from volcanoes, but in its variety of geo- 
logical structure, its uniformity of climate, and the general 
aspect of the forest vegetation that clothes its surface. The 
Moluccas are the counterpart of the Philippines in their vol- 
canic structure, their extreme fertility, their luxuriant forests, 
and their frequent earthquakes ; and Bali with the east end 
of Java has a climate almost as dry and a soil almost as arid 
as that of Timor. Yet between these corresponding groups 
of islands, constructed as it were after the same pattern, sub- 
jected to the same climate, and bathed by the same oceans, 
there exists the greatest possible contrast when we compare 
their animal productions. ISTowhere does the ancient doctrine 
— ^that differences or similarities in the various forms of life 
that inhabit different countries are due to corresponding phys- 
ical differences or similarities in the countries themselves — 
meet with so direct and palpable a contradiction. Borneo and 
ISTew Guinea, as alike physically as two distinct countries can 
be, are zoologically wide as the poles asunder ; while Aus- 
tralia, with its dry winds, its open plains, its stony deserts, and 
its temperate climate, yet produces birds and quadrupeds 
which are closely related to those inhabiting the hot, damp, 
luxuriant forests which everywhere clothe the plains and 
mountains of New Guinea. 

In order to illustrate more clearly the means by which I 
suppose this great contrast has been brought about, let us 
consider what would occur if two strongly-contrasted divis- 
ions of the earth were, by natural means, brought into prox- 
imity. No two parts of the world differ so radically in their 
productions as Asia and Australia, but the difference between 

28 The Malay Archipelago. 

Africa and South America is also very great, and these two re- 
gions will well serve to illustrate the question we are consider- 
ing. On the one side we have baboons, lions, elephants, buff a- 
loes, and giraffes ; on the other, spider-monkeys, pumas, tapirs, 
ant-eaters, and sloths ; while among birds, thehornbills, turacos, 
orioles, and honeysuckers of Africa contrast strongly with the 
toucans, macaivs, chatterers, and humming-birds of America. 
ISTow let us Endeavor to imagine (what it is very probable 
may occur in future ages) that a slow upheaval of the bed of 
the Atlantic should take place, while at the same time earth- 
quake-shocks and volcanic action on the land should cause in- 
creased volumes of sediment to be poured down by the rivers, 
so that the two continents should gradually spread out by the 
addition of newly-formed lands, and thus reduce the Atlantic, 
which now separates them, to an arm of the sea a few hun- 
dred miles wide. At the same time we may suppose islands 
to be upheaved in mid-channel ; and, as the subterranean forces 
varied in intensity, and shifted their points of greatest action, 
these islands would sometimes become connected with the 
land on one side or other of the strait, and at other times 
again be separated from it. Several islands would at one 
time be joined together, at another would be broken up again, 
till at last, after many long ages of such intermittent action, 
we might have an irregular archipelago of islands filling up 
the ocean-channel of the Atlantic, in whose appearance and 
arrangement we could discover nothing to tell us which had 
been connected with Africa and which with America. The 
animals and plants inhabiting these islands would, however, 
certainly reveal this portion of their former history. On those 
' islands which had ever formed a part of the South American 
continent we should be sure to find such common birds as 
chatterers and toucans and humming-birds, and some of the 
peculiar American quadrupeds ; while on those which had been 
separated from Africa, hornbills, orioles, and honeysuckers 
would as certainly be found. Some portion of the upraised 
land might at different times have had a temporary connection 
with both continents, and would then contain a certain amount 
of mixture in its living inhabitants. Such seems to have been 
the case with the islands of Celebes and the Philippines. 
Other islands, again, though in such close proximity as Bah 

Physical GrEoaRAPHY. 29 

and Lombock, might each exhibit an almost unmixed sample 
of the productions of the continents of which they had direct- 
ly or indirectly once formed a part. 

In the Malay Archipelago we have, I believe, a case exact- 
ly parallel to that which I have here supposed. We have in- 
dications of a vast continent, with a peculiar fauna and flora, 
having been gradually and irregularly broken up ; the island 
of Celebes probably marking its furthest westward extension, 
beyond which was a wide ocean. At the same time Asia ap- 
pears to have been extending its limits in a south-east direc- 
tion, first in an unbroken mass, then separated into islands as 
we now see it, and almost coming into actual contact with the 
scattered fragments of the great southern land. 

From this outline of the subject, it will be evident how im- 
portant an adjunct Natural History is to Geology ; not only 
in interpreting the fragments of extinct animals found in the 
earth's crust, but in determining past changes in the surface 
which have left no geological record. It is certainly a won- 
derful and unexpected fact, that an accurate knowledge of the 
distribution of birds and insects should enable us to map out 
lands and continents which disappeared beneath the ocean 
long before the earliest traditions of the human race. Wher- 
ever the geologist can explore the earth's surface^ he can read 
much of its past history, and can determine approximately its 
latest movements above and below the sea-level; but wher- 
ever oceans and seas now extend, he can do nothing but spec- 
ulate on the very limited data afforded by the depth of the 
waters. Here the naturalist steps in, and enables him to fill 
up this great gap in the past history of the earth. 

One of the chief objects of my travels was to obtain evi- 
dence of this nature ; and my search after such evidence has 
been rewarded by great success, so that I have been enabled 
to trace out with some probability the past changes which 
one of the most interesting parts of the earth has undergone. 
It may be thought that the facts and generalizations here 
given would have been more appropriately placed at the end 
rather than at the beginning of a narrative of the travels which 
supplied the facts. In some cases this might be so, but I 
have found it impossible to give such an account as I desire 
of the natural history of the numerous islands and groups of 

30 The Malay Archipelago. 

islands in the Archipelago, without constant reference to these 
generalizations which add so much to their interest. Having 
given this general sketch of the subject, I shall be able to show 
how the same principles can be applied to the individual isl- 
ands of a group as to the whole Archipelago, and make my 
account of the many new and curious animals which inhabit 
them both more interesting and more instructive than if treat- 
ed as mere isolated facts. 

Contrasts of Races, — ^Before I had arrived at the conviction 
that the eastern and western halves of the Archipelago be- 
longed to distinct primary regions of the earth, I had been 
led to group the natives of the Archipelago under two radi- 
cally distinct races. In this I differed from most ethnologists 
who had before written on the subject, for it had been the al- 
most universal custom to follow William von Humboldt and 
Pritchard in classing all the oceanic races as modifications of 
one type. Observation soon showed me,*however, that Ma- 
lays and Papuans differed radically in every physical, mental, 
and moral character ; and more detailed research, continued 
for eight years, satisfied me that under these two forms, as 
types, the whole of the peoples of the Malay Archipelago and 
Polynesia could be classified. On drawing the line which 
separates these races, it is found to come near to that which 
divides the zoological regions, but somewhat eastward of it; 
a circumstance which appears to me very significant of the 
same causes having influenced the distribution of mankind 
that have determined the range of other animal forms. 

The reason why exactly the same line does not limit both 
is sufficiently intelligible. Man has means of traversing the 
sea which animals do not possess, and a superior race has 
power to press out or assimilate an inferior one. The mari- 
time enterprise and higher civilization of the Malay races have 
enabled them to overrun a portion of the adjacent region, in 
which they have entirely supplanted the indigenous inhabit- 
ants, if it ever possessed any, and to spread much of their 
language, their domestic animals, and their customs far over 
the Pacific into islands where they have but slightly, or not 
at all, modified the physical or moral characteristics of the 

I believe, therefore, that ail the peoples of the various isl- 

Physical G-eography. 31 

lands can be grouped either with the Malays or the Panpans, 
and that these two have no traceable affinity to each other. 
I believe, further, that all the races east of the line I have 
drawn have more affinity for each other than they have for any 
of the races west of that line ; that, in fact, the Asiatic races 
include the Malays, and all have a continental origin, while 
the Pacific races, including all to the east of the former (ex- 
cept perhaps some in the Northern Pacific), are derived, not 
from any existing continent, but from lands which now exist 
or have recently existed in the Pacific Ocean. These prelim- 
inary observations will enable the reader better to apprehend 
the importance I attach to the details of physical form or 
moral character which I shall give in describing the inhabitants 
of many of the islands. 

32 Singapore. 



PROM 1854 TO 1862. 

Few places are more interesting to a traveller from Europe 
than the town and island of Singapore, furnishing, as it does, 
examples of a variety of Eastern races, and of many different 
religions and modes of life. The government, the garrison, 
and the chief merchants are English, but the great mass of 
the population is Chinese, including some of the wealthiest 
merchants, the agriculturists of the interior, and most of the 
mechanics and laborers. The native Malays are usually fish- 
ermen and boatmen, and they form the main body of the po- 
lice. The Portuguese of Malacca supply a large number of 
the clerks and smaller merchants. The Klings of Western 
India are a numerous body of Mohammedans, and, with many 
Arabs, are petty merchants and shop-keepers. The grooms 
and washer-men are all Bengalese, and there is a small but 
highly respectable class of Parsee merchants. Besides these, 
there are numbers of Javanese sailors and domestic servants, 
as well as traders from Celebes, Bali, and many other islands 
of the Archipelago. The harbor is crowded with men-of-war 
and trading-vessels of many European naitions, and hundreds 
of Malay praus and Chinese junks, from vessels of several hun- 
dred tons burden ddwn to little fishing-boats and passenger 
sampans ; and the town comprises handsome public buildings 
and churches, Mohammedan mosques, Hindoo temples, Chinese 
joss-houses, good European houses, massive warehouses, queer 
old Kling and China bazars, and long suburbs of Chinese and 
Malay cottages. 

By far the most conspicuous of the various kinds of people 
in Singapore, and those which most attract the stranger's at- 
tention, are the Chinese, whose numbers and incessant activity 
give the place very much the appearance of a town in China. 

The China Bazak. 33 

The Chinese merchant is generally a fat^ round-faced man, 
with an important and business-like look. He wears the same 
style of clothing (loose, white smock, and blue or black trow- 
sers) as the meanest coolie, but of finer materials, and is always 
clean and neat ; and his long tail, tipped with red silk, hangs 
down to his heels. He has a handsome warehouse or shop in 
town, and a good house in the country. He keeps a fine 
horse and gig, and every evening may be seen taking a drive 
bareheaded to enjoy the cool breeze. He is rich, he owns sev- 
eral retail shops and trading-schooners, he lends money at high 
interest and on good security, he makes hard bargains, and 
gets fatter and richer every year. 

In the Chinese bazar are hundreds of small shops in which 
a miscellaneous collection of hardware and dry-goods are to be 
found, and where many things are sold wonderfully cheap. 
You may buy gimlets at a penny each, white cotton thread at 
four balls for a half-penny, and penknives, corkscrews, gun- 
powder, writing-paper, and many other articles as cheap or 
cheaper than you can purchase them in England. The shop- 
keeper is very good-natured ; he will show you every thing- 
he has, and does not seem to mind if you buy nothing. He 
bates a little, but not so much as the Klings, who almost al- 
ways ask twice what they are willing to take. If you buy a 
few things of him, he will speak to you afterward every time 
you pass his shop, asking, you to walk in and sit down, or take 
a cup of tea, and you., wonder how he can get a living where 
so many sell the same trifling articles. The tailors sit at a 
table, not on one ; and both they and the shoe-makers work 
well and cheaply. The barbers have plenty to do, shaving 
heads and cleaning ears ; for which latter operation they have 
a great array of little tweezers, picks, and brushes. In the 
outskirts of the town are scores of carpenters and blacksmiths. 
The former seem chiefly to make coffins and highly-painted 
and decorated clothes-boxes. The latter are mostly gun-mak- 
ers, and bore the barrels of guns by hand out of solid bars of 
iron. At this tedious operation they may be seen every day, 
and they manage to finish off a gun with a flint lock very 
handsomely. All about the streets are sellers of water, vege- 
tables, fruit, soup, and agar-agar (a jelly made of sea-weed), 
who have many cries as unintelligible as those of London, 


34 Singapore. 

Others carry a portable cooking apparatus on a pole balanced 
by a table at the other end, and serve up a meal of shell-fish, 
rice, and vegetables for two or three half-pence, while coolies 
and boatmen waiting to be hired are everywhere to be met 

In the interior of the island the Chinese cut down forest- 
trees in the jungle, and saw them up into planks, they culti- 
vate vegetables, which they bring to market, and they grow 
pepper and gambir, which form important articles of export. 
The French Jesuits have established missions among these in- 
land Chinese, which seem very successful. I lived for several 
weeks at a time with the missionary at Bukit-tima, about the 
centre of the island, where a pretty church has been built, and 
there are about 300 converts. While there, I met a mission- 
ary who had just arrived from Tonquin, where he had been 
living for many years. The Jesuits still do their work 
thoroughly as of old. In Cochin China, Tonquin, and China, 
where all Christian teachers are obliged to live in secret, and 
are liable to persecution, expulsion, and sometimes death, every 
province, even those farthest in the interior, has a permanent 
Jesuit mission establishment, constantly kept up by fresh 
aspirants, who are taught the languages of the countries they 
are going to at Penang or Singapore. In China there are 
said to be near a million converts ; in Tonquin and Cochin 
China, more than half a million. . One secret of the success of 
these missions is the rigid economy practiced in the expendi- 
ture of the funds. A missionary is allowed about ^30 a year, 
on which he lives in whatever country he may be. This ren- 
ders it possible to support a large number of missionaries with 
very limited means; and the natives, seeing their teachers 
living in poverty and with none of the luxuries of life, are con- 
vinced that they are sincere in what they teach, and have real- 
ly given up home and friends and ease and safety for the 
good of others. 'No wonder they make converts, for it must 
be a great blessing to the poor people among whom they la- 
bor to have a man among them to whom they can go in any 
trouble or distress, who will comfort and advise them, who 
visits them in sickness, who relieves them in want, and who 
they see living from day to day in danger of persecution and 
death entirely for their sakes. 

TiGEES AND Insect-Huntikg. 86 

My friend at Bukit-tima was truly a father to his flock. He 
preached to them in Chinese every Sunday, and had evenings 
for discussion and conversation on rehgion during the week. 
He had a school to teach their children. His house was open 
to them day and night. If a man came to him and said, " I 
have no rice for my family to eat to-day," he would give him 
half of what he had in the house, however little that might be. 
If another said, " I have no money to pay my debt," he would 
give him half the contents of his purse, were it his last dollar. 
So, when he was himself in want, he would send to some of 
the wealthiest among his flock and say, " I have no rice in the 
house," or " I have given away my money, and am in want of 
such and such articles." The result was that his flock trust- 
ed and loved him, for they felt sure that he was their true 
friend, and had no ulterior designs in living among them. 

The island of Singapore consists of a multitude of small 
hills, three or four hundred feet high, the summits of many 
of which are still covered with virgin forest. The mission- 
house at Bukit-tima was surrounded by several of these wood- 
topped hills, which were much frequented by wood-cutters 
and sawyers, and offered me an excellent collecting-ground 
for insects. Here and there, too, were tiger-pits, carefully cov- 
ered over with sticks and leaves, and so well concealed, that 
in several cases I had a narrow escape from falling into them. 
They are shaped like an iron furnace, wider at the bottom than 
the top, and are perhaps fifteen or twenty feet deep, so that 
it would be almost impossible for a person unassisted to get 
out of OW' Formerly a sharp stake was stuck erect in the 
bottom ; but after an unfortunate traveller had been killed by 
falling on one, its use was forbidden. There are always a few 
tigers roaming about Singapore, and they kill on an average 
a Chinaman every day, principally those who work in the gam- 
bir plantations, which are always made in newly-cleared jun- 
gle. We heard a tiger roar once or twice in the evening, and 
it was rather nervous work hunting for insects among the 
fallen trunks and old sawpits, when one of these savage ani- 
mals might be lurking close by, waiting an opportunity to 
spring upon us. 

Several hours in the middle of every fine day were spent in 

36 SiNaAPORE. 

these patches of forest, which were delightfully cool and sha- 
dy by contrast with the bare open country we had to walk 
over to reach them. The vegetation was most luxuriant, com- 
prising enormous forest-trees, as well as a variety of ferns, cal- 
adiums, and other undergrowth, and abundance of climbing 
rattan palms. Insects were exceedingly abundant and very in- 
teresting, and every day furnished scores of new and curious 
forms. In about two months I obtained no less than 700 
species of beetles, a large proportion of which were quite new, 
and among them were 130 distinct kinds of the elegant longi- 
corns (Cerambycidse), so much esteemed by collectors. Al- 
most all these were collected in one patch of jungle, not more 
than a square mile in extent, and in all my subsequent travels 
in the East I rarely if ever met with so productive a spot. 
This exceeding productiveness was due in part no doubt to 
some favorable conditions in the soil, climate, and vegetation, 
and to the season being very bright and sunny, with sufficient 
showers to keep every thing fresh. But it was also in a great 
measure dependent, I feel sure, on the labors of the Chinese 
wood-cutters. They had been at work here for several years, 
and during all that time had furnished a continual supply of 
dry and dead and decaying leaves and bark, together with 
abundance of wood and sawdust, for the nourishment of 
insects and their larvae. This had led to the assemblage of a 
great variety of species in a limited space, and J was the first 
naturalist who had come to reap the harvest they had pre- 
pared. In the same place, and during my walks in other di- 
rections, I obtained a fair collection of butterflies and of other 
orders of insect, so that on the whole I was quite satisfied with 
these my first attempts to gain a knowledge of the natural 
history of the Malay Archipelago. 

Malacca and Mount Ophie. 37 



Birds and most other kinds of animals being scarce at 
Singapore, I left it in July for Malacca, where I spent more 
than two months in the interior, and made an excursion to 
Mount Ophir. The old and picturesque town of Malacca is 
crowded along the banks of the small river, and consists of 
narrow streets of shops and dwelling-houses, occupied by the 
descendants of the Portuguese and by Chinamen. In the 
suburbs are the houses of the English officials and of a 'few 
Portuguese merchants, embedded in groves of palms and 
fruit-trees, whose varied and beautiful foliage furnishes a 
pleasing relief to the eye, as well as most grateful shade. 

The old fort, the large Government-house, and the ruins 
of a cathedral attest the former wealth and importance of 
this place, which was once as much the centre of Eastern 
trade as Singapore is now. The following description of it 
by Linschott, who wrote two hundred and seventy years ago, 
strikingly exhibits the change it has undergone : 

" Malacca is inhabited by the Portuguese and by natives 
of the country, called Malays. The Portuguese have here 
a fortress, as at Mozambique, and there is no fortress in all 
the Indies, after those of Mozambique and Ormuz, where 
the captains perform their duty better than in this one. 
This place is the market of all India, of China, of the Moluc- 
cas, and of other islands round about, from all which places, 
as well as from Banda, Java, Sumatra, Siam, Pegu, Bengal, 
Coromandel, and India, arrive ships, which come and go in- 
cessantly, charged with an infinity of merchandises. There 
would be in this place a much greater number of Portuguese 
if it were not for the inconvenience, and unhealthiness of the 
air, which is hurtful not only to strangers, but also to natives 
of the country. Thence it is that all who live in the country 

38 Malacca. 

pay tribute of their health, suffering from a certain disease, 
which makes them lose either their skin or their hair. And 
those who escape consider it a miracle, which occasions many 
to leave the country, while the ardent desire of gain induces 
others to risk their health and endeavor to endure such an 
atmosphere. . The origin of this town, as the natives say, 
was very small, only having at the beginning, by reason of 
the unhealthiness of the air, but six or seven fishermen who 
inhabited it. But the number was increased by the meeting 
of fishermen from Siam, Pegu, and Bengal, who came and 
built a city, and established a peculiar language, drawn from 
the most elegant modes of speaking of other nations, so that 
in fact the language of the Malays is at present the most re- 
fined, exact, and celebrated of all the East. The name of 
Malacca was given to this town, which, by the convenience 
of its situation, in a short time grew to such wealth, that it 
does not yield to the most powerful towns and regions round 
about. The natives, both men and women, are very courte- 
ous, and are reckoned the most skillful in the world in com- 
pliments, and study much to compose and repeat verses and 
love-songs. Their language is in vogue through the Indies, 
as the French is here." 

At present a vessel over a hundred tons hardly ever enters 
its port, and the trade is entirely confined to a few petty 
products of the forests, ' and to the fruit, which the trees 
planted by the old Portuguese now produce for the enjoyment 
of the inhabitants of Singapore. Although rather subject to 
fevers, it is not at present considered very unhealthy. 

The population of Malacca consists of several races. The 
ubiquitous Chinese are perhaps the most numerous, keeping 
up their manners, customs, and language ; the indigenous 
Malays are next in point of numbers, and their language is 
the Lingua-franca of the place. Next come the descendants 
of the Portuguese — a mixed, degraded, and degenerate race, 
but who still keep up the use of their mother-tongue, though 
ruefiiUy mutilated in grammar; and then there are the 
English rulers, and the descendants of the Dutch, who all 
speak English. The Portuguese spoken at Malacca is a use- 
ful philological phenomenon. The verbs have mostly lost 
their inflections, and one form does for all moods, tenses. 

TiN-WoEKs — Birds. 39 

numbers, and persons. Eu vai serves for " I go," " I went," 
or " I will go." Adjectives, too, have been deprived of their 
feminine and plural terminations, so that the language is re- 
duced to a marvellous simplicity, and, with the admixture 
of a few Malay words, becomes rather puzzling to one who 
has heard only the pure Lusitanian. 

In costume these several peoples are as varied as in their 
speech. The English preserve the tight-fitting coat, waist- 
coat, and trowsers, and tbe abominable hat and cravat ; tbe 
Portuguese patronize a light jacket, or, more frequently, 
shirt and trowsers only; the Malays wear tbeir national 
jacket and sarong (a kind of kilt), with loose drawers ; while 
the Chinese never depart in the least from their national 
dress, which, indeed, it is impossible to improve for a tropical 
climate, whether as regards comfort or appearance. The 
loosely-hanging trowsers, and neat white half-shirt, half-jack- 
et, are exactly what a dress should be in this low latitude. 

I engaged two Portuguese to accompany me into the in- 
terior; one as a cook, the other to shoot and skin birds, 
which is quite a trade in Malacca. I first staid a fortnight 
at a village called Gading, where I was accommodated in 
the house of some Chinese converts, to whom I was recom- 
mended by the Jesuit missionaries. The house was a mere 
shed, but it was kept clean, and I made myself sufficiently 
comfortable. My hosts were forming a pepper and gambir 
plantation, and in the immediate neighborhood were exten- 
sive tin-washings, employing over a thousand Chinese. The 
tin is obtained in the form of black grains from beds of 
quartzose sand, and is melted into ingots in rude clay fur- 
naces. The soil seemed poor, and the forest was very dense 
with undergrowth, and not at all productive of insects ; but, 
on the other hand, birds were abundant, and I was at once 
introduced to the rich ornithological treasures of the Malayan 

The very first time I fired my gun I brought down one of 
the most curious and beautiful of the Malacca birds, the 
blue-billed gaper (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchus), called by 
the Malays the " rain-bird." It is about the size of a starling, 
black and rich claret color, with white shoulder-stripes, and 
a very large and broad bill of the most pure cobalt-blue 

40 Malacca. 

above and orange below, while the iris is emerald green. As 
the skins dry the bill turns dull black, but even then the 
bird is handsome. When fresh killed, the contrast of the 
vivid blue with the rich colors of the plumage is remarkably ^, 
striking and beautiful. The lovely Eastern trogons, with 
their rich brown backs, beautifully pencilled wings, and 
crimson breasts, were also soon obtained, as well as the large 
green barbets (Megalaema versicolor — fruit-eating birds, 
something like small toucans, with a short, straight bristly 
bill, and whose head and neck are variegated with patches 
of the most vivid blue and crimson. A day or two after my 
hunter brought me a specimen of the green gaper (Calypto- 
mena viridis), which is like a small cock-of-the-rock, but en- 
tirely of the most vivid green, delicately marked on the 
wings with black bars. Handsome woodpeckers and gay 
kingfishers, green and brown cuckoos, with velvety red faces 
and green beaks, red-breasted doves and metallic honey- 
suckers, were brought in day after day, and kept me in a 
continual state of pleasurable excitement. After a fortnight 
one of my servants was seized with fever, and, on returning 
to Malacca, the same disease attacked the other as well as 
myself By a liberal use of quinine I soon recovered, and 
obtaining other men, went to stay at the Government bun- 
galow of Ayer-panas, accompanied by a young gentleman, 
a native of the place, who had a taste for natural history. 

At Ayer-panas we had a comfortable house to stay in, and 
plenty of room to dry and preserve our specimens ; but, 
owing to there being no industrious Chinese to cut down 
timber, insects were comparatively scarce, with the exception <' 
of butterflies, of which I formed a very fine collection. The 
manner in which I obtained one fine insect was curious, and 
indicates how fragmentary and imperfect a traveller's collec- 
tion must necessarily be. I was one afternoon walking 
along a favorite road through the forest, with my gun, when 
I saw a butterfly on the ground. It was large, handsome, 
and quite new to me, and I got close to it before it flew away. 
I then observed that it had been settling on the dung of 
some carnivorous animal. Thinking it might return to the 
same spot, I next day after breakfast took my net, and, as I 
approached the place, was delighted to see the same butterfly 

New Butterfly — Mount Ophir. 41 

sitting on the same piece of dung, and succeeded in captur- 
ing it. It was an entirely new species of great beauty, and 
has been named by Mr. Hewitson IsTymphalis calydona. I 
never saw another specimen of it, and it was only after 
twelve years had elapsed that a second individual reached 
this country from the north-western part of Borneo. 

Having determined to visit Mount Ophir, which is situated 
in the middle of the peninsula about fifty miles east of Ma- 
lacca, we engaged six Malays to accompany us and carry our 
baggage. As we meant to stay at least a week at the 
mountain, we took with us a good supply of rice, a little 
biscuit, butter, and coffee, some dried fish and a little brandy, 
w^ith blankets, a change of clothes, insect and bird boxes, 
nets, guns, and ammunition. The distance from Ayer-panas 
was supposed to be about thirty miles. Our first day's march 
lay through patches of forest, clearings, and Malay villages, 
and was pleasant enough. At night we slept at the house 
of a Malay chief, who lent us a veranda, and gave us a fowl 
and some eggs. The next day the country got wilder and 
more hilly. We passed through extensive forests, along 
paths often up to our knees in mud, and were much annoyed 
by the leeches, for which this district is famous. These little 
creatures infest the leaves and herbage by the side of the paths, 
and when a passenger comes along they stretch themselves 
out at full length, and if they touch any part of his dress or 
body, quit their leaf and adhere to it. They then creep on 
to his feet, legs, or other part of his body and suck their fill, 
the first puncture being rarely felt during the excitement of 
walking. On bathing in the evening, we generally found 
half a dozen or a dozen on each of us, most frequently on our 
legs, but sometimes on our bodies, and I had one who sucked 
his fill from the side of my neck, but who luckily missed the 
jugular vein. There are many species of these forest-leeches. 
All are small, but some are beautifully marked with stripes 
of bright yellow. They probably attach themselves to deer 
or other animals which frequent the forest-paths, and have 
thus acquired the singular habit of stretching themselves out 
at the sound of a footstep or of rustling foliage. Early in 
the afternoon we reached the foot of the mountain, and en- 
camped by the side of a fine stream, whose rocky banks 



were overgrown with ferns. Our oldest Malay had been ac- 
customed to shoot birds in this neighborhood for the Ma- 
lacca dealers, and had been to the top of the mountain ; and 
while we amused 
ourselves shoot- 
ing and insect- 
Runting, he went 
with two others 
to clear the path 
for our ascent the 
next day. 

Early the next 
morning we start- 
ed after break- 
fast, carrying blankets and pro- 
visions, as we intended to sleep 
upon the mountain. After pass- 
ing a little tangled jungle and 
swampy thickets through which 
our men had cleared a path, we 
emerged into a fine lofty forest 
pretty clear of undergrowth, and 
in which we could walk freely. 
We ascended steadily up a mod- 
erate slope for several miles, 
having a deep ravine on our left. 
We then had a level plateau or 
shoulder to cross, after which 
the ascent was steeper and the 
forest denser, till we came out 
upon the " Padang-batu," or 
stone field, a place of which we ' 
had heard much, but could nev- 
er get any one to describe in- 
telligibly. We found it to be a 
steep slope of even rock, extend- 
ing along the mountain-side far- 
ther than we could see. Parts 
of it were quite bare, but where it was cracked and fissured 
there grew a most luxuriant vegetation, among which the 


Feens and Pitcher-Plants. 43 

pitcher-plants were the most remarkable. These wonderful 
plants never seem to succeed well in our hot-houses, and are 
there seen to little advantage. Here they grew up into half- 
climbing shrubs, their curious pitchers, of various sizes and 
forms, hanging abundantly from their leaves, and continual- 
ly exciting our admiration by their size and beauty. A few 
conifers of the genus Dacrydium here first appeared, and in" 
the thickets just above the rocky surface we walked through 
groves of those splendid ferns Dipteris Horsfieldii and Ma- 
tonia pectinata, which bear large spreading palmate fronds on 
slender stems six or eight feet high. The Matonia is the 
tallest and most elegant, and is known only from this mount- 
ain, and neither of them is yet introduced into our hot- 

It was very striking to come out from the dark, cool, and 
shady forest in which we had been ascending since we start- 
ed, on to this hot, open rocky slope, where we seemed to have 
entered at one step from a lowland to an Alpine vegetation. 
The height, as measured by a sympiesometer, was about 
2800 feet. We had been told we should find water at Pa- 
dang-batu, but we looked about for it in vain, as we were ex- 
ceedingly thirsty. At last we turned to the pitcher-plants, 
but the water contained in the pitchers (about half a pint 
in each) was full of insects, and otherwise uninviting. On 
tasting it, however, we found it very palatable, though rather 
warm, and we all quenched our thirst from these natural 
jugs. Farther on we came to forest again, but of a more 
dwarf and stunted character than below ; and alternately 
passing along ridges and descending into valleys, we reached 
a peak separated from the true summit of the mountain by a 
considerable chasm. Here our porters gave in, and declared 
they could carry their loads no further; and certainly the 
ascent to the highest peak was very precipitous. But on the 
spot where we were there was no water, whereas it was well 
known that there was a spring close to the summit, so we 
determined to go on without them, and carry with us only 
what was absolutely necessary. We accordingly took a 
blanket each, and divided our food and other articles among 
us, and went on with only the old Malay and his son. 

After descending into the saddle between the two peaks 

44 Malacca. 

we found the ascent very laborious, the slope being so steep 
as often to necessitate hand-climbing. Besides a bushy veg- 
etation, the ground was covered knee-deep with mosses on a 
foundation of decaying leaves and rugged rock, and it was 
a hard hour's climb to the small ledge just below the sum- 
mit, where an overhanging rock forms a convenient shelter, 
and a little basin collects the trickling water. Here we put 
down our loads, and in a few minutes more stood on the sum- 
mit of Mount Ophir, 4000 feet above the sea. The top is a 
small rocky platform covered with rhododendrons and other 
shrubs. The afternoon was clear, and the view fine in its 
^ay — ranges of hill and valley everywhere covered with in- 
terminable forest, with glistening rivers winding among them. 
In a distant view a forest country is very monotonous, and 
no mountain I have ever ascended in the tropics presents a 
panorama equal to that from Snowdon, while the views in 
Switzerland are immeasurably superior. When boiling our 
coffee I took observations with a good boiling-point ther- 
mometer, as well as with the sympiesometer, and we then en- 
joyed our evening meal and the noble prospect that lay be- 
fore us. The night was calm and very mild, and having 
made a bed of twigs and branches over which we laid our 
blankets, we passed a very comfortable night. Our porters 
had followed us after a rest, bringing only their rice to cook, 
and luckily we did not require the baggage they left behind 
them. In the morning I caught a few butterflies and beetles, 
and my friend got a few land-shells ; and we then descended, 
bringing with us some specimens of the ferns and pitcher- 
plants of Padang-batu. 

The place where we had first encamped at the foot of the 
mountain being very gloomy, we chose another in a kind of 
swamp near a stream overgrown with zinziberaceous plants, 
in which a clearing was easily made. Here our men built 
two little huts without sides that would just shelter us from 
the rain; and we lived in them for a week, shooting and in- 
sect-hunting, and roaming about the forests at the foot of 
the mountain. This was the country of the great Argus 
pheasant, and we continually heard its cry. On asking the 
old Malay to try and shoot one for me, he told me that al- 
though he had been for twenty years shooting birds in these 

The Arg-us Pheasant — Lost Papers. 45 

forests he had never yet shot one, and had never even seen 
one except after it had been caught. The bird is so exceed- 
ingly shy and wary, and runs along the ground in the 
densest parts of the forest so quickly, that it is impossible to 
get near it ; and its sober colors and rich eye-like spots, which 
are so ornamental when seen in a museum, must harmonize 
well with the dead leaves among which it dwells, and render 
it very inconspicuous. All the specimens sold in Malacca 
are caught in snares, and my informant, though he had shot 
none, had snared plenty. 

The tiger and rhinoceros are still found here, and a few 
years ago elephants abounded, but they have lately all dis- 
appeared. We found some heaps of dung, which seemed to 
be that of elephants, and some tracks of the rhinoceros, but 
saw none of the animals. We, however, kept a fire up all 
night in case any of these creatures should visit us, and two 
of our men declared that they did one day see a rhinoceros. 
When our rice was finished, and our boxes full of specimens, 
we returned to Ayer-panas, and a few days afterward went 
on to Malacca, and thence to Singapore. M.ount Ophir has 
quite a reputation for fever, and all our friends were aston- 
ished at our recklessness in staying so long at its foot ; but 
we none of us suffered in the least, and I shall ever look back 
with pleasure to my trip, as being my first introduction to 
mountain scenery in the Eastern tropics. 

The meagreness and brevity of the sketch I have here giv- 
en of my visit to Singapore and the Malay Peninsula is due 
to my having trusted chiefly to some private letters and a 
note-book, which were lost, and to a paper on Malacca and 
Mount Ophir which was sent to the Royal Geographical So- 
ciety, but which was neither read nor printed, owing to press 
of matter at the end of a session, and the MSS. of which can 
not now be found. I the less regret this, however, as so 
many works have been written on these parts ; and I always 
intended to pass lightly over my travels in the western and 
better known portions of the Archipelago, in order to devote 
more space to the remoter districts, about which hardly any 
thing has been written in the English language. 

46 Borneo. 



I AERiVED at Sarawak on ]N'ovein'ber 1, 1854, and left it on 
January 25, 1856. In the interval I resided at many differ- 
ent localities, and saw a good deal of the Dyak tribes as well 
as of the Bornean Malays. I was hospitably entertained by 
Sir James Brooke, and lived in his house whenever I was at 
the town of Sarawak in the intervals of my journeys. But 
so many books have been written about this part of Borneo 
since I was there, that I shall avoid going into details of 
what I saw and heard and thought of Sarawak and its ruler, 
confining myself chiefly to my experiences as a naturalist in 
search of shells, insects, birds, and the orang-utan, and to an 
account of a journey through a part of the interior seldom 
visited by Europeans. 

The first four months of my visit were spent in various 
parts of the Sarawak River, from Santubong at its mouth up 
to the picturesque limestone mountains and Chinese gold- 
fields of Bow and Bede. This part of the country has been 
so frequently described that I shall pass it over, especially 
as, owing to its being the height of the wet season, my col- 
lections were comparatively poor and insignificant. 

In March, 1865,1 determined to go to the coal-works which 
were being opened near the Simunjon River, a small branch 
of the Sadong, a river east of Sarawak, and between it and 
the Batang-lupar. The Simunjon enters the Sadong River 
about twenty miles up. It is very narrow and very winding, 
and much overshadowed by the lofty forest, which sometimes 
almost meets over it. The whole country between it and 
the sea is a perfectly level, forest-covered swamp, out of 
which rise a few isolated hills, at the foot of one of which the 
works are situated. From the landing-place to the hill a 
Dyak road had been formed, which consisted solely of tree- 
trunks laid end to end. Along these the bare-footed natives 

Insects. 47 

walk, and carry heavy burdens with the greatest ease, "but to. 
a booted European it is very slippery work ; and when one's 
attention is constantly attracted by the various objects of in- 
terest around, a few tumbles into the bog are almost inevita- 
ble. During my first walk along this road I saw few insects 
or birds, but noticed some very handsome orchids in flower, 
of the genus Ccelogyne, a group which I afterward found to 
be very abundant, and characteristic of the district. On the 
slope of the hill near its foot a patch of forest had been clear- 
ed away, and several rude houses erected, in which were re- 
siding Mr. Coulson, the engineer, and a number of Chinese 
workmen. I was at first kindly accommodated in Mr. Coul- 
son's house, but finding the spot very suitable for me and of- 
fering great facilities for collecting, I had a small house of 
two rooms and a veranda built for myself Here I remained 
nearly nine months, and made an immense collection of insects, 
to which class of animals I devoted my chief attention, owing 
to the circumstances being especially favorable. 

In the tropics a large proportion of the insects of all orders, 
and especially of the large and favorite group of beetles, are 
more or less dependent on vegetation, and particularly on 
timber, bark, and leaves in various stages of decay. In the 
untouched virgin forest, the insects which frequent such situ- 
ations are scattered over an immense extent of country at 
spots where trees have fallen through decay and old age, or 
have succumbed to the fury of the tempest; and twenty 
square miles of country may not contain so many fallen and 
decayed trees as are, to be found in any small clearing. The 
quantity and the variety of beetles and of many other insects 
that can be collected at a given time in any tropical locality 
will depend, first upon the immediate vicinity of a great ex- 
tent of virgin forest, and secondly upon the quantity of trees 
that for some months past have been, and which are still being 
cut down, and left to dry and decay upon the ground. N'ow, 
during my whole twelve years' collecting in the western and 
eastern tropics, I never enjoyed such advantages in this re- 
spect as at the Simtinjon coal-works. For several months 
from twenty to fifty Chinamen and Dyaks were employed al- 
most exclusively in clearing a large space in the forest, and 
in making a wide opening for a railroad to the Sadong River, 


two miles distant. Besides tins, sawpits were established at 
various points in the jungle, and large trees were felled, to be 
cut up into beams and planks. For hundreds of miles in 
every direction a magnificent forest extended over plain and 
mountain, rock and morass, and I arrived at the spot just as 
the rains began to diminish and the daily sunshine to in- 
crease ; a time which I have always found the most favorable 
season for collecting. The number of openings and sunny 
places and of pathways were also an attraction to wasps and 
butterflies ; and by paying a cent each for all insects that 
were brought me, I obtained from the Dyaks and the China- 
men many fine locusts and Phasmidse, as well as numbers of 
handsome beetles. 

When I arrived at the mines, on the 14th of March, I had 
collected in the four preceding months 320 diflferent kinds of 
beetles. In less than a fortnight I had doubled this number, 
an average of about 24 new species every day. On one day 
I collected 76 different kinds, of which 34 were new to me. 
By the end of April I had mpre than a thousand species, and 
they then went on increasing at a slower rate ; so that I ob- 
tained altogether in Borneo about two thousand distinct 
kinds, of which all but a"bout a hundred were collected at 
this place, and on scarcely more than a square mile of ground. 
The most numerous and most interesting groups of beetles 
were the longicorns and Rhynchophora, both pre-eminently 
wood-feeders. The former, characterized by their graceful 
forms and long antennae, were especially numerous, amount- 
ing to nearly three hundred species, nine-tenths of which were 
entirely new, and many of them remarkable for their large 
size, strange forms, and beautiful coloring. The latter corre- 
spond to our weevils and allied groups, and in the tropics are 
exceedingly numerous and varied, often swarming upon dead 
timber, so that I sometimes obtained fifty or sixty different 
kinds in a day. My Bornean collections of this group ex- 
ceeded ^ye hundred species. 

My collection of butterflies was not large ; but I obtained 
some rare and very handsome insects, the most remarkable 
being the Ornithoptera Brookeana, one of the most elegant 
species known. This beautiful creature has very long and 
pointed wings, almost resembling a sphinx moth in shape. 


The Tree-Frog. 49 

It is deep velvety black, with a curved band of spots of a 
brilliant metallic-green color extending across the wings from 
tip to tip, each spot being shaped exactly like a small tri- 
angular feather, and having very much the effect of a row of 
the wing coverts of the Mexican trogon laid upon black vel- 
vet. The only other marks are a broad neck-collar of vivid 
crimson, and a few delicate white touches on the outer mar- 
gins of the hind wings. This species, which was then quite 
new, and which I named after Sir James Brooke, was very 
rare. It was seen occasionally flying swiftly in the clearings, 
and now and then settling for an instant at puddles and mud- 
dy places, so that I only succeeded in capturing two or three 
specimens. In some other parts of the country I was assured 
it was abundant, and a good many specimens have been sent 
to England ; but as yet all have been males, and we are quite 
unable to conjecture what the female may be like, owing to 
the extreme isolation of the species, and its want of close af- 
finity to any other known insect. 

One of the most curious and interesting reptiles which I 
met with in Borneo was a large tree-frog, which was brought 
me by one of the Chinese workmen. He assured me that he 
had seen it come down, in a slanting direction, from a high 
tree, as if it flew. On examining it, I found the toes very 
long, and fully webbed to their very extremity, so that when 
expanded they offered a surface much larger than the body. 
The fore legs were also bordered by a membrane, and the 
body was capable of considerable inflation. The back and 
limbs were of a very deep shining green color, the under sur- 
face and the inner toes yellow, w^hile the webs were black, 
rayed with yellow. The body was about four inches long, 
while the w^ebs of each hind foot, when fully expanded, cov- 
ered a surface of four square inches, and the webs of all the 
feet together about twelve square inches. As the extremities 
of the toes have dilated discs for adhesion, showing the creat- 
ure . to be a true tree-frog, it is difiicult to imagine that this 
immense membrane of the toes can be for the purpose of 
swimming only, and the account of the Chinaman that it flew 
down from the tree becomes more credible. This is, I believe, 
the first instance known of a " flying frog," and it is very in- 
teresting to Darwinians, as showing that the variability of 




the toes, which have been already modified for purposes of 
swimming and adhesive climbing, have been taken advantage 
of to enable an allied species to pass through the air like the 
flying lizard. It would appear to be a new species of the 
genus Rhacophorus, which consists of several frogs of a much 
smaller size than this, and having the webs of the toes less 

During my stay in Borneo I had no hunter to shoot for 


me regularly, and, being myself fully occupied with insects,! 
did not succeed in obtaining a very good collection of the 
birds or Mammalia^ many of which, however, are well known, 
being identical with species found in Malacca. Among the 
Mammalia were five squirrels, two tiger-cats, the Gymnurus 
rafflesii, which looks like a cross between a pig and a polecat^ 

The Okakg-Utajst. 51 

and the Cynogale Bennetti — a rare, otter-like animal, with 
very broad muzzle, clothed with long bristles. 

One of my chief objects in coming to stay at Simiinjon 
was to see the orang-utan (or great man-like ape of Borneo) 
in his native haunts, to study his habits, and obtain good 
specimens of the different varieties and species of both sexes, 
and of the adult and young animals. In all these objects I 
succeeded beyond my expectations, and will now give some 
account of my experience in hunting the orang-utan, or 
'' mias," as it is called by the natives ; and as this name is 
short, and easily pronounced, I shall generally use it. in pref- 
erence to Simla satyrus, or orang-utan. 

Just a week after my arrival at the mines I first saw a 
mias. I was out collecting insects, not more than a quarter 
of a mile from the house, when I heard a rustling in a tree 
near, and, looking-up, saw a large red-haired animal moving 
slowly along, hanging from the branches by its arms. It 
passed on from tree to tree till it was lost in the jungle, 
which was so swampy that I could not follow it. This mode 
of progression was, however, very unusual, and is more char- 
acteristic of the Hylobates than of the orang. I suppose 
there was some individual peculiarity in this animal, or the 
nature of the trees just in this place rendered it the most easy 
mode of progression. 

About a fortnight afterward I heard that one was feeding 
in a tree in the swamp just below the house, and, taking my 
gun, was fortunate enough to find it in the same place. As 
soon as I approached, it tried to conceal itself among the 
foliage ; but I got a shot at it, and the second barrel caused 
it to fall down almost dead, the two balls having entered the 
body. This was .a male, about half-grown, being scarcely 
three feet high. On April 26th I was out shooting with two 
Dyaks, when we found another about the same size. It fell 
at the first shot, but did not seem much hurt, and immediate- 
ly climbed up the nearest tree, when I fired, and it again fell, 
with a broken arm and a wound in the body. The two 
Dyaks now ran up to it, and each seized hold of a hand, tell- 
ing me to cut a pole, and they would secure it. But although 
one arm was broken, and it was only a half-grown animal, it 
was too strong for these young savages, drawing them up 

52 Borneo — The ORA.Na-UTAisr. 

toward its mouth notwithstanding all their efforts, so that 
they were again obliged to leave go, or they would have been 
seriously bitten. It now began climbing up the tree again, 
and, to avoid trouble, I shot it through the heart. 

On May 2 I again found one on a very high tree, when I 
had only a small 80-bore gun with me. However, I fired at 
it, and on seeing me it began howling in a strange voice like 
a cough, and seemed in a great rage, breaking off branches 
with its hands and throwing them down, and then soon made 

FEMALE OKANG-UTAN. {Ffom a Photograph.) 

off over the tree-tops. I did not care to follow it, as it was 
swampy, and in parts dangerous, and I might easily have lost 
myself in the eagerness of pursuit. 

On the 12th of May I found another, which behaved in a 
very similiar manner, howling and hooting with rage, and 
throwing down branches. I shot at it ^yq times, and it re- 
mained dead on the top of the tree, supported in a fork in 
such a manner that it would evidently not fall. I therefore 
returned home, and luckily found some Dyaks, who came back 
with me, and climbed up the. tree for the animal. This was 

An Infant Mias. 53 

the first full-grown specimen I had obtained ; but it was a 
female, and not nearly so large or remarkable as the full-grown 
males. It was, however, three feet six inches high, and its 
arms stretched out to a width of six feet six inches. I pre- 
served the skin of this specimen in a cask of arrack, and pre- 
pared a perfect skeleton, which was afterward purchased for 
the Derby Museum. 

Only four days afterward some Dyaks saw another mias 
near the same place, and came to tell me. We found it to be 
a rather large one, very high up on a tall tree. At the second 
shot it fell, rolling over, but almost immediately got up again 
and began to climb. At a third shot it fell dead. This was 
also a full-grown female, and while preparing to carry it home, 
we found a young one face downward in the bog. This little 
creature was only about a foot long, and had evidently been 
hanging to its mother when she- first fell. Luckily it did not 
appear to have been wounded, and after we had cleaned the 
mud out of its mouth it began to cry out, and seemed quite 
strong and active. While carrying it home it got its hands 
in my beard, and grasped so tightly that I had great difficulty 
in getting free, for the fingers are habitually bent inward at 
the last joint so as to form complete hooks. At this time it 
had not a single tooth, but a few days afterward it cut its two 
lower front teeth. Unfortunately, I had no milk to give it, as 
neither Malays, Chinese, nor Dyaks ever use the article, and 
I in vain inquired for any female animal that could suckle my 
little infant. I was therefore obliged to give it rice-water 
from a bottle with a quill in the co¥k, which after a few trials 
it learned to suck very well. This was very meagre diet, and 
the little creature did not thrive well on it, although I added 
sugar and cocoa-nut milk occasionally, to make it more nour- 
ishing. When I put my finger in its mouth, it sucked with 
great vigor, drawing in its cheeks with all its might in the 
vain effort to extract some milk, and only after persevering 
a long time would it give up in disgust, and set up a scream 
very like that of a baby in similiar circumstances. 

When handled or nursed, it was very quiet and contented, 
but when laid down by itself would invariably cry; and for 
the first few nights was very restless and noisy. I fitted 
up a little box for a cradle, with a soft mat for it to lie upon. 


which was changed and washed every day, and I soon found 
it necessary to wash the little mias as well. After I had 
done so a few times, it came to like the operation, and as soon 
as it was dirty would begin crying, and not leave off till I 
took it out and carried it to the spout, when it immediately 
became quiet, although it would wince a little at the first 
rush of the cold water and make ridiculously wry faces while 
the stream was running over its head. * It enjoyed the wiping 
and rubbing dry amazingly, and when I brushed its hair seem- 
ed to be perfectly happy, lying quite still, with its arms and 
legs stretched out, while I thoroughly brushed the long hair 
of its back and arms. For the first few days it clung desper- 

. ately with all four hands to whatever it could lay hold of, 
and I had to be careful to keep my beard out of its way, as 
its fingers clutched hold of hair more tenaciously than any 
thing else, and it was impossible to free myself without as- 
sistance. When restless, it would struggle about with its 
hands up in the air trying to find something to take hold of, 
and, when it had got a bit of stick or rag in two or three of 
its hands, seemed quite happy. For want of soinething else, 
it would often seize its own feet, and after a time it would con- 
stantly cross its arms and grasp with each hand the long hair 
that grewjust below the opposite shoulder. The great tena- 
city of its grasp. soon diminished, and I was obliged to invent 
some means to give it exercise andstrengthenitslimbs* • For 
this purpose I made a short ladder of three or four rounds^ on 
which I put it to hang for a quarter of an hour at a time. At 
first it seemed much pleased, but it could not get all four 
hands in a comfortable position, and, after changing about 
several times, would leave hold of one hand after the other 
and drop on to the floor. Sometimes when hanging only hj 
two handSy it would loose one, and cross it to the opposite 
shoulder, grasping its own hair ; and, as this seemed much 
more agreeable than the stick, it would then loose the other 

^ and tumble down, when it would cross both and lie on its 
back quite contentedly, never seeming to be hurt by its nu- 
merous tumbles. Finding it so fond of hair, I endeavored to 
naake an artificial mother, by wrapping up a piece of buffalo- 
skin into a bundle, and suspending it about a foot from thQ 
floor. At first this seemed to suit it admirably^ as it could 

An Infant Mias. 55 

sprawl its legs about and always find some hair, wMch it 
grasped with the greatest tenacity. I was now in hopes that 
I had made the little orphan quite happy ; and so it seemed 
for some time till it began to remember its lost parent and 
try to suck. It would pull itself up close to the skin, and try 
about everywhere for a likely place ; but, as it only succeed- 
ed in getting mouthfuls of hair and wool, it would be greatly 
disgusted, and scream violently, and, after two or three at- 
tempts, let go altogether. One day it got some wool into 
its throat, and I thought it would have choked, but after much 
gasping it recovered, and I was obliged to take the imitation 
mother to pieces again, and give up this last attempt to ex- 
ercise the little creature. 

After the first week I found I could feed it better with a 
spoon, and give it a little more varied and more solid food. 
Well-soaked biscuit, mixed with a little egg and sugar, and 
sometimes sweet potatoes, were readily eaten ; and it was a 
never-failing amusement to observe the curious changes of 
countenance by which it would express its approval or dis- 
like of what was given to it. The poor little thing would 
lick its lips, draw in its cheeks, and turn up its eyes with an 
expression of the most supreme satisfaction when it had a 
mouthful particularly to its taste. On the other hand, when 
its food was not sufficiently sweet or palatable, it would turn 
the mouthful about with its tongue for a moment as if trying 
to extract what flavor there was, and then push it all out be- 
tween its lips. If the same food was continued, it would set 
up a scream and kick about violently, exactly like a baby in 
a passion. 

After I had had the little mias about three weeks, I for- 
tunately obtained a young hare-lip monkey (Macacus cyno- 
molgus), which, though small, was very active, and could 
feed itself. I placed it in the same box with the mias, and 
they immediately became excellent friends, neither exhibit- 
ing the least fear of the other. The little monkey would sit 
upon the other's stomach, or even on its face, without the 
least regard to its feelings. While I was feeding the mias, 
the monkey would sit by, picking up all that was spilt, and 
occasionally putting out its hands to intercept the spoon ; 
and as soon as I had finished would pick off what was left 

56 Borneo — ^^The ORANa-llTAN. 

sticking to the mias's lips, and then pull open its mouth and 
see if any still remained inside ; afterward lying down on 
the poor creature's stomach as on a comfortable cushion. 
The little helpless mias would submit to all these insults 
with the most exemplary patience, only too glad to have 
something warm near it, which it could clasp affectionately 
in its arms. It sometimes, however, had its revenge; for 
when the monkey wanted to go away, the mias would hold 
on as long as it could by the loose skin of its back or head, 
or by its tail, and it was only after many vigorous jumps 
that the monkey could make his escape. 

It was curious to observe the different actions of these 
two animals, which could not have differed much in age. 
The mias, like a very young baby, lying on its back quite 
helpless, rolling lazily from side to side, stretching out all 
four hands into the air, wishing to grasp something, but 
hardly able to guide its fingers to any definite object, and 
when dissatisfied, opening wide its almost toothless mouth, 
and expressing its wants by a most infantine scream ; the lit- 
tle monkey, on the other hand, in constant motion, running and 
jumping about wherever it pleased, examining every thing 
around it, seizing hold of the smallest objects with the great- 
est precision, balancing itself on the edge of the box or run- 
ning up a post, and helping itself to any thing eatable that 
came in its way. There could hardly be a greater contrast, 
and the baby mias looked more baby-like by the comparison. 

When I had had it about a month it began to exhibit 
some signs of learning to run alone. When laid upon the 
floor it would push itself along by its legs, or roll itself over, 
and thus make an unwieldy progression. When lying in the 
box it would lift itself up to the edge into almost an erect 
position, and once or twice succeeded in tumbling out. 
When left dirty, or hungry, or otherwise neglected, it would 
scream violently till attended to, varied by a kind of cough- 
ing or pumping noise very similar to that which is made by 
the adult animal. If no one was in the house, or its cries 
were not attended to, it would be quiet after a little while, 
but the moment it heard a footstep would begin again hard- 
er than ever. 

After five weeks it cut its two upper front teeth, but in 

Death of Infant Mias. 57 

all this time it had not grown the least bit, remaining, both 
in size and weight, the same as when I first procured it. 
This was no doubt owing to the want of milk or other equal- 
ly nourishing food. Rice-water, rice, and biscuits were but 
a poor substitute, and the expressed milk of the cocoa-nut 
which I sometimes gave it did not quite agree with its stom- 
ach. To this I imputed an attack of diarrhoea from which 
the poor little creature suffered greatly, but a small dose of 
castor-oil operated well, and cured it. A week or two after- 
w^ard it was again taken ill, and this time more seriously. 
The symptoms were exactly those of intermittent fever, ac- 
companied by watery swellings on the feet and head. It 
lost all appetite for its food, and, after lingering for a week a 
most pitiable object, died, after being in my possession near- 
ly three months. I much regretted the loss of my little pet, 
which I had at one time looked forward to bringing up to 
years of maturity, and taking home to England. For several 
months it had afforded me daily amusement by its curious 
ways and the inimitably ludicrous expression of its little 
countenance. Its weight was three pounds nine ounces, its 
height fourteen inches, and the spread of its arms twenty- 
three inches. I preserved its skin and skeleton, and in doing 
so found that when it fell from the tree it must have broken 
an arm and a leg, which had, however, united so rapidly that 
I had only noticed the hard swellings on the limbs where 
the irregular junction of the bones had taken place. 

Exactly a week after I had caught this interesting little 
animal I succeeded in shooting a full-grown male orang-utan. 
I had just come home from an entomologizing excursion 
when Charles^ rushed in out of breath with running and ex- 
citement, and exclaimed, interrupted by gasps, " Get the 
gun, sir — be quick — such a large mias !" " Where is it ?" I 
asked, taking hold of my gun as I spoke, which happened 
luckily to have one barrel loaded with ball. " Close by, sir 
— on the path to the mines — he can't get away." Two 
Dyaks chanced to be in the house at the time, so I called 
them to accompany me, and started off, telling Charley to 
bring all the ammunition after me as soon as possible. The 
path from our clearing to the mines led along the side of the 

^ Charles Allen, an English lad of sixteen, accompanied me as an assistant. 

58 BoENEO — The OEANa-IlTAisr. 

Mil a little way up its slope, and parallel with it at the foot 
a wide opening had been made for a road, in which several 
Chinamen were working, so that the animal could not escape 
into the swampy forest below without descending to cross 
the road or ascending to get round the clearings. We walk- 
ed cautiously along, not making the least noise, and listening 
attentively for any sound which might betray the presence 
of the mias, stopping at intervals to gaze upward. Charley 
soon joined us at the place where he had seen the creature, 
and having taken the ammunition and put a bullet in the 
other barrel, we dispersed a little, feeling sure that it must 
be somewhere near, as it had probably descended the hill, 
and would not be likely to return again. After a short time 
I heard a very slight rustling sound overhead, but, on gazing 
up, could see nothing. I moved about in every direction to 
get a full view into every part of the tree under which I had 
been standing, when I again heard the same noise, but loud- 
er, and saw the leaves shaking as if caused by the motion of 
some heavy animal which moved off to an adjoining tree. I 
immediately shouted for all of them to come up and try and 
get a view, so as to allow me to have a shot. This was not 
an easy matter, as the mias had a knack of selecting places 
with dense foliage beneath. Yery soon, however, one of the 
Dyaks called me and pointed upward, alid on looking I saw 
. a great red hairy body and a huge black face gazing down 
from a great height, as if wanting to know what was making 
such a disturbance below. I instantly fired, and he made off 
at once, so that I could not then tell whether I had hit him. 
He now moved very rapidly and very noiselessly for so 
large an animal, so I told the Dyaks to follow and keep him 
in sight while I loaded. The jungle was here full of large 
angular fragments of rock from the mountain above, and 
thick with hanging and twisted creepers. Running, climb- 
ing, and creeping among these, we came up with the creature 
on the top of a high tree near the road, where the Chinamen 
had discovered him, and were shouting their astonishment 
with open mouth : " Ya ya, Tuan ; Orang-utan, Tuan." See- 
ing that he could not pass here without descending, he turn- 
ed up again toward the hill, and I got two shots, and, follow- 
ing quickly, had two. more, by the time he had again reached 

BAaGiNG- A Giant. 59 

the path ; hut he was always more or less concealed by fo- 
liage, and protected by the large branch on which he was 
walking. Once while loading I had a splendid view of him, 
moving along a large limb of a tree in a semi-erect posture, 
and showing him to be an animal of the largest size. At the 
path he got on to one of the loftiest trees in the forest, and 
we could see one leg hanging down useless, having been 
broken by a ball. He now fixed himself in a fork, where he 
was hidden by thick foliage, and seemed disinclined to move. 
I was afraid he would remain and die in this position, and, 
as it was nearly evening, I could not have got the tree cut 
down that day. I therefore fired again, and he then moved 
off, and going up the hill, was obliged to get on to some 
lower trees, on the branches of one of which he fixed himself 
in such a position that he could not fall, and lay all in a heap 
as if dead or dying. 

I now wanted the Dyaks to go up and cut off the branch 
he was resting on, but they were afraid, saying he was not 
dead, and would come and attack them. We then shook 
the adjoining tree, pulled the hanging creepers, and did all 
we could to disturb him, but without effect, so I thought it 
best to send for two Chinamen with axes to cut down the 
tree. While the messenger was gone, however, one of the 
Dyaks took courage and climbed to,ward him, but the mias 
did not wait for him to get near, moving off to another tree, 
where he got on to a dense mass of branches and creepers 
which almost completely hid him from our view. The tree 
was luckily a small one, so, when the axes came, we soon had 
it cut through ; but it was so held up by jungle ropes and 
climbers to adjoining trees that it only fell into a sloping 
position. The mias did not move, and I began to fear that 
after all we should not get him, as it was near evening, and 
half a dozen more trees would have to be cut down before 
the one he was on would fall. As a last resource, we all be- 
gan pulling at the creepers, which shook the tree very much, 
and, after a few minutes, when we had almost given up all 
hopes, down he came with a crash and a thud like the fall of 
a giant. And he was a giant, his head and body being full 
as large as a man's. He was of the kind called by the Dyaks 
" mias chappan," or " mias pappan," which has the skin of 

60 Borneo — The Orang-Utan. 

tlie face broadened out to a ridge or fold at each side. His 
outstretched arms measured seven feet three inches across, 
and his height, measuring fairly from the top of the head to 
the heel, was four feet two inches. The body just below the 
arms was three feet two inches round, and was quite as long 
as a man's, the legs being exceedingly short in proportion. 
On examination, we found he had been dreadfully wounded. 
Both legs were broken, one hip-joint and the root of the spine 
completely shattered, and two bullets were found flattened 
in his neck and jaws ! Yet he was still alive when he fell. 
The two Chinamen carried him home tied to a pole, and I 
was occupied with Charley the whole of the next day, pre- 
paring the skin and boiling the bones to make a perfect 
skeleton, which are now preserved in the Museum at Derby. 

About ten days after this, on June 4, some Dyaks came to 
tell us that the day before amias had nearly killed one of their 
companions. A few miles down the river there is a Dyak 
house, and the inhabitants saw a large orang feeding on the 
young shoots of a palm by the river-side. On being alarm- 
ed, he retreated toward the jimgle which was close by, and 
a number of the men, armed with spears and choppers, ran 
out to intercept him. The man who was in front tried to 
run his spear through the animal's body, but the mias seized 
it in his hands, and* in an instant got hold of the man's arm, 
which he seized in his mouth, making his teeth meet in the 
flesh above the elbow, which he tore and lacerated in a 
dreadful manner. Had not the others been close behind, the 
man would have been more seriously injured, if not killed, as 
he was quite powerless, but they soon destroyed the creature 
with their spears and choppers. The man remained ill for 
a long time, and never fully recovered the use of his arm. 

They told me the dead mias was still lying where it had 
been killed, so I offered them a reward to bring it up to our 
landing-place immediately, which they promised to do. They 
did not come, however, till the next day, and then decomposi- 
tion had commenced, and great patches of the hair came off, 
so that it was useless to skin it. This I regretted much, as 
it was a very fine full-grown male. I cut off the head and 
took it home to clean, while I got my men to make a close 
fence about five feet high round the rest of the body, w^hich 

Continued Success. 61 

would soon be devoured by maggots, small lizards, and ants, 
leaving me the skeleton. There was a great gash in his face, 
which had cut deep into the bone, but the skull was a very 
fine one, and the teeth remarkably large and perfect. 

On June 18 I had another great success, and obtained a 
^ne adult male. A Chinaman told me he had seen him feed- 
ing by the side of the path to the river, and I found him at 
the same place as the first individual I had shot. He was 
feeding on an oval green fruit having a fine red arillus, like 
the mace which surrounds the nutmeg, and which alone he 
seemed to eat, biting ofi" the thick outer rind and dropping 
it in a continual shower. I had found the same fruit in the 
stomach of some others which I had killed. Two shots 
caused this animal to loose his hold, but he hung for a con- 
siderable time by one hand, and then fell flat on his face, and 
was half buried in the swamp. For several minutes he lay 
groaning and panting, while we stood close round, expecting 
every breath to be his last. Suddenly, however, by a vio- 
lent effort he raised himself up, causing us all to step back a 
yard or two, when, standing nearly erect, he caught hold of 
a small tree and began to ascend it. Another shot through 
the back caused him to fall down dead. A flattened bullet 
was found in his tongue, having entered the lower part of the 
abdomen and completely traversed the body, fracturing the 
first cervical vertebra. Yet it was after this fearful wound 
that he had risen, and begun climbing with considerable facil- 
ity. This also was a full-grown male of almost exactly the 
same dimensions as the other two I had measured. 

On June 21 I shot another adult female, which was eating 
fruit in a low tree, and was the only one which I ever killed 
by a single ball. 

On June 24 I was called by a Chinaman to shoot a mias, 
which he said was on a tree close by his house at the coal- 
mines. Arriving at the place, we had some difficulty in find- 
ing the animal, as he had gone off" into the jungle, which was 
very rocky, and difficult to traverse. At last we found him 
up a very high tree, and could see that he was a male of 
the largest size. As soon as I had fired, he moved higher 
up the tree, and, while he was doing so, I fired again and we 
then saw that one arm was broken. He had now reached 

62 Borneo — The Orajstg-Utan. 

the very highest part of an immense tree, and immediately 
began breaking off boughs all around, and laying them abross 
and across to make a nest. It was very interesting, to see 
how well he had chosen his place, and how rapidly he stretch- 
ed out his un wounded arm in every direction, breaking off 
good-sized boughs with the greatest ease, and laying them 
back across each other, so that in a few minutes he had form- 
ed a compact mass of foliage which entirely concealed him 
from our sight. He was evidently going to pass the night 
here, and would probably get away early the next morning 
if not wounded too severely. I therefore fired again several 
times, in hopes of making him leave his nest ; but, though I 
felt sure I had hit him, as at each shot he moved a little, he 
would not go away. At length he raised himself up, so that 
half his body was visible, and then gradually sank down, his 
head alone remaining on the edge of the nest. I now felt 
sure he was dead, and tried to persuade the Chinaman and 
his companion to cut down the tree ; but it was a very large 
one, and they had been at work all day, and nothing would 
induce them to attempt it. The next morning at daybreak 
I came to the place, and found that the mias was evidently 
dead, as his head was visible in exactly the same position as 
before. I now offered four Chinamen a day's wages each to cut 
the tree down at once, as a few hours of sunshine would cause 
decomposition on the surface of the skin ; but, after looking 
at it and trying it, they determined that it was very big and 
very hard, and would not attempt it. Had I doubled my 
offer, they would probably have accepted it, as it would not 
have been more than two or three hours' work, and had I 
been on a short visit only I would have done so ; but as I 
was a resident, and intended remaining several months long- 
er, it would not have answered to begin paying too exorbi- 
tantly, or I should have got nothing done in future at a low- 
er rate. 

For some weeks after a cloud of flies could be seen all day, 
hovering over the body of the dead mias; but in about a 
month all was quiet, and the body was evidently drying up 
under the influence of a vertical sun alternating with tropical 
rains. Two or three months later two Malays, on the offer 
of a dollar, climbed the tree and let down the dried remains. 

Mode of "Walking. 63 

The skin was almost entire, inclosing the skeleton, and inside 
were millions of the pupa-cases of flies and other insects, with 
thousands of two or three species of small necrophagous 
beetles. The skull had been much shattered by balls, but 
the skeleton was perfect, except one small wrist-bone, which 
had probably dropped out and been carried away by a lizard. 

Three days after I had shot this one and lost it, Charles 
found three small orangs feeding together. We had a long 
chase after them, and had a good opportunity of seeing hovf 
they make their way from tree to tree, by always choosing 
those limbs whose branches are intermingled with those of 
some other tree, and then grasping several of the small twigs 
together before they venture to swing themselves across. 
Yet they do this so quickly and certainly that they make way 
among the trees at the rate of full five or six miles an hour, 
as we had continually to run to keep up with them. One of 
these we shot and killed, but it remained high up in the fork 
of a tree ; and, as young animals are of comparatively little 
interest, I did not have the tree cut down to get it. 

At this time I had the misfortune to slip among some fail- 
en trees and hurt my ankle, and, not being careful enough at 
first, it became a severe, inflamed ulcer, which would not heal, 
and kept me a prisoner in the house the whole of July and part 
of August. When I could get out again, I determined to take 
a trip up a branch of the Simunjon River to Semabang, where 
there was said to be a large Dyak house, a mountain with 
abundance of fruit, and plenty of orangs and fine birds. As 
the river was very narrow, and I was obliged to go in a 
very small boat with a little luggage, I only took with me a 
Chinese boy as a servant, I carried a cask of medicated ar- 
rack to put mias skins in, and stores and ammunition for a 
fortnight. After a few miles, the stream became very nar- 
row and winding, and the whole country on each side was 
flooded. On the banks were abundance of monkeys — the 
common Macacus cynomolgus, a black Semnopithecus, and the 
extraordinary long-nosed monkey (ISTasalis larvatus), which 
is as large as a three-year-old child, has a very long tail and 
a fleshy nose, longer^ than that of the biggest-nosed man. 
The further we went on, the narrower and more winding the 
stream became ; fallen trees sometimes blocked up our pas- 

64 Borneo — The Orang-Utan. 

sage, and sometimes tangled branches and creepers met 
completely across it, and had to be cut away before we could 
get on. It took us two days to reach Semabang, and we 
hardly saw a bit of dry land all the way. In the latter part 
of the journey I could touch the bushes on each side for 
miles, and we were often delayed by the screw-pines (Pan- 
danus), which grew abundantly in the water, falling across 
the stream. In other places dense rafts of floating grass 
completely filled up the channel, making our journey a con- 
stant succession of difficulties. 

N^ear the landing-place we found a fine house, 250 feet 
long, raised high above the ground on posts, with a wide 
veranda and still wider platform of bamboo in front of it. 
Almost all the people, however, were away on some excur- 
sion after edible birds'-nests or bees- wax, and there only re- 
mained in the house two or three old men and women with 
a lot of children. The mountain or hill was close by, cover- 
ed with a complete forest of fruit-trees, among which the 
durion and mangosteen were very abundant ; but the fruit 
was not yet quite ripe, except a little here and there. I spent 
a week at this place, going out every day in various direc- 
tions about the mountain, accompanied by a Malay, who had 
staid with me while the other boatmen returned. For three 
days we found no orangs, but shot a deer and several monk- 
eys. On the fourth day, however, we found a mias feeding 
on a very lofty durion-tree, and succeeded in killing it after 
eight shots. IJnfortunately it remained in the tree, hanging 
by its hands, and we were obliged to leave it and return 
home, as it was several miles ofi*. As I felt pretty sure it 
would fall during the night, I returned to the place early the 
next morning, and found it on the ground beneath the tree. 
To my astonishment and pleasure, it appeared to be a differ- 
ent kind from any I had yet seen ; for although a full-grown 
male, by its fully developed teeth and very large canines, it 
had no sign of the lateral protuberance on the face, and was 
about one-tenth smaller in all its dimensions than the other 
adult males. The upper incisors, however, appeared to be 
broader than in the larger species, a character distinguishing 
the Simla morio of Professor Owen, which he had described 
from the cranium of a female specimen. As it was too far 

Dyak Mode of Climbing. 65 

to carry the animal home, I set to work and skinned the body 
on the spot, leaving the head, hands, and feet attached, to he 
finished at home. This specimen is now in the British Mu- 

At the end of a week, finding no more orangs, I returned 
home ; and, taking in a few fresh stores, and this time ac- 
companied by Charles, went ug another branch of the river 
very similar in character to a place called Menyille, where 
there were several small Dyak houses and one large one. 
Here the landing-place was a bridge of rickety poles over a 
considerable distance of water, and I thought it safer to leave 
my cask of arrack securely placed in the fork of a tree. To 
prevent the natives from drinking it, I let several of them see 
me put in a number of snakes and lizards ; but I rather think 
this did not prevent them from tasting it. We were accom- 
modated here in the veranda of the large house, in which 
were several great baskets of dried human heads, the tro- 
phies of past generations of head-hunters. Here also there 
was a little mountain covered with fruit-trees, and there were 
some magnificent durion-trees close by the house, the fruit 
of which was ripe ; and as the Dyaks looked upon me as a 
benefactor in killing the mias which destroys a great deal of 
their fruit, they let us eat as much as we liked, and we rev- 
elled in this emperor of fruits in its greatest perfection. 

The very day after my arrival in this place I was so for- 
tunate as to shoot another adult male of the small orang, the 
mias-kassir of the Dyaks. It fell when dead, but caught in a 
fork of the tree and remained fixed. As I was very anxious 
to get it, I tried to persuade two young Dyaks who were 
with me to cut down the tree, which was tall, perfectly 
straight and smooth-barked, and without a branch for fifty or 
sixty feet. To my surprise, they said they would prefer 
climbing up it, but it would be a good deal of trouble, and, 
after a little talking together, they said they would try. 
They first went to a clump of bamboo that stood near and 
cut down one of the largest stems. From this they chopped 
off a short piece, and splitting it, made a couple of stout pegs 
about a foot long and sharp at one end. Then cutting a 
thick piece of wood for a mallet, they drove one of the pegs 
into the tree and hung their weight upon it. It held, and 


66 BoKNEO — The ORANa-UTAN. 

this seemed to satisfy them, for they immediately began 
making a quantity of pegs of the same kind, while I looked 
on with great interest, wondering how they could possibly 
ascend such a lofty tree by merely driving pegs in it, the 
failure of any one of which at a good height would certainly 
cause their death. When about two dozen pegs were made, 
one of them began cutting some very long and slender bam- 
boo from another clump, anS also prepared some cord from 
the bark of a small tree. They now drove in a peg very 
firmly at about three feet from the ground, and bringing one 
of the long bamboos, stood it upright close to the tree, and 
bound it firmly to the two first pegs by means of the bark 
cord, and small notches near the head of each peg. One of 
the Dyaks now stood on the first peg and drove in a third 
about level with his face, to which he tied the bamboo in the 
same way, and then mounted another step, standing on one 
foot and holding by the bamboo at the peg immediately 
above him, while he drove in the next one. In this manner 
he ascended about twenty feet, when the upright bamboo 
becoming thin, another was handed up by his companion, and 
this was joined on by tying both bamboos to three or four 
of the pegs. When this was also nearly ended, a third was 
added, and shortly after the lowest branches of the tree were 
reached, along which the young Dyak scrambled, and soon 
sent the mias tumbling headlong down. I was exceedingly 
struck by the ingenuity of this mode of climbing, and the 
admirable manner in which the peculiar properties of the 
bamboo were made available. The ladder itself was per- 
fectly safe, since if any one peg were loose or faulty, and 
gave way, the strain would be thrown on several others 
above and below it. I now understood the use of the line 
of bamboo pegs sticking in trees, which I had often seen, 
and wondered for what purpose they could have been put 
there. This animal was almost identical in size and appear- 
ance with the one I had obtained at Semabang, and was the 
only other male specimen of the Simla morio which I obtain- 
ed. It is now in the Derby Museum. 

I afterward shot two adult females and two young ones of 
different ages, all of which I preserved. One of the females, 
with several young ones, was feeding on a durion-tree with 

Theowing Dowjsr Beanches. 67 

nnripe fruit ; and as soon as she saw us she began breaking 
off branches and the great spiny fruits with every appear- 
ance of rage, causing such a shower of missiles as effectually 
kept us from approaching too near the tree. This habit of 
throwing down branches when irritated has been doubted, 
but I have, as here narrated, observed it myself on at least 
three separate occasions. It was however always the female 
mias who behaved in this way, and it may be that the male, 
trusting more to his great strength and his powerful canine 
teeth, is not afraid of any other animal, and does not want 
to drive them away, while the parental instinct of the female 
leads her to adopt this mode of defending herself and her 
young ones. 

In preparing the skins and skeletons of these animals, I 
was much troubled by the Dyak dogs, which, being always 
kept in a state of semi-starvation, are ravenous for animal 
food. I had a great iron pan, in which I boiled the bones 
to make skeletons, and at night I covered this over with 
boards, and put heavy stones upon it ; but the dogs managed 
to remove these, and carried away the greater part of one of 
my specimens. On another occasion they gnawed away a 
good deal of the upper leather of my strong boots, and even 
ate a piece of my mosquito-curtain, where some lamp-oil had 
been spilt over it some weeks before. 

On our return down the stream, we had the fortune to 
fall in with a very old male mias, feeding on some low trees 
growing in the water. The country was flooded for a long 
distance, but so full of trees and stumps that the laden boat 
could not be got in among them, and if it could have been 
we should only have frightened the mias away. I therefore 
got into the water, which was nearly up to my waist, and 
waded on till I was near enough for a shot. The difficulty 
then was to load my gun again, for I was so deep in the wa- 
ter that I could not hold the gun sloping enough to pour the 
powder in. I therefore had to search for a shallow place, 
and. after several shots under these trying circumstances, I 
was delighted to see the monstrous animal roll over in tlie 
water. I now towed him after me to the stream, but the 
Malays objected to have the animal put into the boat, and 
he was so heavy that I could not do it without their help. 

68 BoENEO— The Okang-Utan. 

I looked about for a place to skin him, but not a bit of dry 
ground was to be seen, till at last I found a clump of two or 
three old trees and stumps, between which a few feet of soil 
had collected just above the water, and which was just large 
enough for us to drag the animal upon it. I first measured 
him, and found him to be by far the largest I had yet seen, 
for though the standing height was the same as the others 
(4 feet 2 inches), yet the outstretched arms were 7 feet 9 
inches, which was six inches more than the previous one, and 
the immense broad face was 13|- inches wide, whereas the 
widest I had hitherto seen was only llf inches. The girth 
of the body was 3 feet 7 J inches. I am inclined to believe, 
therefore, that the lerigth and strength of the arms, and the 
width of the face, continues increasing to a very great age, 
while the standing height, from the sole of the foot to the 
crown of the head, rarely if ever exceeds 4 feet 2 inches. 

As this was the last mias I shot, and the last time I saw an 
adult living animal, I will give a sketch of its general habits, 
and any other facts connected with it. The orang-utan is 
known to inhabit Sumatra and Borneo, and there is every 
reason to believe that it is confined to these two great islands, 
in the former of which, however, it seems to be much more 
rare. In Borneo it has a wide range, inhabiting many dis- 
tricts on the south-west, south-east, north-east, and north- 
west coasts, but appears to be chiefly confined to the low and 
swampy forests. It seems, at first sight, very inexplicable 
that the mias should be quite unknown in the Sarawak valley, 
while it is abundant in Sambas on the west, and Sadong on 
the east. But when we know the habits and mode of life 
of the animal, we see a sufficient reason for this apparent 
anomaly in the physical features of the Sarawak district. In 
the Sadong, where I observed it, the mias is only found when 
the country is low, level, and swampy, and at the same time 
covered with a lofty virgin forest. From these swamps rise 
many isolated mountains, on some of which the dyaks have 
settled, and covered w^ith plantations of fruit-trees. These 
are a great attraction to the mias, which comes to feed on 
the unripe fruits, but always retires to the swamp at night. 
Where the country becomes slightly elevated and the soil 
dry, the mias is no longer to be found. For example, in all 

The Mias District. 69 

the lower part of the Sadong valley it abounds ; but as soon 
as we ascend above the limits of the tides, where the country, 
though still flat, is high enough to be dry, it disappears. 
]N"ow the Sarawak valley has this peculiarity: the lower 
portion, though swampy, is not covered with continuous 
lofty forest, but is principally occupied by the Nypa palm ; 
and near the town of Sarawak, where the country becomes 
dry, it is greatly undulated in many parts, and covered with 
small patches of virgin forest, and much second-growth jun- 
o-le on ground which has once been cultivated by the Malays 
or Dyaks. 

:N^ow it seems to me probable that a wide extent of un- 
broken and equally lofty virgin forests is necessary to the 
comfortable existence of these animals. Such forests form 
their open country, where they can roam in every direction 
with as much facility as the Indian on the prairie, or the Arab 
on the desert ; passing from tree-top to tree-top without ever 
being obliged to descend upon the earth. The elevated and 
the drier districts are more frequented by man, more cut up 
by clearings and low second-growth jungle not adapted to 
its peculiar modes of progression, and where it would there- 
fore be more exposed to danger, and more frequently obliged 
to descend upon the earth. There is probably also a greater 
variety of fruit in the mias district, the small mountains, 
which rise like islands out of it, serving as a sort of gardens 
or plantations, where the trees of the uplands are to be found 
in the very midst of the swampy plains. 

It is a singular and very interesting sight to watch a mias 
making his way leisurely through the forest. He walks 
deliberately along some of the larger branches, in the semi- 
erect attitude which the great length of his arms and the 
shortness of his legs cause him naturally to assume ; and the 
disproportion between these limbs is increased by his walk- 
ing on his knuckles, not on the palm of the hand, as we should 
do. He seems always to choose those branches which inter- 
mingle with an adjoining tree, on approaching which he 
stretches out his long arms, and, seizing the opposing boughs, 
grasps them together with both hands, seems to try their 
strength, and then deliberately swings himself across to the 
next branch, on which he walks alono^ as before. He never 

70 Borneo — The ORAisra-UTAN. 

jumps or springs, or even appears to hurry himself, and yet 
manages to get along almost as quickly as a person can run 
through the forest beneath. The long and powerful arms 
are of the greatest use to the animal, enabling it to climb 
easily up the loftiest trees, to seize fruits and young leaves 
from slender boughs which will not bear its weight, and to 
gather leaves and branches with which to form its nest. I 
have already described how it forms a nest w^hen wounded, 
but it uses a similar one to sleep on almost every night. 
This is placed low down, however, on a small tree not more 
than from twenty to fifty feet from the ground, probably be- 
cause it is warmer and less exposed to wind than higher up. 
Each mias is said to make a fresh one for himself every night ; 
but I should think that is hardly probable, or their remains 
would be much more abundant ; for though I saw several 
about the coal-mines, there must have been many orangs 
about every day, and in a year their deserted nests would 
become very numerous. The Dyaks say that, when it is 
very wet, the mias covers himself over with leaves of pan- 
danus, or large ferns, which has perhaps led to the story of 
his making a hut in the trees. 

The orang does not leave his bed till the sun has well 
risen and has dried up the dew upon the leaves. He feeds 
all through the middle of the day, but seldom returns to the 
same tree two days running. They do not seem much alarmed 
at man, as they often stared down upon me for several 
minutes, and then only moved away slowly to an adjacent 
tree. After seeing one, I have often had to go half a mile 
or more to fetch my gun, and in nearly every case have 
found it on the same tree, or within a hundred yards, when 
I returned. I never saw two full-grown animals together, 
but both males and females are sometimes accompanied by 
half-grown young ones, -while at other times three or four 
young on^s were seen in company. Their food consists al- 
most exclusively of fruit, with occasionally leaves, buds, and 
young shoots. They seem to prefer unripe fruits, some of 
which were very sour, others intensely bitter, particularly 
the large, red, fleshy arillus of one which seemed an especial 
favorite. In other cases they eat only the small seed of a large 
fruit, and they almost always waste and destroy more than 

Habits and Food. 71 

they eat, so that there is a continual rain of rejected portions 
below the tree they are feeding on. The durion is an espe- 
cial favorite, and quantities of this delicious fruit are de- 
stroyed wherever it grows surrounded by forest, but they 
will not cross clearings to get at them. It seems wonderful 
how the animal can tear open this fruit, the outer covering 
of which is so thick and tough, and closely covered with 
strong conical spines. It probably bites off a few of these 
first, and then making a small hole, tears open the fruit with 
its powerful fingers. 

The mias rarely descends to the ground except when, 
pressed by hunger, it seeks for succulent shoots by the river- 
side, or, in very dry weather, has to search after water, of 
which it generally finds sufiicient in the hollows of leaves. 
Once only I saw two half-grown orangs on the ground in 
a di*y hollow at the foot of the Simunjon hill. They were 
playing together, standing erect, and grasping each other by 
the arms. It may be safely stated, however, that the orang 
never walks erect, unless when using its hands to support it- 
self by branches overhead or when attacked. Representa- 
tions of its walking with a stick are entirely imaginary. 

The Dyaks all declare that the mias is never attacked by 
any animal in the forest, with two rare exceptions ; and the 
accounts I received of these are so curious that I give them 
nearly in the words of my informants, old Dyak chiefs, who 
had lived all their lives in the places where the animal is 
most abundant. The first of whom I inquired said ; " I^o 
animal is strong enough to hurt the mias, and the only creat- 
ure he ever fights with is the crocodile. When there is no 
fruit in the jungle, he goes to seek food on the banks of the 
river, where there are plenty of young shoots that he likes, 
and fruits that grow close to the water. Then the crocodile 
sometimes tries to seize him, but the mias gets upon him 
and beats him with his hands and feet, and tears him and 
kills him." He added that he had once seen such a fight, 
and that he believes that the mias is always the victor. 

My next informant was the orang kaya, or chief of the 
Balow Dyaks, on the Simunjon River. He said: "The mias 
has no enemies ; no animals dare attack it but the crocodile 
and the python. He always kills the crocodile by main 

72 Borneo — The OnANa-UTAiN^. 

strength, standing upon it, pulling open its jaws, and ripping 
up its throat If a python attacks a mias, he seizes it with 
his hands, and then bites it, and soon kills it. The mias is 
very strong ; there is no animal in the jungle so strong as 

It is very remarkable that an animal so large, so peculiar, 
and of such a high type of form as the orang-utan, should be 
confined to so limited a district — to two islands, and those 
almost the last inhabited by the higher Mammalia ; for, east- 
ward of Borneo and Java, the Quadrumania, Ruminants, Car- 
nivora, and many other groups of Mammalia^ diminish rapid- 
ly, and soon entirely disappear. When we consider, further, 
that almost all other animals have in earlier ages been repre- 
sented by allied yet distinct forms— that, in the latter part 
of the tertiary period, Europe was inhabited by bears, deer, 
wolves, and cats ; Australia by kangaroos and other Marsu- 
pials ; South America by gigantic sloths and ant-eaters ; all 
different from any now existing, though intimately allied to 
them — we have every reason to believe that the orang-utan, 
the chimpanzee, and the gorilla have also had their forerun- 
ners. With what interest must every naturalist look forward 
to the time when the caves and tertiary deposits of the trop- 
ics may be thoroughly examined, and the past history and 
earliest appearance of the great man-like apes be at length 
made known. 

I will now say a few words as to the supposed existence 
of a Bornean orang as large as the gorilla. I have myself 
examined the bodies of seventeen freshly-killed orangs, all of 
which were carefully measured, and of seven of them I pre- 
served the skeleton. I also obtained two skeletons killed by 
other persons. Of this extensive series, sixteen were fully 
adult, nine being males, and seven females. The adult males 
of the large orangs only varied from 4 feet 1 inch to 4 feet 2 
inches in height, measured fairly to the heel, so as to give 
the height of the animal if it stood perfectly erect ; the ex- 
tent of the outstretched arms, from 7 feet 2 inches to 7 feet 8 
inches; and the width of the face, from 10 inches to 1 Sc- 
inches. The dimensions given by other naturalists closely 
agree with mine. The largest orang measured by Temminck 
was 4 feet high. Of twenty-five specimens collected by 

Erkors of Measurement. 73 

Schlegel and Mtiller, the largest old male was 4 feet 1 inch, 
and the largest skeleton in the Calcutta Museum was, accord- 
ing to Mr. Blyth, 4 feet H inch. My specimens were all 
from the north-west coast of Borneo, those of the Dutch from 
the west and south coasts ; and no specimen has yet reached 
Europe exceeding these dimensions, although the total num- 
ber of skins and skeletons must amount to over a hundred. 

Strange to say, however, several persons declare that they 
have measured orangs of a much larger size. Temminck, in 
his monograph of the orang, says that he has just received 
news of the capture of a specimen 5 feet 3 inches high. Un- 
fortunately, it never seems to have reached Holland, for noth- 
ing has since been heard of any such animal. Mr. St. John, 
in his "Life in the Forests of the Far East," vol. ii. p. 237, 
tells us of an orang shot by a friend of his which was 5 feet 
2 inches from the heel to the top of the head, the arm 17 
inches in girth, and the wrist 12 inches! The head alone 
was brought to Sarawak, and Mr. St. John tells us that he 
assisted to measure this, and that it was 15 inches broad by 
14 long. Unfortunately, even this skull appears not to have 
been preserved, for no specimen corresponding to these di- 
mensions has yet reached England. 

In a letter from Sir James Brooke, dated October, 1857, 
in which he acknowledges the receipt of my papers on the 
orang, published in the " Annals and Magazine of Natural 
History," he sends me the measurements of a specimen killed 
by his nephew, which I will give exactly as I received it : 
"September 3d, 1867, killed female orang-utan. Height, 
from head to heel, 4 feet 6 inches; stretch from fingers to 
fingers across body, 6 feet 1 inch ; breadth of face, including 
callosities, 11 inches." J^ow in these dimensions there is 
palpably one error ; for in every orang yet measured by any 
naturalist, an expanse of arms of 6 feet 1 inch corresponds to 
a height of about 3 feet 6 inches, while the largest specimens 
of 4 feet to 4 feet 2 inches high always have the extended 
arms as much as 7 feet 3 inches to 7 feet 8 inches. It is, in 
fact, one of the characters of the genus to have the arms so 
long that an animal standing nearly erect can rest its fingers 
on the ground. A height of 4 feet 6 inches would therefore 
require a stretch of arms of at least 8 feet ! If it were only 

74 BoENEo — The ORANa-UTAN. 

6 feet to that height, as given in the dimensions quoted, the 
animal would not be an orang at all, but a new genus of apes, 
differing materially in habits and mode of progression. But 
Mr. Johnson, who shot this animal, and knows orangs well, 
evidently considered it to be one ; and we have therefore to 
judge whether it is more probable that he made a mistake 
of two feet in the stretch of the arms, or of one foot in the 
height. The latter error is certainly the easiest to make, 
and it will bring his animal into agreement, as to propor- 
tions and size, with all those which exist in Europe. How 
easy it is to be deceived in the height of these animals is 
well shown in the case of the Sumatran orang, the skin of 
which was described by Dr. Clarke Abel. The captain and 
crew who killed this animal declared, that when alive he ex- 
ceeded the tallest man, and looked so gigantic that they 
thought he was seven feet high ; but that, when he was killed 
and lay upon the ground, they found he was only about 6 
feet. E'ow it will hardly be credited that the skin of this 
identical animal exists in the Calcutta Museum, and Mr. 
Blyth, the late curator, states "that it is by no means one 
of the largest size ;" which means that it is about 4 feet 
high ! 

Having these undoubted examples of error in the dimen- 
sions of orangs, ifc is not too much to conclude that Mr. St. 
John's friend made a similar error of measurement, or rather, 
perhaps, of memory ; for we are not told that the dimensions 
were noted down at the time they were made. The only fig- 
ures given by Mr. St. John on his own authority are that " the 
head was 15 inches broad by 14 inches long." As my largest 
male was 13|- broad across the face, measured as soon as the 
animal was killed, I can quite understand that when the head 
arrived at Sarawak from the Batang-lupar, after two if not 
three days' voyage, it was so swollen by decomposition as to 
measure an inch more than when it was fresh. On the whole, 
therefore, I think it will be allowed, that up to this time we 
have not the least reliable evidence of the existence of orangs 
in Borneo more than 4 feet 2 inches high. 

Borneo — Journey in the Interior. 75 



NOVEMBER, 1855, TO JANUARY, 1856. 

As the wet season was approaching, I determined to re- 
turn to Sarawak, sending all my collections with Charles Al- 
len round by sea, while I myself proposed to go up to the 
sources of the Sadong River, and descend by the Sarawak val- 
ley. As the route was somewhat difficult, I took the small- 
est quantity of baggage, and only one servant, a Malay lad 
named Bujon, who knew the language of the Sadong Dyaks, 
with whom he had traded. We left the mines on the 27th of 
November, and the next day reached the Malay village of 
Gudong, where I staid a short time to buy fruit and eggs, 
and called upon the Datu Bandar, or Malay governor of the 
place. He lived in a large and well-built house, very dirty out- 
side and in, and was very inquisitive about my business, and 
particularly about the coal-mines. These puzzle the natives 
exceedingly, as they can not understand the extensive and 
costly preparations for working coal, and can not believe it is 
to be used only as fuel when wood is so abundant and so 
easily obtained. It was evident that Europeans seldom 
came here, for numbers of women skeltered away as I walked 
through the village ; and one girl about ten or twelve years 
old, who had just brought a bamboo full of water from the 
river, threw it down with a cry of horror and alarm the mo- 
ment she caught sight of me, turned round and jumped into 
the stream. She swam beautifully, and kept looking back as 
if expecting I would follow her, screaming violently all the 
time, while a number of men and boys were laughing at her 
ignorant terror. 

At Jahi> the next village, the stream became so swift in 
consequence of a flood, that my heavy boat could make no 
way, and I was obliged to send it back, and go on in a very 
small open one. So far the river had been very monotonous. 

76 BoENEO. 

the banks being cultivated as rice-fields, and little tbatched 
liuts alone breaking the unpicturesque line of muddy bank 
crowned with tall grasses, and backed by the top of the forest 
behind the cultivated ground. A few hours beyond Jahi we 
passed the limits of cultivation, and had the beautiful virgin 
forest coming down to the water's edge, with its palms and 
creepers, its noble trees, its ferns, and epiphytes. The banks 
of the river were, however, still generally flooded, and we had 
some difficulty in finding a dry spot to sleep on. Early in 
the morning we reached Empugnan, a small Malay village 
situated at the foot of an isolated mountain which had been 
visible from the mouth of the Simtinjon River. Beyond here 
the tides are not felt, and we now entered upon a district of 
elevated forest, with a finer vegetation. Large trees stretch 
out their arms across the stream, and the steep earthy banks 
are clothed with ferns and zinziberaceous plants. 

Early in the afternoon we arrived at Tabokan, the first vil- 
lage of the Hill Dyaks. On an open space near the river 
about twenty boys were playing at a game something like 
what we call " prisoner's base ;" their ornaments of beads and 
brass wire, and their gay-colored kerchiefs and waist-cloths 
showing to much advantage, and forming a very pleasing 
sight. On being called by Bujon, they immediately left their 
game to carry my things up to the " head-house " — a circular 
building attached to most Dyak villages, and serving as a 
lodging for strangers, the place for trade, the sleeping-room 
of the unmarried youths, and the general council-chamber. 

It is elevated on lofty posts, has a large fire-place in the 
middle and windows in the roof all round, and forms a very 
pleasant and comfortable abode. In the evening it was 
crowded with young men and boys, who came to look at me. 
They were mostly fine young fellows, and I could not help 
admiring the simplicity and elegance of their costume. Their 
only dress is the long " chawat," or waist-cloth, which hangs 
down before and behind. It is generally of blue cotton, end- 
ing in three broad bands of red, blue, and white. Those who 
can afibrd it wear a handkerchief on the head, which is either 
red, with a narrow border of gold lace, or of three colors, like 
the " chawat." The large flat moon-shaped brass earrings, 
the heavy necklace of white or black beads, rows of brass 

Dyak Games. 


rings on the arms and legs, and armlets of white shell, all serve 
to relieve and set off the pure reddish-brown skin and jet- 
black hair. Add to this the little pouch containing materials 
for betel-chewing, and a long slender knife, both invariably 
worn at the side, and you have the every-day dress of the 
young Dyak gentleman. 

The " orang kaya," or rich man, as the chief of the tribe 
is called, now came 
in with several of 
the older men, and 
the "bitchara," or 
talk, commenced, 
about getting a boat 
a'ftrd men to take me 
on the next morn- 
ing. As I could not 
understand a word 
of their language, 
which is very dif- 
ferent from Malay, 
I took no part in 
the proceedings, but 
was represented by 
my boy Bujon, who 
translated to me 
most of what was 
said. A Chinese tra- 
der was in the house, 
and he, too, wanted 
men the next day; 
but on his hinting 
this to the orang 

kaya, he was sternly told that a white man's business was 
now being discussed, and he must wait another day before he 
could be thought about. 

After the " bitchara " was over and the old chiefs gone, I 
asked the young men to play or dance, or amuse themselves 
in their accustomed way, and, after some little hesitation, 
they agreed to do so. They first had a trial of strength, 
two boys sitting opposite each other, foot being placed 


78 Borneo. 

against foot, and a stout stick grasped by both their handSo 
Each then tried to throw himself back, so as to raise his ad- 
versary up from the ground, either by main strength or by a 
sudden effort. Then one of the men would try his strength 
against two or three of the boys ; and afterward they each 
grasped their own ankle with a hand, and while one stood as 
firm as he could, the other swung himself round on one leg, 
so as to strike the other's free leg, and try to overthrow him. 
When these games had been played all round with varying 
success, we had a novel kind of concert. Some placed a leg 
across the knee and struck the fingers sharply on the ankle, 
others beat their arms against their sides like a cock when 
he is going to crow, thus making a great variety of clapping 
sounds, while another with his hand under his arm-pit pro- 
duced a deep trumpet-note ; and as they all kept time very 
well, the effect was by no means unpleasing. This seemed 
quite a favorite amusement with them, and they kept it up 
with much spirit. 

The next morning we started in a boat about thirty feet 
long, and only twenty-eight inches wide. The stream here 
suddenly changes its character. Hitherto, though swift, it 
had been deep and smooth, and confined by steep banks. 
ISTow it rushed and rippled over a pebbly, sandy, or rocky 
bed, occasionally forming miniature cascades and rapids, and 
throwing up on one side or the other broad banks of finely- 
colored pebbles. 'No paddling could make way here, but the 
Dyaks with bamboo poles propelled us along with great dex- 
terity and swiftness, never losing their balance in such a nar- 
row and unsteady vessel, though standing up and exerting all 
their force. It was a brilliant day, and the cheerful exertions 
of the men, the rushing of the sparkling waters, with the 
bright and varied foliage which from either bank stretched 
over our heads, produced an exhilarating sensation which re- 
called my canoe voyages on the grander waters of South 

Early in the afternoon we reached the village of Borotoi, 
and, though it would have been easy to reach the next one 
before night, I was obliged to stay, as my men wanted to re- 
turn, and others could not possibly go on with me without 
the preliminary talking. Besides, a white man was too great 

Costume of Dyak Women". 79 

a rarity to be allowed to escape them, and their wives would 
never have forgiven them if, when they returned from the 
fields, they found that such a curiosity had not been kept for 
them to see. On entering the house to which I was invited, 
a crowd of sixty or seventy men, women, and children gath- 
ered round me, and I sat for half an hour like some strange 
animal submitted for the first time to the gaze of an inquir- 
ing public. Brass rmgs were here in the greatest profusion, 
many of the women having their arms completely covered 
with them, as well as their legs from the ankle to the knee. 
Round the waist they wear a dozen or more coils of fine rat- 
tan stained red, to which the petticoat is attached. ^ Below 
this are generally a number of coils of brass wire, a girdle of 
small silver coins, and sometimes a broad belt of brass-ring 
armor. On their heads they wear a conical hat without a 
crown, formed of variously-colored beads, kept in shape by 
rings of rattan, and forming a fantastic but not unpicturesque 

Walking out to a small hill near the village, cultivated as 
a rice-field, I had a fine view of the country, which was be- 
coming quite hilly, and toward the south mountainous. I 
took bearings and sketches of all that was visible, an opera- 
tion which caused much astonishment to the Dyaks who ac- 
companied me, and produced a request to exhibit the compass 
when I returned. I was then surrounded by a larger crowd 
than before, and when I took my evening meal in the midst 
of a circle of about a hundred spectators anxiously observing 
every movement and criticising every mouthful, my thoughts 
involuntarily recurred to the lions at feeding-time. Like 
those noble animals, I too was used to it, and it did not afiect 
my appetite. The children here were more shy than at Tabo- 
kan, and I could not persuade them to play. I therefore 
turned showman myself, and exhibited the shadow of a dog's 
head eating, which pleased them so much that all the village 
in succession came out to see it. The " rabbit on the wall " 
does not do in Borneo, as there is no animal it resembles. 
The boys had tops shaped something like whipping-tops, but 
spun with a string. 

The next morning we proceeded as before, but the river 
had become so rapid and shallow and the boats were all so 


small, that though I had nothing with me but a change of 
clothes, a gun, and a few cooking utensils, two were required 
to take me on. The rock which appeared here and there on 
the river-bank was an indurated clay-slate, sometimes crys- 
talline, and thrown up almost vertically. Right and left of 
us rose isolated limestone mountains, their white precipices 
glistening in the sun and contrasting beautifully with the 
luxuriant vegetation that elsewhere clothed them. The riv- 
er-bed was a mass of pebbles, mostly pure white quartz, but 
with abundance of jasper and agate, presenting a beautifully 
variegated appearance. It was. only ten in the morning when 
we arrived at Budw, and, though there were plenty of people 
about, I could not induce them to allow me to go on to the 
next village. The orang kaya said that if I insisted on hav- 
ing men, of course he would get them, but when I took him 
at his word and said I must have them, there came a fresh 
remonstrance ; and the idea of my going on that day seemed 
so painful that I was obliged to submit. I therefore walked 
out over, the rice-fields, which are here very extensive, cover- 
ing a number of the little hills and valleys into which the 
whole country seems broken up, and obtained a fine view of 
hills and mountains in every direction. 

In the evening the orang kaya came in full dress (a span- 
gled velvet jacket, but no trowsers), and invited me over to 
his house, where he gave me a seat of honor under a canopy 
of white calico and colored handkerchiefs. The great veranda 
was crowded with people, and large plates of rice, with cook- 
ed and fresh eggs, were placed on the ground as presents for 
me. A very old man then dressed himself in bright-colored 
cloths and many ornaments, and sitting at the door, murmur- 
ed a long prayer or invocation, sprinkling rice from a basin 
he held in his hand, while several large gongs were loudly 
beaten and a salute of muskets fired off. A large jar of rice 
wine, very sour, but with an agreeable flavor, was then hand- 
ed round, and I asked to see some of their dances. These 
were, like most savage performances, very dull and ungrace- 
ful affairs ; the men dressing themselves absurdly like women, 
and the girls making themselves as stiff and ridiculous as 
possible. All the time six or eight large Chinese gongs were 
being beaten by the vigorous arms of as many young men. 

Wealthy Dyaks. 81 

producing sucli a deafening discord that I was glad to escape 
to the round-house, where I slept very comfortably, with half 
a dozen smoke-dried human skulls suspended over my head. 

The river was now so shallow that boats could hardly get 
along. I therefore preferred walking to the next village, ex- 
pecting to see something of the country, but was much dis- 
appointed, as the path lay almost entirely through dense 
bamboo thickets. The Dyaks get two crops off the ground 
in succession— one of rice, and the other of sugar-cane, maize, 
and vegetables. The ground then lies fallow eight or ten 
years, and becomes covered with bamboos and shrubs, which 
often completely arch over the path and shut out every thing 
from the view. Three hours' walking brought us to the vil- 
lage of Senankan, where I was again obliged to remain the 
whole day, which I agreed to do on the promise of the orang 
kaya that his men should next day take me through two 
other villages across to Senna, at the head of the Sarawak 
River. I amused myself as I best could till evening by walk- 
ing about the high ground near, to get views of the country 
and bearings of the chief mountains. There was then another 
public audience, with gifts of rice and eggs, and drinking of 
rice wine. These Dyaks cultivate a great extent of ground, 
and supply a good deal of rice to Sarawak. They are rich in 
gongs, brass trays, wire, silver coins, and other articles in 
which a Dyak's wealth consists ; and their women and chil- 
dren are all highly ornamented with bead necklaces, shells, 
and brass wire. 

In the morning I waited some time, but the men that were 
to accompany me did not make their appearance. On send- 
ing to the orang kaya, I found that both he and another 
head-man had gone out for the day, and on inquiring the rea- 
son was told that they could not persuade any of their men 
to go with me because the journey was a long and fatiguing 
one. As I was determined to get on, I told the few men 
that remained that the chiefs had behaved very badly, and 
that I should acquaint the Rajah with their conduct, and I 
wanted to start immediately. Every man present made aome 
excuse, but others were sent for, and by dint of threats and 
promises, and the exertion of all Bujon's eloquence, we suc- 
ceeded in getting off after two hours' delay. 



For the first few miles our path lay over a country clear- 
ed for rice-fields, consisting entirely of small but deep and 
sharply-cut ridges and valleys, without a yard of level ground. 
After crossing the Kayan River, a main branch of the Sa- 
dong, we got on to the lower slopes of the Seboran Mount- 
ain, and the path lay along a sharp and moderately steep 
ridge, affording an excellent view of the country. Its features 
were exactly those of the Himalayas in miniature, as they 
are described by Dr. Hooker and other travellers, and looked 
like a natural model of some parts of those vast mountains 
on a scale of about a tenth, thousands of feet being here rep- 
resented by hundreds. I now discovered the source of the 
beautiful pebbles which had so pleased me in the river-bed. 
The slaty rocks had ceased, and these mountains seemed to 
consist of a sandstone conglomerate, which was in some 
places a mere mass of pebbles cemented together. I might 
have known that such small streams could not produce such 
vast quantities of well-rounded pebbles of the very hardest 
materials. They had evidently been formed in past ages, by 
the action of some continental stream or sea-beach, before 
the great island of Borneo had risen from the ocean. The 
existence of such a system of hills and valleys reproducing 
in miniature all the features of a great mountain region, has 
an important bearing on the modern theory, that the form of 
the ground is mainly due to atmospheric rather than to sub- 
terranean action. When we have a number of branching 
valleysand ravines running in many different directions within 
a square mile, it seems hardly possible to impute their forma- 
tion, or even their origination, to rents and fissures produced 
by earthquakes. On the other hand, the nature of the rock, 
so easily decomposed and removed by water, and the known 
action of the abundant tropical rains, are in this case, at 
least, quite sufficient causes for the production of such val- 
leys. But the resemblance between their forms and outlines, 
their mode of divergence, and the slopes and ridges that di- 
vide them, and those of the grand mountain scenery of the 
Himalayas, is so remarkable that we are forcibly led to the 
conclusion that the forces at work in the two cases have been 
the same, differing only in the time they have been in action, 
and the nature of the material they have had to work upon. 

The Himalayas iisr Miniature. 88 

About noon we reached the village of Menyerry, beauti- 
fully situated on a spur of the naountain about 600 feet above 
the valley, and affording a delightful view of the mountains 
of this part of Borneo. I here got a sight of Penrissen 
Mountain, at the head of the Sarawak River, and one of the 
highest in the district, rising to about 6000 feet above the 
sea. To the south, the Rowan, and further off, the Untowan 
Mountains, in the Dutch territory, appeared equally lofty. 
Descending from Menyerry, we again crossed the Kayan, 
which bends round the spur, and ascended to the pass which 
divides the Sadong and Sarawak valleys, and which is about 
2000 feet high. The descent from this point was very fine. 
A stream, deep in a rocky gorge, rushed on each side of us, 
to one of which we gradually descended, passing over many 
lateral gulleys and along the faces of some precipices by 
means of native bamboo bridges. Some of these were sever- 
al hundred feet long and fifty or sixty high, a single smooth 
bamboo four inches diameter forming the only pathway, 
while a slender hand-rail of the same material was often so 
shaky that it could only be used as a guide rather than a 

Late in the afternoon we reached Sodos, situated on a 
spur between two streams, but so surrounded by fruit-trees 
that little could be seen of the country. The house was spa- 
cious, clean, and comfortable, and the people very obliging. 
Many of the women and children had never seen a white 
man before, and were very skeptical as to my being the same 
color all over as my face. They begged me to show them 
my arms and body, and they were so kind and good-temper- 
ed that I felt bound to give them some satisfaction, so I turn- 
ed up my trowsers and let them see the color of my leg, 
which they examined with great interest. 

In the morning early we continued our descent along a 
fine valley, with mountains rising 2000 or 3000 feet in every 
direction. The little river rapidly increased in size till we 
reached S^nna, when it had become a fine pebbly stream 
navigable for small canoes. Here again the upheaved slaty 
rock appeared, with the same dip and direction as in the Sa- 
dong River. On inquiring for a boat to take me down the 
stream, I was told that the Senna Dyaks, although living on 


the river-banks, never made or used boats. They were 
mountaineers who had only come down into the valley about 
twenty years before, and had not yet got into new habits. 
They are of the same tribe as the people of Menyerry and 
Sodos. They make good paths and bridges, and cultivate 
much mountain land, and thus give a more pleasing and civ- 
ilized aspect to the country than where the people move 
about only in boats, and confine their cultivation to the banks 
of the streams. 

After some trouble I hired a boat from a Malay trader, 
and found three Dyaks who had been several times with 
Malays to Sarawak, and thought they could manage it very 
well. They turned out very awkward, constantly running 
aground, striking against rocks, and losing their balance so 
as almost to upset themselves and the boat ; offering a strik- 
ing contrast to the skill of the Sea Dyaks. At length we 
came to a really dangerous rapid where boats were often 
swamped, and my men were afraid to pass it. Some Malays 
with a boat-load of rice here overtook us, and, after safely 
passing down, kindly sent back one of their men to assist me. 
As it was, my Dyaks lost their balance in the critical part of 
the passage, and, had they been alone, would certainly have 
upset the boat. The river now became exceedingly pictur- 
esque, the ground on each side being partially cleared for 
rice-fields, affording a good view of the country. I^umerous 
little granaries were built high up in trees overhanging the 
river, and having a bamboo bridge sloping up to them from 
the bank ; and here and there bamboo suspension-bridges 
crossed the stream, where overhanging trees favored their 

I slept that night in the village of the Sebungow Dyaks, 
and the next day reached Sarawak, passing through a most 
beautiful country, where limestone mountains, with their fan- 
tastic forms and white precipices, shot up on every side, 
draped and festooned with a luxuriant vegetation. The 
banks of the Sarawak River are everywhere covered with 
fruit-trees, which supply the Dyaks with a great deal of their 
food. The mangosteen, lansat, rambutan, jack,jambou, and 
blimbing are all abundant ; but most abundant and most 
esteemed is the durion, a fruit about which very little is known 

The Durion. 85 

in England, but which both by natives and Europeans in the 
Malay Archipelago is reckoned superior to all others. The 
old traveller Linschott, writing in 1599, says : " It is of such 
an excellent taste that it surpasses in flavor all the other 
fruits of the world, according to those who have tasted it." 
And Doctor Paludanus adds : " This fruit is of a hot and 
humid nature. To those not used to it, it seems at first to 
smell like rotten onions, but immediately they have tasted it 
they prefer it to all other food. The natives give it honor- 
able titles, exalt it, and make verses on it." When brought 
into a house the smell is often so oifensive that some persons 
can never bear to taste it. This was my own case when I 
first tried it in Malacca, but in Borneo I found a ripe fruit on 
the ground, and, eating it out-of-doors, I at once became a 
confirmed durion eater. 

The durion grows on a large and lofty forest-tree, some- 
what resembling an elm in its general character, but with a 
more smooth and scaly bark. The fruit is round or slightly 
oval, about the size of a large cocoa-nut, of a green color, and 
covered all over with short stout spines the bases of which 
touch each other, and are consequently somewhat hexagonal, 
while the points are very strong and sharp. It is so completely 
armed, that if the stalk is broken off it is a difiicult matter to 
lift one from the ground. The outer rind is so thick and 
tough, that from whatever height it may fall it is never bro- 
ken. From the base to the apex five very faint lines may be 
traced, over which the spines arch a little ; these are the sutures 
of the carpels, and show where the fruit may be divided with 
a heavy knife and a strong hand. The ^ve cells are satiny- 
white within, and are each filled with an oval mass of cream- 
colored pulp, imbedded in which are two or three seeds about 
the size of chestnuts. This pulp is the eatable part, and its 
consistence and flavor are indescribable. A rich butter-like 
custard highly flavored with almonds gives the best general 
idea of it, but intermingled with it come wafts of flavor that 
call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, brown-sherry, and 
other incongruities. Then there is a rich glutinous smooth- 
ness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds 
to its delicacy. It is neither acid, nor sweet, nor juicy, yet 
one feels the want of none of these qualities, for it is perfect as 

86 BoEJS-EO. 

it is. It produces no nansea or other bad effect, and tlie more 
you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat 
durions, is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to ex- 

When the fruit is ripe it falls of itself, and the only way 
to eat durions in perfection is to get them as they fall, and 
the smell is then less overpowering. When unripe, it makes 
a very good vegetable if cooked, and it is also eaten by the 
Dyaks raw. In a good fruit season large quantities are pre- 
served salted, in jars and bamboos, and kept the year round, 
when it acquires a most disgusting odor to Europeans, but the 
Dyaks appreciate it highly as a relish with their rice. There 
are in the forest two varieties of wild durions with much 
smaller fruits, one of them orange-colored inside ; and these 
are probably the origin of the large and fine durions, which 
are never found wild. It would not, perhaps, be correct to 
say that the durion is the best of all fruits, because it can not 
supply the place of the subacid juicy kinds, such as the orange, 
grape, mango, and mangosteen, whose refreshing and cooling 
qualities are so wholesome and grateful ; but as producing a 
food of the most exquisite flavor it is unsurpassed. If I had 
to fix on two only as representing the perfection of the two 
classes, I should certainly choose the durion and the orange 
as the king and queen of fruits. ^ 

The durion is, however, sometimes dangerous. When the 
fruit begins to ripen it falls daily and almost hourly, and ac- 
cidents not unfrequently happen to persons walking or work- 
ing under the trees. When the durion strikes a man in its 
fall, it produces a dreadful wound, the strong spines tearing 
open the flesh, while the blow itself is very heavy ; but from 
this very circumstance death rarely ensues, the copious effu- 
sion of blood preventing the inflammation which might oth- 
erwise take place. A Dyak chief informed me that he had 
been struck down by a durion falling on his head, which he 
thought would certainly have caused his death, yet he recov- 
ered in a very short time. 

Poets and moralists, judging from our English trees and 
fruits, have thought that small fruits always grew on lofty 
trees, so that their fall should be harmless to man, while the 
large ones trailed on the ground. Two of the largest and 

Uses of Bamboo. 87 

heaviest fruits known, however, the Brazil-nut fruit (Berthol- 
letia) and durion, grow on lofty forest-trees, from which they 
fall as soon as they are ripe, and often wound or kill the na- 
tive inhabitants. From this we may learn two things : first, 
not to draw general conclusions from a very partial view of 
nature, and secondly, that trees and fruits, no less than the 
varied productions of the animal kingdom, do not appear to 
be organized with exclusive reference to the use and conven- 
ience of man. 

During my many journeys in Borneo, and especially during 
my various residences among the Dyaks, I first came to ap- 
preciate the admirable qualities of the bamboo. In those 
parts of South America which I had previously visited, these 
gigantic grasses were comparatively scarce, and where found 
but little used, their place being taken as to one class of uses 
by the great variety of palms, and as to another by calabashes 
and gourds. Almost' all tropical countries produce bamboos, 
and wherever they are found in abundance, the natives apply 
them to a variety of uses. Their strength, lightness, smooth- 
ness, straightness, roundness, and hollowness, the facility and 
regularity with which they can be split, their many different • 
sizes, the varying length of their joints, the ease with which 
they can be cut and with which holes can be made through 
them, their hardness outside, their freedom from any pro- 
nounced taste or smell, their great abundance, and the rapid- 
ity of their growth and increase, are all qualities which render 
them useful for a hundred different purposes, to serve which 
other materials would require much more labor and prepara- 
tion. The bamboo is one of the most wonderful and most 
beautiful productions of the tropics, and one of nature's most 
valuable gifts to uncivilized man. 

The Dyak houses are all raised on posts, and are often two 
or three hundred feet long and forty or fifty wide. The floor 
is always formed of strips split from large bamboos, so that 
each may be nearly flat and about three inches wide, and 
these are firmly tied down with rattan to the joists beneath. 
When well made, this is a delightful floor to walk upon bare- 
footed, the rounded surfaces of the bamboo being very smooth 
and agreeable to the feet, while at the same time affording a 
firm hold. But, what is more important, they form with a 

88 Borneo. 

mat over them an excellent bed, the elasticity of the bamboo 
and its rounded surface being far superior to a more rigid 
and a flatter floor. Here we at once find a use for bamboo 
which can not be supplied so well by another material with- 
out a vast amount of labor, palms and other substitutes re- 
quiring much cutting and smoothing, and not being equally 
good when finished. When, however, a flat, close floor is re- 
quired, excellent boards are made by splitting open large 
bamboos on one side only, and flattening them out so as to 
form slabs eighteen inches wide and six feet long, with which 
some Dyaks floor their houses. These with constant rubbing 
of the feet and the smoke of years become dark and polished, 
like walnut or old oak, so that their real material can hardly 
be recognized. What labor is here saved to a savage whose 
only tools are an axe and a knife, and who, if he wants boards, 
Hiust hew them out of the solid trunk of a tree, and must give 
days and weeks of labor to obtain a surface as smooth and 
beautiful as the bamboo thus treated affords him. Again, if 
a temporary house is wanted, either by the native in his plan- 
tation or by the traveller in the forest, nothing is so conven- 
ient as the bamboo, with which a house can be constructed 
with a quarter of the labor and time than if other materials 
are used. 

As I have already mentioned, the Hill Dyaks in the interi- 
or of Sarawak make paths for long distances from village to 
village and to their cultivated grounds, in the course of which 
they have to cross many gulleys and ravines, and even rivers, 
or sometimes, to avoid a long circuit, to carry the path along 
the face of a precipice. In all these cases the bridges they 
construct are of bamboo, and so admirably adapted is the 
material for this purpose that it seems doubtful whether they 
ever would have attempted such works if they had not pos- 
sessed it. The Dyak bridge is simple but well designed. It 
consists merely of stout bamboos crossing each other at the 
roadway like the letter X, and rising a few feet above it. At 
the crossing they are firmly bound together, and to a large 
bamboo which lays upon them and forms the only pathway, 
with a slender and often very shaky one to serve as a hand- 
rail. When a river is to be crossed, an overhanging tree is 
chosen, from which the bridge is partly suspended and part- 

Dyak BiiiDaE. 


ly supported by diagonal struts from the banks, so as to 
avoid placing posts in the stream itself, which would be lia- 
ble to be carried away by floods. In carrying a path along 
the face of a precipice, trees and roots are made use of for 
suspension ; struts arise from suitable notches or crevices in 
the rocks, and if these are not sufiicient, immense bamboos 
fifty or sixty feet long are fixed on the banks or on the branch 
of a tree below. These bridges are traversed daily by men 
and women carrying heavy loads, so that any insecurity is 
soon discovered, and, as the materials are close at hand, imme- 
diately repaired. When a path goes over very steep ground, 


and becomes slippery in very wet or very dry weather, the 
bamboo is used in another way. Pieces are cut about a yard 
long, and opposite notches being made at each end, holes are 
formed through which pegs are driven, and firm and conven- 
ient steps are thus formed with the greatest ease and celerity. 
It is true that much of this will decay in one or two seasons, 
but it can be so quickly replaced as to make it more econom- 
ical than using a harder and more durable wood. 

One of the most striking uses to which bamboo is applied 
by the Dyaks is to assist them in climbing lofty trees, by 

90 Borneo. 

driving in pegs in the way I have already described at page 
65. This method is constantly used in order to obtain wax, 
which is one of the most valuable products of the country. 
The honey-bee of Borneo very generally hangs its combs un- 
der the branches of the tappan, a tree which towers above all 
others in the forest, and whose smooth cylindrical trunk often 
rises a hundred feet without a branch. The Dyaks climb 
these lofty trees at night* building up their bamboo ladder 
as they go, and bringing down gigantic honey-combs. These 
furnish them with a delicious feast of honey and young bees, 
besides the wax, which they sell to traders, and with the 
proceeds buy the much-coveted brass wire, earrings, and 
gold-edged handkerchiefs with which they love to decorate 
themselves. In ascending durion and other fruit-trees which 
branch at from thirty to fifty feet from the ground, I have 
seen them use the bamboo pegs only, without the upright 
bamboo which renders them so much more secure. 

The outer rind of the bamboo, split and shaved thin, is 
the strongest material for baskets ; hen-coops, bird-cages, 
and conical fish-traps are very quickly made from a single 
joint by splitting off the skin in narrow strips left attached 
to one end, while rings of the same material or rattan are 
twisted in at regular distances. Water is brought to the 
houses by little aqueducts formed of large bamboo^ split in 
half and supported on crossed sticks of various heights so as 
to give it a regular fall. Thin long-jointed bamboos form the 
Dyaks' only water-vessels, and a dozen of them stand in the 
corner of every house. They are clean, light, and easily car- 
ried, and are in many ways superior to earthen vessels for the 
same purpose. They also make excellent cooking utensils ; 
vegetables and rice can be boiled in them to perfection, and 
they are often used when travelling. Salted fruit or fish, 
sugar, vinegar, and honey are preserved in them instead of 
in jars or bottles. In a small bamboo case, prettily carved 
and ornamented, the Dyak carries his sirih and lime for betel- 
chewing, and his little long-bladed knife has a bamboo sheath. 
His favorite pipe is a huge hubble-bubble, which he will 
construct in a few minutes by inserting a small piece of 
bamboo for a bowl obliquely into a large cylinder about six 
inches from the bottom containing water, through which the 

Pitcher-Plants and Ferns. 91 

smoke passes to a long slender bamboo tube. There are 
many other small matters for which bamboo is daily used, 
but enough has now been mentioned to show its value. In 
other parts of the Archipelago I have myself seen it applied 
to many new uses, and it is probable that my limited means 
of observation did not make me acquainted with one-half the 
ways in which it is serviceable to the Dyaks of Sarawak. 

While upon the subject of plants, I may here mention a 
few of the more striking vegetable productions of Borneo. 
The wonderful pitcher-plants, forming the genus N'epenthes 
of botanists, here reach their greatest development. Every 
mountain-top abounds with them, running along the ground, 
or climbing over shrubs and stunted trees, their elegant pitch- 
ers hanging in every direction. Some of these are long and 
slender, resembling in form the beautiful Philippine lace- 
sponge (Euplectella), which has now become so common ; 
others are broad and short. Their colors are green, various- 
ly tinted and mottled with red or purple. The finest yet 
known were obtained on the summit of Kini-balou, in ^NTorth- 
west Borneo. One of the broad sort (ISTepenthes rajah) will 
hold two quarts of water in its pitcher. Another (Nepenthes 
Edwardsiania) has a narrow pitcher twenty inches long, 
while the plant itself grows to the length of twenty feet. 

Ferns are abundant, but are not so varied as on the vol- 
canic mountains of Java, and tree-ferns are neither so plenti- 
ful nor so large as on that island. They grow, however, quite 
down to the level of the sea, and are generally slender and 
graceful plants from eight to fifteen feet high. Without de- 
voting much time to the search, I collected fifty species of 
ferns in Borneo, and I have no doubt a good botanist would 
have obtained twice the number. The -interesting group of 
orchids is very abundant, but, as is generally the case, nine- 
tenths of the species have small and inconspicuous flowers. 
Among the exceptions are the fine Coelogynes, whose large 
clusters of yellow flowers ornament the gloomiest forests, and 
that most extraordinary plant (Yanda Lowii), which last is 
particularly abundant near some hot springs at the foot of 
the Peninjauh Mountain. It grows on the lower branches of 
trees, and its strange pendent flower-spikes often hang down 
so as almost to reach the ground. These are generally six 



or eight feet long, bearing large and handsome flowers three 
inches across, and varying in color from orange to red, with 
deep purple-red spots. I ,_^ 

measured one spike, which '=:^:vj^ ^^^^(^^^^ 
reached the extraordinary '^^^ 
length of nine feet eight 
inches, and bore thirty-six 
flowers, spirally arranged 
upon a slender thread-like 
stalk. Specimens grown 
in our English hot-houses 
have produced flower- 
spikes of equal length, 
and with a much larger 
number of blossoms. 

Flowers were scarce, 
as is usual in equatorial 
forests, and it was only at 
rare intervals that 1 met 
with any thing striking. 
A few fine climbers were 
sometimes seen, especially 
a handsome crimson and 
yellow ssschynanthus, and 
a fine leguminous plant, 
with clusters of large cas- 
sia-like flowers of a rich purple color. 
Once I found a number of small anona- 
ceous trees of the genus Polyalthea, pro- 
ducing a most striking efiect in the 
gloomy forest shades. They were about 
thirty feet high, and their slender trunks 
were covered with large star-like crim- 
son flowers, which clustered over them 
like garlands, and resembled some artifi- 
cial decoration more than a natural pro- 
duct. (See illustration, p. 93.) 

The forests abound with gigantic trees 
with cylindrical, buttressed, or furrowed stems, while occa- 
sionally the traveller comes upon a wonderful fig-tree, whose 





trunk is itself a forest of stems and aerial roots. Still more 
rarely are found trees which appear to have begun growing in 
mid-air, and from the same point send out wide-spreading 
branches above and a complicated pyramid of roots descend- 
ing for seventy or eighty feet to the ground below, and so 
spreading on every side that one can stand in the very centre 

94 ^BoRNEO. 

with the. trunk of the tree immediately overhead. Trees of 
this character are found all over the Archipelago, and the ac- 
companying illustration (taken from one which I often visited 
in the Aru Islands) will convey some idea of their general char- 
acter. I believe that they originated as parasites, from seeds 
carried by birds and dropped in the fork of some lofty tree. 
Hence descend aerial roots, clasping and ultimately destroy- 
ing the supporting tree, which is in time entirely replaced by 
the humble plant which was at first dependent upon it. Thus 
we have an actual struggle for life in the vegetable kingdom, 
not less fatal to the vanquished than the struggles among 
animals which we can so much more easily observe and un- 
derstand. The advantage of quicker access to light and 
warmth and air, which is gained in one way by climbing 
plants, is here obtained by a forest-tree, which has the means 
of starting in life at an elevation which others can only attain 
after many years of growth, and then only when the fall of 
some other tree has made room for them. Thus it is that in 
the warm and moist and equable climate of the tropics, each 
available station is seized upon, and becomes tlie means of 
developing new forms of life especially adapted to occupy it. 
On reaching Sarawak early in December I found there 
would not be an opportunity of returning to Singapore till 
the latter end of January. I therefore accepted Sir James 
Brooke's invitation to spend a week with him and Mr. St. 
John at his cottage on Peninjauh. This is a very steep 
pyramidal mountain of crystalline basaltic rock, about a 
thousand feet high, and covered with luxuriant forest. 
There are three Dyak villages upon it, and on a little plat- 
form near the summit is the rude wooden lodge where the 
English Rajah was accustomed to go for relaxation and cool 
fresh air. It is only twenty miles up the river, but the road 
up the mountain is a succession of ladders on the face of 
precipices, bamboo bridges over gulleys and chasms, and 
slippery paths over rocks and tree-trunks and huge boulders 
as big as houses. A cool spring under an overhanging rock 
just below the cottage furnished us with refreshing baths 
and delicious drinking-water, and the Dyaks brought us 
daily heaped-up baskets of mangosteens and lansats, two of 
the most delicious of the subacid tropical fruits. We re- 


turned to Sarawak for Christmas (the second I had spent 
with Sir James Brooke), when all the Europeans both in the 
town and from the out-stations enjoyed the hospitality of 
the Rajah, who possessed in a pre-eminent degree the art of 
making every one around him comfortable and happy. 

A few days afterward I returned to the mountain with 
Charles and a Malay boy named Ali, and staid there three 
weeks for the purpose of making a collection of land-shells, 
butterflies and moths, ferns and orchids. On the hill itself 
ferns were tolerably plentiful, and I made a collection of 
about forty species. But what occupied me most was the 
great abundance of moths which on certain occasions I was 
able to capture. As during the whole of my eight years' 
wanderings in the East I never found another spot where 
these insects were at all plentiful, it will be interesting to 
state the exact conditions under which I here obtained them. 

On one side of the cottage there was a veranda, looking 
down the whole side of the mountain and to its summit on 
the right, all densely clothed with forest. The boarded 
sides of the cottage were whitewashed, and the roof of the 
veranda was low, and also boarded and whitewashed. As 
soon as it got dark I placed my lamp on a table against the 
wall, and with pins, insect-forceps, net, and collecting-boxes 
by my side, sat down with a book. Sometimes during the 
whole evening only one solitary moth would visit me, while 
on other nights they would pour in in a continual stream, 
keeping me hard at work catching and pinning till past mid- 
night. They came literally by thousands. These good 
nights were very few. During the four weeks that I spent 
altogether on the hill I only had four really good nights, and 
these were always rainy, and the best of them soaking wet. 
But wet nights were not always good, for a rainy moonlight 
night produced next to nothing. All the chief tribes of 
moths were represented, and the beauty and variety of the 
species was very great. On good nights I was able to cap- 
ture from a hundred to two hundred and fifty moths, and 
these comprised on each occasion from half to two-thirds 
that number of distinct species. Some of them would settle 
on the wall, some on the table, while many would fly up to 
the roof and s^ive me a chase all over the veranda before I 



could secure them. In order to show the curious connection 
between the state of the weather and the degree in which 
moths were attracted to light, I add a list of my captures 
each night of my stay on the hill. 


No. of 


, Remarks. 


Dec, 13th 


Fine; starlight. 

" 14th 


Drizzly and fop;. 

*' 15th 


Showery; cloudy. 

» 16th 


(120 species.) Steady rain. 

" 17th 


Wet ; rather moonlight. 

'^ 18th 


Fine; moonlight. 

'' 19th 


Fine ; clear moonlight. 

" 31st 


(130 species.) Dark and windy ; 

heavy rain. 


Jan. 1st 


Very wet. 

" 2d 


Cloudy and showers. 

" 3d 



" 4th 



" 6th 



'* 6th 


Ver}^ fine. 

" 7th 


Very fine. 

'' 8th 



" 9th 



'• 10th 



" nth 


Heavy rain all night, and darl?:. 

" 12th 



" 13th 


Showery ; some moonlight. 

'' 14th 


Fine; moonlight. 

*' 15th 


Eain; moonlight. 

^' 16th 


Showers; moonlight. 

" 17th 


Showers ; moonlight. 

" 18th 


Showers; moonlight. 



It thus appears that on twenty-six nights I collected 1386 
moths, but that more than 800 of them were collected on 
four very wet and dark nights. My success here led me to 
hope that, by similar arrangements, I might in every island 
be able to obtain abundance of these insects ; but, strange 
to say, during the six succeeding years I was never once able 
to make any collections at all approaching those at Sarawak. 
The reason of this I can pretty well understand to be owing 
to the absence of some one or other essential condition that 
were here all combined. Sometimes the dry season was the 
hinderance ; more frequently residence in a town or village 

How TO CATCH Moths. 97 

not close to virgin forest, and surrounded by other houses 
whose lights were a counter-attraction ; still more frequently 
residence in a dark palm-thatched house, with a lofty roof, in 
whose recesses every moth was lost the instant it entered. 
This last was the greatest drawback, and the real reason 
why I never again was able to make a collection of moths ; 
for I never afterward lived in a solitary jungle-house with a 
low-boarded and whitewashed veranda, so constructed as to 
prevent insects at once escaping into the upper part of the 
house quite out of reach. After my long experience, my nu- 
merous failures, and my one success, I feel sure that if any 
party of naturalists ever make a yacht-voyage to explore the 
Malayan Archipelago or any other tropical region, making 
entomology one of their chief pursuits, it would well repay 
them to carry a small-framed veranda, or a veranda-shaped 
tent of white canvas, to set up in every favorable situation, as a 
means of making a collection of nocturnal Lepidoptera, and 
also of obtaining rare specimens of Coleoptera and other in- 
sects- I make the suggestion here, because no one would sus- 
pect the enormous diiference in results that such an apparatus 
would produce, and because I consider it one of the curiosi- 
ties of a collector's experience to have found out that some 
such apparatus is required. 

When I returned to Singapore I took with me the Malay 
lad named Ali, who subsequently accompanied me all over 
the Archipelago. Charles Allen preferred staying at the 
Mission-house, and afterward obtained employment in Sara- 
wak and in Singapore, till he again joined me four years 
later at Amboyna, in the Moluccas. 


98 BoRKEO— The Dyaks. 



The manners and customs of the aborigines of Borneo 
liave been described in great detail, and with much fuller in- 
formation than I possess, in the writings of Sir James Brooke, 
Messrs. Low, St. John, Johnson B^i'ooke, and many others. I 
do not propose to go over the ground again, but shall con- 
fine myself to a sketch, from personal observation, of the gen- 
eral character of the Dyaks, and of such physical, moral, and 
social characteristics as have been less frequently noticed. 

The Dyak is closely allied to the Malay, and more remote- 
ly to the Siamese, Chinese, and other Mongol races. All 
these are characterized by a reddish-brown or yellowish- 
brown skin of various shades, by jet-black straight hair, by 
the scanty or deficient beard, by the rather small and broad 
nose and high cheek-bones ; but none of the Malayan races 
have the oblique eyes which are characteristic of the more 
typical Mongols. The average stature of the Dyaks is rath- 
er more than that of the Malays, while it is considerably 
under that of most Europeans. Their forms are well propor- 
tioned, their feet and hands small, and they rarely or never 
attain the bulk of body so often seen in Malays and Chinese. 

I am inclined to rank the Dyaks above the Malays in men- 
tal capacity, while in moral character they are undoubtedly 
superior to them. They are simple and honest, and become 
the prey of the Malay and Chinese traders, who cheat and 
plunder them continually. They are more lively, more talka- 
tive, less secretive, and less suspicious than the Malay, and are 
therefore pleasanter companions. The Malay boys have lit- 
tle inclination for active sports and games, which form quite 
a feature in the life of the Dyak youths, who, besides out- 
door games of skill and strength, possess a variety of in-door 
amusements. One wet day, in a Dyak house, when a number 
of boys and young men were about me, I thought to amuse 

Chaeactek. 99 

them with something new, and showed them how to make 
" cat's cradle " with a piece of string. Greatly to my sur- 
prise, they knew all about it, and more than I did ; for, after 
I and Charles had gone through all the changes we could 
make, one of the boys took it off my hand, and made several 
new figures which quite puzzled me. They then showed me 
a number of other tricks with pieces of string, which seemed 
a favorite amusement with them. 

Even these apparently trifling matters may assist us to 
form a truer estimate of the Dyaks' character and social con- 
dition. We learn thereby that these people have passed be- 
yond that first stage of savage life in which the struggle for 
existence absorbs the whole faculties, and in which every 
thought and idea is connected with war or hunting, or the 
provision for their immediate necessities. These amusements 
indicate a capability of civilization, an aptitude to enjoy oth- 
er than mere sensual pleasures, which might be taken advan- 
tage of to elevate their whole intellectual and social life. 

The moral character of the Dyaks is undoubtedly high — 
a statement which will seem strange to those who have heard 
of them only as head-hunters and pirates. The Hill Dyaks 
of whom I am speaking, however, have never been pirates, 
since they never go near the sea ; and head-hunting is a cus- 
tom originating in the petty wars of village with village, and 
tribe with tribe, which no more implies a bad moral charac- 
ter than did the custom of the slave-trade a hundred years 
ago imply want of general morality in all who participated 
in it. Against this one stain on their character (which in the 
case of the Sarawak Dyaks no longer exists) we have to set 
many good points. They are truthful and honest to a re- 
markable degree. From this cause it is very often impossi- 
ble to get from them any definite information, or even an 
opinion. They say, " If I were to tell you what I don't know, 
I might tell a lie ;" and whenever they voluntarily relate 
any matter of fact, you may be sure they are speaking the 
truth. In a Dyak village the fruit-trees have each their 
owner, and it has often happened to me, on asking an inhab- 
itant to gather me some fruit, to be answered, '' I can't do 
that, for the owner of the tree is not here;" never seeming to 
contemplate the possibility of acting^ otherwise^ .^ Neither 

100 Borneo— The Dyaks. 

will they take the smallest thing belonging to a European. 
When living at Simunjon, they continually came to my house, . 
and would pick up scraps of torn newspaper or crooked pins 
that I had thrown away, and ask as a great favor whether 
they might have them. Crimes of violence (other than 
head-hunting) are almost unknown ; for in twelve years, un- 
der Sir James Brooke's rule, there had been only one case of 
murder in a Dyak tribe, and that one was committed by a 
stranger who had been adopted into the tribe. In several 
other matters of morality they rank above most uncivilized, 
and even above many civilized nations. They are temperate 
in food and drink, and the gross sensuality of the Chinese and 
Malays is unknown among them. They have the usual 
fault of all people in a half-savage state — apathy and dilato- 
riness ; but, however annoyiiig this may be to Europeans 
who come in contact with them, it can not be considered a 
very grave offense, or be held to outweigh their many excel- 
lent qualities. 

During my residence among the Hill Dyaks I was much 
struck by the apparent absence of those causes which are 
generally supposed to check the increase of population, al- 
though there were plain indications of stationary or but 
slowly increasing numbers. The conditions most favorable 
to a rapid increase of population are, an abundance of food, 
a healthy climate, and early marriages. Here these condi- 
tions all exist. The people produce far more food than they 
consume, and exchange the surplus for gongs and brass can- 
non, ancient jars, and gold and silver ornaments, which con- 
stitute their wealth. On the whole, they appear very free 
from disease, marriages take place early (but not too early), 
and old bachelors and old maids are alike unknown. Why, 
then, we must inquire, has not a greater population been 
produced? Why are the Dyak villages so small and so 
widely scattered, while nine-tenths of the country is still cov- 
ered wit^ forest ? 

Of all the checks to population among savage nations 
mentioned by Malthus — starvation, disease, war, infanticide, 
immorality, and infertility of the women — the last is that 
which he seems to think least important, and of doubtful ef- 
ficacy ; an^ yet it is the only one that seems to me capable 

Checks to Population. loi 

of accounting for the state of the population among the Sara- 
wak Dyaks. The population of Great Britain increases so as 
to double itself in about fifty years. To do this, it is evident 
that each married couple must average three children who 
live to be married at the age of about twenty-five. Add to 
these those who die in infancy, those who never marry, or 
those who marry late in life and have no ofispring, the num- 
ber of children born to each marriage must average four or 
five ; and we know that families of seven or eight are very 
common, and of ten and twelve by no means rare. But from 
inquiries at almost every Dyak tribe I visited, I ascertained 
that the women rarely had more than three or four children, 
and an old chief assured me that he had never known a wom- 
an have more than seven. In a village consisting of a hun- 
dred and fifty families, only one consisted of six children liv- 
ing, and only six of five children, the majority appearing to 
be two, three, or four. Comparing this with the known pro- 
portions in European countries, it is evident that the number 
of children to each marriage can hardly average more than 
three or four; and as even in civilized countries half the 
population die before the age of twenty-five, we should have 
only two left to replace their parents ; and so long as this 
state of things continued, the population must remain sta- 
tionary. Of course this is a mere illustration ; but the facts 
I have stated seem to indicate that something of the kind 
really takes place ; and if so, there is no difiiculty in under- 
standing the smallness and almost stationary population of 
the Dyak tribes. 

We have next to inquire what is the cause of the small 
number of births and of living children in a family. Climate 
and race may have something to do with this, but a more 
real and efiicient cause seems to me to be the hard labor of 
the women, and the heavy weights they constantly carry. 
A Dyak woman generally spends the whole day in the field, 
and carries home every night a heavy load of vegetables 
and firewood, often for several miles, over rough and hilly 
paths ; and not unfrequently has to climb up a rocky mount- 
ain by ladders, and over slippery stepping-stones, to an ele- 
vation of a thousand feet. Besides this, she has an hour's 
work every evening to pound the rice with a heavy wooden 

102 Borneo— The Dyaks. 

stamper, which violently strains every part of the body. She 
begins this kind of labor when nine or ten years old, and it 
never ceases but with the extreme decrepitude of age. Surely 
we need not wonder at the limited number of her progeny, 
but rather be surprised at the successful efforts of nature to 
prevent the extermination of the race. 

One of the surest and most beneficial effects of advancing 
civilization will be the amelioration of the condition of these 
women. The precept and example of higher races will make 
the Pyak ashamed of his comparatively idle life, while his 
weaker partner labors like a beast of burden. As his wants 
become increased and his tastes refined, the women will have 
more household duties to attend to, and will then cease to 
labor in the field— a change which has already to a great ex- 
tent taken place in the allied Malay, Javanese, and Bugis 
tribes. Population will then certainly increase more rapidly, 
improved systems of agriculture and some division of labor 
will become necessary in order to provide the means of ex- 
istence, and a more complicated social state will take the 
place of the simple conditions of society which now obtain 
among them. But, with the sharper struggle for existence 
that will then occur, will the happiness of the people as a 
whole be increased or diminished? Will not evil passions 
be aroused by the spirit of competition, and crimes, and vices, 
now unknown or dormant, be called into active existence ? 
These are problems that time alone can solve ; but it is to be 
hoped that education and a high-class European example 
may obviate much of the evil that too often arises in analo- 
gous cases, and that we may at length be able to point to one 
instance of an uncivilized people who have not become de- 
moralized and finally exterminated by contact with Euro- 
pean civilization. 

A few words, in conclusion, about the government of 
Sarawak. Sir James Brooke found the Dyaks oppressed and 
ground down by the most cruel tyranny. They were cheated 
by the Malay traders, and robbed by the Malay chiefs. Their 
wives and children were often captured and sold into slavery, 
and hostile tribes purchased permission from their cruel 
rulers to plunder, enslave, and murder them. Any thing 
like justice or redress for these injuries was utterly unattain- 

Opinions of Sir James Brooke. 103 

able. From the time Sir James obtained possession of the 
country, all this was stopped. Equal justice was awarded 
to Malay, Chinaman, and Dyak. The remorseless pirates 
from the rivers farther east were punished, and finally shut 
up within their own territories, and the Dyak, for the first 
time, could sleep in peace. His wife and children were now 
safe from slavery ; his house was no longer burned over his 
head; his crops and his fruits were now his own, to sell or 
consume as he pleased. And the unknown stranger who had 
done all this for them, and asked for nothing in return, what 
could he be ? How was it possible for them to realize his 
motives ? Was it not natural that they should refuse to be- 
lieve he was a man ? for of pure benevolence combined with 
great power, they had had no experience among men. They 
naturally concluded that he was a superior being, come down 
upon earth to confer blessings on the afflicted. In many 
villages where he had not been seen I was asked strange 
questions about him. Was he not as old as the mountains ? 
Could he not bring the dead to life ? And they firmly be- 
lieve that he can give them good harvests, and make their 
fruit-trees bear an abundant croj^. 

In forming a proper estimate of Sir James Brooke's govern- 
ment, it must ever be remembered that he held Sarawak 
solely by the good-will of the native inhabitants. He had to 
deal with two races, one of whom, the Mohammedan Malays, 
looked upon the other race, the Dyaks, as savages and slaves, 
only fit to be robbed and plundered. He has effectually pro- 
tected the Dyaks, and has invariably treated them as, in his 
sight, equal to the Malays, and yet he has secured the affec- 
tion and good- will of both. Notwithstanding the religious 
prejudices of Mohammedans, he has induced them to modify 
many of their worst laws and customs, and to assimilate 
their criminal code to that of the civilized world. That his 
government still continues, after twenty-seven years — not- 
withstanding his frequent absences from ill-health, notwith- 
standing conspiracies of Malay chiefs, and insurrections of 
Chinese gold-diggers, all of which have been overcome by 
the support of the native population, and notwithstanding 
financial, political, and domestic troubles — is due, I believe, 
solely to the many admirable qualities which Sir James 

104 BoENEO — The Dyaks. 

Brooke possessed, and esj)ecially to Ms having convinced the 
native population, by every action of his life, that he ruled 
them, not for his own advantage, but for their good. 

Since these lines were written his noble spirit has passed 
away. But though, by those who knew him not, he may be 
sneered at as an enthusiast adventurer, or abused as a hard- 
hearted despot, the universal testimony of every one who 
came in contact with him in his adopted country, whether 
European, Malay, or Dyak, will be, that Rajah Brooke was a 
great, a wise, and a good ruler — a true and faithful friend — 
a man to be admired for his talents, respected for his honesty 
and courage, and loved for his genuine hospitality, his kind- 
ness of disposition, and his tenderness of heart. 

The Mode of Gtovernment. 105 



I SPENT three months and a half in Java, from July 18 to 
October 31, 1861, and shall briefly describe my own move- 
ments, and my observations on the people and the natural 
history of the country. To all those who wish to under- 
stand how the Dutch now govern Java, and how it is that 
they are enabled to derive a large annual revenue from it, 
while the population increases, and the inhabitants are con- 
tented, I recommend the study of Mr. Money's excellent and 
interesting work, "How to Manage a Colony." The main 
facts and conclusions of that work I most heartily concur in, 
and I believe that the Dutch system is the very best that 
can be adopted, when a European nation conquers or other- 
wise acquires possession of a country inhabited by an indus- 
trious but semi-barbarous people. In my account of ISTorthern 
Celebes, I shall show how successfully the same system has 
been applied to a people in a very difierent state of civiliza- 
tion from the Javanese, and in the mean while will state in 
the fewest words possible what that system is. 

The mode of government now adopted in Java is to retain 
the whole series of native rulers, from the village chief up 
to princes, who, under the name of Regents, are the heads 
of districts about the size of a small English county. With 
each Regent is placed a Dutch Resident, or Assistant Resi- 
dent, who is considered to be his " elder brother," and whose 
" orders " take the form of " recommedations," which are how- 
ever implicitly obeyed. Along with each Assistant Resident 
is a Controller, a kind of inspector of all the lower native 
rulers, who periodically visits every village in the district, 
examines the proceedings of the native courts, hears com- 
plaints against the head-men or other native chiefs, and su- 
perintends the Government plantations. This brings us to 
the " culture system," which is the source of all the wealth 

106 Java. 

the Dutch derive from Java, and is the subject of much 
abuse in this country, because it is the reverse of " free trade." 
To understand its uses and beneficial effects, it is necessary 
first to sketch the common results of free European trade 
with uncivilized peoples. 

ISTatives of tropical climates have few wants, and, when 
these are supplied, are disinclined to work for superfluities 
without some strong incitement. With such a people the 
introduction of any new or systematic cultivation is almost 
impossible, except by the despotic orders of chiefs whom they 
have been accustomed to obey, as children obey their parents. 
The free competition of European traders, however, intro- 
duces two powerful inducements to exertion. Spirits or 
opium is a temptation too strong for most savages to resist, 
and to obtain these he will sell whatever he has, and will 
work to get more. Another temptation he can not resist is 
goods on credit. The trader offers him gay cloths, knives, 
gongs, guns, and gunpowder, to be paid for by some crop 
perhaps not yet planted, or some product yet in the forest. 
He has not sufficient forethought to take only a moderate 
quantity, and not enough energy to work early and late in or- 
der to get out of debt ; and the consequence is that he accumu- 
lates debt upon debt, and often remains for years or for life 
a debtor, and almost a slave. This is a state of things which 
occurs very largely in every part of the world in which men 
of a superior race freely trade with men of a lower race. It 
extends trade no doubt for a time, but it demoralizes the 
native, checks true civilization, and does not lead to any per- 
manent increase in the wealth of the country, so that the 
European government of such a country must be carried on 
at a loss. 

The system introduced by the Dutch was to induce the 
people, through their chiefs, to give a portion of their time to 
the cultivation of coffee, sugar, and other valuable products. 
A fixed rate of wages — low indeed, but about equal to that 
of all places where European competition has not artificially 
raised it — was paid to the laborers engaged in clearing the 
ground and forming the plantations under Government super- 
intendence. The product is sold to the Government at a 
low fixed price. Out of the net profits a percentage goes to 

Dutch Colonial System. 107 

the chiefs, and the remainder is divided among the workmen. 
This surplus in good years is something considerable. On 
the whole, the people are well fed and decently clothed, and 
have acquired habits of steady industry and the art of scientific 
cultivation, which must be of service to them in the future. 
It must be remembered that the Government expended capital 
for years before any return was obtained ; and if they now 
derive a large revenue, it is in a way which is far less bur- 
densome, and far more beneficial to the people than any tax 
that could be levied. 

But although the system may be a good one, and as well 
adapted to the development of arts and industry in a half- 
civilized people as it is to the material advantage of the 
governing country, it is not pretended that in practice it is 
perfectly carried out. The oppressive and servile relations 
between chiefs and people which have continued for perhaps 
a thousand years can not be at once abolished, and some evil 
must result from those relations till the spread of education 
and the gradual infusion of European blood causes it natu- 
rally and insensibly to disappear. It is said that the Resi- 
dents, desirous of showing a large increase in the products 
of their districts, have sometimes pressed the people to such 
continued labor on the plantations that their rice crops have 
been materially diminished, and famine has been the result. 
If this has happened, it is certainly not a common thing, and 
is to be set down to the abuse of the system, by the want 
of judgment or want of humanity in the Resident. 

A tale has lately been written in Holland, and translated 
into English, entitled " Max Havelaar ; or, the Coffee Auc- 
tions of the Dutch Trading-company," and with our usual 
one-sidedness in all relating to the Dutch Colonial System, 
this work has been excessively praised, both for its own 
merits, and for its supposed crushing exposure of the iniqui- 
ties of the Dutch government of Java. Greatly to my sur- 
prise, I found it a very tedious and long-winded story, full 
of rambling digressions, and whose only point is to show 
that the Dutch Residents and Assistant Residents wink at the 
extortions of the native princes; and that in some districts 
the natives have to do work without payment, and have 
their goods taken away from them without compensation. 

108 Java. 

Every statement of this kind is thickly interspersed with 
italics and capital letters ; but as the names are all fictitious, 
and neither dates, figures, nor details are ever given, it is im- 
possible to verify or answer them. Even if not exaggerated, 
the facts stated are not nearly so bad as those of the oppres- 
sion by free-trade indigo-planters, and torturing by native 
tax-gatherers under B^tish rule in India, with which the read- 
ers of English newspapers were familiar a few years ago. 
Such oppression, however, is not fairly to be imputed in ei- 
ther case to the particular form of government, but^ is rather 
due to the infirmity of human nature, and to the impossibili- 
ty of at once destroying all trace of ages of despotism on 
the one side, and of slavish obedience to their chiefs on the 

It must be remembered that the complete establishment 
of the Dutch power in Java is much more recent than that 
of our rule in India, and that there have been several changes 
of government, and in the mode of raising revenue. The in- 
habitants have been so recently under the rule of their na- 
tive princes that it is not easy at once to destroy the excess- 
ive reverence they feel for their old masters, or to diminish 
the oppressive exactions which the latter have always been ac- 
customed to make. There is, however, one grand test of the 
prosperity, and even of the happiness, of a community, which 
we can apply here — the rate of increase of the population. 

It is universally admitted that when a country increases 
rapidly in population, the people can not be very greatly 
oppressed or very badly governed. The present system of 
raising a revenue by the cultivation of coffee and sugar, sold 
to Government at a fixed price, began in 1832. Just before 
this, in 1826, the population by census was 5,500,000, while 
at the beginning of the century it was estimated at 3,500,000. 
In 1850, when the cultivation system had been in operation 
eighteen years, the population by census was over 9,500,000, 
or an increase of 73 per cent, in twenty-four years. At the 
last census, in 1865, it amounted to 14,168,416, an increase 
of very nearly 50 per cent, in fifteen years — a rate which 
would double the population in about twenty-six years. As 
Java (with Madura) contains about 38,500 geographical 
square miles, this will give an average of 368 persons to the 

Scenery and Productions. 109 

square mile, just double that of tlie populous and fertile Ben- 
gal Presidency as given in Thornton's Gazetteer of India, 
and fully one-third more than that of Great Britain and Ire- 
land at the last census. If, as I believe, this vast popula- 
tion is on the whole contented and happy, the Dutch Govern- 
ment should consider well before abruptly changing a system 
which has led to such great results. 

Taking it as a whole, and surveying it from every point 
of view, Java is probably the very finest and most interest- 
ing tropical island in the world. It is not first in size, but 
it is more than 600 miles long, and from 60 to 120 miles 
wide, and in area is nearly equal to England ; and it is un- 
doubtedly the most fertile, the most productive, and the 
most populous island within the tropics. Its whole surface 
is magnificently varied with mountain and forest scenery. 
It. possesses thirty-eight volcanic mountains, several of which 
rise to ten or twelve thousand feet high. Some of these are 
in constant activity, and one or other of them displays al- 
most every phenomenon produced by the action of subter- 
ranean fires, except regular lava streams, which never occur 
in Java. The abundant moisture and tropical heat of the 
climate causes these mountains to be clothed with luxuriant 
vegetation, often to their very summits, while forests and 
plantations cover their lower slopes. The animal produc- 
tions, especially the birds and insects, are beautiful and 
varied, and present many peculiar forms found nowhere else 
upon the globe. The soil throughout the island is exceed- 
ingly fertile, and all the productions of the tropics, together 
with many of the temperate zones, can be easily cultivated. 
Java too possesses a civilization, a history and antiquities of 
its own, of great interest. The Brahminical religion flourish- 
ed in it from an epoch of unknown antiquity till about the 
year 1478, when that of Mohammed superseded it. The 
former religion was accompanied by a civilization which has 
not been equalled by the conquerors ; for, scattered through 
the country, especially in the eastern part of it, are found 
buried in lofty forests, temples, tombs, and statues of great 
beauty and grandeur ; and the remains of extensive cities, 
where the tiger, the rhinoceros, and the wild bull now roam 
undisturbed. A modern civilization of another type is now 

no Java. 

spreading over the land ; good roads run through the country 
from end to end ; European and native rulers work harmoni- 
ously together ; and life and property are as well secured as 
in the best-governed states of Europe. I believe, therefore, 
that Java may fairly claim to be the finest tropical island in 
the world, and equally interesting to the tourist seeking aft- 
er new and beautiful scenes, to the naturalist who desires to 
. examine the variety and beauty of tropical nature, or to the 
moralist and the politician who want to solve the problem 
of how man may be best governed under new and varied 

The Dutch mail-steamer brought me from Ternate to 
Sourabaya, the chief town and port in the eastern part of 
Java, and after a fortnight spent in packing up and sending 
off my last collections, I started on a short journey into the 
interior. Travelling in Java is very luxurious, but very ex- 
pensive, the only way being to hire or borrow a carriage, 
and then pay half a crown a mile for post-horses, which are 
changed at regular posts every six miles, and will carry you 
at the rate of ten miles an hour from one end of the island 
to the other. Bullock-carts or coolies are required to carry 
all extra baggage. As this kind of travelling would not 
suit my means, I determined on making only a short journey 
to the district at the foot of Mount Arjuna, where I was told 
there were extensive forests, and where I hoped to be able 
to make some good collections. The country for many 
miles behind Sourabaya is perfectly flat, and everywhere 
cultivated, being a delta or alluvial plain watered by many 
branching streams. Immediately aroimd the town the evi- 
dent signs of wealth and of an industrious population were 
very pleasing ; but as we went on, the constant succession of 
open fields skirted by rows of bamboos, with here and there 
the white buildings and tall chimney of a sugar-mill, became 
monotonous. The roads run in straight lines for several 
miles at a stretch, and are bordered by rows of dusty tama- 
rind-trees. At each mile there are little guard-houses, where 
a policeman is stationed ; and there is a wooden gong, which 
by means of concerted signals may be made to convey in- 
formation over the country with great rapidity. About 

Ancient City of Modjo-Pahit. Ill 

every six or seven miles is tlie post-house, where the horses 
are changed as quickly as were those of the mail in the old 
coaching-days in England. 

I stopped at Modjo-kerto, a small town about forty miles 
south of Sourabaya, and the nearest point on the high-road 
to the district I wished to visit. I had a letter of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Ball, an Englishman long resident in Java and 
married to a Dutch lady, and he kindly invited me to stay 
with him till I could Qx on a place to suit me. A Dutch As- 
sistant Resident as well as a Regent, or native Javanese prince, 
lived here. The town was neat, and had a nice open grassy 
space like a village green, on which stood a magnificent fig- 
tree (allied to the banyan of India, but more lofty), under 
whose shade a kind of market is continually held, and where 
the inhabitants meet together to lounge and chat. The day 
after my arrival Mr. Ball drove me over to the village of 
Modjo-agong, where he was building a house and premises 
for the tobacco trade, which is carried on here by a system 
of native cultivation and advance purchase, somewhat simi- 
lar to the indigo trade in British India. On our way we 
staid to look at a fragment of the ruins of the ancient city 
of Modjo-pahit, consisting of two lofty brick masses, appar- 
ently the sides of a gateway. The extreme perfection and 
beauty of the brick-work astonished me. The bricks are ex- 
ceedingly fine and hard, with sharp angles and true surfaces. 
They are laid with great exactness, without visible mortar 
or cement, yet somehow fastened together so that the joints 
are hardly perceptible, and sometimes the two surfaces coa- 
lesce in a most incomprehensible manner. Such admirable 
brick-work I have never seen before or since. There was no 
sculpture here, but abundance of bold projections and finely- 
worked mouldings. Traces of buildings exist for many miles 
in every direction, and almost every road and pathway shows 
a foundation of brick-work beneath it — the paved roads of the 
old city. In the house of the waidono, or district chief, at 
Modjo-agong, I saw a beautiful figure carved in high relief 
out of a block of lava, and which had been found buried in 
the ground near the village. On my expressing a wish to 
obtain some such specimen, Mr. B. asked the chief for it, and, 
much to my surprise, he immediately gave it me. It repre- 



sented the Hindoo goddess Durga, called in Java Lora Jong- 
grang (the exalted virgin). She has eight arms, and stands 
on the back of a kneeling bull. Her lower right hand holds 
the tail of the bull, while the corresponding left hand grasps 
the hair of a captive, Dewth Mahikusor, the personification 
of vice, who has attempted to slay her bull. He has a cord 
round his waist, and crouches at her feet in an attitude of 


supplication. The other hands of the goddess hold, on her 
right side, a double hook or small anchor, a broad straight 
sword, and a noose of thick cord ; on her left, a girdle or 
armlet of large beads or shells, an unstrung bow, and a stand- 
ard or war-flag. This deity was a special favorite among the 
old Javanese, and her image is often found in the ruined tem- 
ples which abound in the eastern part of the island. 

Native Musicians. 113 

The specimen I had obtained was a small one, about two 
feet high, weighing perhaps a hundred- weight, and the next 
day we had it conveyed to Modjo-kerto to await my return 
to Sourabaya. Having decided to stay some time at Wono- 
salem, on the lower slopes of the' Arjuna Mountain, where I 
was informed I should find forest and plenty of game, I had 
first to obtain a recommendation from the Assistant Resident 
to ^he Regent, and then an order from the Regent to the 
waidono ; and when after a week's delay I arrived with my 
baggage and men at Modjo-agong, I found them all in the 
midst of a five-days' feast, to celebrate the circumcision of 
the waidono's younger brother and cousin, and had a small 
room in an outhouse given me to stay in. The court-yard 
and the great open reception-shed were full of natives com- 
ing and going and making preparations for a feast which was 
to take place at midnight, to which I was invited, but pre- 
ferred going to bed. A native band, or gamelang, was play- 
ing almost all the evening, and I had a good opportunity of 
seeing the instruments and musicians. The former are chief- 
ly gongs of various sizes, arranged in sets of from eight to 
twelve on low wooden frames. Each set is played by one 
performer with one or two drumsticks. There are also some 
very large gongs, played singly or in pairs, and taking the 
place of our drums and kettle-drums. Other instruments are 
formed by broad metallic bars, supported on strings stretched 
across frames, and others, again, of strips of bamboo similarly 
placed, and producing the highest notes. Besides these there 
were a flute and a curious two-stringed violin, requiring in all 
twenty-four performers. There was a conductor, who led 
ofi" and regulated the time, and each performer took his part, 
coming in occasionally with a few bars so as to form a har- 
monious combination. The pieces played were long and 
complicated, and some of the players were mere boys, who 
took their parts with great precision. The general effect 
was very pleasing, but owing to the similarity of most of the . 
instruments, more like a gigantic musical-box than one of 
our bands ; and, in order to enjoy it thoroughly, it is neces- 
sary to watch the large number of performers who are en- 
gaged in it. The next morning, while I was waiting for the 
men and horses who were to take me and my baggage to my 


114 Java.^ 

destination, the two lads, who were about fourteen years old, 
were brought out, clothed in a sarong from the waist down- 
ward, and having the whole body covered with a yellow 
powder, and profusely decked with white blossoms in wreaths, 
necklaces, and armlets, looking at first sight very like savage 
brides. They were conducted by two priests to a bench 
placed in front of the house in the open air, and the cere- 
mony of circumcision was then performed before the assem- 
bled crowd. 

The road to Wonosalem led through a magnificent forest, 
in the depths of which we passed a fine ruin of what appear- 
ed to have been a royal tomb or mausoleum. It is formed 
entirely of stone, and elaborately carved. Near the base is 
a course of boldly projecting blocks, sculptured in high re- 
lief, with a series of scenes which are probably incidents in 
the life of the defunct. These are airbeautifully executed, 
some of the figures of animals in particular being easily re- 
cognizable and very accurate. The general design, as far as 
the ruined state of the upper part will permit of its being 
seen, is very good, efiect being given by an immense number 
and variety of projecting or retreating courses of squared 
stones in place of mouldings. The size of this structure is 
about thirty feet square by twenty high ; and as the traveller 
comes suddenly upon it on a small elevation by the roadside, 
overshadowed by gigantic trees, overrun with plants and 
creepers, and closely backed by the gloomy forest, he is struck 
by the solemnity and picturesque beauty of the scene, and is 
led to ponder on the strange law of progress, which looks so 
like retrogression, and which in so many distant parts of the 
world has exterminated or driven out a highly artistic and 
constructive race, to make room for one which, as far as we 
can judge, is very far its inferior. 

. Few Englishmen are aware of the number and beauty of 
the architectural remains in Java. They have never been 
popularly illustrated or described, and it will therefore take 
most persons by surprise to learn that they far surpass those 
of Central America, perhaps even those of India. To give 
some idea of these ruins, and perchance to excite wealthy 
amateurs to explore them thoroughly and obtain by photog- 
raphy an accurate record of their beautiful sculptures be- 

EuiNED Temples. 115 

fore it is too late, I will enumerate the most important, as 
briefly described in Sir Stamford Raffles's "History of Java." 

BuAMBAKAM. — Near the centre of Java, between the na- 
tive capitals of Djoko-kerta and Surakerta, is the village of 
Brambanam, near which are abundance of ruins, the most im- 
portant being the temples of Loro-jongranand Chandi Sewa. 
At Loro-jongran there were twenty separate buildings, six 
large and fourteen small temples. They are now a mass of 
ruins, but the largest temples are supposed to have been 
ninety feet high. They were all constructed of solid stone, 
everywhere decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, and 
adorned with numbers of statues, many of which still remain 
entire. At Chandi Sewa, or the " Thousand Temples," are 
many fine colossal figures. Captain Baker, who surveyed 
these ruins, said he had never in his life seen " such stupen- 
dous and finished specimens of human labor, and of the sci- 
ence and taste of ages long since forgot, crowded together in 
so small a compass as in this spot." They cover a space of 
nearly six hundred feet square, and consist of an. outer row 
of eighty-four small temples, a second row of seventy-six, a 
third of sixty-four, a fourth of forty-four, and the fifth forming 
an inner parallelogram of twenty-eight, in all two hundred 
and ninety-six small temples, disposed in five regular paral- 
lelograms. In the centre is a large cruciform temple sur- 
rounded by lofty flights of steps richly ornamented with 
sculpture, and containing many apartments. The tropical 
vegetation has ruined most of the smaller temples, but some 
remain tolerably perfect, from which the eflect of the whole 
may be imagined. 

About half a mile ofi* is another temple, called Chandi Kali 
Bening, seventy-two feet square and sixty feet high, in very 
fine preservation, and covered with sculptures of Hindoo 
mythology surpassing any that exist in India. Other ruins 
of palaces, halls, and temples, with abundance of sculptured 
deities, are found in the same neighborhood. 

BoBOBODO. — About eighty miles- westward, in the prov- 
ince of Kedu, is the great temple of Borobodo. It is built 
upon a small hill, and consists of a central dome and seven 
ranges of terraced walls covering the slope of the hill and 
forming open galleries each below the other, and communi- 

116 Java. 

eating by steps and gateways. The central dome is fifty 
feet in diameter ; around it is a triple circle of seventy-two 
towers, and the whole building is six hundred and twenty 
feet square, and about one hundred feet high. In the terrace 
walls are niches containing cross-legged figures larger than 
life to the number of about four hundred, and both sides of 
all the terrace walls are covered with bas-reliefs crowded 
with figures, and carved in hard stone ; and which must there- 
fore occupy an extent of nearly three miles in length ! The 
amount of human labor and skill expended on the Great 
Pyramid of Egypt sinks into insignificance when compared 
with that required to complete this sculjDtured hill-temple in 
the interior of Java. 

GuNONG Praf. — About forty miles south-west of Sama- 
rang, on a mountain called Gunong Prau, an extensive pla- 
teau is covered with ruins. To reach these temples four 
flights of stone steps were made up the mountain from oppo- 
site directions, each flight consisting of more than a thousand 
steps. Traces of nearly four hundred temples have been 
found here, and many (perhaps all) were decorated with rich 
and delicate sculptures. The whole country between this 
and Brambanam, a distance of sixty miles, abounds with 
ruins ; so that fine sculptured images may be seen lying in 
the ditches, or built into the walls of inclosures. 

In the eastern part of Java, at Kediri and in Malang, there 
are equally albundant traces of antiquity, but the buildings 
themselves have been mostly destroyed. Sculptured figures, 
however, abound ; and the ruins of forts, palaces, baths, aque- 
ducts, and temples can be everywhere traced. It is altogeth- 
er contrary to the plan of this book to describe what I have 
not myself seen ; but, having been led to mention them, I felt 
bound to do something to call attention to these marvellous 
works of art. One is overwhelmed by the contemplation of 
these innumerable sculptures, worked with delicacy and 
artistic feeling in a hard, intractable, trachytic rock, and all 
found in one tropical island. What could have been the 
state of society, what the amount of population, what the 
means of subsistence which rendered such gigantic works 
possible, will, perhaps, ever remain a mystery ; and it is a 
wonderful example of the power of religious ideas in social 

Wild Peacocks. 117 

life, that in the very country where, ^ve hundred years ago, 
these grand works were being yearly executed, the inhabit- 
ants now only build rude houses of bamboo and thatch, and 
look upon these relics of their forefathers with ignorant 
amazement, as the undoubted productions of giants or of 
demons. It is much to be regretted that the Dutch Govern- 
ment do not take vigorous steps for the preservation of these 
ruins from the destroying agency of tropical vegetation, and 
for the collection of the fine sculptures which are everywhere 
scattered over the land. 

Wonosalem is situated about a thousand feet above the 
sea, but unfortunately it is at a distance from the forest, and 
is surrounded by coffee-plantations, thickets of bamboo and 
coarse grasses. It was too far to walk back daily to the 
forest, and in other directions I could find no collecting- 
ground for insects. The place was, however, famous for pea- 
cocks, and my boy soon shot several of these magnificent birds, 
whose flesh we found to be tender, white, and delicate, and 
similar to that of a turkey. The Java peacock is a different 
species from that of India, the neck being covered with scarlet- 
like green feathers, and the crest of a different form, but the 
eyed train is equally large and equally beautiful. It is a sin- 
gular fact in geographical distribution that the peacock 
should not be found in Sumatra or Borneo, while the superb 
Argus, fire-backed, and ocellated pheasants of those islands 
are equally unknown in Java. Exactly parallel is the fact 
that in Ceylon and Southern India, where the peacock 
abounds, there are none of the splendid Lophophori and oth- 
er gorgeous pheasants which inhabit Northern India. It 
would seem as if the peacock can admit of no rivals in its 
domain. Were these birds rare in their native country, and 
unknown alive in Europe,' they would assuredly be consider- 
ed as the true princes of the feathered tribes, and altogether 
unrivalled for stateliness and beauty. As it is, I suppose 
scarcely any one, if asked to ^x upon the most beautiful bird 
in the world, would name the peacock, any more than the 
Papuan savage or the Bugis trader would fix upon the bird 
of paradise for the same honor. 

Three days after my arrival at Wonosalem my friend Mr. 

118 Java. 

Ball came to pay me a visit. He told me that two evenings 
before a boy bad been killed and eaten by a tiger close to 
Madjo-agong. He was riding on a cart drawn by bullocks, 
and was coming home about dusk on the main road ; and 
when not half a mile from the village a tiger sprang upon 
him, carried him off into the jungle close by, and devoured 
him. I^ext morning his remains were discovered, consisting 
only of a few mangled bones. The waidono had got togeth- 
er about seven hundred men, and was in chase of the animal, 
which, I afterward heard, they found and killed. They only 
use spears when in pursuit of a tiger in this way. They sur- 
round a large tract of country, and draw gradually together 
till the animal is inclosed in a compact ring of armed men. 
When he sees that there is no escape he generally makes a 
spring, and is received on a dozen spears, and almost instant- 
ly stabbed to death. The skin of an animal thus killed is, of 
course, worthless, and in this case the skull, which I had beg- 
ged Mr. Ball to secure for me, was hacked to pieces to divide 
the teeth, which are worn as charms. 

After a week at Wonosalem I returned to the foot of the 
mountain, to a village named Djapannan, which was sur- 
rounded by several patches of forest, and seemed altogether 
pretty well suited to my pursuits. The chief of the village 
had prepared two small bamboo rooms on one side of his own 
court-yard to accommodate me, and seemed inclined to assist 
me as much as he could. The weather was exceedingly hot 
and dry, no rain having fallen for several months, and there 
was, in consequence, a great scarcity of insects, and especially 
of beetles. I therefore devoted myself chiefly to obtaining a 
good set of the birds, and succeeded in making a tolerable 
collection. All the peacocks we had hitherto shot had had 
short or imperfect tails, but I now obtained two magnificent 
specimens more than seven feet long, one of which I preserved 
entire, while I kept the train only attached to the tail of two 
or three others. When this bird is seen feeding on the 
ground, it appears wonderful how it can rise into the air with 
such a long and cumbersome train of feathers. It does so, 
however, with great ease, by running quickly for a short dis- 
tance, and then rising obliquely, and will fly over trees of a 
considerable height. I also obtained here a specimen of the 

Trial of a Thief. 119 

rare green jungle-fowl (Gallus furcatns), whose back and neck 
are beautifully scaled with bronzy feathers, and whose smooth- 
edged oval comb is of a violet-purple color, changing to green 
at the base. It is also remarkable in possessing a single 
large wattle beneath its throat, brightly colored in three 
patches of red, yellow, and blue. The common jungle-cock 
(Gallus banldva) was also obtained here. It is almost exact- 
ly like a common game-cock, but the voice is different, being 
much shorter and more abrupt ; whence its native name is 
bekeko. Six different kinds of woodpeckers and four king- 
fishers were found here, the fine hornbill (Buceros lunatus), 
more than four feet long, and the pretty little lorikeet (Lori- 
cuius pusillus), scarcely more than as many inches. 

One morning, as I was preparing and arranging my speci- 
mens, I was told there was to be a trial ; and presently four 
or five men came in and squatted down on a mat under the 
audience-shed in the court. The chief then came in with his 
clerk, and sat down opposite them. Each spoke in turn, tell- 
ing his own tale, and then I found out that those who first 
entered were the prisoner, accuser, policemen, and witness, 
and that the prisoner was indicated solely by having a loose 
piece of cord twined round his w^rists, but not tied. It was 
a case of robbery, and after the evidence was given and a few 
questions had been asked by the chief, the accused said a few 
words, and then sentence was pronounced, which was a fine. 
The parties then got up and walked away together, seeming 
quite friendly ; and throughout there was nothing in the 
manner of any one present indicating passion or ill-feeling — 
a very good illustration of the Malayan type of character. 

In a month's collecting at Wonosalem and Djapannan I 
accumulated ninety-eight species of birds, but a most misera- 
ble lot of insects. I then determined to leave East Java and 
try the more moist and luxuriant districts at the western ex- 
tremity of the island. I returned to Sourabaya by water in 
a roomy boat, which brought myself, servants, and baggage 
at one-fifth the expense it had cost me to come to Modjo- 
kerto. The river has been rendered navigable by being care- 
fully banked up, but with the usual effect of rendering the 
adjacent country liable occasionally to severe floods. An 
immense traffic passes down this river; and at a lock we 

120 Java. 

passed through, a mile of, laden boats were waiting, two or 
three deep, which pass through in their turn six at a time. 

A few days afterward I went by steamer to Batavia, where I 
staid about a week at the chief hotel, while I made arrange- 
ments for a trip into the interior. The business part of the 
city is near the harbor, but the hotels and all the residences 
of the officials and European merchants are in a suburb two 


miles off, laid out in wide streets and squares so as to cover 
a great extent of ground. This is very inconvenient for visit- 
ors, as the only public conveyances are handsome two-horse 
carriages, whose lowest charge is five guilders (8^. 4d,) for 
half a day, so that an hour's business in the morning and a 
visit in the evening costs 16^. Sd, a day for carriage-hire 

Batavia and Bcjitenzorg. 121 

Batavia agrees very well with Mr. Money's graphic ac- 
count of it, except that his " clear-canals" were all muddy, 
and his " smooth gravel-drives " up to the houses were one 
and all formed of coarse pebbles, very painful to walk upon, 
and hardly explained by the fact that in Batavia every body 
drives, as it can hardly be supposed that people never walk 
in their gardens. The Hotel des Indes was very comfortable, 
each visitor having a sitting-room and bedroom opening on a 
veranda, where he can take his morning coffee and afternoon 
tea. In the centre of the quadrangle is a building contain- 
ing a number of marble baths always ready for use ; and 
there is an excellent tcibU cVhdte breakfast at ten, and dinner 
at six, for all which there is a moderate charge per day. 

I went by coach to Buitenzorg, forty miles inland and 
about a thousand feet above the sea, celebrated for its deli- 
cious climate and its Botanical Gardens. With the latter I 
was somewhat disappointed. The walks were all of loose 
pebbles, making any lengthened wanderings about them very 
tiring and painful under a tropical sun. The gardens are no 
doubt wonderfully rich in tropical and especially in Malayan 
plants, but there is a great absence of skillful laying-out ; 
there are not enough men to keep the place thoroughly in 
order, and the plants themselves are seldom to be compared 
forJuxuriance and beauty to the same species grown in our 
hot-houses. This can easily be explained. The plants can 
rarely be placed in natural or very favorable conditions. 
The climate is either too hot or too cool, too moist or too dry, 
for a large proportion of them, and they seldom get the exact 
quantity of shade or the right quality of soil to suit them. In 
our stoves these varied conditions can be supplied to each indi- 
vidual plant far better than in a large garden, where the fact 
that the plants are most of them growing in or near their na- 
tive country is supposed to preclude the necessity of giving 
them much individual attention. Still, however, there is 
much to admire here. There are avenues of stately palms, 
and clumps of bamboos of perhaps fifty different kinds, and 
an endless variety of tropical shrubs and trees with strange 
and beautiful foliage. As a change from the excessive heats 
of Batavia, Buitenzorg is a delightful abode. It is just ele- 
vated enough to have deliciously cool evenings and nights, 

122 Java. 

but not so much as to require any change of clothing ; and 
to a person long resident in the hotter climate of the plains, 
the air is always fresh and pleasant, and admits of walking at 
almost any hour of the day. The vicinity is most picturesque 
and luxuriant, and the great volcano of Gunung-salak, with 
, its truncated and jagged summit, forms a characteristic back- 
ground to many of the landscapes. A great mud eruption 
took place in 1699, since which date the mountain has been 
entirely inactive. 

On leaving Buitenzorg, I had coolies to carry my baggage 
and a horse for myself, both to be changed every six or 
seven miles. The road rose gradually, and after the first 
stage the hills closed in a little on each side, forming a broad 
valley ; and the temperature was so cool and agreeable, and 
the country so interesting, that I preferred walking. Native 
villages imbedded in fruit-trees, and pretty villas inhabited 
by planters or retired Dutch officials, gave this district a very 
pleasing and civilized aspect; but what most attracted my 
attention was the system of terrace-cultivation, which is here 
universally adopted, and which is, I should think, hardly equal- 
led in the world. The slopes of the main valley, and of its 
branches, were everywhere cut in terraces up to a considera- 
ble height, and, when they wound round the recesses of the 
hills, produced all the effect of magnificent amphitheatres. 
Hundreds of square miles of country are th^^s terraced, and 
convey a striking idea of the industry of t^e people and the 
antiquity of their civilization. These terraces are extended 
year by year, as the population increases, by the inhabitants 
of each village working in concert under the direction of 
their chiefs ; and it is perhaps by this system of village cul- 
ture alone that such extensive terracing and irrigation has 
been rendered possible. It was probably introduced by the 
Brahmins from India, since in those Malay countries where 
there is no trace of a previous occupation by a civilized peo- 
ple, the terrace system is unknown. I first saw this mode 
of cultivation in Bali and Lombock ; and as I shall have to 
describe it in some detail there (see Chapter X.), I need say 
no more about it in this place, except that, owing to the finer 
outlines and greater luxuriance of the country in West Java, 
it produces there the most striking and picturesque effect. 

BiKDS AND Butterflies. 123 

The lower slopes of the mountains in Java possess such a 
delightful climate and luxuriant soil, living is so cheap and 
life and property are so secure, that a considerable number 
of Europeans who have been engaged in Government service, 
settle permanently in the country instead of returning to 
Europe. They are scattered everywhere throughout the 
more accessible parts of the island, and tend greatly to the 
gradual improvement of the native population, and to the 
continued peace and prosperity of the whole country. 

Twenty miles beyond Buitenzorg the post-road passes 
over the Megamendong Mountain, at an elevation of about 
4500 feet. The country is finely mountainous, and there is 
much virgin forest still left upon the hills, together with some 
of the oldest coffee-plantations in Java, where the plants have 
attained almost the dimensions of forest-trees. About 500 
feet below the summit level of the pass there is a road-keep- 
er's hut, half of which I hired for a fortnight, as the country 
looked promising for making collections. I almost immedi- 
ately found that the productions of West Java were remark- 
ably different from those of the eastern part of the island, and 
that all the more remarkable and characteristic Javanese 
birds and insects were to be found here. On the very first 
day, my hunters obtained for me the elegant yellow and green 
trogon (Harpactes Reinwardti), the gorgeous little minivet 
fly-catcher (Periamcotus miniatus), which looks like a flame 
of fire as it flut%irS[[^mong the bushes, and the rare and curi- 
ous black and crimson oriole (Analcipus sanguinolentus), all 
of them species which are found only in Java, and even seem 
to be confined to its western portion. In a week I obtained 
no less than twenty-four species of birds which I had not 
found in the east of the island, and in a fortnight this num- 
ber increased to forty species, almost all of which are pecul- 
iar to the Javanese fauna. Large and handsome butterflies 
were also tolerably abundant. In dark ravines, and occa- 
sionally on the roadside, I captured the superb Papilio arjuna, 
whose wings seem powdered with grains of golden green, 
condensed into bands and moon-shaped spots ; while the ele- 
gantly-formed Papilio coon was sometimes to be found flut- 
tering slowly along the shady pathways (see figure at page 
139). One day a boy brought me a butterfly between his 



fingers, perfectly unhurt. He had caught it as it was sitting 
with wings erect, sucking up the liquid from a muddy spot 
by the roadside. Many of the finest tropical butterflies have 
this habit, and they are generally so intent upon their meal 
that they can be easily approached and captured. It prove'd 
to be the rare and curious Charaxes kadenii, remarkable for 
having on each hind wing two curved tails like a pair of 


callipers. It was the only specimen 1 ever saw, and is still 
the only representative of its kind in English collections. 

In the east of Java I had suffered from the intense heat 
and drought of the dry season, which had been very inimical 
to insect life. Here I had got into the other extreme of 
damp, wet, and cloudy weather, which was equally unfavor- 
able. During the month which I spent in the interior of 
West Java I never had a really hot fine day throughout. It 
rained almost every afternoon, or dense mists came down 


from the mountains, which equally stopped collecting, and 
rendered it most difficult to dry my specimens, so that I real- 
ly had no chance of getting a fair sample of Javanese ento- 

By far the most interesting incident in my visit to Java 
was a trip to the summit of the Pangerango and Gedeh 
mountains ; the former an extinct volcanic cone about 10,000 
feet high, the latter an active crater on a lower portion of 
the same mountain range. Tchipanas, about four miles over 
the Megamendong Pass, is at the foot of the mountain. A 
small country-house for the Governor-general and a branch 
of the Botanic Gardens are situated here, the keeper of which 
accommodated me with a bed for a night. There are many 
beautiful trees and shrubs planted here, and large quantities 
of European vegetables are grown for the Governor-general's 
table. By the side of a little torrent that bordered the gar- 
den quantities of orchids were cultivated, attached to the 
trunks of trees, or suspended from the branches, forming an 
interesting open-air orchid-house. As I intended to stay two 
or three nights on the mountain I engaged two coolies to 
carry my baggage, and with my two hunters we started ear- 
ly the next morning. The first mile was over open country, 
which brought us to the forest that covers, the whole mount- 
ain from a height of about 5000 feet. The next mile or 
two was a tolerably steep ascent through a grand virgin for- 
est, the trees being of great size, and the undergrowth con- 
sisting of fine herbaceous plants, tree-ferns, and shrubby 
vegetation. I was struck by the immense number of ferns 
that grew by the side of the road. Their variety seemed 
endless, and I w^s continually stopping to admire some new 
and interesting forms. I could now well understand what I 
had been told by the gardener, that 300 species had been 
found on this one mountain. A little before noon we reach- 
ed the small plateau of Tjiburong, at the foot of the steeper 
part of the mountain, where there is a plank-house for the 
accommodation of travellers. Close by is a picturesque wa- 
terfall and a curious cavern, which I had not time to explore. 
Continuing our ascent the road became narrow, rugged, and 
steep, winding zigzag up the cone, which is covered with ir- 
regular masses of rock, and overgrown with a dense luxuri- 

126 Java. 

ant but less lofty vegetation. We passed a torrent of water 
which is not much lower than the boiling-point, and has a 
most singular appearance as it foams over its rugged bed, 
sending up clouds of steam, and often concealed by the over- 
hanging herbage of ferns and lycopodia, which here thrive 
with more luxuriance than elsewhere. 

At about ^7500 feet we came to another hut of open bam- 
boos, at a place called Kandang Badak, or "Rhinoceros-field," 
which we were going to make our temporary abode. Here 
was a small clearing, with abundance of tree-ferns and some 
young plantations of Cinchona. As there was now a thick 
mist and drizzling rain, I did not attempt to go on to the 
summit that evening, but -made two visits to it during my 
stay, as well as one to the active crater of Gedeh. This is 
a vast semicircular chasm, bounded by black perpendicular 
walls of rock, and surrounded by miles of rugged scoria- 
covered slopes. The crater itself is not very deep. It ex- 
hibits patches of sulphur and variously-colored volcanic pro- 
ducts, and emits from several vents continual streams of 
smoke and vapor. The extinct cone of Pangerango was to 
me more interesting. The summit is an irregular undula- 
ting plain with a low bordering ridge, and one deep lateral 
chasm. Unfortunately there was perpetual mist and rain 
either above or below us all the time I was on the mount- 
ain ; so that I never once saw the plain below, or had a 
glimpse of the magnificent view which in fine weather is to 
be obtained from its summit. iN'otwithstanding this draw- 
back I enjoyed the excursion exceedingly, for it was the first 
time I had been high enough on a mountain near the Equa- 
tor to watch the change from a tropical to a temperate flora. 
I will now briefly sketch these changes as I observed them 
in Java. 

On ascending the mountain, we first meet with temperate 
forms of herbaceous plants so low as 3000 feet, where straw- 
berries and violets begin to grow, but the former are taste- 
less, and the latter have very small and pale flowers. Weedy 
Compositse also begin to give a European aspect to the way- 
side herbage. It is between 2000 and 5000 feet that the 
forests and ravines exhibit the utmost development of trop- 
ical luxuriance and beauty. The abundance of noble tree- 

Mountain Plants. 


ferns, sometimes fifty feet high, contributes greatly to the 
general effect, since of all the forms of tropical vegetation 
they are certainly the most striking and beautiful. Some of 
the deep ravines which have been cleared of large timber are 
full of them from top to bottom ; and where the road crosses 
one of these valleys, 
the view of their feath- 
ery crowns, in varied 
positions above and 
below the eye, offers 
a spectacle of pictur- 
esque beauty never to 
be forgotten. The 
splendid foliage of the 
broad-leaved Musacese 
and the Zinziberacege, 
with their curious and 
brilliant flowers, and 
the elegant and varied 
forms of plants allied 
to Begonia and Melas- 
toma, continually at- 
tract the attention in 
this region.. Filling 
up the spaces between 
the trees and larger 
plants, on every trunk 
and stump and branch, 
are hosts of orchids, 
ferns, and lycopods, 
which wave and hang 
and intertwine in ever- 
varying complexity. 
At about 5000 feet 
I first saw horsetails 

(Equisetum), very like our own species. At 6000 feet raspber- 
ries abound, and thence to the summit of the mountain there 
are three species of eatable E,ubus. At '7000 feet cypresses 
appear, and the forest-trees become reduced in size, and more 
covered with mosses and lichens. From this point upward 


128 Java. 

these rapidly increase, so that the blocks of rock and scoria 
that form the mountain slope are completely hidden in a 
mossy vegetation. At about 8000 feet European forms of 
plants become abundant. Several species of honeysuckle, 
St. John's-wort, and guelder-rose abound; and at about 9000 
feet we first meet with the rare and beautiftil royal coAVslip 
(Primula imperialis), which is said to be found nowhere else 
in the world but on this solitary mountain summit. It has a 
tall, stout stem, sometimes more than three feet high, the 
root-leaves are eighteen inches long, and it bears several 
whorls of cowslip-like flowers, instead of a terminal cluster 
only. The forest-trees, gnarled and dwarfed to the dimen- 
sions of busies, reach up to the very rim of the old crater, 
but do not extend over the hollow on its summit. Here we 
find a good deal of open ground, with thickets of shrubby 
artemisias and gnaphaliums, like our southernwood and cud- 
weed, but six or eight feet high ; while buttercups, violets, 
whortleberries, sow - thistles, chickweed, white and yellow 
cruciferse, plantain, and annual grasses everywhere abound. 
Where there are bushes and shrubs, the St. John's-wort and 
honeysuckle grow abundantly, while the imperial cowslip 
only exhibits its elegant blossoms under the damp shade of 
the thickets. 

Mr. Motley, who visited the mountain in the dry season, 
and paid much attention to botany, gives the following list 
of genera of Euroj)ean plants found on or near the sum- 
mit : — ^Two species of violets, three of ranunculus, three of 
impatiens, eight or ten of rubus, and species of primula, 
hyjDericum, swertia, convallaria (lily of the valley), vacci- 
nium (cranberry), rhododendron, gnaphalium, polygonum, 
digitalis (foxglove), lonicera (honeysuckle), plantago (rib- 
grass), arteraisia (wormwood), lobelia, oxalis (wood-sorrel), 
quercus (oak), and taxus (yew). A few of the smaller plants 
(Plantago major and lanceolata, Sonchus oleraceus, and Arte- 
misia vulgaris) are identical with European species. 

The fact of a vegetation so closely allied to that of Europe 
occurring on isolated mountain peaks, in an island south of 
the Equator, while ^ all the lowlands for thousands of miles 
around are occupied by a flora of a totally diflerent charac- 
ter, is very extraordinary, and has only recently received an 


intelligible explanation. The Peak of Teneriife, wMch rises 
to a greater height and is much nearer to Europe, contains 
no such Alpine flora, neither do the mountains of Bourbon 
and Mauritius. The case of the volcanic peaks of Java is 
therefore somewhat exceptional, but there are several analo- 
gous, if not exactly parallel cases, that will enable us better 
to understand in what way the phenomena may possibly have 
been brought about. The higher peaks of the Alps, and even 
of the Pyrenees, contain a number of plants absolutely iden- 
tical with those of Lapland, but nowhere found in the inter- 
vening plains. On the summit of the White Mountains, in 
the United States, every plant is identical with species grow- 
ing in Labrador. In these cases all ordinary means of trans- 
port fail. Most of the plants have heavy seeds, which could 
not possibly be carried such immense distances by the wind ; 
and the agency of birds in so effectually stocking these Al- 
pine heights is equally out of the question. The difficulty 
was so great that some naturalists were driven to believe 
that these species were all separately created twice over on 
these distant peaks. The determination of a recent glacial 
epoch, however, soon offered a much more satisfactory solu- 
tion, and one that is now universally accepted by men of 
science. At this period,, when the mountains of Wales were 
full of glaciers, and the mountainous parts of Central Europe, 
and much of America north of the great lakes, were cover- 
ed with snow and ice, and had a climate resembling that of 
Labrador and Greenland at the present day, an Arctic flora 
covered all these regions. As this epoch of cold passed 
away, and the snowy mantle of the country, with the glaciers 
that descended from every mountain summit, receded up 
their slopes and toward the North Pole, the plants receded 
also, always clinging as now to the margins of the perpetual 
snow-line. Thus it is that the same species are now found 
on the summits of the mountains of temperate Europe and 
America, and in the barren north-polar regions. 

But there is another set of facts, which help us on another 
step toward the case of the Javanese mountain flora. On the 
higher slopes of the Himalaya, on the tops of the mountains 
of Central India and of Abyssinia, a number of plants occur 
which, though not identical with those of European mount- 


130 Java. 

ains, belong to the same genera, and are said by botanists 
to represent them; and most of these could not exist in the 
warm intervening plains. Mr. Darwin believes that this 
class of facts can be explained in the same way; for, during 
the greatest severity of the glacial epoch, temperate forms of 
plants will have extended to the confines of the tropics, and 
on its departure will have retreated up these southern mount- 
ains, as well as northward to the plains and hills of Europe. 
But in this case, the time elapsed, and the great change of 
conditions, have allowed many of these plants to become so 
modified that we now consider them to be distinct species. 
A variety of other facts of a similar nature have led him to 
believe that the depression of temperature was at one time 
sufficient to allow a few north-temperate plants to cross the 
Equator (by the most elevated routes) and to reach the Ant- 
arctic regions, where they are now found. The evidence 
on which this belief rests, will be found in the latter part of 
Chapter II. of the " Origin of Species ;" and, accepting it for 
the present as a hypothesis, it enables us to account for the 
presence of a flora of European type on the volcanoes of Java. 
It will, however, naturally be objected that there is a wide 
expanse of sea between Java and the continent, which would 
have effectually prevented the immigration of temperate 
forms of plants during the glacial epoch. This would un- 
doubtedly be a fatal objection, were there not abundant evi- 
dence to show that Java has been formerly connected with 
Asia, and that the union must have occurred at about the 
epoch required. The most striking proof of such a junction 
is that the great Mammalia of Java, the rhinoceros, the tiger, 
and the Banteng, or wild ox, occur also in Siam and Burmah, 
and these would certainly not have been introduced by man. 
The Javanese peacock and several other birds are also com- 
mon to these two countries ; but, in the majority of cases, 
the species are distinct, though closely allied, indicating that 
a considerable time (required for such modification) has 
elapsed since the separation, while it has not been so long as 
to cause an entire change. 'Now this exactly corresponds 
with the time we should require since the temperate forms 
of plants entered Java. These are almost all now distinct 
species ; but the changed conditions under which they are 

Mountain Bikds. 181 

now forced to exist, and the probability of some of them 
having since died out on the continent of India, sufficiently 
accounts for the Javanese species being different. 

In my more special pursuits, I had very little success upon 
the mountain, owing, perhaps, to the excessively unpropitious 
weather and the shortness of my stay. At from 7000 to 
8000 feet elevation, I obtained one of the most lovely of the 
small-fruit pigeons (Ptilonopus roseicollis), whose entire head 
and neck are of an exquisite rosy pink color, contrasting finely 
with its otherwise green plumage ; and on the very summit, 
feeding on the ground among the strawberries that have been 
planted there, I obtained a dull-colored thrush, with the form 
and habits of a starling (Turdus fumidus). Insects were al- 
most entirely absent, owing no doubt to the extreme damp- 
ness, and I did not get a single butterfly the whole trip ; yet I 
feel sure that, during the dry season, a week's residence on 
this mountain would well repay the collector in every depart- 
ment of natural history. 

After my return to Toego I endeavored to find another lo- 
cality to collect in, and removed to a coffee-plantation some 
miles to the north, and tried in succession higher and lower 
stations on the mountain ; but I never succeeded in obtaining 
insects in any abundance, and birds were far less plentiful than 
on the Megamendong Mountain. The weather now became 
more rainy than ever ; and as the wet season seemed to have 
set in in earnest, I returned to Batavia, packed up and sent 
off my collections, and left by steamer on November 1 for 
Banca and Sumatra. 



NOVEMBER, 1861, TO JANUARY, 1862. 

The mail-steamer from Batavia to Singapore took me to 
Muntok.(or, as on English maps, " Minto "), the chief town and 
port of Banca. Here I staid a day or two, till I could obtain 
a boat to take me across the straits and up the river to Palem- 
bang. A few walks into the country showed me that it was 
very hilly, and full of granitic and laterite rocks, with a dry 
and stunted forest vegetation, and I could find very few insects. 
A good-sized open sailing-boat took me across to the mouth 
of the Palembang Kiver, where, at a fishing-village, a rowing- 
boat was hired to take me up to Palembang, a distance of 
nearly a hundred miles by water. Except when the wind was 
strong and favorable we could only proceed with the tide, and 
the banks of the river were generally flooded Nipa-swamps, so 
that the hours we. were obliged to lay at anchor passed very 
heavily. Reaching Palembang on the 8th of November, I was 
lodged by the doctor, to whom I had brought a letter of intro- 
duction, and endeavored to ascertain where I could find a good 
locality for collecting. Every one assured me that I should 
have to go a very long way further to find any dry forest, for 
at 'this season the whole country for many miles inland was 
flooded. I therefore had to stay a week at Palembang before 
I could determine on my future movements. 

The city is a large one, extending for three or four miles 
along a fine curve of the river, which is as wide as the Thames 
at Greenwich. The stream is, however, much narrowed by 
the houses which project into it upon piles, and within these 
again there is a row of houses built upon great bamboo rafts, 
which are moored by rattan cables to the shore or to piles, and 
rise and fall with the tide. ^The whole river-front on both 
sides is chiefly formed of such houses, and they are mostly 
shops open to the water, and only raised a foot above it, so 

Palembang. 138 

that by taking a small boat it is easy to go to market and 
purcliase any thing that is to be had in Palembang. The 
natives are true Malays, never building a house on dry land if 
they can find water to set it in, and never going anywhere on 
foot if they can reach the place in a boat. A considerable 
portion of the population are Chinese and Arabs, who carry 
on all the trade; while the only Europeans are the civil and 
military officials of the Dutch Government. The town is sit- 
uated at the head of the delta of the river, and between it and 
the sea there is very little ground elevated above high-water 
mark ; while for many miles further inland, the banks of the 
main stream and its numerous tributaries are swampy, and 
in the wet season flooded for a considerable distance. Pal- 
embang is built on a patch of elevated ground, a few miles 
in extent, on the north bank of the river. At a spot about 
three miles from the town this rises into a little hill the top 
of w^hich is held sacred by the natives, and is shaded by some 
fine trees, inhabited by a colony of squirrels, which have be- 
come half tame. On holding out a few crumbs of bread or 
any fruit, they come running down the trunk, take the morsel 
out of your fingers, and dart away instantly. Their tails are 
carried erect, and -the hair, which is ringed with gray, yellow, 
and brown, radiates uniformly around them, and looks exceed- 
ingly pretty. They have somewhat of the motions of mice, 
coming on with little starts, and gazing intently with their 
large black eyes, before venturing to advance further. The 
manner in which Malays often obtain the confidence of wild 
animals is a very pleasing trait in their character, and is due 
in some degree to the quiet deliberation of their manners, and 
their love of repose rather than of action. The young are 
obedient to the wishes of their elders, and seem to feel none 
of tliat propensity to mischief which European boys exhibit. 
Hov/ long would tame squirrels continue to inhabit trees in 
the vicinity of an English village, even if close to the church ? 
They would soon be pelted and driven away, or snared and 
confined in a whirling cage. I have never heard of these pret- 
ty animals being tamed in this way in England, but I should 
think it might be easily done in any gentleman's park, and 
they would certainly be as pleasing and attractive as they 
would be uncommon. 


After many inquiries I found that a day's journey by wa- 
ter above Palembang there commenced a military road, which 
extended up to the mountains and even across to Bencoolen, 
and I determined to take this route and travel on till I found 
some tolerable collecting-ground. By this means I should se- 
cure dry land and a good road, and avoid the rivers, which at 
this season are very tedious to ascend, owing to the powerful 
currents, and very unproductive to the collector, owing to 
most of the lands in their vicinity being under water. Leav- 
ing early in the morning, we did not reach Lorok, the village 
where the road begins, till late at night. I staid there a few 
days, but found that almost all the ground in the vicinity not 
under water was cultivated, and that the only forest was in 
swamps which were now inaccessible. The only bird new to 
me which I obtained at Lorok was the fine long-tailed parro- 
quet (Pal^eornis longicauda). The people here assured me 
that the country was just the same as this for a very long way 
— more than a week's journey, and they seemed hardly to 
have any conception of an elevated forest-clad country, so that 
I began to think it would be useless going on, as the time at 
my disposal was too short to make it worth my while to spend 
much more of it in moving about. At length, however, I 
found a man who knew the country, and was more intelligent ; 
and he at once told me that if I wanted forest I must go to 
the district of Rembang, which I found on inquiry was about 
twenty-five or thirty miles off. 

The road is divided into regular stages, of ten or twelve 
miles each, and, without sending on in advance to have cool- 
ies ready, only this distance can be travelled in a day. At 
each station there are houses for the accommodation of pas- 
sengers, with cooking-house and stables, and six or eight men 
always on guard. There is an established system for coolies 
at fixed rates, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages all 
taking their turn to be subject to coolie service, as well as that 
of guards at the station for ^ve days at a time. This arrange- 
ment makes travelling very easy, and was a great convenience 
for me. I had a pleasant walk of ten or twelve miles in the 
morning, and the rest of the day could stroll about and explore 
the village and neighborhood, having a house ready to occupy 
without any formalities whatever. In three days I reached 

LoBO Eaman. 135 

J^oera-dua, the first village in Eembang, and finding the coun- 
try dry and undulating, with a good sprinkling of forest, I 
determined to remain a short time and try the neighborhood. 
Just opposite the station was a small but deep river, and a 
good bathing-place, and beyond the village was a fine patch 
of forest, through which the road passed, overshadowed by 
magnificent trees, which partly tempted me to stay ; but after 
a fortnight I could find no good place for insects, and very 
few birds different from the common species of Malacca. I 
therefore moved on another stage to Lobo Raman, where the 
guard-house is situated quite by itself in the forest, nearly a 
mile from each of three villages. This was very agreeable to 
me, as I could move about without having every motion 
watched by crowds of men, women, and children, and I had 
also a much greater variety of walks to each of the villages 
and the plantations around them. 

The villages of the Sumatran Malays are somewhat pecul- 
iar and very picturesque. A space of some acres is surround- 
ed with a high fence, and over this area the houses are thick- 
ly strewn without the least attempt at regularity. Tall cocoa- 
nut trees grow abundantly between them, and the ground is 
bare and smooth with the trampling of many feet. The houses 
are raised about six feet on posts, the best being entirely built 
of planks, others of bamboo. The former are always more or 
less ornamented with carving, and have high-pitched roofs 
and overhanging eaves. The gable-ends and all the chief 
posts and beams are sometimes covered with exceedingly 
tasteful carved work, and this is still more the case in the dis- 
trict of Menangkabo, further west. The floor is made of split 
bamboo, and is rather shaky, and there is no sign of any thing 
we should call furniture. There are no benches or chairs or 
stools, but merely the level floor covered with mats, on which 
the inmates sit or lie. The aspect of the village itself is very 
neat, the ground being often swept before the chief houses ; 
but very bad odors abound, owing to there being under every 
house a stinking mud-hole, formed by all waste liquids and 
refuse matter, poured down through the floor above. In most 
other things Malays are tolerably clean — in some scrupulous- 
ly so ; and this peculiar and nasty custom, which is almost 
universal, arises, I have little doubt, from their having been 



originally a maritime and water - loving people, who built 
their houses on posts in the water, and only migrated gradu- 
ally inland, first up the rivers and streams, and then into the 
dry interior. Habits which were at once so convenient and 
so cleanly, and which had been so long practiced as to become 
a portion of the domestic life of the nation, were of course 
continued when the first settlers built their houses inland; 
and without a regular system of drainage, the arrangement 

chief's house and eice-shed in a sumatran village. 

of the villages is such that any other system would be very 

In all these Sumatran villages I found considerable difficul- 
ty in getting any thing to eat. It was not the season for veg- 
etables, and when, after much trouble, I managed to procure 
some yams of a curious yariety, I found them hard and scarce- 
ly eatable. Fowls were very scarce, and fruit was reduced 
to one of the poorest kinds of banana. The natives (during 
the wet season at least) live exclusively on rice, as the poorer 
Irish do on potatoes. A pot of rice cooked very dry and 
eaten with salt and red peppers, twice a day, forms their en- 
tire food during a large part of the year. This is no sign of 
poverty, but is simply custom ; for their wives and children 
are loaded with silver armlets from wrist to elbow, and carry 

The Interiok. 187 

dozens of silver coins strung rouijd their necks or suspended 
from their ears. 

As I had moved away from Palembang, I had found the 
Malay spoken by the common people less and less pure, till at 
length it became quite unintelligible, although the continual 
recurrence of many well-known words assured me it was a 
form of Malay, and enabled me to guess at the main subject 
of conversation. This district had a very bad reputation a 
few years ago, and travellers were frequently robbed and 
murdered. Fights between village and village were also of 
frequent occurrence, and many lives were lost, owing to dis- 
putes about boundaries or intrigues with women. Now, how- 
ever, since the country has been divided into districts under 
" controUeurs," who visit every village in turn to hear com- 
plaints and settle disputes, such things are no more heard of. 
This is one of the numerous examples I have met with of the 
good effects of the Dutch Government. It exercises a strict 
surveillance over its most distant possessions, establishes a 
form of government well adapted to the character of the peo- 
ple, reforms abuses, punishes crimes, and makes itself every- 
where respected by the native population. 

Lobo Raman is a central point of the east end of Sumatra, 
being about a hundred and twenty miles from the sea to the 
east, north, and. west. The surface is undulating, with no 
mountains or even hills, and there is no rock, the soil being 
generally a red friable clay. Numbers of small streams and 
rivers intersect the country, and it is pretty equally divided 
between open clearings and patches of forest, both virgin and 
second growth, with abundance of fruit-trees ; and there is 
no lack of paths to get about in any direction. Altogether it 
is the very country that would promise most for a naturalist, 
and I feel sure that at a more favorable time of year it would 
prove exceedingly rich; but it was now the rainy season, 
when, in the very best of localities, insects are always scarce, 
and there being no fruit on the trees, there was also a scarci- 
ty of birds. During a month's collecting, I added only three 
or four new species to my list of birds, although I obtained 
very fine specimens of many which were rare and interesting. 
In butterflies I was rather more successful, obtaining several 
fine species quite new to me, and a considerable number of 


very rare and beautiful insects. I will give here some account 
of two species of butterflies, which, though very common in 
collections, present us with peculiarities of the highest inter- 

The first is the handsome Papiho memnon, a splendid but- 
terfly of a deep-black color, dotted over with lines and groups 
of scales of a clear ashy blue. Its wings are five inches in 


expanse, and the hind wings are rounded, with scolloped 
edges. This applies to the males ; but the females are very 
different, and vary so much that they were once supposed to 
form several distinct species. They may be divided into two 
groups — those which resemble the male in shape, and those 
which differ entirely from him in the outline of the wings. 
The first vary much in color, being often nearly white, with 
dusky yellow and red markings, but such differences often oc- 

Curious Butterflies. 139 

cur in butterflies. The second group are much more extraor- 
dinary, and would never be supposed to be the same insect, 
since the hind wings are lengthened out into large spoon- 
shaped tails, no rudiment of which is ever to be perceived in 
the males or in the ordinary form of females. These tailed 
females are never of the dark and blue-glossed tints which 
prevail in the male, and often occur in the females of the same 
form, but are invariably ornamented with stripes and patches of 
white or J)uff, occupying the larger part of the surface of the 
hind wings. This peculiarity of coloring led me to discover 
that this extraordinary female closely resembles (when flying) 


another butterfly of the same genus, but of a diferent group 
(Papilio coon) ; and that we have here a case of mimicry sim- 
ilar to those so well illustrated and explained by Mr. Bates.' 
That the resemblance is not accidental is sufliciently proved 
by the fact that in the ISTorth of India, where Papilio coon is 
replaced by an allied form (Papilio Doubledayi) having red 
spots in place of yellow, a closely-allied species or variety of 
Papilio memnon (P. androgens), has the tailed female also red- 
spotted. The use and reason of this resemblance appears to 
be, that the butterflies imitated belong to a section of the 
genus Papilio which from some cause or other are not attacked 

^ Trans. Linn. Soc. vol. xviii. p. 495; "Naturalist on the Amazons," vol. i. 
p. 290. 

14:0 Sumatra. 

by birds, and by so closely resembling these in form and color 
the female of Memnon and its ally also escape persecution. 
Two other species of this same section (Papilio antiphus and 
Papilio polyphontes) are so closely imitated by two female 
forms of Papilio theseus (which comes in the same section 
with Memnon) that they completely deceived the Dutch ento- 
mologist De Haan, and he accordingly classed them as the 
same species. 

But the most curious fact connected with these distinct 
forms is that they are both the offspring of either form. A 
single brood of larvge were bred in Java by a Dutch entomol- 
ogist, and produced males as well as tailed and tailless fe- 
males, and there is every reason to believe that this is always 
the case, and that forms intermediate in character never oc- 
cur. To illustrate these phenomena, let us suppose a roaming 
Englishman in some remote island to have two wives — one a 
black-haired red-skinned Indian, the other a woolly-headed 
sooty-skinned negress ; and that instead of the children being 
mulattoes of brown or dusky tints, mingling the characteris- 
tics of each parent in varying degrees, all the boys should be 
as fair-skinned and blue-eyed as their father, while the girls 
should altogether resemble their mothers. This would be 
thought strange enough, but the case of these butterflies is yet 
more extraordinary, for each mother is capable not only of 
producing male offspring like the father, and female like her- 
self, but also other females like her fellow-wife, and altogether 
differing from herself ! 

The other species to which I have to direct attention is the 
Kallima paralekta, a butterfly of the same family group as our 
Purple Emperor, and of about the same size or larger. Its up- 
per surface is of a rich purple, variously tinged with ash color, 
and across the fore wings there is a broad bar of deep orange, 
so that when on the wing it is very conspicuous. This species 
was not uncommon in dry woods and thickets, and I often en- 
deavored to capture it without success, for after flying a short 
distance it would enter a bush among dry or dead leaves, and 
however carefully I crept up to the spot I could never discov- 
er it till it would suddenly start out again and then disappear 
in a similar place. At length I was fortunate enough to see 
the exact spot where the butterfly settled, and though I lost 

Leaf-like Butterfly. 141 

sight of it for some time, I at length discovered that it was 
close before my eyes, but that in its position of repose it so 
closely resembled a dead leaf attached to a twig as almost 


certainly to deceive the eye even when gazing full upon it. 
I captured several specimens on the wing, and was able fully 
to understand the way in which this wonderful resemblance 
is produced. 


The end of the upper wings terminates in a fine point, just 
as the leaves of many tropical shrubs and trees are pointed, 
while the lower wings are somewhat more obtuse, and are 
lengthened out into a short thick tail. Between these two 
points there runs a dark curved line exactly representing the 
midrib of a leaf, and from this radiate on each side a few 
oblique marks which well imitate the lateral veins. These 
marks are more clearly seen on the outer portion of the base 
of the wings, and on the inner side toward the middle and 
apex, and they are produced by strias and markings which are 
very common in allied species, but which are here modified 
and strengthened so as to imitate more exactly the venation 
of a leaf. The tint of the under surface varies much, but it is 
always some ashy brown or reddish color, which matches 
with those of dead leaves. The habit of the species is* always 
to rest on a twig and among dead or dry leaves, and in this 
position, with the wings closely pressed together, their outline 
is exactly that of a moderately-sized leaf slightly curved or 
shrivelled. The tail of the hind wings forms a perfect stalk, 
and touches the stick while the insect is supported by the mid- 
dle pair of legs, which are not noticed among the twigs and 
fibres that surround it. The head and antennae are drawn 
back between the wings so as to be quite concealed, and there 
is a little notch hollowed out at the very base of the wings, 
which allows the head to be retracted sufficiently. All these 
varied details combine to produce a disguise that is so com- 
plete and marvellous as to astonish every one who observes 
it ; and the habits of the insects are such as to utilize all these 
peculiarities, and render them available in such a manner as to 
remove all doubt of the purpose of this singular case of mim- 
icry, which is undoubtedly a protection to the insect. Its 
strong and swift flight is sufficient to save it from its enemies 
when on the wing, but if it were equally conspicuous when at 
rest it could not long escape extinction, owing to the attacks 
of the insectivorous birds and reptiles that abound in the 
tropical forests. A very closely allied species (Kallima inachis) 
inhabits India, where it is very common, and specimens are 
sent in every collection from the Himalayas. On examining 
a number of these, it will be seen that no two are alike, but all 
the variations correspond to those of dead leaves. Every tint 

Protective Eesemblances. 143 

of yellow, ash, brown, and red is found here, and in many speci- 
mens there occur patches and spots formed of small black dots, 
so closely resembling the way in which minute fungi grow on 
leaves that it is almost impossible at first not to believe that 
fungi have grown on the butterflies themselves ! 

If such an extraordinary adaptation as this stood alone, it 
would be very difficult to offer any explanation of it ; but al- 
though it is perhaps the most perfect case of protective imi- 
tation known, there are hundreds of similar resemblances in 
nature, and from these it is possible to deduce a general theory 
of the manner in which they have been slowly brought about. 
The principle of variation and that of "natural selection," 
or survival of the fittest, as elaborated by Mr. Darwin in his 
celebrated " Origin of Species," offers the foundation for such 
a theory ; and I have myself endeavored to apply it to all the 
chief cases of imitation in an article published in the West- 
minster Heview for 1867, entitled, "Mimicry, and other Pro- 
tective Resemblances among Animals," to which any reader is 
referred who wisliis to know more about this subject. 

In Sumatra monkeys are very abundant, and at Lobo Ra- 
man they used to frequent the trees which overhang the 
guard-house, and give me a fine opportunity of observing their 
gambols. Two species of Semnopithecus were most plentiful 
— ^monkeys of a slender form, with very long tails. ISTot being 
much shot at, they are rather bold, and remain quite uncon- 
cerned when natives alone are present ; but when I came out 
to look at them, they would stare for a minute or two and then 
make off. They take tremendous leaps from the branches of 
one tree to those of another a little lower, and it is very amus- 
ing when one strong leader takes a bold jump, to see the others 
following with more or less trepidation ; and it often happens 
that one or two of the last seem quite unable to make up their 
minds to leap till the rest are disappearing, when, as if in 
desperation at being left alone, they throw themselves frantic- 
ally into the air, and often go crashing through the slender 
branches and fall to the ground. 

A very curious ape, the siamang, was also rather abundant, 
but it is much less bold than the monkeys, keeping to the vir- 
gin forests and avoiding villages. This species is allied to the 
little long-armed apes of the genus Hylobates, but is consider- 

144 Sumatra. 

ably larger, and differs from them by having the two first fin- 
gers of the feet united together, nearly to the end, whence its 
Latin name, Siamanga syndactyla. It moves much more slow- 
ly than the active Hylobates, keeping lower down in trees, and 
not indulging in such tremendous leaps ; but it is still very 
active, and by means of its immense long arms, ^ye feet six 
inches across in an adult about three feet high, can swing it- 
self along among the trees at a great rate. I purchased a 
small one, which had been caught by the natives and tied up 
so tightly as to hurt it. It was rather savage at first, and 
tried to bite; but when we had released it and given it two 
poles under the veranda to hang upon, securing it by a short 
cord, running along the pole with a ring, so that it could move 
easily, it became more contented, and would swing itself about 
with great rapidity. • It ate almost any kind of fruit and rice, 
and I was in hopes to have brought it to England, but it died 
just before I started. It took a dislike to me at first, which 
i tried to get over by feeding it constantly myself. One day, 
however, it bit me so sharply while giving it food that I lost 
patience and gave it rather a severe beating, which I regretted 
afterward, as from that time it disliked me more than ever. 
It would allow my Malay boys to play with it, and for hours 
together would swing by its arms from pole to pole and on 
to the rafters of the veranda with so much ease and rapidity 
that it was a constant source of amusement to us. Wl^en I 
returned to Singapore it attracted great attention, as no one 
had seen a siamang alive before, although it is not uncommon 
in some parts of the Malay Peninsula. 

As the orang-utan is known to inhabit Sumatra, and was 
in fact first discovered there, I made many inquiries about it ; 
but none of the natives had ever heard of such an animal, nor 
could I find any of the Dutch ofiicials who knew any thing 
about it. We may conclude, therefore, that it does not inhab- 
it the great forest-plains in the east of Sumatra where one 
would naturally expect to find it, but is probably confined to 
a limited region in the north-west — a part of the island entire- 
ly in the hands of native rulers. The other great Mammalia 
of Sumatra, the elephant and the rhinoceros, are more widely 
distributed ; but the former is much more scarce than it was 
a few years ago, and seems to retire rapidly before the spread 

The FLYiNa Lemur. 145 

of cultivation. About Lobo Raman tusks and bones are oc- 
casionally found in the forest, but tbe living animal is now 
never seen. The rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sumatranus) still 
abounds, and I continually saw its tracks and its dung, and 
once disturbed one feeding, which went crashing away through 
the jungle, only permitting me a momentary glimpse of it 
through the dense underwood. I obtained a tolerably perfect 
cranium and a number of teeth, which were picked up by the 

Another curious animal, which I had met with in Singapore 
and in Borneo, but which was more abundant here, is the Ga- 
leopithecus, or flying lemur. This creature has a broad mem- 
brane extending ali round its body to the extremities of the 
toes, and to the point of the rather long tail. This enables it 
to pass obliquely through the air from one tree to another. 
It is sluggish in its motions, at least by day, going up a tree 
by short runs of a few feet, and then stopping a moment as if 
the action was difficult. It rests during the day cHnging to 
the trunks of trees, where its olive or brown fur,, mottled with 
irregular whitish spots and blotches, resembles closely the col- 
or of mottled bark, and no doubt helps to protect it. Once, 
in a bright twilight, I saw one of these animals run up a trunk 
in a rather open place, and then glide obliquely through the 
air to another tree, on which it alighted near its base, and im- 
mediately began to ascend. I paced the distance from the 
one tree to the other, and found it to be seventy yards ; and 
the amount of descent I estimated at not more than thirty-five 
or forty feet, or less than one in ^ye. This I think proves 
that the animal must have some power of guiding itself through 
the air, otherwise in so long a distance it would have little 
chance of alighting exactly upon the trunk. Like the Cuscus 
of the Moluccas, the Galeopithecus feeds chiefly on leaves, and 
possesses a very voluminous stomach and long convoluted in- 
testines. The brain is very small, and the animal possesses 
such remarkable tenacity of life that it is exceedingly difficult 
to kill it by ordinary means. The tail is prehensile, and is 
probably made use of as an additional support while feeding. 
It is said to have only a single young one at a time, and my 
own observation confirms this statement, for I once shot a fe- 
male, with a very small blind and naked little creature cling- 




ing closely to its breast, which was quite bare and much wrin- 
kled, reminding me of the young of Marsupials, to which it 
seemed to form a transition. On the back, and extending 


over the limbs and membrane, the fur of these animals is 
short, but exquisitely soft, resembling in its texture that of 
the chinchilla. 

I returned to Palembang by water, and while staying a day 


at a village while a boat was being made water-tight, I had 
the good-fortune to obtain a male, female, and young bird of 
one of the large hornbills. I had sent my hunters to shoot, 
and while I was at breakfast they returned, bringing me a fine 
large male, of the Buceros bicornis, which one of them assured 
me he had shot while feeding the female, which was shut up 
in a hole in a tree. I had often read of this curious habit, and 
immediately returned to the place, accompanied by several of 
the natives. After crossing a stream and a bog?, we found a 
large tree leaning over some water, and on its lower side, at a 
height of about twenty feet, appeared a small hole, and what 
looked like a quantity of mud, which I was assured had been 
used in stopping up the large hole. After a while we heard the 
harsh cry of a bird inside, and could see the white extremity of 
its beak put out. I offered a rupee to any one who would go 
up and get out the bird, with the egg or young one, but they 
all declared it was too difficult, and they were afraid to try. I 
therefore very reluctantly came away. In about an hour aft- 
erward, much to my surprise^ a tremendous loud hoarse scream- 
ing was heard, and the bird was brought me, together with a 
young one which had been found in the hole. This was a 
most curious object, as large as a pigeon, but without a par- 
ticle of plumage on any part of it. It was exceedingly plump 
and soft, and with a semi-transparent skin, so that it looked 
more like a bag of jelly, with head and feet stuck on, than like 
a real bird. 

The extraordinary habit of the male in plastering up the 
female with her egg and feeding her during the whole time 
of incubation, and till the young one is fledged, is common to 
several of the large hornbills, and is one of those strange facts 
in natural history which are " stranger than fiction." 

148 Natural History of the 



In the first chapter of this work I have stated generally 
the reasons which lead us to conclude that the large islands 
in the western portion of the Archipelago — Java, Sumatra, 
and Borneo — as well as the Malay Peninsula and the Philip- 
pine Islands, have been recently separated from the conti- 
nent of Asia. I now propose to give a sketch of the natural 
history of these, which I term the Indo-Malay Islands, and 
to show how far it supports this view, and how much infor- 
mation it is able to give us of the antiquity and origin of the 
separate islands. 

The flora of the Archipelago is at present so imperfectly 
known, and I have myself paid so little attention to it, that 
I can not draw from it many facts of importance. The Ma- 
layan type of vegetation is however a very important one ; 
and Dr. Hooker informs us, in his " Flora Indica," that it 
spreads over all the moister and more equable parts of India, 
and that many plants* found in Ceylon, the Himalayas, the 
Kilghiri, and Khasia mountains are identical with those of 
Java and the Malay Peninsula. Among the more character- 
istic forms of this flora are the rattans — climbing palms of 
the genus Calamus, and a great variety of tall, as well as 
stemless palms. Orchids, Aracese, Zinziberacese, and ferns 
are especially abundant, and the genus Grammatophyllum — 
a gigantic epiphytal orchid, whose clusters of leaves and 
flower-stems are ten or twelve feet long — is peculiar to it. 
Here, too, is the domain of the wonderful pitcher-plants 
(N'epenthacese), which are only represented elsewhere by 
solitary species in Ceylon, Madagascar, the Seychelles, Cel- 
ebes, and the Moluccas. Those celebrated fruits, the man- 
gosteen and the durion, are natives of this region, and will 
hardly grow out of the Archipelago. The mountain plants 
of Java have already been alluded to as showing a former 

Iistdo-Malay Islands. 


connection with the continent of Asia; and a still more ex- 
traordinary and more ancient connection with Australia has 
been indicated by Mr. Low's collections from the summit of 
Kini-balou, the loftiest mountain in Borneo. 

Plants have much greater facilities for passing across 
arms of the sea than animals. The lighter seeds are easily 
carried by the winds, and many of them are specially adapted 
to be so carried. Others can float a long time unhurt in the 


water, and are drifted by winds and currents to distant 
shores. Pigeons, and other fruit-eating birds, are also the 
means of distributing plants, since the seeds readily germi- 
nate after passing through their bodies. It thus happens 
that plants which grow on shores and lowlands have a wide 
distribution, and it requires an extensive knowledge of the 
species of each island to determine the relations of their 
floras with any approach to accuracy. At present we have 
no such complete knowledge of the botany of the several isl- 

150 Natural History of the 

ands of the ArcMpelago ; and it is only hj such striking 
phenomena as the occurrence of northern and even European 
genera on the summits of the Javanese mountains that we 
can prove the former connection of that island with the 
Asiatic continent. With land animals, however, the case is 
very different. Their means of passing a wide expanse of 
sea are far more restricted. Their distribution has been 
more accurately studied, and we possess a much more com- 
plete knowledge of such groups as mammals and birds in 
most of the islands than we do of the plants. It is these two 
classes which will supply us with most of our facts as to the 
geographical distribution of organized beings in this region. 

The number of Mammalia known to inhabit the Indo-Ma- 
lay region is very considerable, exceeding 170 species. With 
the exception of the bats, none of these have any regular 
means of passing arms of the sea many miles in extent, and 
a consideration of their distribution 'must therefore greatly 
assist us in determining whether these islands have ever 
been connected with each other or with the continent since 
the epoch of existing species. 

The Quadrurn^na, or monkey tribe, form one of the most 
characteristic features of this region. Twenty-four distinct 
species are known to inhabit it, and these are distributed 
with tolerable uniformity over the islands, nine being found 
in Java, ten in the Malay Peninsula, eleven in Sumatra, and 
thirteen in Borneo. The great man-like orang-utans are 
found only in Sumatra and Borneo; the curious siamang 
(next to them in size) in Sumatra and Malacca ; the long- 
nosed monkey only in Borneo ; while every island has repre- 
sentatives of the Gibbons, or long-armed apes, and of monk- 
eys. The lemur-like animals, Kycticebus, Tarsius, and Ga- 
leopithecus, are found in all the islands. 

Seven species found on the Malay Peninsula extend also 
into Sumatra, four into Borneo, and three into Java; while 
two. range into Siam and Burmah, and one into :N"orth India, 
With the exception of the orang-utan, the siamang, the Tar- 
sius spectrum, and the Galeopithecus, all the Malayan genera 
of Quadrumana are represented in India by closely allied 
species, although, owing to the limited range of most of these 
animals, so few are absolutely identical. 

Iistdo-MaIjAY Islands. 151 

Of Carnivora, thirty-three species are known from the 
Indo-Malay region, of which about eight are found also in 
Burmah and India. Among these are the tiger, leopard, a tiger- 
cat, civet, and otter ; while out of the twenty genera of Malay- 
an Carnivora, thirteen are represented in India by more or less 
closely allied species. As an example, the Malayan bear is rep- 
resented in ISTorth India by the Thibetan bear, both of which 
animals may be seen alive at the Zoological Society's Gardens. 

The hoofed animals are twenty-two in number, of which 
about seven extend into Burmah and India. All the deer 
are of peculiar species except two, which range from Malacca 
into India. Of the cattle, one Indian species reaches Malacca, 
while the Bos sondiacus of Java and Borneo is also found in 
Siam and Burmah. A goat-like animal is found in Suma- 
tra which has its representative in India ; while the two horn- 
ed rhinoceros of Sumatra and the single-horned species of 
Java, long supposed to be peculiar to these islands, are now 
both ascertained to exist in Burmah, Pegu, and Moulmein. 
The elephant of Sumatra, Borneo, and Malacca is now consid- 
ered to be identical with that of Ceylon and India. 

In all other groups of Mammalia the same general phenom- 
ena recur. A few species are identical with those of India. 
A much larger number are closely allied or representative 
forms, while there are always a small number of peculiar gen- 
era, consisting of animals unlike those found in any other 
part of the world. There are about fifty bats, of which less 
than one-fourth are Indian species ; thirty-four Rodents (squir- 
rels, rats, etc.), of which six or eight only are Indian ; and ten 
Insectivora, with one exception peculiar to the Malay region. 
The squirrels are very abimdant and characteristic, only two 
species out of twenty-five extending into Siam and Burmah. 
The Tupaias are curious insect-eaters, which closely resemble 
squirrels, and are almost confined to the Malay Islands, as are 
the small feather-tailed Ptilocerus lowii of Borneo, and the 
curious long-snouted and naked-tailed Gymnurus raffiesii. 

As the Malay Peninsula is a part of the continent of Asia, 
the question of the former union of the islands to the main- 
land will be best elucidated by studying the species which are 
found in the former district, and also in some of the islands. 
ISTow, if we entirely leave out of consideration the bats, which 

162 Natural History of the 

have the power of flight, there are still forty-eight species of 
mammals common to the Malay Peninsula and the three large 
islands. Among these are seven Quadrumana (apes, monk- 
eys, and lemurs), animals who pass their whole existence in 
forests, who never swim, and who would be quite unable to 
traverse a single mile of sea; nineteen Carnivora, some of 
which no doubt might cross by swimming, but we can not 
suppose so large a number to have passed in this way across 
a strait which, except at one point, is from thirty to fifty 
miles wide ; and five hoofed animals, including the tapir, two 
species of rhinoceros, and an elephant. Besides these there 
are thirteen Rodents and four Insectivora, including a shrew- 
mouse and six squirrels, whose unaided passage over twenty 
miles of sea is even more inconceivable than that of the 
.larger animals. 

But when we come to the cases of the same species inhab- 
iting two of the more widely separated islands, the difficulty 
is much increased. Borneo is distant nearly 150 miles from 
Biliton, which is about fifty miles from Banca, and this fifteen 
from Sumatra, yet there are no less than thirty-six species of 
mammals common to Borneo and Sumatra. Java again is 
more than 250 miles from Borneo, yet these two islands have 
twenty-two species in common, including monkeys, lemurs, 
wild oxen, squirrels, and shrews. These facts seem to render 
it absolutely certain that there has been at some former peri- 
od a connection between all these islands and the main-land, 
and the fact that most of the animals common to two or more 
of them show little or no variation, but are often absolutely 
identical, indicates that the separation must have been recent 
in a geological sense; that is, not earlier than the N^ewer 
Pliocene epoch, at which time land animals began to assimi- 
late closely with those now existing. 

Even the bats furnish an additional argument, if one were 
needed, to show that the islands could not have been peopled 
from each other and from the continent without some former 
connection. For if such had been the mode of stocking them 
with animals, it is quite certain that creatures which can fly 
long distances would be the first to spread from island to isl- 
and, and thus produce an almost perfect uniformity of species 
over the whole region. But no such uniformity exists, and 

Indo-Malay Islands. 158 

tlie bats of each island are almost, if not quite, as distinct as 
the other mammals. For example, sixteen species are known 
in Borneo, and of these ten are found in Java and five in Su- 
matra, a proportion about the same as that of the Rodents, 
which have no direct means of migration. We learn from 
this fact, that the seas which separate the islands from each 
other are wide enough to prevent the passage even of flying 
animals, and that we must look to the same causes as having 
led to the present distribution of both groups. The only suf- 
ficient cause we can imagine is the former connection of all 
the islands with the continent, and such a change is in perfect 
harmony with what we know of the earth's past history, and 
is rendered probable by the remarkable fact that a rise of 
only three hundred feet would convert the wide seas that 
separate them into an immense winding valley or plain about 
three hundred miles wide and twelve hundred long. 

It may, perhaps, be thought that birds which possess the 
power of flight in so pre-eminent a degree would not be lim- 
ited in their range by arms of the sea, and would thus afford 
few indications of the former union or separation of the isl- 
ands they inhabit. This however is not the case. A very 
large number of birds appear to be as strictly limited by 
watery barriers as are quadrupeds ; and as they have been 
so much more attentively collected, we have more complete 
materials to work upon, and are enabled to deduce from 
them still more definite and satisfactory results. Some 
groups, however, such as the aquatic birds, the waders, and 
the birds of prey, are great wanderers ; other groups are lit- 
tle known except to ornithologists. I shall therefore refer 
chiefly to a few of the best known and most remarkable fam- 
ilies of birds, as a sample of the conclusions furnished by the 
entire class. 

The birds of the Indo-Malay region have a close resem- 
blance to those of India ; for though a very large proportion of 
the species are quite distinct, there are only about fifteen pe- 
culiar genera, and not a single family group confined to the 
former district.. If, however, we compare the islands with 
the Burmese, Siamese, and Malayan countries, we shall find 
still less difference, and shall be convinced that all are closely 
united by the bond of a former union. In such well-known 

154 Natukal Histoby of the 

families as the woodpeckers, parrots, trogons, barbets, king- 
fishers, pigeons, and pheasants, we find some identical species 
spreading over all India, and as far as Java and Borneo, 
while a very large proportion are common to Sumatra and 
the Malay Peninsula. 

The force of these facts can only be appreciated when we 
come to treat of the islands of the Austro-Malay region, and 
show how similar barriers have entirely prevented the pas- 
sage of birds from one island to another, so that out of at 
least three hundred and fifty land birds inhabiting Java and 
Borneo, not more than ten have passed eastward into Celebes. 
Yet the Straits of Macassar are not nearly so wide as the Java 
sea, and at least a hundred species are common to Borneo 
and Java. 

I will now give two examples to show how a knowledge 
of the distribution of animals may reveal unsuspected facts 
in the past history of the earth. At the eastern extremity 
of Sumatra, and separated from it by a strait about fifteen 
miles wide, is the small rocky island of Banca, celebrated for 
its tin-mines. One of the Dutch residents there sent some 
collections of birds and animals to Ley den, and among them 
were found several species distinct from those of the adjacent 
coast of Sumatra. One of these was a squirrel (Sciurus 
bangkanus), closely allied to three other species inhabiting 
respectively the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo, but 
quite as distinct from them all as they are from each other. 
There were also two new ground-thrushes of the genus Pitta, 
closely allied to, but quite distinct from, two other species in- 
habiting both Sumatra and Borneo, and which did not per- 
ceptibly differ in these large and widely-separate islands. 
This is just as if the Isle of Man possessed a peculiar species 
of thrush and blackbird distinct from the birds which are 
common to England and Ireland. 

These curious facts would indicate that Banca may have 
existed as a distinct island even longer than Sumatra and 
\ Borneo, and there are some geological and geographical facts 
which render this not so improbable as it would at first seem 
to be. Although on the map Banca appears so close to 
Sumatra, this does not arise from its having been recently 
separated from it ; for the adjacent district of Palembang is 

Indo-Malay Islands. 155 

new land, being a great alluvial swamp formed by torrents 
from the mountains a hundred miles distant. Banca, on the 
other hand, agrees with Malacca, Singapore, and the inter- 
vening island of Lingen, in being formed of granite and lat- 
erite ; and these have all most likely once formed an exten- 
sion of the Malay Peninsula. As the rivers of Borneo and 
Sumatra have been for ages filling up the intervening sea, we 
may be sure that its depth has recently been greater, and it 
is very probable that those large islands were never directly 
connected with each other except through the Malay Penin- 
sula. At that period the same species of squirrel and Pitta 
may have inhabited all these countries ; but when the subter- 
ranean disturbances occurred which led to the elevation of 
the volcanoes of Sumatra, the small island of Banca may 
have been separated first, and its productions being thus iso- 
lated, might be gradually modified before the separation of 
the larger islands had been completed. As the southern 
part of Sumatra extended eastward and formed the narrow 
straits of Banca, many birds and insects and some Mammalia 
would cross from one to the other, and thus produce a general 
similarity of productions, while a few of the older inhabit- 
ants remained, to reveal by their distinct forms their differ- 
ent origin. Unless we suppose some such changes in physical 
geography to have occurred, the presence of peculiar species 
of birds and mammals in such an island as Banca is a hope- 
less puzzle ; and I think I have shown that the changes re- 
quired are by no means so improbable as a mere glance at 
the map would lead us to suppose. 

For our next example, let us take the great islands of 
Sumatra and Java. These approach so closely together, 
and the chain of volcanoes that runs through them gives 
such an air of unity to the two, that the idea of their having 
been recently dissevered is immediately suggested. The na- 
tives of Java, however, go further than this ; for they actu- 
ally have a tradition of the catastrophe which broke them 
asunder, and ^x its date at not much more than a thousand 
years ago. It becomes interesting, therefore, to see what sup- 
port is given to this view by the comparison of their animal 

The Mammalia have not been collected with sufficient 

156 Natueal Histoey of the 

completeness in both islands to make a general comparison 
of much value, and so many species have been obtained only 
as live specimens in captivity, that their locality has often 
been erroneously given — the island in which they were ob- 
tained being substituted for that from which they originally 
came. Taking into consideration only those whose distribu- 
tion is more accurately known, we learn that Sumatra is, in a 
zoological sense, more nearly related to Borneo than it is to 
Java. The great man-like apes, the elephant, the tapir, and 
the Malay bear, are all common to the two former countries, 
while they are absent from the latter. Of the three long- 
tailed monkeys (Semnopithecus) inhabiting Sumatra, one ex- 
tends into Borneo, but the two species of Java are both pecul- 
iar to it. So also the great Malay deer (Rusa equina) and - 
the small Tragulus kanchil are common to Sumatra and 
Borneo, but do not extend into Java, where they are replaced 
by Tragulus javanicus. The tiger, it is true, is found in Su- 
matra and Java, but not in Borneo. But as this animal is 
known to swim well, it may have found its way across the 
Straits of Sunda, or it may have inhabited Java before it was 
separated from the naain-land, and from some unknown cause 
have ceased to exist in Borneo. 

In ornithology there is a little uncertainty, owing to the 
birds of Java and Sumatra being much better known than 
those of Borneo ; but the ancient separation of Java as an 
island, is well exhibited by the large number of its species 
which are not found in any of the other islands. It possess- 
es no less than seven pigeons peculiar to itself, while Sumatra 
has only one. Of its two parrots one extends into Borneo, 
but neither into Sumatra. Of the fifteen species of wood- 
peckers inhabiting Sumatra only four reach Java, while eight 
of them are found in Borneo and twelve in the Malay Pen- 
insula. The two trogons found in Java are peculiar to it, 
while of those inhabiting Sumatra at least two extend to 
Malacca and one to Borneo. There are a very large number 
of birds, such as the great Argus pheasant, the fire-backed 
and ocellated pheasants, the crested partridge (Rollulus cor- 
onatus), the small Malacca parrot (Psittinus incertus), the 
great helmeted hornbill (Buceroturus galeatus), the pheasant 
ground-cuckoo (Carpococcyx radiatus), the rose-crested bee- 

Indo-Malay Islands. 157 

eater (ISTyctiornis amicta), the great gaper (Cory don suma- 
tranus), and the green-crested gaper (Calyptomena viridis), 
and many others, which are common to Malacca, Sumatra, 
and Borneo, but are entirely absent from Java. On the oth- 
er hand we have the peacock, the green jungle-cock, two blue 
ground-thrushes (Arrenga cyanea and Myophonus flaviros- 
tris), the fine pink-headed dove (Ptilonopus porphyreus), 
three broad-tailed ground-pigeons (Macropygia), and many 
other interesting birds, which are found nowhere in the Archi- 
pelago out of Java. 

Insects furnish us Avith similar facts wherever sufficient 
data are to be had, but owing to the abundant collections 
that have been made in Java, an unfair preponderance may 
be given to that island. This does not, however, seem to be 
the case with the true Papilionidse, or swallow-tailed butter- 
flies, whose large size and gorgeous coloring has led to their 
being collected more frequently than other insects. Twenty- 
seven species are known from Java, twenty-nine from Bor- 
neo, and only twenty-one from Sumatra. Four are entirely 
confined to Java, while only two are peculiar to Borneo and 
one to Sumatra. The isolation of Java will, however, be best 
shown by grouping the islands in pairs, and indicating the 
number of species common to each pair. Thus : 

<-, ^ ' a-f J S 20 species common to both islands. 

?^^"^^ 29 do, )2o ^^, ^^, ^^^ 

Java 27 do. ) 

?^^^^t^^ 21 do. )^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ 

Java 27 do. 5 

Making some allowance for our imperfect knowledge of 
the Sumatran species, we see that Java is more isolated from 
the two larger islands than they are from each other, thus 
entirely confirming the results given by the distribution of 
birds and Mammalia, and rendering it almost certain that 
the last-named island was the first to be completely separa- 
ted from the Asiatic continent, and that the native tradition 
of its having been recently separated from Sumatra is entire- 
ly without foundation. 

We are now enabled to trace out with some probability 
the course of events. Beginning at the time when the whole 

158 Natural History of the 

of the Java sea, the Gulf of Siam, and the Straits of Malacca 
were dry land, forming, with Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, a 
vast southern prolongation of the Asiatic continent, the first 
movement would be the sinking down of the Java sea and 
the Straits of Sunda, consequent on the activity of the Java- 
nese volcanoes along the southern extremity of the land, and 
leading to the complete separation of that island. As the vol- 
canic belt of Java and Sumatra increased in activity, more and 
more of the land was submerged, till first Borneo, and after- 
ward Sumatra, became entirely severed. Since the epoch of 
the first disturbance, several distinct elevations and depres- 
sions may have taken place, and the islands may have been 
more than once joined with each other or with the main-land, 
and again separated. Successive waves of immigration may 
thus have modified their animal productions, and led to those 
anomalies in distribution which are so difiicult to account for 
by any single operation of elevation or submergence. The 
form of Borneo, consisting of radiating mountain chains with 
inte.rvening broad alluvial valleys, suggests the idea that it 
has once been much more submerged than it is at present 
(when it would have somewhat resembled Celebes or Gilolo 
in outline), and has been increased to its present dimensions 
by the filling up of its gulfs with sedimentary matter, assist- 
ed by gradual elevation of the land. Sumatra has also been 
evidently much increased in size by the formation of alluvial 
plains along its north-eastern coasts. 

There is one peculiarity in the productions of Java that is 
very puzzling — the occurrence of several species or groups 
characteristic of the Siamese countries or of India, but which 
do not occur in Borneo or Sumatra. Among mammals the 
Rhinoceros javanicus is the most striking example, for a dis- 
tinct species is found in Borneo and Sumatra, while the Jav- 
anese species occurs in Birmah and even in Bengal. Among 
birds, the small ground-dove (Geopelia striata) and the curi- 
ous bronze-colored magpie (Crypsirhina varians) are common 
to Java and Siam ; while there are in Java species of Pteruthi- 
us, Arrenga, Myiophonus, Zoothera, Sturnopastor, and Estrel- 
da, the nearest allies of which are found in various parts of 
India, while nothing like them is known to inhabit Borneo or 

Indo-Malay Islands. 159 

Such a curious phenomenon as this can only be understood 
by supposing that, subsequent to the separation of Java, Bor- 
neo became almost entirely submerged, and on its re-elevation 
was for a time connected with the Malay Peninsula and Su- 
matra, but not with Java or Siam. Any geologist who knows 
how strata have been contorted and tilted up, and how eleva- 
tions and depressions must often have occurred alternately, 
not once or twice only, but scores and even hundreds of times, 
will have no difficulty in admitting that such changes as have 
been here indicated are not in themselves improbable. The 
existence of extensive coal-beds in Borneo and Sumatra, of 
such recent origin that the leaves which abound in their shales 
are scarcely distinguishable from those of the forests which 
now cover the country, proves that such changes of level act- 
ually did take place ; and it is a matter of much interest, 
both to the geologist and to the philosophic naturalist, to be 
able to form some conception of the order of those changes, 
and to understand how they may have resulted in the actual 
distribution of animal life in these countries — a distribution 
which often presents phenomena so strange and contradictory 
that, without taking such changes into consideration, we are 
unable even to imagine how they could have been brought 

160 Bali and Lombock. 


June, July, 1856. 

The islands of Bali and Lombock, situated at the east end 
of Java, are particularly interesting. They are the only isl- 
ands of thei whole Archipelago in which the Hindoo rehgion 
still maintains itself, and they form the extreme points of the 
two great zoological divisions of the eastern hemisphere ; for 
although so similar in external appearance and in all physical 
features, they differ greatly in their natural productions. It 
was after having spent two years in Borneo, Malacca, and 
Singapore that I made a somewhat involuntary visit to these 
islands on my way to Macassar. Had I been able to obtain a 
passage direct to that place from Singapore, I should proba- 
bly never have gone near them, and should have missed some 
of the most important discoveries of my whole expedition to 
the East. 

It was on the 13th of June, 1856, after a twenty days' pas- 
sage from Singapore in the " Kembang Djepoon " (Rose of 
Japan), a schooner belonging to a Chinese merchant, manned 
by a Javanese crew, and commanded by an English captain, 
that we cast anchor in the dangerous roadstead of Bileling, on 
the north side of the island of Bali. Going on shore with the 
captain and the Chinese supercargo, I was at once introduced 
to a novel and interesting scene. We went first to the house 
of the Chinese bandar, or chief merchant, where we found a 
number of natives, well dressed, and all conspicuously armed 
with krisses, displaying their large handles of ivory or gold, 
or beautifully grained and polished wood. 

The Chinamen had given up their national costume and 
adopted the Malay dress, and could then hardly be distinguish- 
ed from the natives of the island — an indication of the close 
affinity of the Malayan and Mongolian races. Under the thick 

Bali. 161 

shade of some mango-trees close by the house, several women- 
merchants were selling cotton goods; for here the women 
trade and work for the benefit of their husbands, a custom 
which Mohammedan Malays never adopt. Fruit, tea, cakes, 
and sweetmeats were brought us ; many questions were asked 
about our business and the state of trade in Singapore, and 
we then took a walk to look at the village. It was a very dull 
and dreary place; a collection of narrow lanes bounded by 
high mud walls, inclosing bamboo houses, into some of which 
we entered, and were very kindly received. 

During the two days that we remained here I walked out 
into the surrounding country to catch insects, shoot birds, and 
spy out the nakedness or fertility of the land. I was both 
astonished and delighted ; for as my visit to Java was some 
years later, I had never beheld so beautiful and well cultivated 
a district out of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends 
from the sea-coast about ten or twelve miles inland, where it 
is bounded by a fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. 
Houses and villages, marked out by dense clumps of cocoa- 
nut palms, tamarind and other fruit-trees, are dotted about in 
every direction; while between them extend luxuriant rice- 
grounds, watered by an elaborate system of irrigation that 
would be the pride of the best cultivated parts of Europe. 
The whole surface of the country is divided into irregular 
patches, following the undulations of the ground, from many 
acres to a few perches in extent, each of which is itself per- 
fectly level, but stands a few inches or several feet above or 
below those adjacent to it. Every one of these patches can 
be flooded or drained at will by means of a system of ditches 
and small channels, into which are diverted the whole of the 
streams that descend from the mountains. Every patch now 
bore crops in various stages of growth, some almost ready for 
cutting, and all in the most flourishing condition and of the 
most exquisite green tints. 

The sides of the lanes and bridle-roads were often edged 
with prickly Cacti and a leafless Euphorbia, but the country 
being so highly cultivated there was not much room for indig- 
enous vegetation, except upon the sea-beach. We saw plenty 
of the fine race of domestic cattle descended from the Bos- 
banteng of Java, driven by half-naked boys, or tethered in 



pasture-grounds. They are large and handsome animals, of a 
light-brown color, with white legs, and a conspicuous oval 
patch behind of the same color. Wild cattle of the same race 
are said to be still found in the mountains. In so well-culti- 
vated a country it was not to be expected that 1 could do 
much in natural history, and my ignorance of how important 
a locality this was for the elucidation of the geographical dis- 
tribution of animals caused me to neglect obtaining some 
specimens which I never met with again. One of these was 
a weaver-bird with a bright yellow head, which built its bot- 
tle-shaped nests by dozens on some trees near the beach. It 
was the Ploceus hypoxantha, a native of Java, and here at the 
extreme limits of its range westerly. I shot and preserved 
specimens of a wagtail-thrush, an oriole, and some starlings, 
all species found in Java, and some of them peculiar to that 
island. I also obtained some beautiful butterflies, richly mark- 
ed with black and orange on a white ground, and which were 
the most abundant insects in the country lanes'. Among these 
was a new species, which I have named Pieris tamar. 

Leaving Bileling, a pleasant sail of two days brought us to 
Ampanam, in the island of Lombock, where I proposed to re- 
main till I could obtain a passage to Macassar. We enjoyed 
superb views of the twin volcanoes of Bali and Lombock, 
each about eight thousand feet high, which form magnificent 
objects at sunrise and sunset, when they rise out of the mists 
and clouds that surround their bases, glowing with the rich 
and changing tints of these the most charming moments in a 
tropical day. 

The bay or roadstead of Ampanam is extensive, and being 
at this season sheltered from the prevalent south-easterly 
winds, was as smooth as a lake. The beach of black volcanic 
sand is very steep, and there is at all times a heavy surf upon 
it, which during spring-tides increases to such an extent that 
it is often impossible for boats to land, and many serious ac« 
cidents have occurred. Where we lay anchored, about a 
quarter of a mile from the shore, not the slightest swell was 
perceptible, but, on approaching nearer, undulations began, 
which rapidly increased, so as to form rollers which toppled 
over on to the beach at regular intervals with a noise like 
thunder. Sometimes this surf increases suddenly during per- 

Ampakam. 163 

feet calms, to as great a force and fury as when a gale of wind 
is blowing, beating to pieces all boats that may not have been 
hauled sufficiently high upon the beach, and carrying away 
incautious natives. This violent surf is probably in some way 
dependent on the swell of the great southern ocean, and the 
violent currents that flow through the Straits of Lombock. 
These are so uncertain that vessels preparing to anchor in the 
bay are sometimes suddenly swept away into the straits, and 
are not able to get back again for a fortnight. What sea- 
men call the " ripples " are also very violent in the straits, the 
sea appearing to boil and foam and dance like the rapids below 
a cataract; vessels are swept about helpless, and small ones 
are occasionally swamped in the finest weather and under the 
brightest skies. 

I felt considerably relieved when all my boxes and myself 
had passed in safety through the devouring surf, which the 
natives look upon with some pride, saying that " their sea is 
always hungry, and eats up every thing it can catch." I was 
kindly received by Mr. Carter, an Englishman, who is one of 
the banders, or licensed traders, of the port, who offered me 
hospitality and every assistance during my stay. His house, 
storehouses, and offices were in a yard surrounded by a tali 
bamboo fence, and were entirely constructed of bamboo with 
a thatch of grass, the only available building materials. Even 
these were now very scarce, owing to the great consumption 
in rebuilding the place since the great fire some months be- 
fore, which in an hour or two had destroyed every building 
in the town. 

The next day I went to see Mr. S., another merchant to 
whom I had brought letters of introduction, and who lived 
about seven miles oH. Mr. Carter kindly lent me a horse, and 
I was accompanied by a young Dutch gentleman residing at 
Ampanam, who offered to be my guide. We first passed 
through the town and suburbs along a straight road bordered 
by mud walls and a fine avenue of lofty trees ; then through 
rice-fields, irrigated in the same manner as I had seen them 
at Bileling, and afterward over sandy pastures near the sea, 
and occasionally along the beach itself. Mr. S. received us 
kindly, and offered me a residence at his house should I think 
the neighborhood favorable for my pursuits. After an early 


breakfast we went out to explore, taking guns and insect-net. 
We reached some low hills which seemed to offer the most 
favorable ground, passing over swamps, sandy flats overgrown 
with coarse sedges, and through pastures and cultivated 
grounds, finding, however, very little in the way of either 
birds or insects. On our way we passed one or two human 
skeletons, inclosed within a small bamboo fence, with the 
clothes, pillow, mat, and betel-box of the unfortunate individ- 
ual, who had been either murdered or executed. Returning 
to the house, we found a Balinese chief and his followers on 
a visit. Those of higher rank sat on chairs, the others squat- 
ted on the floor. The chief very coolly asked for beer and 
brandy, and helped himself and his followers, apparently more 
out of curiosity than any thing else as regards the beer, for it 
seemed very distasteful to them, while they drank the brandy 
in tumblers with much relish. 

Returning to Ampanam, I devoted myself for some days 
to shooting the birds of the neighborhood. The fine fig-trees 
of the avenues, where a market was held, were tenanted by 
superb orioles (Oriolus broderpii) of a rich orange color, and 
peculiar to this island and the adjacent ones of Sumbawa and 
Flores. All round the town were abundance of the curious 
Tropidorhynchus timoriensis, allied to the friar-bird of Aus- 
tralia. They are here called " quaich-quaich," from their 
strange loud voice, which seems to repeat these words in vari- 
ous and not unmelodious intonations. 

Every day boys were to be seen walking along the roads 
and by the hedges and ditches, catching dragon-flies with 
bird-lime. They carry a slender stick, with a few twigs at 
the end well anointed, so that the least touch captures the in- 
sect, whose wings are pulled off before it is consigned to a 
small basket. The dragon-flies are so abundant at the time of 
the rice flowering that thousands are soon caught in this way. 
The bodies are fried in oil, with onions and preserved shrimps, 
or sometimes alone, and are considered a great delicacy. In 
Borneo, Celebes, and many other islands, the larvge of bees and 
wasps are eaten, either alive as pulled out of the cells, or fried 
like the dragon-flies. In the Moluccas the grubs of the palm- 
beetles (Calandra) are regularly brought to market in bam- 
boos, :and sold for food ; and many of the great horned Lamel- 

Moun-d-Makiistg Bieds. 1G5 

licorn beetles are slightly roasted on the embers and eaten 
whenever met with. The superabundance of insect life is 
therefore turned to some account by these islanders. 

Finding that birds were not very numerous, and hearing 
much of Labuan Tring, at the southern extremity of the bay, 
where there was said to be much uncultivated country and 
plenty of birds, as well as deer and wild pigs, I determined to 
go there with my two servants, Ali, the Malay lad from Borneo, 
and Manuel, a Portuguese of Malacca accustomed to bird- 
skinning. I hired a native boat with outriggers to take us, 
with our small quantity of luggage, and a day's rowing and 
tracking along the shore brought us to the place. 

I had a note of introduction to an Amboynese Malay, and 
obtained the use of part of his house to live and work in. 
His name was " Inchi Daud " (Mr. David), and he was very 
civil ; but his accommodations were limited, and he could only 
give me part of his reception-room. This was the front part 
of a bamboo house (reached by a ladder of about six rounds 
very wide apart), and having a beautiful view over the bay. 
However, I soon made what arrangements were possible, and 
then set to work. The country around was pretty, and novel 
to me, consisting of abrupt volcanic hills inclosing flat valleys 
or open plains. The hills were covered with a dense scrubby 
bush of bamboos and prickly trees and shrubs, the plains were 
adorned with hundreds of noble palm-trees, and in many places 
with a luxuriant shrubby vegetation. Birds were plentiful and 
very interesting, and I now saw for the first time many Aus- 
tralian forms that are quite absent from the islands westward. 
Small white cockatoos were abundant, and their loud screams, 
conspicuous white color, and pretty yellow crests, rendered them 
a very important feature in the landscape. This is the most 
westerly point on the globe where any of the family are to be 
found. Some small honeysuckers of the genus Ptilotis and 
the strange mound-maker (Megapodius gouldii) are also here 
first met with on the traveller's journey eastward. The last- 
mentioned bird requires a fuller notice. 

The Megapodidse are a small family of birds found only in 
Australia and the surrounding islands, but extending as far as 
the Philippines and North-west Borneo. They are allied to 
the gallinaceous birds, but differ from these and from all oth- 


ers in never sitting npon their eggs, which they biiry in sand, 
earth, or rubbish, and leave to be hatched by the heat of the 
sun or of fermentation. They are all characterized by very 
large feet and long curved claws, and most of the species of 
Megapodius rake and scratch together all kinds of rubbish, 
dead leaves, sticks, stones, earth, rotten wood, etc., till they 
form a large mound, often six feet high and twelve feet across, 
in the middle of which they bury their eggs. The natives can 
tell by the condition of these mounds whether they contain 
eggs or not; and they rob them whenever they can, as the 
brick-red eggs (as large as those of a swan) are considered a 
great delicacy. A number of birds are said to join in making 
these mounds and lay their eggs together, so that sometimes 
forty or fifty may be found. The mounds are to be met with 
here and there in dense thickets, and are great puzzles to 
strangers, who can not understand who can possibly have 
heaped together cart-loads of rubbish in such out-of-the-way 
places ; and when they inquire of the natives they are but lit- 
tle wiser, for it almost always appears to them the wildest 
romance to be told that it is all done by birds. The species 
found in Lombock is about the size of a small hen, and en- 
tirely of dark olive and brown tints. It is a miscellaneous 
feeder, devouring fallen fruits, earth-worms, snails, and cen- 
tipedes, but the flesh is white and well-flavored when properly 

The large green pigeons were still better eating, and were 
much more plentiful. These fine birds, exceeding our largest 
tame pigeons in size, abounded on the palm-trees, which now 
bore huge bunches of fruits — mere hard globular nuts, about 
an inch in diameter, and covered with a dry green skin and a 
very small portion of pulp. Looking at the pigeon's bill and 
head, it would seem impossible that it could swallow such 
large masses, or that it could obtain any nourishment from 
them ; yet I oftep shot these birds with several palm-fruits in 
the crop, which generally burst when they fell to the ground. 
I obtained here eight species of kingfishers, among which was a 
very beautiful new one, named by Mr. Gould Halcyon f ulgidus. 
It was found always in thickets, away from water, and seemed 
to feed on snails and insects picked up from the ground after 
the manner of the great laughing jackass of Australia. The 

Beautiful Birds. 167 

beautiful little violet and orange species (Ceyx rufidorsa) is 
found in similar situations, and darts rapidly along like a 
flame of fire. Here also I first met with the pretty Australian 
bee-eater (Merops ornatus). This elegant little bird sits on 
twigs in open places, gazing eagerly around, and darting off at 
intervals to seize some insect which it sees flying near, return- 
ing afterward to the same twig to swallow it. Its long, sharp, 
curved bill, the two long narrow feathers in its tail, its beauti- 
ful green plumage varied- with rich brown and black and vivid 
blue on the throat, render it one of the most graceful and in- 
teresting objects a naturalist can see for the first time. 

Of all the birds of Lombock, however, I sought most after 
the beautiful ground-thrushes (Pitta concinna), and always 
thought myself lucky if I obtained one. They were found 
only in the dry plains densely covered with thickets, and car- 
peted at this season with dead leaves. They were so shy that 
it was very difiicult to get a shot at them, and it was only aft- 
er a good deal of practice that I discovered how to do it. The 
habit of these birds is to hop about on the ground picking up 
insects, and on the least alarm to run into the densest thicket 
or take a flight close along the ground. At intervals they 
utter a peculiar cry of two notes, which when once heard is 
easily recognized, and they can also be heard hopping along 
among the dry leaves. My practice was, therefore, to walk 
cautiously along the narrow pathways with which the country 
abounded, and, on detecting any sign of a Pitta's vicinity, to 
stand motionless and give a gentle whistle occasionally, imita- 
ting the notes as near as possible. After half an hour's wait- 
ing, I was often rewarded by seeing the pretty bird hopping 
along in the thicket. Then I would perhaps lose sight of it 
again, till, having my gun raised and ready for a shot, a second 
glimpse would enable me to secure my prize, and admire its soft 
puffy plumage and lovely colors. The upper part is rich soft 
green, the head jet black, with a stripe of blue and brown over 
each eye ; at the base of the tail and on the shoulders are 
bands of bright silvery blue, and the under side is delicate 
buff, with a stripe of rich crimson, bordered with black on the 
belly. Beautiful grass-green doves, little crimson and black 
flower-peckers, large black cuckoos, metallic king-crows, golden 
orioles, and the fine jungle-cocks — the origin of all our domes- 


tic breeds of poultry — were among the birds that chiefly at- 
tracted my attention during our stay at Labuan Tring. 

The most characteristic feature of the jungle was its thorn- 
iness. The shrubs were thorny, the creepers were thorny, the 
bamboos even were thorny. Every thing grew zigzag and 
jagged, and in an inextricable tangle, so that to get through 
the bush with gun or net or even spectacles was generally not 
to be done, and insect-catching in such localities was out of the 
question. It was in such places that the Pittas often lurked, 
and, when shot, it became a matter of some difficulty to secure 
the bird, and seldom without a heavy payment of pricks and 
scratches and torn clothes could the prize be won. The dry 
volcanic soil and arid climate seem favorable to the produc- 
tion of such stunted and thorny vegetation, for the natives as- 
sured me that this was nothing to the thorns and prickles of 
Sumbawa, whose surface still bears the covering of volcanic 
ashes thrown out forty years ago by the terrible eruption of 
Tomboro. Among the shrubs and trees that are not prickly 
the Apocynacese were most abundant, their bilobed fruits of 
varied form and color, and often of most tempting appearance, 
hanging everywhere by the w^aysides as if to invite to destruc- 
tion the weary traveller who may be unaware of their poison- 
ous properties. One in particular, with a smooth shining skin 
of a golden orange color, rivals in appearance the golden ap- 
ples of the Hesperides, and has great attractions for many 
birds, from the white cockatoos to the little yellow Zosterops, 
who feast on the crimson seeds which are displayed when 
the fruit bursts open. The great palm called " gubbong " by 
the natives, a species of Corypha, is the most striking feature 
of the plains, where it grows by thousands, and appears in 
three different states — in leaf, in flower and fruit, or dead. It 
has a lofty cylindrical stem about a hundred feet high and two 
to three feet in diameter ; the leaves are large and fan-shaped, 
and fall off when the tree flowers, which it does only once in 
its life in a huge terminal spike, on which are produced mass- 
es of a smooth round fruit of a green color, and about an inch 
in diameter. When these ripen and fall the tree dies, and re- 
mains standing a year or two before it falls. Trees in leaf 
only are by far the most numerous, then those in flower and 
fruit, while dead trees are scattered here and there among 

Collecting under Difficulties. 169 

them. The trees in fruit are the resort of the great green- 
fruit pigeons, which have been abeady mentioned. Troops 
of monkeys (Macacus cynomolgus) may often be seen occupy- 
ing a tree, showering down the fruit in great profusion, chat- 
tering when disturbed, and making an enormous rusthng as 
they scamper off among the dead palm-leaves ; while the pig- 
eons have a loud booming voice, more like the roar of a wild 
beast than the note of a bird. 

My collecting operations here were carried on under more 
than usual difficulties. One small room had to serve for eat- 
ing, sleeping, and working, for storehouse and dissecting- 
room; in it were no shelves," cupboard, chairs, or tables ; ants 
swarmed in every part of it, and dogs, cats, and fowls entered 
it at pleasure. Besides this, it was the parlor and reception- 
room of my host, and I was obliged to consult his convenience 
and that of the numerous guests who visited us. My princi- 
pal piece of furniture was a box, which served me as a dining- 
table, a seat while skinning birds, and as the receptacle of the 
birds, when skinned and dried. To keep them free from ants, 
we borrowed, with some difficulty, an old bench, the four legs 
of which, being placed in cocoa-nut shells filled with water, 
kept us tolerably free from these pests. The box and the 
bench were however literally the only places where any thing 
could be put away, and they were generally well occupied by 
two insect-boxes and about a hundred birds' skins in process 
of drying. It may therefore be easily conceived that when 
any thing bulky or out of the common way was collected, the 
question " "Where is it to be put ?" was rather a difficult one 
to answer. All animal substances moreover require some 
time to dry thoroughly, emit a very disagreeable odor while 
doing so, and are particularly attractive to ants, flies, dogs, 
rats, cats, and other vermin, calling for especial cautions and 
constant supervision, which, under the circumstances above 
described, were impossible. 

My readers may now partially understand why a travelling 
naturalist of limited means like myself does so much less than 
is expected, or than he would himself wish to do. It would 
be interesting to preserve skeletons of many birds and animals, 
reptiles and fishes in spirits, skins of the larger animals, re- 
markable fruits and woods, and the most curious articles of 


manufacture and commerce ; but it will be seen that, under 
the circumstances I have just described, it would have been 
impossible to add these to the collections which were my own 
more especial favorites. "When travelling by boat the diffi- 
culties are as great or greater, and they* are not diminished 
when the journey is by land. It was absolutely necessary, 
therefore, to limit my collections to certain groups to which I 
could devote constant personal attention, and thus secure from 
destruction or decay what had been often obtained by much 
labor and pains. 

While Manuel sat skinning his birds of an afternoon, gen- 
erally surrounded by a little crowd of Malays and Sassaks 
(as the indigenes of Lombock are termed), he often held forth 
to them with the air of a teacher, and was listened to with 
profound attention. He was very fond of discoursing on the 
" special providences " of which he believed he was daily the 
subject. "Allah has been merciful to-day," he would say — 
for, although a Christian, he adopted the Mohammedan mode 
of speech — " and has given us some very fine birds ; we can do 
nothing without him." Then one of the Malays would reply, 
" To be sure, birds are like mankind ; they have their appoint- 
ed time to die ; when that time comes nothing can save them, 
and if it has not come you can not kill them." A murmur 
of assent follows this sentiment, and cries of " Butul ! butul !" 
(Right, right). Then Manuel would tell a long story of one 
of his unsuccessful hunts — how he saw some fine bird and 
followed it a long way, and then missed it, and again found it, 
and shot two or three times at it, but could never hit it. "Ah 1" 
says an old Malay, " its time was not come, and so it was im- 
possible for you to kill it." A doctrine this which is very 
consoling to the bad marksman, and which quite accounts for 
the facts, but which is yet somehow not altogether satisfac- 

It is universally believed in Lombock that some men have 
the power to turn themselves into crocodiles, which they do 
for the sake of devouring their enemies, and many strange 
tales are told of such transformations. I was therefore rath- 
er surprised one evening to hear the following curious fact 
stated ; and as it was not contradicted by any of the persons 
present, I am inclined to accept it provisionally, as a contribu- 

Manuel's Feaes. 171 

tion to the natural history of the island. A Bornean Malay 
who had been for many years resident here said to Manuel, 
" One thing is strange in this country — the scarcity of ghosts." 
" How so ?" asked Manuel. " Why, you know," said the Ma- 
lay, " that in our countries to the westward, if a man dies or 
is killed, we dare not pass near the place at night, for all sorts 
of noises are heard, which show that ghosts are about. But 
here there are nuinbers of men killed, and their bodies lie un- 
buried in the fields and by the roadside, and yet you can walk 
by them at night and never hear or see any thing at all, which 
is not the case in our country, as you know very well." " Cer- 
tainly I do," said Manuel ; and so it was settled that ghosts 
were very scarce, if not altogether unknown in Lombock. I 
would observe, however, that as the evidence is purely negative, 
we should be wanting in scientific caution if we accepted this 
fact as sufficiently well established. 

One evening I heard Manuel, Ali, and a Malay man whis- 
pering earnestly together outside the door, and could distin- 
guish various allusions to " krisses," throat-cutting, heads, etc., 
etc. At length Manuel came in, looking very solemn and fright- 
ened, and said to me in English, " Sir — ^must take care ; no safe 
here ; want cut throat." On further inquiry, I found that the 
Malay had been telling tliem that the Rajah had just sent 
down an order to the village that they were to get a certain 
number of heads for an offering in the temples to secure a 
good crop of rice. Two or three other Malays and Bugis, as 
well as the Amboyna man in whose house we lived, confirmed 
this account, and declared that it was a regular thing every 
year, and that it was necessary to keep a good watch and 
never go out alone. I laughed at the whole thing, and tried to 
persuade them that it was a mere tale, but to no effect. They 
were all firmly persuaded that their lives were in danger. 
Manuel would not go out shooting alone, and I was obliged 
to accompany him every morning, but I soon gave him the 
slip in the jungle. Ali was afraid to go and look for firewood 
without a companion, and would not even fetch water from the 
well a few yards behind the house unless armed with an enor- 
mous spear. I was quite sure all the time that no such order 
had been sent or received, and that we were in perfect safe- 
ty. This was well shown shortly afterward, when an Ameri- 


can sailor ran away from his sMp on the east side of the isl- 
and, and made his way on foot and unarmed across to Ampa- 
nam, having met with the greatest hospitality on the whole 
route. ^NTowhere would the smallest payment be taken for 
the food and lodging which were willingly furnished him. 
On pointing out this fact to Manuel, he replied, " He one bad 
man — run away from his ship — ^no one can believe word he 
say ;" and so I was obliged to leave him in the uncomfortable 
persuasion that he might any day have his throat cut. 

A circumstance occurred here which appeared to throw 
some light on the cause of the tremendous surf at Ampanam. 
One evening I heard a strange rumbling noise, and at the same 
time the house shook slightly. Thinking it might be thunder, 
I asked, " What is that ?" " It is an earthquake," answered 
Inchi Daud, my host ; and he then told me that slight shocks 
were occasionally felt there, but he had never known them 
severe. This happened on the day of the last quarter of the 
moon, and consequently when the tides were low and the surf 
usually at its weakest. On inquiry afterward at Ampanam, I 
found that no earthquake hjid been noticed,^ but that on one 
night there had been a very heavy surf, which shook the house, 
and the next day there was a very high tide, the water hav- 
ing flooded Mr. Carter's premises higher than he had ever 
known it before. These unusual tides occur every now and 
then, and are not thought much of ; but by careful inquiry I 
ascertained that the surf had occurred on the very night I had 
felt the earthquake at Labuan Tring, nearly twenty miles off. 
This would seem to indicate, that although the ordinary heavy 
surf may be due to the swell of the great southern ocean con- 
fined in a narrow channel, combined with a peculiar form of 
bottom near the shore, yet the sudden heavy surfs and high 
tides that occur occasionally in perfectly calm weather may 
be due to slight upheavals of the ocean-bed in this eminently 
volcanic region. 

Mannees and Customs. 178 



Having made a very fine and interesting collection of the 
birds of Labuan Tring, I took leave of my kind host Inchi 
Daub, and returned to Ampanam to await an opportunity to 
reach Macassar. As no vessel had arrived bound for that 
port, I determined to make an excursion into the interior of the 
island, accompanied by Mr. Ross, an Englishman born in the 
Keeling Islands, and now employed by the Dutch Governmemt 
to settle the affairs of a missionary who had unfortunately be-, 
come bankrupt here. Mr. Carter kindly lent me a horse, and 
Mr. Ross took his native groom. 

Our route for some distance lay along a perfectly level 
country, bearing ample crops of rice. The road was straight, 
and generally bordered with lofty- trees, forming a fine avenue. 
It was at first sandy, afterward grassy, with occasional streams 
and mud-holes. At a distance of about four miles we reached 
Mataram, the capital of the island, and the residence of the 
Rajah. It is a large village, with wide streets, bordered by 
a magnificent avenue of trees, and low houses concealed be- 
hind mud walls. Within this royal city no native of the low- 
er orders is allowed to ride, and our attendant, a Javanese, was 
obliged to dismount and lead his horse while we rode slowly 
through. The abodes of the Rajah and of the high-priest are 
distinguished by pillars of red brick constructed with much 
taste, but the palace itself seemed to differ but little from the 
ordinary houses of the country. Beyond Mataram and close 
to it is Karangassam, the ancient residence of the native or 
Sassak Rajahs before the conquest of the island by the Ba- 

Soon after passing Mataram the country began gradually 
to rise in gentle undulations, swelling occasionally into low 
hills toward the two mountainous tracts in the northern and 
southern parts of the island. It was now that I first obtained 
an adequate idea of one of the most wonderful systems of 


cultivation in the world, equalling all that is related of Chinese 
industry, and, as far as I know, surpassing in the labor that 
has been bestowed upon it any tract of equal extent in the 
most civilized countries of Europe. I rode through this 
strange garden utterly amazed, and hardly able to realize the 
fact that in this remote and little known island, from which all 
Europeans except a few traders at the port are jealously ex- 
cluded, many hundreds of square miles of irregularly undula- 
ting country have been so skillfully terraced and levelled, and 
so permeated by artificial channels, that every portion of it can 
be irrigated and dried at pleasure. According as the slope 
of the ground is more or less rapid, each terraced plot con- 
sists in some places of many acres, in others of a few square 
yards. We saw them in every state of cultivation; some in 
stubble, some being plowed, some with rice-crops in various 
stages of growth. Here were luxuriant patches of tobacco; 
there, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, yams, beans, or Indian-corn 
varied the scene. In some places the ditches were dry, in 
others little streams crossed our road, and were distributed 
over lands about to be sown or planted. The banks which 
bordered every terrace rose regularly in horizontal lines above 
veach other; sometimes rounding an abrupt knoll, and looking 
like a fortification, or sweeping round some deep hollow, and 
forming on a gigantic scale the seats of an amphitheatre. 
Every brook and rivulet had been diverted from its bed, and 
instead of flowing along the lowest ground, were to be found 
crossing our road half-way up an ascent, yet bordered by an- 
cient trees and moss-grown stones so as to have all the ap- 
pearance of a natural channel, and bearing testimony to the 
remote period at which the work had been done. As we ad- 
vanced farther into the country, the scene was diversified by 
abrupt rocky hills, by steep ravines, and by clumps of bamboos 
and palm-trees near houses or villages ; while in the distance 
the fine range of mountains, of which Lombock peak, eight 
thousand feet high, is the culminating point, formed a fit back- 
ground to a view scarcely to be surpassed either in human 
interest or picturesque beauty. 

Along the first part of our road we passed hundreds of 
women carrying rice, fruit, and vegetables to market ; and 
further on an almost uninterrupted line of horses, laden with 

A COLD Eeceptiok. 175 

rice in bags or in the ear, on their way to the port of Ampa- 
nam. At every few miles along the road, seated under shady 
trees or slight sheds, were sellers of sugar-cane, palm-wine, 
cooked rice, salted eggs, and fried plantains, with a few other 
native delicacies. At these stalls a hearty meal may be made 
for a penny, but we contented ourselves with drinking some 
sweet palm- wine, a most delicious beverage in the heat of the 
day. After having travelled about twenty miles, we reached a 
higher and drier region, where, water being scarce, cultivation 
was confined to the little flats bordering the streams. Here the 
country was as beautiful as before, but of a different character ; 
consisting of undulating downs of short turf interspersed with 
fine clumps of trees and bushes, sometimes the woodland, 
sometimes the open ground predominating. We only passed 
through one small patch of true forest, where we were shaded 
by lofty trees, and saw around us a dark and dense vegetation, 
highly agreeable after the heat and glare of the open country. 
At length, about an hour after noon, we reached our des- 
tination — the village of Coupang, situated nearly in the cen- 
tre of the island — and entered the outer court of a house be- 
'longing to one of the chiefs, with whom my friend Mr. Ross 
had a slight acquaintance. Here we were requested to seat 
ourselves under an open shed with a raised floor of bamboo, 
a place used to receive visitors and hold audiences. Turning 
our horses to graze on the luxuriant grass of the court-yard, 
we waited till the great man's Malay interpreter appeared, 
who inquired our business, and informed us that the pum- 
buckle (chief) was at the Rajah's house, but would soon be 
back. As we had not yet breakfasted, we begged he would 
get us something to eat, which he promised to do as soon as 
possible. It was however about two hours before any thing 
appeared, when a small tray was brought, containing two 
saucers of rice, four small fried fish, and a few vegetables. 
Having made as good a breakfast as we could, we strolled 
about the village, and returning, amused ourselves by conver- 
sation with a number of men and boys who gathered round 
us, and by exchanging glances and smiles with a number of 
women and girls who peeped at us through half-opened doors 
and other crevices. Two little boys named Mousa and Isa 
(Moses and Jesus) were great friends with us, and an impu- 


dent little rascal called Kachang (a bean) made us all laugh 
by his mimicry and antics. 

At length, about four o'clock, the pumbuckle made his ap- 
pearance, and we informed him of our desire to stay with him 
a few days, to shoot birds and see the country. At this he 
seemed somewhat disturbed, and asked if we had brought a 
letter from the Anak Agong (Son of Heaven), which is the 
title of the Rajah of Lombock. This we had not done, think- 
ing it quite unnecessary ; and he then abruptly told us that 
he must go and speak to his Rajah, to see if we could stay. 
Hours passed away, night came, and he did not return. I be- 
gan to think we were suspected of some evil designs, for the 
pumbuckle was evidently afraid of getting himself into trou- 
ble. He is a Sassak prince, and, though a supporter of the 
present Rajah, is related to some of the heads of a conspiracy 
which was quelled a few years since. 

About ^ye o'clock a pack-horse bearing my guns and clothes 
arrived, with my men Ali and Manuel, who had come on foot. 
The sun set, and it soon became dark, and we got rather hun- 
gry as we sat wearily under the shed and no one came. Still 
hour after hour we waited, till about nine o'clock, the pum- 
buckle, the Rajah, some priests, and a number of their follow- 
ers arrived and took their seats around us. We shook hands, 
and for some minutes there was a dead silence. Then the 
Rajah asked what we wanted ; to which Mr. Ross replied by 
endeavoring to make them understand who we were, and why 
we had come, and that we had no sinister intentions what- 
ever ; and that we had not brought a letter from the "Anak 
Agong " merely because we had thought it quite unnecessary. 
A long conversation in the Bali language then took place, and 
questions were asked about my guns, and what powder I had, 
and whether I used shot or bullets ; also what the birds were 
for, and how I preserved them, and what was done with them 
in England. Each of my answers and explanations was fol- 
lowed by a low and serious conversation which we could not 
understand, but the purport of which we could guess. They 
were evidently quite puzzled, and did not believe a word we 
had told them. They then inquired if we were really En- 
glish, and not Dutch ; and although we strongly asserted our 
nationality, they did not seem to believe us. 

SuspiciONSc 177 

After about an hour, however, they brought us some sup- 
per (which was the same as the breakfast, but without the 
fish), and after it some very weak coffee and pumpkins boiled 
with sugar. Having discussed this, a second conference took 
place ; questions were again asked, and the answers again 
commented on. Between whiles lighter topics were discuss- 
ed. My spectacles (concave glasses) were tried in succession 
by three or four old men, who could not make out why they 
could not see through them, and the fact no doubt was another 
item of suspicion against me. My beard, too, was the subject 
of some admiration, and many questions were asked about 
personal peculiarities which it is not the custom to allude to 
in European society. At length, about one in the morning, 
the whole party rose to depart, and, after conversing some 
time at the gate, all went away. We now begged the inter- 
preter, who with a few boys and men remained about us, to 
show us a place to sleep in, at which he seemed very much 
surprised, saying he thought we were very well accommodated 
where we were. It was quite chilly, and we were very thinly 
clad and had brought no blankets, but all we could get after 
another hour's talk was a native mat and pillow, and a few old 
curtains to hang round three sides of the open shed and protect 
us a little from the cold breeze. We passed the rest of the 
night very uncomfortably, and determined to return in the 
morning and not submit any longer to such shabby treatment. 

We rose at daybreak, but it was near an hour before the 
interpreter made his appearance. We then asked to have 
some coffee and to see the pumbuckle, as we wanted a horse 
for Ali, who was lame, and wished to bid him adieu. The 
man looked puzzled at such unheard-of demands and vanish- 
ed into the inner court, locking the door behind him and leav- 
ing us again to our meditations. An hour passed and no one 
came, so I ordered the horses to be saddled and the pack-horse 
to be loaded, and prepared to start. Just then the interpret- 
er came up on horseback, and looked aghast at our prepara- 
tions. " Where is the pumbuckle ?" we asked. " Gone to 
the Rajah's," said he. " We are going," said I. " Oh, pray 
don't," said he ; " wait a little ; they are having a consulta- 
tion, and some priests are coming to see you, and a chief is 
going off to Mataram to ask the permission of the Anak Agong 



for you to stay." This settled the matter. More talk, more 
delay, and another eight or ten hours' consultation were not 
to be endured; so we started at once, the poor interpreter al- 
most weeping at our obstinacy and hurry, and assuring us 
" the pumbuckle would be very sorry, and the Rajah would be 
very sorry, and if we would but wait, all would be right." I 
gave Ali my horse, and started on foot, but he afterward 
mounted behind Mr. Ross's groom, and we got home very 
well, though rather hot and tired. 

At Mataram we called at the house of Gusti Gadioca, one 
of the princes of Lombock, who was a friend of Mr. Carter's, 
and who had promised to show me the guns made by native 
workmen. Two guns were exhibited, one six, the other seven 
feet long, and of a proportionably large bore. The barrels 
were twisted and well finished, though not so finely worked 
as ours. The stock was well made, and extended to the end 
of the barrel. Silver and gold ornament was inlaid over most 
of the surface, but the locks were taken from English muskets. 
The gusti assured me, however, that the Rajah had a man 
who made locks and also rifle barrels. The workshop where 
these guns are made and the tools used were next shown us, 
and were very remarkable. An open shed with a couple of 
small mud forges were the chief objects visible. The bellows 
consisted of two bamboo cylinders, with pistons worked by 
hand. They move very easily, having a loose stuffing of feath- 
ers thickly set round the piston so as to act as a valve, and 
produce a regular blast. Both cylinders communicate with 
the same nozzle, one piston rising while the other falls. An 
oblong piece of iron on the ground was the anvil, and a small 
vise was fixed on the projecting root of a tree outside. These, 
with a few files and hammers, were literally the only tools 
with which an old man makes these fine guns, finishing them 
himself from the rough iron and wood. 

I was anxious to know how they bored these long barrels, 
which seemed perfectly true, and are said to shoot admirably; 
and, on asking the gusti, received the enigmatical answer : 
" We use a basket full of stones." Being utterly unable to im- 
agine what he could mean, I asked if I could see how they did 
it, and one of the dozen little boys around us w^as sent to fetch 
the basket. He soon returned with this most' extraordinary 

Native G-un-Makers. 


boring-macliine, tlie mode of using which the gusti then ex- 
plained to me. It was simply a strong bamboo basket, through 
the bottom of which was stuck upright a pole about three feet 
long, kept in its place by a few sticks tied across the top with 
rattans. The bottom of the pole has an iron ring, and a hole 


in which four-cornered borers of hardened iron can be fitted. 
The barrel to be bored is buried upright in the ground, the 
borer is inserted into it, the top of the stick or vertical shaft 
is held by a cross-piece of bamboo with a hole in it, and 
the basket is filled with stones to get the required weight. 
Two boys turn the bamboo round. The barrels are made in 


pieces of about eighteen inches long, which are first bored 
small, and then welded together upon a straight iron rod. The 
whole barrel is then worked with borers of gradually in- 
creasing size, and in three days the boring is finished. The 
whole matter was explained in such a straightforward manner 
that I have no doubt the process described to me was that actu- 
ally used; although, when examining one of the handsome, well- 
finished, and serviceable guns, it was very hard to realize the 
fact that they had been made from first to last with tools hardly 
suflicient for an English blacksmith to make a horseshoe. 

The day after we returned from our excursion, the Rajah 
came to Ampanam to a feast given by Gusti Gadioca, who re- 
sides there; and. soon after his arrival we went to have an 
audience. We found him in a large court-yard, sitting on a 
mat under a shady tree ; and all his followers, to the number 
of three or four hundred, squatting on the ground in a large 
circle round him. He wore a sarong, or Malay petticoat, and 
a green jacket. He was a man about thirty-five years of age, 
and of a pleasing countenance, with some appearance of intel- 
lect combined with indecision. We bowed, and took our seats 
on the ground near some chiefs we were acquainted with, for 
while the Rajah sits no one can stand or sit higher. He first 
inquired who I was, and what I was doing in Lombock, and 
then requested to see some of my birds. I accordingly sent 
for one of my boxes of bird-skins and one of insects, which 
he examined carefully, and seemed much surprised that they 
could be so well preserved. We then had a little conversation 
about Europe and the Russian war, in which all natives take 
an interest. Having heard much of a country-seat of the Ra- 
jah's called Gunong Sari, I took the opportunity to ask per- 
mission to visit it and shoot a few birds there, which he imme- 
diately granted. I then thanked him, and we took our leave. 

An hour after his son came to visit Mr. Carter, accompanied 
by about a hundred followers, who all sat on the ground while 
he came into the open shed where Manuel was skinning birds. 
After some time he went into the house, had a bed arranged 
to sleep a little, then drank some wine, and after an hour or 
two had dinner brought him from the gusti's house, which he 
ate with eight of the principal priests and princes. He pro- 
nounced a blessing over the rice and commenced eating first. 

An Excuksion. 181 

after which the rest fell to. They rolled up balls of rice in 
their hands, dipped them in the gravy and swallowed them 
rapidly, with, little pieces of meat and fowl cooked in a variety 
of ways. A boy fanned the young Rajah while eating. He 
was a youth of about fifteen, and had already three wives. All 
wore the kris, or Malay crooked dagger, .on the beauty and 
value of which they greatly pride themselves. A companion 
of the Rajah's had one with a golden handle, in which were 
set twenty-eight diamonds and several other jewels. He said 
it had cost him £700. The sheaths are of ornamental wood 
and ivory, often covered on one side with gold. The blades 
are beautifully veined with white metal worked into the iron, 
and they are kept very carefully. Every man without ex- 
ception carries a kris, stuck behind into the large- waist-cloth . 
which all wear, and it is generally the most valuable piece of 
property he possesses. 

A few days afterward our long-talked-of excursion to Gu- 
nong Sari took place. Our party was increased, by the cap- 
tain and supercargo of a Hamburg ship loading with rice for 
China. We were mounted on a very miscellaneous lot of 
Lombock ponies, which we had some difficulty in supplying 
with the necessary saddles, etc. ; and most of us had to patch 
up our girths, bridles, or stirrup-leathers as best we could. 
We passed through Mataram, where we were joined by our 
friend Gusti Gadioca, mounted on a handsome black horse, 
and riding, as all the natives do, without saddle or stirrups, 
using only a handsome saddle-cloth and very ornamental bri- 
dle. About three miles further, along pleasant by-ways, 
brought us to the place. We entered through a rather hand- 
some brick gateway supported by hideous Hindoo deities in 
stone. Within was an inclosure with two square fish-ponds 
and some fine trees ; then another gateway, through which 
we entered into a park. On the right was a brick house, 
built somewhat in the Hindoo style, and placed on a high 
terrace or platform ; on the left a large fish-pond, supplied by 
a little rivulet which entered in out of the mouth of a gigan- 
tic crocodile well executed, in brick and stone. The edges of 
the pond were bricked, and in the centre rose a fantastic and 
picturesque pavilion ornamented with grotesque, statues. The 
pond was well stocked with fine fish, which come every morn- 


ing to be fed at the sound of a wooden gong wticli is hung 
near for the purpose. On striking it, a number of fish imme- 
diately came out of the masses of weed with which the pond 
abounds, and followed us along the margin expecting food. 
At the same time some deer came out of an adjacent wood, 
which, from being seldom shot at and regularly fed, are almost 
tame. . The jungle and woods which surrounded the park ap- 
pearing to abound in birds, I went to shoot a few, and was 
rewarded by getting several specimens of the fine new king- 
fisher (Halcyon - fulgidus), and the curious and handsome 
ground-thrush (Zoothera andromeda). The former belies its 
namie by not frequenting water or feeding on fish. It lives 
constantly in low damp thickets, picking up ground insects, 
centipedes, and small moUusca. Altogether I was much 
pleased with my visit to this place, and it gave me a higher 
opinion than I had before entertained of the taste of these 
people, although the style, of the buildings and of the sculpture 
is very much inferior to those of the magnificent ruins in Java. 
I must now say a few words about the character, manners, and 
customs of these interesting people. 

The aborigines of Lombock are termed Sassaks. They 
are a Malay race, hardly difEering in appearance from the peo- 
ple of Malacca or Borneo, They are Mohammedans, and form 
the bulk of the population. The ruling classes, on the other 
hand, are natives of the adjacent island of Bali, and are of the 
Brahminical religion. The government is an absolute mon- 
archy, but it seems to be conducted with more wisdom and 
moderation than is usual in Malay countries. The father of 
the present Rajah conquered the island, and the people seem 
now quite reconciled to their new rulers, who do not interfere 
with' their religion, and probably do not tax them any heavier 
than did the native chiefs they have supplanted. The laws 
now in force in Lombock are very severe. Theft is punished 
by death. Mr. Carter informed me that a man once stole a 
metal coffee-pot from his house. He was caught, the pot re- 
stored, and the man brought to Mr. Carter to punish as he 
thought' fit. All the natives recommended Mr. Carter to have 
him " krissed " on the spot ; " for ix you don't," said they, " he 
will rob you again." Mr. Carter, however, let him off, with a 
warning that if he ever came inside his premises again he 

Seveke Laws. 183 

would certainly be shot. A few montlis afterward the same 
man stole a horse from Mr. Carter. The horse was recovered, 
but the thief was not caught. It is an established rule that 
any one found in a house after dark, unless with the owner's 
knowledge, may be stabbed, his body thrown out into the 
street or upon the beach, and no questions will be asked. 

The men are exceedingly jealous, and very strict with their 
wives. A married woman may not except a cigar or a sirih 
leaf from a stranger under pain of death. I was informed that 
some years ago one of the English traders had a Balinese 
woman of good family living with him, the connection being 
considered quite honorable by the natives. During some fes- 
tival this girl offended against the law by accepting a flower 
or some such trifle from another man. This was reported to 
the Rajah (to some of whose wives the girl was related), and 
he immediately sent to the Englishman's house ordering him 
to give the woman up, as she must be " krissed." In vain he 
begged and prayed, and offered to pay any fine the Rajah 
might impose, and finally refused to give her up unless he was 
forced to do so. This the Rajah did not wish to resort to, as 
he no doubt thought he was acting as much for the English- 
man's honor as for his own ; so he appeared to let the matter 
drop. But some time afterward he sent one of his followers 
to the house, who beckoned the girl to the door, and then saying, 
" The Rajah sends you this," stabbed her to the heart. More 
serious infidelity is punished still more cruelly, the woman and 
her paramour being tied back to back and thrown into the sea, 
where some large crocodiles are always on the watch to devour 
the bodies. One such execution took place while I was at Am- 
panam, but I took a long walk into the country to be out of the 
way till it was all over, thus missing the opportunity of having 
a horrible narrative to enliven my somewhat tedious story. 

One morning, as we were sitting at breakfast, Mr. Carter's 
servant informed us that there was an " amok " in the village 
— in other words, that a man was " running a muck.^' Orders 
were immediately given to shut and fasten the gates of our in- 
closure ; but hearing nothing for some time, we went out, and 
found there had been a false alarm, owing to a slave having 
run away, declaring he would " amok," because his master 
wanted to sell him. A short time before a man had been kill- 


ed at a gaming-table because, having lost half a dollar more 
than he possessed, he was going to "amok." Another had 
killed or wounded seventeen people before he could be destroy- 
ed. In their wars a whole regiment of these t)eople will some- 
times agree to " amok," and then rush on with such energetic 
de^speration as to be very formidable to men not so excited as 
themselves. Among the ancients these would have been look- 
ed upon as heroes or demi-gods who sacrified themselves for 
their country. Here it is simply said, they made " amok." 

Macassar is the most celebrated place in the East for " run- 
ning a muck." There are said to be one or two a month on 
the average, and five, ten, or twenty persons are sometimes 
killed or wounded at one of them. It is the national, and 
therefore the honorable mode of committing suicide among 
the natives of Celebes, and is the fashionable way of escaping 
from their difficulties. A Roman fell upon his sword, a Jap- 
anese rips up his stomach, and an Englishman blows out his 
brains with a pistol. The Bugis mode has many advantages 
to one suicidically inclined. A man thinks himself wronged 
by society — he is in debt, and can not pay — ^he is taken for a 
slave, or has gambled away his wife or child into slavery — 
he sees no way of recovering what he has lost, and becomes 
desperate. He will not put up with such cruel wrongs, but 
will be revenged on mankind and die like a hero. He grasps 
his krisrhandle, and the next moment draws out the weapon 
and stabs a man to the heart. He runs on, with bloody kris 
in his hand, stabbing at every one he meets. "Amok ! amok !" 
then resounds through the streets. Spears, krisses, knives, 
and guns are brought out against him. He rushes madly for- 
ward, kills all he can — men, women, and children — and dies, 
overwhelmed by numbers, amid all the excitement of a battle. 
And what that excitement is those who have been in one best 
know, but all who have ever given way to violent passions, or 
even indulged in violent and exciting exercises, may form a 
very good idea. It is a delirious intoxication, a temporary 
madness that absorbs every thought and every energy. And 
can we wonder at the kris-bearing, untaught, brooding Malay 
preferring such a death, looked upon as almost honorable, to 
the cold-blooded details of suicide, if he wishes to escape from 
overwhelming troubles, or the merciless clutches of the hang- 

Exports. 185 

man and the disgrace of a public execution, when he has taken 
the law into his own hands, and too hastily revenged himself 
upon his enemy ? In either case he chooses rather to " amok." 

The great staples of the trade of Lombock as well as of 
Bali are rice and coffee ; the former grown on the plains, the 
latter on the hills. The rice is exported very largely to other 
islands of the Archipelago, to Singapore, and even to China, 
and there are generally one or more vessels loading in the port. 
It is brought into Ampanam on pack-horses, and almost every 
day a string of these would come into Mr. Carter's yard. 
The only money the natives will take for their rice is Chinese 
copper cash, twelve hundred of which go to a dollar. Every 
morning two large sacks of this money had to be counted out 
into convenient sums for payment. From Bali quantities of 
dried beef and ox-tongues are exported, and from Lombock a 
good many ducks and ponies. The ducks are a peculiar breed, 
which have very long flat bodies, and walk erect almost like 
penguins. They are generally of a pale reddish ash color, 
and are kept in large flocks. They are very cheap, and are 
largely consumed by the crews of the rice-ships, by whom 
they are called Bali soldiers, but are more generally known 
elsewhere as penguin-ducks. 

My Portuguese bird-stufEer Fernandez now insisted on 
breaking his agreement and returning to Singapore ; partly 
from home-sickness, but more, I believe, from the idea that 
his life was not worth many months' purchase among such 
bloodthirsty and uncivilized peoples. It was a considerable 
loss to me, as I had paid him full three times the usual wages 
for three months in advance, half of which was occupied in 
the voyage, and the rest in a. place where I could have done 
without him, owing to there being so few insects that I could 
devote my own time to shooting and skinning. A few days 
after Fernandez had left, a small schooner came in bound for 
Macassar, to which place I took a passage. As a fitting con- 
clusion to my sketch of these interesting islands, I will narrate 
an anecdote which I heard of the present Rajah; and which, 
whether altogether true or not, well illustrates native charac- 
ter, and will serve as a means of introducing some details of 
the manners and customs of the country to which I have not 
yet alluded. 




The Rajah of Lombock was a very wise man, and lie show- 
ed his wisdom greatly in the way he took the census. For 
my readers must know that the chief revenues of the Rajah 
were derived from a head-tax of rice, a small measure being 
paid annually by every man, woman, and child in the island. 
There was no doubt that every one paid this tax, for it was a 
very light one, and the land was fertile, and the people well 
off ; but it had to pass through many hands' before it reached 
the Government store-houses. When the harvest was over 
the villagers brought their rice to the kapala kampong, or 
head of the village ; and no doubt he sometimes had compas- 
sion on the poor or sick and passed over their short measure, 
and sometimes was obliged to grant a favor to those who had 
complaints against him ; and then he must keep up his own 
dignity by having his granaries better fiUed than his neigh- 
bors, and so the rice that he took to the " waidono-' that was 
over his district 'was generally a good deal less than it should 
have been. And all tne " waidonos " had of course to take 
care of themselves, "for they were all in debt, and it was so 
easy to take a little of the Government rice, and there would 
still be plenty for the Rajah. And the "gustis," or princes, 
who received the rice from the waidonos, helped themselves 
likewise, and so when the harvest was all over and the rice 
tribute was all brought in, the quantity was found to be less 
each year than the one before. Sickness in one district, and 
fevers in another, and failure of the crops in a third, were of 
course alleged as the cause of this falling off ; but when the 
Rajah went to hunt at the foot of the great mountain, or went 
to visit a " gusti " on the other side of the island, he always 
saw the villages full of people, all looking well-fed and happy. 
And he noticed that the krisses of his chiefs and officers were 
getting handsomer and handsomer, and the handles that were 

Taking- a Ceksus. 187 

of yellow wood were changed for ivory, and those of ivory 
were changed for gold, and diamonds and emeralds sparkled on 
many of them ; and he knew very well which way the tribute- 
rice went. But as he could not prove it he kept silence, and 
resolved in his own heart some day to have a census taken, so 
that he might know the number of his people, and not be 
cheated out of more rice than was just and reasonable. 

But the difficulty was how to get this census. He could 
not go himself into every village and every house, and count 
all the people ; and if he ordered it to be done by the regular 
officers they would quickly understand what it was for, and 
the census would be sure to agree exactly with the quantity 
of rice he got last year. It was evident therefore that, to an- 
swer his purpose, no one must suspect why the census was 
taken ; and to make sure of this, no one must know that there 
was any census taken at all. This was a very hard problem ; 
and the Kajah thought and thought, as hard as a Malay Rajah 
can be expected to think, but could not solve it ; and so he 
was very unhappy, and did nothing but smoke and chew betel 
with his favorite wife, and eat scarcely any thing ; and even 
when he went to the cock-fight did not seem to care whether 
his best birds won or lost. For several days he remained in this 
sad state, and all the court were afraid some evil eye had be- 
witched the Rajah ^ and an unfortunate Irish captain who had 
come in for a cargo of rice and who squinted dreadfully, was 
very nearly being krissed, but being first brought to the royal 
presence, was graciously ordered to go on board and remain 
there while his ship staid in the port. 

One morning, however, after about a week's continuance 
of this unaccountable melancholy, a welcome change took 
place, for the Rajah sent to call together all the chiefs and 
priests and princes who were then in Mataram, his capital 
city ; and when they were all assembled in anxious expecta- 
tion, he thus addressed them : 

" For many days my heart has been very sick, and I knew 
not why, but now the trouble is cleared away, for I have had 
a dream. Last night the spirit of the ' Gunong Agong ' — the 
great fire-mountain — appeared to me, and told me that I must 
go up to the top of the mountain. All of you may come with 
me to near the top, but then I must go up alone, and the 


great spirit will again appear to me, and will tell me what is 
of great importance to me, and to you, and to all the people of 
the island. ISTow go, all of you, and make this known through 
the island, and let every village furnish men to make clear a 
road for us to go through the forest and up the great mount- 

So the news was spread over the whole island that the Ra- 
jah must go to meet the great spirit on the top of the mount- 
ain; and every village sent forth its men, and they cleared 
away the jungle and made bridges over the mountain streams, 
and smoothed the rough places for the Rajah's passage. And 
when they came to the steep and craggy rocks of the mount- 
ain, they sought out the best paths, sometimes along the bed 
of a torrent, sometimes along narrow ledges of the black 
rocks ; in one place cu^tting down a tall tree so as to bridge 
across a chasm, in another constructing ladders to mount the 
smooth face of a precipice. The chiefs who superintended the 
work fixed upon the length of each day's journey beforehand 
according to the nature of the road, and chose pleasant 
places by the banks of clear streams and in the neighborhood 
of shady trees, where they built sheds and huts of bamboo 
well thatched with the leaves of palm-trees, in which the Ra- 
jah and his attendants might eat and sleep at the close of 
each day. 

And when all was ready, the princes and priests and chief 
men came again to the Rajah to tell him what had been done, 
and to ask him when he would go up the mountain. And he 
fixed a day, and ordered every man of rank and authority to 
accompany him, to do honor to the great spirit who had bid 
him undertake the journey, and to show how willingly they 
obeyed his commands. And then there was much prepara- 
tion throughout the whole island. The best cattle were kill- 
ed, and the meat salted and sun-dried, and abundance of red 
peppers and sweet potatoes were gathered, and the tall pinang- 
trees were climbed for the spicy betel-nut, the sirih-leaf was 
tied up in bundles, and every man filled his tobacco-pouch and 
lime-box to the brim, so that he might not want any of the ma- 
terials for chewing the refreshing betel during the journey. 
And the stores of provisions were sent on a day in advance. 
And on the day before that appointed for starting, all the 

TAKiisra A Ceksus. 189 

chiefs, both great and small, came to Mataram, the abode of 
the king, with their horses and their servants, and the bearers 
of their sirih-boxes, and their sleeping-mats, and their provis- 
ions. And they encamped under the tall waringin-trees that 
border all the roads about Mataram, and with blazing fires 
frighted away the ghouls and evil spirits that nightly haunt 
the gloomy avenues. 

In the morning a great procession was formed to conduct 
the Rajah to the mountain ; and the royal princes and rela- 
tions of the Rajah mounted their black horses, whose tails 
swept the ground. They used no saddle or stirrups, but sat 
upon a cloth of gay colors ; the bits were of silver, and the 
bridles of many-colored cords. The less important people 
were on small strong horses of various colors, well suited to a 
mountain journey; and all (even the Rajah) were bare-legged 
to above the knee, wearing only the gay-colored cotton waist- 
cloth, a silk or cotton jacket, and a large handkerchief taste- 
fully folded round the head. Every one was attended by one 
or two servants bearing his sirih and betel boxes, who were 
also mounted on ponies ; and great numbers more had gone on 
in advance, or waited to bring up the rear. The men in au- 
thority were numbered by hundreds, and their followers by 
thousands, and all the island wondered what great thing would 
come of it. 

For the first two days they went along good roads and 
through many villages which were swept clean, and where 
bright cloths were hung out at the windows ; and all the people, 
when the Rajah came, squatted down upon the ground in re- 
spect, and every man riding got off his horse and squatted 
down also, and many joined the procession at every village. 
At the place where they stopped for the night, the people 
had placed stakes along each side of the roads in front of the 
houses. These were split crosswise at the top, and in the cleft 
were fastened little clay lamps, and between them were stuck 
the green leaves of palm-trees, which, dripping with the even- 
ing dew, gleamed prettily with the many twinkling lights. 
And few went to sleep that night till the morning hours, for 
every house held a knot of eager talkers, and much betel-nut 
was consumed, and endless w^ere the conjectures what would 
come of it. 


On the second day they left the last village behind them and 
entered the wild country that surrounds the great mountain, 
and rested in the huts that had been prepared for them on the 
banks of a stream of cold and sparkling water. And the Ra- 
jah's hunters, armed with long and heavy guns, went in search 
of deer and wild bulls in the surrounding woods, and brought 
home the meat of both in the early morning, and sent it on in 
advance to prepare the midday meal. On the third day they 
advanced as far as horses could go, and encamped at the foot 
of high rocks, among which narrow pathways only could be 
found to reach the mountain-top. And on the fourth morning 
when the Rajah set out, he was accompanied only by a small 
party of priests and princes, with their immediate attendants ; 
and they toiled wearily up the rugged way, and sometimes 
were carried by their servants, till they passed up above the 
great trees, and then among the thorny bushes, and above them 
again on to the black and burnt rock of the highest part of 
the mountain. 

And when they were near the summit the Rajah ordered 
them aU to halt, while he alone went to meet the great spirit 
on the very peak of the mountain. So he went on with two 
boys only who carried his sirih and betel, and soon reached 
the top of the mountain among great rocks, on the edge of the 
great gulf whence issue forth continually smoke and vapor. 
And the Rajah asked for sirih, and told the boys to sit down 
under a rock and look down the mountain, and not to move 
till he returned to them. And as they were tired, and the 
sun was warm and pleasant, and the rock sheltered them from 
the cold wind, the boys fell asleep. And the Rajah went a 
little way on under another rock ; and he was tired, and the 
sun was warm and pleasant, and he too feR asleep. 

And those who were waiting for the Rajah thought him a 
long time on the top of the mountain, and thought the great 
spirit must have much to say, or might perhaps want to keep 
him on the mountain always, or perhaps he had missed his 
way in coming down again. And they were debating whether 
they should go and search for him, when they saw him coming 
down with the two boys. And when he met them he looked 
very grave, but said nothing ; and then all descended together, 
and the procession returned as it had come ; and the Rajah went 

Taking a Census. 191 

to his palace, and the chiefs to their villages, and the people to 
their houses, to tell their wives and children all that had hap- 
pened, and to wonder yet again what would come of it. 

And three days afterward the Eajah summoned the priests 
and the princes and the chief men of Mataram to hear what 
the great spirit had told him on the top of the mountain. 
And when they were all assembled, and the betel and sirih 
had been handed round, he told them what had happened. 
On the top of the mountain he had fallen into a trance, and 
the great spirit had appeared to him with a face like burnish- 
ed gold, and had said : " Oh, Rajah ! much plague and sick- 
ness and fevers are coming upon all the earth, upon men, and 
upon horses, and upon cattle ; but as you and your people 
have obeyed me and have come up to my great mountain, I 
will teach you how you and all the people of Lombock may 
escape this plague." And all waited anxiously, to hear how 
they were to be saved from so fearful a calamity. And, after 
a short silence, the Rajah spoke again and told them that the 
great spirit had commanded that twelve sacred krisses should 
be made, and that to make them every village and every dis- 
trict must s.end a bundle of needles — a needle for every head 
in the village. And when any grievous disease appeared in 
any village, one of the sacred krisses should be sent there ; 
and if every house in that village had sent the right number 
of needles, the disease would immediately cease ; but if the 
number of needles sent had not been exact, the kris would 
have no virtue. 

So the princes and chiefs sent to all their villages and com- 
municated the wonderful news ; and all made haste to collect 
the needles with the greatest accuracy, for they feared that if 
but one were wanting the whole village would suffer. So, 
one by one, the head-men of the villages brought in their bun- 
dles of needles; those who were near Mataram came first, 
and those who were far off came last ; and the Rajah received 
them with his own hands, and put them away carefully in an 
mner chamber, in a camphor-wood chest whose hinges and 
clasps were of silver ; and on every bundle was marked the 
name of the village, and the district from whence it came, so 
that it might be known that all had heard and obeyed the 
commands of the great spirit. 


And when it was quite certain that every village had sent 
in its bundle, the Rajah divided the needles into twelve equal 
parts, and ordered the best^ steel-worker in Mataram to bring 
his forge and his bellows and his hammers to the palace, and 
to make the twelve krisses under the Rajah's eye, and in the 
sight of all men who chose to see it. And when they were fin- 
ished, they were wrapped up in new silk and put away care- 
fully until they might be wanted. 

Now the journey to the mountain was in the time of the 
east wind, when no rain falls in Lombock. And soon after 
the krisses were made it was the time of the rice harvest, and 
the chiefs of the districts and of villages brought in their tax 
to the Rajah according to the number of heads in their vil- 
lages. And to those that wanted but little of the full amount 
the Rajah said nothing; but when those came who brought 
only half or a fourth part of what was strictly due, he said to 
them mildly, " The needles which you sent from your village 
were many more than came from such a one's village, yet 
your tribute is less than his ; go back and see who it is that 
has not paid the tax." And the next year the produce of the 
tax increased greatly, for they feared that the Rajah might 
justly kill tliose who a second time kept back the right trib- 
ute. And so the Rajah became very rich, and increased the 
number of his soldiers, and gave golden jewels to his wives, 
and bought fine black horses from the white-skinned Holland- 
ers, and made great feasts when his children were born or 
were married ; and none of the Rajahs or Sultans among the 
Malays were so great or so powerful as the Rajah of Lom- 

And the twelve sacred krisses had great virtue. And when 
any sickness appeared in a village one of them was sent for ; 
and sometimes the sickness went away, and then the sacred 
kris was taken back again with great honor, and the head-men 
of the village came to tell the Rajah of its miraculous power, 
and to thank him. And sometimes the sickness would not 
go away ; and then every body was convinced that there had 
been a mistake in the number of needles sent from that vil- 
lage, and therefore the sacred kris had no effect, and had to 
be taken back again by the head-men with heavy hearts, but 
still with all honor — ^f or was not the fault their own ? 

Scanty Vegetation. 193 


COUPANG, 1857-1859. belli, 1861. 

The island of Timor is about three hundred miles long and 
sixty wideband seems to form the termination of the great 
range of volcanic islands which begins with Sumatra, more 
than two thousand miles to the west. It differs, however, 
very remarkably from all the other islands of the chain in not 
possessing any active volcanoes, with the one exception of 
Timor Peak, near the centre of the island, which was former- 
ly active, but was blown up during an eruption in 1638, and 
has since been quiescent. In no other part of Timor do there 
appear to be any recent igneous rocks, so that it can hardly 
be classed as a volcanic island. Indeed its position is just 
outside of the great volcanic belt, which extends from Flores 
through Ombay and Wetter to Banda. 

I first visited Timor in 1857, staying a day at Coupang, 
the chief Dutch town at the west end of the island, and again 
in May, 1859, when I staid a fortnight in the same neighbor- 
hood. In the spring of 1861 I spent four months at Delli, the 
capital of the Portuguese possessions in the eastern part of 
the island. 

The whole neighborhood of Coupang appears to have been 
elevated at a recent epoch, consisting of a rugged surface of 
coral rock, which rises in a vertical waU between the beach 
and the town, whose low white red-tiled houses give it an ap- 
pearance very similar to other Dutch settlements in the East. 
The vegetation is everywhere scanty and scrubby. Plants 
of the families Apocynaceas and Euphorbiacese abound ; but 
there is nothing that can be called a forest, and the whole 
country has a parched and desolate appearance, contrasting 
strongly with the lofty forest-trees and perennial verdure of 
the Moluccas or of Singapore. The most conspicuous feature 
of the vegetation was the abundance of fine fan-leaved palms 

194 Timor- 

(Borassus flabelliformis), from tlie leaves of wMch are con- 
structed the strong and durable water-buckets in general use, 
and which are much superior to those formed from any other 
species of palm. From the same tree, palm-wine and sugar 
are made, and the common thatch for houses formed of the 
leaves lasts six or seven years without removal. Close to the 
town I noticed the foundation of a ruined house below high- 
water mark, indicating recent subsidence. Earthquakes are 
not severe here, and are so infrequent and harmless that the 
chief houses are built of stone. 

The inhabitants of Coupang consist of Malays, Chinese, 
and Dutch, besides the natives ; so that there are many strange 
and complicated mixtures among the population. There is 
one resident English merchant, and whalers as well as Austra- 
lian ships often come here for stores and water. The native 
Timorese preponderate, and a very little examination serves 
to show that they have nothing in common with Malays, but 
are much more closely allied to the true Papuans of the Aru 
Islands and lS[ew Guinea. They are tall, have pronounced 
features, large, somewhat aquiline noses, and frizzly hair, and 
are generally of a dusky brown color. The way in which the 
women talk to each other and to the men, their loud voices 
and laughter, and general character of self-assertion, would 
enable an experienced observer to decide, even without seeing 
them, that they were not Malays. 

Mr. Arndt, a German,^ and; the Government doctor, invited 
me to stay at his house while in Coupang, and I gladly accept- 
ed his offer, as I only intended making a short visit. We at 
first began speaking French, but he got on so badly that we 
soon passed insensibly into Malay ; and we afterward held long 
discussions on literary, scientific, and philosophical questions, 
in that semi-barbarous language, whose deficiencies we made 
up by the free use of French or Latin words. 

After a few walks in the neighborhood of the town, I found 
such a poverty of insects and birds that I determined to go 
for a few days to the island of Semao, at the western extrem- 
ity of Timor, where I heard that there was forest country with 
birds not found at Coupang. With some difficulty I obtain- 
ed a large dug-out boat with outriggers to take me over, a 
distance of about twenty miles. I found the country pretty 

Oeassa. 195 

well wooded, but covered with shrubs and thorny bushes rath- 
er than forest-trees, and everywhere excessively parched and 
dried up by the long-continued dry season. I staid at the vil- 
lage of Oeassa, remarkable for its soap springs. One of these 
is in the middle of the village, bubbling out from a little cone 
of mud to which the ground rises all round like a volcano in 
miniature. The water has a soapy feel, and produces a strong 
lather when any greasy substance is washed in it. It contains 
alkali and iodine in such quantities as to destroy all vegeta-. 
tion for some distance round. Close by the village is one of 
the finest springs I have ever seen, contained in several rocky 
basins communicating by narrow channels. These have been 
neatly walled where required and partly levelled, and form 
fine natural baths. The water is well-tasted, and clear as crys- 
tal, and the basins are surrounded by a grove of lofty many- 
stemmed banyan- trees, which keep them always cool and 
shady, and add greatly to the picturesque beauty of the scene. 

The village consists of curious little houses very different 
from any I have seen elsewhere. They are of an oval figure, 
and the walls are made of sticks about four feet high, placed 
close together. From this rises a high conical roof thatched 
with grass. The only opening is a door about three feet high. 
The people are like the Timorese, with frizzly or wavy hair, and 
of a coppery-brown color. The better class appear to have 
a mixture of some superior race, which has much improved 
their features. I saw in Coupang some chiefs from the isl- 
and of Savu, further west, who presented characters very dis- 
tinct from either the Malay or Papuan races. They most re- 
sembled Hindoos, having fine well-formed features and straight 
thin noses, with clear brown complexions. As the Brahmini- 
cal religion once spread over all Java, and even now exists in 
Bali and Lombock, it is not at all improbable that some na- 
tives of India should have reached this island, either by acci- 
dent or to escape persecution, and formed a permanent settle- 
ment there. 

I staid at Oeassa four days, when, not finding any insects 
and very few new birds, I returned to Coupang to await the 
next mail-steamer. On the way I had a narrow escape of being 
swamped. The deep cofiin-like boat was filled up with my 
baggage, and with vegetables, cocoa-nuts, and other fruit for 

196 TiMOE. 

Coupang market ; and when we had got some way across into 
a rather rough sea, we found that a quantity of water was 
coming in which we had no means of bahng out. This caused 
us to sink deeper in the water, and then we shipped seas over 
our sides, and the rowers, who had before declared it was 
nothing, now became alarmed, and turned the boat round to 
get back to the coast of Semao, which was not far off. By 
clearing away some of the baggage, a little of the water could 
be baled out, but hardly so fast as it came in, and when we 
neared the coast we found nothing but vertical wall of rock, 
against which the sea was violently beating. We coasted 
along some distance till we found a little cove, into which we 
ran the boat, hauled it on shore, and, emptying it, found a large 
hole in the bottom, which had been temporarily stopped up 
with a plug of cocoa-nut, which had come out. Had we been 
a quarter of a mile further ofE before we discovered the leak, 
we should certainly have been obliged to throw most of our 
baggage overboard, and might easily have lost our lives. 
After we had put all straight and secure we again started, and 
when we were half-way across, got into such a strong current 
and high cross-sea that we were very nearly being swamped 
a second time, which made me vow never to trust myself again 
in such sniall and miserable vessels. 

The mail-steamer did not arrive for a week, and I occupied 
myself in getting as many of the birds as I could, and found 
some which were very interesting. Among these were ^Ye 
species of pigeons, of as many distinct genera, and most of 
them peculiar to the island ; two parrots — the;fine red-winged 
broad-tail (Platycercus vulneratus), allied to an Australian 
species, and a green species of the genus Geofcoyus. The 
Tropidorhynchus timorensis was as ubiquitous and as noisy 
as I had found it at Lombock ; and the Sphsecothera viridis, 
a curious green oriole, with bare red orbits, was a great ac- 
quisition. / There were several pretty finches, warblers, and 
fly-cajehers, and among them I obtained the elegant blue and 
red'Cyornis hyacinthina ; but I can not recognize among my 
collections the species mentioned by Dampier, who seems to 
have been much struck by the number of small song-birds in 
Timor. He says : " One sort of these pretty little birds my 
men called the ringing-bird, because it had six notes, and al- 

Delli. 197 

ways repeated all his notes twice, one after the other^ begin- 
ning high and shrill, and ending low. The bird was about the 
bigness of a lark, having a small sharp black bill and blue 
wings, the head and breast were of a pale red, and there was 
a blue streak about its neck." In Semao monkeys are abun- 
dant. They are the common hare-lipped monkey (Macacus 
cynomolgus), which is found all over the western islands of 
the Archipelago, and may have been introduced by natives, 
who often carry it about captive. There are also some deer, 
but it is not quite certain whether they are of the same species 
as are found in Java. 

I arrived at Delli, the capital of the Portuguese possessions 
in Timor, on January 12, 1861, and was kindly received by 
Captain Hart, an Englishman and an old resident, who trades 
in the produce of the country and cultivates coffee on an 
estate at the foot of the hills. With him I was introduced 
to Mr. Geach, a mining-engineer who had been for two years 
endeavoring to discover copper in sufficient quantities to be 
worth working. 

Delli is a most miserable place, compared with even the 
poorest of the Dutch towns. The houses are all of mud and 
thatch, the fort is only a mud inclosure, and the custom-house 
and church are built of the same mean materials, with no at- 
tempt at decoration or even neatness. The whole aspect of 
the place is that of a poor native town, and there is no sign 
of cultivation or civilization round about it. His excellency 
the governor's house is the only one that makes any preten- 
sions to appearance, and that is merely a low whitewashed 
cottage or bungalow. Yet there is one thing in which civ- 
ilization exhibits itself. Officials in black and white Euro- 
pean costume, and officers in gorgeous uniforms, abound in a 
degree quite disproportionate to the size or appearance of the 

The town, being surrounded for some distance by swamps 
and mud-flats, is very unhealthy, and a single night often gives 
a fever to new-comers which not unfrequently proves fatal. 
To avoid this malaria. Captain Hart always slept at his plan- 
tation, on a slight elevation about two miles from the town, 
where Mr. Geach also had a small house, which he kindly in- 
vited me to share. We rode there in the evening ; and in the 

198 TiMOK. 

course of two days my baggage was brought up, and I was 
able to look about me and see if I could do any collecting. 

For the first few weeks I was very unwell, and could not 
go far from the house. The country was covered with low 
spiny shrubs and acacias, except in a little valley where a 
stream came down from the hills, where some fine trees and 
bushes shaded the water, and formed a very pleasant place to 
ramble up. There were plenty of birds about, and of a toler- 
able variety of species, but very .few of them were gayly col- 
ored. Indeed, with one or two exceptions, the birds of this 
tropical island were hardly so ornamental as those of Great 
Britain. Beetles were so scarce that a collector might fairly 
say there were none, as the few obscure or uninteresting 
species would not repay him for the search. The only insects 
at all remarkable or interesting were the butterflies, which, 
though comparatively few in species, were sufficiently abun- 
dant, and comprised a large proportion of new or rare sorts. 
The banks of the stream formed my best collecting-ground, 
and I daily wandered up and down its shady bed, which about 
a mile up became rocky and precipitous. Here I obtained 
the rare and beautiful swallow-tail butterflies (Papilio asnomaus 
and P. liris) ; the males of which are quite unlike each other, 
and belong in fact to distinct sections of the genus, while the 
females are so much alike that they are undistinguishable on 
the wing, and, to an uneducated eye, equally so in the cabinet. 
Several* other beautiful butterflies rewarded my search in this 
place ; among which I may especially mention the Cethosia 
leschenaultii, whose wings of the deepest purple are bordered 
with buff in such a manner as to resemble at first sight our own 
Camberwell beauty, although it belongs to a different genus. 
The most abundant butterflies were the whites and yellows 
(Pieridae), several of which I had already found at Lombock 
and at Coupang, while others were new to me. 

Early in February we made arrangements to stay for a 
week at a village called Baliba, situated about four miles off 
on the mountain, at an elevation of 2000 feet. We took our 
baggage and a supply of all necessaries on pack-horses ; and 
though the distance by the route we took was not more tl^an 
six or seven miles, we were half a day getting there. The 
roads were mere tracks, sometimes up steep rocky stairs. 

Belli. 199 

sometimes in narrow gullies worn by the horses' feet, and 
where it was necessary to tuck up our legs on our horses' 
necks to avoid having them crushed. At some of these places 
the baggage had to be unloaded, at others it was knocked off. 
Sometimes the ascent or descent was so steep that it was easier 
to walk than to cling to our ponies' backs ; and thus we went 
up and down, over bare hills whose surface was covered with 
small pebbles and scattered over with Eucalypti, reminding 
me of what I had read of parts of the interior of Australia 
rather than of the Malay Archipelago. 

The village consisted of three houses only, with low walls 
raised a few feet on posts, and very high roofs thatched with 
grass hanging down to within two or three feet of the ground. 
A house which was unfinished and partly open at the back 
was given for our use, and in it we rigged up a table, some 
benches, and a screen, while an inner inclosed portion served 
us for a sleeping apartment. We had a splendid view down 
upon Delli and the sea beyond. The country round was un- 
dulating and open, except in the hollows, where there were 
some patches of forest, which Mr. Geach, who had been all 
over the eastern part of Timor, assured me was the most 
luxuriant he had yet seen in the island. I was in hopes of 
finding some insects here, but was much disappointed, owing 
perhaps to the dampness of the climate ; for it was not till the 
sun was pretty high that the mist cleared away, and by noon 
we were generally clouded up again, so that there was seldom 
more than an hour or two of fitful sunshine. We searched in 
every direction for birds and other game, but they were very 
scarce. On our way I had shot the fine white-headed pigeon 
(Ptilonopus cinctus), and the pretty little lorikeet (Trichoglos- 
sus euteles). I got a few more of these at the blossoms of the 
Eucalypti, and also the allied species, Trichoglossus iris, and a 
few other small but interesting birds. The common jungle- 
cock of India (Gallus bankiva) was found here, and furnished 
us with some excellent meals, but we could get no deer. Po- 
tatoes are grown higher up the mountains in abundance, and 
are very good. We had a sheep killed every other day, and 
ate our mutton with much appetite in the cool climate, which 
rendered a fire always agreeable. 

Although one-half the European residents in Delli are con- 

200 TiMOE. 

tinually ill from fever, and the Portuguese have occupied the 
place for three centuries, no one has yet built a house on these 
fine hills, which, if a tolerable road were made, would be only 
an hour's ride from the town ; and almost equally good situa- 
tions might be found on a lower level at half an hour's dis- 
tance. The fact that potatoes and wheat of excellent quality 
are grown in abundance at from 3000 to 3500 feet elevation, 
shows what the climate and soil are capable of if properly 
cultivated. From one to two thousand feet high coffee would 
thrive ; and there are hundreds of square miles of country, over 
which aU the varied products which require climates between 
those of coffee and. wheat would flourish ; but no attempt has 
yet been made to form a single mile of road or a single acre 
of plantation ! 

There must be something very unusual in the climate of 
Timor to permit of wheat being grown at so moderate an 
elevation. The grain is of excellent quality, the bread made 
from it being equal to any I have ever tasted ; and it is uni- 
versally acknowledged to be unsurpassed by any made from 
imported European or American flour. The fact that the na- 
tives have (quite of their own accord) taken to cultivating such 
foreign articles as wheat and potatoes, which they bring in 
small quantities on the backs of ponies by the most horrible 
mountain tracks, and sell very cheaply at the sea-side, suffi- 
ciently indicates what might be done if good roads were made, 
and if the people were taught, encouraged, and protected. 
Sheep also do well on the mountains, and a breed of hardy 
ponies in much repute all over the Archipelago, runs half 
wild ; so that it appears as if this island, so barren-looking and 
devoid of the usual features of tropical vegetation, were yet 
especially adapted to supply a variety of products essential to 
Europeans, which the other islands will not produce, and which 
they accordingly import from the other side of the globe. 

On the 24th of February my friend Mr. Geach left Timor, 
having finally reported that no minerals worth working were 
to be found. The Portuguese were very much annoyed, hav- 
ing, made up their minds that copper is abundant, and still 
believing it to be so. It appears that from time immemorial 
pure native copper has been found at a place on the coast 
about thirty miles east of Delli. The natives say they find it 

Supposed Copper-Mine. 201 

in the bed of a ravine, and many years ago a captain of a ves- 
sel is said to have got some hmidred-weight of it. 'Now, 
however, it is evidently very scarce, as during the two years 
Mr. Geach resided in the country none was found. I was 
shown one piece several pounds' weight, having much the ap- 
pearance of one of the larger Australian nuggets, but of pure 
copper instead of gold. The natives and the Portuguese have, 
very naturally, imagined that where these fragments come 
from there must be more ; and they have a report or tradition 
that a mountain at the head of the ravine is almost pure cop- 
per, and of course of immense value. 

After much difficulty a company was at length formed to 
work the copper mountain, a Portuguese merchant of Singa- 
pore supplying most of the capital. So confident were they 
of the existence of the copper that they thought it would be 
waste of time and money to have any exploration made first, 
and accordingly sent to England for a mining-engineer, who 
was to bring out all necessary tools, machinery, laboratory, 
utensils, a number of mechanics, and stores of all kinds for two 
years, in order to commence work on a copper-mine which he 
was told was already discovered. On reaching Singapore, a 
ship was freighted to take the men and stores to Timor, where 
they at length arrived, after much delay, a long voyage, and 
very great expense, 

A day was then fixed to " open the mines." Captain Hart 
accompanied Mr. Geach as interpreter. The Governor, the 
commandante, the judge, and all the chief people of the place 
went in state to the mountain, with Mr. Geach's assistant and 
some of the workmen. As they went up the valley Mr. Geach 
examined the rocks, but saw no signs of copper. They went 
on and on, but still nothing except a few mere traces of very 
poor ore. At length they stood on the copper mountain itself. 
The Governor stopped, the officials formed a circle, and he then 
addressed them, saying that at length the day had arrived they 
had all been so long expecting, when the treasures of the soil 
of Timor would be brought to light, and much more in very 
grandiloquent Portuguese, and concluded by turning to Mr. 
Geach and requesting him to point out the best spot for them 
to begin work at once, and uncover the mass of virgin copper. 
As the ravines and precipices among which- they had passed, 

202 Timor. 

and wMch had been carefully examined, revealed very clearly 
the nature and mineral constitution of the country, Mr. Geach 
simply told them that there was not a trace of copper there, 
and that it was perfectly useless to begin work. The audience 
were thunderstruck ! The Governor could not beheve his ears. 
At length, when Mr. Geach had repeated his statement, the 
Governor told him severely that he was mistaken ; that they 
all knew there was copper there in abundance, and all they 
wanted him to tell them, as a mining-engineer, was how best to 
get at it ; and that at all events he was to begin work some- 
where. This Mr. Geach refused to dOg trying to explain that 
the ravines had cut far deeper into the hill than he could do 
in years, and that he would not throw away money or time on 
any such useless attempt. After this speech had been inter- 
preted to him, the Governor saw it was no use, and, without 
saying a word, turned his horse and rode away, leaving my 
friends alone on the mountain. They all believed there was 
some conspiracy, that- the Englishman would not find the cojd- 
per, and that they had been cruelly betrayed. 

Mr. Geach then wrote to the Singapore merchant who was 
his employer, and it was arranged that he should send the 
mechanics home again, and himself explore the country for 
minerals. At first the Government threw obstacles in his way, 
and entirely prevented his moving ; but at length he was al- 
lowed to travel about, and for more than a year he and his as- 
sistant explored the eastern part of Timor, crossing it in sev- 
eral places from sea to sea, and ascending every important val- 
ley, without finding any minerals that would pay the expense 
" of working. Copper ore exists in several places, but always 
too poor in quality. The best would pay well if situated in 
England ; but in the interior of an utterly barren country, 
with roads to make, and all skilled labor and materials to im- 
port, it would have been a losing concern. Gold also occurs, 
but very sparingly and of poor quality. A fine spring of pure 
petroleum was discovered far in the interior, where it can 
never be available till the country is civilized. The whole af- 
fair was a dreadful disappointment to, the Portuguese Govern- 
ment, who had considered it such a certain thing that they had 
contracted for the Dutch mail-steamers to stop at Delli ; and 
severar vessels from Australia were induced to come with 

Native Eaces. 203 

miscellaneous cargoes, for wMcli they expected to find a ready 
sale among the population at the newly-opened mines. The 
lumps of native copper are still, however, a mystery. Mr. 
Geach has examined the country in every direction without 
being able to trace their origin ; so that it seems probable 
that they result from the debris of old copper-bearing strata, 
and are not really more abundant than gold nuggets are in 
Australia or California. A high reward was offered to any 
native who should find a piece and show the exact spot where 
he obtained it, but without effect. 

The mountaineers of Timor are a people of Papuan type, 
having rather slender forms, bushy frizzled hair, and the skin 
of a dusky-brown color. They have the long nose, with over- 
hanging apex, which is so characteristic of the Papuan, and so 
absolutely unknown among races of Malayan origin. On the 
coast there has been much admixture of some of the Malay 
races^and perhaps of Hindoo, as well as of Portuguese. The 
general stature there is lower, the hair wavy instead of frizzled, 
and the features less prominent. The houses are built on the 
ground, while the mountaineers raise theirs on posts three or 
four feet high. The common dress is a long cloth, twisted 
round the waist and hanging to the knee, as shown in the il- 
lustration (page 204), copied from a photograph. Both men 
carry the national umbrella, made of an entire fan-shaped 
palm-leaf, carefully stitched at the fold of each leaflet to pre- 
vent splitting. This is opened out, and held sloping over the 
head and back during a shower. The small water-bucket is 
made from an entire unopened leaf of the same palm, and the 
covered bamboo probably contains honey for sale. A curious 
wallet is generally carried, consisting of a square of strongly 
woven cloth, the four corners of which are connected by cords, 
and often much ornamented with beads and tassels. Leaning 
against the house behind the figure on the right are bamboos, 
used instead of water-jars. 

A prevalent custom is the " pomali," exactly equivalent to 
the " taboo " of the Pacific islanders, and equally respected. 
It is used on the commonest occasions, and a few palm-leaves 
stuck outside the garden as a sign of the " pomali " will pre- 
serve its produce from thieves as effectually as the threaten- 
ing notice of man-traps, spring-guri^, or a savage dog would 

204 TiMOE. 

do with us. The dead are placed on a stage, raised six or 
eight feet above the ground, sometimes open and sometimes 
covered with a roof. Here the body i-emains till the relatives 

TIMOR MEN. {From a photograph.) 

can afford to make a feast, when it is buried. The Timorese 
are generally great thieves, but are not bloodthirsty. They 
fight continually among themselves, and take every opportuni- 
ty of kidnaping unprotected people of other tribes for slaves ; 
but Europeans may pass anywhere through the country in 
safety. Except a few half-breeds in the town, there are no 
native Christians in the island of Timor. The people retain 

Portuguese G-oveenment. ' 205 

their independence in a great measure, and both dislike and 
despise their wonld-be rulers, whether Portuguese or Dutch. 

The Portuguese government in Timor is a most miserable 
one. Nobody seems to care the least about the improvement 
of the country, and at this time, after three hundred years of 
occupation, there has not been a mile of road made beyond 
the town, and there is not a solitary European resident any- 
where in the interior. All the government officials oppress 
and rob the natives as much as they can, and yet there is no 
care taken to render the town defensible should the Timorese 
attempt to attack it. So ignorant are the military officers, 
that having received a small mortar and some shells, no one 
could be found who knew how to use them ; and during an 
insurrection of the natives (while I was at Delli) the officer 
who expected to be sent against the insurgents was instantly 
taken ill ! and they were allowed to get possession of an im- 
portant pass within three miles of the town, where they could 
defend themselves against ten times the force. The result was 
that no provisions were brought down from the hills ; a famine 
was imminent, and the governor had to send off to beg for 
supplies from the Dutch Governor of Amboyna. 

In its present state Timor is more trouble than profit to its 
Dutch and Portuguese rulers, and it will continue to be so un- 
less a different system is pursued. A few good roads into the 
elevated districts of the interior, a conciliatory policy and strict 
justice toward the natives, and the introduction of a good sys- 
tem of cultivation as in Java and N^orthern Celebes, might yet 
make Timor a productive and valuable island. Rice grows 
well on the marshy flats which often fringe the coast, and 
maize thrives in all the lowlands, and is the common food of 
the natives as it was when Dampier visited the island in 1699. 
The small quantity of coffee now grown is of very superior 
quality, and it might be increased to any extent. Sheep thrive, 
and would always be valuable as fresh food for whalers and to 
supply the adjacent islands with mutton, if not for their wool ; 
although it is probable that on the mountains this product 
might soon be obtained by judicious breeding. Horses thrive 
amazingly ; and enough wheat might be grown to supply the 
whole Archipelago if there were sufficient inducements to the 
natives to extend its cultivation, and good roads by which it 

206 TiMOK. 

could be cheaply transported to tlie coast. Under such a sys- 
tem the natives would soon perceive that European govern- 
ment was advantageous to them. They would begin to save 
money, and property being rendered secure, they would rapid- 
ly acquire new wants and new tastes, and become large con- 
sumers of European goods. This would be afar surer source 
of profit to their rulers than imposts and extortion, and would 
be at the same time more likely to produce peace and obedi- 
ence, than the mock-military rule which has hitherto proved 
most ineffective. To inaugurate such a system would, how- 
ever, require an immediate outlay of capital, which neither 
Dutch nor Portuguese seem inclined to make, and a number 
of, honest and energetic officials, which the latter nation at 
least seems unable to produce ; so that it is much to be feared 
that Timor will for many years to come remain in its present 
state of chronic insurrection and misgovernment. 

Morality at Delli is at as low an ebb as in the far interior 
of Brazil, and crimes are connived at which would entail in- 
famy and criminal prosecution in Europe. While I was there 
it was generally asserted and believed in the place that two 
qfficers had poisoned the husbands of women with whom they 
were carrying on intrigues, and with whom they immediately 
cohabited on the death of their rivals. Yet no one ever 
thought for a moment of showing disapprobation of the crime, 
or even of considering it a crime at all, the husbands in ques- 
tion being low half-castes, who of course ought to make way 
for the pleasures of their superiors. 

Judging from what I saw myself and by the descriptions 
of Mr. Geach, the indigenous vegetation of Timor is poor and 
monotonous. The lower ranges of the hills are everywhere 
covered with scrubby Eucalypti, which only occasionally grow 
into lofty forest-trees. Mingled with these in smaller quanti- 
ties are acacias and the fragrant sandal-wood, while the high- 
er mountains, which rise to about six or seven thousand feet, 
are either covered with coarse grass or are altogether barren. 
In the lower grounds are a variety of weedy bushes, and open 
waste places are covered everywhere with a nettle-like wild 
mint. Here is found the beautiful crown lily (Gloriosa super- 
ba) winding among the bushes, and displaying its magnificent 
blossoms in great profusion. A wild vine also occurs, bearing 

Products — Exports. 207 

great irregular bunches of hairy grapes, of a coarse but very 
luscious flavor. In some of the valleys where the vegetation is 
richer, thorny shrubs and climbers are so abundant as to make 
the thickets quite impenetrable. 

The soil seems very poor, consisting chiefly of decomposing 
clayey shales, and the bare earth and rock is almost every- 
where visible. The drought of the hot season is so severe 
that most of the streams dry up in the plains before they 
reach the sea; every thing becomes burnt up, and the leaves 
of the larger trees fall as completely as in our winter. On the 
mountains from two to four thousand feet elevation there is a 
much moister atmosphere, so that potatoes and other European 
products can be grown all the year round. Besides ponies, 
almost the only exports of Timor are sandal-wood and bees- 
wax. The sandal-wood (Santalum sp.) is the produce of a 
small tree, which grows sparingly in the mountains of Timor 
and many of the other islands in the far East. The wood is 
of a fine yellow color, and possesses a well-known delightful 
fragrance which is. wonderfully permanent. ' It is brought 
down to Delli in small logs, and is chiefly exported to China, 
where it is largely used to burn in the temples, and in the 
houses of the wealthy. 

The bees- wax is a still more important and valuable prod- 
uct, formed by the wild bees (Apis dorsata), which build 
huge honey-combs, suspended in the open air from the under 
side of the lofty branches of the highest trees. These are of 
a semicircular form, and often three or four feet in diameter. 
I once saw the natives take a bees' nest, and a very interesting 
sight it was. In the valley where I used to collect insects I 
one day saw three or four Timorese men and boys under a 
high tree, and, looking up, saw on a very lofty horizontal 
branch three large bees' combs. The tree was straight and 
smooth-barked and without a branch, till at seventy or eighty 
feet from the ground it gave out the limb which the bees had 
chosen for their home. As the men were evidently looking 
after the bees, I waited to watch their operations. One of 
them first produced a long piece of wood, apparently the stem 
of a small tree or creeper, which he had brought with him, 
and began splitting it through in several directions, which 
showed that it was very tough and stringy. He then wrapped 

208 TiMOE. 

it in palm-leaves, whicli were secured by twisting a slender 
creeper round them. He then fastened his cloth tightly round 
his loins, and, producing another cloth, wrapped it roimd his 
head, neck, and body, and tied it firmly round his neck, leaving 
his face, arms, and legs completely bare. Slung to his girdle 
he carried a long thin coil of cord ; and while he had been 
making these preparations one of his companions had cut a 
strong creeper or bush-rope eight or ten yards long, to one 
end of which the wood-torch was fastened, and lighted at the 
bottom, emitting a steady stream of smoke. Just above the 
torch a chopping-knif e was fastened by a short cord. 

The bee-hunter now took hold of the bush-rope just above 
the torch and passed the other end round the trunk of the 
tree, holding one end in each hand. Jerking it up the tree a 
little above his head, he set his foot against the trunk, and, 
leaning back, began walking up it. It was wonderful to see 
the skill with which he took advantage of the slightest irreg- 
ularities of the bark or obliquity of the stem to aid his ascent, 
jerking the stiff creeper a few feet higher when he had found 
a firm hold for his bare foot. It almost made me giddy to 
look at him as he rapidly got up — thirty, forty, fifty feet above 
the ground, and I kept wondering how he could possibly 
mount the next few feet of straight smooth trunk. Still, how- 
ever, he kept on with as much coolness and apparent certainty 
as if he were going up a ladder, till he got within ten or fif- 
teen feet of the bees. Then he stopped a moment, and took 
care to swing the torch (which hung just at his feet) a little 
toward these dangerous insects, so as to send up the stream 
of smoke between him and them. Still going on, in a minute 
more he brought himself under the limb, and, in a manner 
quite unintelligible to me, seeing that both hands were occu- 
pied in supporting himself by the creeper, managed to get 
upon it. 

By this time the bees began to be alarmed, and formed a 
dense buzzing swarm just over him, but he brought the torch 
up closer to him, and coolly brushed away those that settled 
on his arms or legs. Then stretching himself along the limb, 
he crept toward the nearest comb and swung the torch just 
under it. The moment the smoke touched it, its color changed 
in a most curious manner from black to white, the myriads of 

Bee-Hunteks, 209 

bees that had covered it flying ofE and forming a dense cloud 
above and around. The man then lay at full length along the 
limb, and brushed off the remaining bees with his hand, and 
then drawing his knife cut off the comb at one slice close to 
the tree, and attaching the thin cord to it, let it down to his 
companions below. He was all this time enveloped in a crowd 
of angry bees, and how he bore their stings so coolly and 
went on with his work at that giddy height so deliberately, 
was more than I could understand. The bees were not evi- 
dently stupefied by the smoke or driven away far by it, and 
it was impossible that the small stream from the torch could 
protect his whole body when at work. There were three 
other combs on the same tree, and all were successively taken, 
and furnished the whole party with a luscious feast of honey 
and young bees, as well as a valuable lot of wax. 

After two of the combs had been let down, the bees be- 
came rather numerous below, flying about wildly and stinging 
viciously. Several got about me, and I was soon stung, and 
had to run away, beating them off with my net and capturing 
them for specimens. Several of them followed me for at 
least half a mile, getting into my hair and persecuting me 
most pertinaciously, so that I was more astonished than ever 
at the immunity of the natives. I am inclined to think that 
slow and deliberate motion, and no attempt at escape, are per- 
haps the best safeguards. A bee settling on a passive native 
probably behaves as it would on a tree or other inanimate 
substance, which it does not attempt to sting. Still they must 
often suffer, but they are used to the pain, and learn to bear 
it impassively, as without doing so no man could be a bee- 


210 Natural History 



If we look at a map of the Archipelago, nothing seems 
more unlikely than that the closely-connected chain of islands 
from Java to Timor should differ materially in their natural 
productions. There are, it is true, certain differences of cli- 
mate and of physical geography, but these do not correspond 
with the division the naturalist is obliged to make. Be- 
tween the two ends of the chain there is a great contrast of 
climate, the west being exceedingly moist, and having only 
a short and irregular dry season ; the east being as dry and 
parched up, and having but a short wet season. This change, 
however, occurs about the middle of Java, the eastern por- 
tion of that island having as strongly-marked seasons as Lom- 
bock and Timor. There is also a difference in physical ge- 
ography ; but this occurs at the eastern termination of the 
chain, where the volcanoes, which are the marked feature of 
Java, Bali, Lombock, Sumbawa, and Flores, turn northward 
through Gunong Api to Banda, leaving Timor with only one 
volcanic peak near its centre, while the main portion of the 
island consists of old sedimentary rocks. N"either of these 
physical differences corresponds with the remarkable change 
in natural productions which occurs at the Straits of Lombock, 
separating the island of that name from Bali, and which is at 
once so large in amount and of so fundamental a character, 
as to form an important feature in the zoological geography 
of our globe. 

The Dutch naturalist Zollinger, who resided a long time 
in the island of Bali, informs us that its productions com- 
pletely assimilate with those of Java, and that he is not 
aware of a single animal found in it which does not inhabit 
the larger island. During the few days which I staid on the 
north coast of Bali, on my way to Lombock, I saw several 
birds highly characteristic of Javan ornithology. Among 

Of the Timor G-roup. 211 

these were tlie yellow-headed weaver (Ploceus hypoxantha), 
the black grasshopper-thrush (Copsychus amoenus), the rosy 
barbet (Megalsema rosea), the Malay oriole (Oriolus hors- 
fieldi), the Java ground-starling (Sturnopastor jalla), and the 
Javanese three-toed woodpecker (Chrysonotus tiga). On 
crossing over to Lombock, separated from Bali by a strait 
less than twenty miles wide, I naturally expected to meet 
with some of these birds again ; but during a stay there of 
three months I never saw one of them, but found a totally 
different set of species, most of which were utterly unknown 
not only in Java, but also in Borneo, Sumatra, and Malacca. 
For example, among the commonest birds in Lombock were 
white cockatoos and three species of Meliphagidse, or honey 
suckers, belonging to family groups which are entirely absent 
from the western or Indo-Malayan region of the Archipelago. 
On passing to Flores and Timor the distinctness from the 
Javanese productions increases, and we find that these islands 
form a natural group, whose birds are related to those of 
Java and Australia, but are quite distinct from either. Be- 
sides my own collections in Lombock and Timor, my assistant 
Mr. Allen made a good collection in Flores ; and these, with 
a few species obtained by the Dutch naturalists, enable us to 
form a very good idea of the natural history of this group of 
islands, and to derive therefrom some very interesting results. 
The number of birds known from these islands up to this 
date is — 63 from Lombock, 86 from Flores, and 118 from 
Timor; and from the whole group 188 species. With the 
exception of two or three species which appear to have been 
derived from the Moluccas, all these birds can be traced, either 
directly or by close allies, to Java on the one side, or to Aus- 
stralia on the other, although no less than 82 of them are 
found nowhere out of this small group of islands. There is 
not, however, a single genus peculiar to the group, or even 
one which is largely represented in it by peculiar species ; 
and this is a fact which indicates that the fauna is strictly 
derivative, and that its origin does not go back beyond one 
of the most recent geological epochs. Of course there are a 
large number of species (such as most of the waders, many 
of the raptorial birds, some .of the kingfishers, swallows, and 
a few others) which range so widely over a large part of the 

212 Natural History 

Archipelago that it is impossible to trace them as having 
come from any one part rather than from another. There 
are fifty-seven such species in my list, and besides these there 
are thirty-five more which, though peculiar to the Timor 
group, are yet allied to wide-ranging forms. Deducting these 
ninety-two species, we have nearly a hundred birds left whose 
relations with those of other countries we will now consider. 
If we first take those species which, as far as we yet know, 
are absolutely confined to each island, we find in 

Lombock 4, belonging to 2 genera, of which 1 is Australian, 1 Indian 
Flores .12 " 7 " 5 are " 2 *' 

Timor . 42 *' 20 " 16 " 4 " 

The actual number of peculiar species in each island I do not 
suppose to be at all accurately determined, since the rapidly 
increasing numbers evidently depend upon the more exten- 
sive collections made in Timor than in Flores, and in Flores, 
than in Lombock ; but what we can depend more upon, and 
what is of more especial interest, is the greatly increased pro- 
portion of Australian forms and decreased proportion of In- 
dian forms, as we go from west to east. We shall show this 
in a yet more striking manner by counting the numbers of 
species identical with those of Java and Australia respective- 
ly in each island — thus : 

In Lombock. 

Javan birds 33 

Australian birds 4 

Here we see plainly the course of the migration which has 
been going on for hundreds or thousands of years, and is still 
going on at the present day. Birds entering from Java are 
most numerous in the island nearest Java ; each strait of the 
sea to be crossed to reach another island ofiers an obstacle, 
and thus a smaller number get over to the next island.^ It 
will be observed that the number of birds that appear to 
have entered from Australia is much less than those which 
have come from Java ; and we may at first sight suppose that 
this is due to the wide sea that separates Australia from Ti- 
mor. But this would be a hasty and, as we shall soon see, 
an unwarranted supposition. Besides these birds identical 

* The names of all the birds inhabiting these islands are to be found in the 
" Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London " for the year 1863. 

L Flores. 

In Timor. 





Of the Timoe Group. 213 

with species inhabiting Java and Australia, there are a con- 
siderable number of others very closely allied to species 
peculiar to those countries, and we must take these also into 
account before we form any conclusion on the matter. It 
will be as well to combine these with the former table thus: 

Javan birds 

In Lombock. 
.... 33 

In Flores, 



In Timor. 

Closely allied to Javan birds 

.... 1 



.... "34 



Australian birds 

.... 4 



Closely allied to Australian birds 

.... 3 



.... 7 



We now see that the total number of birds which seem to 
have been derived from Java and Australia is very nearly 
equal, but there is this remarkable difference between the 
two series : that whereas the larger proportion by far of the 
Java set are identical with those still inhabiting that country, 
an almost equally large proportion of the Australian set are 
distinct, though often very closely allied species. It is to be 
observed, also, that these representative or allied species di- 
minish in number as they recede from Australia, while they 
increase in number as they recede from Java. There are 
two reasons for this, one being that the islands decrease rapid- 
ly in size from Timor to Lombock, and can therefore support a 
decreasing number of species ; the other and the more impor- 
tant is, that the distance of Australia from Timor cuts off the 
supply of fresh immigrants, and has thus allowed variation to 
have full play ; while the vicinity of Lombock to Bali and Java 
has allowed a continual influx of fresh individuals, which, by 
crossing with the earlier immigrants, has checked variation. 

To simplify our view of the derivative origin of the birds 
of these islands, let us treat them as a whole, and thus per- 
haps render more intelligible their respective relations to Java 
and Australia. 

The Timor group of islands contains : 

Javan birds 36 Australian birds 13 

Closely allied species Jl Closely allied species _35 

Derived from Java 47 Derived from Australia 48 

We have here a wonderful agreement in the number of 
birds belonging to Australian and Javanese groups, but they 

214 Natueal History 

are divided in exactly a reverse manner, three-fourths of the 
Javan birds being identical species and one-fourth representa- 
tives, while only one-fourth of the Australian forms are iden- 
tical and three-foui-ths representatives. This is the most im- 
portant fact which we can elicit from a study of the birds of 
these islands, since it gives us a very complete clew to much 
of their past history. 

Change of species is a slow process. On that we are all 
agreed, though we may differ about how it has taken place. 
The fact that the Australian species in these islands have 
mostly changed, while the Javan species have almost all 
remained unchanged, would therefore indicate that the dis- 
trict was first peopled from Australia. But, for this to have 
been thie case, the physical conditions must have been very 
different from what they are now. Nearly three hundred 
miles of open sea now separate Australia from Timor, which 
island is connected with Java by a chain of broken land 
divided by straits which are nowhere more than about twen- 
ty miles wide. Evidently there are now great facilities for 
the natural productions of Java to spread over and occupy 
the whole of these islands, while those of Australia would 
find very great difficulty in getting across. To account for 
the present state of things, we should naturally suppose that 
Australia was once much more closely connected with Timor 
than it is at present ; and that this was the case is rendered 
highly probable by the fact of a submarine bank extending 
along all the north and west coast of Australia, and at one 
place approaching within twenty miles of the coast of Timor. 
This indicates a recent subsidence of N'orth Australia, which 
probably once extended as far as the edge of this bank, be- 
tween which and Timor there is an unfathomed depth of ocean. 
^ I do not think that Timor was ever actually connected 
with Australia, because such a large number of very abun- 
dant and characteristic groups of Australian birds are quite 
absent, and not a single Australian mammal has entered Ti- 
mor ; which would certainly not have been the case had the 
lands been actually united. Such groups as the bower birds 
(Ptilonorhynchus), the black and red cockatoos (Calypto- 
rhynchus), the blue wrens (Malurus), the crowshrikes (Crac- 
ticus), the Australian shrikes (Falcunculus and CoUuricin- 

Of the Timor Gboup. 215 

cla), and many others, wMcli abound all over Australia, 
would certainly have spread into Timor if it had been united 
to that country, or even if for any long time it had approach- 
ed nearer to it than twenty miles. JS^either do any of the 
most characteristic groups of Australian insects occur in Ti- 
mor; so that every thing combines to indicate that a strait 
of the sea has always separated it from Australia, but that 
at one period this strait was reduced to a width of about 
twenty miles. 

But at the time when this narrowing of the sea took place 
in one direction, there must have been a greater separation 
at the other end of the chain, or we should find more equal- 
ity in the numbers of identical and representative species de- 
rived from each extremity. It is true that the widening of 
the strait at the Australian end by subsidence would, by 
putting a stop to immigration and intercrossing of individ- 
uals from the mother-country, have allowed full scope to the 
causes which have led to the modification of the species ; 
while the continued stream of immigrants from Java would, 
by continual intercrossing, check such modification. This 
view will not, however, explain all the facts ; for the charac- 
ter of the fauna of the Timorese group is indicated as well 
by the forms which are absent from it as by those which it 
contains, and is by this kind of evidence shown to be much 
more Australian than Indian. No less than twenty-nine 
genera, all more or less abundant in Java, and most of which 
range over a wide area, are altogether absent ; while of the 
equally diffused Australian genera only about fourteen are 
wanting. This would clearly indicate that there has been, 
till recently, a wide separation from Java ; and the fact that 
the islands of Bali and Lombock are small, and are almost 
wholly volcanic, and contain a smaller number of modified 
forms than the other islands, would point them out as of 
comparatively recent origin. A wide arm of the sea proba- 
bly occupied their place at the time when Timor was in the 
closest proximity to Australia ; and as the subterranean fires 
were slowly piling up the now fertile islands of Bali and 
Lombock, the northern shores of Australia would be sink- 
ing beneath the ocean. Some such changes as have been 
here indicated enable us to understand how it happens that, 

216 Natueal Histoky 

though the birds of this group are on the whole almost as 
much Indian as Australian, yet the species which are peculiar 
to the group are mostly Australian in character, and also 
why such a large number of common Indian forms which ex- 
tend through Java to Bali should not have transmitted a 
single representative to the islands further east. 

The Mammalia of Timor as well as those^ of the other 
islands of the group are exceedingly scanty, with the excep- 
tion of bats. These last are tolerably abundant, and no 
doubt many more remain to be discovered. Out of fifteen 
species known from Timor, nine are found also in Java, or 
the islands west of it ; three are Moluccan species, most of 
which are also found in Australia, and the rest are peculiar 
to Timor. 

The land mammals are only seven in number, as follows : 

1. The common monkey (Macacus cynomolgus), which is found 
in all the Indo-Malayan islands, and has spread from Java 
through Bali and Lombock to Timor. This species is very 
frequent on the banks of rivers, and may have been convey- 
ed from island to island oh trees carried down by floods. 

2. Paradoxurus fasciatus ; a civet-cat, very common over a 
large part of the Archipelago. 3^ Felis megalotis ; a tiger- 
cat, said to be peculiar to Timor, where it exists only in the 
interior, and is very rare. Its nearest allies are in Java. 4. 
Cervus timoriensis; a deer, closely allied to the Javan and 
Moluccan species, if distinct. 5. A wild pig (Sus timorien- 
sis) ; perhaps the same as some of the Moluccan species. 6. 
A shrew-mouse (Sorex tenuis) ; supposed to be peculiar to 
Timor. T. An Eastern opossum (Cuscus orientalis) ; found 
also in the Moluccas, if not a distinct species. 

The fact that not one of these species is Australian, or 
nearly allied to any Australian form, is strongly corrobora- 
tive of the opinion that Timor has never formed a part of 
that country; as in that case some kangaroo or other mar- 
supial animal would almost certainly be found there. It is 
no doubt very difficult to account for the presence of some 
of the few mammals that do exist in Timor, especially the 
tiger-cat and the deer. We must consider, however, that 
during thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of 
years, these islands and the seas between them have been 

Of the Timor Group. 217 

subjected to volcanic action. The land has been raised and 
sunk again; the straits have been narrowed or widened; 
many of the islands may have been joined and dissevered 
again ; violent floods have again and again devastated the 
mountains and plains, carrying out to sea hundreds of forest- 
trees, as has often happened during volcanic eruptions in 
Java ; and it does not seem improbable that once in a thou- 
sand, or ten thousand years, there should have occurred such 
a favorable combination of circumstances as would lead to 
the migration of two or three land animals from one island 
to another. This is all that we need ask to account for the 
very scanty and fragmentary group of Mammalia which now 
inhabit the large island of Timor. The deer may very prob- 
ably have been introduced by man, for the Malays often 
keep tame fawns ; and it may not require a thousand, or 
even five hundred years, to establish new characters in an 
animal removed to a country so different in climate and vege- 
tation as is Timor from the Moluccas. I have not mentioned 
horses, which are often thought to be wild in Timor, because 
there are no grounds whatever for such a belief. The Timor 
ponies have every one an owner, and are quite as much do- 
mesticated animals as the cattle on a South American ha- 

I have dwelt at some length on the origin of the Timorese 
fauna, because it appears to me a most interesting and in- 
structive problem. It is very seldom that we can trace the 
animals of a district so clearly as we can in this case to two 
definite sources ; and still more rarely that they farnish such 
decisive evidence of the time, and the manner, and the pro- 
portions of their introduction. We have here a group of 
oceanic islands in miniature — islands which have never formed 
part of the adjacent lands, although so closely approaching 
them ; and their productions have the characteristics of true 
oceanic islands slightly modified. These characteristics are, 
the absence of all Mammalia except bats, and the occurrence of 
peculiar species of birds, insects, and land shells, which, though 
found nowhere else, are plainly .related to those of the nearest 
land. Thus, we have an entire absence of Australian mam- 
mals, and the presence of only a few stragglers from the west, 
which can be accounted for in the manner already indicated. 

218 Natural History. 

Bats are tolerably abundant. Birds have many peculiar spe- 
cies, with a decided relationship to those of the two nearest 
masses of land. The insects have similar relations with the 
birds. As an example, four species of the Papilionidae are pe- 
culiar to Timor, three others are also found in Java, and one in 
Australia. Of the four peculiar species two are decided mod- 
ifications of Javanese forms, while the others seem allied to 
those of the Moluccas and Celebes. The very few land shells 
known are all, curiously enough^ allied to or identical with 
Moluccan or Celebes forms. The Pieridse (white and yellow 
butterflies), which wander more, and from frequenting open 
grounds are more liable to be blown out to sea, seem about 
equally related to those of Java, Australia, and the Moluccas. 

It has been objected to Mr. Darwin's theory — of oceanic 
islands having never been connected with the main-land — 
that this would imply that their animal population was a 
matter of chance ; it has been termed the " flotsam and jetsam 
theory," and it has been maintained that nature does not 
work by the " chapter of accidents." But in the case which 
I have here described, we have the most positive evidence 
that such has been the mode of peopling the islands. Their 
productions are of that miscellaneous character which we 
should expect from such an origin ; and to suppose that they 
have been portions of Australia or of Java will introduce per- 
fectly gratuitous difficulties, and render it quite impossible 
to explain those curious relations which the best-known group 
of animals (the birds) have been shown to exhibit. On the 
other hand, the depth of the surrounding seas, the form of 
the submerged banks, and the volcanic character of most of 
the islands, all point to an independent origin. 

Before concluding, I must make one remark to avoid misap- 
prehension. When I say that Timor has never formed part of 
Australia, I refer only to recent geological epochs. In Second- 
ary, or even Eocene or Miocene, times, Timor and Australia 
may have been connected ; but if so, all record of such a union 
has been lost by subsequent submergence ; and in accounting 
for the present land-inhabitants of any country we have only 
to consider those changes which have occurred since its last 
elevation above the waters. Since such last elevation, I feel 
confident that Timor has not formed part of Australia. 

Akrival at Macassar. 219 




I LEET Lombock on tlie 30th of August, and reached Ma- 
cassar in three days. It was with great satisfaction that I 
stepped on a shore which I had been vainly trying to reach 
since February, and where I expected to meet with so much 
that was new and interesting. 

The coast of this part of Celebes is low and flat, lined 
with trees and villages so as to conceal the interior, except 
at occasional openings, which show a wide extent of bare 
and marshy rice-fields. A few hills of no great height were 
visible in the background ; but owing to the perpetual haze 
over the land at this time of the year, I could nowhere dis- 
cern the high central range of the peninsula, or the cele- 
brated peak of Bontyne, at its southern extremity. In the 
roadstead of Macassar there was a fine 42-gun frigate, the 
guardship of the place, as well as a" small war-steamer and 
three or four little cutters, used for cruising after the pirates 
which infest these seas. There were also a few square-rigged 
trading-vessels^ and twenty or thirty native praus of various 
sizes. I brought letters of introduction to a Dutch gentle- 
man, Mr. Mesman, and also to a Danish shop-keeper, who 
could both speak English, and who promised to assist me in 
finding a place to stay at suitable for my pursuits. In the 
mean time I went^ to a kind of club-house, in default of any 
hotel in the place. 

Macassar was the first Dutch town I had visited, and I 
found it prettier and cleaner than any I had yet seen in the 
East. The Dutch have some admirable local regulations. 
All European houses must be kept well whitewashed, and 
every person must, at four in the afternoon, water the road 
in front of his house. The streets are kept clear of refuse, 
and covered drains carry away all impurities into large open 

220 Celebes. 

sewers, into which the tide is admitted at high-water and 
allowed to flow out when it has ebbed, carrying all the sew- 
age with it into the sea. The town consists chiefly of one 
long, narrow street, along the sea-side, devoted to business, 
and principally occupied by the Dutch and Chinese mer- 
chants' offices and warehouses, and the native shops or ba- 
zars. This extends northward for more than a mile, gradu- 
ally merging into native houses, often of a most miserable 
description,- but made to have a neat appearance by being 
all built up exactly to the straight line of the street, and be- 
ing generally backed by fruit-trees. This street is usually 
thronged with a native population of Bugis and Macassar 
men, who wear cotton trowsers about twelve inches long, 
covering only from the hip to half-way down the thigh, and 
the universal Malay sarong, of gay checked colors, worn 
round the waist or across the shoulders in a variety of ways. 
Parallel to this street run two short ones, which form the 
old Dutch town, and are inclosed by gates. These consist 
of private houses, and at their southern end is the fort, the 
church, and a road at right angles to the beach, containing 
the houses of the Governor and of the principal officials. 
Beyond the fort again, along the beach, is another long street 
ot native huts and many country-houses of the tradesmen 
and merchants. All around extend the flat rice-fields, now 
bare and dry and forbidding, covered with dusty stubble 
and weeds. A few months back these were a mass of verd- 
ure, and their barren appearance at this season ofiered a 
striking contrast to the perpetual crops on the same kind of 
country in Lombock and Bali, where the seasons are exactly 
similar, but where an elaborate system of irrigation produces 
the efiect of a perpetual spring. 

The day after my arrival I paid a visit of ceremony to 
the Governor, accompanied by my friend the Danish mer- 
chant, who spoke excellent English. His excellency was 
very polite, and oflered me every facility for travelling about 
the country and prosecuting my researches in natural his- 
tory. We conversed in French, which all Dutch officials 
speak very well. 

Finding it very inconvenient and expensive to stay in the 
town, I removed at the end of a week to a little bamboo 

Towjsr OF Macassar. 221 

house, kindly offered me by Mr. Mesman. It was situated 
about two miles away, on a small coffee plantation and farm, 
and about a mile beyond Mr. M.'s own country-house. It 
consisted of two rooms raised about seven feet above the 
ground, the lower part being partly open (and serving ex- 
cellently to skin birds in), and partly used as a granary for 
rice. There was a kitchen and other out-houses, and several 
cottages near were occupied by men in Mr. M.'s employ. 

After being settled a few days in my new house, I found 
that no collections could be made without going much 
farther into the country. The rice-fields for some miles 
round resembled English stubbles late in autumn, and were 
almost as unproductive of bird or insect life. There were 
several native villages scattered about, so embosomed in 
fruit-trees that at a distance they looked like clumps or 
patches of forest. These were my only collecting-places, 
but they produced a very limited number of species, and 
were soon exhausted. Before I could move to any more 
promising district it was necessary to obtain permission 
from the Rajah of Goa, whose territories approach to within 
two miles of the town of Macassar. I therefore presented 
myself at the Governor's office and requested a letter to the 
Rajah, to claim his protection, and permission to travel in 
his territories whenever I might wish to do so. This was 
immediately granted, and a special messenger was sent with 
me to carry the letter. 

My friend Mr. Mesman kindly lent me a horse, and ac- 
companied me on my visit to the Rajah, with whom he was 
great friends. We found his Majesty seated out of doors, 
watching the erection of a new house. He was naked from 
the waist up, wearing only the usual short trowsers and sa- 
rong. Two chairs were brought out for us, but all the chiefs 
and other natives were seated on the ground. The messen- 
ger, squatting down at the Rajah's feet, produced the letter, 
which was sewn up in a covering of yellow silk. It was 
handed to one of the chief officers, who ripped it open and 
returned it to the Rajah, who read it, and then showed it to 
Mr. M., who both speaks and reads the Macassar language 
fluently, and who explained fully what I required. Per- 
mission was immediately granted me to go where I liked in 

222 Celebes. 

the territories of Goa, but tlie Rajah desired that, should I 
wish to stay any time at a place, 1 would first give him no- 
tice, in order that he might send some one to see that no in- 
jury was done me. Some wine was then brought us, and 
afterward some detestable coffee and wretched sweetmeats, 
for it is a fact that I have never tasted good coffee where 
people grow it themselves. 

Although this was the height of the dry season, and there 
was a fine wind all day, it was by no means a healthy time 
of year. My boy Ali had hardly been a day on shore when 
he was attacked'^by fever, which put me to great inconven- 
ience, as at the house where I was staying nothing could be 
obtained but at meal-times. After having cured Ali, and 
with much difficulty got another servant to cook for me, I 
was no sooner settled at my country abode than the latter 
was attacked with the same disease, and, having a wife in 
the town, left me. Hardly was he gone than I fell ill my- 
self, with strong intermittent fever every other day. In 
about a week I got over it by a liberal use of quinine, when 
scarcely was I on my legs than Ali again became worse than 
ever. His fever attacked him daily, but early in the morn- 
ing he was pretty well, and then managed to cook me enough 
for the day. In a week I cured him, and also succeeded in 
getting another boy who could cook and shoot, and had no 
objection to go into the interior. His name was Baderoon ; 
and as he was unmarried and had been used to a roving life, 
having been several voyages to N'orth Australia to catch 
trepang or " b^che de mer," I was in hopes of being able to 
keep him. I also got hold of a little impudent rascal of 
twelve or fourteen, who could speak some Malay, to carry 
my gun or insect-net and make himself generally useful. Ali 
had by this time become a pretty good bird-skinner, so that 
I was fairly supplied with servants. 

I made many excursions into the country in search of a 
good station for collecting birds and insects. Some of the 
villages a few miles inland are scattered about in woody 
ground which has once been virgin forest, but of which the 
constituent trees have been for the most part replaced by 
fruit-trees, and particularly by the large palm (Arenga sac- 
charifera), from which wine and sugar are made, and which 

Birds near Macassar. 228 

also produces a coarse black fibre used for cordage. That 
necessary of life, the bamboo, has also been abundantly plant- 
ed. In such places I found a good many birds, among which 
were the fine cream-colored pigeon (Carpophaga luctuosa) 
and the rare blue-headed roller (Coracias temmincki), which 
has a most discordant voice, and generally goes in pairs, fly- 
ino- from tree to tree, and exhibiting while at rest that all-in- 
a-heap appearance and jerking motion of the head and tail 
which are so characteristic of the great fissirostral group to 
which it belongs. From this habit alone, the kingfishers, bee- 
eaters, rollers, trogons, and South American puff-birds might 
be grouped together by a person who had observed them in 
a state of nature, but who had never had an opportunity of 
examining their form and structure in detail. Thousands of 
crows, rather smaller than our rook, keep up a constant caw- 
ing in these plantations ; the curious wood-swallows (Artami), 
which closely resemble swallows in their habits and flight, 
but differ much in form and structure, twitter from the tree- 
tops; while a lyre-tailed drongo-shrike, with brilliant black 
plumage and milk-white eyes, continually deceives the natu- 
ralist by the variety of its unmelodious notes. 

In the more shady parts butterflies were tolerably abun- 
dant ; the most common being species of Euplsea and Danais, 
which frequent gardens and shrubberies, and, owing to their 
weak flight, are easily captured. A beautiful pale blue-and- 
black butterfly, which flutters along near the ground among 
the thickets, and settles occasionally upon flowers, was one 
of the most striking ; and scarcely less so was one with a 
rich orange band on a blackish ground: these both belong 
to the Pieridse, the group that contains our common white 
butterflies, although differing so much from them in appear- 
ance. Both were quite new to European naturalists.^ 'Now 
and then I extended my walks some miles farther to the only 
patch of true forest I could find, accompanied by my two 
boys with guns and insect-net. We used to start early, tak- 
ing our breakfast with us, and eating it wherever we could 
find shade and water. At such times my Macassar boys 
would put a minute fragment of rice and meat or fish on a 
leaf, and lay it on a stone or stump as an offering to the deity 

^ The former lias been named Eronia tritsea, the latter Tachyris ithome. 

224 Celebes. 

of the spot; for, though nominal Mohammedans, the Macas- 
sar people retain many pagan superstitions, and are but lax 
in their religious observances. Pork, it is true, they hold in 
abhorrence, but will not refuse wine when offered them, and 
consume immense quantities of "sagueir," or palm-wine, 
which is about as intoxicating as ordinary beer or cider. 
When well made, it is a very refreshing drink, and we often 
took a draught at some of the little sheds dignified by the 
name of bazars, which are scattered about the country wher- 
ever there is any traffic. 

One day Mr. Mesman told me of a larger piece of forest 
where he sometimes went to shoot deer, but he assured me 
it was much further off, and that there were no birds. How- 
ever, I resolved to explore it, and the next morning at fiYe 
o'clock we started, carrying our breakfast and some other 
provisions with us, and intending to stay the night at a house 
on the borders of the wood. To my surprise, two hours' 
hard walking brought us to this house, where we obtained 
permission to pass the night. We then walked on, Ali and 
Baderoon with a gun each, Baso carrying our provisions and 
my insect-box, while I took only my net and collecting-bot- 
tle, and determined to devote myself wholly to the insects. 
Scarcely had I entered the forest when I found some beau- 
tiful little green and gold speckled weevils, allied to the ge- 
nus -Pachyrhynchus, a group which is almost confined to the 
Philippine Islands, and is quite unknown in Borneo, Java, or 
Malacca. The road was shady, and apparently much trod- 
den by horses and cattle, and I quickly obtained some butter- 
flies I had not before met Avith. Soon a couple of reports 
were heard, and, coming up to my boys, I found they had 
shot two specimens of one of the finest of known cuckoos 
(Phoenicophaus callirhynchus). This bird derives its name 
from its large bill being colored of a brilliant yellow, red, and 
black, in about equal proportions. The tail is exceedingly 
long, and of a fine metallic purple, while the plumage of the 
body is light coffee-brown. It is one of the characteristic 
birds of the island of Celebes, to which it is confined. 

After sauntering along for a couple of hours we reached a 
small river, so deep that horses could only cross it by swim- 
ming, so we had to turn back ; but as we were getting hungry. 

A Fine Butterfly. 225 

and the water of the almost stagnant river was too mnddy to 
drink, we went toward a house a few hundred yards off. * In 
the plantation we saw a small raised hut, which we thought 
would do well for us to breakfast in, so I entered, and found 
inside a young woman with an infant. She handed me a jug 
of water, but looked very much frightened. . However, I sat 
down on the door-step and asked for the provisions. In 
handing them up, Baderoon saw the infant, and started back 
as if he had seen a serpent. It then immediately struck me 
that this was a hut in which, as among the Dyaks of Borneo 
and many other savage tribes, the women are secluded for 
some time after the birth of their child, and that we did very 
wrong to enter it ; so we walked off and asked permission to 
eat our breakfast in the family mansion close at hand, which 
was of course granted. While I ate, three men, two women, 
and four children watched every motion, and never took eyes 
off me till I had finished. 

On our way back in the heat of the day I had the good- 
fortune to capture three specimens of a fine Ornithoptera, the 
largest, the most perfect, and the most beautiful of butter- 
flies. I trembled with excitement as I took the first out of 
my net and found it to be in perfect condition. The ground 
color of this superb insect was a rich shining bronzy black, 
the lower wings delicately grained with white, and bordered 
by a row of large spots of the most brilliant satiny yellow. 
The body was marked with shaded spots of white, yellow, 
and fiery orange, while the head and thorax were intense 
black. On the under side the lower wings were satiny white, 
with the marginal spots half black and half yellow. I gazed 
upon my prize with extreme interest, as I at first thought it 
was quite a new species. It proved, however, to be a variety 
of Ornithoptera remus, one of the rarest and most remark- 
able species of this highly esteemed group. I also obtained 
several other new and pretty butterflies. When we arrived 
at our lodging-house, being particularly anxious about my 
insect treasures, I suspended the box from a bamboo on which 
I could detect no sign of ants, and then began skinning some 
of my birds. During my work I often glanced at my pre- 
cious box to see that no intruders had arrived, till after a lon- 
ger spell of work than usual I looked again, and saw to my 


226 Celebes. 

horror that a column of small red ants were descending the 
string and entering the box. They were already busy at 
work at the bodies of my treasures, and another half-hour 
would have seen my whole day's collection destroyed. As 
it was, I had to take every insect out, clean them thoroughly 
as well as the box, and then seek for a place of safety for 
them. As the only effectual one, I begged a plate and a basin 
from my host, filled the former with water, and standing the 
latter in it, placed my box on the top, and then felt secure 
for the night ; a few inches of clean water or oil being the 
only barrier these terrible pests are not able to pass. 

On returning home to Mamajam (as my house was called) 
I had a slight return of intermittent fever, which kept me 
some days in-doors. As soon as I was well I again went to 
Goa, accompanied by Mr. Mesman, to beg the Rajah's assist- 
ance in getting a small house built for me near the forest. 
We found him at a cock-fight in a shed near his palace, which 
however he immediately left to receive us, and walked with 
us up an inclined plane of boards, which serves for stairs, to 
his house. This was large, well-built, and lofty, with bamboo 
floor and glass windows. The greater part of it seemed to 
be one large hall divided by the supporting posts. !N"ear a 
window sat the Queen, squatting on a rough wooden arm- 
chair, chewing the everlasting sirih and betel-nut, while a 
brass spittoon by her side and a sirih-box in front were ready 
to administer to her wants. The Rajah seated himself oppo- 
site to her in a similar chair, and a similar spittoon and sirih- 
box were held by a little boy squatting at his side. Two 
other chairs were brought for us. Several young women, 
f'^^me the Rajah's daughters, others slaves, were standing 
f oout ; a few were working at frames making sarongs, but 
illost of them were idle. 

^ And here I might (if I followed the example of most trav- 
ellers) launch out into a glowing description of the charms ' 
of these damsels, the elegant costumes they wore, and the 
gold and silver ornaments with which they were adorned. 
The jacket or body of purple gauze would figure well in such 
a description, allowing the heaving bosom to be seen beneath 
it, while "sparkling eyes," and "jetty tresses," and "tiny 
feet '^ might be thrown in profusely. But, alas ! regard for 

House-Hunting. 227 

trutli will not permit me to expatiate too admiringly on such 
topics, determined as I am to give as far as I can a true pic- 
ture of the people and places I visit. The princesses were, 
it is true, sufficiently good-looking, yet neither their persons 
nor their garments had that appearance of freshness and 
cleanliness without which no other charms can be contem- 
plated with pleasure. Every thing had a dingy and faded 
appearance, very disagreeable and unroyal to a European eye. 
The only thing that excited some degree of admiration was the 
quiet and dignified manner of the Rajah, and the great respect 
always paid to him. N^one can stand erect in his presence ; 
and when he sits on a chair, all present (Europeans of course 
excepted) squat upon the ground. The highest seat is liter- 
ally, with these people, the place of honor and the sign of 
rank. So unbending are the rules in this respect, that when 
an English carriage which the Rajah of Lombock had sent 
for arrived, it was found impossible to use it because the 
driver's seat was the highest, and it had to be kept as a 
show in its coach-house. On being told the object of my visit, 
the Rajah at once said that he would order a house to be 
emptied for me, which would be much better than building 
one, as that would take a good deal of time. Bad coffee and 
sweetmeats were given us as before. ^ 

Two days afterward I called on the Rajah to ask him to 
send a guide with me to show me the house I was to occupy. 
He immediately ordered a man to be sent for, gave him in- 
structions, and in a few minutes we were on our way. My 
conductor could speak no Malay, so we walked on in silence 
for an hour, when we turned into a pretty good house, and 
I was asked to sit down. The head-man of the district liv< 1 
here, and in about half an hour we started again, and anotl r 
hour's walk brought us to the village where I was to e 
lodged. We went to the residence of the village chief, who 
conversed with my conductor for some time. Getting tired, 
I asked to be shown the house that was prepared for me, 
but the only reply I could get was, " Wait a little," and the 
parties went on talking as before. So I told them I could 
not wait, as I wanted to see the house, and then to go shoot- 
ing in the forest. This seemed to puzzle them, and at length, 
in answer to questions very poorly explained by one or two 

228 Celebes. 

Ibj-standers who knew a little Malay, it came out that no 
house was ready, and no one seemed to have the least idea 
where to get one. As I did not want to trouble the Rajah 
any more, I thought it best to try to frighten them a little ; 
so I told them that if they did not immediately find me a 
house as the Rajah had ordered, I should go back and com- 
plain to him, but that if a house was found me I would pay 
for the use of it. This had the desired effect, and one of the 
head-men of the village asked me to go with him and look for 
a house. He showed me one or two of the most miserable and 
ruinous description, which I at once rejected, saying, " I must 
have a good one, and near to the forest." The next he showed 
me suited very well, so I told him to see that it was emptied the 
next day, for that the day after I should come and occupy it. 

On the day mentioned, as I was not quite ready to go, I 
sent my two Macassar boys with brooms to sweep out the 
house thoroughly. They returned in the evening and told 
me that when they got there the house was inhabited, and 
not a single article removed. However, on hearing they had 
come to clean and take possession, the occupants made a 
move, but with a good deal of grumbling, which made me 
feel rather uneasy as to how the people generally might take 
my intrusion into their village The next morning we took 
our baggage on three pack-horses, and, after a few break- 
downs, arrived about noon at our destination. 

After getting all my things set straight, and having made 
a hasty meal, I determined if possible to make friends with 
the people. I therefore sent for the owner of the house and 
as many of his acquaintances as liked to come, to have a 
" bitchara," or talk. When they were all seated, I gave them 
a little tobacco all round, and having my boy Baderoon for 
interpreter, tried to explain to them why I came there ; that 
I was very sorry to turn them out of the house, but that the 
Rajah had ordered it rather than build a new one, which was 
what I had asked for, and then placed five silver rupees in 
the owner's hand as one month's rent. I then assured them 
that my being there would be a benefit to them, as I should 
buy their eggs and fowls and fruit; and if their children 
would bring me shells and insects, of which I showed them 
specimens, they also might earn a good many coppers. After 

Sickness. 229 

all this had been fully explained to them, with a long talk 
and discussion between every sentence, I could see that I had 
made a favorable impression ; and that -very afternoon, as if 
to test my promise to buy even miserable little snail-shells, a 
dozen children came one after another, bringing me a few 
specimens each of a small Helix, for which they duly received 
" coppers," and went away amazed but rejoicing. 

A few days' exploration made me well acquainted with the 
surrounding country. 1 was a long way from the road in the 
forest which I had first visited, and for some distance round 
my house were old clearings and cottages. I found a few 
good butterflies, but beetles were very scarce, and even rotten 
timber and newly-felled trees (generally so productive) here 
produced scarcely any thing. This convinced me that there 
was not a sufficient extent of forest in the neighborhood to 
make the place worth staying at long, but it was too late now 
to think of going further, as in about a month the wet season 
would begin ; so I resolved to stay here and get what was to 
be had. Unfortunately, after a few days I became ill with a 
low fever, which produced excessive lassitude and disinclina- 
tion to all exertion. In vain I endeavored to shake it off; 
all I could do was to stroll quietly each day for an hour about 
the gardens near, and to the well, where some good insects 
were occasionally to be found, and the rest of the day to wait 
quietly at home, and receive what beetles and shells my little 
corps of collectors brought me daily. I imputed my illness 
chiefly to the water, which was procured from shallow wells, 
around which there was almost always a stagnant puddle in 
which the buffaloes wallowed. Close to my house was an in- 
closed mud-hole where three buffaloes were shut up every 
night, and the effluvia from which freely entered through the 
open bamboo floor. My Malay boy Ali was affected with the 
same illness ; and as he was my chief bird-skinner, I got on 
but slowly with my collections. 

The occupations and mode of life of the villagers differed 
but little from those of all other Malay races. The time of 
the women was almost wholly occupied in pounding and 
cleaning rice for daily use, in bringing home firewood and 
water, and in cleaning, dyeing, spinning, and weaving the na- 
tive cotton into sarongs. The weaving is done in the sim- 

230 Celebes. 

plest kind of frame stretched on the floor, and is a very slow 
and tedious process. To form the <3hecked pattern in common 
use, each patch of colored threads has to be pulled up sepa- 
rately by hand and the shuttle passed between them, so that 
about an inch a day is the usual progress in stuff a yard and 
a half wide. The men cultivate a little sirih (the pungent 
pepper leaf used for chewing with betel-nut) and a few vege- 
tables, and once a year rudely plow a small patch of ground 
with their buffaloes and plant rice, which then requires little 
attention till harvest-time. Now and then they have to see 
to the repairs of their houses, and make mats, baskets, or 
other domestic utensils, but a large part of their time is 
passed in idleness. 

Not a single person in the village could speak more than 
a few words of Malay, and hardly any of the people appear- 
ed to have seen a European before. One most disagreeable 
result of this was that I excited terror alike in man and beast. 
Wherever I went, dogs barked, children screamed, women 
ran away, and men stared as though I were some strange and 
terrible cannibal monster. Even the pack-horses on the roads 
and paths would start aside when I appeared and rush into the 
jungle ; and as to those horrid, ugly brutes, the buffaloes, 
they could never be approached by me — ^not for fear of my 
own, but of others^ safety. They would first stick out their 
necks and stare at me, and then on a nearer view break loose 
from their halters or tethers, and rush away helter-skelter as 
if a demon were after them, without any regard for what 
might be in their way. Whenever I met buffaloes carrying 
packs along a pathway, or being driven home to the village, 
I had to turn aside into the jungle and hide myself till they 
had passed, to avoid a catastrophe which would increase 
the dislike with which I was already regarded. Every day 
about noon the buffaloes were brought into the village, and 
were tethered in the shade around the houses ; and then I 
had to creep about like a thief by back ways, for no one could 
tell what mischief they might do to children and houses were 
I to walk among them. If I came suddenly upon a well where 
women were drawing water or children bathings, a sudden 
flight was the certain result ; which things occurring day aft- 
er day, were Very unpleasant to a person who does not like 

HousE-BuiLDiNa. 231 

to be disliked, and who had never been accustomed to be 
treated as an ogre. 

About the middle of ISTovember, finding my health no bet- 
ter, and insects, birds, and shells all very scarce, I determined 
to return to Mamajam and pack up my collections before the 
heavv rains commenced. The wind had already begun to 
blow from the west, and many signs indicated that the rainy 
season might set in earlier than usual ; and then every thing 
becomes very damp, and it is almost impossible to dry col- 
lections properly. My kind friend Mr. Mesman again lent 
me his pack-horses, and with the assistance of a few men to 
carry my birds and insects, which I did not like to trust on 
horses' backs, we got every thing home safe. Few can im- 
agine the luxury it was to stretch myself on a sofa, and to 
take my supper comfortably at table seated in my easy bam- 
boo chair, after having for five weeks taken all my meals un- 
comfortably on the floor. Such things are trifles in health, 
but when the body is weakened by disease the habits of a 
lifetime can not be so easily set aside. 

My house, like all bamboo structures in this country, was 
a leaning one, the strong westerly winds of the wet season 
having set all its posts out of the perpendicular to such a de- 
gree as to make me think it might some day possibly go over 
altogether. It is a remarkable thing that the natives of 
Celebes have not discovered the use of diagonal struts in 
strengthening buildings. I doubt if there is a native house 
in the country two years old and at all exposed to the wind, 
which stands upright ; and no wonder, as they merely consist 
of posts and joists all placed upright or horizontal, and fast- 
ened rudely together with rattans. They may be seen in 
every stage of the process of tumbling down, from the first 
slight inclination, to such a dangerous slope that it becomes 
a notice to quit to the occupiers. 

The mechanical geniuses of the country have only discov- 
ered two ways of remedying the evil. One is, after it has 
commenced, to tie the house to a post in the ground on the 
windward side by a rattan or bamboo cable. The other is a 
preventive, but how they ever found it out and did not dis- 
cover the true way is a mystery. This plan is to build the 
house in the usual way, but instead of having all the prin- 

232 Celebes. 

cipal supports of straight posts, to have two or three of them 
chosen as crooked as possible. I had often noticed these 
crooked posts in houses, but imputed it to the scarcity of 
good straight timber, till one day I met some men carrying 
home a post shaped something like a dog's hind leg, and in- 
quired of my native boy what they were going to do with 
such a piece of wood. "To make a post for a house," said 
he. " But why don't they get a straight one, there are plenty 
here ?" said I. " Oh," replied he, " they prefer some like that 
in a house, because then it won't fall," evidently imputing 
the ejPfect to some occult property of crooked timber. A lit- 
tle consideration and a diagram will, however, show that the 
effect imputed to the crooked post may be really produced 
by it. A true square changes its figure readily into a rhom- 
boid or oblique figure; but when one or two of the uprights 
are bent or sloping, and placed so as to oppose each other, 
the effect of a strut is produced, though in a rude and clumsy 

Just before I had left Mamajam the people had sown a 
considerable quantity of maize, which appears above ground 
in two or three days, and in favorable seasons ripens in less 
than two months. Owing to a week's premature rains the 
ground was all flooded when I returned, and the plants just 
coming into ear, were yellow and dead. IsTot a grain would 
be obtained by the whole village, but luckily it is only a 
luxury, not a necessary of life. The rain was the signal for 
plowing to begin, in order to sow rice on all the flat lands 
between us and the town. The plow used is a rude wooden 
instrument with a very short single handle, a tolerably well- 
shaped coulter, and the point formed of a piece of hard palm- 
wood fastened in with wedges. One or two buffaloes draw 
it at a very slow pace. The seed is sown broadcast, and a 
rude wooden harrow is used to smooth the surface. 

By the beginning of December the regular wet season had 
set in. Westerly winds and driving rains sometimes con- 
tinued for days together; the fields for miles around were 
under water, and the ducks and buffaloes enjoyed themselves 
amazingly. All along the road to Macassar plowing was 
daily going on in the mud and water, through which the 
wooden plow easily makes its way, the plowman holding 

A Macassar Farm. 238 

the plow-handle with one hand, while a long bamboo in the 
other serves to guide the buffaloes. These animals require 
an immense deal of driving to get them on at all ; a contin- 
ual shower of exclamations is kept up at them, and " oh ! ah ! 
gee ! ugh !" are to be heard in various keys and in an unin- 
terrupted succession all day long. At night we were favor- 
ed with a different kind of concert. The dry ground around 
my house had become a marsh tenanted by frogs, who kept 
up a most incredible noise from dusk to dawn. They were 
somewhat musical too, having a deep vibrating note which 
at times closely resembles the tuning of two or three bass- 
viols in an orchestra. In Malacca and Borneo I had heard 


no such sounds as these, which indicates that the frogs, like 
most of the animals of Celebes, are of species peculiar to it. 

My kind friend and landlord, Mr. Mesman, was a good 
specimen of the Macassar-born Dutchman. He was about 
thirty-five years of age, had a large family, and lived in a 
spacious house near the town, situated in the midst of a grove 
of fruit-trees, and surrounded by a perfect labyrinth of offices, 
stables, and native cottages, occupied by his numerous serv- 
ants, slaves, or dependents. He usually rose before the sun, 
and after a cup of coffee looked after his servants, horses, and 
dogs till seven, when a substantial breakfast of rice and 
meat was ready in a cool veranda. Putting on a clean white 
linen suit, he then drove to town in his buggy, where he had 
an office, with two or three Chinese clerks, who looked after 

234 Celebes. 

Ms affairs. His business was that of a coffee and opium mer- 
chant. He had a coffee estate at Bontyne, and a small prau 
which traded to the Eastern islands, near New Guinea, for 
mother-of-pearl and tortoise-shell. About one he would re- 
turn home, have coffee and cake or fried plantain, first chang- 
ing his dress for a colored cotton shirt and trowsers and bare 
feet, and then take a siesta with a book. About four, after 
a cup of tea, he would walk round his premises, and general- 
ly stroll down to Mamajam to pay me a visit and look after 
his farm. 

This consisted of a coffee-plantation and an orchard of fruit- 
trees, a dozen horses and a score of cattle, with a small village 
of Timorese slaves and Macassar servants. One family looked 
after the cattle and supplied the house with milk, bringing 
me also a large glassful every morning, one of my greatest 
luxuries. Others had charge of the horses, which were brought 
in every afternoon and fed with cut grass. Others had to 
cut grass for their master's horses at Macassar — not a very 
easy task in the dry season, when all the country looks like 
baked mud, or in the rainy season, when miles in every direc- 
tion are flooded. How they managed it was a mystery to 
me, but they know grass must be had, and they get it. One 
lame woman had charge of a flock of ducks. Twice a day 
she took them out to feed in the marshy places, let them wad- 
dle and gobble for an hour or two, and then drove them back 
and shut them up in a small dark shed to digest their meal, 
whence they gave forth occasionally a melancholy quack. 
Every night a watch was set, principally for the sake of the 
horses, the people of Goa, only two miles off, being notorious 
thieves, and horses offering the easiest and most valuable spoil. 
This enabled me to sleep in security, although many people 
in Macassar thought I was running a great risk, living alone 
in such a solitary place and with such bad neighbors. 

My house was surrounded by a kind of straggling hedge 
of roses, jessamines, and other flowers, and every morning one 
of the women gathered a basketful of the blossoms for Mr. 
Mesman's family. I generally took a couple for my own 
breakfast-table, and the supply never failed during my stay, 
and I suppose never does. Almost every Sunday Mr. M. made 
a shooting excursion with his eldest son, a lad of fifteen, and 

Macassae. 235 

I generally accompanied him ; for though the Dutch are Prot- 
estants, they do not observe Sunday in the rigid manner 
practiced in England and English colonies. The Governor 
of the place has his public reception every Sunday evening, 
when card-playing is the regular amusement. 

On December 13th I went on board a prau bound for the 
Aru Islands, a journey which will be described in the latter 
part of this work. 

On my return, after a seven months' absence, I visited an- 
other district to the north of Macassar, which will form the 
subject of the next chapter. 

236 Celebes. 



I REACHED Macassar again on the 11th of July, and estab- 
lished myself in my old quarters at Mamajam, to sort, arrange, 
clean, and pack up my Aru collections. This occupied me a 
month ; and having shipped them off for Singapore, had my 
guns repaired, and received a new one from England, together 
with a stock of pins, arsenic, and other collecting requisites,! 
began to feel eager for work again, and had to consider where 
I should spend my time till the end of the year. I had left 
Macassar, seven months before, a flooded marsh, being plowed 
up for the rice-sowing. The rains had continued for ^ve 
months, yet now all the rice was cut, and dry and dusty stub- 
bles covered the country just as when I had first arrived there. 

After much inquiry I determined to visit the district of 
Maros, about thirty miles north of Macassar, where Mr. Jacob 
Mesman, a brother of my friend, resided, who had kindly offer- 
ed to find me house-room and give me assistance should I feel 
inclined to visit him. 1 accordingly obtained a pass from the 
Resident, and having hired a boat, set off one evening for 
Maros. My boy Ali was so ill with fever that I was obliged 
to leave him in the hospital, under the care of my friend the 
German doctor, and I had to make shift with two new servants 
utterly ignorant of every thing. We coasted along during 
the night, and at daybreak entered the Maros River, and by 
three in the afternoon reached the village. I immediately 
visited the Assistant Resident, and applied for ten men to 
carry my baggage, and a horse for myself. These were prom- 
ised to be ready that night, so that I could start as soon as I 
liked in the morning. After having taken a cup of tea I took 
my leave, and slept in the boat. Some of the men came at 
night as promised, but others did not arrive till the next morn- 
ing. It took some time to divide my baggage fairly among 
them, as they all wanted to shirk the heavy boxes, and would 

Maeos. 237 

seize hold of some light article and march oil with it, till made 
to come back and wait till the whole liad been fairly appor- 
tioned. At length about eight o'clock all was arranged, and 
we started for our walk to Mr. M.'s farm. 

The country was at first a uniform plain of burnt-up rice- 
grounds, but at a few miles' distance precipitous hills appeared, 
backed by the lofty central range of the peninsula. Toward 
these our path lay, and after having gone six or eight miles 
the hills began to advance into the plain right and left of us, 
and the ground became pierced here and there with blocks and 
pillars of limestone rock, while a few abrupt conical hills and 
peaks rose like islands. Passing over an elevated tract forming 
the shoulder of one of the hills, a picturesque scene lay before 
us. We looked down into a little valley almost entirely sur- 
rounded by mountains, rising abruptly in huge precipices, and 
forming a succession of knolls and peaks and domes of the 
most varied and fantastic shapes. In the very centre of the 
valley was a large bamboo house, while scattered around were 
a dozen cottages of the same material. 

I was kindly received by Mr. Jacob Mesman in an airy sa- 
loon detached from the house, and entirely, built of bamboo 
and thatched with grass. After breakfast he took me to his 
foreman's house, about a hundred yards off, half of which was 
given up to me till I should decide where to have a cottage 
built for my own use. I soon found that this spot was too 
much exposed to the wind and dust, which rendered it very 
difficult to work with papers or insects. It was also dreadfully 
hot in the afternoon, and after a few days I got a sharp attack 
of fever, which determined me to move. I accordingly fixed 
on a place about a mile off, at the foot of a forest-covered hill, 
where in a few days Mr. M. built for me a nice little house, 
consisting of a good-sized inclosed veranda or open room, and 
a small inner sleeping-room, with a little cook-house outside. 
As soon as it was finished I moved into it, and found the 
change most agreeable. 

The forest which surrounded me was open, and free from 
underwood, consisting of large trees, widely scattered with a 
great quantity of palm-trees (Arenga saccharifera), from 
which palm wine and sugar are made. There were also great 
numbers of a wild jack-fruit tree (Artocarpus), which bore 



abundance of large reticulated fruit, serving as an excellent 
vegetable. The ground was as thickly covered with dry 
leaves as it is in an English wood in ISTovember ; the little rocky 
streams were all dry, and scarcely a drop of water or even a 
damp place was anywhere to be seen. About fifty yards below 

SUGAR-PALM (Arenga saccharifera). 

my house, at the foot of the hill, was a deep hole in a water- 
course, where good water was to be had, and where I went 
daily to bathe, by having buckets of water taken out and 
pouring it over my body. 

My host Mr. M. enjoyed a thoroughly country life, depend- 
ing almost entirely on his gun and dogs to supply his table. 
Wild pigs of large size were very plentiful, and he generally 

CoujsTTEY Life. 239 

got one or two a week, besides deer occasionally, and abun- 
dance of jungle-fowl, hornbills, and great fruit-pigeons. His 
buffaloes supplied plenty of milk, from which he made his 
own butter ; he grew his own rice and coffee, and had ducks, 
fowls, and their eggs in profusion. His palm-trees supphed 
him all the year round with " sagueir," which takes the place 
of beer, and the sugar made from them is an excellent sweet- 
meat. All the fine tropical vegetables and fruits were abun- 
dant in their season, and his cigars were made from tobacco 
of his own raising. He kindly sent me a bamboo of buffalo- 
milk every morning ; it was as thick as cream, and required 
diluting with water to keep it fluid during the day. It mixes 
very well with tea and coffee, although it has a slight peculiar 
flavor, which after a time is not disagreeable. I also got as 
much sweet " sagueir " as I liked to drink, and Mr. M. always 
sent me a piece of each pig he killed, which with fowls, eggs, 
and the birds we shot ourselves, and buffalo beef about once 
a fortnight, kept my larder sufficiently well supplied. 

Every bit of flat land was cleared and used as rice-fields, 
and on the lower slopes of many of the hills tobacco and veg- 
etables were grown. Most of the slopes are covered with 
huge blocks of rock, very fatiguing to scramble over, while a 
number of the hills are so precipitous as to be quite inacces- 
sible. These circumstances, combined with the excessive 
drought, were very unfavorable for my pursuits. Birds were 
scarce, and I got but few new to me. Insects were tolerably 
plentiful, but unequal. Beetles, usually so numerous and inter- 
esting were exceedingly scarce, some of the families being 
quite absent, and others only represented by very minute spe- 
cies. The flies and bees, on the other hand, were abundant, 
and of these I daily obtained new and interesting species. The 
rare and beautiful butterflies of Celebes were the chief object 
of my search, and I found many species altogether new to me, 
but they were generally so active and shy as to render their 
capture a matter of great difficulty. Almost the only good 
place for them was in the dry beds of the streams in the forest, 
where, at damp places, muddy pools, or even on the dry rocks, 
all sorts of insects could be found. In these rocky forests 
dwell some of the finest butterflies in the world. Three species 
of Ornithoptera, measuring seven or eight inches across the 

240 Celebes. 

wings, and beautifully marked with spots or masses of satiny- 
yellow on a black ground, wheel through the thickets with a 
strong sailing flight. About the damp places are swarms of 
the beautiful blue-banded Papilios, miletus and telephus, the 
superb golden-green P. macedon, and the rare little swallow- 
tail Papilio rhesus, of all of which, though very active, I suc- 
ceeded ill capturing fine series of specimens. 

I have rarely enjoyed myself more than during my residence 
here. As I sat taking my coffee at six in the morning, rare 
birds would often be seen on some tree close by, when I would 
hastily sally out in my slippers, and perhaps secure a prize I 
had been seeking after for weeks. The great hornbills of 
Celebes (Buceros cassidix) would often come with loud-flap- 
ping wings and perch upon a lofty tree just in front of me ; 
and the black baboon-monkeys (Cynopithecus nigrescens) oft- 
en stared down in astonishment at such an intrusion into their 
domains ; while at night herds of wild pigs roamed about the 
house, devouring refuse, and obliging us to put away every 
thing eatable or breakable from our little cooking-house. A 
few minutes' search on the fallen trees around my house at 
sunrise and sunset would often produce me more beetles than 
I would meet with in a day's collecting, and odd moments could 
be made valuable, which when living in villages or at a distance 
from the forest are inevitably wasted. Where the sugar- 
palms were dripping with sap flies congregated in immense 
numbers, and it was by spending half an hour at these when I 
had the time to, spare that I obtained the finest and most re- 
markable collection of this group of insects that I have ever 

Then what delightful hours I passed wandering up and 
down the dry river-courses, full of water-holes and rocks and 
fallen trees, and overshadowed by magnificent vegetation ! I 
soon got to know every hole and rock and stump, and came 
up to each with cautious step and bated breath to see what 
treasures it would produce. At one place I would find a lit- 
tle crowd of the rare butterfly (Tachyris zarinda), which 
would rise up at my approach^ and display their vivid orange 
and cinnabar-red wings, while among them would flutter a 
few of the fine blue-banded Papilios. Where leafy branches 
hung over the gully, I might expect to find a grand Ornithop- 

A Naturalist's Pleasures. 241 

tera at rest, and an easy prey. At certain rotten trunks I 
was sure to get the curious little tiger-beetle (Therates flavi- 
labris). In the denser thickets I would capture the small 
metallic blue butterflies (Amblypodia) sitting on the leaves, as 
well as some rare and beautiful leaf-beetles of the families 
Hispidse and Chrysomelidse. 

I found that the rotten jack-fruits were very attractive to 
many beetles, and used to split them partly open and lay them 
about in the forest near my house to rot. A morning's search 
at these often produced me a score of species — Staphylinidse, 
Mtidulidae, Onthophagi, and minute Carabidse being the most 
abundant. Now and then the " sagueir " makers brought me 
a fine rosechafer (Sternoplus schaumii) which they found hck- 
ing up the sweet sap. Almost the only new birds I met with 
for some time were a handsome ground-thrush (Pitta celeben- 
sis), and a beautiful violet-crowned dove (Ptilonopus celeben- 
sis), both very similar to birds I had recently obtained at Aru, 
but of distinct species. 

About the latter part of September a heavy shower of rain 
fell, admonishing lis that we might soon expect wet weather, 
much to the advantage of the baked-up country. I therefore 
determined to pay a visit to the falls of the Maros River, sit- 
uated at the point where it issues from the mountains — a spot 
often visited by travellers, and considered very beautiful. Mr. 
M. lent me a horse, and I obtained a guide from a neighbor- 
ing village ; and taking one of my men with me, we started 
at six in the morning, and after a ride of two hours over the 
flat rice flelds skirting the mountains which rose in grand 
precipices on our left, we reached the river about half-way 
between Maros and the falls, and thence had a good bridle- 
road to our destination, which we reached in another hour. 
The hills had closed in round us as we advanced ; and when 
we reached a ruinous shed which had been erected for the ac- 
commodation of visitors, we found ourselves in a flat-bottomed 
valley about a quarter of a mile wide, bounded by precipitous 
and often overhanging limestone rocks. So far the ground 
had been cultivated, but it now became covered with bushes 
and large scattered trees. 

As soon as my scanty baggage had arrived and was duly 
deposited in the shed, I started off alone for the fall, which 


242 Celebes. 

was about a quarter of a mile further on. The river is here 
about twenty yards wide, and issues from a chasm between 
two vertical walls of limestone over a rounded mass of basal- 
tic rock about forty feet high, forming two curves separated 
by a slight ledge. The water spreads beautifully over this 
surface in a thin sheet of foam, which curls and eddies in a 
succession of concentric cones till it falls into a fine deep pool 
below. Close to the very edge of the fall a narrow and very 
rugged path leads to the river above, and thence continues 
close under the precipice along the water's edge, or sometimes 
in the water, for a few hundred yards, after which the rocks 
recede a little, and leave a wooded bank on one side, along 
which the path is continued, till in about half a mile a second 
and smaller fall is reached. Here the river seems to issue 
from a cavern, the rocks having fallen from above so as to 
block up the channel and bar further progress. The fall it- 
self can only be reached by a path which ascends behind a 
huge slice of rock which has partly fallen away from the 
mountain, leaving a space two or three feet wide, but disclos- 
ing a dark chasm descending into the bowels of the mountain, 
and which, having visited several such, I had no great curiosi- 
ty to explore. 

Crossing the stream a little below the upper fall, the path 
ascends a steep slope for about five hundred feet, and passing 
through a gap enters a narrow valley, shut in by walls of rock 
absolutely perpendicular and of great height. Half a mile 
further this valley turns abruptly to the right, and becomes a 
mere rift in the mountain. This extends another half mile, 
the walls gradually approaching till they are only two feet 
apart, and the bottom rising steeply to a pass which leads 
probably into another valley but which I had no time to ex- 
plore. Returning to where this rift had begun, the main path 
turns up to the left in a sort of guUey, and reaches a summit 
over which a fine natural arch of rock passes at a height of 
about fifty feet. Thence was a steep descent through thick 
jungle with glimpses of precipices and distant rocky mount- 
ains, probably leading into the main river valley again. This 
was a most tempting region to explore, but there were several 
reasons why I could go no further. I had no guide, and no 
permission to enter the Bugis territories, and as the rains 

Mountain Paths. 243 

might at any time set in, I might be prevented from return- 
ing by the flooding of the river. I therefore devoted myself 
during- the short time of my visit to obtaining what knowledge 
I could of the natural productions of the place. 

The narrow chasms produced several fine insects quite new 
to me, and one new bird, the curious Phlgegenas tristigmata, 
a large ground-pigeon with yellow breast and crown and pur- 
ple neck. This rugged path is the highway from Maros to 
the Bugis country beyond the mountains. During the rainy 
season it is quite impassable, the river filling its bed and 
rushing between perpendicular cliffs many hundred feet high. 
Even at the time of my visit it was most precipitous and fa- 
tiguing, yet women and children came over it daily, and men 
carying heavy loads of palm-sugar of very little value. It 
was along the path between the lower and the upper falls, and 
about the margin of the upper pool, that I found most insects. 
The large semi-transparent butterfly (Idea tondana) flew lazily 
along by dozens, and it was here that I at length obtained an 
insect which I had hoped but hardly expected to meet with — 
the magnificent Papilio androcles, one of the largest and rarest 
known swallow-tailed butterflies. During my four days' stay 
at the falls I was so fortunate as to obtain six good specimens. 
As this beautiful creature flies, the long white tails flicker like, 
streamers, and when settled on the beach it carries them raised 
upward, as if to preserve them from injury. It is scarce even 
here, as I did not see more than a dozen specimens in all, and 
had to follow many of them up and down the river's bank re- 
peatedly before I succeeded in their capture. When the sun 
shone hottest about noon, the moist beach of the pool below 
the upper fall presented a beautiful sight, being dotted with 
groups of gay butterflies — orange, yellow, white, blue, and 
green — which on being disturbed rose into the air by hun- 
dreds, forming clouds of variegated colors. 

Such gorges, chasms, and precipices as here abound, I have 
nowhere seen in the Archipelago. A sloping surface is scarce- 
ly anywhere to be found, huge walls and rugged masses of 
rock terminating all the mountains and inclosing the valleys. 
In many parts there are vertical or even overhanging precipi- 
ces five or six hundred feet high, yet completely clothed with 
a tapestry of vegetation. Ferns, Pandanacese, shrubs, creep- 

244 Celebes. 

ers, and even forest-trees are mingled in an evergreen network, 
through the interstices of which appears the white hmestone 
I'ock, or the dark holes and chasms with which it abounds. 
These precipices are enabled to sustain such an amount of 
vegetation by their peculiar structure. Their surfaces are 
very irregular, broken into holes and fissures^ with ledges 
overhanging the mouths of gloomy caverns ; but from each 
projecting part have descended stalactites, often forming a 
wild Gothic tracery over the caves and receding hollows, and 
affording an admirable support to the roots of the shrubs, 
trees, and creepers, which luxuriate in the warm pure atmos- 
phere and the gentle moisture which constantly exudes from 
the rocks. In places where the precipice offers smooth sur- 
faces of solid rock, it remains quite bare, or only stained with 
lichens and dotted with clumps of ferns that grow on the 
small ledges and in the minutest crevices. 

The reader who is familiar with tropical nature only through 
the medium of books and botanical gardens, will picture to 
himself in such a spot many other natural beauties. He will 
think that I have unaccountably forgotten to mention the 
brilliant flowers, which, in gorgeous masses of crimson gold 
or azure, must spangle these verdant precipices, hang over the 
cascade, and adorn the margin of the mountain stream. But 
what is the reality ? In vain did I gaze over these vast walls 
of verdure, among the pendent creepers and busy shrubs, all 
around the cascade, on the river's bank, or in the deep caverns 
and gloomy fissures — not one single spot of bright color could 
be seen, not one single tree or bush or creeper bore a flower 
sufliciently conspicuous to form an object in the landscape; 
In every direction the eye rested on green foliage and mottled 
rock. There was infinite variety in the color and aspect of 
the foliage, there was grandeur in the rocky masses and in the 
exuberant luxuriance of the vegetation, but there was no bril- 
liancy of color, none of those bright flowers and gorgeous 
masses of blossom, so generally considered to be everywhere 
present in the tropics. I have here given an accurate sketch 
of a luxuriant tropical scene as noted down on the spot, and 
its general characteristics as regards color have been so often 
repeated, both in South America and over many thousand 
miles in the Eastern tropics, that I am driven to conclude that 

Absence ot Flowers. 245 

it represents the general aspect of nature in the equatorial 
(that is, the most tropical) parts of the tropical regions. How 
is it, then, that the descriptions of travellers generally give a 
very different idea ? and where, it may be asked, are the glori- 
ous flowers that we know do exist in the tropics? These 
questions can be easily answered. The fine tropical flowering- 
plants cultivated in our hot-honses have been culled from the 
most varied regions, and therefore give a most erroneous idea 
of their abundance in any one region. Many of them are very 
rare, others extremely local, while a considerable number in- 
habit the more arid regions of Africa and India, in which 
tropical vegetation does not exhibit itself in its usual luxu- 
riance. Fine and varied foliage, rather than gay flowers, is 
more characteristic of those parts where tropical vegetation 
attains its highest development, and in such districts each kind 
of flower seldom lasts in perfection more than a few weeks, 
or sometimes a few days. In every locality a lengthened resi- 
dence will show an abundance of magnificent and gayly- 
blossomed plants, but they have to be sought for, and are rare- 
ly at a.ny one time or place so abundant as to form a perceptible 
feature in the landscape. But it has been the custom of 
travellers to describe and group together all the fine plants 
they have met with during a long journey, and thus produce 
the effect of a gay and flower-painted landscape. They have 
rarely studied and described individual scenes where vegeta- 
tion was most luxuriant and beautiful, and fairly stated what 
effect was produced in them by flowers. I have done so fre- 
quently, and the result of these examinations has convinced 
me that the bright colors of flowers have a much greater in- 
fluence on the general aspect of nature in temperate than in 
tropical climates. During twelve years spent amid the grand- 
est tropical vegetation I have seen nothing comparable to the 
effect produced on our landscapes by gorse, broom, heather, 
wild hyacinths, hawthorn, purple orchises, and buttercups. 

The geological structure of this part of Celebes is interest- 
ing. The limestone mountains, though of great extent, seem 
to be entirely superficial, resting on a basis of basalt which in 
some places forms low rounded hills between the more precip- 
itous mountains. In the rocky beds of the streams basalt is 
almost always found, and it is a step in this rock which forms 

246 Celebes. 

the cascade already described. From it the limestone preci- 
pices rise abruptly ; and in ascending the little stairway along 
the side of the fall, you step two or three times from the one 
rock on to the other, the limestone dry and rough, being worn 
by the water and rains into sharp ridges and honey-combed 
holes, the basalt moist, even, and worn smooth and slippery 
by the passage of bare-footed pedestrians. The solubility of 
the limestone by rain-water is well seen in the little blocks and 
peaks which rise thickly through the soil of the alluvial plains 
as you approach the mountains. They are all skittle-shaped, 
larger in the middle than at the base, the greatest diameter 
occurring at the height to which the country is flooded in the 
wet season, and thence decreasing regularly to the ground. 
Many of them overhang considerably, and some of the slender- 
er pillars appear to stand upon a point. When the rock is 
less soHd it becomes curiously honey-combed by the rains of 
successive winters, and I noticed some masses reduced to a 
complete network of stone, through which light could be seen 
in every direction. From these mountains to the sea extends 
a perfectly flat alluvial plain, with no indication that water 
would accumulate at a great depth beneath it, yet the author- 
ities at Macassar have spent much money in boring a well a 
thousand feet deep in hope of getting a supply of water like 
that obtained by the Artesian wells in the London and Paris 
basins. It is not to be wondered at that the attempt was un- 

Returning to my forest hut, I continued my daily search 
after birds and insects. The weather, however, became. dread- 
fully hot and dry, every drop of water disappearing from the 
pools and rock-holes, and with it the insects which frequented 
them. Only one group remained unaffected by the intense 
drought ; the Diptera, or two-winged flies, continued as plen- 
tiful as ever, and on these I was almost compelled to concen- 
trate my attention for a week or two, by which means I in- 
creased my collection of that order to about two hundred spe- 
cies; I also continued to obtain a few new birds, among 
which were two or three kinds of small hawks and falcons, a 
beautiful brush-tongued paroquet (Trichoglossus ornatus), and 
a rare black and white crow (Corvus advena). 

At length about the middle of October, after several gloomy 

Effects of the Eain. 247 

days, down came a deluge of rain, which continued to fall al- 
most every ^afternoon, showing that the early part of the wet 
season bad commenced. I hoped now to get a good harvest 
of insects, and in some respects I was not disappointed. 
Beetles became much more numerous, and under a thick bed 
of leaves that had accumulated on some rock by the side of a 
forest stream I found abundance of Carabidae, a family gener- 
ally scarce in the tropics. The butterjaies, however, disap- 
peared. Two of my servants were attacked with fever, dysen- 
tery, and swelled feet just at the time that the third had left 
me, and for some days they both lay groaning in the house. 
When they got a little better I was attacked myself ; and as 
my stores were nearly finished and every thing was getting 
very damp, I was obliged to prepare for my return to Macas- 
sar, especially as the strong westerly winds wouLdT render the 
passage in a small open boat disagreeable if not dangerous. 

Since the rains began, numbers of hugh Millipedes as thick 
as one's finger and eight or ten inches long crawled about 
everywhere, in the paths, on trees, about the house, and one 
morning when I got up I even found one in my bed ! They 
were generally of a dull lead color or of a deep brick-red, and 
were very nasty-looking things to be coming everywhere in 
one's way, although quite harmless. Snakes too began to 
show themselves. I killed two of a very abundant species, 
big-headed and of a bright green color, which lie coiled up on 
leaves and shrubs, and can scarcely be seen till one is close 
upon them. Brown snakes .got into my net while beating 
among dead leaves for insects, and made me rather cautious 
about inserting my hand till I knew what kind of game I had 
captured. The fields and meadows, which had been parched 
and sterile, now became suddenly covered with fine long grass ; 
the river-bed, where I had so many times walked over burn- 
ing rocks, was now a deep and rapid stream ; and numbers 
of herbaceous plants and shrubs were everywhere springing 
up and bursting into flower' I found plenty of new insects, 
and if I had had a good, roomy, water-and- wind-proof house, 
I should perhaps have staid during the wet season, as I feel 
sure many things can then be obtained which are to be found 
at no other time. With my summer hut, however, this was 
impossible. During the heavy rains a fine drizzly mist pene- 

248 Celebes. 

trated into every part of it, and I began to have the greatest 
difficulty in keeping my specimens dry. 

Early in November I returned to Macassar, and having 
packed up my collections, started in the Dutch mail-steamer 
for Amboyna and Ternate. Leaving this part of my journey 
for the present, I will in the next chapter conclude my account 
of Celebes by describing the extreme northern part of the isl- 
and, which I visited two years later. 

Menado. 249 



It was after my residence at Timor-coupang that I visited 
the north-eastern extremity of Celebes, touching on my way 
at Banda, Amboyna, and Ternate. I reached Menado on the 
10th of June, 1859, and was very kindly received by Mr. 
Tower, an Englishman, but a very old resident in Menado, 
where he carries on a general business. He introduced me 
to Mr. L. Duivenboden (whose father had been my friend at 
Ternate), who had much taste for natural history, and to Mr. 
I^Teys, a native of Menado, but who was educated at Calcutta, 
and to whom Dutch, English and Malay were equally mother- 
tongues. All these gentlemen showed me the greatest kind- 
ness, accompanied me in my earliest walks about the country, 
and assisted me by every means in their power. I spent a 
week in the town very pleasantly, making explorations and in- 
quiries after a good collecting-station, which I had much dif- 
ficulty in finding, owing to the wide cultivation of coffee and 
cacao, which has led to the clearing away of the forest for 
many miles round the town, and over extensive districts far 
into the interior. 

The little town of Menado is one of the prettiest in the 
East. It has the appearance of a large garden, containing 
rows of rustic villas, with broad paths between, forming streets 
generally at right angles with each other. Good roads branch 
off in several directions toward the interior, with a succession 
of pretty cottages, neat gardens, and thriving plantations, in- 
terspersed with wildernesses of fruit-trees. To the west and 
south the country is mountainous, with groups of fine volcanic 
peaks 6000 or 7000 feet high, forming grand and picturesque 
back-grounds to the landscape. 

The inhabitants of Minahasa (as this part of Celebes is 
called) differ much from those of all the rest of the island, and in 

250 Celebes. 

fact from any other people in the Archipelago. They are of 
a light-brown or yellow tint, often approaching the fairness of 
a European ; of a rather short stature, stout and well-made ; 
of an open and pleasing countenance, more or less disfigured 
as age increases by projecting cheek-bones; and with the 
usual long, straight, jet-black hair of the Malayan races. In 
some of the inland villages, where they may be supposed to be 
of the purest race, both men and women are remarkably hand- 
some ; while nearer the coast, where the purity of their blood 
has been destroyed by the intermixture of other races, they 
approach to the ordinary types of the wild inhabitants of the 
surrounding countries. 

In mental and moral characteristics they are also highly 
peculiar. They are remarkably quiet and gentle in disposi- 
tion, submissive to the authority of those they consider their 
superiors, and easily induced to learn and adopt the habits of 
civiHzed people. They are clever mechanics, and seem capa- 
ble of acquiring a considerable amount of intellectual edu- 

Up to a very recent period these people were thorough 
savages, and there are persons now living in Menado who re- 
member a state of things identical with that described by the 
writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The in- 
habitants of the several villages were distinct tribes, each un- 
der its own chief, speaking languages unintelligible to each 
other, and almost always at war. They built their houses 
elevated upon lofty posts to defend themselves from the at- 
tacks of their enemies. They were head-hunters, like the 
Dyaks of Borneo, and were said to be sometimes cannibals. 
When a chief died, his tomb was adorned with two fresh hu- 
man heads; and if those of enemies could not be obtained, 
slaves were killed for the occasion. Human skulls were the 
great ornaments of the chiefs' houses. Strips of bark were 
their only dress. The country was a pathless wilderness, with 
small cultivated patches of rice and vegetables, or clumps of 
fruit-trees, diversifying the otherwise unbroken forest. Their 
religion was that naturally engendered in the undeveloped 
human mind by the contemplation of grand natural phenomena 
and the luxuriance of tropical nature. The burning mountain, 
the torrent and lake, were the abode of their deities, and cer- 

Natives of Mikahasa. 251 

tain trees and birds were supposed to have especial influence 
over men's actions and destiny. They held wild and exciting 
festivals to propitiate these deities or demons, and believed 
that men could be changed by them into animals, either dur- 
ing life or after death. 

Here we have a picture of true savage life, of small isolated 
communities, at war with all around them, subject to the 
wants and miseries of such a condition, drawing a precarious 
existence from the luxuriant soil, and living on from genera- 
tion to generation, with no desire for physical amelioration, 
and no prospect of moral advancement. 

Such was their condition down to the year 1822, when the 
coffee-plant was first introduced, and experiments were made 
as to its cultivation. It was found to succeed admirably at 
from fifteen hundred up to four thousand feet above the sea. 
The chiefs of villages were induced to undertake its cultiva- 
tion. Seed and native instructors were sent from Java ; food 
was supplied to the laborers engaged in clearing and planting ; 
a fixed price was established at which all coffee brought to 
the Government collectors was to be paid for, and the village 
chiefs, who now received the titles of " majors," were to re- 
ceive ^ve per cent, of the produce. After a time roads were 
made from the port of Menado up to the plateau, and smaller 
paths were cleared from village to village ; missionaries settled 
in the more populous districts and opened schools, and Chinese 
traders penetrated to the interior and supplied clothing and 
other luxuries in exchange for the money which the sale of 
the coffee had produced. At the same time the country was 
divided into districts, and the system of " controlleurs," which 
had worked so well in Java, was introduced. The controlieur 
was a European, or a native of European blood, who was the 
general superintendent of the cultivation of the district, the 
adviser of the chiefs, the protector of the people, and the means 
of communication between both and the European Govern- 
ment. His duties obliged him to visit every village in succes- 
sion once a month, and to send in a report on their condition 
to the Resident. As disputes between adjacent villages were 
now settled by appeal to a superior authority, the old and in- 
convenient semi-fortified houses were disused, and under the 
direction of the controlleurs most of the houses were rebuilt 

252 Celebes. 

on a neat and uniform plan. It was this interesting district 
which I was now about to visit. 

Having decided on my route, I started at 8 a.m. on the 22d 
of June. Mr. Tower drove me the first three miles in his 
chaise, and Mr. 'Nejs accompanied me on horseback three miles 
further to the village of Lotta. Here we met the controUeur 
of the district of Tondano, who was returning home from one 
of his monthly tours, and who had agreed to act as my guide 
and companion on the journey. From Lotta we had an almost 
continual ascent for six miles, which brought us on to the 
plateau of Tondano at an elevation of about 2400 feet. We 
passed through three villages whose neatness and beauty quite 
astonished me. The main road, along which all the coffee is 
brought down from the interior in carts drawn by buffaloes, 
is always turned aside at the entrance of a village, so as to 
pass behind it, and thus allow the village street itself to be 
kept neat and clean. This is bordered by neat hedges often 
formed entirely of rose-trees, which are perpetually in blossom. 
There is a broad central path and a border of fine turf, which 
is kept well swept and neatly cut. The houses are all of wood, 
raised about six feet on substantial posts neatly painted blue, 
while the walls are whitewashed. They all have a veranda 
inclosed with a neat balustrade, and are generally surrounded 
by orange-trees and flowering shrubs. The surrounding scen- 
ery is verdant and picturesque. Coffee plantations of extreme 
luxuriance, noble palms and tree-ferns, wooded hills and vol- 
canic peaks, everywhere meet the eye. I had heard much of 
the beauty of this country, but the reality far surpassed my 

About one o'clock we reached Tomohon, the chief place of 
a district, having a native chief, now called the major, at 
whose house we were to dine. Here was a fresh surprise for 
me. The house was large, airy, and very substantially built 
of hard native timber, squared and put together in a most 
workmanlike manner. It was furnished in European style, 
with handsome chandelier lamps, and the chairs and tables all 
well made by native workmen. As soon as we entered, Ma- 
deira and bitters were offered us. Then two handsome boys, 
neatly dressed in white and with smoothly-brushed jet-black 
hair, handed us each a basin of water and a clean napkin on a 

Village of Eueukak. 253 

salver. The dinner was excellent. Fowls cooked in various 
ways, wild pig roasted, stewed, and fried, a fricassee of bats, 
potatoes, rice, and other vegetables, all served on good cMna, 
with finger-glasses and fine napkins, and abundance of good 
claret and beer, seemed to me rather curious at the table of a 
native chief on the mountains of Celebes. Our host was 
dressed in a suit of black, with patent-leather shoes, and real- 
ly looked comfortable and almost gentlemanly in them. He 
sat at the head of the table, and did the honors well, though 
he did not talk much. Our conversation was entirely in Ma- 
lay, as that is the official language here, and in fact the moth- 
er-tongue and only language of the controUeur, who is a native- 
born half-breed. The major's father, who was chief before 
him, wore, I was informed, a strip of bark as his sole costume, 
and lived in a rude hut raised on lofty poles, and abundantly 
decorated with human heads. Of course we were expected 
and our dinner was prepared in the best style, but I was as- 
sured that the chiefs all take a pride in adopting European 
customs, and in being able to receive their visitors in a hand- 
some manner. 

After dinner and coffee the controlleur went on to Tonda- 
no, and I strolled about the village waiting for my baggage, 
which was coming in a bullock-cart, and did not arrive till 
after midnight. Supper was very similar to dinner, and on 
retiring I found an elegant little room with a comfortable bed, 
gauze curtains with blue and red hangings, and every conve- 
nience. ]N"ext morning at sunrise the thermometer in the ve- 
randa stood at 69°, which I was told is about the usual lowest 
temperature at this place, 2500 feet above the sea. I had a 
good breakfast of coffee, eggs, and fresh bread and butter, 
which I took in the spacious veranda, amid the odor of roses, 
jessamine, and other sweet-scented flowers, which filled the 
garden in front; and about eight o'clock left Tomohon, with 
a dozen men carrying my baggage. 

Our road lay over a mountain ridge about 4000 feet above 
the sea, and then descended about 500 feet to the little village 
of Ruriikan, the highest in the district of Minahasa, and proba- 
bly in all Celebes. Here I had determined to stay for some 
time to see whether this elevation would produce any change 
in the zoology. The village had only been formed about ten 


sKcwlng Mr. WallaefsJRcutes 

scale: op ENGLISH * MULES 

Coffee Plantations. 255 

years, and was quite as neat as those I had passed through, 
and much more picturesque. It is placed on a small level spot, 
from which there is an abrupt wooded descent ^own to the 
beautiful lake of Tondano, with volcanic mountains beyond. 
On one side is a ravine, and beyond it a fine mountainous and 
wooded country. 

Near the village are the coffee plantations. The trees are 
planted in rows, and are kept topped to about seven feet high. 
This causes the lateral branches to grow very strong, so that 
some of the trees become perfect hemispheres, loaded with 
fruit from top to bottom, and producing from ten to twenty 
pounds each of cleaned coffee annually. These plantations 
were all formed by the Government, and are cultivated by the 
villagers under the direction of their chief. Certain days are 
appointed for weeding or gathering, and the whole working 
population are summoned by sound of gong. An account is 
kept of the number of hours' work done by each family, and 
at the year's end the produce of the sale is divided among 
them proportionately. The coffee is taken to Government 
stores established at central places over the whole country, and 
is paid for at a low fixed price. Out of this a certain percent- 
age goes to the chiefs and majors, and the remainder is divided 
among the inhabitants. This system works very well, and I 
believe is at present far better for the people than free trade 
would be. There are also large rice-fields, and in this little 
village of seventy houses I was informed that a hundred 
pounds' worth of rice was sold annually. 

I had a small house at the very end of the village, almost 
hanging over the precipitous slope down to the stream, and 
with a splendid view from the veranda. The thermometer 
in the morning often stood at 62°, and never rose so high as 
80° ; so that with the thin clothing used in the tropical plains 
we were always cool, and sometimes positively cold, while the 
spout of water where I went daily for my bath had quite an 
icy feel. Although I enjoyed myself very much among these 
fine mountains and forests, I was somewhat disappointed as 
to my collections. There was hardly any perceptible differ- 
ence between the animal life in this temperate region and in 
the torrid plains below, and what difference did exist was in 
most respects disadvantageous to me. There seemed to be 

256 Celebes. 

nothing absolutely peculiar to this elevation. Birds and quad- 
rupeds were less plentiful, but of the same species. In insects 
there seemed to be more difference. The curious beetles of 
the family Cleridae, which are found chiefly on bark and rotten 
wood, were finer than I have seen them elsewhere. The beau- 
tiful Longicorns were scarcer than usual, and the few butter- 
flies were all of tropical species. One of these, Papilio blumei, 
of which I obtained a few specimens only, is among the most 
magnificent I have ever seen. It is a green and gold swallow- 
tail, with azure-blue spoon-shaped tails, and was often seen fly- 
ing about the village when the sun shone, but in a very shat- 
tered condition. The great amount of wet and cloudy weath- 
er was a great drawback all the time I was at Ruriikan. 

Even in the vegetation there is very little to indicate ele- 
vation. The trees are more covered with lichens and mosses, 
and the ferns and tree-ferns are finer and more luxuriant than 
I had been accustomed to see them on the low grounds, both 
probably attributable to the almost j^erpetual moisture that 
here prevails. Abundance of a tasteless raspberry, with 
blue and yellow Compositae, have somewhat of a temperate 
as]3ect, and minute ferns and Orchidege, with dwarf Begonias 
on the rocks, make some approach to a sub-alpine vegetation. 
The forest, however, is most luxuriant. N"oble palms, Pandani, 
and tree-ferns are abundant in it, while the forest-trees are 
completely festooned with Orchidese, Bromelidelise, Aracese, 
Lycopodiums, and mosses. The ordinary stemless ferns 
abound ; some with gigantic fronds ten or twelve feet long, 
others barely an inch high ; some with entire and massive 
leaves, others elegantly waving their finely-cut foliage, and add- 
ing endless variety and interest to the forest paths. The cocoa- 
nut palm still produces fruit abundantly, but is said to be de- 
ficient in oil. Oranges thrive better than below, producing 
abundance of delicious fruit ; but the shaddock or pumplemous 
(Citrus decumana) requires the full force of a tropical sun, 
for it will not thrive even at Tondano, a thousand feet lower. On 
the hilly slopes rice is cultivated largely, and ripens well, al- 
though the temperature rarely or never rises to 80°, so that one 
would think it might be grown even in England in fine sum- 
mers, especially if the young plants were raised under glass. 

The mountains have an unusual quantity of earth or vege- 

An Earthquake. 257 

table mould spread over them. Even on the steepest slopes 
there is everywhere a covering of clays and sands, and gener- 
ally a good thickness of vegetable soil. It is this which per- 
haps contributes to the uniform luxuriance of the forest, and 
delays the appearance of that sub-alpine vegetation which de- 
pends almost as much on the abundance of rocky and ex- 
posed surfaces as on difference of climate. At a much lower 
elevation on Mount Ophir, in Malacca, Dacrydiums and Rho- 
dodendrons, with abundance of N'epenthes, ferns, and terres- 
trial orchids suddenly took the place of the lofty forest ; but 
this was plainly due to the occurrence of an extensive slope of 
bare granitic rock at an elevation of less than 3000 feet. The 
quantity of vegetable soil, and also of loose sands and clays, 
resting on steep slopes, hill-tops, and the sides of ravines, is a 
curious and important phenomenon. It may be due in part 
to constant slight earthquake shocks, facilitating the disinte- 
gration of rock; but would also seem to indicate that the 
country has been long exposed to gentle atmospheric action, 
and that its elevation has been exceedingly slow and continu- 

During my stay at Rurlikan my curiosity was satisfied by 
experiencing a pretty sharp earthquake-shock. On the even- 
ing of June 29, at a quarter after eight, as I was sitting read- 
ing, the house began shaking with a very gentle, but rapidly 
increasing motion. I sat still enjoying the novel sensation for 
some seconds ; but in less than half a minute it became strong 
enough to shake me in my chair, and to make the house visibly 
rock about, and creak and crack as if it would fall to pieces. 
Then began a cry throughout the village of " Tana goyang ! 
tana goyang " (Earthquake ! earthquake) ! Every body rush- 
ed out of their houses — women screamed and children cried — 
and I thought it prudent to go out too. On getting up, I 
found my head giddy and my steps unsteady, and could hard- 
ly walk without falling. The shock continued about a minute, 
during which time I felt as if I had been turned round and 
round, and was almost sea-sick. Going into the house again, 
1 found a lamp and a bottle of arrack upset. The tumbler 
w^hich formed the lamp had been thrown out of the saucer in 
which it had stood. The shock appeared to be nearly vertical, 
rapid, vibratory, and jerking. It was sufficient, I have no 


258 Celebes. 

doubt, to have thrown down brick chimneys and walls and 
church towers ; but as the houses here are. all low, and strongly 
framed of timber, it is impossible for them to be much in- 
jured, except by a shock that would utterly destroy a Euro- 
pean city. The people told me it was ten years since they had 
had a stronger shock than this, at which time many houses 
were thrown down and some people killed. 

At intervals of ten minutes to half an hour, slight shocks 
and tremors were felt, sometimes strong enough to send us all 
out again. There was a strange mixture of the terrible and 
ludicrous in our situation. We might at any moment have a 
much stronger shock, which would bring down the house over 
us^ or — ^what I feared more — cause a landslip, and send us 
down into the deep ravine on the very edge of which the vil- 
lage is built ; yet I could not help laughing each time we ran 
out at a slight shock, and then in a few moments ran in again. 
The sublime and the ridiculous were here literally but a step 
apart. On the one hand, the most terrible and destructive of 
natural phenomena was in action around us — the rocks, the 
mountains, the solid earth were trembling and convulsed, and 
we were utterly impotent to guard against the danger that 
might at any moment overwhelm us. On the other hand was 
the spectacle of a number of men, women, and children run- 
ning in and out of their houses, on what each time proved a 
very unnecessary alarm, as each shock ceased just as it became 
strong enough to frighten us. It seemed really very much 
like "playing at earthquakes," and made many of the people 
join me in a hearty laugh, even while reminding each other 
that it really might be no laughing matter. 

At length the evening got very cold, and I became very 
sleepy, and determined to turn in, leaving orders to my boys, 
who slept nearer the door, to wake me in case the house was 
in danger of falling. But I miscalculated my apathy, for I 
could not sleep much. The shocks continued at intervals of 
half an hour or an hour all night, just strong enough to wake 
me thoroughly each time and keep me on the alert ready to 
jump up in case of danger. I was therefore very glad when 
morning came. Most of the inhabitants had not been to bed at 
all, and some had staid out-of-doors all night. For the next two 
days and nights shocks still continued at short intervals, and 

Waterfall at Tondano. 259 

several times a day for a week, showing that there was some 
very extensive disturbance beneath our portion of the earth's 
crust. How vast the forces at work really are can only be 
properly appreciated when, after feeling their effects, we look 
abroad over the wide expanse of hill and valley, plain and 
mountain, and thus realize in a slight degree the immense 
mass of matter heaved and shaken. The sensation produced 
by an earthquake is never to be forgotten. We feel ourselves 
in the grasp of a power to which the wildest fury of the winds 
and waves are as nothing ; yet the effect is more a thrill of 
awe than the terror which the more boisterous war of the ele- 
ments produces. There is a mystery and an uncertainty as 
to the amount of danger We incur, which gives greater play to 
the imagination, and to the influences of hope and fear. These 
remarks apply only to a moderate earthquake. A severe one 
is the most destructive and the most horrible catastrophe to 
which human beings can be exposed. 

A few days after the earthquake I took a walk to Tondano, 
a large village of about 7000 inhabitants, situated at the lower 
end of the lake of the same name. I dined with the control- 
leur, Mr. Bensneider, who had been my guide to Tomohon. 
He had a fine large house, in which he often received vistors ; 
and his garden was the best for flowers which I had seen in 
the tropics, although there was no great variety. It was he 
who introduced the rose hedges which give such a charming 
appearance to the villages, and to him is chiefly due the gen- 
eral neatness and good order that everywhere prevail. I con- 
sulted him about a fresh locality, as I found Rurlikan too much 
in the clouds, dreadfully damp and gloomy, and with a gener- 
al stagnation of bird and insect life. He recommended me a 
village some distance beyond the lake, near which was a large 
forest, where he thought I should find plenty of birds. As he 
was going himself in a few days, I decided to accompany him. 

After dinner I asked him for a guide to the celebrated 
waterfall on the outlet stream of the lake. It is situated about 
a mile and a half below the village, where a slight rising 
ground closes in the basin, and evidently once formed the 
shore of the lake. Here the river enters a gorge, very narrow 
and tortuous, along which it rushes furiously for a short dis- 
tance and then plunges into a great chasm, forming the head 

260 Celebes. 

of a large valley. Just above the fall the channel is not more 
than ten feet wide, and here a few planks are thrown across, 
whence, half hid by luxuriant vegetation, the mad waters may 
be seen rushing beneath, and a few feet farther plunge into 
the abyss. Both sight and sound are grand and impressive. 
It was here that, four years before my visi<^ the Governor-gen- 
eral of the ISTetherland Indies committed suicide, by leaping 
into the torrent. This at least is the general opinion, as he 
suffered from a painful disease, which was supposed to have 
made him weary of his life. His body was found next day in " 
the stream below. 

Unfortunately, no good view of the fall could now be ob- 
tained, owing to the quantity of wood and high grass that 
lined the margins of the precipices. There are two falls, the 
lower being the most lofty ; and it is possible, by a long cir- 
cuit, to descend into the valley and see them from below. 
Were the best points of view searched for and rendered ac- 
cessible, these falls would probably be found to be the finest in 
the Archipelago. The chasm ^eems to be of great depth, prob- 
ably 500 or 600 feet, Unfortunately, I had no time to explore 
this valley, as I was anxious to devote every fine day to in- 
creasing my hitherto scanty collections. 

Just opposite my abode in Rurlikan was the school-house. 
The school-niaster was a native, educated by the missionary at 
Tomohon. School was held every morning for about three 
hours, and twice a week in the evening there was catechising 
and preaching. There was also a service on Sunday morning. 
The children were all taught in Malay, and I often heard them 
repeating the multiplication-table up to twenty times twenty 
very glibly. They always wound up with singing, and it was 
very pleasing to hear many of our old psalm-tunes in these 
remote mountains sung with Malay words. Singing is one of 
the real blessings which missionaries introduce among savage 
nations, whose native chants are almost always monotonous 
and melancholy. 

• On: catechising evenings the school-master was a great 
man, preaching and teaching for three hours at a stretch much 
in the style of an English ranter. This was pretty cold work 
for his auditors, however warming to himself ; and I am in- 
clined to think that these native teachers, having acquired 


facility of speaking and an endless supply of religious plati- 
tudes to talk about, ride their hobby rather hard, without much 
consideration for their flock. The missionaries, however, have 
much to be proud of in this country. They have assisted the 
Government in changing a savage into a civilized community 
in a wonderfully short space of time. Forty years ago the 
country was a wilderness, the people naked savages, garnish- 
ing their rude houses with human heads. 'NOw it is a garden, 
worthy of its sweet native name of " Minahasa." Good roads 
and paths traverse it in every direction; some of the finest 
. coffee plantations in the world surround the villages, inter- 
spersed with extensive rice-fields more than sufiicient for the 
support of the population. 

The people are now the most industrious, peaceable, and 
civilized in the whole Archipelago. They are the best clothed, 
the best housed, the best fed, and the best educated, and they 
have made some progress toward a higher social state. I be- 
lieve there is no example elsewhere of such striking results 
being produced in so short a time — results which are entirely 
due to the system of government now adopted by the Dutch 
in their Eastern possessions. The system is one which may 
be called a "paternal despotism." ISTow we Englishmen do 
not like despotism — ^we hate the name and the thing, and we 
would rather see people ignorant, lazy, and vicious, than use 
any but moral force to make them wise, industrious, and good. 
And we are right when we are dealing with men of our own 
race, and of similar ideas and equal capacities with ourselves. 
Example and precept, the force of public opinion, and the 
slow, but sure spread of education, will do every thing in 
time, without engendering any of those bitter feelings, or 
producing any of that servility, hypocrisy, and dependence, 
which are the sure results of despotic government. But what 
should we think of a man who should advocate these princi- 
ples of perfect freedom in a family or a school ? We should 
say that he was applying a good general principle to a case in 
which the conditions rendered it inapplicable — the case in 
which the governed are in an admitted state of mental inferi- 
ority to those who govern them, and are unable to decide what 
is best for their permanent welfare. Children must be sub- 
jected to some degree of authority, and guidance; and if prop- 

262 Celebes. 

erly managed they will cheerfully submit to it, because they 
know their own inferiority, and believe their elders are acting 
solely for their good. They learn many ^things ^he use of 
which they can not comprehend, and which they would never 
learn without some moral and social, if not physical pressure. 
Habits of order, of industry, of cleanliness, of respect and obe- 
dience, are inculcated by similar means. Children would nev- 
er grow up into well-behaved and well-educated men, if the 
same absolute freedom of action that is allowed to men were 
allowed to them. Under the best aspect of education, chil- 
dren are subjected to a mild despotism for the good of them- 
selves and of society ; and their confidence in the wisdom and 
goodness of those who ordain and apply this despotism, neu- 
tralizes the bad passions and degrading feelings, which under 
less favorable conditions are its general results. 

Now, there is not merely an analogy, there is, in many re- 
spects, an identity of relation between master and pupil, or 
parent and child on the one hand, and an uncivilized race and 
its civilized rulers on the other. We know (or think we know) 
that the education and industry, and the common usages of 
civilized man, are superior to those of savage life ; and, as he 
becomes acquainted with them, the savage himself admits 
this. He admires the superior acquirements of the civilized 
man, and it is with pride that he will adopt such usages as do 
not interfere too much with his sloth, his passions, or his prej- 
udices. But as the willful child or the idle schoolboy, who 
was never taught obedience, and never made to do any thing 
which of his own free will he was not inclined to do, would 
in most cases obtain neither education nor manners ; so it is 
much more unlikely that the savage, with all the confirmed 
habits of manhood and the traditional prejudices of race, 
should ever do more than copy a few of the least beneficial 
customs of civilization, without some stronger stimulus than 
precept, very imperfectly backed by example. 

If we are satisfied that we are right in assuming the gov- 
ernment over a savage race and occupying their country ; and 
if we further consider it our duty to do what we can to im- 
prove our rude subjects and raise them up toward our own 
level, we must not be too much afraid of the cry of " despot- 
ism " and slavery," but must use the authority we possess to 

The Cultivation System. 263 

induce them to do work which they may not altogether like, 
but which we know to be an indispensable step in their moral 
and physical advancement. The Dutch have shown much 
good pohcy in the means by which they have done this. They 
have in most cases upheld and strengthened the authority of 
the native chiefs, to whom the people have been accustomed 
to render a voluntary.obedience ; and by acting on the intelli- 
gence and self-interest of these chiefs, have brought about 
changes in the manners and customs of the people, which 
would have excited ill-feehng and perhaps revolt, had they 
been directly enforced by foreigners. 

In carrying out such a system, much depends upon the 
character of the people; and the system which succeeds ad- 
mirably in one place could only be very partially worked out 
in another. In Minahasa the natural docility and intelligence 
of the race have made their progress rapid ; and how import- 
ant this is, is well illustrated by the fact that in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the town of Menado are a tribe called Banteks, 
of a much less tractable disposition, who have hitherto resist- 
ed all efforts of the Dutch Government to induce them to 
adopt any systematic cultivation. These remain in a ruder 
condition, but engage themselves willingly as occasional por- 
ters and laborers, for which their greater strength and activi- 
ty well adapt them. 

N"o doubt the system here sketched seems open to serious 
objection. It is to a certain extent despotic, and interferes 
with free trade, free labor, and free communication. A na- 
tive can not leave his village without a pass, and can not en- 
gage himself to any merchant or captain without a Govern- 
ment permit. The coffee has all to be sold to Government, 
at less than half the price that the local merchant would give 
for it, and he consequently cries out loudly against " monopo- 
ly" and "oppression." He forgets, however, that the coffee- 
plantations were established by the Govei'nment at great out- 
lay of capital and skill ; that it gives free education to the 
people, and that the monopoly is in lieu of taxation. He for- 
gets that the product he wants to purchase and make a profit 
by, is the creation of the Government, without whom the 
people would still be savages. He knows very well that free 
trade would, as its first result, lead to the importation of 

264 Celebes. 

whole cargoes of arrack, which would be carried over the 
country and exchanged for coffee ; that drunkenness and pov- 
erty would spread over the land ; that the public coffee-plan- 
tations would not be kept up ; that the quality and quantity 
of the coffee would soon deteriorate; that traders and mer- 
chants would get rich, but that the people would relapse into 
poverty and barbarism. That such is invariably the result of 
free trade with any savage tribes who possess a valuable prod- 
uct, native or cultivated, is well known to those who have 
visited such people ; hut we might even anticipate from gen- 
eral principles that evil results would happen. If there is one 
thing rather than another to which the grand law of continu- 
ity or development will apply, it is human progress. There 
are certain stages through which society must pass, in its 
onward march from barbarism to civilization. Now one of 
these stages has always been some form or other of despotism, 
such as feudalism or servitude, or a despotic paternal govern- 
ment; and we have every reason to believe that it is not pos- 
sible for humanity to leap over this transition epoch, and pass 
at once from pure savagery to free civilization. The Dutch 
system attempts to supply this missing link, and to bring the 
people on by gradual steps to that higher civilization which 
we (the English) try to force upon them at once. Our system 
has always failed. We demoralize and we extirpate, but we 
never really civilize. Whether the Dutch system can per- 
manently succeed is but doubtful, since it may not be possi- 
ble to compress the work of ten centuries into one ; but at all 
events it takes nature as a guide, and is therefore more de- 
serving of success, and more likely to succeed than ours. 

There is one point connected with this question which I 
think the missionaries might take up with great physical and 
moral results. In this beautiful and healthy country, and 
with abundance of food and necessaries, the population does 
not increase as it ought to do. I can only impute this to one 
cause — ^infant mortality, produced by neglect while the moth- 
ers are working in the plantations, and by general ignorance 
of the conditions of health in infants. Women all work, as 
they have always been accustomed to do. It is no hardship 
to them, but I beHeve is often a pleasure and relaxation. They 
either take their infants with them, in which case they leave 

Female Labor. 265 

tliem in some shady spot on the ground, going at intervals' to 
give them nourishment, or they leave them at home in the 
care of other children too young to work. Under neither of 
these circumstances can infants be properly attended to, and 
great mortality is the result, keeping down the increase of 
population far below the rate which the general prosperity of 
the country and the universality of marriage would lead us to 
expect. This is a matter in which the Government is direct- 
ly interested^ since it is by the increase of the population alone 
that there can be any large and permanent increase in the prod- 
uce of coffee. The missionaries should take up the question, 
because, by inducing married women to confine themselves to 
domestic duties, they will decidedly promote a higher civiliza- 
tion, and directly increase the health and happiness of the 
whole community. The people are so docile, and so willing 
to adopt the manners and customs of Europeans, that the 
change might be easily effected, by merely showing them that 
it was a question of morality and civilization, and an essential 
step in their progress toward an equality with their white 

After a fortnight's stay at Rurlikan, I left that pretty and 
interesting village in search of a locality and climate more 
productive of birds and insects. I passed the evening with 
the controlleur of Tondano, and the next morning at nine left 
in a small boat for the head of the lake, a distance of about ten 
miles. The lower end of the lake is bordered by swamps and 
marshes of considerable extent, but a little further on the hills 
come down to the water's edge, and give it very much the ap- 
pearance of a great river, the width being about two miles. 
At the upper end is the village of Kakas, where I dined with 
the head-man in a good house like those I have already de- 
scribed, and then went on to Langowan, four miles distant, 
over a level plain. This was the place where I had been rec- 
ommended to stay, and I accordingly unpacked my baggage 
and made myself comfortable in the large house devoted to 
visitors. I obtained a man to shoot for me, and another to 
accompany me the next day to the forest, where I was in 
hopes of finding a good collecting-ground. 

In the morning after breakfast I started off, but found I had 
four miles to walk over a wearisome straight road through 

266 Celebes. 

coffee-plantations before I could get to the forest, and as soon 
as I did so it came on to rain heavily, and did not cease till 
night. This distance to walk every day was too far for any 
profitable work, especially when the weather was so uncertain. 
I therefore decided at once that I must go further on, till I 
found some place close to or in a forest country. In the aft- 
ernoon my friend Mr. Bensneider arrived, together with the 
controlleur of the next district, called Belang, from whom I 
learned that six miles further on there was a village called 
Panghu, which had been recently formed, and had a good deal 
of forest close to it, and he promised me the use of a small 
house if I Hked to go there. 

The next morning I went to see the hot springs and mud- 
volcanoes, for which this place is celebrated. A picturesque 
path among plantations and ravines brought us to a beautiful 
circular basin about forty feet diameter, bordered by a calca- 
reous ledge, so uniform and truly curved that it looked like a 
work of art. It was filled with clear water very near the boil- 
ing-point, and emitting clouds of steam with a strong sulphu- 
reous odor. It overflows at one point and forms a little stream 
of hot water, which at a hundred yards' distance is still too 
hot to hold the hand in. A little further on, in a piece of 
rough wood, were two other springs, not so regular in outline, 
but appearing to be much hotter, as they were in a continual 
state of active ebullition. At intervals of a few minutes a 
great escape of steam or gas took place, throwing up a column 
of water three or four feet high. 

We then went to the mud-springe, which are about a mile 
off, and are still more curious. On a sloping tract of ground 
in a slight hollow is a small lake of liquid mud, in patches of 
blue, red, or white, and in many places boiling and bubbling 
most furiously. All around on the indurated clay are small 
wells and craters, full of boiling mud. These seem to be 
forming continually, a small hole appearing first, which emits 
jets of steam and boiling mud, which, on hardening, forms a 
little cone, with a crater in the middle. The ground for some 
distance is very unsafe, as it is evidently liquid at a small 
depth, and bends with pressure like thin ice. At one of the 
smaller marginal jets which I managed to approach, I held my 
hand to see if it was really as hot as it looked, when a little 

Mud Volcan-qes. 267 

drop of mud that spurted on to my finger scalded like boiling 
water. A short distance off there was a flat bare surface of 
rock, as smooth and hot as an oven floor, which was evidently 
an old mud-pool dried up and hardened. For hundreds of 
yards round, where there were banks of reddish and white 
clay used for whitewash, it was still so hot close to the surface 
that the hand could hardly bear to be held in cracks a few 
inches deep, and from v/hich arose a strong sulphureous vapor. 
I was informed that some years back a French gentleman who 
visited these springs ventured too near the liquid mud, when the 
crust gave way and he was engulfed in the horrible caldron. 

This evidence of intense heat so near the surface over a 
large tract of country was very impressive, and I could hardly 
divest myself of the notion that some terrible catastrophe 
might at any moment devastate the country. Yet it is prob- 
able that all these apertures are really safety-valves, and that 
the inequalities of the resistance of various parts of the earth's 
crust will always prevent such an accumulation of force as 
would be required to upheave and overwhelm any extensive 
area. About seven miles west of this is a volcano which was 
in eruption about thirty years before my visit, presenting a 
magnificent appearance and covering the surrounding country 
with showers of ashes. The plains around the lake formed 
by the intermingling and decomposition of volcanic products 
are of amazing fertility, and with a little management in the 
rotation of crops might be kept in continual cultivation. Rice 
is now grown on them for three or four years in succession, 
when they are left fallow for the same period, after which rice 
or maize can be again grown. Good rice produces thirty-fold, 
and cofee-trees continue bearing abundantly for ten or fifteen 
years without any manure and with scarcely any cultivation. 

I was delayed a day by incessant rain, and then proceeded 
to Panghu, which I reached just before the daily rain began 
at 1 1 A.M. After leaving the summit level of the lake basin, the 
road is carried along the slope of a fine forest ravine. The 
descent is a long one, so that I estimated the village to be not 
more than 1,500 feet above the sea, yet I found the morning 
temperature often 69°, the same as at Tondano, at least 600 
or 700 feet higher. I was pleased with the appearance of the 
place, which had a good deal of forest and wild country around 

268 Celebes. 

it, and found prepared for me a little house, consisting only of 
a veranda and a back room. This was only intended for visit- 
ors to rest in or to pass a night, but it suited me very well. 
I was so unfortunate, however, as to lose both my hunters just 
at this time. One had been left at Tondano with fever and 
diarrhoea, and the other was attacked at Langowan with inflam- 
mation of the chest, and, as his casfe looked rather bad, I had 
him sent back to Menado. The people here were all so busy 
with their rice-harvest, which it was important for them to fin- 
ish owing to the early rains, that I could get no one to shoot 
for me. 

During the three weeks that I staid at Panghu it rained 
nearly every day, either in the afternoon only, or all day long; 
but there were generally a few hours' sunshine in the morn- 
ing, and I took advantage of these to explore the roads and 
paths, the rocks and ravines, in search of insects. These were 
not very abundant, yet I saw enough to convince me that the 
locality was a good one, had I been there at the beginning in- 
stead of at the end of the dry season. The natives brought 
me daily a few insects obtained at the sagueir palms, including 
some fine Cetonias and stag-beetles. Two little boys were 
very expert with the blow-pipe, and brought me a good many 
small birds, which they shot with pellets of clay. Among 
these was a pretty little flower-pecker of a new species (Prio- 
nochilus aureolimbatus), and several of the loveliest honey- 
suckers I had yet seen. My general collection of birds was, 
however, almost at a stand-still; for though I at length ob- 
tained a man to shoot for me, he was not good for much, and 
seldom brought me more than one bird a day. The best 
thing he shot was the large and rare fruit-pigeon peculiar to 
Northern Celebes (Carpophaga forsteni), which I had long 
been seeking after. 

I was myself very successful in one beautiful group of in- 
sects, the tiger-beetles, which seem more abundant and varied 
here than anywhere else in the Archipelago. I first met with 
them on a cutting in the road, where a hard clayey bank was 
partially overgrown with mosses and small ferns. Here I 
found running about a small olive-green species which never 
took flight, and more rarely a fine purplish-black wingless in- 
sect, which was always found motionless in crevices, and was 

Natives of Minahasa. 269 

therefore probably nocturnal. It appeared to me to form a 
new genus. About the roads in the forest I found the large 
and handsome Cicindela heros, which I had before obtained 
sparingly at Macassar ; but it was in the mountain torrent of 
the ravine itself that I got my finest things. On dead trunks 
overhanging the water, and on the banks and f oHage, I obtained 
three very pretty species of Cicindela, quite distinct in size, 
form, and color, but having an almost identical pattern of pale 
spots. I also found a single specimen of a most curious spe- 
cies with very long antennae. But my finest discovery here 
was the Cicindela gloriosa, which I found on mossy stones 
just rising above the water. After obtaining my first speci- 
men of this elegant insect, I used to walk up the stream, 
watching carefully every moss-covered rock and stone. It 
was rather shy, and would often lead me a long chase from 
stone to stone, becoming invisible every time it settled on the 
damp moss, owing to its rich velvety-green color. On some 
days I could only catch a few glimpses of it, on others I got 
a single specimen, and on a few occasions two, but never with- 
out a more or less active pursuit. This and several other 
species I never saw but in this one ravine. 

Among the people here I saw specimens of several types, 
which, with the peculiarities of the languages, gives me some 
notion of their probable origin. A striking illustration of 
the low state of civilization of these people till quite recently 
is to be found in the great diversity of their languages. Til- 
lages three or four miles apart have separate dialects, and 
each group of three or four such villages has a distinct lan- 
guage quite unintelligible to all the rest ; so that, till the re- 
cent: introduction of Malay by the missionaries, there must 
have been a bar to all free communication. These languages 
offer many peculiarities. They contain a Celebes-Malay ele- 
ment and a Papuan element, along with some radical peculiari- 
ties found also in the languages of the Siau and Sanguir islands 
further north, and therefore probably derived from the Philip- 
pine Islands. Physical characters correspond. There are some 
of the less civilized tribes which have semi-Papuan features and 
hair, while in some villages the true Celebes or Bugis physi- 
ognomy prevails. The plateau of Tondano is chiefly inhabit- 
ed by people nearly as white as the Chinese, and with very 

270 Celebes. 

pleasing semi-European features. The people of Siau and 
Sanguir much resemble these, and I believe them to be per- 
haps immigrants from some of the islands of North Polynesia. 
The Papuan type will represent the remnant of the aborigines, 
while those of the Bugis character show the extension north- 
ward of the superior Malay races. 

As I was wasting valuable time at Panghu, owing to the 
bad weather and the illness of my hunters, I returned to 
Menado after a stay of three weeks. Here I had a little touch 
of fever, and what with drying and packing away my collec- 
tions and getting fresh servants, it was a fortnight before I 
was again ready to start. I now went eastward over an un- 
dulating country skirting the great volcano of Klabat to a 
village called Lempias, situated close to the extensive forest 
that covers the lower slopes of that mountain. My baggage 
was carried from village to village by relays of men ; and -as 
each change involved some delay, I did not reach my destina- 
tion (a distance of eighteen miles) till sunset. I was wet 
through, and had to wait for an hour in an uncomfortable 
state till the first installment of my baggage arrived, which 
luckily contained my clothes, while the rest did not come in 
till midnight. 

This being the district inhabited by that singular animal 
the Babirlisa (hog-deer), I inquired about skulls, and soon 
obtained several in tolerable condition, as well as a fine one 
of the rare and curious "sapi-utan" (Anoa depressicornis). 
Of, this animal I had seen two living specimens at Menado, 
and was surprised at their great resemblance to small cattle, 
or still more to the eland of South Africa. Their Malay 
name signifies "forest ox," and they differ from very small 
high-bred oxen principally by the low-hanging dewlap, and 
straight pointed horns which slope back over the neck. I did 
not find the forest here so rich in insects as I had expected, 
and my hunters got me very few birds, but what they did ob- 
tain were very interesting. Among these were the rare forest 
kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis), a small new species of Megapo- 
dius, and one specimen of the large and interesting maleo 
(Megacephalon rubripes), to obtain which was one of my 
chief reasons for visiting this district. Getting no more, 
however, after ten days' search, I removed to Licoupang, at 

Lempias axd Licoupano. 271 

the extremity of the peninsula, a place celebrated for these 
birds, as well as for the babir^isa and sapi-utan. I found here 
Mr. Groldmann, the eldest son of the Governor of the Moluc- 
cas, who was superintending the establishment of some Gov- 
ernment salt-works. This was a better locality, and I obtain- 
ed some ^ne butterflies and very good birds, among which 
was one more specimen of the rare ground-dove (Phlegsenas 
tristigmata), which I had first obtained near the Maros water- 
fall in South Celebes. 

Hearing what I was particularly in search of, Mr. Gold- 
mann kindly offered to make a hunting-party to the place 
where the " maleos " are most abundant, a remote and unin- 
habited sea-beach about twenty miles distant. The climate 
here was quite different to that on the mountains, not a drop 
of rain having fallen for four months; so I made arrange- 
ments to stay on the beach a week, in order to secure a good 
number of specimens. We went partly by boat and partly 
through the forest, accompanied by the major, or head-man, 
of Licoupang, with a dozen natives and about twenty dogs. 
On the way they caught a young sapi-utan and ^ye wild pigs. 
Of the former I preserved the head. This animal is entirely 
confined to the remote mountain forests of Celebes and one 
or two adjacent islands which form part of the same group. 
In the adults the head is black, with a white mark over each 
eye, one on each cheek and another on the throat. The horns 
are very smooth and sharp when young, but become thicker 
and ridged at the bottom with age. Most naturalists consid- 
er this curious animal to be a small ox, but from the character 
of the horns, the fine coat of hair, and the descending dewlap, 
it seemed closely to approach the antelopes. 

Arrived at our destination we built a hut and prepared for 
a stay of some days, I to shoot and skin " maleos," Mr. Gold- 
mann and the major to hunt wild pigs, babirlisa, and sapi- 
utan. The place is situated in the large bay between the 
islands of Limbe and Banca, and consists of a steep beach 
more than a mile in length, of deep, loose, and coarse black 
volcanic sand or rather gravel, very fatiguing to walk over. 
It is bounded at each extremity by a small river, with hilly 
ground beyond, while the forest behind the beach itself is 
tolerably level and its growth stunted. We have here proba- 

272 Celebes. 

bly an ancient lava-stream from the Klabat volcano, which 
has flowed down a valley into the sea, and the decomposition 
of which has formed the loose black sand, In confirmation 
of this view it may be mentioned, that the beaches beyond 
the small rivers in both directions are of white sand. 

It is in this loose hot black sand that those singular birds 
the " maleos " deposit their eggs. In the months of August 
and September, when there is little or no rain, they come 
down in pairs from the interior to this or to one or two other 
favorite spots, and scratch holes three or four feet deep, just 
above high-water mark, where the female deposits a single large 
egg, which she covers over with about a foot of sand, and then 
returns to the forest. At the end of ten or twelve days she 
comes again to the same spot to lay another egg, and each fe- 
male bird is supposed to lay six or eight eggs during the sea- 
son. The male assists the female in making the hole, coming 
down and returning with her. The appearance of the bird 
when walking on the beach is very handsome. The glossy 
black and rosy white of the plumage, the helmeted head and 
elevated tail, like that of the common fowl, give a striking 
character, which their stately and somewhat sedate walk ren- 
ders still more remarkable. There is hardly any difference be- 
tween the sexes, except that the casque or bonnet at the back 
of the head and the tubercles at the nostrils are a little larger, 
and the beautiful rosy salmon color a little deeper in the male 
bird ; but the difference is so slight that it is not always pos- 
sible to tell a male from a female without dissection. They 
run quickly, but when shot at or suddenly disturbed take wing 
with a heavy noisy flight to some neighboring tree, where 
they settle on a low branch, and they probably roost at night 
in a similar situation. Many birds lay in the same hole, for a 
dozen eggs are often found together ; and these are so large 
that it is not possible for the body of the bird to contain more 
than one fully-developed egg at the same time. In all the fe- 
male birds which I shot, none of the eggs besides the one 
large one exceeded the size of peas, and there were only eight 
or nine of these, which is probably the extreme number a bird 
can lay in one season. 

Every year the natives come for fifty miles round to obtain 
these eggs, which are esteemed a great delicacy, and when 

Maleos' Eggs. 273 

quite fresh are indeed delicious. They are richer than hen's 
eggs, and of a finer flavor, and each one completely fills an 
ordinary tea-cup, and forms, with bread or rice, a very good 
meal. The color of the shell is a pale brick-red, or very rare- 
ly pure white. They are elongate, and very slightly smaller 
at one end, from four to four and a half inches long by two 
and a quarter or two and a half wide. 

After the eggs are deposited in the sand they are no further 
cared for by the mother. The young birds, on breaking the 
shell, work their way up through the sand and run o:ff at once 
to the forest ; and I was assured by Mr. Duivenboden of Ter- 
nate that they can fly the very day they are hatched. He 
had taken some eggs on board his schooner, which hatched 
during the night, and in the morning the- little birds flew 
readily across the cabin. Considering the great distances the 
birds come to deposit the eggs in a proper situation (often ten 
or fifteen miles), it seems extraordinary that they should take 
no further care of them. It is, however, quite certain that 
they neither do nor can watch them. The eggs being deposit- 
ed by a number of hens in succession in the same hole, would 
render it impossible for each to distinguish its own, and the 
food necessary for such large birds (consisting entirely of fall- 
en fruits) can only be obtained by roaming over an extensive 
district ; so that if the numbers of birds which come down to 
this single beach in the breeding season, amounting to many 
hundreds, were obliged to remain in the vicinity, many would 
perish of hunger. 

In the structure of the feet of this bird we may detect a 
cause for its departing from the habits of its nearest allies, the 
Megapodii and Talegalli, which heap up earth, leaves, stones, 
and sticks into a huge mound, in which they bury their eggs. 
The feet of the maleo are not nearly so large or strong in pro- 
portion as in these birds, while its claws are short and straight, 
instead of being long and much curved. The toes are, how- 
ever, strongly webbed at the base, forming a broad, powerful 
foot, which, with the rather long leg, is well adapted to scratch 
away the loose sand (which flies up in a perfect shower when 
the birds are at work), but which could not without much labor 
accumulate the heaps of miscellaneous rubbish which the large, 
grasping feet of the Megapodius bring together with ease. 


274 Celebes. 

We may also, I think, see in the peculiar organization of 
the entire family of the Megapodidse, or brush-turkeys, a rea- 
son why they depart so widely from the usual habits of the 
class of birds. Each egg being so large as entirely to fill up 
the abdominal cavity and with difficulty pass the walls of the 
pelvis, a considerable interval is required before the successive 
eggs can be matured (the natives say about thirteen days). 
Each bird lays six or eight eggs or even more each season, so 
that between the first and last there may be an interval of two 
or three months. Now, if these eggs were hatched in the 
ordinary way, either the parent must keep sitting continually 
for this long period; or if they only began to sit after the last 
egg was deposited, the first would be exposed to injury by 
the climate, or to destruction by the large lizards, snakes, or 
other animals which abound in the district, because such large 
birds must roam about a good deal in search of food. Here 
then we seem to have a case in which the habits of a bird 
may be directly traced to its exceptional organization ; for it 
will hardly be maintained that this abnormal structure and 
peculiar food were given to the Megapodidse, in order that 
they might not exhibit that parental affection, or possess those 
domestic instincts so general in the class of birds, and which 
so much excite our admiration. 

It has generally been the custom of writers on natural 
history to take the habits and instincts of animals as fixed 
points, and to consider their structure and organization as 
specially adapted to be in accordance with these. This as- 
sumption is however an arbitrary one, and has the bad effect 
of stifling inquiry into the nature and causes of " instincts and 
habits," treating them as directly due to a " first cause," and 
therefore incomprehensible to us. I believe that a careful 
consideration of the structure of a species, and of the peculiar 
physical and organic conditions by which it is surrounded, or 
has been surrounded in past ages, will often, as in this case, 
throw much light on the origin of its habits and instincts. 
These again, combined with changes in external conditions, 
react upon structure, and by means of " variation " and " nat- 
ural selection " both are kept in harmony. 

My friends remained three days, and got plenty of wild 
pigs and two anoas, but the latter were much injured by the 

Eattan PalmSo 275 

dogs, and I could only preserve the heads. A grand hunt 
which we attempted on the third day failed, owing to bad 
management in driving in the game, and we waited for ^ve 
hours, perched on platforms in trees, without getting a shot, 
although we had been assured that pigs, babir4sas, and anoas 
would rush past us in dozens. I myself, with two men, staid 
three days longer to get more specimens of the maleos, and suc- 
ceeded in preserving twenty-six very fine ones, the flesh and 
eggs of which supplied us with abundance of good food. 

The major sent a boat, as he had promised, to take home 
my baggage, while I walked through the forest with my two 
boys and a guide about fourteen miles. For the first half of 
the distance there was no path, and we had often to cut our 
way through tangled rattans or thickets of bamboo. In some 
of our turnings to find the most practicable route I expressed 
my fear that we were losing our way, as, the sun being vertical, 
I could see no possible clew to the right direction. My con- 
ductors, however, laughed at the idea, which they seemed to 
consider quite ludicrous ; and sure enough, about half-way^ we 
suddenly encountered a little hut where people from Licoupang 
came to hunt and smoke wild pigs. My guide told me he had 
never before traversed the forest between these two points ; 
and this is what is considered by some travellers as one of the 
savage " instincts," whereas it is merely the result of wide 
general knowledge. The man knew the topography of the 
whole district — the slope of the land, the direction of the 
streams, the belts of bamboo or rattan, and many other indica- 
tions of locality and direction ; and he was thus enabled to hit 
straight upon the hut in the vicinity of which he had often 
hunted. In a forest of which he knew nothing he would be 
quite as much at a loss as a European. Thus it is, I am con- 
vinced, with all the wonderful accounts of Indians finding 
their way through trackless forests to definite points. They 
may never have passed straight between the two particular 
points before, but they are well acquainted with the vicinity 
of both, and have such a general knowledge of the whole 
country, its water system, its soil and its vegetation, that as 
they approached the point they are to reach, many easily-rec- 
ognized indications enable them to hit upon it with certainty. 

The chief feature of this forest was the abundance of rat- 

276 Celebes. 

tan palms hanging from the trees, and turning and twisting 
about on the ground, often in inextricable confusion. One 
wonders at first how they can get into such queer shapes ; 
but it is evidently caused by the decay and fall of the trees 
up which they have first climbed, after which they grow along 
the ground till they meet with another trunk up which to 
ascend. A tangled mass of twisted living rattan is therefore 
a sign that at some former period a large tree has fallen there, 
though there may be not the sUghtest vestige of it left. The 
rattan seems to have unlimited powers of growth, and a sin- 
gle plant may mount up several trees in succession, and thus 
reach the enormous length they are said sometimes to attain. 
They much improve the appearance of a forest as seen from 
the coast; for they vary the otherwise monotonous tree-tops 
with feathery crowns of leaves rising clear above them, and 
each terminated by an erect leafy spike Hke a lightning-con- 

The other most interesting object in the forest was a beau- 
tiful palm, whose perfectly smooth and cylindrical stem rises 
erect to more than a hundred feet high, with a thickness of 
only eight or ten inches ; while the fan-shaped leaves which 
compose its crown are almost complete circles of six or eight 
feet diameter, borne aloft on long and slender petioles, and 
beautifully toothed round the edge by the extremities of the 
leaflets, which are separated only for a few inches from the 
circumference. It is probably the Livistona rotundifolia of 
botanists, and is the most complete and beautiful fan-leaf I 
have ever seen, serving admirably for folding into water-buck- 
ets and impromptu baskets, as well as for thatching and other 

A few days afterward I returned to Menado on horseback, 
sending my baggage round by sea, and had just time to pack 
up all my collections to go by the next mail-steamer to Am- 
boyna. I will now devote a few pages to an account of the 
chief peculiarities of the zoology of Celebes, and its relation 
to that of the surrounding countries. 

Natural History of Celebes, 277 



The position of Celebes is the most central in the Archi- 
pelago. Immediately to the north are the Philippine islands ; 
on the west is Borneo ; on the east are the Molucca Islands ; 
and on the south is the Timor group : and it is on all sides so 
connected with these islands by its own satellites, by small 
islets, and by coral reefs, that neither by inspection on the 
map nor by actual observation around its coast is it possible 
to determine accurately which should be grouped with it, and 
which with the surrounding districts. Such being the case, 
we should naturally expect to find that the productions of this 
central island in some degree represented the richness and va- 
riety of the whole Archipelago, while we should not expect 
much individuality in a country so situated that it would seem 
as if it were pre-eminently fitted to receive stragglers and im- 
migrants from all around. 

As so often happens in nature, however, the fact turns out 
to be just the reverse of what we should have expected; and 
an examination of its animal productions shows Celebes to be 
at once the poorest in the number of its species, and the most 
isolated in the character of its productions of all the great 
islands in the Archipelago. With its attendant islets, it spreads 
over an extent of sea hardly inferior in length and breadth 
to that occupied by Borneo, while its actual land area is near- 
ly double that of Java ; yet its Mammalia and terrestrial birds 
number scarcely more than half the species found in the last- 
named island. Its position is such that it could receive im- 
migrants from every side more readily than Java, yet in pro- 
portion to the species which inhabit it far fewer seem derived 
from other islands, while far more are altogether peculiar to 
it ; and a considerable number of its animal forms are so re- 
markable, as to find no close allies in any other part of the 
world. I now propose to examine the best known groups of 

278 Natural History 

Celebesian animals in some detail, to study their relations to 
those of other islands, and to call attention to the many points 
of interest which they suggest. 

We know far more of the birds of Celebes than we do of 
any other group of animals. No less than 191 species have 
been discovered, and though no doubt many more wading and 
swimming birds have to be added, yet the list of land birds, 
144 in number, and which for our present purpose are much 
the most important, must be very nearly complete. I myself 
assiduously collected birds in Celebes for nearly ten months, 
and my assistant, Mr. Allen, spent two months in the Sula Isl- 
ands. The Dutch naturalist Forsten spent two years in North- 
ern Celebes (twenty years before my visit), and collections of 
birds had also been sent to Holland from Macassar. The 
French ship of discovery 1^ Astrolabe also touched at Menado 
and procured collections. Since my return home, the Dutch 
naturalists Rosenberg and Bernstein have made extensive col- 
lections both in North Celebes and in the Sula Islands ; yet 
all their researches combined have only added eight species of 
land birds to those forming part of my own collection — a fact 
which renders it almost certain that there are very few more 
to discover. 

Besides Salayer and Boutong on the south, with Peling 
and Bungay on the east, the three islands of the Sula (or Zu- 
la) Archipelago also belong zoologically to Celebes, although 
their position is such that it would seem more natural to group 
them with the Mohiccas. About 48 land birds are now known 
from the Sula group, and if we reject from these five species 
which have a wide range over the Archipelago, the remainder 
are much more characteristic of Celebes than of the Moluccas. 
Thirty-one species are identical with those of the former isl- 
and, and four are representatives of Celebes forms, while only 
eleven are Moluccan species, and two more representatives. 

But although the Sula Islands belong to Celebes, they are 
so close to Bouru and the southern islands of the Gilolo group, 
that several purely Moluccan forms have migrated there, 
which are quite unknown to the island of Celebes itself; the 
whole thirteen Moluccan species being in this category, thus 
adding to the productions of Celebes a foreign element which 
does not really belong to it. In studying the peculiarities of 

Of Celebes. 279 

the Celebesian fauna, it will therefore be well to consider only 
the productions of the main island. 

The number of land birds in the island of Celebes is 128, 
and from these we may, as before, strike out a small number 
of species which roam over the whole Archipelago (often from 
India to the Pacific), and which therefore only serve to dis- 
guise the peculiarities of individual islands. These are 20 in 
number, and leave 108 species which we may consider as more 
especially characteristic of the island. On accurately compar- 
ing these with the birds of all the surrounding countries, we 
find that only nine extend into the islands westward, and nine- 
teen into the islands eastward, while no less than 80 are en- 
tirely confined to the Celebesian fauna— a degree of individ- 
uality which, considering the situation of the island, is hardly 
to be equalled in any other part of the world. If we still 
more closely examine these 80 species, we shall be struck by 
the many peculiarities of structure they present, and by the 
curious afiinities with distant parts of the world which many 
of them seem to indicate. These points are of so much inter- 
est and importance that it will be necessary to pass in review 
all those species which are peculiar to the island, and to call 
attention to whatever is most worthy of remark. 

Six species of the hawk tribe are peculiar to Celebes ; three 
of these are very, distinct from allied birds which range over 
all India to Java and Borneo, and which thus seem to be sud- 
denly changed on entering Celebes. Another (Accipiter 
trinotatus) is a beautiful hawk, with elegant rows of large 
round white spots on the tail, rendering it very conspicuous 
and quite different from any other known bird of the family. 
Three owls are also peculiar ; and one, a barn owl (Strix ro- 
senbergii), is very much larger and stronger than its ally Strix 
javanica, which ranges from India through all the islands as 
far as Lombock. 

Of the ten parrots found in Celebes, eight are peculiar. 
Among them are two species of the singular raquet-tailed par- 
rots forming the genus Prioniturus, and which are character- 
ized by possessing two long spoon-shaped feathers in the tail. 
Two allied species are found in the adjacent island of Min- 
danao, one of the Philippines, and this form of tail is found in 
no other parrots in the whole world. A small species of 

280 Natural History 

lorikeet (Trichoglossns flavoviridis) seems to have its nearest 
ally in Australia. 

The three woodpeckers which inhabit the island are all pe- 
culiar, and are allied to species found in Java and Borneo, al- 
though very different from them all. 

Among the three peculiar cuckoos two are very remark- 
able. Phoenicophaus callirhynchus is the largest and hand- 
somest species of its genus, and is distinguished by the three 
colors of its beak, bright yellow, red, and black. Eudynamis 
melanorhynchus differs from all its allies in having a jet-black 
bill, whereas the other species of the genus always have it 
green, yellow, or reddish. 

The Celebes roller (Coracias temmincki) is an interesting 
example of one species of a genus being cut off from the rest. 
There are species of Coracias in Europe, Asia, and Africa, but 
none in the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, or Borneo. The 
present species seems therefore quite out of place ; and, what 
is still more curious, is the fact that it is not at all like any 
of the Asiatic species, but seems more to resemble those of 

In the next family, the bee-eaters, is another equally iso- 
lated bird (Meropogon forsteni), which combines the charac- 
ters of African and Indian bee-eaters, and whose only near 
ally (Meropogon breweri) was discovered by M.Du Chaillu 
in West Africa ! 

The two Celebes hornbills have no close allies in those 
which abound in the surrounding countries. The only thrush 
(Geocichla erythronota) is most nearly allied to a species pe- 
culiar to Timor. Two of the fly-catchers are closely allied to 
Indian species which are not found in the Malay Islands. 
Two genera somewhat allied to the magpies (Streptocitta and 
Charitornis), but whose affinities are so doubtful that Profes- 
sor Schlegel places them among the starlings, are entirely con- 
fined to Celebes. They are beautiful long-tailed birds, with 
black and white plumage, and with the feathers of the head 
somewhat rigid and scale-like. 

Doubtfully allied to the starlings are two other very isola- 
ted and beautiful birds. One (Enodes erythrophrys) has 
ashy and yellow plumage, but is ornamented with broad stripes 
of orange-red above the eyes. The other (Basilornis celeben- 

Of Celebes. 281 

sis) is a blue-black bird, with a white patch on each side of 
the breast, and the head ornamented with a beantiful com- 
pressed scaly crest of feathers, resembling in form that of the 
well-known cock-of-the-rock of South America. The only ally 
to this bird is found in Ceram, and has the feathers of the 
crest elongated upward into quite a different form. 

A still more curious bird is the Scissirostrum pagei, which 
although it is at present classed in the starling family, differs 
from all other species in the form of the bill and nostrils, and 
seems most nearly allied in its general structure to the ox- 
peckers (Buphaga) of tropical Africa, next to which the cele- 
brated ornithologist Prince Bonaparte finally placed it. It is 
almost entirely of a slaty color, with yellow bill and feet, but 
the feathers of the rump and upper tail-coverts each termin- 
ate in a rigid glossy pencil or tuft of a vivid crimson. These 
pretty little birds take the place of the metallic-green star- 
lings of the genus Calornis, which are found in most other isl- 
ands of the Archipelago, but which are absent from Celebes. 
They go in flocks, feeding upon grain and fruits, often fre- 
quenting dead trees, in holes of which they build their nests, 
and they cling to the trunks as easily as woodpeckers or creep- 

Out of eighteen pigeons found in Celebes, eleven are pecul- 
iar to it. Two of them (Ptilonopus gularis and Turacsena 
menadensis) have their nearest allies in Timor. Two others 
(Carpophaga forsteni and Phlsegenas tristigmata) most re- 
semble Philippine Island species, and Carpophaga radiata be- 
longs to a New Guinea group. Lastly, in the gallinaceous 
tribe, the curious helmeted maleo (Megacephalon rubripes) is 
quite isolated, having its nearest (but still distant) allies in 
the brush-turkeys of Australia and [N'ew Guinea. 

Judging, therefore, by the opinions of the eminent nat- 
uralists who have described and classified its birds, we find 
that many of the species have no near allies whatever in the 
countries which surround Celebes, but are either quite iso- 
lated, or indicate relations with such distant regions as New 
Guinea, Australia, India, or Africa. Other cases of similar 
remote afiinities between the productions of distant coun- 
tries no doubt exist, but in no spot upon the globe that I am 
yet acquainted with do so many of them occur together, or 

282 Natukal Histoky 

do they form so decided a feature in the natural history of 
the country. 

The Mammalia of Celebes are very few in number, consist- 
ing of fourteen terrestrial species and seven bats. Of the 
former no less than eleven are peculiar, including two which 
there is reason to believe may have been recently carried into 
other islands by man. Three species which have a tolerably 
wide range in the Archipelago, are — 1, the curious lemur 
(Tarsius spectrum), which is found in all the islands as far 
westward as Malacca; 2, the common Malay civet (Yiverra 
tangalunga), which has a still wider range ; and 3, a deer, 
which seems to be the same as the Rusa hippelaphus of Java, 
and was probably introduced by man at an early period. 

The more characteristic species are as follow : 

Cynopithecus nigrescens, a curious baboon-like monkey, if 
not a true baboon, which abounds all over Celebes, and is found 
nowhere else but in the one small island of Batchian, into 
whict it has probably been introduced accidentally. An allied 
species is found in the Philippines, but in no other island of 
the Archipelago is there any thing resembling them. These 
creatures are about the size of a spaniel, of a jet-black color, 
and have the projecting dog -like muzzle and overhanging 
brows of the baboons. They have large red callosities and a 
short fleshy tail, scarcely an inch long and hardly visible. 
They go in large bands, living chiefly in the trees, but oft- 
en descending on the ground and robbing gardens and or- 

Anoa depressicornis (the Sapi-utan, or wild cow of the Ma- 
lays) is an animal which has been the cause of much contro- 
versy, as to whether it should be classed as ox, buffalo, or 
antelope. It is smaller than any other wild cattle, and in 
many respects seems to approach some of the ox-like antelopes 
of Afiica. It is found only in the mountains, and is said nev- 
er to inhabit places where there are deer. It is somewhat 
smaller than a small Highland cow, and has long straight 
horns, which are ringed at the base, and slope backward over 
the neck. 

The wild pig seems to be of a species peculiar to the isl- 
and ; but a much more curious animal of this family is the 
Babirlisa, or pig-deer, so named by the Malays from its long 

Of Celebes. 


and slender legs, and curved tusks resembling horns. This 
extraordinary creature resembles a pig in general appearance, 
but it does not dig with its snout, as it feeds on fallen fruits. 
The tusks of the lower jaw are very long and sharp, but the 
upper ones, instead of growing downward in the usual way, 
are completely reversed, growing upward out of bony sockets 
through the skin on each side of the snout, curving backward 
to near the eyes, and in old animals often reaching eight or 


ten inches in length. It is difficult to understand what can 
be the use of these extraordinary horn-like teeth. Some of 
the old writers supposed that they served as hooks, by which 
the creature could rest its head on a branch. But the way 
in which they usually diverge just over and in front of the 
eye has suggested the more probable idea that they serve to 
guard these organs from thorns and spines while hunting for 
fallen fruits among the tangled thickets of rattans and other 

284 Natural History 

spiny plants. Even this, however, is not satisfactory, for the 
female, who must seek her food in the same way does not 
possess them. I should be inclined to believe rather that 
these tusks were once useful, and were then worn down as 
fast as they grew ; but that changed conditions of life have 
rendered them unnecessary, and they now develop into a mon- 
strous form, just as the incisors of the beaver or rabbit will 
go on growing, if the opposite teeth do not wear them away. 
In old animals they reach an enormous size, and are generally 
broken off as if by fighting. 

Here again we have a resemblance to the wart-hogs of Af- 
rica, whose upper canines grow outward and curve up so as 
to form a transition from the usual mode of growth to that 
of the Babirlisa. In other respects there seems no affinity be- 
tween these animals, and the Babirtisa stands completely iso- 
lated, having no resemblance to the pigs of any other part of 
the world. It is found all over Celebes and in the Sula Isl- 
ands, and also in Bouru, the only spot beyond the Celebes 
group to which it extends ; and which island also shows some 
affinity to the Sula Islands in its birds, indicating, perhaps, a 
closer connection between them at some former period than 
now exists. 

The other terrestrial mammals of Celebes are, five species 
of squirrels, which are all distinct from those of Java and 
Borneo, and mark the furthest eastward range of the genus 
in the tropics ; and two of Eastern opossums (Cuscus), which 
are different from those of the Moluccas, and mark the furthest 
westward extension of this genus and of the Marsupial order. 
Thus we see that the Mammalia of Celebes are no less indi- 
vidual and remarkable than the birds, since three of the largest 
and most interesting species have no near allies in surround- 
ing countries, but seem vaguely to indicate a relation to the 
African continent. 

Many groups of insects appear to be especially subject to 
local influences, their forms and colors changing with each 
change of conditions, or even with a change of locality where 
the conditions seem almost identical. We should therefore 
anticipate that the individuality manifested in the higher an- 
imals would be still more prominent in these creatures with 
less stable organisms. On the other hand, however, we have 

Of Celebes. 285 

to consider that the dispersion and migration of insects is 
mnch more easily affected than that of mammals even of birds. 
They are much more likely to be carried away by violent 
winds ; their eggs may be carried on leaves either by storms 
of wind or by floating trees, and their larvae and pupae, often 
buried in trunks of trees or inclosed in waterproof cocoons, 
may be floated for days or weeks uninjured over the ocean. 
These facilities of distribution tend to assimilate the produc- 
tions of adjacent lands in two ways : first, by direct mutual 
interchange of species; and secondly by repeated immigra- 
tions of fresh individuals of a species common to other isl- 
ands, which by intercrossing, tend to obliterate the changes 
of form and color, which differences of conditions might other- 
wise produce. Bearing these facts in mind, we shall find that 
the individuality of the insects of Celebes is even greater than 
we have any reason to expect. 

For the purpose of insuring accuracy in comparisons with 
other islands, I shall confine myself to those groups which are 
best known, or which I have myself carefully studied. Be- 
ginning with the Papilionidse, or swallow-tailed butterflies, 
Celebes possesses 24 species, of which the large number of 18 
are not found in any other island. If we compare this with 
Borneo, which out of 29 species has only two not found else- 
where, the difference is as striking as any thing can be. In 
the family of the Pieridae, or white butterflies, the difference 
is not quite so great, owing perhaps to the more wandering 
habits of the group ; but it is still very remarkable. Out of 
30 species inhabiting Celebes, 19 are peculiar, while Java 
(from which more species are known than from Sumatra or 
Borneo), out of 37 species has only 13 peculiar. The Dana- 
idae are large, but weak-flying butterflies, which frequent for- 
ests and gardens, and are plainly but often very richly color- 
ed. Of these my own collection contains 16 species from 
Celebes and 15 from Borneo; but whereas no less than 14 are 
confined to the former island, only two are peculiar to the lat- 
ter. The Nymphalidae are a very extensive group, of gener- 
ally strong-winged and very bright-colored butterflies, very 
abundant in the tropics, and represented in our own country 
by our pritillaries, our Yanessas, and our Purple Emperor. 
Some months ago I drew up a list of the Eastern species of 

286 ISTatural History 

this group, including all the new ones discovered by myself, 
and arrived at the following comparative results : 

«a«o«,oo ^^ AT,,^^T,„T/i Species peculiar to Percentage 

Species of Nymphalidse ^ each Island. of peculiar Species. 

Java 70 23 33 

Borneo 52 15 29 

Celebes 48 35 73 

The Coleoptera are so extensive that few of the groups 
have yet been carefully worked out. I will therefore refer to 
one only, which I have myself recently studied — the Ceton- 
iadsB, or rose-chafers, a group of beetles which, owing to their 
extreme beauty, have been much sought after. From Java 
37 species of these insects are known, and from Celebes only 
30; yet only 13, or 35 per cent., are peculiar to the former 
island, and 19, or 63 per cent., to the latter. 

The result of these comparisons is, that although Celebes 
is a single large island with only a few smaller ones closely 
grouped around it, we must really consider it as forming one 
of the great divisions of the Archipelago, equal in rank and 
importance to the whole of the Moluccan or Philippine groups, 
to the Papuan Islands, or to the Indo-Malay islands (Java, 
Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula). Taking those 
families of insects and birds which are best known, the fol- 
lowing table shows the comparison of Celebes with the other 
groups of islands : 



Per cent, of peculiar Per cent, of peculiar 

Indo-Malay region 56 54 

Philippine group 66 73 

Celebes 69 60 

Moluccan group 52 62 

Timor group 42 47 

Papuan group. 64 74 

These large and well-known families well represent the 
general character of the zoology of Celebes ; and they show 
that this island is really one of the most isolated portions of 
the Archipelago, although situated in its very centre. 

But the insects of Celebes present us with other phenomena 
more curious and more difficult to explain than their striking 
individuality. The butterflies of that island are in many cases 

Of Celebes. 287 

characterized by a peculiarity of outline which distinguishes 
them at a glance from those of any other part of the world. 
It is most strongly manifested in the Papilios and the Pieridse, 
and consists in the fore wings being either strongly curved or 
abruptly bent near the base, or in the extremity \>emg elong- 
ated and often somewhat hooked. Out of the 14 species of 
Papilio in Celebes, 13 exhibit this peculiarity in a greater or 
less degree, when compared with the most nearly allied species 
of the surrounding islands. Ten species of Pieridas have the 
same character, and in four or ^ve of the Nymphalidae it is 
also very distinctly marked. In almost every case the species 
found in Celebes are much larger than those of the islands 
westward, and at least equal to those of the Moluccas, or even 
larger. The difference of form is however the most remarka- 
ble feature, as it is altogether a new thing for a whole set of 
species in one country, to differ in exactly the same way from 
the corresponding sets in all the surrounding countries ; and 
it is so well marked, that without looking at the details of 
coloring, most Celebes Papilios and many Pieridae, can be at 
once distinguished from those of other islands by their form 

The outside figure of each pair here given, shows the exact 
size and form of the fore wing in a butterfly of Celebes, while 
the inner one represents the most closely allied species from one 
of the adjacent islands. Figure 1 shows the strongly curved 
margin of the Celebes species (Papilio gigon) compared with 
the much straighter margin of Papilio demolion from Singa- 
pore and Java. Figure 2 shows the abrupt bend over the base 
of the wing in Papilio miletus of Celebes compared with the 
slight curvature in the common Papilio sarpedon, which has 
almost exactly the same form from India to ISTew Guinea and 
Australia. Figure 3 shows the elongated wing of Tachyris 
zarinda, a native of Celebes, compared with the much shorter 
wing of Tachyris nero, a very closely allied species found in all 
the western islands. The difference of form is in each case 
sufficiently obvious, but when the insects themselves are com- 
pared it is much more striking than in these partial outlines. 

From the analogy of birds, we should suppose that the 
pointed wing gave increased rapidity of flight, since it is a 
character of terns, swallows, falcons, and of the swift-flying 


Natural History 

pigeons. A short and rounded wing, on the other hand, al- 
ways accompanies a more feeble or more laborious flight, and 
one much less under command. We might suppose, there- 
fore, that the butterflies which possess this peculiar form were 
better able to escape pursuit. But there seems no unusual 
abundance of insectivorous birds to render this necessary ; and 

as we can not believe that such a curious peculiarity is without 
meaning, it seems probable that it is the result of a former 
condition of things, when the island possessed a much richer 
fauna, the relics of which we see in the isolated birds and Mam- 
malia now inhabiting it ; and when the abundance of insectiv- 
orous creatures rendered some unusual means of escape a ne- 

Of Celebes. 289 

cessity for the large-winged and showy butterflies. It is some 
confirmation of this view, that neither the very small nor the 
very obscurely colored groups of butterflies, have elongated 
wings, nor is any modification perceptible in those strong- 
winged groups which already possess great strength and ra- 
pidity of flight. These were already sufficiently protected from 
their enemies, and did not require increased power of escaping 
from them. It is not at all clear what effect the peculiar curv- 
ature of the wings has in modifying flight. 

Another curious feature in the zoology of Celebes is also 
worthy of attention. I allude to the absence of several groups 
which are found on both sides of it, in the Indo-Malay islands 
as well as in the Moluccas, and which thus seem to be unable, 
from some unknown cause, to obtain a footing in the interven- 
ing island. In birds we have the two families of Podargidse 
and Laniadse, which range over the whole Archipelago and 
into Australia, and which yet have no representative in Celebes. 
The genera Ceyx among kingfishers, Criniger among thrushes, 
Rhipidura among fly-catchers, Calornis among starlings, and 
Erythrura among finches, are all found in the Moluccas as well 
as in Borneo and Java, but not a single species belonging to 
any one of them is found in Celebes. Among insects, the 
large genus of rose-chafers (Lomaptera) is found in every 
country and island between India and N"ew Guinea except 
Celebes. This unexpected absence of many groups from one 
limited district in the very centre of their area of distribution, 
is a phenomenon not altogether unique, but, I believe, nowhere 
so well marked as in this case ; and it certainly adds consider- 
ably to the strange character of this remarkable island. 

The anomalies and eccentricities in the natural history of 
Celebes which I have endeavored to sketch in this chapter all 
point to an origin in a remote antiquity. The history of ex- 
tinct animals teaches us, that their distribution in time and in 
space are strikingly similar. The rule is, that just as the pro- 
ductions of adjacent areas usually resemble each other closely, 
so do the productions of successive periods in the same area ; 
and as the productions of remote areas generally differ widely, 
so do the productions of the same area at remote epochs. We 
are therefore led irresistibly to the conclusion, that change of 
species, still more of generic and of family form, is a matter 


290 Natueal Histoky 

of time. But time may have led to a change of species in one 
country, while in another the forms have been more permanent, 
or the change may have gone on at an equal rate, but in a dif- 
ferent manner in both. In either case the amount of individ- 
uality in the productions of a district will be to some extent a 
measure of the time that district has been isolated from those 
that surround it. Judged by this standard, Celebes must be 
one of the oldest parts of the Archipelago. It probably dates 
from a period not only anterior to that when Borneo, Java, 
and Sumatra were separated from the continent, but from that 
still more remote epoch when the land that now constitutes 
these islands had not risen above the ocean. Such an antiq- 
uity is necessary, to account for the number of animal forms 
it possesses, which show no relation to those of India or Aus- 
tralia, but rather with those of Africa ; and we are led to spec- 
ulate on the possibility of there having once existed a conti- 
nent in the Indian Ocean which might serve as a bridge to con- 
nect these distant countries. Now it is a curious fact that 
the existence of such a land has been already tfiought neces- 
sary, to account for the distribution ol the curious Quadrumana 
forming the family of the Lemurs. These have their metrop- 
olis in Madagascar, but are found also in Africa, in Ceylon, 
in the peninsula of India, and in the Malay Archipelago as far 
as Celebes, which is its furthest eastern limit. Dr. Sclater has 
proposed for the hypothetical continent co.nnecting these dis- 
tant points, and whose former existence is indicated by the 
Mascarene Islands and the Maldive coral group, the name of 
Lemuria. Whether or no we believe in its existence in the 
exact form here indicated, the student of geographical distri- 
bution must see in the extraordinary and isolated productions 
of Celebes, proofs of the former existence of some continent 
from whence the ancestors of these creatures, and of many 
other intermediate forms, could have been derived. 

In this short sketch of the most striking peculiarities of the 
natural history of Celebes, I have been obliged to enter much 
into details that I fear will have been uninteresting to the 
general reader, but unless I had done so my exposition would 
have lost much of its force and value. It is by these details 
alone, that I have been able to prove the unusual features that 
Celebes presents to us. Situated in the very midst of an 

Of Celebes. 291 

Archipelago, and closely hemmed in on every side by islands . 
teeming with varied forms of life, its productions have yet a 
sm^prising amount of individuality. While it is poor in the 
actual number of its species, it is yet wonderfully rich in pecu- 
liar forms ; many of which are singular or beautiful, and are 
in some cases absolutely unique upon the globe. We behold 
here the curious phenomenon of groups of insects changing 
their outline in a similar manner when compared with those 
of surrounding islands, suggesting some common cause which 
never seems to have acted elsewhere in exactly the same way. 
Celebes, therefore, presents us with a most striking example 
of the interest that attaches to the study of the geographical 
distribution of animals. We can see that their present dis- 
tribution upon the globe is the result of all the more recent 
changes the earth's surface has undergone ; and by a careful 
study of the phenomena we are sometimes able to deduce ap- 
proximately what those past changes must have been, in order 
to produce the distribution we find to exist. In the compara- 
tively simple case of the Timor group we were able to deduce 
these changes with some approach to certainty. In the much 
more complicated case of Celebes, we can only indicate their 
general nature, since we now see the result, not of any single 
or recent change only, but of whole series of the later revolu- 
tions which have resulted in the present distribution of land in 
the eastern hemisphere. 

292 Banda. 



DECEMBER, 1857, MAY, 1859, APRIL, 1861. 

The Dutch mail-steamer in which I travelled from Macas- 
sar to Banda and Amboyna was a roomy and comfortable ves- 
sel, although it would only go six miles an hour in the finest 
weather. As there were but three passengers besides myself, 
we had abundance of room, and I was able to enjoy a voyage 
more than I had ever done before. The arrangements are 
somewhat different from those on board English or Indian 
steamers. There are no cabin servants, as every cabin passen- 
ger invariably brings his own, and the ship's stewards at- 
tend only to the saloon and the eating department. At six 
A. M. a cup of tea or coffee is provided for those who like it. 
At seven to eight there is a light breakfast of tea, eggs, sar- 
dines, etc. At ten, Madeira, gin, and bitters are brought on 
deck as a whet for the substantial eleven-o'clock breakfast, 
which differs from a dinner only in the absence of soup. Cups 
of tea and coffee are brought round at three p. m. ; bitters, etc., 
again at five, a good dinner, with beer and claret, at half past 
six, concluded by tea and coffee at eight. Between whiles 
beer and soda-water are supplied when called for, so there 
is no lack of little gastronomical excitements to while away 
the tedium of a sea voyage. 

Our first stopping-place was Coupang, at the west end of 
the large island of Timor. We then coasted along that isl- 
and for several hundred miles, having always a view of hilly 
ranges covered with scanty vegetation, rising, ridge behind 
ridge, to the height of six or seven thousand feet. Turn- 
ing off toward Banda, we passed Pulo-Cambing, Wetter, and 
Roma, all of which are desolate and barren volcanic islands, 
almost as uninviting as Aden, and offering a strange contrast 
to the usual verdure and luxuriance of the Archipelago. In 
two days more we reached the volcanic group of Banda, 

A Dutch Mail-Steamer. 293 

covered with an unusually dense and brilliant green vegeta- 
tion, indicating that we had passed beyond the range of the 
hot dry winds from the plains of Central Australia. Banda 
is a lovely little spot, its tliree islands inclosing a secure har- 
bor from whence no outlet is visible, and with water so trans- 
parent that living corals and even the minutest objects are 
plainly seen on the volcanic sand at a depth of seven or 
eight fathoms. The ever-smoking volcano rears its bare cone 
on one side, while -the two larger islands are clothed with 
vegetation to the summit of the hills. 

Going on shore, I walked up a pretty path which leads 
to the highest point of the island on which the town is sit- 
uated, where there is a telegraph station and a magnificent 
view. Below lies the little town, with its neat red-tiled 
white houses and the thatched cottages of the natives, bound- 
ed on one side by the old Portuguese fort. Beyond, about 
half a mile distant, lies the larger island in the shape of a 
horseshoe, formed of a range of abrupt hills covered with 
fine forest and nutmeg gardens; while close opposite the 
town is the volcano, forming a nearly perfect cone, the lower 
part only covered with a light-green bushy vegetation. On 
its north side the outline is more uneven, and there is a slight 
hollow or chasm about one-fifth of the way down, from which 
constantly issue two columns of smoke, as w^ell as a good 
deal from the rugged surface around, and from some spots 
nearer the summit. A white efflorescence^ probably sulphur, 
is thickly spread over the upper part of the mountain, mark- 
ed by the narrow black vertical lines of water gullies. The 
smoke unites as it rises, and forms a dense cloud, which in 
calm damp weather spreads out into a wide canopy hiding 
the top of the mountain. At night and early morning it 
often rises up straight, and leaves the whole outline clear. 

It is only when actually gazing on an active volcano that 
one can fully realize its awfulness and grandeur. Whence 
comes that inexhaustible fire whose dense and sulphureous 
smoke for ever issues from this bare and desolate peak? 
Whence the mighty forces that produced that peak, and still 
from time to time exhibit themselves in the earthquakes that 
always occur in the vicinity of volcanic vents? The knowl- 
edge from childhood of the fact that volcanoes and earth- 

294 Banda. 

quakes exist, has taken away somewhat of the strange and 
exceptional character that really belongs to them. The in- 
habitant of most parts of N'orthern Europe sees in the earth 
the emblem of stability and repose. His whole life-expe- 
rience, and that of all his age and generation, teaches him 
that the earth is solid and firm, that its massive rocks may 
contain water in abundance, but never fire ; and these essen- 
tial characteristics of the earth are manifest in every mount- 
ain his country contains. A volcano is a fact opposed to all 
this mass of experience, a fact of so awful a character that, 
if it were the rule instead of the exception, it would make 
the earth uninhabitable ; a fact so strange and unaccount- 
able that we may be sure it would not be believed on any 
human testimony, if presented to us now for the first time 
as a natural phenomenon happening in a distant country. 

The summit of the small island is composed of a highly 
crystalline basalt ; lower down I found a hard stratified slaty 
sandstone, while on the beach are huge blocks of lava, and 
scattered masses of white coralline limestone. The larger 
island has coral rock to a height of three or four hundred 
feet, while above is lava and basalt. It seems probable, there- 
fore, that this little group of four islands is the fragment 
of a larger district which was perhaps once connected with 
Ceram, but which was separated and broken up by the same 
forces which formed the volcanic cone. When I visited the 
larger island on another occasion I saw a considerable tract 
covered with large forest-trees, dead, but still standing. This 
was a record of the last great earthquake only two years ago, 
when the sea broke in over this part of the island, and so flood- 
ed it as to destroy the vegetation on all the lowlands. Al- 
most every year there is an earthquake here, and at intervals 
of a few years very severe ones, which throw down houses 
and carry ships out of the harbor bodily into the streets. 

Notwithstanding the losses incurred by these terrific visit- 
ations, and the small size and isolated position of these little ' 
islands, they have been and still are of considerable value to 
the Dutch Government, as the chief nutmeg-garden an the 
world. Almost the whole surface is planted with nutmegs, 
grown under the shade of lofty kanary-trees (Kanarium com- 
mune). The light volcanic soil, the shade, and the excessive 

Nutmegs. 295 

moisture of these islands, where it rains more or less every 
month in the year, seem exactly to suit the nutmeg-tree 
which requires no manure and scarcely any attention. All 
the year round flowers and ripe fruit are to be found, and 
none of those diseases occur which, under a forced and un- 
natural system of cultivation, have ruined the nutmeg-plant- 
ers of Singapore and Penang. 

Few cultivated plants are more beautiful than nutmeg- 
trees. They are handsomely shaped and glossy-leaved, 
growing to the height of twenty or thirty feet, and bearing 
small yellowish flowers. The fruit is the size and color of 
a peach, but rather oval. It is of a tough, fleshy consistence, 
but when ripe splits open, and shows the dark-brown nut 
within, covered with the crimson mace, and is then a most 
beautiful object. Within the thin hard shell of the nut is 
the seed, which is the nutmeg of commerce. The nuts are 
eaten by the large pigeons of Banda, which digest the mace 
but cast up the nut, with its seed uninjured. 

The nutmeg trade has hitherto been a strict monopoly of 
the Dutch Government ; but since leaving the country I be- 
lieve that this monopoly has been partially or wholly dis- 
continued, a proceeding which appears exceedingly injudi- 
cious and quite unnecessary. There are cases in which mo- 
nopolies are perfectly justifiable, and I believe this to be one 
of them. A small country like Holland can not aflbrd to 
keep distant and expensive colonies at a loss ; and having 
possession of a very small island where a valuable product, 
not a necessary of life^ can be obtained at little cost, it is al- 
most the duty of the state to monopolize it. No injury is 
done thereby to any one, but a great benefit is conferred on 
the whole population of Holland and its dependencies, since 
the produce of the State monopolies eaves them from the 
weight of a heavy taxation. Had the Government not kept 
the nutmeg trade of Banda in its own hands, it is probable 
that the whole of the islands would long ago have become 
the property of one or more large capitalists. The monopo- 
ly would have been almost the same, since no known spot on 
the globe can produce nutmegs so cheaply as Banda, but the 
profits of the monopoly would have gone to a few individ- 
uals instead of to the nation. As an illustration of how a 
State monopoly may become a State duty, let us suppose 

296 Banda. 

that no gold existed in Australia, but that it had been found 
in immense quantities by one of our ships in some small and 
barren island. In this case it would plainly become the duty 
of the State to keep and work the mines for the public bene- 
fit, since by doing so the gain would be fairly divided among 
the whole population by decrease of taxation ; whereas by 
leaving it open to free trade while merely keeping the gov- 
ernment of the island, we should certainly produce enormous 
evils during the first struggle for the precious metal, and 
should ultimately subside into the monopoly of some wealthy 
individual or great company, whose enormous revenue would 
not equally benefit the community. The nutmegs of Banda 
and the tin of Banca are to some extent parallel cases to 
this supposititious one, and I believe the Dutch Government 
will act most unwisely if they give up their monopoly. 

Even the destruction of the nutmeg and clove-trees in 
many islands, in order to restrict their cultivation to one or 
two where the monopoly could be easily guarded, usually 
made the theme of so much virtuous indignation against the 
Dutch, may be defended on similar principles, and is certain- 
ly not nearly so bad as many monopolies we ourselves have 
till very recently maintained. Nutmegs and cloves are not 
necessaries of life ; they are not even used as spices by the 
natives of the Moluccas, and no one was materially or per- 
manently injured by the destruction of the trees, since there 
are a hundred other products that can be grown in the same 
islands, equally valuable and far more beneficial in a social 
point of view. It is a case exactly parallel to our prohibi- 
tion of the growth of tobacco in England, for fiscal purposes, 
and is, morally and economically, neither better nor worse. 
The salt monopoly which we so long maintained in India was 
much worse. As long as we keep up a system of excise and 
customs on articles of daily use, which requires an elaborate 
array of officers and coast-guards to carry into effect, and 
which creates a number of purely legal crimes, it is the height 
of absurdity for us to affect indignation at the conduct of the 
Dutch, who carried out a much more justifiable, less hurtful, 
and more profitable system in their Eastern possessions. I 
challenge objectors to point out any physical or moral evils 
that have actually resulted from the action of the Dutch 
Government in this matter, whereas such evils are the admit- 

Animals. 297 

ted results of every one of our monopolies and restrictions. 
The conditions of the two experiments are totally different. 
The true " political economy " of a higher, when governing a 
lower race, has never yet been worked out. The application 
of our "political economy" to such cases invariably results 
in the extinction or degradation of the lower race ; whence 
we may consider it probable that one of the necessary con- 
ditions of its truth is the approximate mental and social unity 
of the society in which it is applied. I shall again refer to 
this subject in my chapter on Ternate, one of the most cele- 
brated of the old spice-islands. 

The natives of Banda are very much mixed, and it is prob- 
able that at least three-fourths of the population are mon- 
grels, in various degrees of Malay, Papuan, Arab, Portuguese, 
and Dutch. The first two form the*basis of the larger por- 
tion, and the dark skins, pronounced features, and more or 
less frizzly hair of the Papuans preponderates. There seems 
little doubt that the aborigines of Banda were Papuans, and 
a portion of them still exists in the Ke Islands, where they 
emigrated when the Portuguese first took possession of their 
native island. It is such people as these that are often look- 
ed upon as transitional forms between two very distinct 
races, like the Malays and Papuans, whereas they are only 
examples of intermixture. 

The animal productions of Banda, though very few, are 
interesting. The islands have perhaps no truly indigenous 
Mammalia but bats. The deer of the Moluccas and the pig 
have probably been introduced. A species of Cuscus or 
Eastern opossum is also found at Banda, and this may be 
truly indigenous in the sense of not having been introduced 
by man. Of birds, during my three visits of one or two days 
each, I collected eight kinds, and the Dutch collectors have 
added a few others. The most remarkable is a fine and very 
handsome fruit-pigeon (Carpophaga concinna), which feeds 
upon the nutmegs, or rather on the mace, and whose loud 
booming note is to be continually heard. This bird is found 
in the Ke and Matabello Islands, as well as Banda, but not in 
Ceram or any of the larger islands, which are inhabited by 
allied but very distinct species. A beautiful small fruit-dove 
(Ptilonopus diadematus) is also peculiar to Banda. 

298 Amboyna. 


DECEMBER, 1857; OCTOBER, 1859; FEBRUARY, 1860. 

Twenty hours from Banda brought us to Amboyna, the 
capital of the Moluccas, and one of the oldest European 
settlements in the East. The island consists of two peninsu- 
las, so nearly divided by inlets of the sea as to leave only a 
sandy isthmus about a mile wide near their eastern extremity. 
The western inlet is seveM miles long, and forms a fine har- 
bor, on the southern side of which is situated the town of 
Amboyna. I had a letter of introduction to Dr. Mohnike, 
the chief medical officer of the Moluccas, a German, and a 
naturalist. I found that he could write and read English, 
but could not speak it, being, like myself, a bad linguist ; so 
we had to use French as a medium of communication. He 
kindly offered me a room during my stay in Amboyna, and 
introduced me to his junior. Dr. Doleschall, a Hungarian, and 
also an entomologist. He was an intelligent and most amia- 
ble young man, but I was shocked to find that he was dying 
of consumption, though still able to perform the duties of his 
office. In the evening my host took me to the residence of 
the Governor, Mr, Goldmann, who received me in a most 
kind and cordial manner, and offered me every assistance. 
The town of Amboyna consists of a few business streets, and 
a number of roads set out at right angles to each other, bor- 
dered by hedges of flowering shrubs, and inclosing country- 
houses and huts embosomed in palms and fruit-trees. Hills 
and mountains form the background in almost every direc- 
tion, and there are few places more enjoyable for a morning 
or evening stroll than these sandy roads and shady lanes in 
the suburbs of the ancient city of Amboyna. 

There are no active volcanoes in the island, nor is it now 
subject to frequent earthquakes, although very severe ones 
have occurred, and may be expected again. Mr. William 

^ ^^ > 

^ I "^ 

i § o 

I i. ■< 

■1 ?z 

! I • 

300 Amboyna. 

Funnell, in his voyage with Dampier to the South Seas in 
1705, says: "While we were here (at Amboyna) we had a 
great earthquake, which continued two days, in which time 
it did a great deal of mischief ; for the ground burst open in 
many places, and swallowed up several houses and whole 
families. Several of the people were dug out again, but most 
of them dead, and many had their legs or arms broken by 
the fall of the houses. The castle walls were rent asunder 
in several places, and we thought that it and all the houses 
would have fallen down. The ground where we were swelled 
like a wave in the sea, but near us we had no hurt done." 
There are also numerous records of eruptions of a volcano on 
the west side of the island. In 1674 an eruption destroyed 
a village. In 1694 there was another eruption. In 1797 
much vapor and heat was emitted. Other eruptions occurred 
in 1816 and 1820, and in 1824 a new crater is said to have 
been formed. Yet so capricious is the action of these sub- 
terranean fires, that since the last-named epoch all eruptive 
symptoms have so completely ceased that I was assured by 
many of the most intelligent European inhabitants of Am- 
boyna that they had never heard of any such thing as a vol- 
cano on the island. 

During the few days that elapsed before I could make ar- 
rangements to visit the interior, I enjoyed myself much in 
the society of the two doctors, both amiable and well-educated 
men, and both enthusiastic entomologists, though obliged to 
increase their collection almost entirely by means of native 
collectors. Dr. Doleschall studied chiefly the flies and spi- 
ders, but also collected butterflies and moths, and in his 
boxes I saw grand specimens of the emerald Ornithoptera 
priamus and the azure Papillio ulysses, with many more of the 
superb butterflies of this rich island. Dr. Mohnike confined 
himself chiefly to the beetles, and had formed a magnificent 
collection during many years' residence in Java, Sumatra, 
Borneo, Japan and Amboyna. The Japanese collection was 
especially interesting, containing both the fine Carabi of 
northern countries and the gorgeous Buprestidae and Longi- 
corns of the tropics. The doctor made the voyage to Jeddo 
by land from N'agasaki, and is well acquainted with the char- 
acter, manners, and customs of the people of Japan, and with 

Sea Gardens. 801 

the geology, physical features, and natural history of the 
country, i He showed me collections of cheap wood-cuts print- 
ed in colors, which are sold at less than a farthing each, and 
comprise an endless variety of sketches of Japanese scenery 
and manners. Though rude, they are very characteristic, 
and often exhibit touches of great humor. He also possesses 
a large collection of colored sketches of the plants of Japan, 
made by a Japanese lady, which are the most masterly things 
I have ever seen. Every stem, twig, and leaf is produced by 
single touches of the brush, the character and perspective of 
very complicated plants being admirably given, and the ar- 
ticulations of stem and leaves shown in a most scientific 
manner. ^ 

; Having made arrangements to stay for three weeks at a 
small hut on a newly-cleaned plantation in the interior of 
the northern half of the island, I with some difficulty obtained 
a boat and men to take me across the water, for the Amboy- 
nese are dreadfully lazy. Passing up the harbor, in appear- 
ance like a fine river, the clearness of the water afibrded me 
one of the most astonishing and beautiful sights I have ever 
beheld. The bottom was absolutely hidden by a continuous 
series of corals, sponges, actiniae, and other marine produc- 
tions, of magnificent dimensions, varied forms, and brilliant 
colors. The depth varied from about twenty to fifty feet, and 
the bottom was very uneven, rocks and chasms and little hills 
and valleys, ofiering a variety of stations for the growth of 
these animal forests. In and out among them moved numbers 
of blue and red and yellow fishes, spotted and banded and 
striped in the most striking manner, while great orange or 
rosy transparent Medusae floated along near the surface. It 
was a sight to gaze at for hours, and no description can do 
justice to its surpassing beauty and interest. For once, the 
reality exceeded the most glowing accounts I had ever read 
of the wonders of a coral sea. There is perhaps no spot in 
the world richer in marine productions, corals, shells, and 
fishes than the harbor of Amboyna, 

From the north side of the harbor a good broad path 
passes through swamp clearing and forest, over hill and val- 
ley, to the farther side of the island ; the coralline rock con- 
stantly protruding through the deep red earth which fills all 

302 Amboyna. 

the hollows, and is more or less spread over the plains aind 
hill-sides. The forest vegetation is here of the most luxuri- 
ant character ; ferns and palms abound, and the climbing 
rattans were more abundant than I had ever seen them, 
forming tangled festoons over almost every large forest-tree. 
The cottage I was to occupy was situated in a large clearing 
of about a hundred acres, part of which was already planted 
with young cacao-trees and plantains to shade them, while 
the rest was covered with dead and half-burnt forest-trees ; 
and on one side there was a tract where the trees had been 
recently felled, and were not yet burnt. The path by which 
I had arrived continued along one side of this clearing, and 
then again entering the virgin forest, passed over hill and 
dale to the northern side of the island. 

My abode was merely a little thatched hut, consisting of 
an open veranda in front, and a small dark sleeping-room 
behind. It was raised about five feet froro. the ground, and 
was reached by rude steps to the centre^ of the veranda. 
The walls and floor were of bamboo, and it contained a table, 
two bamboo chairs, and a couch. Here I soon made myself 
comfortable, and set to work hunting for insects among the 
more recently felled timber, which swarmed with fine Cur- 
culionidse, longicorns, and Buprestidae, most of them remark- 
able for their elegant forms or brilliant colors, and almost 
all entirely new to me. Only the entomologist can appreci- 
ate the delight with which I hunted about for hours in the 
hot sunshine, among the branches and twigs and bark of the 
fallen trees, every few minutes securing insects which were 
at that time almost all rare or new to European collections. 

In the shady forest paths were many fine butterflies, most 
conspicuous among which was the shining blue Papilio ulys- 
ses, one of the princes of the tribe. Though at that time so 
rare in Europe, I found it absolutely common in Amboyna, 
though not easy to obtain in fine condition, a large number 
of the specimens being found, when captured, to have the 
wings torn or broken. It flies with a rather weak undula- 
ting motion, and from its large size, its tailed wings, and bril- 
liant color, is one of the most tropical-looking insects the 
naturalist can gaze upon. 

There is a remarkable contrast between the beetles of 

An Unwelcome Guest. 803 

Amboyna and those of Macassar, tlie latter generally small 
and obscure, the former large and brilliant. On the whole, 
the insects here most resemble those of the Aru Islands, but 
they are almost always of distinct species, and when they 
are most nearly allied to each other the species of Amboyna 
are of larger size and more brilliant colors, so that one might 
be led to conclude that, in passing east and west into a less 
favorable soil and climate, they had degenerated into less 
striking forms. 

Of an evening I generally set reading in the veranda, 
ready to capture any insects that were attracted to the light. 
One night about nine o'clock I heard a curious noise and 
rustling overhead, as if some heavy animal were crawling 
slowly over the thatch. The noise soon ceased, and I 
thought no more about it, and went to bed soon afterward. 
The next afternoon just before dinner, being rather tired 
with my day's work, I was lying on the couch with a book 
in my hand, when, gazing upward, I saw a large mass of 
something overhead which I had not noticed before. Look- 
ing more carefully, I could see yellow and black marks, and 
thought it must be a tortoise-shell put up there out of the 
way between the ridge-pole and the roof. Continuing to 
gaze, it suddenly resolved itself into a large snake, compactly 
coiled up in a kind of knot ; and I could detect his head and 
his bright eyes in the very centre of the folds. The noise 
of the evening before was now explained. A python had 
climbed up one of the posts of the house, and had made his 
way under the thatch within a yard of my head, and taken 
up a comfortable position in the roof — and I had slept sound- 
ly all night directly under him. 

I called to my two boys who were skinning birds below 
and said, "Here's a big snake in the roof;" but as soon as I 
had shown it to them they rushed out of the house and beg- 
ged me to come out directly. Finding they were too much 
afraid to do any thing, we called some of the laborers in the 
plantation, and soon had half a dozen men in consultation 
outside. One of these, a native of Bouru, where there are a 
great many snakes, said he would get him out, and proceeded 
to work in a business-like manner. He made a strong noose 
of rattan, and with a long pole in the other hand poked at 

304 Amboyjsta. 

the snake, who then began slowly to uncoil itself. He then 
managed to slip the noose over its head, and getting it well 
on to the body, dragged the animal down. There was a 
great scuffle as the snake coiled round the chairs and posts 
to resist his enemy, but at length the man caught hold of its 
tail, rushed out of the house (running so quick that the crea- 
ture seemed quite confounded), and tried to strike its head 
against a tree. He missed however, and let go, and the 
snake got under a dead trunk close by. It was again poked 
out, and again the Bouru man caught hold of its tail, and 
running away quickly dashed its head with a swing against 
a tree, and it was then easily killed with a hatchet. It was 
about twelve feet long, and very thick, capable of doing 
much mischief, and of swallowing a dog or a child. 

I did not get a great many birds here. The most re- 
markable were the fine crimson lory (Eos rubra), a brush- 
tongued parroquet of a vivid crimson color, which was very 
abundant. Large flocks of them came about the plantation, 
and formed a magnificent object when they settled down 
upon some flowering tree, on the nectar of which lories feed. 
I also obtained one or two specimens of the fine racquet- 
tailed kingfisher of Amboyna (Tanysiptera nais), one of the 
most singular and beautiful of that beautiful family. These 
birds difler from all other kingfishers (which have usually 
short tails) by having the two middle tail-feathers immense- 
ly lengthened, and very narrowly webbed, but terminated 
by a spoon-shaped enlargement, as in the motmots and some 
of the humming-birds. They belong to that division of the 
family termed king-hunters, living chiefly on insects and 
small land-molluscs, which they dart down upon and pick up 
from the ground, just as a kingfisher picks a fish out of the 
water. They are confined to a very limited area, comprising 
the Moluccas, N'ew Guinea, and Northern Australia. About 
ten species of these birds are now known, all much resem- 
bling each other, but yet sufficiently distinguishable in every 
locality. The Amboynese species, of which a very accurate 
representation is here given, is one of the largest and hand- 
somest. It is full seventeen inches long to the tips of the 
tail-feathers; the bill is coral red, the under surface pure 
white, the back and wings deep purple, while the shoulders, 

BiKDS AND Insects. 


head, and nape, and 
some spots on the up- 
per part of the back 
and wings, are pure 
azure blue. The tail is 
white, with the feath- 
ers narrowly blue-edg- 
ed, but the narrow part 
of the long feathers is 
rich blue. This was 
an entirely new spe- 
cies, and has been well 
named after an ocean 
goddess by Mr. R G. 

On Christmas-eve I 
returned to Amboyna, 
where I staid about ten 
ten days with my kind 
friend Dr. Mohnike. 
Considering that I had 
been away only twen- 
ty days, and that on 
five or six of those I 
was prevented doing 
any thing by the wet 
weather and slight at- 
tacks of fever, I had 
made a very nice col- 
lection of insects, com- 
prising a much larger 
proportion of large and 
brilliant species than I 
had ever before obtain- 
ed in so short a time. 
Of the beautiful met- 
allic Buprestidge I had 
about a dozen hand- 
some species, yet in 
the doctor's collection 


306 Amboyna. 

I observed four or five more very fine ones, so that Amboy- 
na is unusually rich in this elegant group. 

During my stay here I had a good opportunity of seeing 
how Europeans live in the Dutch colonies, where they have 
adopted customs far more in accordance with the climate 
than we have done in our tropical possessions. Almost all 
business is transacted in the morning between the hours of 
seven and twelve, the afternoon being given up. to repose, 
and the evening to visiting. When in the house during the 
heat of the day, and even at dinner, they use a loose cotton 
dress, only putting on a suit of thin European-made clothes, 
for out-of-doors and evening wear. They often walk about 
after sunset bareheaded, reserving the black hat for visits of 
ceremony. Life is thus made far more agreeable, and the 
fatigue and discomfort incident to the climate greatly dimin- 
ished. Christmas-day is not made much of, but on New- 
year's day official and complimentary visits are paid, and 
about sunset we went to the Governor's, where a large party 
of ladies and gentlemen were assembled. Tea and coffee 
were handed round, as is almost universal during a visit, as 
well as cigars, for on no occasion is smoking prohibited in 
Dutch colonies, cigars being generally lighted before the 
cloth is withdrawn at dinner, even though half the com- 
pany are ladies. I here saw for the first time the rare black 
lory from 'New Guinea (Chalcopsitta atra). The plumage is 
rather glossy, and slightly tinged with yellowish and purple, 
the bill and feet being entirely black. 

The native Amboynese who reside in the city are a strange, 
half-civilized, half-savage, lazy people, who seem to be a mix- 
ture of at least three races, Portuguese, Malay, and Papuan 
or Ceramese, with an occasional cross of Chinese or Dutch. 
The Portuguese element decidedly predominates in the old 
Christian population, as indicated by features, habits, and the 
retention of many Portuguese words in the Malay, which 
is now their language. They have a peculiar style of dress 
which they wear among themselves, a close-fitting white shirt 
with black trowsers, and a black frock or upper shirt. The 
women seem to prefer a dress entirely black. On festivals 
and state occasions they adopt the swallow-tail coat, chim- 
ney-pot hat, and their accompaniments, displaying all the ab- 

The Old Poetuguese. 807 

surdity of our European fashionable dress. Though now Prot- 
estants, they preserve at feasts and weddings the processions 
and music of the Catholic Church, curiously mixed up with 
the gongs and dances of the aborigines of the country. Their 
language has still much more Portuguese than Dutch in it, al- 
though they have been in close communication with the lat- 
ter nation for more than two hundred and fifty years ; even 
many names of birds, trees, and other natural objects, as well 
as many domestic terms, being plainly Portuguese.^ This 
people seems to have had a marvellous power of colonization, 
and a capacity for impressing their national characteristics 
on every country they conquered, or in which they effected 
a merely temporary settlement. In a suburb of Amboyna 
there is a village of aboriginal Malays who are Mohammed- 
ans, and who speak a peculiar language allied to those of 
Ceram, as well as Malay. They are chiefly fishermen, and 
are said to be both more industrious and more honest than 
the native Christians. 

I went on Sunday, by invitation, to see a collection of shells 
and fish made by a gentleman of Amboyna. The fishes are 
perhaps unrivalled for variety and beauty by those of any 
one spot on the earth. The celebrated Dutch ichthyologist, 
Dr. Blecker, has given a catalogue of seven hundred and 
eighty species found at Amboyna, a number almost equal to 
those of all the seas and rivers of Europe. A large proportion 
of them are of the most brilliant colors, being marked with 
bands and spots of the purest yellows, reds, and blues, while 
their forms present all that strange and endless variety so 
characteristic of the inhabitants of the ocean. The shells are 
also very numerous, and comprise a number of the finest spe- 
cies in the world. The Mactras and Ostreas in particular 
struck me by the variety and beauty of their colors. Shells 
have long been an object of traffic in Amboyna; many of 
the natives get their living by collecting and cleaning them, 

^ The following are a few of the Portuguese words in common use by the Ma- 
lay-speaking natives of Amboyna and the other Molucca islands : Pombo (Pigeon) ; 
milo (maize) ; testa (forehead) ; horas (hours) ; alfinete (pin) ; cadeira (chair) ; 
len90 (handkerchief) ; fresco (cool) ; trigo (flour) ; sono (sleep) ; familia (family) ; 
histori (talk) ; vosse (you) ; mesmo (even) ; cufihado (brother-in-law) ; senhor 
(sir) ; nyora for signora (madam). — None of them, however, have the least notion 
that these words belong to a European language. 

308 Amboyjsta, 

and almost every visitor takes away a small collection. The 
result is that many of the commoner sorts have lost all value 
in the eyes of the amateur, numbers of the handsome but very 
common cones, cowries, and olives sold in the streets of Lon- 
don for a penny each, being natives of the distant isle of Am- 
boyna, where they can not be bought so cheaply. The fishes 
in the collection were all well preserved in clear spirit in 
hundreds of glass jars, and the shells were arranged in large 
shallow pith-boxes lined with paper, every specimen being 
fastened down with thread. I roughly estimated that there 
were nearly a thousand different kinds of shells, and perhaps 
ten thousand specimens, while the collection of Amboyna 
fishes was nearly perfect. 

On the 4th of January I left Amboyna for Ternate ; but 
two years later, in October, 1859, 1 again visited it after my 
residence in Menado, and staid a month in the town in a 
small house which I hired for the sake of assorting and pack- 
ing up a large and varied collection which I had brought with 
me from N"orth Celebes, Ternate, and Gilolo. I was obliged 
to do this because the mail-steamer would have come the fol- 
lowing month by way of Amboyna to Ternate, and I should 
have been delayed two months before I could have reached 
the former place. I then paid my first visit to Ceram, and 
on returning to prepare for my second more complete explora- 
tion of that island, I staid (much against my will) two months 
at Paso, on the isthmus which connects the two portions of 
the island of Amboyna. This village is situated on the east- 
ern side of the isthmus, on sandy ground, with a very pleas- 
ant view over the sea to the island of Harlika. On the Am- 
boyna side of the isthmus there is a small river which has been 
continued by a shallow canal to within thirty yards of high- 
water mark on the other side. Across this small space, 
which is sandy and but slightly elevated, all small boats and 
praus can be easily dragged, and all the smaller traffic from 
Ceram and the islands of Saparlia and Harlika passes through 
Paso. The canal is not continued quite through, merely be- 
caiA every spring-tide would throw up just such a sand-bank 
as now exists. 

I had been informed that the fine butterfly Ornithoptera 
priamus was plentiful here, as well as the racquet-tailed 

Eare Beetle. 309 

kingfisher and the ring-necked lory. I found, however, that 
I had missed the time for the former, and birds of all kinds 
were very scarce, although I obtained a few good ones, in- 
cluding one or two of the above-mentioned rarities. I was 
much pleased to get here the fine long-armed chafer (Euchi- 
rus longimanus.) This extraordinary insect is rarely or never 
captured except when it comes to drink the sap of the sugar 
palms, where it is found by the natives when they go early 
in the morning to take away the bamboos which have been 
filled during the night. For some time one or two were 
brought me every day, generally alive. They are sluggish 
insects, and pull themselves lazily along by means of their 
immense forelegs. A figure of this and other Moluccan beetles 
is given in the 2'7th chapter of this work. 

I was kept at Paso by an inflammatory eruption, brought 
on by the constant attacks of small acari-like harvest-bugs, 
for which the forests of Ceram are famous, and also by the 
want of nourishing food while in that island. At one time I 
was covered with severe boils. I had them on my eye, cheek, 
armpits, elbows, back, thighs, knees, and ankles, so that I was 
unable to sit or walk, and had great difiiculty in finding a 
side to lie upon without pain. These continued for some 
weeks, fresh ones coming out as fast as others got well ; but 
good living and sea-baths ultimately cured them. 

About the end of January, Charles Allen, who had been 
my assistant in Malacca and Borneo, again joined me on agree- 
ment for three years ; and as soon as I got tolerably well, we 
had plenty to do laying in stores and making arrangements 
for our ensuing campaign. Our greatest difficulty was in 
obtaining men, but at last we succeeded in getting two each. 
An Amboyna Christian named Theodorus Matakena, who had 
been some time with me, and had learned to skin birds very 
well, agreed to go with Allen, as well as a very quiet and in- 
dustrious lad named Cornelius, whom I had brought from 
Menado. I had two Amboynese, named Petrus Rehatta, and 
Mesach Matakena; the latter of whom had two brothers, 
named respectively Shadrach and Abednego, in accordance 
with the usual custom among these people of giving only 
Scripture names to their children. 

During the time I resided in this place I enjoyed a luxury 

310 Amboyna. 

I have never met with, either before or since— tTie true bread- 
fruit. A good deal of it has been planted about here and in 
the surrounding villages, and almost every day we had op- 
portunities of purchasing some, as all the boats going to Am- 
boyna were unloaded just opposite my door to be dragged 
across the isthmus. Though it grows in several other parts 
of the Archipelago, it is nowhere abundant, and the season 
for it only lasts a short time. It is baked entire in the hot 
embers, ^.nd the inside scooped out with a spoon. I compared 
it to Yorkshire pudding ; Charles Allen said it was like mashed 
potatoes and milk. It is generally about the size of a melon, 
a little fibrous toward the centre, but everywhere else quite 
smooth and puddingy, something in consistence between 
yeast-dumplings and batter-pudding. We sometimes made 
curry or stew of it or fried it in slices ; but it is no way so 
good as simply. baked. It may be eaten sweet or savory. 
With meat and gravy, it is a vegetable superior to any I 
know, either in temperate or tropical countries. With sugar, 
milk, butter, or treacle, it is a delicious pudding, having a 
very slight and delicate but characteristic flavor, which, like 
that of good bread and potatoes, one never gets tired of 
The reason why it is comparatively scarce is, that it is a 
fruit of which the seeds are entirely aborted by cultivation, 
and the tree can therefore only be propagated by cuttings. 
The seed-bearing variety is common all over the tropics, and 
though the seeds are very good eating, resembling chestnuts, 
the fruit is quite worthless as a vegetable. Now that steam 
and Ward's cases render the transport of young plants so 
easy, it is much to be wished that the best varieties of this 
unequalled vegetable should be introduced into our West 
India Islands, and largely propagated there. As the fruit 
will keep some time after being gathered, we might then 
be able to obtain this tropical luxury in Covent Garden 

Although the few months I at various times spent in Am- 
boyna were not altogether very profitable to me in the way 
of collections, yet it will always remain as a bright spot in the 
review of my Eastern travels, since it was there that I first 
made the acquaintance of those glorious birds and insects, 
which render the Moluccas classic ground in the eyes of the 

Departure from Amboyj^^-a. 311 

naturalist, and characterize its fauna as one of the most re- 
markable and beautiful upon the globe. On the 20th of Feb- 
ruary I finally quitted Amboyna for Coram and Waigiou, 
leaving Charles Allen to go by a Government boat to Wahai, 
on th^ north coast of Ceram, and thence to the unexplored 
island of Mysol. 

312 The Moluccas — Ternate. 



On the morning of the 8th' of January, 1858, I arrived at 
Ternate, the fourth of a row of fine conical volcanic islands 
which skirt the west coast of the large and almost unknown 
island of Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly conical moun- 
tain is Tidore, which is over four thousand feet high — Ternate 
being very nearly the same height, but with a more rounded 
and irregular summit. The town of Ternate is concealed from 
view till we enter between the two islands, when it is discovered 
stretching along the shore at the very base of the mountain. 
Its situation is fine, and there are grand views on every side. 
Close opposite is the rugged promontory and beautiful vol- 
canic cone of Tidore; to the east is the long mountainous 
coast of Gilolo, terminated toward the north by a group of 
three lofty volcanic peaks, while' immediately behind the town 
rises the huge mountain, sloping easily at first, and covered 
with thick groves of fruit-trees, but soon becoming steeper, and 
furrowed with deep gullies. Almost to the summit, whence 
issue perpetually faint wreaths of smoke, it is clothed with 
vegetation, and looks calm and beautiful, although beneath are 
hidden fires which occasionally burst forth in lava-streams, but 
more frequently make their existence known by the earthquakes 
which have many times devastated the town. 

I brought letters of introduction to Mr. Duivenboden, a 
native of Ternate, of an ancient Dutch family, but who was 
educated in England, and speaks our language perfectly. He 
was a very rich man, owned half the town, possessed many 
ships, and above a hundred slaves. He was, moreover, well 
educated, and fond of literature and science — a phenomenon in 
these regions. He was generally known as the king of Ternate, 
from his large property and great influence with the native 
Rajahs and their subjects. Through his assistance I obtained 
a house, rather ruinous, but well adapted to my purpose, being 

My Head-Quarters. 


close to tlie town, yet with a free outlet to the country and the 
mountain. A few needful repairs were soon made, some bam- 
boo furniture and other necessaries obtained, and, after a visit 
to the Resident and police magistrate, I found myself an in- 
habitant of the earthquake-tortured island of Ternate, and able 
to look about me and lay down the plan of my campaign for 
the ensuing year. I retained this house for three years, as I 
found it very convenient to have a place to return to after my 
voyages to the various islands of the Moluccas and New 


Guinea, where I could pack my collections, recruit my health, 
and make preparations for future journeys. To avoid repeti- 
tions, I will in this chapter combine what notes I have about 

A description of my house (the plan of which is here shown) 
will enable the reader to understand a very common mode of 
building in these islands. There is of course only one floor. 
The walls are of stone up to three feet high ; on this are strong 
squared posts supporting the roof, everywhere except in the 

314 Ternate. 

veranda filled in with the leaf-stems of the sago palm, fitted 
neatly in wooden framing. The floor is of stucco, and the ceil- 
ings are like the walls. The house is forty feet square, consists 
of four rooms, a hall, and two verandas, and is surrounded by a 
wilderness of fruit-trees. A deep well supplied me with pure 
cold water— a great luxury in this climate. Five minutes' 
walk down the road brought me to the market and the beach, 
while in the opposite direction there were no more European 
houses between me and the mountain. In this house I spent 
many happy days. Returning to it after a three or four 
months' absence in some uncivilized region, I enjoyed the un- 
wonted luxuries of milk and fresh bread, and regular supplies 
of fish and eggs, meat and vegetables, which were often sorely 
needed to restore my health and energy. I had ample space 
and convenience for unpacking, sorting, and arranging my 
treasures, and I had delightful walks in the suburbs of the 
town, or up the lower slopes of the mountain, when I desired 
a little exercise, or had time for collecting. 

The lower part of the mountain behind the town of Ternate 
is almost entirely covered with a forest of fruit-trees, and dur- 
ing the season hundreds of men and women, boys and girls, 
go up every day to bring down the ripe fruit. Durions and 
mangoes, two of the very finest tropical fruits, are in greater 
abundance at Ternate than I have ever seen them, and some 
of the latter are of a quality not inferior to any in the world. 
Lansats and mangosteens are also abundant, but these do not 
ripen till a little later. Above the fruit-trees there is a belt of 
clearings and cultivated grounds, which creep up the mountain 
to a height of between two and three thousand feet, above 
which is virgin forest reaching nearly to the summit, which on 
the side next the town is covered with a high reedy grass. 
On the further side it is more elevated, of a bare and desolate 
aspect, with a slight depression marking the position of the 
crater. From this part descends a black scoriaceous tract, 
very rugged, and covered with a scanty vegetation of scattered 
bushes as far down as the sea. This is the lava of the great 
eruption near a century ago, and is called by the natives 
"batu-angas" (burnt rock). 

Just below my house is the fort, built by the Portuguese, 
below which is an open space to the beach, and beyond this 

The Sultan of Teejstate. 815 

the native town extends for about a mile to the north-east. 
About the centre of it is the palace of the Sultan, now a large, 
untidy, half ruinous building of stone. This chief is pension- 
ed by the Dutch Government, but retains the sovereignty over 
the native population of the island, and of the northern part of 
Gilolo. The sultans of Ternate and Tidore were once cele- 
brated through the East for their power and regal magnifi- 
cence. When Drake visited Ternate in 1579, the Portuguese 
had been driven out of the island, although they still had a 
settlement at Tidore. He gives a glowing account of the Sul- 
tan : " The King had a very rich canopy with embossings of 
gold borne over him, and was guarded with twelve lances. 
From the waist to the ground was all cloth of gold, and that 
' very rich ; in the attire of his head were finely wreathed in, 
diverse rings of plaited gold, of an inch or more in breath, 
which made a fair and princely show, somewhat resembling a 
crown in form ; about his neck he had a chain of perfect gold, 
the links very great and one fold double ; on his left hand was 
a diamond, an emerald, a ruby, and a turky ; on his right 
hand in one ring a "big and perfect turky, and in another ring 
many diamonds of a smaller size." 

AU this glitter of barbaric gold was the produce of the 
spice trade, of which the Sultans kept the monopoly, and by 
which they became wealthy. Ternate, with the small islands in 
a line south of it as far as Batchian, constitute the ancient 
Moluccas, the native country of the clove, as well as the only 
part in which it was cultivated. ISTutmegs and mace were 
procured from the natives of IsTew Guinea and the adjacent 
islands, where they grew wild ; and the profits on spice cargoes 
were so enormous that the European traders were glad to 
give gold and jewels, and the finest manufactures of Europe 
or of India in exchange. When the Dutch established their 
influence in these seas, and relieved the native princes from 
their Portuguese oppressors, they saw that the easiest way to 
repay themselves would be to get this spice trade into their 
own hands. For this purpose they adopted the wise principle 
of concentrating the culture of these valuable products in those 
spots only of which they could have complete control. To do 
this effectually, it was necessary to abolish the culture and trade 
in all other places, which they succeeded in doing by treaty 

316 Ternate. 

with the native rulers. These agreed to have all the spice- 
trees in their possessions destroyed. They gave up large 
though fluctuating revenues, but they gained in return a ^xed 
subsidy, freedom from the constant attacks and harsh oppres- 
sions of the Portuguese, and a continuance of their regal power 
and exclusive authority over their own subjects, which is main- 
tained in all the islands except Ternate to this day. 

It is no doubt supposed by most Englishmen, who have 
been accustomed to look upon this act of the Dutch with vague 
horror, as something utterly unprincipled and barbarous, that 
the native population sufered grievously by this destruction of 
such valuable property. But it is certain that this was not 
the case. The Sultans kept this lucrative trade entirely in 
their own hands as a rigid monopoly, and they would take 
care not to give their subjects more than would amount to 
their usual wages, while they would surely exact as large a 
quantity of spice as they could possibly obtain. Drake and 
other early voyagers always seem to have purchased their 
spice cargoes from the Sultans and Rajahs, and not from the 
cultivators, ^ow the absorption of so miJch labor in the cul- 
tivation of this one product must necessarily have raised the 
price of food and other necessaries ; and when it was abolished, 
more rice would be grown, more sago made, more fish caught, 
and more tortoise-shell, rattan, gum-dammer, and other valua- 
ble products of the seas and the forests would be obtained. I 
believe, therefore, that this abolition of the «pice trade in the 
Moluccas was actually beneficial to the inhabitants, and that 
it was an act both wise in itself, and morally and politically 

In the selection of the places in which to carry on the culti- 
vation, the Dutch were not altogether fortunate or wise. Ban- 
da was chosen for nutmegs, and was eminently successful, 
smce it continues to this day to produce a large supply of this 
spice, and to yield a considerable revenue. Amboyna was 
fixed upon for establishing the clove cultivation ; but the soil 
and climate, although apparently very similar to that of its na- 
tive islands, is not favorable, and for some years the Govern- 
ment have actually been payihg to the cultivators a higher 
rate than they could purchase cloves elsewhere, owing to a 
great fall in the price since the rate of payment was fixed for 

Earthquakes. 317 

a term of years by the Dutch Government, and which rate is 
still most honorably paid. 

In walking about the suburbs of Ternate, we find everywhere 
the ruins of massive stone and brick buildings, gateways, and 
arches, showing at once the superior wealth of the ancient 
town and the destructive effects of earthquakes. It was dur- 
ing my second stay in the town, after my return from 'New 
Guinea, that I first felt an earthquake. It was a very slight 
one, scarcely more than has been felt in this country, but oc- 
curring in a place that had been many times destroyed by 
them, it was rather more exciting. I had just awoke at gun- 
fire (5 A.M.), when suddenly the thatch began to rustle and 
shake as if an army of cats were galloping over it, and imme- 
diately afterward my bed shook too, so that for an instant I 
imagined myself back in N^ew Guinea, in my fragile house, 
which shook when an old cock went to roost on the ridge ; 
but remembering that I was now on a solid earthen floor, I 
said to myself, " Why it's an earthquake," and lay still in the 
pleasing expectation of another shock; but none came, and 
this was the only earthquake I ever felt in Ternate. 

The last great one was in February, 1840, when almost 
every house in the place was destroyed. It began' about mid- 
night on the Chinese New Year's festival, at which time every 
one stays up nearly all night feasting at the Chinamen's 
houses and seeing the processions. This prevented any lives 
being lost, as every one ran out of doors at the first shock, 
which was not very severe. The second, a few minutes after- 
ward, threw down a great many houses, and others, which 
continued all night and part of the next day, completed the 
devastation. The line of disturbance was very narrow, so 
that the native town a mile to the east scarcely suffered at all. 
The wave passed from north to south, through the islands of 
Tidore and Makian, and terminated in Batchian, where it was 
not felt till four the following afternoon, thus taking no less 
than sixteen hours to travel a hundred miles, or about six 
miles an hour. It is singular that on this occasion there was 
no rushing up of the tide or other commotion of the sea, as is 
usually the case during great earthquakes. 

The people of Ternate are of three well-marked races : the 

318 Ternate. 

Ternate Malays, the Orang Sirani, and the Dutch. The first 
are an intrusive Malay race somewhat allied to the Macassar 
people, who settled in the country at a very early epoch, 
drove out the indigenes, who were no doubt the same as those 
of the adjacent mainland of Gilolo, and established a mon- 
archy. They perhaps obtained many of their wives from the 
natives, which will account for the extraordinary , language 
they speak — ^in some respects closely allied to that of the na- 
tives of Gilolo, while it contains much that points to a Malay- 
an origin. To most of these people the Malay language is 
quite unintelligible, although such as are engaged in trade are 
obliged to acquire it. " Orang Sirani," or l^azarenes, is the 
name given by the Malays to the Christian descendants of the 
Portuguese, who resemble those of Amboyna, and, like them, 
speak only Malay. There are also a number of Chinese mer- 
chants, many of them natives of the place, a few Ar^bs, and a 
number of half-breeds between all these races and native wom- 
en. Besides these there are some Papuan slaves, and a few 
natives of other islands settled here, making up a motley and 
very puzzling population, till inquiry and observation have 
shown the distinct origin qi its component parts. 

Soon after my first arrival in Ternate I went to the island of 
Gilolo, accompanied by two sons of Mr. Duivenboden, and by 
a young Chinaman, a brother of my landlord, who lent us the 
boat and crew. These latter were all slaves, mostly Papuans, 
and at starting I saw something of the relation of master and 
slave in this part of the world. The crew had been ordered 
to be ready at three in the morning, instead of which none ap- 
peared till ^ve, we having all been kept waiting in the dark 
and cold for two hours. When at length they came they were 
scolded by their master, but only in a bantering manner, and 
laughed and joked with him in reply. Then, just as we were 
starting, one of the strongest men refused to go at all, and 
his master had to beg and persuade him to go, and only suc- 
ceeded by assuring him that I would give him something ; so 
with this promise, and knowing that there would be plenty to 
eat and drink and little to do, the black gentleman was in- 
duced to favor us with his company and assistance. In three 
hours' rowing and sailing we reached our destination, Sedin- 
gole, where there is a house belonging to the Sultan of Ti- 

Abolition of Slavery. 819 

dore, who sometimes goes there hunting. It was a dirty ruin- 
ous shed, with no furniture but a few bamboo bedsteads. On 
taking a walk into the country, I saw at once that it was no 
place for me. For many miles extends a plain covered with 
coarse high grass, thickly dotted here and there with trees^ 
the forest country only commencing at the hills a good way 
in the interior. Such a place would produce few birds and no 
insects, and we therefore arranged to stay only two days, and 
then go on to Dodinga, at the narrow central isthmus of Gi- 
lolo, whence my friends would return to Ternate. We amused 
ourselves shooting parrots, lories, and pigeons, and trying to 
shoot deer, of which we saw plenty, but could not get one ; 
and our crew went out fishing with a net, so we did not want 
for provisions. When the time came for us to continue our 
journey, a fresh difficulty presented itself, for our gentlemen 
slaves refused in a body to go with us, saying very determined- 
ly that they would return to Ternate. So their masters were 
obliged to submit, and I was left behind to get to Dodinga 
as I could. Luckily I succeeded in hiring a small boat, which 
took me there the same night, with my two men and my bag- 

Two or three years after this, and about the same length of 
time before I left the East, the Dutch emancipated all their 
slaves, paying their owners a small compensation. ]^o ill re- 
sults followed,. Owing to the amicable relations which had 
always existed between them and their masters, due no doubt 
in part to the Government having long accorded them legal 
rights and protection against cruelty and ill-usage, many con- 
tinued in the same service, and after a little temporary diffi- 
culty in some cases, almost all returned to work either for 
their old or for new masters. The Government took the very 
proper step of placing every emancipated slave under the sur- 
veillance of the police magistrate. They were obliged to show 
that they were working for a living, and had some honestly- 
acquired means of existence. All who could not do so were 
placed upon public works at low wages, and thus were kept 
from the temptation to peculation or other crimes, which the 
excitement of newly-acquired freedom and disinclination to 
labor might have led them into. 

320 GiLOLO. 



I MADE but few and comparatively short visits to this large 
and little known island, but obtained a considerable knowledge 
of its natural history by sending first my boy Ali, and then 
my assistant, Charles Allen, who staid two or three months 
each in the northern peninsula, and brought me back large 
collections of birds and insects. In this chapter I propose to 
give a sketch of the parts which I myself visited. My first 
stay was at Dodinga, situated at the head of a deep bay ex- 
actly opposite Ternate, and a short distance up a little stream 
which penetrates a few miles inland. The village is a small 
one, and is completely shut in by low hills. 

As soon as I arrived I applied to the head-man of the vil- 
lage for a house to live in, but all were occupied, and there 
was much difficulty in finding one. In the mean time I un- 
loaded my baggage on the beach and made some tea, and aft- 
erward discovered a small hut which the owner was willing to 
vacate if I would pay him five guilders for a month's rent. 
As this was something less than the fee-simple value of the 
dwelling, I agreed to give it him for the privilege of immedi- 
ate occupation, only stipulating that he was to make the roof 
water-tight. This he agreed to do, and came every day to talk 
and look at me ; and when I each time insisted upon his im- 
mediately mending the roof according to contract, all the an- 
swer I could get was, "Ea nanti" (Yes, wait a little). How- 
ever, when I threatened to deduct a quarter-guilder from the 
rent for every day it was not done, and a guilder extra if any 
of my things were wetted, he condescended to work for half 
an hour, which did all that was absolutely necessary. 

On the top of a bank, of about a hundred feet ascent from 
the water, stands the very small but substantial fort erected by 
the Portuguese. Its battlements and turrets have long since 


been overthrown by earthquakes, by which its massive struct- 
ure has also been rent ; but it can not well be thrown down, 
being a solid mass of stone-work, forming a platform about 
ten feet high, and perhaps forty feet square. It is approached 
by narrow steps under an archway, and is now surmounted by 
a row of thatched hovels, in which live the small garrison, con- 
sisting of a Dutch corporal and four Javanese soldiers, the 
sole representatives of the Netherlands Government in the isl- 
and. The village is occupied entirely by Ternate men. The 
true indigenes of Gilolo, "Alf uros " as they are here called, live 
on the eastern coast, or in the interior of the northern penin- 
sula. The distance across the isthmus at this place is only 
two miles, and there is a good path, along which rice and sago 
are brought from the eastern villages. The whole isthmus is 
very rugged, though not high, being a succession of little ab- 
rupt hills and valleys, with angular masses of limestone rock 
everywhere projecting, and often almost blocking up the path- 
way. Most of it is virgin forest, very luxuriant and pictur- 
esque, and at this time having abundance of large scarlet Ix- 
oras in flower, which made it exceptionally gay. I got some 
very nice insects here, though, owing to illness most of the 
time, my collection was a small one ; and my boy Ali shot 
me a pair of one of the most beautiful birds of the East (Pit- 
ta gigas), a large ground-thrush, whose plumage of velvety 
black above is relieved by a breast of pure white, shoulders of 
azure blue, and belly of vivid crimson. It has very long and 
stong legs, and hops about with such activity in the dense tan- 
gled forest, bristling with rocks, as to make it very difficult 
to shoot. 

In September, 1858, after my return from ISTew Guinea, I 
went to stay some time at the village of Djilolo, situated in a 
bay on the northern peninsula. Here I obtained a house 
through the kindness of the Resident of Ternate, who sent or- 
ders to prepare one for me. The first walk into the unex- 
plored forests of a new locality is a moment of intense inter- 
est to the naturalist, as it is almost sure to furnish him with 
something curious or hitherto unknown. The first thing I 
saw here was a flock of small parroquets, of which I shot a 
pair, and was pleased to find a most beautiful little long-tailed 
bird, ornamented with green, red, and blue colors, and quite 


322 GiLOLO. 

new to me. It was a variety of the Charmosyna placentis, 
one of the smallest and most elegant of the brush-tongued lo- 
ries. . My hunters soon shot me several other fine birds, and I 
myself found a specimen of the rare and beautiful day-flying 
moth (Cocytia d'Urvillei). 

The village of Djilolo was formerly the chief residence of 
the Sultans of Ternate till about eighty years ago, when at the 
request of the Dutch they removed to their present abode. 
The place was then no doubt much more populous, as is indi- 
cated by the wide extent of cleared land in the neighborhood, 
now covered with coarse high grass, very disagreeable to walk 
through, and utterly barren to the naturalist. A few days' 
exploring showed me that only some small patches of forest 
remained for miles round, and the result was a scarcity of in- 
sects and a very limited variety of birds, which obHged me to 
change my locality. There was another village, called Sahoe, 
to which there was a road of about twelve miles overland, and 
this had been recommended to me as a good place for birds, 
and as possessing a large population both of Mohammedans and 
Alf uros, which latter race I much wished to see. I set off 
one morning to examine this place myself, expecting to pass 
through some extent of forest on my way. In this, however, 
I was much disappointed, as the whole road lies through grass 
and scrubby thickets, and it was only after reaching the vil- 
lage of Sahoe that some high forest land was perceived stretch- 
ing toward the mountains to the north of it. About half-way 
we had to pass a deep river on a bamboo raft, which almost 
sunk beneath us. This stream was said to rise a long way off 
to the northward. 

Although Sahoe did not at all appear what I expected, I 
determined to give it a trial, and a few days afterward ob- 
tained a boat to carry my things by sea while I walked over- 
land. A large house on the beach belonging to the Sultan 
was given me. It stood alone, and was quite open on every 
side, so that little privacy could be had, but as I only intended 
to stay a short time I made it do. A very few days dispelled 
all hopes I might have entertained of making good collections 
in this place. ISTothing was to be found in every direction 
but interminable tracts of reedy grass eight or ten feet high, 
traversed by narrow paths, often almost impassable. Here 

The Alfuros on Indigenes. 328 

and tHere were clamps of fruit-trees, patches of low wood, and 
abundance of plantations and rice-grounds, all of which are, in 
tropical regions, a very desert for the entomologist. The vir- 
gin forest that I was in search of existed only on the summits 
and on the steep rocky sides of the mountains a long way off, 
and in inaccessible situations. In the suburbs of the village I 
found a fair number of bees and wasps, and some small but in- 
teresting beetles. Two or three new birds were obtained by my 
hunters, and by incessant inquiries and promises I succeeded 
in getting the natives to bring me some land shells, among 
which was a very fine and handsome one (Helix pyrostoma). 
I was, however, completely wasting my time here, compared 
with what I might be doing in a good locality, and after a 
week returned to Ternate, quite disappointed with my first at- 
tempts at collecting in Gilolo. 

In the country round about Sahoe and in the interior there 
is a large population of indigenes, numbers of whom came 
daily into the village, bringing their produce for sale, while 
others were engaged as laborers by the Chinese and Ternate 
traders. A careful examination convinced me that these peo- 
ple are radically distinct from all the Malay races. Their 
stature and their features, as well as their disposition and 
habits, are almost the same as those of the Papuans ; their 
hair is semi-Papuan — neither straight, smooth, and glossy like 
all true Malays', nor so frizzly and woolly as the perfect Pa- 
puan type, but always crisp, waved, and rough, such as often 
occurs among the true Papuans, but never among the Malays. 
Their color alone is often exactly that of the Malay, or even 
lighter. Of course there has been intermixture, and there oc- 
cur occasionally individuals which it is difiicult to classify ; 
but in most cases the large, somewhat aquiline nose, with 
elongated apex, the tall stature, the waved hair, the bearded 
face, and hairy body, as well as the less reserved manner and 
louder voice, unmistakably proclaim the Papuan type. Here 
then I had discovered the exact boundary-line between the Malay 
and Papuan races, and at a spot where no other writer had ex- 
pected it. I was very much pleased at this determination, as 
it gave me a clue to one of the most difficult problems in eth- 
nology, and enabled me in many other places to separate the 
two races, and to unravel their intermixtures. 

324 GiLOLO. 

On my return from Waigiou in 1860, 1 staid some days on 
the southern extremity of Gilolo ; but, beyond seeing some- 
thing more of its structure and general character, obtained 
very little additional information. It is only in the northern 
peninsula that there are any indigenes, the whole of the rest of 
the island, with Batchian and the other islands westward, be- 
ing exclusively inhabited by Malay tribes, allied to those of 
Ternate and.Tidore. This would seem to indicate that the 
Alfuros were a comparatively recent immigration, and that 
they had come from the north or east, perhaps from some of 
the islands of the Pacific. It is otherwise^ difficult to under- 
stand how so many fertile districts should possess no true 

Gilolo, or Halmaheira, as it is called by the Malays and 
Dutch, seems to have been recently modified by upheaval and 
subsidence. In 16^3 a mountain is said to have been upheaved 
at Gamokonora, on the northern peninsula. All the parts that 
I have seen have either been volcanic or coralline, and along 
the coast there are fringing coral reefs very dangerous to nav- 
igation. At the same time the character of its natural history 
proves it to be a rather ancient land, since it possesses a num- 
ber of animals peculiar to itself or common to the small isl- 
ands around it, but almost always distinct from those of New 
Guinea on the east, of Ceram on the south, and of Celebes and 
the Sula Islands on the west. 

The island of Morty, close to the north-eastern extremity 
of Gilolo, was visited by my assistant Charles Allen, as well as 
by Dr. Bernstein ; and the collections obtained there present 
some curioTis differences from those of the main island. 
About fifty-six species of land-birds are known to inhabit this 
island, and of these a kingfisher (Tanysiptera doris), a honey- 
sucker (Tropidorhynchus fuscicapillus), and a large crow-like 
starling (Lycocorax morotensis), are quite distinct from allied 
species found in Gilolo. The island is coralline and sandy, 
and we must therefore believe it to have been separated from 
Gilolo at a somewhat remote epoch ; while we learn from its 
natural history that an arm of the sea twenty-five miles wide 
serves, to limit the range even of birds of considerable powers 
of flight. 

Prepaeations foe a Jouekey. 825 


teenate to the kaioa islands and batchian. 

OCTOBEK, 1858. 

On returning to Ternate from Sahoe, I at once began mak- 
ing preparations for a journey to Batchian, an island which I 
had been constantly recommended to visit since I had arrived 
in this part of the Moluccas. After all was ready I found that 
I should have to hire a boat, as no opportunity of obtaining a 
passage presented itself. I accordingly went into the native 
town, and could only find two boats for hire, one much larger 
than I required, and the other far smaller than I wished. I 
chose the smaller one, chiefly because it would not cost me 
one-third as much as the larger one, and also because in a coast- . 
ing-voyage a small vessel can be more easily managed, and 
more readily got into a place of safety during violent gales, 
than a large one. I took with me my Bornean lad Ali, who 
was now very useful to me ; Lahagi, a native of Ternate, a 
very good steady man, and a fair shooter, who had been with 
me to New Guinea ; Lahi, a native of Gilolo, who could speak 
Malay, as wood-cutter and general assistant, and Garo, a boy 
who was to act as cook. As the boat was so small that we 
had hardly room to stow ourselves away when all my stores 
were on board, I only took one other man named Latchi as 
pilot. He was a Papuan slave, a tall, strong black fellow, but 
very civil and careful. The boat I had hired from a China- 
man named Lau Keng Tong for ^Ye guilders a month. 

We started on the morning of October 9, but had not got 
a hundred yards from land, when a strong head-wind sprung 
up against which we could not row, so we crept along shore to 
below the town, and waited till the turn of the tide should 
enable us to cross over to the coast of Tidore. About three 
in the afternoon we got off, and found that our boat sailed 
well and would keep pretty close to the wind. We got on a 
good way before the wind fell, and we had to take to our oars 

326 Voyage to Batchian. 

again. We landed on a nice sandy beach to cook our suppers 
just as the sun set behind the rugged volcanic hills to the 
south of the great cone of Tidore, and soon after beheld the 
planet Venus shining in the twilight with the brilliancy of a 
new moon, and casting a very distinct shadow. We left again 
a little before seven, and as we got out from the shadow of the 
mountain I observed a bright light over one part of the ridge, 
and soon after what seemed a fire of remarkable whiteness on 
the very summit of the hill. I called the attention of my men 
to it, and they too thought it merely a fire ; but a few minutes 
afterward, as we got farther of£ shore, the light rose clear up 
above the ridge of the hill, and some faint clouds clearing away 
from it, discovered the magnificent comet which was at the 
same time astonishing all Europe. The nucleus presented to the 
naked eye a distinct disc of brilliant white light from which 
the tail rose at an angle of about 30° or 35° with the horizon, 
curving slightly downward, and terminating in a broad brush 
of faint light, the curvature of which diminished till it was 
nearly straight at the end. The portion of the tail next the 
comet appeared three or four times as bright as the most 
luminous portion of the Milky Way, and what struck me as a 
singular feature was that its upper margin, from the nucleus 
to very near the extremity, was clearly and almost sharply de- 
fined, while the lower side gradually shaded off into obscurity. 
Directly it rose above the ridge of the hill, I said to my men, 
" See, it's not a fire, it's a bintang ber-ekor^ " (" tailed-star," 
the Malay idiom for a comet). " So it is," said they ; and all 
declared that they had often heard tell of such, but had never 
seen one till now. I had no telescope with me, nor any instru- 
ment at hand, but I estimated the length of the tail at about 
20°, and the width, toward the extremity, about 4° or 5°. 

The whole of the next day we were obliged to stop near 
the village of Tidore, owing to a strong wind right in our 
teeth. The country was all cultivated, and I in vain searched 
for any insects worth capturing. One of my men went out to 
shoot, but returned home without a single bird. At sunset, 
the wind having dropped, we quitted Tidore, and reached the 
next island, Mareh, where we staid till morning. The comet 
was again visible, but not nearly so brilliant, being partly ob- 
scured by clouds, and dimmed by the light of the new moon. 

Volcano of Makian. 827 

We then rowed across to the island of Motir, which is so sur- 
rounded with coral reefs that it is dangerous to approach. 
These are perfectly flat, and are only covered at high water, 
ending in craggy vertical walls of coral in very deep water. 
When there is a little wind, it is dangerous to come near these 
rocks ; but luckily it was quite smooth, so we moored to their 
edge, while the men crawled over the reef to the land, to make 
a fire and cook our dinner — the boat having no accommoda- 
tion for more than heating water for my morning and even- 
ing cofEee. We then rowed along the edge of the reef to the 
end of the island, and were glad to get a nice westerly breeze, 
which carried us over the strait to the island of Makian, 
where we arrived about 8 p.m. The sky was quite clear, and 
though the moon shone brightly, the comet appeared with 
quite as much splendor as when we first saw it. 

The coasts of these small islands are very different accord- 
ing to their geological formation. The volcanoes, active or 
extinct, have steep black beaches of volcanic sand, or are fringed 
with rugged masses of lava and basalt. Coral is generally 
absent, occurring only in small patches in quiet bays, and 
rarely or never forming reefs. Ternate, Tidore, and Makian 
belong to this class. Islands of volcanic origin, not themselves 
volcanoes, but which have been probably recently upraised, 
are generally more or less completely surrounded by fringing 
reefs of ^ coral, and have beaches of shining white coral sand. 
Their coasts present volcanic conglomerates, basalt, and in 
some places a foundation of stratified rocks, with patches of 
upraised coral March and Motir are of this character, the 
outline of the latter giving it the appearance of having been a 
true volcano, and it is said by Forrest to have thrown out 
stones in ] 778. The next day (Oct. 12), we coasted along the 
island of Makian, which consists of a single grand volcano. 
It was now quiescent, but about two centuries ago (in 1646) 
there was a terrible eruption, which blew up the whole top of 
the mountain, leaving the truncated jagged summit and vast 
gloomy crater valley which at this time distinguished it. It 
was said to have been as lofty as Tidore before this catas- 

^ Soon after I left the Archipelago, on the 29th of December, 1862, another 
eruption of this mountain suddenly took place, which caused great devastation 

328 Voyage to Batchian-. 

I staid some time at a place where I saw a new clearing on 
a very steep part of the mountain, and obtained a few inter- 
esting insects. In the evening we went on to the extreme 
southern point, to be ready to pass across the fifteen-mile strait 
to the island of Kaioa. At five the next morning we started, 
but the wind, which had hitherto been westerly, now got to 
the south and south-west, and we had to row almost all the 
way with a burning sun overhead. As we approached land a 
fine breeze' sprang up, and we went along at a great pace ; yet 
after an hour we were no nearer, and found we were in a vio- 
lent current carrying us out to sea. At length we overcame 
it, and got on shore just as the sun set, having been exactly 
thirteen hours coming fifteen miles. We landed on a beach 
of hard coralline rock, with rugged cliffs of the same, resem- 
bling those of the Ke Islands (chap, x^xix.) It was accom- 
panied by a brilliancy and luxuriance of the vegetation, very 
like what I had observed at those islands, which so much 
pleased me that I resolved to stay a few days at the chief vil- 
lage, and see if their animal productions were correspondingly 
interesting. While searching for a secure anchorage for the 
night we again saw the comet, still apparently as brilliant as 
at first, but the tail had now risen to a higher angle. 

October lUh, — All this day we coasted along the Kaioa 
Islands, which have much the appearance and outline of Ke 
on a small scale, with the addition of flat swampy tracts along 
shore, and outlying coral reefs. Contrary winds and currents 
had prevented our taking the proper course to the west of 
them, and we had to go by a circuitous route round the south- 
ern extremity of one island, often having to go far out to sea 
on account of coral reefs. On trying to pass a channel through 
one of these reefs we were grounded, and all had to get out 
into the water, which in this shallow strait had been so heat- 
ed by the sun as to be disagreeably warm, and drag our ves- 
sel a considerable distance among weeds and sponges, corals 
and prickly corallines. It was late at night when we reached 
the little village harbor, and we were all pretty well knocked- 

in the island. All the villages and crops were destroyed, and numbers of the 
inhabitants killed. The sand and ashes fell so thick that the crops were partial- 
ly destroyed fifty miles off, at Ternate, where it was so dark the following day 
that lamps had to be lighted at noon. For the position of this and the adjacent 
islands, see the map in chapter xxxvii. 

Kaioa Islands. S29 

up by hard work, and having had nothing but very brackish 
water to drink all day — the best we could find at our last 
stopping-place. There was a house close to the shore, built 
for the use of the Resident of Ternate when he made his of- 
ficial visits, but now occupied by several native travelling 
merchants, among whom I found a place to sleep. 

The next morning early I went to the village to find the 
" kapala," or head-man. I informed him that I wanted to 
stay a few days in the house at the landing, and begged him 
to have it made ready for me. He was very civil, and came 
down at once to get it cleared, when we found that the traders 
had already left, on hearing that I required it. There were 
no doors to it, so I obtained the loan of a couple of hurdles to 
keep out dogs and other animals. The land here was evident- 
ly sinking rapidly, as shown by the number of trees standing 
in salt water dead and dying. After breakfast I started for a 
walk to the forest-covered hill above the village, with a couple 
of boys as guides. It was exceedingly hot and dry, no rain 
having fallen for two months. When we reached an elevation 
of about two hundred feet, the coralline rock which fringes 
the shore was succeeded by a hard crystalline rock, a kind of 
metamorphic sandstone. This would indicate that there had 
been a recent elevation of more than two hundred feet, which 
had still more recently changed into a movement of subsid- 
ence. The hill was very rugged, but among dry sticks and 
fallen trees I found some good insects, mostly of forms and 
species I was already acquainted with from Ternate and Gi- 
lolo. Finding no good paths I returned, and explored the 
lower ground eastward of the village, passing through a long 
range of plantain and tobacco grounds, encumbered with fell- 
ed and burnt logs, on which I found quantities of beetles of 
the family Buprestidse of six different species, one of which 
was new to me. I then reached a path in the swampy forest, 
where I hoped to find some butterflies, but was disappointed. 
Being now pretty well exhausted by the intense heat, I thought 
it wise to return, and reserve further explorations for the next 

When I sat down in the afternoon to arrange my insects, 
the house was surrounded by men, women, and children, lost 
in amazement at my unaccountable proceedings ; and when. 

830 Voyage to Batchiak. 

after pinning out the specimens, I proceeded to write the 
name of the place on small circular tickets and attach one to 
each, even the old kapala, the Mohammedan priest, and some 
Malay traders could not repress signs of astonishment. If they 
had known a little more about the ways and opinions of white 
men, they would probably have looked upon me as a fool or 
a madman, but in their ignorance they accepted my operations 
as worthy of all respect, although utterly beyond their com- 

The next day (October 16th) I went beyond the swamp, 
and found a place where a new clearing was being made'^ in 
the virgin forest. It was a long and hot walk, and the search 
among the fallen trunks and branches was very fatiguing, but 
I was rewarded by obtaining about seventy distinct species 
of beetles, of which at least a dozen were new to me, and 
many others rare and interesting. I have never in my life 
seen beetles so abundant as they were on this spot. Some 
dozen species of good-sized golden Buprestidse, green rose- 
chafers (Lomaptera), and long-horned weevils (Anthribidas), 
were so abundant that they rose up in swarms as I walked 
along, filling the air with a loud buzzing hum. Along with 
these, several fine longicorns were almost equally common, 
forming such an assemblage as for once to realize that idea of 
tropical luxuriance which one obtains by looking over the 
drawers of a well-filled cabinet. On the under sides of the 
trunks clung numbers of smaller or more sluggish Ipngi-c.orns^ 
while on the branches at the edge of the clearing others could 
be detected sitting with outstretched antennae, ready to take 
flight at the least alarm. It was a glorious spot, and one 
which will always live in my memory as exhibiting the insect- 
life of the tropics in unexampled luxuriance. For the three 
following days I continued to visit this locality, adding each 
time many new species to my collection, the following notes 
of which may be interesting to entomologists. October 15th, 
33 species of beetles ; 16th, '70 species ; l7th, 47 species ; 18th, 
40 species; 19th, 56 species — in all about a hundred species, 
of which forty were new to me. There were forty-four species 
of longicorns among them, and on the last day I took twenty- 
eight species of longicorns, of which five were new to me. 

My boys were less fortunate in shooting. The only birds 

The People of Kaioa. 831 

at all common were the great red parrot (Eclectus grandis), 
found in most of the Moluccas, a crow, and a Megapodius, or 
mound-maker. A few of the pretty racquet-tailed kingfishers 
were also obtained, but in very poor plumage. They proved, 
however, to be of a different species from those found in the 
other islands, and come nearest to the bird originally described 
by Linnaeus under the name of Alcedo dea, and which came 
from Ternate. This would indicate that the small chain of 
islands parallel to Gilolo have a few peculiar species in com- 
mon, a fact which certainly occurs in insects. 

The people of Kaioa interested me much. They are evi- 
dently a mixed race, having Malay and Papuan affinities, and 
are aUied to the peoples of Ternate and of Gilolo. They pos- 
sess a peculiar language, somewhat resembling those of the 
surrounding islands, but quite distinct. They are now Mo- 
hammedans, and are subject to Ternate. The only fruits seen 
here were papaws and pine-apples, the rocky soil and dry cli- 
mate being unfavorable. Eice, maize, and plantains flourish 
well, except that they suffer from occasional dry seasons Hke 
the present one. There is a little cotton grown, from which 
the women weave sarongs (Malay petticoats). There is only 
one well of good water on the islands, situated close to the 
landing-place, to which all the inhabitants come for drinking- 
water. The men are good boat-builders, and they make a 
regular trade of it, and seem to be very well off. 

After five days at Kaioa we continued our journey, and 
soon got among the narrow straits and islands which lead 
down to the town of Batchian. In the evening we staid at a 
settlement of Galela men. These are natives of a district in 
the extreme north of Gilolo, and are great wanderers over this 
part of the Archipelago. They build large and roomy praus 
with outriggers, and settle on any coast or island they take a 
fancy for. They hunt deer and wild-pig, drying the meat, 
they catch turtle and tripang, they cut down the forest and 
plant rice or maize, and are altogether remarkably energetic 
and industrious. They are very fine people, of light complex- 
ion, tall, and with Papuan features, coming nearer to the 
drawings and descriptions of the true Polynesians of Tahiti 
and Owyhee than any I have seen. 

During this voyage I hpA several times had an opportuni- 

332 Voyage to Batchiak. 

ty of seeing my men get fire by friction. A sharp-edged piece 
of bamboo is rubbed across tlie convex surface of another 
piece, on wMch a small notch is first cut. The rubbing is 
slow at first, and gradually quicker, till it becomes very rapid, 
and the fine powder rubbed off ignites and falls through the 
hole which the rubbing has cut in the bamboo. This is done 
with great quickness and certainty. The Ternate people use 
bamboo in another way. They strike its flinty surface with 
a bit of broken china and produce a spark, which they catch 
in some kind of tinder. 

On the evening of October 21st we reached our destina- 
tion, having been twelve days on the voyage. It had been 
fine weather all the time, and, although very hot, I had en- 
joyed myself exceedingly, and had besides obtained some ex- 
perience in boat work among islands and coral reefs, which 
enabled me afterward to undertake much longer voyages of the 
same kind. The village or town of Batchian is situated at the 
head of a wide and deep bay, where a low isthmus connects the 
northern and southern mountainous parts of the island. To 
the south is a fine range of mountains, and I had noticed at 
several of our landing-places that the geological formation of 
the island was very different from those around it. When- 
ever rock was visible, it was either sandstone in thin layers, 
dipping south, or a pebbly conglomerate. Sometimes there 
was a little coralline limestone, but no volcanic rocks. The 
forest had a dense luxuriance and loftiness seldom found on 
the dry and porous lavas and raised coral reefs of Ternate and 
Gilolo ; and hoping for a corresponding richness in the birds 
and insects, it was with much satisfaction and with consider- 
able expectation that I began my explorations in the hitherto 
unknown island of Batchian. 

Batchian. 338 


OCTOBER, 1858, TO APRIL, 1859. 

I LANDED opposite the house kept for the use of the Resi- 
dent of Ternate, and was met by a respectable middle-aged 
Malay, who told me he was secretary to the Sultan, and would 
receive the official letter with which I had been provided. 
On giving it him, he at once informed me I might have the 
use of the official residence, which was empty. I soon got 
my things on shore, but, on looking about me, found that 
the house would never do to stay long in. There was no 
water except at a considerable distance, and one of my men 
would be almost entirely occupied getting water and firewood, 
and I should myself have to walk all through the village every 
day to the forest, and live almost in public — a thing I much 
dislike. The rooms were all boarded, and had ceilings, which 
are a great nuisance, as there are no means of hanging any 
thing up except by driving nails, and not half the conveniences 
of a native bamboo and thatch cottage. I accordingly in- 
quired for a house outside of the village on the road to the 
coal-mines, and was informed by the secretary that there was 
a small one belonging to the Sultan, and that he would go 
with me early next morning to see it. 

We had to pass one large river by a rude but substantial 
bridge, and to wade through another fine pebbly stream of 
clear water just beyond which the little hut was situated. It 
was very small, not raised on posts, but with the earth for a 
floor, and was built almost entirely of the leaf-stems of the 
sago-palm, called here " gaba-gaba." Across the river behind 
rose a forest-clad bank, and a good road close in front of the 
house led through cultivated grounds to the forest about half 
a mile on, and thence to the coal-mines four miles further. 
These advantages at once decided me, and I told the secretary 
I woujd be very glad to occupy the house. I therefore sent 

334 Batchiajst. 

my two men immediately to buy " ataps" (palm-leaf thatch) to 
repair the roof, and the next day, with the assistance of eight 
of the Sultan's men, got all my stores and furniture carried up 
and pretty comfortably arranged. A rough bamboo bedstead 
was soon constructed, and a table made of boards, which I 
had brought with me, fixed under the window. Two bamboo 
chairs, an easy cane chair, and hanging shelves suspended 
with insulating oil-cups, so as to be safe from ants, completed 
my furbishing arrangements. 

In the afternoon succeeding my arrival the secretary ac- 
companied me to visit the Sultan. We were kept waiting a 
few minutes in an outer gate-house, and then ushered to the 
door of a rude, half-fortified whitewashed house. A small ta- 
ble and three chairs were placed in a large outer corridor, and 
an old dirty-faced man with gray hair and a grimy beard, 
dressed in a speckled blue cotton jacket and loose red trowsers, 
came forward, shook hands, and asked me to be seated. Aft- 
er a quarter of an hour's conversation on my pursuits, in which 
his Majesty seemed to take great interest, tea and cakes — of 
rather better quality than usual on such occasions — were 
brought in. I thanked him for the house and offered to show 
him my collections, which he promised to come and look at. 
He then asked me to teach him to take views — to make maps 
— to get him a small gun from England, and a milch-goat 
from Bengal ; all of which requests I evaded as skillfully as I 
was able, and we parted very good friends. He seemed a 
sensible old man, and lamented the small population of the isl- 
and, which he assured me was rich in many valuable minerals, 
including gold, but there were not people enough to look aft- 
er them and work them. I described to him the great rush of 
population on the discovery of the Australian gold-mines, and 
the huge nuggets found there, with which he was much inter- 
ested, and exclaimed, " Oh ! if we had but people like tliat my 
country would be quite as rich !" 

The morning after I had got into my new house I sent my 
boys out to shoot, and went myself to explore the road to the 
coal-mines. In less than half a mile it entered the virgin for- 
est at a place where some magnificent trees formed a kind of 
natural avenue. The first part was flat and swampy, but it 
soon rose a little, and ran alongside the fine stream -which 


passed behind my house, and which here rushed and gurgled 
over a rocky or pebbly bed, sometimes leaving wide sand- 
banks on its margins, and at other places flowing between high 
banks crowned with a varied and magnificent forest vegeta- 
tion. After about two miles the valley narrowed, and the road 
was carried along the steep hill-side which rose abruptly from 
the water's edge. In some places the rock had been cut away 
but its surface was ah*eady covered with elegant ferns and 
creepers. Gigantic tree-ferns were abundant, and the whole 
forest had an air of luxuriance and rich variety which it never 
attains in the dry volcanic soil to which I had been lately ac- 
customed. A little further the road passed to the other side 
of the valley by a bridge across the stream at a place where a 
great mass of rock in the middle offered an excellent support 
for it, and two miles more of most picturesque and interesting 
road brought me to the mining establishment. 

This is situated in a large open space, at a spot where two 
tributaries fall into the main stream. Several forest-paths and 
new clearings offered fine collecting-grounds, and I captured 
some new and interesting insects ; but as it was getting late, I 
had to reserve a more thorough exploration for future occa- 
sions. Coal had been discovered here some years before, and 
the road was made in order to bring down a sufficient quanti- 
ty for a fair trial on the Dutch steamers. The quality, how- 
ever, was not thought sufficiently good, and the mines were 
abandoned. Quite recently works had been commenced in 
another spot, in hopes of finding a better vein. There were 
about eighty men employed, chiefly convicts ; but this was far 
too small a number for mining operations in such a country, 
where the mere keeping a few miles of road in repair requires 
the constant work of several men. If coal of sufficiently good 
quality should be found, a tram-road would be made, and would 
be very easily worked, owing to the regular descent of the valley. 

Just as I got home I overtook Ali returning from shooting 
with some birds hanging from his belt. He seemed much 
pleased, and said, " Look here, sir, what a curious bird !" hold- 
ing out what at first completely puzzled me. I saw a bird 
with a mass of splendid green feathers on its breast, elongated 
into two glittering tufts ; but what I could not understand 
was a pair of long white feathers, which stuck straight out 

836 Batchian. 

from eaoli shoulder. All assured me that the bird stuck them 
out this way itself when fluttering its wings, and that they had 
remained so without his touching them. I now saw that I 
had got a great prize, no less than a completely new form of 
the bird oi paradise, differing most remarkably from every 
other known bird. The general plumage is very sober, being 
a pure ashy olive, with a purplish tinge on the back ; the 
crown of the head is beautifully glossed with pale metallic 
violet, and the feathers of the front extend as much over the 
beak as in most of the family. The neck and breast are scaled 
with fine metallic green, and the feathers on the lower part 
are elongated on each side, so as to form a two-pointed gorget, 
which can be folded beneath the wings, or partially erected 
and spread out in the same way as the side plumes of most of 
the birds of paradise. The four long white plumes which 
give the bird its altogether unique character spring from little 
tubercles close to the upper edge of the shoulder or bend of 
the wing ; they are narrow, gently curved, and equally webbed 
on both sides, of a pure creamy- white color. They are about 
six inches long, equalling the wing, and can be raised at right 
angles ^o it, or laid along the body at the pleasure of the bird. 
The biH is horn color, the legs yellow, and the iris pale olive. 
This striking novelty has been named by Mr. G. R. Gray, of 
the British Museum, Semioptera Wallacei, or "Wallace's 

A few days later I obtained an exceedingly beautiful new 
butterfly, allied to the fine blue Papilio Ulysses, but differing 
from it in the color being of a more intense tint, and iii hav- 
ing a row of blue stripes around the margin of the lower 
wings. This good beginning was, however, rather deceptive, 
and I soon found that insects, and especially butterflies, were 
somewhat scarce, and birds in far less variety than I had an- 
ticipated. Several of the fine Moluccan species were however 
obtained. The handsome red lory, with green wings and a 
yellow spot in the back (Lorius garrulus), was not uncommon. 
When the jambu, or rose-apple (Eugenia sp.), was in flower in 
the village, flocks of the little lorikeet (Charmosyna placentis), 
already met with in Gilolo, came to feed upon the nectar, and I 
obtained as many specimens as I desired. Another beautiful 
bird of the parrot tribe was the Geoffroyus cyanicoUis, a green 


DiSTiiTCT Kaces. 337 

parrot with a red bill and head, which color shaded on the 
crown into azure blue, and thence into verditer blue and the 
green of the back. Two large and handsome fruit-pigeons, 
with metallic-green, ashy, and rufous plumage, were not uncom- 
mon ; and I was rewarded by finding a splendid deep blue roller 
(Eurystomus azureus), a lovely golden-capped sunbird (Necta- 
rinea auriceps), and a fine racquet-tailed kingfisher (Tanysip- 
tera isis), all of which were entirely new to ornithologists. 
Of insects I obtained a considerable number of interesting 
beetles, including many fine longicorns, among which was the 
■ largest and handsomest species of the genus Glenea yet dis- 
covered. Among butterflies, the beautiful little Danis sebse 
was abundant, making the forest gay with its delicate wings 
of white and the richest metaUic blue ; while showy Papilios, 
and pretty Pieridse, and dark, rich Euplseas, many of them 
new, furnished a constant source of interest and pleasing oc- 

The island of Batchian possesses no really indigenous in- 
habitants, the interior being altogether uninhabited, and there 
are only a few small villages on various parts of the coast ; 
yet I found here four distinct races, which would wof uUy mis- 
lead an ethnological traveller unable to obtain information as 
to their origin. First there are the Batchian Malays, probably 
the earliest colonists, differing very little from those of Ter- 
nate. Their language, however, seems to have more of the 
Papuan element, with a mixture of pure Malay, showing that 
the settlement is one of stragglers of various races, although 
now sufiiciently homogeneous. Then there are the " Orang 
Sirani," as at Ternate and Amboyna. Many of these have 
the Portuguese physiognomy strikingly preserved, but com- 
bined with a skin generally darker than the Malays. Some 
national customs are retained, and the Malay, which is their 
only language, contains a large number of Portuguese words 
and idioms. The third race consists of the Galela men from 
the north of Gilolo, a singular people, whom I have already de- 
scribed ; and the fourth is a colony from Tomore, in the east- 
ern peninsula of Celebes. These people were brought here at 
their own request a few years ago, to avoid extermination by 
another tribe. They have a very light complexion, open Tar- 
tar physiognomy, low stature, and a language of the Bugis 


338 Batchian". 

type. They are an industrious agricultural people, and supply 
the town with vegetables. They make a good deal of bark 
cloth, similar to the tapa of the Polynesians, by cutting down 
the proper trees and taking off large cylinders of bark, which 
is beaten with mallets till it separates from the wood. It is 
then soaked, and so continuously and regularly beaten out 
that it becomes as thin and as tough as parchment. In this 
form it is much used for wrappers for clothes ; and they also 
make jackets of it, sewn neatly together and stained with the 
juice of another kind of bark, which gives it a dark red color, 
and renders it nearly water-proof. 

Here are four very distinct kinds of people, who may all 
be seen any day in and about the town of Batchian. Now if 
we suppose a traveller ignorant of Malay picking up a word 
or two here and there of the " Batchian language," and noting 
down the " physical and moral peculiarities, manners, and cus- 
toms of the Batchian people " — (for there are travellers who 
do all this in four-and-twenty hours) — what an accurate and 
instructive chapter we should have ! what transitions would 
be pointed out, what theories of the origin of races would be 
developed! while the next traveller might flatly contradict 
every statement and arrive at exactly opposite conclusions. 

Soon after I arrived here the Dutch Government introduced 
a new copper coinage of cents instead of doits (the 100th in- 
stead of the 120th part of a guilder), and all the old coins 
were ordered to be sent to Ternate to be changed. I sent a 
bag containing 6000 doits, and duly received the new money 
by return of the boat. When Ali went to bring it, however, 
the captain required a written order; so I waited to send 
again the next day, and it was lucky I did so, for that night 
my house was entered, all my boxes carried out and ransacked, 
and the various articles left on the road about twenty yards 
off, where we found them at five in the morning, when, on get- 
ting up and finding the house empty, we rushed out to dis- 
cover tracks of the thieves. . Not being able to find the cop- 
per money which they thought I had just received, they de- 
camped, taking nothing but a few yards of cotton cloth and a 
black coat and trowsers, which latter were picked up a few 
days afterward hidden in the grass. There was no doubt 
whatever who were the thieves. Convicts are employed to 


guard the Government stores when the boat arrives from Ter- 
nate. Two of them watch all night, and often take the oppor- 
tunity to roam about and commit robberies. 

The next day I received my money, and secured it well in 
a strong box fastened under my bed. I took out five or six 
hundred cents for daily expenses, and put them in a small 
japanned box, which always stood upon my table. In the aft- 
ernoon I went for a short walk, and on my return this box 
and my keys, which I had carelessly left on the table, were 
gone. Two of my boys were in the house, but had heard 
nothing. I immediately gave information of the two robber- 
ies to the director at the mines and to the commandant at the 
fort, and got for answer that if I caught the thief in the act I 
might shoot him. By inquiry in the village, we afterward 
found that one of the convicts who was on duty at the Gov- 
ernment rice-store in the village had quitted his guard, was 
seen to pass over the bridge toward my house, was seen again 
within two hundred yards of my house, and on returning over 
the bridge into the village carried something under his arm, 
carefully covered with his sarong. My box was stolen be- 
tween the hours he was seen going and returning, and it was 
so small as to be easily carried in the way described. This 
seemed pretty clear circumstantial evidence. I accused the 
man, and brought the witnesses to the commandant. The man 
was examined, and confessed having gone to the river close to 
my house to bathe ; but said he had gone no further, having 
climbed up a cocoa-nut tree and brought home two nuts, 
which he had covered over, because he was ashamed to be seen 
carrying them! This explanation was thought satisfactory, 
and he was acquitted. I lost my cash and my box, a seal I 
much valued, with other small articles, and all my keys — the 
severest loss by far. Luckily my large cash-box was left lock- 
ed, but so were others which I required to open immediately. 
There was, however, a very clever blacksmith employed to do 
iron-work for the mines, and he picked my locks for me when 
I required them, and in a few days made me new keys, which 
I used all the time I was abroad. 

Toward the end of l^ovember the wet season set in, and 
we had daily and almost incessant rains, with only about one 
or two hours' sunshine in the morning. The flat parts of the 

340 Batchian. 

forest became flooded, the roads filled with mud, and insects 
and birds were scarcer than ever. On December 13th, in the 
afternoon, we had a sharp earthquake shock, which made the 
house and furniture shake and rattle for ^ve minutes, and the 
trees and shrubs wave as if a gust of wind had passed over 
them. About the middle of December I removed to the vil- 
lage, in order more easily to explore the district to the west 
of it, and to be near the sea when I wished to return to Ter- 
nate. I obtained the use of a good-sized house in the Cam- 
pong Sirani (or Christian village), and at Christmas and the 
E'ew Year had to endure the incessant gun-firing, drumrbeat- 
ing, and fiddling of the inhabitants. 

These people are very fond of music and dancing, and it 
would astonish a European to visit one of their assemblies. 
We enter a gloomy palm-leaf hut, in which two or three very 
dim lamps barely render darkness visible. The floor is of 
black sandy earth, the roof hid in a smoky impenetrable black- 
ness ; two or three benches stand against the walls, and the 
orchestra consists of a fiddle, a fife, a drum, and a triangle. • 
There is plenty of company, consisting of young men and 
women, all very neatly dressed in white and black — a true 
Portuguese habit. Quadrilles, waltzes, polkas, and mazurkas 
are danced with great vigor and much skill. The refreshments 
are muddy cofee and a few sweetmeats. Dancing is kept up 
for hours, and all is conducted with much decorum and pro- 
priety. A party of this kind meets about once a week, the 
principal inhabitants taking it by turns, and all who please 
come in without much ceremony. 

It is astonishing how little these people have altered in 
three hundred years, although in that time they have changed 
their language and lost all knowledge of their own national- 
ity. They are still in manners and appearance almost pure 
Portuguese, very similar to those with whom I had become 
acquainted on the banks of the Amazon. They live very poor- 
ly as regards their house and furniture, but preserve a semi- 
European dress, and have almost all full suits of black for Sun- 
days. They are nominally Protestants, but Sunday evening 
is their grand day for music and dancing. The men are oft- 
en good hunters ; and two or three times a week deer or wild 
pigs are brought to the village, which, with fish and fowls. 

The Cecesus Buttekfly. 841 

enables them to live well. They are almost the only people 
in the Archipelago who eat the great fruit-eating bats called 
hj us " flying foxes." These ugly creatures are considered a 
great delicacy, and are much sought after. At about the be- 
ginning of the year they come in large flocks to eat fruit, and 
congregate during the day on some small islands in the bay, 
hanging by thousands on the trees, especially on dead ones. 
They can then be easily caught or knocked down with sticks, and 
are brought home by basketfuls. They require to be care- 
fully prepared, as the skin and fur has a rank and powerful 
foxy odor ; but they are generally cooked with abundance of 
spices and condiments, and are really very good eating, some- 
thing like hare. The Orang Sirani are good cooks, having a 
much greater variety of savory dishes than the Malays. Here 
they live chiefly on sago as bread, with a little rice occasional- 
ly, and abundance of vegetables and fruit. 

It is a curious fact that everywhere in the East where the 
Portuguese have mixed with the native races they have be- 
come darker in color than either of the parent stocks. This 
is the case almost always with these "Orang Sirani" in the 
Moluccas, and with the Portuguese of Malacca. The reverse 
is the case in South America, where the mixture of the Por- 
tuguese or Brazilian with the Indian produces the " Mamelu- 
co," who is not unfrequently lighter than either parent, and 
always lighter than the Indian. The women at Batchian, al- 
though geneMly fairer than the men, are coarse in features, 
and very far inferior in beauty to the mixed Dutch-Malay 
girls, or even to many pure Malays. 

The part of the village in which I resided was a grove of 
cocoa-nut-trees, and at night, when the dead leaves were some- 
times collected together and burnt, the efect was most mag- 
nificent — ^the tall stems, the fine crowns of foliage, and the im- 
mense fruit-clusters, being brilliantly illuminated against a 
dark sky, and appearing like a fairy palace supported on a hun- 
dred columns, and groined over with leafy arches. The cocoa- 
nut-tree, when well grown, is certainly the prince of palms 
both for beauty and utility. 

During my very first walk into the forest at Batchian, I 
had seen sitting on a leaf out of reach, an immense butterfly 
of a dark color marked with white and yellow spots. I could 

342 BATCHiAisr. 

not capture it as it flew away high up into the forest, but I at 
once saw that it was a female of a new species of Ornithoptera, 
or, " bird-winged butterfly," the pride of the Eastern tropics. 
I was very anxious to get it and to find the male, which in this 
genus is always of extreme beauty. During the two succeed- 
ing months I only saw it once again, and shortly afterward I 
saw the male flying high in the air at the mining village. I 
had begun to despair of ever getting a specimen, as it seemed 
so rare and wild ; till one day, about the beginning of Janu- 
ary, I found a beautiful shrub with large white leafy bracts 
and yellow flbwers, a species of Musssenda, and saw one of 
these noble insects hovering over it, but it was too quick for 
me, and flew away. The next day I went again to the same 
shrub and succeeded in catching a female, and the day after a 
fine male. I found it to be as I had expected, a perfectly new 
and most magnificent species, and one of the most gorgeously 
colored butterflies in the world. Fine specimens of the male 
are more than seven inches across the wings, which are vel- 
vety black and fiery orange, the latter color replacing the green 
of the allied species. The beauty and brilliancy of this insect 
are indescribable, and none but a naturalist can understand the 
intense excitement I experienced when I at length captured it. 
On taking it out of my net and opening the glorious wings, 
my heart began to beat violently, the blood rushed to my head, 
and I felt much more like fainting than I have done when in 
apprehension of immediate death. I had a headache the rest 
of the day, so great was the excitement produced by what will 
appear to most people a very inadequate cause. 

I had decided to return to Ternate in a week or two more, 
but this grand capture determined me to stay on till I obtain- 
ed a good series of the new butterfly, which I have since 
named Ornithoptera croesus. The Musssenda bush was an ad- 
mirable place, which I could visit every day on my way to the 
forest ; and as it was situated in a dense thicket of shrubs and 
creepers, I set my man Lahi to clear a space all round it, so 
that I could easily get at any insect that might visit it. Aft- 
erward, finding that it was often necessary to wait some time 
there, I had a little seat put up under a tree by the side of it, 
where I came every day to eat my lunch, and thus had half an 
hour's watching about noon, besides a chance as I p-assed it 

Insect Hunting. 843 

in the morning. In this way I obtained on an average one 
specimen a day for a long time, but more than half of these 
were females, and more than half the remainder worn or 
broken specimens, so that I should not have obtained many 
perfect males had I not found another station for them. 

As soon as I had seen them come to flowers, I sent my man 
Lahi with a net on purpose to search for them, as they had 
also been seen at some flowering trees on the beach, and I 
promised him half a day's wages extra for every good speci- 
men he could catch. After a day or two he brought me two 
very fair specimens, and told me he had caught them in the 
bed of a large rocky stream that descends from the mountains 
to the sea about a mile below the village. They flew down 
this river, settling occasionally on stones and rocks in the 
water, and he was obliged to wade up it or jump from rock to 
rock to get at them. I went with him one day, but found that 
the stream was far too rapid and the stones too slippery for 
me to do any thing, so I left it entirely to him, and all the rest 
of the time we staid in Batchian he used to be out all day, 
generally bringing me one, and on good days two or three 
specimens. I was thus able to bring away with me more than 
a hundred of both sexes, including perhaps twenty very fine 
males, though not more than "Oyq or six that were absolutely 

My daily walk now led me, first about half a mile along the 
sandy beach, then through a sago swamp over a causeway of 
very shaky poles to the village of the Tomore people. Beyond 
this was the forest with patches of new clearing, shady paths, 
and a considerable quantity of felled timber. I found this a 
very fair collecting-ground, especially for beetles. The fallen 
trunks in the clearings abounded with golden Buprestidse and 
curious Brenthidge and longicorns, while in the forest I found 
abundance of the smaller Curculionidse, many longicorns, and 
some fine green Carabidse. 

Butterflies were not abundant, but I obtained a few more 
of the fine blue Papilio and a number of beautiful little Lycse- 
nidae, as well as a single specimen of the very rare Papilio 
Wallacei, of which I had taken the hitherto unique specimen 
in the Aru Islands. 

The most interesting birds I obtained here, were the beau- 

3M Batchia]^. 

tiful blue kingfisher (Todiramphus diops), the fine green and 
purple doves (Ptilonopus superbus and P. iogaster), and several 
new birds of small size. My shooters still brought me in 
specimens of the Semioptera WaUacei, and I was greatly ex- 
cited by the positive statements of several of the native hunt- 
ers that another species of this bird existed, much handsomer 
and more remarkable. They declared that the plumage was 
glossy black, with metallic-green breasts as in my species, but 
that the white shoulder-plumes were twice as long, and hung 
down far below the body of the bird. They declared that 
when hunting pigs or deer far in the forest they occasionally 
saw this bird, but that it was rare. I immediately offered 
twelve guilders (a pound) for a specimen, but all in vain, and 
I am to this day uncertain whether such a bird exists. Since 
I left, the German naturalist. Dr. Bernstein, staid many months 
in the island with a large staff of hunters collecting for the 
Leyden Museum ; and as he was not more successful than my- 
self, we must consider either that the bird is very rare, or is 
altogether a myth. 

Batchian is remarkable as being the most eastern point on 
the globe inhabited by any of the Quadrumana. A large black 
baboon-monkey (Cynopithecus nigrescens) is abundant in some 
parts of the forest. This animal has bare red callosites, and a 
rudimentary tail about an inch long — a mere fleshy tubercle, 
which may be very easily overlooked. It is the same species 
that is found all over the forests of Celebes ; and as none of 
the other Mammalia of that island extend into Batchian, I am 
inclined to suppose that this species has been accidentally in- 
troduced by the roaming Malays, who often carry about with 
them tame monkeys and other animals. This is rendered 
more probable by the fact that the animal is not found in 
Gilolo, which is only separated from Batchian by a very nar- 
row strait. The introduction may have been very recent, as 
in a fertile and unoccupied island such an animal would multi- 
ply rapidly- The only other mammals obtained were an East- 
em opossum, which Dr. Gray has described as Cuscus ornatus, 
the little flying opossum (Belideus ariel), a civet-cat (Yiverra 
zebetha), and nine species of bats, most of the smaller ones be- 
ing caught in the dusk with my butterfly-net as they flew about 
before the house. 

Poor Collecting- Ground. 845 

After mnch delay, owing to bad weather and the illness of 
one of my men, I determined to visit Kasserota (formerly the 
chief village), situated up a small stream, on an island close to 
the north coast of Batchian, where I was told that many rare 
birds were found. After my boat was loaded and every thing 
ready, three days of heavy squalls prevented our starting, and 
it was not till the 21st of March that we got away. Early 
next morning we entered the little river, and in about an hour 
we reached the Sultan's house, which I had obtained permis- 
sion to use. It was situated on the bank of the river, and sur- 
rounded by a forest of fruit-trees, among which were some of 
the very loftiest and most graceful cocoa-nut-palms I have ever 
seen. It rained nearly all that day, and I could do Httle but 
unload and unpack. Toward the afternoon it cleared up, and 
I attempted to explore in various directions, but found to my 
disgust that the only path was a perfect mud swamp, along 
which it was almost impossible to walk, and the surrounding 
forest so damp and dark as to promise little in the way of in- 
sects. I found too on inquiry that the people here made no 
clearings, living entirely on sago, fruit, fish, and game ; and the 
path only led to a steep rocky mountain equally impracticable 
and unproductive. The next day I sent my men to this hill, 
hoping it might produce some good birds ; but they returned 
with only two common species, and I myself had been able to 
get nothing, every little track I had attempted to follow lead- 
ing to a dense sago swamp. I saw that I should waste time 
by staying here, and determined to leave the following day. 

This is one of those spots so hard for the European natu- 
ralist to conceive, where with all the riches of a tropical vege- 
tation, and partly perhaps from the very luxuriance of that 
vegetation, insects are as scarce as in the most barren parts of 
Europe, and hardly more conspicuous. In temperate climates 
there is a tolerable uniformity in the distribution of insects 
over those parts of a country in which there is a similiarity in 
the vegetation, any deficiency being easily accounted for by the 
absence of wood or uniformity of surface. The traveller 
hastily passing through such a country can at once pick out a 
collecting-ground which will afford him a fair notion of its 
entomology. Here the case is different. There are certain 
requisites of a good collecting-ground which can only be as- 

346 Batchian. 

certained to exist by some days' search in the vicinity of each 
village. In some places there is no virgin forest, as at Djilolo 
and Sahoe ; in others there are no open pathways or clearings, 
as here. At Batchian there are only two tolerable collecting- 
places, — the road to the coal-mines, and the new clearings 
made by the Tomor6 people, the latter being by far the most 
productive. I believe the fact to be that insects are pretty 
uniformly distributed over these countries (where the forests 
have not been cleared away), and are so scarce in any one 
spot that searching for them is almost useless. If the forest 
is all cleared away, almost all the insects disappear with it; 
but 'VFhen small clearings and paths are made, the fallen trees 
in various stages of drying and decay, the rotting leaves, the 
loosening bark, and the fungoid growths upon it, together with 
the flowers that appear in much greater abundance where the 
light is admitted, are so many attractions to the insects for 
miles around, and cause a wonderful accumulation of species 
and individuals. When the entomologist can discover such a 
spot, he does more in a mon^h than he could possibly do by a 
year's search in the depths of the undisturbed forest. 

The next morning we left early, and reached the mouth of 
the little river in about an hour. It flows through a perfectly 
flat alluvial plain, but there are hills which approach it near 
the mouth. Toward the lower part, in a swamp where the 
salt water must enter at high tides, were a number of elegant 
tree-ferns from eight to fifteen feet high. These are generally 
considered to be mountain plants, and rarely to occur on the 
Equator at an elevation of less than one or two thousand feet. 
In Borneo, in the Aru Islands, and on the banks of the Ama- 
zon, I have observed them at the level of the sea, and think it 
probable that the altitude supposed to be requisite for them 
may have been deduced from facts observed in countries where 
the plains and lowlands are largely cultivated, and most of 
the indigenous vegetation destroyed. Such is the case in 
most parts of Java, India, Jamaica, and Brazil, where the vege- 
tation of the tropics has been most fully explored. 

Coming out to sea, we turned northward, and in about two 
hours' sail reached a few huts, called Langundi, where some 
Galela men had established themselves as collectors of gum- 
dammar, with which they made torches for the supply of the 

The Magindano Pirates. 347 

Ternate market. About a hundred yards back rises a rather 
steep hill, and a short walk having shown me that there was 
a tolerable path up it, I determined to stay here for a few 
days. Opposite us, and all along this coast of Batchian, stretch- 
es a row of fine islands completely uninhabited. Whenever 
I asked the reason why no one goes to live in them, the answer 
always was, "For fear of the Magindano pirates." Every 
year these scourges of the Archipelago wander in one direction 
or another, making their rendezvous on some uninhabited isl- 
and, and carrying devastation to all the small settlements 
around ; robbing, destroying, killing, or taking captive all they 
meet with. Their long well-manned praus escape from the pur- 
suit of any sailing-vessel by pulling away right in the wind's 
eye, and the warning smoke of a steamer generally enables 
them to hide in some shallow bay, or narrow river, or forest- 
covered inlet, till the danger is passed. The only effectual way 
to put a stop to their depredations would be to attack them 
in their strongholds and villages, and compel them to give 
up piracy, and submit to strict surveillance. Sir James Brooke 
did this with the pirates of the north-w^est coast of Borneo, 
and deserves the thanks of the whole population of the Archi- 
pelago for having rid them of half their enemies. 

All along the beach here, and in the adjacent strip of sandy 
lowland, is a remarkable display of Pandanacese, or screw- 
pines. Some are like huge branching candelabra, forty or fifty 
feet high, and bearing at the end of each branch a tuft of im- 
mense sword-shaped leaves six or eight inches wide and as 
many feet long. Others have a single unbranched stem six or 
seven feet high, the upper part clothed with the spirally ar- 
ranged leaves, and bearing a single terminal fruit as large as 
a swan's egg. Others of intermediate size have irregular 
clusters of rough red fruits, and all have more or less spiny- 
edged leaves and ringed stems. The yoimg plants of the 
larger species have smooth glossy thick leaves, sometimes ten 
feet long and eight inches wide, which are used all over the 
Moluccas and N^ew Guinea to make " cocoyas," or sleeping- 
mats, which are often very prettily ornamented with colored 
patterns. Higher up on the hill is a forest of immense trees, 
among which those producing the resin called dammar (Dam- 
mara sp.) are abxmdant. The inhabitants of several small vil- 

348 BATCHiAisr. 

lages in Batchian are entirely engaged in searching for this 
product, and making it into torches by pounding it and filling 
it into tubes of palm leaves about a yard long, which are the 
only lights used by many of the natives. Sometimes the dam- 
mar accumulates in large masses of ten or twenty pounds' 
weight, either attached to the trunk or found buried in the 
ground at the foot of the trees. The most extraordinary trees 
of the forest are, however, a kind of fig, the aerial roots of 
which form a pyramid near a hundred feet high, terminating 
just where the tree branches out above, so that there is no real 
trunk. This pyramid or cone is formed of roots of every size, 
mostly descending in straight lines, but more or less obliquely 
— and so crossing each other, and connected by cross branches, 
which grow from one to another, as to form a dense and com- 
plicated network, to which nothing but a photograph could do 
justice (see illustration, p. 93). The kanary is also abundant 
in this forest, the nut of which has a very agreeable flavor, 
and produces an excellent oil. The fleshy outer covering of 
the nut is the favorite food of the great green pigeons of these 
islands (Carpophaga perspicillata), and their hoarse cooings 
and heavy flutterings among the branches can be almost con- 
tinually heard. 

After ten days at Langundi, finding it impossible to get the 
bird I was particularly in search of (the Mcobar pigeon, or a 
new species allied to it), and finding no new birds and very 
few insects, I left early on the morning of April 1st, and in 
the evening entered a river on the main island of Batchian 
(Langundi, like Kasserota, being on a distinct island), where 
some Malays and Galela men have a small village, and have 
made extensive rice-fields and plantain-grounds. Here we 
found a good house near the river-bank, where the water was 
fresh and clear, and the owner, a respectable Batchian Malay, 
offered me sleeping-room and the use of the veranda, if I liked 
to stay. Seeing forest all round within a. short distance, I ac- 
cepted his offer, and the next morning before breakfast walk- 
ed out to explore, and on the skirts of the forest captured a 
few interesting insects. 

Afterward I found a path which led for a mile or more 
through a very fine forest, richer in palms than any I had seen 
in the Moluccas. One of these especially attracted my atten- 

A G-ooD Botanical Locality. 349 

tion^from its elegance. The stem was not thicker than my 
wrist, yet it was very lofty, and bore clusters of bright red 
fruit. It was apparently a species of Areca. Another of im- 
mense height closely resembled in appearance the Euterpes 
of South America. Here also grew the fan-leafed palm, whose 
small, nearly entire leaves are used to make the dammar 
torches, and to form the water-buckets in universal use. Dur- 
ing this walk I saw near a dozen species of palms, as well as 
two or three Pandani different from those of Langundi. There 
were also some very fine climbing ferns and true wild plan- 
tains (Musa), bearing an edible fruit not so large as one's 
thumb, and consisting of a mass of seeds just covered with 
pulp and skin. The people assured me they had tried the 
experiment of sowing and cultivating this species, but could 
not improve it. They probably did not grow it in sufficient 
quantity, and did not persevere sufficiently long. 

Batchain is an island that would perhaps repay the re- 
searches of a botanist better than any other in the whole Ar- 
chipelago. It contains a great variety of surface and of soil, 
abundance of large and small streams, many of which are nav- 
igable for some distance, and there being no savage inhabit- 
ants, every part of it can be visited with perfect safety. It 
possesses gold, copper, and coal, hot springs and geysers, sedi- 
mentary and volcanic rocks and coralline limestone, alluvial 
plains, abrupt hills and lofty mountains, a moist climate, and 
a grand and luxuriant forest vegetation. 

The few days I staid here produced me several new insects, 
but scarcely any birds. Butterflies and birds are in fact re- 
markably scarce in these forests. One may walk a whole day 
and not see more than two or three species of either. In 
every thing but beetles, these eastern islands are very deficient, 
compared with the western (Java, Borneo, etc.), and much 
more so if compared with the forests of South America, where 
twenty or thirty species of butterflies may be caught every 
day, and on very good days a hundred, a number we can 
hardly reach here in months of unremitting search. In birds 
there is the same difference. In most parts of tropical Amer- 
ica we may always find some species of woodpecker tanager, 
bush-shrike, chatterer, trogon, toucan, cuckoo, and tyrant-fly- 
catcher; and a few days' active search will produce more 

850 Batchiak. 

variety than can be here met with in as many months. Yet 
along with this poverty of individuals and of species there are, 
in almost every class and order, some one or two species of 
such extreme beauty or singularity as to vie with, or even sur- 
pass, any thing that even South America can produce. 

One afternoon when I was arranging my insects, and sur- 
rounded by a crowd of wondering spectators, I showed one 
of them how to look at a small insect with a hand-lens, which 
caused such evident wonder that all the rest wanted to see it 
too. I therefore fixed the glass firmly to a piece of soft wood 
at the proper focus, and put under it a little spiny beetle of 
the genus Hispa, and then passed it round for examination. 
The excitement was immense. Some declared it was a yard 
long ; others were frightened, and instantly dropped it, and 
all were as much astonished, and made as much shouting and 
gesticulation, as children at a pantomime, or at a Christmas 
exhibition of the oxyhydrogen microscope. And all this ex- 
citement was produced by a little pocket-lens an inch and a 
half focus and therefore magnifying only four or &Ye times, 
but which to their unaccustomed eyes appeared to enlarge a 

On the last day of my stay here one of my hunters suc- 
ceeded in finding and shooting the beautiful Nicobar pigeon, 
of which I had been so long, in search. None of the residents 
had ever seen it, which shows that it is rare and shy. My 
specimen was a female in beautiful condition, and the glossy 
coppery and green of its plumage, the snow-white tail and 
beautiful pendent feathers of the neck, were greatly admired. 
I subsequently obtained a specimen in New Guinea, and once 
saw it in the Kaioa Islands. It is found also in some small 
islands near Macassar, in others near Borneo, and in the Nico- 
bar Islands, whence it receives its name. It is a ground feed- 
er, only going up trees to roost, and is a very heavy fleshy 
bird. This may account for the fact of its being found chief- 
ly on very small islands, while in the western half of the Ar- 
chipelago, it seems entirely absent from the larger ones. Be- 
ing a ground-feeder, it is subject to the attacks of carnivor- 
ous quadrupeds, which are not found in the very small islands. 
Its wide distribution over the whole length of the Archipela- 
go from extreme west to east is however very extraordinary, 

The Nicobar Pigeon. 851 

since, with the exception of a few of the birds of prey, not a sin- 
o-le land bird has so wide a range. Ground-feeding birds are 
generally deficient in power of extended flight, and this spe- 
cies is so bulky and heavy that it appears at first sight quite 
unable to fly a mile. A closer examination shows, however, 
that its wings are remarkably large, perhaps in proportion to 
its size larger than those of any other pigeon, and its pectoral 
muscles are immense. A fact communicated to me by the 
son of my friend Mr. Duivenboden of Ternate would show 
that, in accordance with these peculiarities of structure, it 
possesses the power of flying long distances. Mr. D. estab- 
lished an oil-factory on a small coral island a hundred miles 
north of N"ew Guinea, with no intervening land. After the 
island had been settled a year, and traversed in every direc- 
tion, his son paid it a visit; and just as the schooner was 
coming to an anchor, a bird was seen flying from seaward 
which fell into the water exhausted before it could reach the 
shore. A boat was sent to pick it up, and it was found to be 
a Nicobar pigeon, which must have come from IsTew Guinea, 
and flown a hundred miles, since no such bird previously in- 
habited the island. 

This is certainly a very curious case of adaptation to an 
unusual and exceptional necessity. The bird does not ordi- 
narily require great powers of flight, si^ce it lives in the forest, 
feeds on fallen fruits, and roosts in low trees like other ground 
pigeons. The majority of the individuals, therefore, can 
never make full use of their enormously powerful wings till 
the exceptional case occurs of an individual being blown out 
to sea, or driven to emigrate by the incursion of some carnivo- 
rous animal, or the pressure of scarcity of food. A modifica- 
tion exactly opposite to that which produced the wingless 
birds (the apteryx, cassowary, and dodo), appears to have here 
taken place ; and it is curious that in both cases an insular 
habitat should have been the moving cause. The explanation 
is probably the same as that applied by Mr. Darwin to the 
case of the Madeira beetles, many of which are wingless, while 
some of the winged ones have the wings better developed than 
the same species on the continent. It was advantageous to 
these insects either never to fly at all, and thus not run the 
risk of being blown out to sea, or to fly so well as to be able 

852 Batchiajst. 

either to return to land, or to migrate safely to the conti- 
nent. Bad flying was worse than not flying at all. So, while 
in such islands as New Zealand and Mauritius, far from all 
land, it was safer for a ground-feeding bird not to fly at all, 
and the short-winged individuals continually surviving, pre- 
pared the way for a wingless group of birds ; in a vast Ar- 
chipelago thickly strewn with islands and islets it was advan- 
tageous to be able occasionally to migrate, and thus the long 
and strong-winged varieties maintained their existence long- 
est, and ultimately supplanted all others, and spread the race 
over the whole Archipelago. 

Besides this pigeon, the only new bird I obtained during 
the trip was a rare goat-sucker (Batrachostomus crinifrons), 
the only species of the genus yet found in the Moluccas. 
Among my insects the best were the rare Pieris aruna, of 
a rich chrome-yellow color, with a black border and remarka- 
ble white antennae — perhaps the very finest butterfly of the 
genus ; and a large black wasp-like insect, with immense jaws 
like a stag-beetle, which has been named Megachile pluto by 
Mr. F. Smith. I collected about a hundred species of beetles 
quite new to me, but mostly very minute, and also many rare 
and handsome ones which I had already found in Batchian. 
On the whole, I was tolerably satisfied with my seventeen 
days' excursion, which was a very agreeable one, and enabled 
me to see a good deal of the island. I had hired a roomy 
boat, and brought with me a small table and my rattan chair. 
These were great comforts, as, wherever there was a roof, I 
could immediately install myself, and work and eat at ease. 
When I could not find accommodation on shore I slept in the 
boat, which was always drawn up on the beach if we staid 
for a few days at one spot. 

On my return to Batchian I packed up my collections, and 
prepared for my return to Ternate. When I first came I had 
sent back my boat by the pilot, with two or three other men 
who had been glad of the opportunity. I now took advantage 
of a Government boat which had just arrived with rice for 
the troops, and obtained permission to return in her, and ac- 
cordingly started on the 13th of April, having resided only a 
week short of six months on the island of Batchian. The 
boat was one of the kind called " kora-kora," quite open, very 

Eetuen in a ^'Kora-koea." 853 

low, and about four tons burden. It had outriggers of bam- 
boo about ^ve feet off each side, which supported a bamboo 
platform extending the whole length of the vessel. On the 
extreme outside of this sit the twenty rowers, while within 
was a convenient passage fore and aft. The middle portion 
of the boat was covered with a thatch-house, in which bag- 
gage and passengers are stowed ; the gunwale was not more 
than a foot above water, and from the great top and side 
weight and general clumsiness, these boats are dangerous in 
heavy weather, and are not unf requently lost. A triangle mast 
and mat sail carried us on when the wind was favorable, which 
(as usual) it never was, although, according to the monsoon, 
it ought to have been. Our water, carried in bamboos, would 
only last two days, and as the voyage occupied seven, we had 
to touch at a great many places. The captain was not very 
energetic, and the men rowed as little as they pleased, or we 
might have reached Ternate in three days, having had fine 
weather and little wind all the way. 

There were several passengers beside myself : three or four 
Javanese soldiers, two convicts whose time had expired (one, 
curiously enough, being the man who had stolen my cash-box 
and keys), the school-master's wife, and a servant going on a 
visit to Ternate, and a Chinese trader going to buy goods. 
We had to sleep all together in the cabin, packed pretty close ; 
but they very civilly allowed me plenty of room for my mat- 
tress, and we got on very well together. There was a little 
cookhouse in the bows, where we could boil our rice and 
make our coffee, every one of course bringing his own provis- 
ions, and arranging his meal-times as he found most conven- 
ient. The passage would have been agreeable enough but 
for the dreadful " tom-toms," or wooden drums, which are 
beaten incessantly while the men are rowing. Two men were 
engaged constantly at them, making a fearful din the whole 
voyage. The rowers are men sent by the Sultan of Ternate. 
They get about threepence a day, and find their own provis- 
ions. Each man had a strong wooden " betel " box, on which 
he generally sat, a sleeping-mat, and a change of clothes — - 
rowing naked, with only a sarong or a waist-cloth. They 
sleep in their places, covered with their mat, which keeps out 
the rain pretty well. They chew betel or smoke cigarettes 


354 Batchian. 

incessantly ; eat dry sago and a little salt fish ; seldom sing 
while rowing, except when excited and wanting to reach a 
stopping-place, and do not talk a great deal. They are most- 
ly Malays, with a sprinkling of Alf uros from Gilolo, and Pa- 
puans from Guebe or Waigiou. 

One afternoon we staid at Makian; many of the men went 
on shore, and a great deal of plantains, 'bananas, and other 
fruits were brought on board. We then went on a little way, 
and in the evening anchored again. When going to bed for 
the night, 1 put out my candle, there being still a glimmering 
lamp burning, and, missing my handkerchief, thought I saw 
it on a box which formed one side of my bed, and put out my 
hand to take it. I quickly drew back on feeling something 
cool and very smooth, which moved as I touched it. " Bring 
the light, quick," I cried ; " here's a snake." And there he 
was, sure enough, nicely coiled up, with his head just raised 
to inquire who had disturbed him. It was now necessary to 
catch or kill him neatly, or he would escape among the piles 
of miscellaneous luggage, and we should hardly sleep comfort- 
ably. One of the ex-convicts volunteered to catch him with 
his hand wrapped up in a cloth, but from the way he went 
about it I saw he was nervous and would let the thing go, so 
I would not allow him to make the attempt. I then got a 
chopping-knife, and carefully moving my insect-nets, which 
hung just over the snake and prevented me getting a free 
blow, I cut him quietly across the back, holding him down 
while my boy with another knife crushed his head. On ex- 
amination, I found he had large poison fangs, and it is a won- 
der he did not bite me when I first touched him. 

Thinking it very unlikely that two snakes had got on board 
at the same time, I turned in and went to sleep ; but having 
all the time a vague dreamy idea that I might put my hand 
on another one, I lay wonderfully still, not turning over once 
all night, quite the revei'se of my usual habits. The next day 
we reached Ternate, and I ensconced myself in my comforta- 
ble house, to examine all my treasures, and pack them secure- 
ly for the voyage home. 

Departuee from Amboyjsta. 355 


OCTOBER, 1859, TO JUNE, 1860. 

I LEFT Amboyna for my first visit to Ceram at three o'clock 
in the morning of October 29th, after having been delayed 
several days by the boat's crew, who could not be got togeth- 
er. Captain Yan der Beck, who gave me a passage in his 
boat, had been running after them all day, and at midnight 
we had to search for two of my men, who had disappeared at 
the last moment. .One we found at supper in his own house, 
and rather tipsy with his parting libations of arrack, but the 
other was gone across the bay, and we were obliged to leave 
without him. ' We staid some hours at two villages near the 
east end of Amboyna, at one of which we had to discharge 
some wood for the missionaries' house, and on the third aft- 
ernoon reached Captain Yan der Beck's plantation, situated 
at Hatosiia, in that part of Ceram opposite to the island of 
Amboyna. This was a clearing in flat and rather swampy 
forest, about twenty acres in extent, and mostly planted with 
cacao and tobacco. Besides a small cottage occupied by the 
workmen, there was a large shed for tobacco-drying, a corner 
of which was offered me ; and thinking from the look of the 
place that I should find good collecting-ground here, I fitted 
up temporary tables, benches, and beds, and made all prepa- 
rations for some weeks' stay. A few days, however, served 
to show that I should be disappointed. Beetles were tolera- 
bly abundant, and I obtained plenty of fine long-horned An- 
thribidae and pretty longicorns, but they were mostly the same 
species as I had found during my first short visit to Amboy- 
na. There were very few paths in the forest, which seemed 
poor in birds and butterflies, and day after day my men 
brought me nothing worth notice. I was therefore soon 
obliged to think about changing my locality, as I could evi- 
dently obtain no proper notion of the productions of the al- 

Mr. Van dee Beck. 857 

mosi entirely unexplored island of Ceram by staying in this 

I rather regretted leaving, because my host was one of the 
most remarkable men and most entertaining companions I had 
ever met with. He was a Fleming by birth, and, like so many 
of his countrymen, had a wonderful talent for languages. 
When quite a youth, he had accompanied a Government offi- 
cial who was sent to report on the trade and commerce of the 
Mediterranean, and had acquired the colloquial language of 
every place they staid a few weeks at. He had afterward 
made voyages to St. Petersburg and to other parts of Europe, 
including a few weeks in London, and had then come out to the 
East, where he had been for some years trading and specula- 
ting in the various islands. He now spoke Dutch, French, 
Malay, and Javanese, all equally well, English with a very 
slight accent, but with perfect fluency, and a most complete 
knowledge of idiom, in which I often tried to puzzle him in 
vain. German and Italian were also quite familiar to him, and 
his acquaintance with European languages included modern 
Greek, Turkish, Russian, and colloquial Hebrew and Latin. 
As a test of his power, I may mention that he had made a 
voyage to the out-of-the-way island of Salibaboo, and had staid 
there trading a few weeks. As I was collecting vocabularies, 
he told me he thought he could remember some words, and 
dictated a considerable number. Some time after I met with 
a short list of words taken down in those islands, and in every 
case they agreed with those he had given me. He used to 
sing a Hebrew drinking-song, which he had learned from some 
Jews with whom he had once travelled, and astonished by join- 
ing in their conversation, and had a never-ending fund of tale 
and anecdote about the people he had met and the places he 
had visited. 

In most of the villages of this part of Ceram are schools 
and native school-masters, and the inhabitants have been long- 
converted to Christianity. In the larger villages there are 
European missionaries ; but there is little or no external dif- 
ference between the Christian and Alf uro villages, nor, as far 
as I have seen, m their inhabitants. The people seem more 
decidedly Papuan than those of Gilolo. They are darker in 
color, and a number of them have the frizzly Paupan hair; 

358 Ceram. 

their features also are harsh and prominent, and the women 
in particular are far less engaging than those of the Malay 
race. Captain Van der Beck was never tired of abusing the in- 
habitants of these Christian villages as thieves, liars, and drunk- 
ards, besides being incorrigibly lazy. In the city of Amboyna 
my friends Doctors Mohnike and Doleschall, as well as most 
of the European residents and traders, made exactly the same 
complaint, and would rather have Mohammedans for servants, 
even if convicts, than any of the native Christians. One great 
cause of this is the fact that with the Mohammedans temper- 
ance is a part of their religion, and has become so much a hab- 
it that practically the rule is never transgressed. One fertile 
source of want, and one great incentive to idleness and crime, 
is thus present with the one class, but absent in the other ; 
but besides this, the Christians look upon themselves as nearly 
the equals of the Europeans, who profess the same religion, 
and as far superior to the followers of Islam, and are therefore 
prone to despise work, and to endeavor to live by trade, or by 
cultivating their own land. It need hardly be said that with 
people in this low state of civilization religion is almost whol- 
ly ceremonial, and that neither are the doctrines of Christiani- 
ty comprehended, nor its moral precepts obeyed. At the same 
time, as far. as my own experience goes, I have found the bet- 
ter class of " Orang Sirani" as civil, obliging, and industrious 
as the Malays, and only inferior to them from their tendency 
to get intoxicated. 

Having written to the Assistant Resident of Saparua (who 
has jurisdiction over the opposite part of the coast of Ceram) 
for a boat to pursue my journey, I received one rather larger 
than necessary, with a crew of twenty men. I therefore bade 
adieu to my kind friend Captain Van der Beck, and left on 
the evening after its arrival for the village of Elpiputi, which 
we reached in two days. I had intended t^' stay here, but 
not liking the appearance of the place, which seemed to have 
no virgin forest near it, I determined to proceed about twelve 
miles further up the bay of Amahay to a village recently form- 
ed, and inhabited by indigenes from the interior,, and where 
some extensive cacao-plantations were being made, by some 
gentlemen of Amboyna. I reached the place (called Awaiya) 
the same afternoon, and with the assistance of Mr. Peters 

The Inhabitants. 859 

(the manager of tlie plantations) and the native chief, obtain- 
ed a small house, got all my things on shore, and paid and 
discharged my twenty boatmen, two of whom had almost 
driven me to distraction by beating tom-toms the whole voy- 

I found the people here very nearly in a state of nature, 
and going almost naked. The men wear their frizzly hair 
gathered into a flat circular knot over the left temple, which 
has a very knowing look, and in their ears cylinders of wood 
as thick as one's finger, and colored red at the ends. Armlets 
and anklets of woven grass or of silver, with necklaces of 
beads or of small fruits, complete their attire. The women 
wear similar ornaments, but have their hair loose. All are 
tall, with a dark^brown skin, and well-marked Papuan physi- 
ognomy. There is an Amboyna school-master in the village, 
and a good number of children attend school every morning. 
Such of the inhabitants as have become Christians may be 
known by their wearing their hair loose, and adopting to 
some extent the native Christian dress — trowsers and a loose 
shirt. Very few speak Malay, all these coast villages having 
been recently formed by inducing natives to leave the inac- 
cessible interior. In all the central part of Ceram there now 
remains only one populous village in the mountains. Toward 
the east and the extreme west are a few others^ with which 
exceptions all the inhabitants of Ceram are collected on the 
coast. In the northern and eastern districts they are mostly 
Mohammedans, while on the south-west coast, nearest Am- 
boyna, they are nominal Christians. 

In all this part of the Archipelago the Dutch make very 
praiseworthy efforts to improve the condition of the aborig- 
ines by establishing school-masters in every village (who are 
mostly natives of Amboyna or Saparua, who have been in- 
structed by the resident missionaries), and by employing na- 
tive vaccinators to prevent the ravages of small-pox. They 
also encourage the settlement of Europeans, and the formation 
of new plantations of cacao and coffee, one of the best means 
of raising the condition of the natives, who thus obtain work 
at fair wages, and have the opportunity of acquiring some- 
thing of European tastes and habits. 

My collections here did not progress much better than at 

860 Ceram. 

my former station, except that butterflies were a little more 
plentiful, and some very fine species were to be found in the 
morning on the sea-beach, sitting so quietly on the wet sand 
that they could be caught with the fingers. In this way I had 
many fine specimens of Papihos brought me by the children. 
Beetles, however, were scarce, and birds still more so ; and I 
began to think that the handsome species w^hich I had so often 
heard were found in Ceram must be entirely confined to the 
eastern extremity of the island. 

A few miles further north, at the head of the bay of Ama- 
hay, is situated the village of Makariki, from whence there is 
a native path quite across the island to the north coast. My 
friend Mr. Rosenberg, whose acquaintance I had made at 
ISTew Guinea, and who was now the Government superintend- 
ent of all this part of Ceram, returned from Wahai, on the 
north coast, after I had been three weeks at Awaiya, and 
showed me some fine butterflies he had obtained on the mount- 
ain streams in the interior. He indicated a spot about the 
centre of the island where he thought I might advantageous- 
ly stay a few days. I accordingly visited Makariki with him 
the next day, and he instructed the chief of the village to fur- 
nish me with men to carry my baggage, and accompany me 
on my excursion. As the people of the village wanted to be 
at home on Christmas-day, it was necessary to start as soon 
as possible ; so we agreed that the men should be ready in 
two days, and I returned to make my arrangements. 

I put up the smallest quantity of baggage possible for a 
six days' trip, and on the morning of December 18th we left 
Makariki, with six men carrying my baggage and their own 
provisions, and a lad from Awaiya, who was accustomed to 
catch butterflies for me. My two Amboyna hunters I left be- 
hind to shoot and skin what birds they could while I was 
away. Quitting the village, we first walked briskly for an 
hour through a dense tangled undergrowth, dripping wet from 
a storm of the previous night, and full of mud-holes. After 
crossing several small streams, we reached one of the largest 
rivers in Ceram, called Ruatan, which it was necessary to cross. 
It was both deep and rapid. The baggage was first taken 
over, parcel by parcel, on the men's heads, the water reaching 
nearly up to their armpits, and then two men returned to as- 

In the Foeests. 861 

sist me. The water was above my waist, and so strong tlaat 
I should certainly have been carried off my feet had I attempt- 
ed to cross alone ; and it was a matter of astonishment to me 
how the men could give me any assistance, since I found the 
greatest difficulty in getting my foot down again when I had 
once moved it off the bottom. The greater strength and 
grasping power of their feet, from going always barefoot, no 
doubt gave them a surer footing in the rapid water. 

After well wringing out our wet clothes and putting them 
on, we again proceeded along a similar narrow forest track 
as before, choked with rotten leaves and dead trees, and in the 
more open parts overgrown with tangled vegetation. Anoth- 
er hour brought us to a smaller stream flowing in a wide grav- 
elly bed, up which our road lay. Here we staid half an hour 
to breakfast, and then went on, continually crossing the stream, 
or walking on its stony and gravelly banks till about noon, 
when it became rocky and inclosed by low hills. A little fur- 
ther we entered a regular mountain-gorge, and had to clamber 
over rocks, and every moment cross and recross the water, or 
take short cuts through the forest. This was fatiguing work ; 
and about three in the afternoon, the sky being overcast, and 
thunder in the mountains indicating an approaching storm, 
we had to look out for a camping-place, and soon after reached 
one of Mr. Rosenberg's old ones. The skeleton of his little 
sleeping-hut remained, and my men cut leaves and made a 
hasty roof just as the rain commenced. The baggage was 
covered over with leaves, and the men sheltered themselves 
as they could till the storm was over, by which time a flood 
came down the river, which effectually stopped our further 
march, even had we wished to proceed. We then hghted 
fires ; I made some coffee, and my men roasted their fish and 
plantains, and, as soon as it was dark, we made ourselves com- 
fortable for the night. 

Starting at six the next morning, we had three hours of 
the same kind of walking, duiing which we crossed the river 
at least thirty or forty times, the water being generally knee- 
deep. This brought us to a place where the road left the 
stream, and here we stopped to breakfast. We then had a long 
walk over the mountain by a tolerable path, which reached 
an elevation of about fifteen hundred feet above the sea. 

862 . Ceram. 

Here I noticed one of the smallest and most elegant tree-ferns 
I had ever seen, the stem being scarcely thicker than my thumb, 
yet reaching a height of fifteen or twenty feet. I also caught 
a new butterfly of the genus Pieris, and a magnificent female 
specimen of Papilio gambrisius, of which I had hitherto only 
found the males, which are smaller and very different in col- 
or. Descending the other side of the ridge, by a very steep 
path, we reaciied another river at a spot which is about the 
centre of the island, and which was to be our resting-place for 
two or three days. In a couple of hours my men had built a 
little sleeping-shed for me, about eight feet by f(mr, with a 
bench of split poles, they themselves occupying two or three 
smaller ones, which had been put up by former passengers. 

The river here was about twenty yards wide, running over 
a pebbly and sometimes a rocky bed, and bordered by steep 
hills, with occasionally flat swampy spots between their base 
and the stream. The whole country was one dense, unbroken, 
and very damp and gloomy virgin forest. Just at our resting- 
place there was a little bush-covered island in the middle of 
the channel, so that the opening in the forest made by the 
river was wider than usual, and allowed a few gleams of sun- 
shine to penetrate. Here there were several handsome butter- 
flies flying about, the finest of which, however, escaped me, and 
I never saw it again during my stay. In the two days and 
a half which we remained here, I wandered almost all day up 
and down the stream, searching after butterflies, of which I 
got, in all, fifty or sixty specimens, with several species quite 
new to me. There were many others which I saw only once, 
and did not capture, "causing me to regret that there was no 
village in these interior valleys where I could stay a month. 
In the early part of each morning I went out with my gun in 
search of birds, and two of my men were out almost all day 
after deer ; but we were all equally unsuccessful, getting»abso- 
lutely nothing the whole time we were in the forest. The 
only good bird seen was the fine Amboyna lory, but these were 
always too high to shoot ; besides this, the great Moluccan 
hornbill, which I did not want, was almost the only bird met 
with. I saw not a single ground-thrush, or kingfisher, or 
pigeon ; a.nd, in fact, have never been in a forest so utterly 
desert of animal life as this appeared to be. Even in all other 

A FoKEST Desert. 363 

groups of insects, except butterflies, there was the same pover- 
ty. I*}iad hoped to find some rare tiger beetles, as I had done 
in similar situations in Celebes ; but, though I searched close- 
ly in forest, river-bed, and mountain-brook, I could find noth- 
ing but the two common Amboyna species. Other beetles 
there were absolutely none. 

The constant walking in water, and over rocks and pebbles/ 
quite destroyed the two pair of shoes I brought with me, so 
that, on my return, they actually fell to pieces, and the last 
day I had to walk in my stockings very painfully, and reached 
home quite lame. On our way back from Makariki, as on our 
way there, we had storm and rain at sea, and we arrived at 
Awaiya late in the evening, with all our baggage drenched, 
and ourselves thoroughly uncomfortable. All the time I had 
been in Ceram I had suffered much from the irritating bites 
of an invisible acarus, which is wor^e than mosquitoes, ants, 
and every other pest, because it is impossible to guard against 
them. This last journey in the forest left me covered from 
head to foot with inflamed lumps, which, after my return to 
Amboyna, produced a serious disease, confining me to the 
house f OF nearly two months — a not very pleasant memento of 
my first visit to Ceram, which terminated with the year 1859. 

It was not tillthe 24th of February, 1860, that I started 
again, intending to pass from village to village along the 
coast, staying where I found a suitable locality. I had a letter 
from the Governor of the Moluccas, requesting all the chiefs 
to supply me with boats and men to carry me on my journey. 
The first boat took me in two days to Amahay, on the oppo- 
site side of the bay to Awaiya. The chief here, wonderful to 
relate, did not make any excuses for delay, but immediately 
ordered out the boat which was to carry me on, put my bag- 
gage on board, set up mast and sails after dark, and had the 
men r^ady that night ; so that we were actually on our way 
at ^ye the next morning, — a display of energy and activity I 
scarcely ever saw before in a native chief on such an occasion. 
We touched at Cepa, and staid for the night at Tamilan, the 
first two Mohammedan villages on the south coast of Ceram. 
The next day about noon we reached Hoya, which was as far 
as my present boat and crew were going to take me. The 
anchorage is about a mile east of the village, which is faced 

364 Cekam. 

by coral reefs, and we had to wait for the evening tide to 
move up and unload the boat into the strange rotten \\fooden 
pavilion kept for visitors. 

There was no boat here large enough to take my baggage ; 
and although two would have done very well, the Rajah in- 
sisted upon sending four. The reason of this I found was, 
that there were four smaU villages under his rule, and by 
sending a boat from each he would avoid the difficult task of 
choosing two and letting off the others. I was told that at 
the next village of Teluti there were plenty of Alfuros, and 
that I could get abundance of lories and other birds. The 
Rajah declared that black and yellow lories and black cocka- 
toos were found there ; but I am inclined to think he knew 
very well he was telling me lies, and that it was only a scheme 
to satisfy me with his plan of taking me to that village, in- 
stead of a day's journey further on, as I desired. Here, as at 
most of the villages, I was asked for spirits, the people being 
mere nominal Mohammedans, who confine their religion al- 
most entirely to a disgust at pork, and a few other forbidden 
articles of food. The next morning, after much trouble, we 
got our cargoes loaded, and had a delightful row across the 
deep bay of Teluti, with a view of the grand central mountain- 
range of Ceram. Our four boats were rowed by sixty men, 
with flags flying and tom-toms beating, as well as very vigor- 
ous shouting and singing to keep up their spirits. The sea 
was smooth, the morning bright, and the whole scene very 
exhilarating. On landing, the orang-kaya and several of the 
chief men, in gorgeous silk jackets, were waiting to receive 
us, and conducted me to a house prepared for my reception, 
where I determined to stay a few days, and see if the country 
round produced any thing new. 

My first inquiries were about the lories, l)ut I could get 
very little satisfactory information. The only kinds known 
were the ring-necked lory and the common red and green 
lorikeet, both common at Amboyna. Black lories and cocka- 
toos were quite unknown. The Alfuros resided in the mount- 
ains -Qye or six days' journey away, and there were only one 
or two live birds to be found in the village, and these were 
worthless. My hunters could get nothing but a few common 
birds ; and notwithstanding fine mountains, luxuriant forests. 

Along the South Coast. 365 

and a locality a hundred miles eastward, I could find no new 
insects, and extremely few even of the common speciqs of 
Amboyna and West Coram. It was evidently no use stop- 
ping at such a place, and I was determined to move on as 
soon as possible. 

The village of Teluti is populous, but straggling and very 
dirty. Sago-trees here cover the mountain-side, instead of 
growing as usual in low swamps; but a closer examination 
shows that they grow in swampy patches, which have form- 
ed among the loose rocks that cover the ground, and which 
are kept constantly full of moisture by the rains, and by the 
abundance of rills which trickle down among them. This 
sago forms almost the whole subsistence of the inhabitants, 
who appear to cultivate nothing but a few small patches of 
maize and sweet potatoes. Hence, as before explained, the 
scarcity of insects. The orang-kaya has fine clothes, hand- 
some lamps, and other expensive European goods, yet lives 
every day on sago and fish as miserably as the rest. 

After three days in this barren place I left on the morning 
of March 6th, in two boats of the same size as those which 
had brought me to Teluti. With some difiiculty I had ob- 
tained permission to take these boats on to Tobo, where I in- 
tended to stay awhile, and therefore got on pretty quickly, 
changing men at the village of Laiemu, and arriving in a heavy 
rain at Ahtiago. As there was a good deal of surf here, and 
likely to be more if the wind blew hard during the night, our 
boats were pulled up on the beach ; and after supping at the 
orang-kaya's house, and writing down a vocabulary of the 
language of the Alfuros, who live in the mountains inland, I 
returned to sleep in the boat. Next morning we proceeded, 
changing men at Warenama, and again at Hatometen, at both 
of which places there was much surf and no harbor, so that 
the men had to go on shore and come on board by swimming. 
Arriving in the evening of March Yth at Batuassa, the first 
village belonging to the Rajah of Tobo, and under the gov- 
ernment of Banda, the surf was very heavy, owing to a strong 
westward swell. We therefore rounded the rocky point on 
which the village was situated, but found it very little better 
on the other side. We were obliged, however, to go on shore 
here; and waiting till the people on the beach had made 

866 Cekam. 

preparations, by placing a row of logs from the water's edge 
on which to pull np our boats, we rowed as quickly as we 
could straight on to them, after watching till the heaviest surfs 
had passed. The moment we touched ground our men all 
jumped out, and, assisted by those on shore, attempted to 
haul up the boat high and dry, but not having sufficient hands, 
the surf repeatedly broke into the stern. The steepness of 
the beach, however, prevented any damage being done, and 
the other boat having both crews to haul at it, was got up 
without difficulty. 

The next morning, the water being low, the breakers were 
at some distance from shore, and we had to watch for a 
smooth moment after bringing the boats to the water's edge, 
and so got safely out to sea. At the two next villages, Tobo 
and Ossong, we also took in fresh men, who came swimming 
through the surf; and at the latter place the Rajah came on 
board and accompanied me to Kissa-laut, where he has a house 
which he lent me during my stay. Here again was a heavy 
surf, and it was with great difficulty we got the boats hauled 
up. At Amboyna I had been promised at this season a calm 
sea and the wind off shore, but in this case, as in every other, 
I had been unable to obtain any reliable information as to the 
winds and seasons of places distant two or three days' journey. 
It appears, however, that owing to the general direction of 
the island of Ceram (E.S.E. and W.N'.W.) there is a heavy 
surf and scarcely any shelter on the south coast during the 
west monsoon, when alone a journey to the eastward can be 
safely made ; while during the east monsoon, when I proposed 
to return along the north coast to Wahai, I should probably 
find that equally exposed and dangerous. But although the 
general direction of the west monsoon in the Banda sea causes 
a heavy swell, with bad surf on the coast, yet we had little 
advantage of the wind; for, owing I suppose to the numer- 
ous bays and headlands, we had contrary south-east or even 
due east winds all the way, and had to make almost the 
whole distance from Amboyna by force of rowing. We had 
therefore all the disadvantages, and none of the advantages, of 
this west monsoon, which I was told would insure me a quick 
and pleasant journey. 

I was delayed at Kissa-laut just four weeks, although after 

A Native Boat. 867 

the first three days I saw that it would be quite useless for 
me to stay, and begged the Rajah to give me a prau and men 
to carry me on to Goram. But instead of getting one close 
at hand, he insisted on sending several miles off ; and when 
after many delays it at length arrived, it was altogether un- 
suitable and too small to carry my baggage. Another was 
then ordered to be brought immediately, and was promised 
in three days, but double that time elapsed and none appear- 
ed, and we were obliged at length to get one at the adjoining 
village, where it might have been so much more easily obtain- 
ed at first. Then came calking and covering over, and quar- 
rels between the owner and the Rajah's men, which occupied 
more than another ten days, during all which time I was get- 
ting absolutely nothing, finding this part of Ceram a perfect 
desert in zoology, although a most beautiful country, and with 
a very luxuriant vegetation. It was a complete puzzle, which 
to this day I have not been able to understand ; the only thing 
I obtained worth notice during my month's stay here being a 
few good land shells. 

At length, on April 4th, we succeeded in getting away in 
our little boat of about four tons burden, in which my nu- 
merous boxes were with difficulty packed so as to leave sleep- 
ing and cooking room. The craft could not boast an ounce 
of iron or a foot of rope in any part of its construction, nor 
a morsel of pitch or paint in its decorations. The planks were 
fastened together in the usual ingenious way with pegs and 
rattans. The mast was a bamboo triangle, requiring no 
shrouds, and carrying a long mat sail; two rudders were 
hung on the quarters by rattans, the anchor was of wood, and 
a long and thiig^k rattan served as a cable. Our crew consisted 
of four men, whose sole accommodation was about three feet 
by four in the bows and stern, with the sloping thatch roof to 
stretch themselves upon for a change. We had nearly a hun- 
dred miles to go, fully exposed to the swell of the Banda sea, 
which is sometimes very considerable ; but we luckily had it 
calm and smooth, so that we made the voyage in comparative 

On the second day we passed the eastern extremity of 
Ceram, formed of a group of hummocky limestone hills ; and 
sailing by the islands of Kwammer and Keffing, both thickly 


inhabited, came in sight of the little town of Kilwaru, which 
appears to rise out of the sea like a rustic Yenice. This place 
has really a most extraordinary appearance, as not a particle 
of land or vegetation can be seen, but a long way out at sea 
a large village seems to float upon the water. There is of 
course a small island of several acres in extent; but the 
houses are built so closely all round it upon piles in the water, 
that it is completely hidden. It is a place of great traffic, be- 
ing the emporium for much of the produce of these Eastern 
seas, and is the residence of many Bugis and Ceramese tra- 
ders, and appears to have been chosen on account of it being 
close to the only deep channel between the extensive shoals of 
Ceram-laut and those bordering the east end of Ceram. We 
now had contrary east winds, and were obliged to pole over 
the shallow coral reefs of Ceram-laut for nearly thirty miles. 
The only danger of our voyage was just at its termination, for 
as we w^ere rowing toward Manowolko, the largest of the 
Garam group, we were carried out so rapidly by a strong 
westerly current, that I was almost certain at one time we 
should pass clear of the island ; in which case our situation 
would have been both disagreeable and dangerous, as, with the 
east wind which had just set in, we might have been unable to 
return for many days, and we had not a day's water on board. 
At the critical moment I served out some strong spirits to my 
men, which put fresh vigor into their arms, and carried us out 
of the influence of the current before it was too late. 


On arriving at Manowolko, we found the Rajah was at the 
opposite island of Goram ; but he was immediately sent for, 
and in the mean time a large shed was given for our accom- 
modation. At night the Rajah came, and the next day I had 
a visit from him, and found, as I expected, that I had already 
made his acquaintance three years before at Aru. He was 
very friendly, and we had a long talk ; but when I begged for 
a boat and men to take me on to Ke, he made a host of diffi- 
culties. There were no praus, as all had gone to K6 or Aru ; 
and even if one were found, there were no men, as it was the 
season when all were away trading. But he promised to see 
about it, and I was obliged to wait. For the next two or 































§ i- 

A A 

S70 The Goram Islands. 

three days there was more talking and more difficulties were 
raised, and I had time to make an examination of the island 
and the people. 

Manowolko is about fifteen miles long, and is a mere up- 
raised coral-reef. Two or three hundred yards inland rise 
cliffs of coral rock, in many parts perpendicular, and one or 
two hundred feet high; and this, I was informed, is charac- 
teristic of the whole island, in which there is no other kind 
of rock, and no stream of water. A few cracks and chasms 
furnish paths to the top of these cliffs, where there is an open 
undulating country, in which the chief vegetable grounds of 
the inhabitants are situated. 

The people here— at least the chief men— were of a much 
purer Malay race than the Mohammedans of the mainland of 
Ceram, which is perhaps due to there having been no indig- 
enes on these small islands when the first settlers arrived. 
In Ceram, the Alfuros of Papuan race are the predominant 
type, the Malay physiognomy being seldom well marked; 
whereas here the reverse is the case, and a slight infusion of 
Papuan on a mixture of Malay and Bugis has produced a very 
good-looking set of people. The lower class of the popula- 
tion consists almost entirely of the indigenes of the adjacent 
islands. They are a fine race, with strongly-marked Papuan 
features, frizzly hair, and brown complexions. The Goram 
language is spoken also at the east end of Ceram, and in the 
adjacent islands. It has a general resemblance to the lan- 
guages of Ceram, but possesses a peculiar element which I 
have not met with in other languages of the Archipelago. 

After great delay, considering the importance of every day 
at this time of year, a miserable boat and ^ve men were found, 
and with some difficulty I stowed away in it such baggage as 
it was absolutely necessary for me to take, leaving scarcely 
sitting or sleeping room. The sailing qualities of the boat 
were highly vaunted, and I was assured that at this season a 
small one was much more likely to succeed in making the 
journey. We first coasted along the island, reaching its east- 
ern extrernity the following morning (April 11th), and found 
a strong W. S. W. wind blowing, which just allowed us to lay 
across to the Matabello Islands, a distance little short of twen- 
ty miles. I did not much like the look of the heavy sky and 

Matabello. 371 

rather rougli sea, and my men were very unwilling to make 
the attempt ; but as we could scarcely hope for a better chance, 
I insisted upon trying. The pitching and jerking of our little 
boat soon reduced me to a state of miserable helplessness, and 
I lay down, resigned to whatever might happen. After three 
or four hours, I was told we were nearly over; but when I 
got up, two hours later, just as the sun was setting, I found 
we were still a good distance from the point, owing to a strong 
current which had been for some time against us. Night 
closed in, and the wind drew more ahead, so we had to take in 
sail. Then came a calm, and we rowed and sailed as occasion 
offered ; and it was four in the morning when we reached the 
village of Kissiwoi, not having made more than three miles in 
the last twelve hours. 


At daylight I found we were in a beautiful little harbor, 
formed by a coral reef about two hundred yards from shore, 
and perfectly secure in every wind. Having eaten nothing 
since the previous morning, we cooked our breakfast comforta- 
bly on shore, and left about noon, coasting along the two isl- 
ands of this group, which lie in the same line, and are separa- 
ted by a narrow channel. Both seem entirely formed of 
raised coral rock ; but there has been a subsequent subsidence, 
as shown by the barrier reef which extends all along them at 
varying distances from the shore. This reef is sometimes 
only marked by a line of breakers when there is a little swell 
on the sea ; in other places there is a ridge of dead coral 
above the water, which is here and there high enough to sup- 
port a few low bushes. This was the first example I had met 
with of a true barrier reef due to subsidence, as has been so 
clearly shown by Mr. Darwin. In a sheltered archipelago they 
will seldom be distinguishable, from the absence of those huge 
rolling waves and breakers which in the wide ocean throw up 
a barrier of broken coral far above the usual high- water mark, 
while here they rarely rise to the surface. 

On reaching the end of the southern island, called Uta, 
we were kept waiting two days for a wind that would enable 
us to pass over to the next island, Teor, and I began to des- 
pair of ever reaching Ke, and determined on returning. We 

872 Matabello. 

left with a south wind, which suddenly changed to north- 
east, and induced me to turn again southward in the hopes 
that this was the commencement of a few days' favorable 
weather. We sailed on very well in the direction of Teor for 
about an hour, after which the wind shifted to W.S.W., and 
we were driven much out of our course, and at nightfall found 
ourselves in the open sea, and full ten miles to leeward of our 
destination. My men were now all very much frightened, for 
if we went on we might be a week at sea in our little open 
boat, laden almost to the water's edge ; or we might drift on 
to the coast of N^ew Guinea, in which case we should most 
likely all be murdered. I could not deny these probabilities, 
and although I showed them that we could not get back to 
our starting-point with the wind as it was, they insisted upon 
returning. We accordingly put about, and found that we 
could lay no nearer to Uta than to Teor; however, by great 
good luck, about ten o'clock we hit upon a little coral island, 
and lay under its lee till morning, when a favorable change of 
wind brought us back to Uta, and by evening (April 18th) we 
reached our first anchorage in Matabello, where I resolved to 
stay a few days, and then return to Goram. It was with much 
regret that I gave up my trip to Ke and the intervening isl- 
ands, which I had looked forward to as likely to make up for 
my disappointment in Ceram, since my short visit on my voy- 
age to Aru had produced me so many rare iand beautiful in- 

The natives of Matabello are almost entirely occupied in 
making cocoa-nut oil, which they sell to the Bugis and Goram 
traders, who carry it to Banda and Amboyna. The rugged 
coral rock seems very favorable to the growth of the cocoa- 
nut palm, which abounds over the whole island to the very 
highest points, and produces fruit all the jeecr round. Along 
with it are great numbers of the areca or betel-nut palm, the 
nuts of which are sliced, dried, and ground into a paste, which 
is much used by the betel-chewing Malays and Papuans. All 
the little children here, even such as can just run alone, car- 
ried between their lips a mass of the nasty-looking red paste, 
which is even more disgusting than to see them at the same 
age smoking cigars, which is very common even before they 
are weaned. Cocoa-nuts, sweet potatoes, an occasional sago 

Savage Life. c573 

cake, and the refuse nut after the oil has been extracted by 
boiling, form the chief sustenance of these people ; and the ef- 
fect of this poor and unwholesome diet is seen in the frequen- 
cy of eruptions and scurfy skin diseases, and the numerous 
sores that disfigure the faces of the children. 

The villages are situated on high and rugged coral peaks, 
only accessible by steep narrow paths, with ladders and bridges 
over yawning chasms. They are filthy with rotten husks and 
oil refuse, and the huts are dark, greasy, and dirty in the ex- 
treme. The people are wretched ugly dirty savages, clothed 
in unchanged rags, and living in the most miserable manner ; 
and as every drop of fresh water has to be brought up from 
the beach, washing is never thought of; yet they are actual- 
ly wealthy, and have the means of purchasing all the neces- 
saries and luxuries of life. Fowls are abundant, and eggs 
were given me whenever I visited the villages, but these are 
never eaten, being looked upon as pets or as merchandise. 
Almost all the women wear massive gold earrings, and in 
every village there are dozens of small bronze cannon lying 
about on the ground, although they have cost on the average 
perhaps £10 apiece. The chief men of each village came to 
visit me, clothed in robes of silk and flowered satin, though 
their houses and their daily fare are no better than those of 
the other inhabitants. What a contrast between these peo- 
ple and such savages as the best tribes of Hill Dyaks in Bor- 
neo, or the Indians of the Uaupes in South America, living 
on the banks of clear streams, clean in their persons and their 
houses, with abundance of wholesome food, and exhibiting its 
efect in healthy skins and beauty of form and feature ! There 
is in fact almost as much difference between the various races 
of savage as of civilized peoples, and we may safely affirm 
that the better specimens of the former are much superior to 
the lower examples of the latter class. 

One of the few luxuries of Matabello is the palm-wine, 
which is the fermented sap from the flower stems of the co- 
coa-nut. It is really a very nice drink, more like cider than 
beer, though quite as intoxicating as the latter. Young cocoa- 
nuts are also very abundant, so that anywhere in the island 
it is only necessary to go a few yards to find a delicious bev- 
erage by climbing up a tree for it. It is the water of the 

374: Matabello. 

young fruit that is drunk, before the pulp has hardened; it is 
then more abundant, clear, and refreshing, and the thin coat- 
ing of gelatinous pulp is thought a great luxury. The water 
of full-grown cocoa-nuts is always thrown away as undrinka- 
ble, although it is delicious in comparison with that of the 
old dry nuts which alone we obtain in this country. The 
cocoa-nut pulp I did not like at first ; but fruits are so scarce, 
except at particular seasons, that one soon learns to appreci- 
ate any thing of a fruity nature. 

Many persons in Europe are under the impression that 
fruits of delicious flavor abound in the tropical forests, and 
they will no doubt be surprised to learn that the truly wild 
fruits of this grand and luxuriant archipelago, the vegetation 
of which will vie with that of any part of the world, are in 
almost every island inferior in abundance and quality to those' 
of Britain. Wild strawberries and raspberries are found in 
some places, but they are such poor tasteless things as to be 
hardly worth eating, and there is nothing to compare with 
our blackberries and whortleberries. The kanary-nut may be 
considered equal to a hazel-nut, but I have met with nothing 
else superior to our crabs, our haws, beech-nuts, wild plums, 
and acorns ; fruits which would be highly esteemed by the na- 
tives of these islands, and would form an important part of 
their sustenance. All the fine tropical fruits are as much cul- 
tivated productions as our apples, peaches, and plums, and 
their wild prototypes, when found, are generally either taste- 
less or uneatable. 

The people of Matabello, like those of most of the Moham- 
medan villages of East Ceram and Goram, amused me much 
by their strange ideas concerning the Russian war. They be- 
lieve that the Russians were not only most thoroughly beaten 
by the Turks, but were absolutely conquered, and all convert- 
ed to Islamism! And they can hardly be convinced that 
such is not the case, and that had it not been for the assist- 
ance of France and England the poor Sultan would have fared 
ill. Another of their notions is, that the Turks are the largest 
and strongest people in the world — in fact a race of giants ; 
that they eat enormous quantities of meat, and are a most 
ferocious and irresistible nation. Whence such strangely in- 
correct opinions could have arisen it is difficult to understand 

GrOKAM. 375 

unless they are derived from Arab priests, or had] is returned 
from Mecca, who may have heard of the ancient prowess of 
the Turkish armies when they made all Europe tremble, and 
suppose that their character and warlike capacity must be 
the same at the present time. 


A steady south-east wind having set in, we returned to 
Manowolko on the 25th of AprU, and the day after crossed 
over to Ondor, the chief village of Goram. 

Around this island extends, with few interruptions, an en- 
circling coral reef about a quarter of a mile from the shore, 
visible as a stripe of pale-green water, but only at very lowest 
ebb-tides showing any rock above the surface. There are 
several deep entrances through this reef, and inside it there 
is good anchorage in all weathers. The land rises gradually 
to a moderate height, and numerous small streams descend 
on all sides. The mere existence of these streams would 
prove that the island was not entirely coralline, as in that case 
all the water would sink through the porous rock as it does 
at Manowolko and Matabello; but we have more positive 
proof in the pebbles and stones of their beds, which exhibit 
a variety of stratified crystalline rocks. About a hundred 
yards from the beach rises a wall of coral rock ten or twenty 
feet high, above which is an undulating surface of rugged 
coral which slopes downward toward the interior, and then 
after a slight ascent is bounded by a second wall of coral. 
Similar walls occur higher up, and coral is found on the high- 
est part of the island. 

This peculiar structure teaches us that before the coral was 
formed land existed in this spot ; that this land sunk gradual- 
ly beneath the waters, but with intervals of rest, during which 
encircling reefs were formed around it at different elevations ; 
that it then rose to above its present elevation, and is now 
again sinking. We infer this, because encircling reefs are a 
proof of subsidence ; and if the island were again elevated 
about a hundred feet, what is now the reef and the shallow 
sea within it would form a wall of coral rock, and an undula- 
ting coralline plain exactly similar to those that still exist at 
various altitudes up to the summit of the island. We learn 

376 GoRAM. 

also that these changes have taken place at a comparatively 
recent epoch, for the surface of the coral has scarcely suffered 
from the action of the weather, and hundreds of sea-shells, ex- 
actly resembling those still found upon the beach, and many 
of them, retaining their gloss and even their color, are scatter- 
ed over the surface of the island to near its summit. 

Whether the Goram group formed originally part of New 
Guinea or of Ceram it is scarcely possible to determine, and 
its productions will throw little light upon the question if, as 
I suppose, the islands have been entirely submerged within 
the epoch *of existing species of animals, as in that case it 
must owe its present fauna and flora to recent immigration 
from surrounding lands; and with this view its poverty in 
species very well agrees. It possesses much in common with 
East Ceram, but at the same time has a good deal of re- 
semblance to the K6 Islands Bnd Banda. The fine pigeon 
Carpophaga concinna inhabits Ke, Banda, Matabello, and 
Goram, and is replaced by a distinct species, C. neglecta, in 
Ceram. The insects of these four islands have also a com- 
mon facies — facts which seem to indicate that some more ex- 
tensive land has recently disappeared from the area they now 
occupy, and has supplied them with a few of its peculiar pro- 

The Goram people (among whom I staid a month) are a 
race of traders. Every year they visit the Tenimber, Ke, and 
Aru Islands, the whole north-west coast of Kew Guinea from 
Oetanata to Salwatty, and the island of Waigiou and My sol. 
They also extend their voyages to Tidore and Ternate, as well 
as to Banda and Amboyna. Their praus are all made by that 
wonderful race of boat-builders, the Ke Islanders, who annual- 
ly turn out some hundreds of boats, large and small, which can 
hardly be surpassed for beauty of form and goodness of work- 
manship. They trade chiefly in tripang, the medicinal mussoi 
bark, wild nutmegs, and tortoise-shell, which they sell to the 
Bugis traders at Ceram-laut or Aru, few of them caring to 
take their products to any other market. In other respects 
they are a lazy race, living very poorly, and much given to 
opium-smoking. The only native manufactures are sail-mat- 
ting, coarse cotton cloth, and pandanus-leaf boxes, prettily 
stained and ornamented with shell-work. 

Boat-Building under Difficulties. 377 

In the island of Goram, only eight or ten miles long, there 
are about a dozen Rajahs/scarcely better off than the rest of 
the inhabitants, and exercising a mere nominal sway, except 
when any order is received from the Dutch Government, when, 
being backed by a higher power, they show a little more strict 
authority. My friend the Rajah of Ammer (commonly called 
Rajah of Goram) told me that a few years ago, before the 
Dutch had interfered in the affairs of the island, the trade 
was not carried on so peaceably as at present, rival praus oft- 
en fighting when on the way to the same locality, or trafficking 
in the same village. Now such a thing is never thought of — 
one of the good effects of the superintendence of a civilized 
government. Disputes between villages are still, however, 
sometimes settled by fighting, and I one day saw about fifty 
men, carrying long guns and heavy cartridge-belts, march 
through the village. They had come from the other side of 
the island on some question of trespass or boundary, and were 
prepared for war if peaceable negotiations should fail. 

While at Manowolko I had purchased for 100 florins (£9) 
a small prau which was brought over the next day, as I was 
informed it was more easy to have the necessary alterations 
made in Goram, where several K6 workmen were settled. 

As soon as we began getting my prau ready I was obliged 
to give up collecting, as I found that, unless I was constantly 
on the spot myself, very little work would be done. As I pro- 
posed making some long voyages in this boat, I determined to 
fit it up conveniently, and was obliged to do all the inside work 
myself, assisted by my two Amboynese boys. I had plenty 
of visitors, surprised to see a white man at work, and much 
astonished at the novel arrangements I was making in one of 
their native vessels. Luckily I had a few tools of my own, 
including a small saw and some chisels, and these were now 
severely tried, cutting and fitting heavy iron-wood planks for 
the flooring and the posts that support the triangular mast. 
Being of the best London make, they stood the work well, and 
without them it would have been impossible for me to have 
finished my boat with half the neatness, or in double the time. 
I had a Ke workman to put in new ribs, for which I bought 
nails of a Bugis trader at 8d, a pound. My gimlets were, how- 
ever, too small; and, having no augers, we were' obliged to 

378 GoRAM. 

bore all the holes with hot irons — a most tedious and unsatis- 
factory operation. 

Five men had been engaged to work at the prau till finish- 
ed, and then go with me to Mysol, Waigiou, and Ternate. 
Their ideas of work were, however, very different from mine, 
and I had immense difficulty with them ; seldom more than 
two or three coming together, and a hundred excuses being 
given for working only half a day when they did come. 
Yet they were constantly begging advances of money, saying 
they had nothing to eat. When I gave it them they were sure 
to stay away the next day, and when I refused any further 
advances some of them declined working any more. As the 
boat approached completion my difficulties with the men in- 
creased. The uncle of one had commenced a war, or sort of 
faction fight, and wanted his assistance ; another's wife was 
ill, and would not let him come ; a third had fever and ague, 
and pains in his head and back ; and a fourth had an inexora- 
ble creditor who would not let him go out of his sight. They 
had all received a month's wages in advance ; and though the 
amount was not large, it was necessary to make them pay it 
back, or I should get no men at all. I therefore sent the vil~ 
lage constable after two, and kept them in custody a day, 
when they returned about three-fourths of what they owed 
me. The sick man also paid, and the steersman found a sub- 
stitute who was willing to take his debt, and receive only the 
balance of his wages. 

About this time we had a striking proof of the dangers of 
IsTew Guinea trading. Six men arrived at the village in a 
small boat almost starved, having escaped out of two praus, 
the remainder of whose crews (fourteen in number) had been 
murdered by the natives of New Guinea. The praus had left 
this village a few months before, and among the murdered 
men were the Rajah's son, and the relations or slaves of many 
of the inhabitants. The cry of lamentation that arose when the 
news arrived was most distressing. A score of women, who 
had lost husbands, brothers, sons, or more distant relatives, 
set up at once the most dismal shrieks and groans and wailings, 
which continued at intervals till late at night ; and as the chief 
houses in the village were crowded together round that which 
I occupied, our situation was any thing but agreeable. 

Massacee by Papuans. 379 

It seems that the village where the attack took place 
(nearly opposite the small island of Lakahia) is known to be 
dangerous, and the vessels had only gone there a few days be- 
fore to buy some tripang. The crew were living on shore, 
the praus being in a small river close by, and they were at- 
tacked and murdered in the daytime while bargaining with 
the Papuans. The six men who survived were on board the 
praus, and escaped by at once getting into the small boat and 
rowing out to sea. 

This south-west part of New Guinea, known to the native 
traders as " Papua Kowiyee " and " Papua Onen," is inhabited 
by the most treacherous and bloodthirsty tribes. It is in 
these districts that the commanders and portions of the crews 
of many of the early discovery ships were murdered, and 
scarcely a year now passes but some lives are lost. The Go- 
ram and Coram traders are themselves generally inoffensive ; 
they are well acquainted with the character' of these natives, 
and are not likely to provoke an attack by any insults or open 
attempt at robbery or imposition. They are accustomed to 
visit the same places every year, and the natives can have no 
fear of them, as may be alleged in excuse for their attacks on 
Europeans. In other extensive districts inhabited by the 
same Papuan races, such as Mysol, Salwatty, Waigiou, and 
some parts of the adjacent coast, the people have taken the 
first step in civilization, owing probably to the settlement of 
traders of mixed breed among them, and for many years no 
such attacks have taken place. On the south-west coast, and 
in the large island of Jobie, however, the natives are in a very 
barbarous condition, and take every opportunity of robbery 
and murder— a habit which is confirmed by the impunity they 
experience, owing to the vast extent of wild mountain and 
forest country forbidding all pursuit or attempt at punishment. 
In the very same village, four years before, more than fifty Goram 
men were murdered ; and as these savages obtain an immense 
booty in the praus and all their appurtenances, it is to be fear- 
ed that such attacks will continue to be made at intervals as 
long as traders visit the same spots and attempt no retaliation. 
Punishment could only be inflicted on these people by very 
arbitrary measures, such as by obtaining possession of some 
of the chiefs by stratagem, and rendering them responsible 

880 Ceram. 

for the capture of the mnrderers at the peril of their own 
heads. But any thing of this kind would be quite contrary 
to the system adopted by the Dutch Government in its deal- 
ings with natives. 


When my boat was at length launched and loaded, I got 
my men together, and actually set sail the next day (May 27th), 
much to the astonishment of the Goram people, to whom such 
punctuality was a novelty. I had a crew of three men and a 
boy, besides my two Amboyna lads ; which was sufficient for 
sailing, though rather too few if obliged to row much. The 
next day was very wet, with squalls, calms, and contrary winds, 
and with some difficulty we reached Kilwaru, the metropolis 
of the Bugis traders in the far East. As I wanted to make 
some purchases, I staid here two days, and sent two of my 
boxes of specimens by a Macassar prau to be forwarded to 
Ternate, thus relieving myself of a considerable incumbrance. 
I bought knives, basins, and handkerchiefs for barter, which 
with the choppers, cloth, and beads I had brought with me, 
made a pretty good assortment. I also bought two Towei* 
muskets to satisfy my crew, who insisted on the necessity of 
being armed against attach, of pirates ; and with spices and 
a few articles of food for the vc/age, nearly my last doit was 

The little island of Kilwaru is a mere sandbank, just large 
enough to contain a small village, and situated between the 
islands of Ceram-laut and Kissa — straits about a third of a 
mile wide separating it from each of them. It is surrounded 
by coral reefs, and offers good anchorage in both monsoons. 
Though not more than fifty yards across, and not elevated 
more than three or four feet above the highest tides, it has 
wells of excellent drinking-water — a singular phenomenon, 
which would seem to imply deep-seated subterranean channels 
connecting it with other islands. These advantages, with its 
situation in the centre of the Papuan trading-district, lead to 
its being so much frequented by the Bugis traders. Here 
the Goram men bring the produce of their little voyages, 
which they exchange for cloth, sago cakes, and opium ; and 
the inhabitants of all the surrounding islands visit it with the 

My Ceew bun Away. 381 

same object. It is the rendezvous of the praus trading to va- 
rious parts of ISTew Guinea, which here assort and dry their 
cargoes, and refit for the voyage home. Tripang and mussoi 
bark are the most bulky articles of produce brought here, 
with wild nutmegs, tortoise-shell, pearls, and birds of paradise, 
in smaller quantities. The villages of the main-land of Ceram 
bring their sago, which is thus distributed to the islands far- 
ther east, while rice from Bali and Macassar can also be pur- 
chased at a moderate price. The Goram men come here for 
their supplies of opium, both for their own consumption and 
for barter in Mysol and Waigiou, where they have introduced 
it, and where the chiefs and wealthy men are passionately 
fond of it. Schooners from Bali come to buy Papuan slaves, 
while the sea-wandering Bugis arrive from distant Singapore 
in their lumbering praus, bringing thence the produce of the 
Chinamen's workshops and Kling's bazar, as well as of the 
looms^of Lancashire and Massachusetts. 

, One of the Bugis traders, who had arrived a few days be- 
fore from Mysol, brought me news of my assistant Charles 
Allen, with whom he was well acquainted, and who, he assured 
me, was making large collections of birds and insects, although 
he had not obtained any birds of paradise ; Silinta, where he 
was staying, not being a good place for them. This was on 
the whole satisfactory, and I was anxious to reach him as soon 
as possible. 

Leaving Kilwaru early in the morning of June 1st, with a 
strong east wind we doubled the point of Ceram about noon, 
the heavy sea causing my prau to roll about a good deal to the 
damage of our crockery. As bad weather seemed coming on, 
we got inside the reefs and anchored opposite the village of 
Warns- warns to wait for a change. The night was very squal- 
ly, and though in a good harbor, we rolled and jerked uneasi- 
ly ; but in the morning I had greater cause for uneasiness in the 
discovery that our entire Goram crew had decamped, taking 
with them all they possessed and a little more, and leaving 
us without any small boat in which to land. I immediately 
told my Amboyna men to load and fire the muskets as a sig- 
nal of distress, which was soon answered by the village chief 
sending ofE a boat, which took me on shore. I requested that 
messengers should be immediately sent to the neighboring 

382 Ceeam. 

villages in quest of the fugitives, wMch was promptly done. 
My prau was brought into a small creek, where it could se- 
curely rest in the mud at low water, and part of a house was 
given me, in which I could stay for a while. I now found 
my progress again suddenly checked, just when I thought 1 
had overcome my chief difficulties. As I had treated my men 
with the greatest kindness, and had given them almost every 
thing they had asked for, I can impute their running away 
only to their being totally unaccustomed to the restraint of a 
European master, and for some undefined dread of my ulti- 
mate intentions regarding them. The oldest man was an opi- 
um-smoker, and a reputed thief ; but I had been obliged to 
take him at the last moment as a substitute for another. I 
feel sure it was he who induced the others to run away ; and 
as they knew the country well, and had several hours' start of 
us, there was little chance of catching them. 

We were here in the great sago district of East Ceram,which 
supplies most of the surrounding islands with their daily 
bread, and during one week's delay I had an opportunity of 
seeing the whole process of making it, and obtaining some in- 
teresting statistics. The sago-tree is a palm, thicker and 
larger than the cocoa-nut tree, although rarely so tall, and hav- 
ing immense pinnate spiny leaves, which completely cover the 
trunk till it is many years old. It has a creeping root-stem 
like the ISTipa palm, and when about ten or fifteen years of age 
sends up an immense terminal spike of flowers, after which the 
tree dies. It grows in swamps or in swampy hollows on the 
rocky slopes of hills, where it seems to thrive equally well as 
when exposed to the influx of salt or brackish water. The midribs 
of the immense leaves form one of the most useful articles in 
these lands, supplying the place of bamboo, to which for many 
purposes they are superior. They are twelve or fifteen feet long, 
and when very fine, as thick in the lower part as a man's leg. 
They are very light, consisting entirely of a firm pith covered 
with a hard thin rind or bark. Entire houses are built of 
these ; they form admirable roofing-poles for thatch ; split 
and v/ell-supported, they do for flooring ; and when chosen of 
equal size, and pegged together side by side to fill up the pan- 
els of framed wooden houses, they have a very neat appear- 
ance, and make better walls and partitions than boards, as 

The Sago Palm. 383 

they do not shrink, require no paint or varnish, and are not a 
quarter the expense. When carefully split and shaved smooth, 
they are formed into light boards, with pegs of the bark it- 
self, and are the foundation of the leaf-covered boxes of Go- 
ram. All the insect-boxes I used in the Moluccas were thus 
made at Amboyna ; and when covered with stout paper in- 
side and out, are strong, light, and secure the insect-pins re- 
markably well. The leaflets of the sago folded and tied side 
by side on the smaller midribs form the " atap " or thatch in 
universal use, while the product of the trunk is the staple food 
of some hundred thousands of men. 

When sago is to be made, a full-grown tree is selected just 
before it is going to flower. It is cut down close to the 
ground, the leaves and leaf-stalks cleared away, and a broad 
strip of the bark taken oE the upper side of the trunk. This 
exposes the pithy matter, which is of a rusty c6lor near the 
bottom of the tree, but higher up pure white, about as hard 
as a dry apple, but with woody fibres running through it 
about a quarter of an inch apart. This pith is cut or broken 
down into a coarse powder by means of a tool constructed for 
the purpose — a club of hard and heavy wood, having a piece 


of sharp quartz rock firmly embedded into its blunt end and 
projecting about half an inch. By successive blows of this, 
narrow strips of the pith are cut away, and fall down into the 
cylinder formed by the bark. Proceeding steadily on, the 
whole trunk is cleared out, leaving a skin not more than half 
an inch in thickness. This material is carried away (in bask- 
ets made of the sheathing bases of the leaves) to the nearest 
water, where a washing-machine is put up, which is composed 
almost entirely of the sago-tree itself. The large sheathing 
bases of the leaves form the troughs, and the fibrous covering 
from the leaf-stalks of the young cocoa-nut the strainer. Wa- 
ter is poured on the mass of pith, which is kneaded and press- 
ed against the strainer till the starch is all dissolved and has 



passed through, when the fibrous refuse is thrown away, and 
a fresh basketful put in its place. The water charged with 
sago starch passes on to a trough, with a depression in the cen- 
tre, where the. sediment is deposited, the surplus water trick- 
ling off by a shallow outlet. When the trough is nearly full, 
the mass of starch, which has a slight reddish tinge, is made 
into: cylinders of about thirty pounds' weight, and neatly cov- 
ered with sago leaves, and in this state is sold as raw sago. 

■ Boiled with water, this forms a thick glutinous mass, with 
a rather astringent taste, and is eaten with salt, limes, and 


chilies. Sago-bread is made in large quantities, by baking it 
into cakes in a small clay oven containing six or eight slits side 
by side, each about three-quarters of an inch wide, and six or 
eight inches square. The raw sago is broken up, dried in the 
sun, powdered, and finely sifted. The oven is heated over a 
clear fire of embers, and is lightly filled with the sago-powder. 
The openings are then covered with a flat piece of sago bark, 
and in about ^ve minutes the cakes are turned out sufficiently 
baked. The hot cakes are very nice with butter, and when 
made with the addition of a little sugar and grated cocoa-nut 
are quite a delicacy. They are soft, and something like corn- 

Sago Bread. 385 

flour cakes, but have a slight characteristic flavor which is 
lost in the refined sago we use in this country. When not 
wanted for immediate use, they 
are dried for several days in the 
sun, and tied up in bundles of 
twenty. They will then keep 
for years; they are very hard, 
and very rough and dry ; but the 
people are used to them from 
infancy, and little children may 
be seen gnawing at them as con- sagjo oven. 

tentedly as ours with their bread 

and butter. If dipped in water and then toasted, they be- 
come almost as good as when fresh baked; .and thus treated, 
they were my daily substitute for bread with my coffee. 
Soaked and boiled, they make a very good pudding or vege- 
table, and served well to economize our rice, which is some- 
times difiicult to get so far east. 

It is truly an extraordinary sight to witness a whole tree- 
trunk, perhaps twenty feet long and four or ^ye in circumfer- 
ence, converted into food with so little labor and preparation. 
A good-sized tree will produce thirty tomans or bundles of 
thirty pounds each, and each toman will make sixty cakes of 
three to the pound. Two of these cakes are as much as a 
man can eat at one meal, and five are considered a full day's 
allowance; so that reckoning a tree to produce 1800 cakes, 
weighing 600 pounds, ifc will supply a man with food for a 
whole year. The labor to produce this is very moderate. 
Two men will finish a tree in five days, and two women 
will bake the whole into cakes in five days more; but the 
raw sago will keep very well, ancj can be baked as wanted, so 
that we may estimate that in ten days a man may produce 
food for the whole year. This is on the supposition that he 
possesses sago trees of his own, for they are now all private 
property. If he does not he has to pay about seven-and-six- 
pence for one ; and as labor here is fivepence a day, the total 
cost of a year's food for one man is about twelve shillings. 
The effect of this cheapness of food is decidedly prejudicial, 
for the inhabitants of the sago country are never so well off 
as those where rice is cultivated. Many of the people here 



have neither vegetables nor fruit, but live almost entirely on 
sago and a little fish. Having few occupations at home, they 
wander about on petty trading or fishing expeditions to the 
neighboring islands ; and as far as the comforts of life are con- 
cerned, are much inferior to the wild Hill Dyaks of Borneo, or 
to many of the more barbarous tribes of the Archipelago. 

The country round Warus-warus is low and swampy, and 
owing to the absence of cultivation, there were scarcely any 
paths leading into the forest. I was therefore unable to col- 
lect much during my enforced stay, and found no rare birds 
or insects to improve my opinion of Ceram as a collecting- 
ground. Finding it quite impossible to get men here to ac- 
company me on the whole voyage, I was obliged to be content 
with a crew to t^ke me as far as Wahai, on the middle of the 
north coast of Ceram, and the chief Dutch station in the island. 
The journey took us five days, owing to calms and light winds, 
and no incident of any interest occurred on it, nor did I ob- 
tain at our stopping-places a single addition to my collections 
worth naming. At Wahai, which I reached on the 15th of 
June, I was hospitably received by the commandant and my 
old friend Herr Rosenberg, who was now on an official visit 
here. He lent me some money to pay my men, and I was 
lucky enough to obtain three others willing to make the voy- 
age with me to Ternate, and one more who was to return from 
Mysol. One of my Amboyna lads, however, left me, so that 
I was still rather short of hands. 

I found here a letter from Charles Allen, who was at Silinta, 
in Mysol, anxiously expecting me, as he was out of rice and 
other necessaries, and was short of insect-pins. He was also 
ill, and if I did not soon come would return to Wahai. 

As my voyage from this place to Waigiou was among isl- 
ands inhabited by the Papuan race, and was an eventful and 
disastrous one, I will narrate its chief incidents in a separate 
chapter in that division of my work devoted to the Papuan 
Islands. I now have to pass over a year spent in Waigiou 
and Timor, in order to describe my visit to the island of 
Bouru, which concluded my explorations of the Moluccas. 

BouEU. 387 


MAY AND JUNE, 1861. -Mop, p. 356. 

I HAD long wished to visit the large island of Bouru, wMch 
lies due west of Ceram, and of which scarcely any thing ap- 
peared to be known to naturalists except that it contained a 
Babirlisa very like that of Celebes. I therefore made arrange- 
ments for staying there two months after leaving Timor Delli 
in 1 86 1 . This I could conveniently do by means of the Dutch 
mail-steamers, which make a monthly round of the Moluccas. 

We arrived at the harbor of Cajeli on the 4th of May; a 
gun was fired, the commandant of the fort came alongside in 
a native boat to receive the post-packet, and took me and my 
baggage on shore, the steamer going off again without com- 
ing to an anchor. We went to the house of the opzeiner, or 
overseer, a native of Amboyna — Bouru being too poor a place 
to deserve even an Assistant Resident ; yet the appearance 
of the village was very far superior to that of Delli, which 
possesses "His Excellency the Governor;" and the little fort, 
in perfect order, surrounded by neat grass-plots and straight 
walks, although manned by only a dozen Javanese soldiers 
with an adjutant for commander, was a very Sebastopol in 
comparison with the miserable mud inclosure at Delli, with 
its numerous staff of lieutenants, captain, and major. Yet 
this, as well as most of the forts in the Moluccas, was origi- 
nally built by the Portuguese themselves. Oh, Lusitania, 
how art thou fallen ! 

While the opzeiner was reading his letters, I took a walk 
round the village with a guide in search of a house. The 
whole place was dreadfully damp and muddy, being built in 
a swamp, with not a spot of ground raised a foot above it, 
and surrounded by swamps on every side. The houses were 
mostly well-built, of wooden frame-work filled in with gaba- 
gaba (leaf-stems of the sago-palm) ; but as they had no 

388 BouRU. 

whitewash, and the floors were of bare black earth like the 
roads, and generally on the same level, they were extremely 
damp and gloomy. At length I found one with the floor 
raised about a foot, and succeeded in making a bargain with 
the owner to turn out immediately, so that by night I had 
installed myself comfortably. The chairs and tables were 
left for me ; and as the whole of the remaining furniture in 
the house consisted of a little crockery and a few clothes- 
boxes, it was not much trouble for the owners to move into 
the house of some relatives, and thus obtain a few silver ru- 
pees very easily. Every foot of ground between the houses 
throughout the village is crammed with fruit-trees, so that 
the sun and air have no chance of penetrating. This must 
be very cool and pleasant in the dry season, but makes it damp 
and unhealthy at other times of the year. Untortunately, I 
had come two months too soon; for the rains were not yet 
over, and mud and water were the prominent features of the 

' About a mile behind and to the east of the village the 
hills commence ; but they are very barren, being covered 
with scanty coarse grass and scattered trees of the Melaleuca 
cajuputi, from the leaves of which the celebrated cajeput oil is 
made. Such districts are absolutely destitute of interest for 
the zoologist. A few miles farther on rose higher mountains, 
apparently well covered with forest, but they were entirely 
uninhabited and trackless, and practically inaccessible to a 
traveller with limited time and means. It became evident, 
therefore, that I must leave Cajeli for some better collecting- 
ground ; and finding a man who was going a few miles east- 
ward to a village on the coast where he said there were hills 
and forest, I sent my boy Ali with him to explore and report 
on the capabilities of the district. At the same time I ar- 
ranged to go myself on a little excursion up a river which 
flows into the bay about ^ve miles north of the town, to a 
village of the Alfuros, or indigenes, where I thought I might 
perhaps find a good collecting-ground. 

The Rajah of Cajeli, a good-tempered old man, offered to 
accompany me, as the village was under his government; 
and we started one morning early, in a long narrow boat 
with eight rowers. In about two hours we entered the river, 

An Excursion. 389 

and commenced our inland journey against a very powerful 
current. The stream was about a hundred yards wide, and 
was generally bordered with high grass, and occasionally 
bushes and palm-trees. The country round was flat and 
more or less swampy, with scattered trees and shrubs. At 
every bend we crossed the river to avoid the strength of the 
current, and arrived at our landing-place about four o'clock 
in a torrent of rain. Here we waited for an hour, crouching 
under a leaky mat till the Alfuros arrived who had been sent 
for from the village to carry my baggage, when we set off 
along a path of whose extreme muddiness I had been warned 
before starting. 

I turned up my trowsers as high as possible, grasped a 
stout stick to prevent awkward Mh, and then boldly plunged 
into the first mud-hole, which was immediately succeeded by 
another and anothero The mud or mud and water was knee- 
deep, with little intervals of firmer ground between, making 
progression exceedingly difiicult. The path was bordered 
with high rigid grass, growing in dense clumps separated by 
water, so that nothing was to be gained by leaving the beat- 
en track, and we were obliged to go floundering on, never 
knowing where our feet would Test, as the mnid was now a 
few inches, now two feet deep, and the bottom very uneven, 
so that the foot slid down to the lowest part, and made it 
difiicult to keep one's balance. One step would be upon a 
concealed stick or log, almost dislocating the ankle, while 
the next would plunge into soft mud above the knee. It 
rained all the way, and the long grass, six feet high, met over 
the path ; so that we could not see a step of the way ahead, 
and received a double drenching. Before we got to the vil- 
lage it was dark, and we had to cross over a small but deep 
and swollen stream by a narrow log of wood, which was 
more than a foot under water. There was a slender shaking 
stick for a hand-rail, and it was nervous work feeling in the 
dark in the rushing water for a safe place on which to place 
the advanced foot. After an hour of this most disagreeable 
and fatiguing walk we reached the village, followed by the 
men with our guns, ammunition, boxes, and bedding, all more 
or less soaked. We consoled ourselves with some hot tea 
and cold fowl, and went early to bed. 

390 BouKU. 

The next morning was clear and fine, and I set out soon 
after sunrise to explore the neighborhood. The village had 
evidently been newly formed, and consisted of a single 
straight street of very miserable huts totally deficient in 
every comfort, and as bare and cheerless inside as out. It 
was situated on a little elevated patch of coarse gravelly soil, 
covered with the usual high rigid grass, which came up close 
to the backs of the houses. At a short distance in several 
directions were patches of forest, but all on low and swampy 
ground. I made one attempt along the only path I could 
find, but soon came upon a deep mud-hole, and found that I 
must walk barefoot if at all; sol returned, and deferred fur- 
ther exploration till after breakfast. I then went on into the 
jungle, and found patches of sago-palms and a low forest 
vegetation, but the paths were everywhere full of mud-holes, 
and intersected by muddy streams and tracts of swamp, so 
that walking was not pleasurable, and too much attention 
to one's steps was not favorable to" insect-catching, which re- 
quires above every thing freedom of motion. I shot a few 
birds and caught a few butterflies, but all were the same as 
I had already obtained about Cajeli. 

On my return to the village I was told that the same kind 
of ground extended for many miles in every direction, and I 
at once decided that Wayapo was not a suitable place to 
stay at. The next morning early we waded back again 
through the mud and long wet grass to our boat, and by 
midday reached Cajeli, where I waited All's return to decide 
on my future movements. He came the following day, and 
gave a very bad account of Pelah, where he had been. There 
was a little brush and trees along the beach, and hills inland 
covered with high grass and cajuputi-trees— my dread and 
abhorrence. On inquiring who could give me trustworthy 
information, I was referred to the lieutenant of the burghers, 
who had travelled all round the island, and was a very intel- 
ligent fellow. I asked him to tell me if he knew of any part 
of Bouru where there was no " kusu-kusu," as the coarse grass 
of the country is called. He assured me that a good deal of 
the south coast was forest land, while along the north was 
almost entirely swamp and grassy hills. After minute in- 
quiries, I found that the forest country commenced at a 

Waypoti. 391 

place called Waypoti, only a few miles beyond Pelah, but 
that, as the coast beyond tbat place was exposed to the east 
monsoon and dangerous for praus, it was necessary to walk. 
I immediately went to the opzeiner, and he called the Rajah. 
We had a consultation, and arranged for a boat to take me 
the next evening but one, to Pelah, whence I was to proceed 
on foot, the orang-kaya going the day before to call the Al- 
furos to carry my baggage. 

The journey was made as arranged, and on May 19th we 
arrived at Waypoti, having walked about ten miles along the 
beach, and through stony forest bordering the sea, with oc- 
casional plunges of a mile or two into the interior. We found 
no village, but scattered houses and plantations, with hilly 
country pretty well covered with forest, and looking^ rather 
promising. A low hut with a very rotten roof, showing the 
sky through in several places, was the only one I could ob- 
tain. Luckily it did not rain that night, and the next day we 
pulled down some of the walls to repair the roof, which was 
of immediate importance, especially over our beds and table. 

About half a mile from the house was a fine mountain 
stream, running swiftly over a bed of rocks and pebbles, and 
beyond this was a hill covered with fine forest. By carefully 
picking my way, I could wade across this river without get- 
ting much above my knees, although I would sometimes slip 
ofi" a rock and go into a 'hole up . to my waist, and about 
twice a week I went across it in order to explore the forest. 
Unfortunately there were no paths here of any extent, and it 
did not prove very productive either in insects or birds. To 
add to my difficulties, I had stupidly left my only pair of 
strong boots on board the steamer, and my others were by 
this time all dropping to pieces ; so that I was obliged to 
walk about barefooted, and in constant fear of hurting my 
feet, and causing a wound which might lay me up for weeks, 
as had happened in Borneo, Aru, and Dorey. Although there 
were numerous plantations of maize and plantains, there were 
no new clearings ; and as without these it is almost impossi- 
ble to find many of the best kinds of insects, I determined to 
make one myself, and with much difficulty engaged two men 
to clear a patch of forest, from which I hoped to obtain many 
fine beetles before I left. 

B92 BouKU. 

During the whole of my stay, however, insects never be- 
came plentiful. My clearing produced me a few fine longi- 
corns and Buprestidae, different from any I had before seen, 
together with several of the Amboyna species, but by no 
means so numerous or so beautiful as I had found in that 
small island. For example, I collected only 210 different 
kinds of beetles during my two months' stay at Bouru, while 
in three weeks at Amboyna, in 1857, I found more than 300 
species. One of the finest insects found at Bouru was a large 
Cerambyx, of a deep shining chestnut color, and with very long 
antennae. It varied greatly in size, the largest specimens be- 
ing three inches long, while the smallest were only an inch, 
the antennae varying from one and a half to five inches. 

One day my boy Ali came home with a story of a big 
snake. He was walking through some high grass, and step- 
ped on something which he took for a small fallen tree, but 
it felt cold and yielding to his -feet, and far to the right and 
left there was a waving and rustling of the herbage. He 
jumped back in affright and prepared to shoot, but could 
not get a good view of the creature, and it passed away, he 
said, like a tree being dragged along through the grass. As 
he had several times already shot large snakes, which he de- 
clared were all as nothing compared with this, I am inclined 
to believe it must really have been a monster. Such crea- 
tures are rather plentiful here, for a man living close by 
showed me on his thigh the marks where he had been seized 
by one close to his house. It was big enough to take the 
man's thigh in its mouth, and he would probably have been 
killed and devoured by it had not his cries brought out his 
neighbors, who destroyed it with their choppers. As far as 
I could make out, it was about twenty feet long, but All's 
was probably much larger. 

It sometimes amuses me to observe how, a few days after I 
have taken possession of it, a native hut seems quite a com- 
fortable home. My house at Waypoti was a bare shed, with 
a large bamboo platform at one side. At one end of this plat- 
form, which was elevated about three feet, I fixed up my mos- 
quito curtain, and partly inclosed it with a large Scotch plaid, 
making a comfortable little sleeping apartment. I put up a 
rude table on legs buried in the earth^rn floor, and had my 

Curiosity of the Natives. 393 

comfortable rattan-chair for a seat. A line across one corner 
carried my daily-washed cotton clothing, and on a bamboo 
shelf was arranged my small stock of crockery and hardware. 
Boxes were ranged against the thatch walls, and hanging 
shelves, to preserve my collections from ants while drying, 
were suspended both without and within the house. On my 
table lay books, penknives, scissors, pliers, and pins, with in- 
sects and bird-labels, all of which were unsolved mysteries to 
the native mind. 

Most of the people here had never seen a pin, and the 
better informed took a pride in teaching their more ignorant 
companions the peculiarities and uses of that strange European 
production — a needle with a head, but no eye ! Even paper, 
which we throw away hourly as rubbish, was to them a curi- 
osity ; and I often saw them picking up little scraps which had 
been swept out of the house, and carefully putting them away 
in their betel-pouch. Then when I took my morning coffee 
and evening tea, how many were the strange things displayed 
to them I Tea-pot, tea-cups, tea-spoons were all more or less 
curious in their eyes ; tea^ sugar, biscuit, and butter were 
articles of human consumption seen by many of them for the 
first time. One asks if that whitish powder is " gula passir " 
(sand-sugar), so called to distinguish it from the coarse lump 
palm-sugar or molasses of native manufacture ; and the bis- 
cuit is considered a sort of European sago-cake, which the in- 
habitants of those remote regions are obliged to use in the 
absence of the genuine article. My pursuits were of course 
utterly bey on/i their comprehension. They con.tinually asked 
me what white people did with the birds and insects I took 
so much care to preserve. If I only kept what was beautiful, 
they might perhaps comprehend it; but to see ants and flies 
and small ugly insects put away so carefully was a great puz- 
zle to them, and they were convinced that there must be some 
medical or magical use for them which I kept a profound 
secret. These people were in fact as completely unacquainted 
with civilized life as the Indians of the Rocky Mountains or 
the savages of Central Africa — yet a steam-ship, that highest 
triumph of human ingenuity, with its little floating epitome 
of European civilization, touches monthly at Cajeli, twenty 
miles off; while at Amboyna, only sixty miles distant, a 

394: BouEU. 

European population and government haye been established 
for more than three hundred years. 

Having seen a good many of the natives of Bouru from 
different villages, and from distant parts of the island, I feel 
convinced that they consist of two distinct races now partial- 
ly amalgamated. The larger portion are Malays of the Cel- 
ebes type, often exactly similar to the Tom6re people of 
East Celebes, whom I found settled in Batchian, while others 
altogether resembled the Alfuros of Coram. The influx of 
two races can easily be accounted for. The Sula Islands, 
which are closly connected with East Celebes, approach to 
within forty miles of the north coast of Bouru, while the isl- 
and of Manipa offers an easy point of departure for the peo- 
ple of Coram. I was confirmed in this view by finding that 
the languages of Bouru possessed distinct resemblances to 
that of Sula, as well as to those of Coram. 

Soon after we had arrived at Waypoti, Ali had seen a 
beautiful little bird of the genus Pitta, which I was very 
anxious to obtain, as in almost every island the species are 
different, and none were yet known from Bouru. He and my 
other hunter continued to see it two or three times a week, 
and to hear its peculiar note much oftener, but could never 
get a specimen, owing to its always frequenting the most 
dense thorny thickets, where only hasty glimpses of it could 
be obtained, and at so short a distance that it would be dif- 
ficult to avoid blowing the bird to pieces. Ali was very 
much annoyed that he could not get a specimen of this bird, 
in going after which he had already severely wounded his 
feet with thorns ; and when we had only two days more to 
stay, he went of his own accord one vening to sleep at a 
little hut in the forest some miles off, in order to have a last 
try for it at daybreak, when many birds come out to feed, 
and are very intent on their morning meal. The next even- 
ing he brought me home two specimens, one with the head 
blown completely off, and otherwise too much injured to pre- 
serve, the other in very good order, and which I at once saw 
to be a new species, very like the Pitta celebensis, but orna- 
mented with a square patch of bright red on the nape of the 

The next day after securing this prize we returned to Ca- 

My Collections. 395 

jeli, and, packing up my collections, left Bouru by the steamer. 
During our two days' stay at Ternate I took on board what 
baggage 1 had left there and bade adieu to all my friends. 
We then crossed over to Menado, on our way to Macassar 
and Java, and I finally quitted the Moluccas, among whose 
luxuriant and beautiful islands I had wandered for more than 
three years. 

My collections in Bouru, though not extensive, were of 
considerable interest ; for out of sixty-six species of birds 
which I collected there, no less than seventeen were new, or 
had not been previously found in any island of the Moluccas, 
Among these were two kingfishers (Tanysiptera acis and 
Ceyx Cajeli) ; a beautiful sunbird (N'ectarinea proserpina) ; a 
handsome little black and white fly-catcher (Monarcha lori- 
cata), whose swelling throat was beautifully scaled with me- 
tallic blue ; and several of less interest I also obtained a 
skull of the Babirlisa, one specimen of which was killed by 
native hunters during my residence at Cajeli. 

396 Natubal Histoey 



The Moluccas consist of three large islands, Gilolo, Ceram, 
and Bouru, the two former being each about two hundred 
miles long, and a great number of smaller isles and islets, the 
most important of which are Batchian, Morty, Obi, K6,Timor- 
laut, and Amboyna ; and among the smaller ones, Ternate, 
Tidore, Kaioa, and Banda. These occupy a space of ten 
degrees of latitude by eight of longitude, and they are con- 
nected by groups of small islets to New Guinea on the east, 
the Philippines on the north, Celebes on the west, and Timor 
on the south. It will be as well to bear in mind these main 
features of extent and geographical position, while we survey 
their animal productions and discuss their relations to the 
countries which surround them on every side in almost equal 

We will first consider the Mammalia, or warm-blooded 
quadrupeds, which present us with some singular anomalies. 
The land mammals are exceedingly few in number, only ten 
being yet known from the entire group. The bats or aerial 
mammals, on the other hand, are numerous — not less than 
twenty-five species being already known. But even this ex- 
ceeding poverty of terrestrial mammals does not at all repre- 
sent the real poverty of the Moluccas in this class of animals ; 
for, as we shall soon see, there is good reason to believe that 
several of the species have been introduced by men, either 
purposely or by accident. 

The only quadrumanous animal in the group is the curious 
baboon-monkey (Cyriopithecus nigrescens), already described 
as being one of the characteristic animals of Celebes. This 
is found only in the island of Batchian ; and it seems so much 
out of place there — as it is difiicult to imagine how it could 
have reached the island by any natural means of dispersal, 
and yet not have passed by the same means over the narrow 

Of the Moluccas. 397 

strait to Gilolo — that it seems more likely to have originated 
from some individuals which had escaped from confinement, 
these and similar animals being often kept as pets by the 
Malays, and carried about in their praus. 

Of all the carnivorous animals of the Archipelago the 
only one found in the Moluccas is the Yiverra tangalunga, 
which inhabits both Batchian and Bouru, and probably some 
of the other islands. I am inclined to think that this also 
may have been introduced accidentally, for it is often made 
captive by the Malays, who procure civet from it ; and it is 
an animal very restless and untamable, and therefore likely 
to escape. This view is rendered still more probable by 
what Antonio de Morga tells us was the custom in the Phil- 
ippines in 1602. He says that "the natives of Mindanao 
carry about civet-cats in cages, and sell them in the islands ; 
and they take the civet from them, and let them go again." 
The same species is common in the Philippines, and in all the 
large islands of the Indo-Malay region. 

The only Moluccan ruminant is a deer, which was once 
supposed to be a distinct species, but is now generally con- 
sidered to be a slight variety of the Rusa hippelaphus of Java. 
Deer are often tamed and petted, and their flesh is so much 
esteemed by all Malays that it is very natural they should 
endeavor to introduce them into the remote islands in which 
they settled, and whose luxuriant forests seem so well adapted 
for their subsistence. 

The strange Babiriisa of Celebes is also found in Bouru, 
but in no other Moluccan island, and it is somewhat difficult 
to imagine how it got there. It is true that there is some 
approximation between the birds of the Sula Islands (where 
the Babiriisa is also found) and those of Bouru, which seems 
to indicate that these islands have recently been closer to- 
gether, or that some intervening land has disappeared. At 
this time the Babiriisa may have entered Bouru, since it 
probably swims as well as its allies the pigs. These are 
spread all over the Archipelago, even to several of the smaller 
islands, and in many cases the species are peculiar. It is 
evident, therefore, that they have some natural means of dis- 
persal. There is a popular idea that pigs can not swim, but 
Sir Charles Lyell has shown that this is a mistake. In his 

398 Natueal Histoey 

" Principles of Geology " (10th edit. vol. ii. p. 355) lie adduces 
evidences to show that pigs have swum many miles at sea, 
and are able to swim with great ease and swiftness. I have 
myself seen a wild pig swimming across the arm of the sea 
that separates Singapore from the peninsula of Malacca, and 
we thus have explained the curious fact that, of all the large 
mammals of the Indian region, pigs alone extend beyond the 
Moluccas and as far as ISTew Guinea, although it is somewhat 
curious that they have not found their way to Australia. 

The little shrew (Sorex myosurus), which is common in 
Sumatra, Borneo, and Java, is also found in the larger islands 
of the Moluccas, to which it may have been accidentally con- 
veyed in native praus. 

This completes the list of the placental mammals which 
are so characteristic of the Indian region ; and we see that, 
with the single exception of the pig, all may very probably 
have been introduced by man, since all except the pig are of 
species identical with those now abounding in the great Ma- 
lay Islands, or in Celebes. 

The four remaining mammals are Marsupials, an order of 
the class Mammalia which is very characteristic of the Aus- 
tralian fauna; and these are probably true natives of the 
Moluccas, since they are either of peculiar species, or, if found 
elsewhere, are natives only of I^ew Guinea or E'orth Austra- 
lia. The first is the small flying opossum (Belideus ariel), 
a beautiful little animal, exactly like a small flying squirrel 
in appearance, but belonging to the marsupial order. The 
other three are species of the curious genus Cuscus, which is 
peculiar to the Austro-Malayan region. These are opossum- 
like animals, with a long prehensile tail, of which the termi- 
nal half is generally bare. They have small heads, large 
eyes, and a dense covering of woolly fur, which is often pure 
white, with irregular black spots or blotches, or sometimes 
ashy brown with or without white spots. They live in 
trees, feeding upon the leaves, of which they devour large 
quantities. They move about slowly, and are difficult to 
kill, owing to the thickness of their fur, and their tenacity of 
life. A heavy charge of shot, will often lodge in the skin 
and do them no harm, and even breaking the spine or pierc- 
ing the brain will not kill them for some hours. The natives 

Of the Moluccas. 


everywhere eat their flesh, and as their motions are so slow, 
easily catch them by climbing ; so that it is wonderful they 
have not been exterminated. It may be, however, that their 
dense woolly fur protects them from birds of prey, and the 
islands they live in are too thinly inhabited for man to be 
able to exterminate them. The figure represents Cuscus or- 
natus, a new species discovered by me in Batchian, and which 

cuscus OKNATUS. 

also inhabits Ternate. It is peculiar to the Moluccas, while 
the two other species which inhabit Ceram are found also in 
'New Guinea and Waigiou. 

In place of the excessive poverty of mammals which char- 
acterizes the Moluccas, we have a very rich display of the 
feathered tribes. The number of species of birds at present 
known from the various islands of the Moluccan group is 265, 

400 Natural History 

but of these only 70 belong to the usually abundant tribes of 
the waders and swimmers, indicating that these are very im- 
perfectly known. As they are also pre-eminently wanderers, 
and are thus little fitted for illustrating the geographical dis- 
tribution of life in a limited area, we will here leave them 
out of consideration and confine our attention only to the 
195 land-birds. 

When we consider that all Europe, with its varied climate 
and vegetation, with every mile of its surface explored, and 
with the immense extent of temperate Asia and Africa, which 
serve as store-houses, from which it is continually recruited, 
only supports 257 species of land-birds as residents or regular 
immigrants, we must look upon the numbers already procured 
in the small and comparatively unknown islands of the Mo- 
luccas as indicating a fauna of fully average richness in this 
department. But when we come to examine the family groups 
which go to make up this number, we find the most curious 
deficiencies in some, balanced by equally striking redundancy 
in others. Thus if we compare the birds of the Moluccas 
with those of India, as given in Mr. Jerdon's work, we find 
that the three groups of the parrots, kingfishers, and pigeons 
form nearly one-third of the whole land-birds in the former, 
while they amount to only one-twentieth in the latter country. 
On the other hand, such wide-spread groups as the thrushes, 
warblers, and finches, which in India form nearly one-third of 
all the land-birds, dwindle down in the Moluccas to one-four- 

The reason of these peculiarities appears to be, that the 
Moluccan fauna has been almost entirely derived from that 
of New Guinea, in which country the same deficiency and 
the same luxuriance is to be observed. Out of the seventy- 
eight genera in which the Moluccan land-birds may be classed, 
no less than seventy are characteristic of New Guinea, while 
only six belong specially to the Indo-Malay islands. But 
this close resemblance to New Guinea genera does not extend 
to the species, for no less than 140 out of the 195 land-birds 
are peculiar to the Moluccan islands, while 32 are found also 
in New Guinea, and 15 in the Indo-Malay islands. These 
facts teach us, that though' the birds of this group have evi- 
dently been derived mainly from New Guinea, yet the immi- 

Of the Moluccas. 401 

gration has not been a recent one, since there has been time 
for the greater portion of the species to have become changed. 
We find, also, that many very characteristic l^ew Guinea 
forms have not entered the Moluccas at all, while others 
found in Ceram and Gilolo do not extend so far west as Bouru. 
Considering, further, the absence of most of the New Guinea 
mammals from the Moluccas, we are led to the conclusion that 
these islands are not fragments which have been separated 
from Kew Guinea, but form a distinct insular region, which 
has been upheaved independently at a rather remote epoch, 
and during all the mutations it has undergone has been con- 
stantly receiving immigrants from that great and productive 
island. The considerable length of time the Moluccas have re- 
mained isolated is further indicated by the occurrence of two 
peculiar genera of birds, Semioptera and Lycocorax, which are 
found nowhere else. 

We are able to divide this small archipelago into two well- 
marked groups — that of Ceram, including also Bouru, Am- 
boyna, Banda, and Ke, and that of Gilolo, including Morty, 
Batchian, Obi, Ternate, and other small islands. These divis- 
ions have each a considerable number of peculiar species, no 
less than fifty- five being found in the Ceram group only ; and 
besides this, most of the separate islands have some species 
peculiar to themselves. Thus Morty Island has a peculiar 
kingfisher, honeysucker, and starling ; Ternate has a ground- 
thrush (Pitta) and a fly-catcher ; Banda has a pigeon, a shrike, 
and a Pitta ; Ke has two fly-catchers, a Zosterops, a shrike, 
a king-crow, and a cuckoo ; and the remote Timor-laut, which 
should probably come into the Moluccan group, has a cocka- 
too and lory as its only known birds, and both are of peculiar 

The Moluccas are especially rich in the parrot tribe, no less 
than twenty-two species, belonging to ten genera, inhabiting 
them. Among these is the large red-crested cockatoo, so com- 
monly seen alive in Europe, two handsome red parrots of the 
genus Eclectus, and five of the beautiful crimson lories, which 
are almost exclusively confined to these islands and the N^ew 
Guinea group. The pigeons are hardly less abundant or beau- 
tiful, twenty-one species being known, including twelve of 
the beautiful green fruit-pigeons, the smaller kinds of which 


402 Natueal Histoet 

are ornamented with the most brilliant patches of color on 
the head and the under surface. Next to these come the 
kingfishers, including sixteen species, almost all of which are 
beautiful, and many are among the most brilliantly-colored 
birds that exist. 

One of the most curious groups of birds, the Megapodii, or 
mound-makers, is very abundant in the Moluccas. They are 
gallinaceous birds, about the size of a small fowl, and generally 
of a dark ashy or sooty color, and they have remarkably large 
and strong feet and long claws. They are allied to the "Maleo " 
of Celebes, of which an account has already been given, but 
they differ in habits, most of these birds frequenting the scrub- 
by jungles along the sea-shore, where the soil is sandy, and 
there is a considerable quantity of d&bris^ consisting of sticks, 
shells, sea-weed, leaves, etc. Of this rubbish the Megapodins 
forms immense mounds, often six or eight feet high and twen- 
ty or thirty feet in diameter, which they are enabled to do 
with comparative ease by means of their large feet, with 
which they can grasp and throw backward a quantity of ma- 
terial. In the centre of this mound, at a depth of two or three 
feet, the eggs are deposited, and are hatched by the gentle 
heat produced by the fermentation of the vegetable matter 
of the mound. When I first saw these mounds in the island 
of Lombock I could hardly believe that they were made by 
such small birds, but I afterward met with them frequently, 
and have once or twice come upon the birds engaged in mak- 
ing them. They run a few steps backward, grasping a quan- 
tity of loose material in one foot, and throw it a long way be- 
hind them. When once properly buried the eggs seem to 
be no more cared for, the young birds working their way up 
through the heap of rubbish, and running off at once into the 
forest. They come out of the egg covered with thick downy 
feathers, and have no tail, although the wings are fully devel- 

I was so fortunate as to discover a new species (Megapo- 
dins wallacei), which inhabits Gilolo, Ternate, and Bouru. It 
is the handsomest bird of the genus, being richly banded with 
reddish-brown on the back and wings, and it differs from the 
other species in its habits. It frequents the forests of the in- 
terior, and comes down to the sea-beach to deposit its eggs; 

Of the Moluccas. 403 

but instead of making a mound, or scratching a hole to receive 
them, it burrows into the sand to the depth of about three 
feet obliquely downward, and deposits its eggs at the bottom. 
It then loosely covers up the mouth of the hole, and is said 
by the natives to obliterate and disguise its own footmarks 
leading to and from the hole by making many other tracks and 
scratches in the neighborhood. It lays its eggs only at night, 
and at Bourn a bird was caught early one morning as it was 
coming out of its hole, in which several eggs were found. All 
these birds seem to be semi-nocturnal, for their loud wailing 
cries may be constantly heard late into the night and long 
before daybreak in the morning. The eggs are all of a rusty- 
red color, and very large for the size of the bird, being gen- 
erally three or three and a quarter inches long, by two or 
two and a quarter wide. They are very good eating, and 
are much sought after by the natives. 

Another large and extraordinary bird is the cassowary, 
which inhabits the island of Ceram only. It is a stout and 
strong bird, standing five or six feet high, and covered with 
long coarse black hair-like feathers. The head is ornament- 
ed with a large horny casque or helmet, and the bare skin 
of the neck is conspicuous with bright blue and red colors. 
The wings are quite absent, and are replaced by a group of 
horny black spines like blunt porcupine-quills. These birds 
wander about the vast mountainous forests that cover the 
island of Ceram, feeding chiefly on fallen fruits, and on in- 
sects or Crustacea. The female lays from three to ^re large 
and beautifully shagreened green eggs upon a bed of leaves, 
the male and female sitting upon them alternately for about 
a month. This bird is the helmeted cassowary (Casuarius 
galeatus) of naturalists, and was for a long time the only 
species known. Others have since been discovered in N'ew 
Guinea, N'ew Britain, and Korth Australia. 

It was in the Moluccas that I first discovered undoubted 
cases of "mimicry" among birds, and these are so curious - 
that I must briefly describe them. It will be as well, however, 
first to explain what is meant by mimicry in natural history. 
At page 142 I have described a butterfly which, when at rest, 
so closely resembles a dead leaf that it thereby escapes the 
attacks of its enemies. This is termed a " protective resem- 

404 Natueal Histoky 

blance." If however the butterfly, being itself a savory mor- 
sel to birds, had closely resembled another butterfly which 
was disagreeable to birds, and therefore never eaten by them, 
it would be as well protected as if it resembled a leaf; and 
this is what has been happily termed " mimicry " by Mr. Bates, 
who first discovered the object of these curious external imi- 
tations of one insect by another belonging to a distinct genus 
or family, and sometimes even to a distinct order. The clear- 
winged moths which resemble wasps and hornets are the best 
examples of " mimicry " in our own country. 

For a long time all the known cases of exact resemblance 
of one creature to quite a diflerent one were confined to in- 
sects, and it was therefore with great pleasure that I discov- 
ered in the island of Bouru two birds which I constantly mis- 
took for each other, and which yet belonged to two distinct 
and somewhat distant families. One of these is a honey- 
sucker named Tropidorhynchus bouruensis, and the other a 
kind of oriole, which has been called Mimeta bouruensis. 
The oriole resembles the honeysucker in the following par- 
ticulars : the upper and under surfaces of the two birds are 
exactly of the same tints of dark and light brown; the Tro- 
pidorhynchus has a large bare black patch round the eyes; 
this is copied in the Mimeta by a patch of black feathers. 
The top of the head of the Tropidorhynchus has a scaly 
appearance from the narrow scale-formed feathers, which 
are imitated by the broader feathers of the Mimeta having 
a dusky line down each. The Tropidorhynchus has a pale 
ruff formed of curious recurved feathers on the nape (which 
has given the whole genus the name of friar-birds) ; this is 
represented in the Mimeta by a pale band in the same posi- 
tion. ' Lastly, the bill of the Tropidorhynchus is raised into 
a protuberant keel at the base, and the Mimeta has the same 
character, although it is not a common one in the genus. 
The result is, that on a superficial examination the birds are 
identical, although they have important structural differ- 
ences, and can not be placed near each other in any natural 

In the adjacent island of Coram we find very distinct spe- 
cies of .both these genera, and, strange to say, these resemble 
each other quite as closely as do those of Bouru. The Tropi- 

Of the Moluccas. 405 

dorhynchus subcornutus is of an earthy brown color, wash- 
ed with ochreish yellow, with bare orbits, dusky, cheeks, and 
the usual recurved nape-ruif. The Mimeta forsteni, which 
accompanies it, is absolutely identical in the tints of every 
part of the body, and the details are copied just as minutely 
as in the former species. 

We have two kinds of evidence to tell us which bird in 
this case is the model, and which the copy. The honey suck- 
ers are colored in a manner which is very general in the whole 
family to which they belong, while the orioles seem to have 
departed from the gay yellow tints so common among their 
allies. We should therefore conclude that it is the latter 
who mimic the former. If so, however, they must derive 
some advantage from the imitation ; and as they are certain- 
ly w^eak birds, with small feet and claws, they may require 
it. Now the Tropidorhynchi are very strong and active 
birds, having powerful grasping claws, and long, curved, 
sharp beaks. They assemble together in groups and small 
flocks, and they have a very loud bawling note which can be 
heard at a great distance, and serves to collect a number to- 
gether in time of danger. They are very plentiful, and very 
pugnacious, frequently driving away crows and even hawks, 
which perch on a tree where a few of them are assembled. 
It is very probable, therefore, that the smaller birds of prey 
have learned to respect these birds and leave them alone, and 
it may thus be a great advantage for the weaker and less 
courageous Mimetas to be mistaken for them. This being 
the case, the laws of variation and survival of the fittest will 
suffice to explain how the resemblance has been brought 
about, without supposing any voluntary action on the part 
of the birds themselves ; and those who have read Mr. Dar- 
win's " Origin of Species " will have no difficulty in compre- 
hending the whole process. 

The insects of the Moluccas are pre-eminently beautiful, 
even when compared with the varied and beautiful produc- 
tions of other parts of the Archipelago. The grand bird- wing- 
ed butterflies (Ornithoptera) here reach their maximum of size 
and beauty, and many of the Papilios, Pieridse, Danaidse, and 
N'ymphalidse are equally pre-eminent. There is, perhaps, no 
island in the world so small as Amboyna where so many 

406 Natueal History 

grand insects are to be found.. Here are three of the very, 
finest Ornithopterse— Priamus, Helena, and Kemus ; three of 
the handsomest and largest Papilios— Ulysses, Deiphobus, 
and Gambrisius; one of the handsomest Pieridse — Iphias 
leucippe ; the largest of the Danaidse — Hestia idea ; and two 
unusually large and handsome Nymphalidse— Diadema pan- 
darus and Charaxese uryalus. Among its beetles are the ex- 
traordinary Euchirus longimanus, whose enormous legs spread 
Of er a space of eight inches, and an unusual number of 
large and handsome longicorns, Anthribidse, and Buprestidse. 

The beetles figured on the plate as characteristic of the 
Moluccas are: 1. A small specimen of the Euchirus longi- 
manus, or long-armed chafer, which has been already men- 
tioned in the account of my residence at Amboyna (Chapter 
XX.). The female has the fore legs of moderate length. 2. 
A fine weevil (an undescribed species of Eupholus), of rich 
bli^e and emerald green colors, banded with black. It is a 
native of Ceram and Goram, and is found on foliage. 3. A 
female of Xenocerus semiluctuosus, one of the Anthribidae, of 
delicate silky white and black colors. It is abundant on 
fallen trunks and stumps in Ceram and Amboyna. 4. An un- 
described species of Xenocerus ; a male with very long and 
curious antennae, and elegant black and white markings. It 
is found on fallen trunks in Batchian. 5. An undescribed 
species of Arachnobas, a curious genus of weevils peculiar 
to the Moluccas and New Guinea, and remarkable for their 
long legs, and their habit of often sitting on leaves, and turn- 
ing rapidly round the edge to the under surface when disturb- 
ed. It was found in Gilolo. All these insects are represent- 
ed of the natural size. 

Like the birds, the insects of the Moluccas show a decided 
affinity with those of N"ew Guinea rather than with the pro- 
ductions of the great western islands of the Archipelago, but 
the difference in form and structure between the productions 
of the east and west is not nearly so marked here as in birds. 
This is probably due to the more immediate dependence of 
insects on climate and vegetation, and the greater facilities 
for their distribution in the varied stages of egg, pupa, and 
perfect insect. This has led to a general uniformity in the 
insect-life of the whole Archipelago, in accordance with the 


Of the Moluccas. 407 

general uniformity of its climate and vegetation ; while on 
the other hand the great susceptibility of the insect organi- 
zation to the action of external conditions has led to infinite 
detailed modifications of form and color which have in many 
cases given a considerable diversity to the productions of ad- 
jacent islands. 

Owing to the great preponderance among the birds of 
parrots, pigeons, kingfishers, and sunbirds, almost all of gay 
or delicate colors, and many adorned with the most gorgeous 
plumage, and to the numbers of very large and showy but- 
terflies which are almost everywhere to be met with, the 
forests of the Moluccas offer to the naturalist a very striking 
example of the luxuriance and beauty of animal life in the 
tropics. Yet the almost entire absence of Mammalia, and of 
such wide-spread groups of birds as woodpeckers, thrushes, 
jays, tits, and pheasants, must convince him that he is in a 
part of the world which has in reality but little in common 
with the great Asiatic continent, although an unbroken chain 
of islands seems to link them to it. 

408 ■ Macassak to the Aeu Islands 



DECEMBER, 1856. 

It was tlie beginning of December, and the rainy season at 
Macassar had just set in. For nearly three months I had be- 
held the sun rise daily above the palm-groves, mount to the 
zenith, and descend like a globe of fire into the ocean, unob- 
scured for a single moment of his course. Now dark leaden 
clouds had gathered over the whole heavens, and seemed to 
have rendered him permanently invisible. The strong east 
winds, warm and dry and dust-laden, which had hitherto blown 
as certainly as the sun had risen, were now replaced by varia- 
ble gusty breezes and heavy rains, often continuous for three 
days and nights together ; and the parched and fissured rice 
stubbles, which during the dry weather had extended in every 
direction for miles around the town, were already so flooded 
as to be only passable by boats, or by means of a labyrinth 
of paths on the top of the narrow banks which divided the 
separate properties. 

Five months of this kind of weather might be expected in 
Southern Celebes, and I therefore determined to seek some 
more favorable climate for collecting in during that period, 
and to return in the next dry season to complete my explora- 
tion of the district. Fortunately for me, I was in one of the 
great emporiums of the native trade of the Archipelago. Rat- 
tans from Borneo, sandal-wood and bees-wax from Flores and 
Timor, tripang from the Gulf of Carpentaria, cajeput-oil from 
Bouru, wild nutmegs and mnssoi-bark from IS^ew Guinea, are 
all to be found in the stores of the Chinese and Bugis mer- 
chants of Macassar, along with the rice and coffee which are 
the chief products of the surrounding country. More impor- 
tant than all these, however, is the trade to Aru, a group of 
islands situated on the south-west coast of l^ew Guinea, and 
of which almost the whole produce comes to Macassar in na- 

In a Native Prau. 409 

tive vessels. These islands are quite out of the track of all 
European trade, and are inhabited only by black mop-headed 
savages, who yet contribute to the luxurious tastes of the 
most civilized races. Pearls, mother-of-pearl, and tortoise- 
shell find their way to Europe, while edible birds' nests and 
" tripang," or sea-slug, are obtained by shiploads for the gas- 
tronomic enjoyment of the Chinese. 

The trade to these islands has existed from very early 
times, and it is from them that birds of paradise, of the two 
kinds known to Linnaeus, were first brought. The native ves- 
sels can only make the voyage once a year, owing to the mon- 
soons. They leave Macassar in December or January at the 
beginning of the west monsoon, and return in July or August 
with the full strength of the east monsoon. Even by the Ma- 
cassar people themselves the voyage to the Aru Islands is 
looked upon as a rather wild and romantic expedition, full of 
novel sights and strange adventures. He who has made it is 
looked up to as an authority, and it remains with many the 
unachieved ambition of their lives. I myself had hoped rath- 
er than expected ever to reach this " Ultima Thule " of the 
East ; and when I found that I really could do so now, had 
I but courage to trust myself for a thousand miles' voyage 
in a Bugis prau, and for six or seven months among lawless 
traders and ferocious savages, I felt somewhat as I did when, a 
schoolboy, I was for the first time allowed to travel outside 
the stage-coach, to visit that scene of all that is strange and 
new and wonderful to young imaginations — ^London ! 

By the help of some kind friends I was introduced to the 
owner of one of the large praus which was to sail in a few 
days. He was a Javanese half-caste, intelligent, mild, and 
gentlemanly in his manners, and had a young and pretty 
Dutch wife, whom he was going to leave behind during his 
absence. When we talked about passage-money he would 
^x no sum, but insisted on leaving it entirely to me to pay 
on my return exactly what I liked. "And then," said he, 
whether you give me one dollar or a hundred, I shall be sat- 
isfied, and shall ask no more." 

The remainder of my stay was fully occupied in laying in 
stores, engaging servants, and making every other preparation 
for an absence of seven months from even the outskirts of 

410 Macassar to the Aeu Islands 

civilization. On the morning of December 18th, when we 
went on board at daybreak, it was raining hard. We set sail, 
and it came on to blow. Our boat was lost astern, our sails 
damaged, and the evening found us back again in Macassar 
harbor. We remained there four days longer, owing to its 
raining all the time, thus rendering it impossible to dry and 
repair the huge mat-sails. All these dreary days I remained 
on board, and during the rare intervals when it did not rain 
made myself acquainted with our outlandish craft, some of 
the peculiarities of which I will now endeavor to describe. 

It was a vessel of about seventy tons burden, and shaped 
something like a Chinese junk. The deck sloped considerably 
downward to the bows, which are thus the lowest part of the 
ship. There were two large rudders ; but instead of being 
placed astern they were hung on the quarters from strong 
cross-beams, which projected out two or three feet on each 
side, and to which extent the deck overhung the sides of the 
vessel amidships. The rudders were not hinged, but hung 
with slings of rattan, the friction of which keeps them in any 
position in which they are placed, and thus perhaps facilitates 
steering. The tillers were not on deck, but entered the vessel 
through two square openings into a lower or half deck about 
three feet high, in which sit the two steersmen. In the after 
part of the vessel was a low poop, about three and a half feet 
high, which forms the captain's cabin, its furniture consisting 
of boxes, mats, and pillows. In front pf the poop and main- 
mast was a little thatched house on deck, about four feet high 
to the ridge ; and one compartment of this, forming a cabin 
six and a half feet long by five and a half wide, I had all to 
myself, and it was the snuggest and most comfortable little 
place I ever enjoyed at sea. It was entered by a low sliding 
door of thatch on one side, and had a very small window on 
the other. The floor was of split bamboo, pleasantly elastic, 
raised six inches above the deck, so as to be quite dry. It 
was covered with fine cane mats, for the manufacture of which 
Macassar is celebrated; against the farther wall were ar- 
ranged my gun-case, insect-boxes, clothes, and books; my 
mattress occupied the. middle, and next the door were my 
canteen, lamp, and little store of luxuries for the voyage, 
while guns, revolver, and hunting-knife hung conveniently from 

Ik a ISTative Prau. 411 

the roof. During these four miserable days I was quite jolly 
in this little snuggery — more so than I should have been if 
confined the same time to the gilded and uncomfortable sa- 
loon of a first-class steamer. Then, how comparatively sweet 
was every thiiig on board — no paint, no tar, no new rope 
(vilest of smells to the qualmish !), no grease, or oil, or var- 
nish ; but instead of these, bamboo and rattan, and coir rope 
and palm thatch ; pure vegetable fibres, which smell pleasant- 
ly if they smell at all, and recall quiet scenes in the green and 
shady forest. 

Our ship had two masts, if masts they can be called, which 
were great movable triangles. If in an ordinary ship you re- 
place the shrouds and backstay by strong timbers, and take 
away the mast altogether, you have the arrangement adopted 
on board a prau. Above my cabin, and resting on cross- 
beams attached to the masts, was a wilderness of yards and 
spars, mostly formed of bamboo. The main yard, an immense 
affair nearly a hundred feet long, was formed of many pieces 
of wood and bamboo bound together with rattans in an in- 
genious manner. The sail carried by this was of an oblong 
shape, and was hung out of the centre, so that when the short 
end was hauled down on deck the long end mounted high in 
the air, making up for the lowness of the mast itself. The 
foresail was of the same shape, but smaller. Both these were 
of matting, and, with two jibs and a fore-and-aft sail astern of 
cotton canvas, completed our rig. 

The crew consisted of about thirty men, natives of Macas- 
sar and the adjacent coasts and islands. They were mostly 
young, and were short, broad-faced, good-humored looking fel- 
lows. Their dress consisted generally of a pair of trowsers 
only when at work, and a handkerchief twisted round the 
head, to which in the evening they would add a thin cotton 
jacket. Four of the elder men were " jurumudis," or steers- 
men, who had to squat (two at a time) . in the little steerage 
before described, changing every six hours. Then there was 
an old man, the "juragan,"or captain, but who was really 
what we should call the first mate ; he occupied the other half 
of the little house on deck. There were about ten^ respecta- 
ble men, Chinese or Bugis, whom our owner used to call "his 
own people." He treated them very well, shared his meals 

412 Macassar to the Aru Islands 

with them, and spoke to them always with perfect politeness ; 
yet they were most of them a kind of slave debtors, bound 
over by the poHce magistrate to work for him at mere nominal 
wages for a term of years till their debts were liquidated. 
This is a Dutch institution in this part of the world, and seems 
to work well. It is a great boon to traders, who can do noth- 
ing in these thinly-populated regions without trusting goods 
to agents and petty dealers, who frequently squander them 
away in gambling and debauchery. The lower classes are al- 
most all in a chronic state of debt. The merchant trusts 
them again and again, till the amount is something serious, 
when he brings them to court, and has their services allotted to 
him for its liquidation. The debtors seem to think this no 
disgrace, but rather enjoy their freedom from responsibility, 
and the dignity of their position under a wealthy and well- 
known merchant. They trade a little on their own account, 
and both parties seem to get on very well together. The plan 
seems a more sensible one than that which we adopt, of effect- 
ually preventing a man from earning any thing toward pay- 
ing his debts by shutting him up in a jail. 

My own servants were three in number. Ali, the Malay 
boy whom I had picked up in Borneo, was my head man. He 
had already been with me a year, could turn his hand to any 
thing, and was quite attentive and trustworthy. He was a 
good shot, and fond of shooting, and I had taught him to skin 
birds very well. The second, named Baderoon, was a Macas- 
sar lad, also a pretty good boy, but a desperate gambler. 
Under pretense of buying a house for his mother and clothes 
for himself, he had received four months' wages about a week 
before we sailed, and in a day or two gambled away every 
dollar of it. He had come on board with no clothes, no betel, 
or tobacco, or salt fish, all which necessary articles I was 
obliged to send Ali to buy for him. These two lads were 
about sixteen, I should suppose ; the third was younger, a 
sharp little rascal named Baso, who had been with me a month 
or two, and had learned to cook tolerably. He was to fulfill the 
important ofiice of cook and house-keeper, for I could not get 
any regular servants to go to such a terribly remote country ; 
one might as well ask a chef de cuisine to go to Patagonia. 

On the fifth day that I had spent on board (Dec. 15th) the 

In a Native Prau. . 413 

rain ceased, and final preparations were made for starting. 
Sails were dried and furled, boats were constantly coming and 
going, and stores for the voyage, fruit, vegetables, fish, and 
palm-sugar, were taken on board. In the afternoon two wom- 
en arrived with a large party of friends and relations, and at 
parting there was a general nose-rubbing (the Malay kiss), 
and some tears shed. These were promising symptoms for 
our getting off the next day ; and accordingly, at three in the 
morning, the owner came on board, the anchor was immediate- 
ly weighed, and by four we set sail. Just as we were fairly 
off and clear of the other praus, the old juragan repeated some 
prayers, all around responding with " Allah il Allah," and a 
few strokes on a gong as an accompaniment, concluding with 
all wishing each other " Salaamat jalan," a safe and happy jour- 
ney. We had a light breeze, a calm sea, and a fine morning, 
a prosperous commencement of our voyage of about a thou- 
sand miles to the far-famed Aru Islands. 

The wind continued light and variable all day, with a calm 
in the evening before the land-breeze sprang up. We were 
then passing the island of " Tanakaki " (foot of the land), at 
the extreme south of this part of Celebes. There are some 
dangerous rocks here ; and as I was standing by the bulwarks, 
I happened to spit over the side, one of the men begged I 
would not do so just now, but spit on deck, as they were much 
afraid of this place. ISTot quite comprehending, I made him 
repeat his request, when, seeing he was in earnest, I said, 
" Yery well, I suppose there are ' hantus ' (spirits) here." 
" Yes," said he, " and they don't like any thing to be thrown 
overboard ; many a prau has been lost by doing it." Upon 
which I promised to be very careful. At sunset the good 
Mohammedans on board all repeated a few words of prayer, 
with- a general chorus, reminding me of the pleasing and im- 
pressive "Ave Maria" of Catholic countries. 

Dec, 20th. — At sunrise we were opposite the Bontyne 
mountain, said to be one of the highest in Celebes. In the 
afternoon we passed the Salayer Straits, and had a little squall, 
which obliged us to lower our huge mast, sails, and heavy 
yards. The rest of the evening we had a fine west wind, 
which carried us on at near five knots an hour, as much as our 
lumbering old tub can possibly go. 

414: Macassae to the Aru Islands 

Bee, 21 5^. — ^A heavy swell from, the south-west, rolling us 
about most uncomfortably. A steady wind was blowing, 
however, and we got on very well. 

Dec. 22 J. — ^The swell had gone down. We passed Bou- 
tong, a large island, high, woody, and populous, the native 
place of some of our crew. A small prau returning from Bali 
to the island of Goram overtook us. The nakoda (captain) 
was known to our owner. They had been two years away, 
but were full of people, with several black Papuans on board. 
At 6 P.M. we passed Wangiwangi, low, but not flat, inhabit- 
ed, and subject to Boutong. We had now fairly entered the 
Molucca Sea. After dark it was a beautiful sight to look 
down on our rudders, from which rushed eddying streams of 
phosphoric light gemmed with whirling sparks of fire. It re- 
sembled (more nearly than any thing else to which I can com- 
pare it) one of the large irregular nebulous star-clusters seen 
through a good telescope, with the additional attraction of 
ever-changing form and dancing motion. 

Dec, 2Sd. — Fine red sunrise ; the island we left last even- 
ing barely visible behind us ; the Goram prau about a mile 
south of us. They have no compass, yet they have kept a 
very true course during the night. Our owner tells me they do 
it by the swell of the sea, the direction of which they notice 
at sunset, and sail by it during the night. In these seas they 
are never (in fine weather) more than two days without seeing 
land. Of course adverse winds or currents sometimes carry 
them away, but they soon fall in with some island, and there 
are always some old sailors on board who know it, and thence 
take a new course. Last night a shark about ^ve feet long was 
caught, and this morning it was cut up and cooked. In the 
afternoon they got another, and I had a little fried, and found 
it firm and dry, but very palatable. In the evening the sun 
set in a heavy bank of clouds, which, as darkness came on, as- 
sumed a fearfully black appearance. According to custom, 
when strong wind or rain is expected our large sails were 
furled, and, with their yards, let down on deck, and a small 
square foresail alone kept up. The great mat-sails are most 
awkward things to manage in rough weather. The yards 
which support them are seventy feet long, and of course very 
heavy ; and the only way to furl them being to roll up the sail 

In a Native Prau. 415 

on the boom, it is a very dangerous thing to have them stand- 
ing when overtaken by a squall. Our crew, though numerous 
enough for a vessel of TOO instead of 70 tons, have it very 
much their own- way, and there seems to be seldom more than 
a dozen at work at a time. When any thing important is to 
be done, however, all start up willingly enough ; but then all 
think themselves at liberty to give their opinion, and half a doz- 
en voices are heard giving orders, and there is such a shriek- 
ing and confusion that it seems wonderful any thing gets done 
at all. 

Considering we have fifty men of several tribes and tongues 
on board, wild, half-savage looking fellows, and few of them 
feeling any of the restraints of morality or education, we get 
on wonderfully well. There is no fighting or quarrelling, as 
there would certainly be among the same number of Europeans 
with as little restraint upon their actions, and there is scarcely 
any of that noise and excitement which might be expected. 
In fine weather the greater part of them are quietly enjoying 
themselves — some are sleeping under the shadow of the sails ; 
others, in little groups of three or four, are talking or chewing 
betel ; one is making a new handle to his chopping-knife, an- 
other is stitching away at a new pair of trowsers or a shirt, 
and all are as quiet and well-conducted as on board the best- 
ordered English merchantman. Two or three take it by turns 
to watch in the bows and see after the braces and halyards of 
the great sails ; the two steersmen are below in the steerage ; 
our captain, or the juragan, gives the course, guided partly by 
the compass and partly by the direction of the wind, and a 
watch of two or three on the poop look after the trimming of 
the sails and call out the hours by the water-clock. This is a 
very ingenious contrivance, which measures time well in both 
rough weather and fine. It is simply a bucket half filled with 
water, in which floats the half of a well-scraped cocoa-nut 
shell. In the bottom of this shell is a very small hole, so 
that when placed to float in the bucket a fine thread of water 
squirts up into it. This gradually fills the shell, and the size 
of the hole is so adjusted to the capacity of the vessel that, 
exactly at the end of an hour, plump it goes to the bottom. 
The watch then cries out the number of hours from sunrise, 
and sets the shell afloat again empty. This is a very good 

416 Macassar to the Aru Islands 

measure of time. I tested it with my watch, and found that 
it hardly varied a minute from one hour to another, nor did 
the motion of the vessel have any effect upon it, as the water 
in the bucket of course kept level. It has a great advantage 
for a rude, people, in being easily understood, in being rather 
bulky and easy to see, and in the final submergence being ac- 
companied with a little bubbling and commotion of the water, 
which calls the attention to it. It is also quickly replaced if 
lost while in harbor. 

Our captain and owner I find to be a quiet, good-tem- 
pered man, who seems to get on very well with all about him. 
When at sea he drinks no wine or spirits, but indulges only 
in coffee and cakes, morning and afternoon, in company with 
his supercargo and assistants. He is a man of some little edu- 
cation, can read and write well both Dutch and Malay, uses a 
compass, and has a chart. He has been a trader to Aru for 
many years, and is well known to both Europeans and natives 
in this part of the world. 

Dec. 2MK — ^Fine, and little wind. No land in sight for the 
first time since we left Macassar. At noon calm, with heavy 
showers, in which our crew wash their clothes, and in the aft- 
ernoon the prau is covered with shirts, trowsers, and sarongs 
of various gay colors. I made a discovery to-day which at 
first rather alarmed me. The two ports, or openings, through 
which the tillers enter from the lateral rudders, are not more 
than three or four feet. above the surface of the water, which 
thus has a free entrance into the vessel. I of course had im- 
agined that this open space from one side to the other was 
separated from the hold by a water-tight bulkhead, so that a 
sea entering might wash out at the further side, and do no 
more harm than give the steersmen a drenching. To my sur- 
prise and dismay, however, I find that it is completely open to 
the hold, so that half a dozen seas rolling in on a stormy night 
would nearly or quite swamp us. Think of a vessel going to 
sea for a month with two holes, each a yard square, into the 
hold, at three feet above the water-line — Wholes, too, which can 
not possibly be closed ! But our captain says all praus are so ; 
and though he acknowledges the danger, " he does not know 
how to alter it — the people are used to it ; he does not under- 
stand praus so well as they do, and if such a great alteration 

Ik a Native Peau. 417 

were made, he should be sure to have difficulty in getting a 
crew !" This proves at all events that praus must be good 
sea-boats, for the captain has been continually making voyages 
in them for the last ten years, and says he has never known 
water enough enter to do any harm. 

Bee, 2Uh, — Christmas-day dawned upon us with gusts of 
wind, driving rain, thunder and lightning, added to which a 
short confused sea made our queer vessel pitch and roll very 
uncomfortably. About nine o'clock, however, it cleared up, 
and we then saw ahead of us the fine island of Bouru, perhaps 
forty or fifty miles distant, its mountains wreathed with clouds, 
while its lower lands were still invisible. The afternoon was 
fine, and the wind got round again to the west ; but although 
this is really the west monsoon, there is no regularity or stead- 
iness about it, calms and breezes from every point of the com- 
pass continually occurring. The captain, though nominally a 
Protestant, seemed to have no idea of Christmas-day as a 
festival. Our dinner was of rice and curry as usual, and an 
extra glass of wine was all I could do to celebrate it. 

Dec. 2Qth, — ^Fine view of the mountains of Bouru, which 
we have now approached considerably. Our crew seem rath- 
er a clumsy lot. They do not walk the deck with the easy 
swing of English sailors, but hesitate and stagger like lands- 
men. In the night the lower boom of our mainsail broke, and 
they were all the morning repairing it It consisted of two 
bamboos lashed together, thick end to thin, and was about 
seventy feet long. The rigging and arrangement of these 
praus contrasts strangely with that of European vessels, in 
which the various ropes and spars, though much more numer- 
ous, are placed so as not to interfere with each other's action. 
Here the case is quite different; for though there are no 
shrouds or stays to complicate the matter, yet scarcely any 
thing can be done without first clearing something else out 
of the way. The large sails can not be shifted round to 
go on the other tack without first hauling down the jibs, and 
the booms of the fore-and-aft sails have to be lowered and 
completely detached to perform the same operation. Then 
there are always a lot of ropes foul of each other, and all the 
sails can never be set (though they are so few) without a good 
part of their surface having the wind kept out of them by oth- 

418 Macassar to. the Aru Islands 

ers. Yet praus are much liked even by those who have had; 
European vessels, because of their cheapness both in first cost 
and in keeping up ; almost all repairs can be done by the crew, 
and very few European stores are required. 

Dec, 28j5A. — ^This day we saw the Banda group, the volcano 
first appearing — a perfect cone, having very much the outhne 
of the Egyptian pyramids, and looking almost as regular. In 
the evening the smoke rested over its summit like a small sta- 
tionary cloud. This was my first view of an active volcano, 
but pictures and panoramas have so impressed such things on 
one's mind that when we at length behold them they seem 
nothing extraordinary. 

Bee. SOth — Passed the island of Teor, and a group near it, 
which are very incorrectly marked on the charts. Flying-fish 
were numerous to-day. It is a smaller species than that of 
the Atlantic, and more active and elegant in its motions. As 
they skim along the surface they turn on their sides, so as 
fully to display their beautiful fins, taking a flight of about a 
hundred yards, rising and falling in a most graceful manner. 
At a little distance they exactly resemble swallows ; and no 
one who sees them can doubt that they really do fly, not mere- 
ly descend in an oblique direction from the height they gain 
by their first spring. In the evening an aquatic bird, a species 
of booby (Sula fiber.) rested on our hen-coop, and was caught 
by the neck by one of my boys. 

Dec, Blst, — At daybreak the Ke Islands (pronounced kay) 
were in sight, where we are to stay a few days. About noon 
we rounded the northern point, and endeavored to coast along 
to the anchorage ; but being now on the leeward side of the 
island, the wind came in violent irregular gusts, and then leav- 
ing us altogether, we were carried back by a strong current. 
Just then two boatloads of natives appeared, and our owner 
having agreed with them to tow us into harbor, they tried to 
do so, assisted by our own boat, but could make no way. We 
were therefore obliged to anchor in a very dangerous place on 
a rocky bottom, and we were engaged till nearly dark getting 
hawsers secured to some rocks under water. The coast of 
Ke, along which we had passed, was very picturesque. Light- 
colored limestone rocks rose abruptly from the water to the 
height of several hundred feet, everywhere broken into jutting 

In a jSTative Peau. 419 

peaks and pinnacles, weather-worn into sharp points and hon- 
ey-combed surfaces, and clothed throughout with a most va- 
ried and luxuriant vegetation. The cliffs above the sea offer- 
ed to our view screw-pines and arborescent Liliacese of strange 
forms, mingled with shrubs and creepers, while the higher 
slopes supported a dense growth of forest-trees. Here and 
there little bays and inlets presented beaches of dazzling white- 
ness. The water was transparent as crystal, and tinged the 
rock-strewn slope which phmged steeply into its unfathomable 
depths with colors varying from emerald to lapis-lazuli. The 
sea was calm as a lake, and the glorious sun of the tropics 
threw a flood of golden light over all. The scene was to me 
inexpressibly delightful I was in a new world, and could 
dream of the wonderful productions hid in those rocky for- 
ests, and in those azure abysses. But few European feet had 
ever trodden the shores I gazed upon ; its plants, and animals, 
and men were alike almost unknown, and I could not help 
speculating on what my wanderings there for a few days might 
bring to light. 

420 The Ke Islands. 


JANUARY, 1857. 

The native boats that had come to meet us were three or 
four in number, containing in all about fifty men. They were 
long canoes, with the bow and stern rising up into a beak six 
or eight feet high, decorated with shells and waving plumes 
of cassowaries' hair. I now had my first view of Papuans in 
their own country, and in less than five minutes was convinced 
that the opinion already arrived at by the examination of a 
few Timor and New Guinea slaves was substantially correct, 
and that the people I now had an opportunity of comparing 
side by side belonged to two of the most distinct and strong- 
ly marked races that the earth contains. Had I been blind, I 
could have been certain that these islanders were not Malays. 
The loud, rapid, eager tones, the incessant motion, the intense 
vital activity manifested in speech and action, are the very 
antipodes of the quiet, unimpulsive, unanimated Malay. These 
Ke men came up singing and shouting, dipping their paddles 
deep in the water and throwing up clouds of spray ; as they 
approached nearer, they stood up in their canoes and increased 
their noise and gesticulations : and on coming alongside, with- 
out asking leave, and without a moment's hesitation, the 
greater part of them scrambled up on our deck just as if they 
were come to take possession of a captured vessel. Then 
commenced a scene of indescribable confusion. These forty 
black, naked, mop-headed savages seemed intoxicated with joy 
and excitement. IsTot one of them could remain still for a 
moment. Every individual of our crew was in turn surround- 
ed and exaniined, asked for tobacco or arrack, grinned at and 
deserted for another. All talked at once, and our captain was 
regularly mobbed by the chief men, who wanted to be employ- 
ed to tow us in, and who begged vociferously to be paid in 
advance. A few presents of tobacco made their eyes glisten ; 

The Savages Board Us. 421 

they would express their satisfaction by grins and shouts, by 
rolling on deck, or by a headlong leap overboard. Schoolboys 
on an unexpected holiday. Irishmen at a fair, or midshipmen 
on shore, would give but a faint idea of the exuberant animal 
enjoyment of these people. 

Under similar circumstances Malays could not behave as 
these Papuans did. If they came on board a vessel (after ask- 
ing permission), not a word would be at first spoken except a 
few compliments, and only after some time, and very cautious- 
ly, would any approach be made to business. One would 
speak at a time, with a low voice and great deliberation, and 
the mode of making a bargain would be by quietly refusing 
all your offers, or even going away without saying another 
word about the matter, unless you advanced your price to 
what they were willing to accept. Our crew, many of whom 
had not made the voyage before, seemed quite scandalized at 
such unprecedented bad manners, and only very gradually 
made any approach to fraternization with the black fellows. 
They reminded me of a party of demure and well-behaved 
children suddenly broken in upon by a lot of wild, romping, 
riotous boys, whose conduct seems most extraordinary and 
very naughty ! 

These moral features are more striking and more conclu- 
sive of absolute diversity than even the physical contrast pre- 
sented by the two races, though that is sufficiently remarkable. 
The sooty blackness of the skin, the mop-like head of frizzly 
hair, and, most important of all, the marked form of counte- 
nance, of quite a different type from that of the Malay, are 
what we can not believe to result from mere climatal or oth- 
er modifying influences on one and the same race. The Ma- 
lay face is of the Mongolian type, broad and somewhat flat. 
The brows are depressed, the mouth wide, but not projecting, 
and the nose small and well-formed, but for the great dilata- 
tion of the nostrils. The face is smooth, and rarely develops 
the trace of a beard ; the hair black, coarse, and perfectly 
straight. The Papuan, on the other hand, has a face which 
we may say is compressed and projecting. The brows are pro- 
tuberant and overhanging, the mouth large and prominent, 
while the nose is very large, the apex elongated downward, 
the ridge thick, and the nostrils large. It is an obtrusive and 

422 The Ke IsLA:tTDS. 

remarkable feature in the countenance, the very reverse of 
what obtains in the Malay face. The twisted beard and friz- 
zly hair complete this remarkable contrast. Here, then, I had 
reached a new world, inhabited by a strange people. Between 
the Malayan tribes, among whom I had for some years been 
living, and the Papuan races, whose country I had now enter- 
ed, we may fairly say that there is as much difference, both 
moral and physical, as between the red Indians of South 
America and the negroes of Guinea on the opposite side of 
the Atlantic. 

Jan, Isty 1857.— This has been a day of thorough enjoy- 
ment. I have wandered in the forests of an island rarely seen 
by Europeans. Before daybreak we left our anchorage, and 
in an hour reached the village of Har, where we were to stay 
three or four days. The range of hills here receded so as to 
form a small bay, and they were broken up into peaks and 
hummocks, with intervening flats and hollows. A broad beach 
of the whitest sand lined the inner part of the bay, backed by 
a mass of cocoa-nut palms, among which the huts were con- 
cealed, and surmounted by a dense and varied growth of tim- 
ber. Canoes and boats of various sizes were drawn up on the 
beach, and one or two idlers, with a few children and a dog, 
gazed at our prau as we came to an anchor. 

"When we went on shore the first thing that attracted us 
was a large and well-constructed shed, under which along boat 
was being built, while others in various stages of completion 
were placed at intervals along the beach. Our captain, who 
wanted two of moderate size for the trade among the islands 
at Aru, immediately began bargaining for them, and in a short 
time had arranged the number of brass guns, gongs, sarongs, 
handkerchiefs, axes, white plates, tobacco, and arrack' which 
he was to give for a pair which could be got ready in f oiir 
days. We then went to the village, which consisted only of 
three or four huts, situated immediately above the beach on 
an irregular rocky piece of ground overshadowed with cocoa- 
nuts, palms, bananas, and other fruit-trees. The houses were 
very rude, black, and half rotten, raised a few feet on posts, 
with low sides of bamboo or planks, and high thatched roofs. 
They had small doors and no windows, an opening under the 
projecting gables letting the smoke out and a little light in. 

Fine Pigeons. 423 

The floors were of strips of bamboo, thin, slippery, and elastic, 
and so weak that my feet were in danger of plunging through 
at every step. ISTative boxes of pandanus-leaves and slabs of 
palm pith, very neatly constructed, mats of the same, jars and 
cooking-pots of native pottery, and a few European plates and 
basins, were the whole furniture, and the interior was through- 
out dark and smoke-blackened, and dismal in the extreme. 

Accompanied by Ali and Baderoon, I now attempted to 
make some explorations, and we were followed by a train of 
boys eager to see what we were going to do. The most trod- 
den path from the beach led us into a shady hollow, where 
the trees were of immense height and the undergrowth scanty. 
From the summits of these trees came at intervals a deep 
booming sound, which at first puzzled us, but which we soon 
found to proceed from some large pigeons. My boys shot at 
them, and, after one or two misses, brought one down. It was 
a magnificent bird twenty inches long, of a bluish-white color, 
with the back wings and tail intense metallic green, with 
golden, blue, and violet reflections, the feet coral red, and the 
eyes golden yellow. It is a rare species, which I have named 
Carpophaga concinna, and is found only in a few small islands, 
where, however, it abounds. It is the same species which in 
the island of Banda is called the nutmeg-pigeon, from its hab- 
it of devouring the fruits, the seed or nutmeg being thrown 
up entire and uninjured. Though these pigeons have a nar- 
row beak, yet their jaws and throat are so extensible that they 
can swallow fruits of very large size. I had before shot a 
species much smaller than this one, which had a number of 
hard globular palm-fruits in its crop, each more than an inch 
in diameter. 

A little farther the path divided into two, one leading 
along the beach, and across mangrove and sago swamps, the 
other rising to cultivated grounds. We therefore returned, 
and taking a fresh departure from the village, endeavored to 
ascend the hills and penetrate into the interior. The path, 
however, was a most trying one. Where there was earth, it 
was a deposit of reddish clay overlying the rock, and was 
worn so smooth by the attrition of naked feet that my shoes 
could obtain no hold on the sloping surface. A little farther 
we came to the bare rock, and this was worse, for it was so 

424 The Ke Islands. 

rugged and broken, and so honey-combed and weather-worn 
into sharp points and angles, that my boys, who had gone 
barefooted all their lives, could not stand it. Their feet be- 
gan to bleed, and I saw that if I did not want them complete- 
ly lamed it would be wise to turn back. My own shoes, 
which were rather thin, were but a poor protection, and would 
soon have been cut to pieces; yet our little naked guides 
tripped along with the greatest ease and unconcern, and 
seemed much astonished at our e:ffeminacy in not being able 
to take a walk which to them was a perfectly agreeable one. 
During the rest of our stay in the island we were obliged to 
confine ourselves to the vicinity of the shore and the culti- 
vated grounds, and those more level portions of the forest 
where a little soil had accumulated and the rock had been less 
exposed to atmospheric action. 

The island of Ke (pronounced exactly as the letter K, but 
erroneously spelt in our maps Key or Ki) is long and narrow, 
running in a north and south direction, and consists almost 
entirely of rock and mountain. It is everywhere covered with 
luxuriant forests, and in its bays and inlets the sand is of daz- 
zling whiteness, resulting from the decomposition of the cor- 
alline limestone of which it is entirely composed. In all the 
little swampy inlets and valleys sago-trees abound, and these 
supply the main subsistence of the natives, who grow no rice, 
and have scarcely any other cultivated products but cocoa- 
nuts, plantains, and yams. From the cocoa-nuts, which sur- 
round every hut, and which thrive exceedingly on the porous 
limestone soil and under the influence of salt breezes, oil is 
made, which is sold at a good price to the Aru traders, who 
all touch here to lay in their stock of this article, as well as to 
purchase boats and native crockery. Wooden bowls, pans, 
and trays are also largely made here, hewn out of solid blocks 
of wood with knife and adze ; and these are carried to all parts 
of the Moluccas. But the art in which the natives of Ke pre- 
eminently excel is that of boat-building. Their forests sup- 
ply abundance of fine timber, though probably not more so 
than many other islands, and from some unknown causes 
these remote savages have come to excel in what seems a very 
difficult art. Their small canoes are beautifully formed, broad 
and low in the centre, but rising at each end, where they ter- 

Native Boat-Building. 425 

minate in high-pointed beaks more or less carved, and orna- 
mented with a plume of feathers. They are not hollowed out 
of a tree, but are regularly built of planks running from end 
to endj and so accurately fitted that it is often difficult to find 
a place where a knife-blade can be inserted between the 
joints. The larger ones are from 20 to 30 tons burden, and 
are finished ready for sea without a nail or particle of iron be- 
ing used, and with no other tools than axe, adze, and auger. 
These vessels are handsome to look at, good sailers, and ad- 
mirable sea-boats, and will make long voyages with perfect 
safety, traversing the whole Archipelago from 'New Guinea 
to Singapore in seas which, as every one who has sailed much 
in them can testify, are not so smooth and tempest-free as 
word-painting travellers love to represent them. 

The forests of Ke produce magnificent timber, tall, straight, 
and durable, of various qualities, some of which are said to be 
superior to the best Indian teak. To make each pair of 
planks used in the construction of the larger boats an entire 
tree is consumed. It is felled, often, miles away from the 
shore, cut across to the proper length, and then hewn longi- 
tudinally into two equal portions. Each of these forms a 
plank by cutting down with the axe to a uniform thickness of 
three or four inches, leaving at first a solid block at each end 
to prevent splitting. Along the centre of each plank a series 
of projecting pieces are left, standing up three or four inches, 
about the same width, and a foot long ; these are of great im- 
portance in the construction of the vessel. When a sufficient 
number of planks have been made, they are laboriously drag- 
ged through the forest by three or four men each to the 
beach, where the boat is to be built. A foundation-piece, 
broad in the middle and rising considerably at each end, is 
first laid on blocks and properly shored up. The edges of 
this are worked true and smooth with the adze, and a plank, 
properly curved and tapering at each end, is held firmly up 
against it, while a line is struck along it which allows it to be 
cut so as to fit exactly. A series of auger-holes, about as 
large as one's finger, are then bored along the opposite edges, 
and pins of very hard wood are fitted to these, so that the two 
planks are held firmly, and can be driven into the closest con- 
tact; and difficult as this seems to do without any other aid 

4:26 The Ke Islands. 

than rude practical skill in forming each edge to the true cor- 
responding curves, and in boring the holes so as exactly to 
match both in position and direction, yet so well is it done 
that the best European shipwright can not produce sounder 
or closer-fitting joints. The boat is built up in this way by 
fitting plank to plank till the proper height and width are ob- 
tained. We have now a skin held together entirely by the 
hard-wood pins connecting the edges of the planks, very strong 
and elastic, but having nothing but the adhesion of these pins 
to prevent the planks gaping. In the smaller boats seats, in 
the larger ones cross-beams, are now fixed. They are sprung 
into slight notches cut to receive them, and are further se- 
cured to the projecting pieces of the plank below by a strong 
lashing of rattan. Ribs are now formed of single pieces of 
tough wood chosen and trimmed so as exactly to fit on to the 
projections from each plank, being slightly notched to receive 
them, and securely bound to them by rattans passed through 
a hole in each projecting piece close to the surface of the 
plank. The ends are closed against the vertical prow and 
stern posts, and further secured with pegs and rattans, and 
then the boat is complete; and when fitted with rudders, 
masts, and thatched covering, is ready to do battle with the 
waves. A careful consideration of the principle of this mode 
of construction, and allowing for the strength and binding 
qualities of rattan (which resembles in these respects wire 
rather than cordage), makes me believe that a vessel careful- 
ly built in this manner is actually stronger and safer than one 
fastened in the ordinary way with nails. 

During our stay here we were all very busy. Our captain 
was daily superintending the completion of his two small praus. 
All day long native boats were coming with fish, cocoa-nuts, 
parrots and lories, earthen pans, sirip-leaf, wooden bowls, and 
trays, etc., etc., which every one of the fifty inhabitants of our 
prau seemed to be buying on his own account, till all available 
and most unavailable space of our vessel was occupied with 
these miscellaneous articles : for every man on board a prau 
considers himself at liberty to trade, and to carry with him 
whatever he can afford to buy. 

Money is unknown and valueless here — ^knives, cloth, and 
arrack forming the only medium of ^ exchange, with tobacco 

Bargaining-. 427 

for small coin. Every transaction is the subject of a special 
bargain, and the cause of much talking. It is absolutely nec- 
essary to offer very little, as the natives are never satisfied till 
you add a little more. They are then far better, pleased than 
if you had given theioi twice the amount at first and refused 
to increase it. 

I, too, was doing a little business, having persuaded some 
of the natives to collect insects for me ; and when they really 
found that I gave them most fragrant tobacco for worthless 
black and green beetles, I soon had scores of visitors, men, 
women, and childreii, bringing bamboos full of creeping things, 
which, alas ! too frequently had eaten each other into frag- 
ments during the tedium of a day's confinement. Of one 
grand new beetle, glittering with ruby and emerald tints, I got 
a large quantity, having first detected one of its wing-cases 
ornamenting the outside of a native's tobacco-pouch. It was 
quite a. new species, and had not been found elsewhere than 
on this little island. It is one of the Buprestidse, and has 
been named Cyphogastra calepyga. 

Each morning after an early breakfast I wandered by my- 
self into the forest, where I found delightful occupation in 
capturing the large and handsome butterflies, which were tol- 
erably abundant, and most of them new^ to me ; for I was now 
upon the confines of the Moluccas and New Guinea — a region 
the productions of which were then among the most precious 
and rare in the cabinets of Europe. Here my eyes were feast- 
ed for the first time with splendid scarlet lories on the wing, 
as well as by the sight of that most imperial butterfly, the 
" Priamus " of collectors, or a closely allied species, but flying 
so high that I did not succeed in capturing a specimen. One 
of them was brought me in a bamboo, boxed up with a lot of 
beetles, and of course torn to pieces. The principal draw- 
back of the place for a collector is the want of good paths, 
and the dreadfully rugged character of the surface, requiring 
the attention to be so continually directed to securing a foot- 
ing as to make it' very difio^cult to capture active winged 
things, who pass out of reach while one is glancing to see that 
the next step may not plunge one into a chasm or over a 
precipice. Another inconvenience is that there are no running 
streams, the rock being of so porous a nature that the surface- 

428 The Ke Islands. 

water everywhere penetrates its fissures ; at least such is the 
character of the neighborhood we visited, the only water being 
small springs trickling out close to the sea-beach. 

In the forests of K6 arboreal Liliaceae and Pandanaceae 
abound, and give a character to the vegetation in the more 
exposed rocky places. Flowers were scarce, and there were 
not many orchids, but I noticed the fine white butterfly-orchis 
(Phalaenopsis graridiflora), or a species closely allied to it. The 
freshness and vigor of the vegetation was very pleasing, and 
on such an arid rocky surface was a sure indication of a per- 
petually humid cHmate. Tall clean trunks, many of them but- 
tressed, and immense trees of the fig family, with aerial roots 
stretching out and interlacing and matted together for fifty or 
a hundred feet above the ground, were the characteristic fea- 
tures ; and there was an absence of thorny shrubs and prickly 
rattans, which would have made these wilds very pleasant to 
roam in, had it not been for the sharp honey-combed rocks al- 
ready alluded to. In damp places a fine undergrowth of 
broad-leaved herbaceous plants was found, about which swarm- 
ed little green lizards, with tails of the most " heavenly blue," 
twisting in and out among the stalks and foliage so actively 
that I often caught glimpses of their tails only, when they 
startled me by their resemblance to small snakes. Almost the 
only sounds in these primeval woods proceeded from two 
birds, the red lories, who utter shrill screams like most of the 
parrot tribe, and the large green nutmeg-pigeon, whose voice 
is either a loud and deep boom, like two notes struck upon a 
very large gong, or sometimes a harsh toad-like croak, altogeth- 
er peculiar and remarkable. Only two quadrupeds are said 
by the natives to inhabit the island — a wild pig and a Cuscus, 
or Eastern opossum, of neither of which could I obtain speci- 

The insects were more abundant, and very interesting. Of 
butterflies I caught thirty-five species, most of them new to 
me, and many quite unknown in European collections. Among 
them was the fine yellow and black Papilio euchenor, of which 
but few specimens had been previously captured, and several 
other handsome butterflies of large size, as well as some beau- 
tiful little " blues," and some brilliant day-flying moths. The 
beetle tribe were less abundant, yet I obtained some very fine 

ENTOMOLoaY. 429 

and rare species. On the leaves of a slender shrub in an old 
clearing I found several fine blue and black beetles of the genus 
Eupholus, which almost rival in beauty the diamond beetles of 
South America. Some cocoa-nut palms in blossom on the beach 
were frequented by a fine green floral beetle (Lomaptera pa- 
pua), which, when the flowers were shaken, flew off like a small 
swarm of bees. I got one of our crew to climb up the tree, 
and he brought me a good number in his hand ; and seeing 
they were valuable, I sent him up again with my net to shake 
the flowers into, and thus secured a large quantity. My best 
capture, however, was the superb insect of the Bupr^stis fami- 
ly, already mentioned as having been obtained from the na- 
tives, who told me they found it in rotten trees in the mount- 

In the forest itself the only common and conspicuous Coleop- 
tera were two tiger beetles. One (Therates labiata) was much 
larger than our green tiger-beetle, of a purple-black color, with 
green metallic glosses, and the broad upper lip of a bright yel- 
low. It was always found upon foliage, generally of broad- 
leaved herbaceous plants, and in damp and gloomy situations, 
taking frequent short flights from leaf to leaf, and preserving 
an alert attitude, as if always looking out for its prey. Its 
vicinity could be immediately ascertained, often before it was 
seen, by a very pleasant odor, like otto of roses, which it seems 
to emit continually, and which may probably be attractive to 
the small insects on which it feeds. The other (Tricondyla 
aptera) is one of the most curious forms in the family of the 
Cicindelidse, and is almost exclusively confined to the Malay 
Islands. In shape it resembles a very large ant more than an 
inch long, and of a purple-black color. Like an ant also, it is 
wingless, and is generally found ascending trees, passing around 
the trunks in a spiral direction when approached to avoid cap- 
ture, so that it requires a sudden run and active fingers to se- 
cure a specimen, This species emits the usual fetid odor of 
the ground-beetles. My collections during our four days' stay 
at Ke were as follows : Birds, 13 species ; insects, 194 species ; 
and 3 kinds of land-shells. 

There are two kinds of people inhabiting these islands — 
the indigenes, who have the Papuan characters strongly mark- 
ed, and who are pagans, and a mixed race, who are nominally 

430 The Ke Islands. 

Mohammedans, and wear cotton clothing, while the former 
use only a waist-cloth of cotton or bark. These Mohammed- 
ans are said to have been driven out of Banda by the early 
European settlers. They were probably a brown race, more 
allied to the Malays, and their mixed descendants here exhibit 
great variations of color, hair, and features, graduating between 
the Malay and Papuan types. It is interesting to observe the 
influence of the early Portuguese trade with these countries 
in the words of their language, which still remain in use even 
among these remote and savage islanders. "Lengo" for 
handkerchief, and " f aca " for knife, are here used, to the ex- 
clusion of the proper Malay terms. The Portuguese and 
Spaniards were truly wonderful conquerors and colonizers. 
They effected more rapid changes in the countries they con- 
quered than any other nations of modern times, resembling the 
Romans in their power of impressing their own language, re- 
ligion, and manners on rude and barbarous tribes. 

The striking contrast of character between these people and 
the Malays is exemplified in many little traits. One day when 
I was rambling in the forest an old man stopped to look at rhe 
catching an insect. He stood very quiet till I had pinned and 
put it away in my collecting-box, when he could contain him- 
self no longer, but bent almost double, and enjoyed a hearty 
roar of laughter. Every one will recognize this as a true negro 
trait. A Malay would have stared, and asked with a tone of 
bewilderment what I was doing ; for it is but little in his na- 
ture to laugh, never heartily, and still less at or in the presence 
of a stranger, to whom, however, his disdainful glances or whis- 
pered remarks are less agreeable than the most boisterous open 
expression of merriment. The women here were not so much 
frightened at strangers, or made to keep themselves so much 
secluded as among the Malay races ; the children were more 
merry, and had the " nigger grin," while the noisy confusion 
of tongues among the men, and their excitement on very ordi- 
nary occasions, are altogether removed from the general taci- 
turnity and reserve of the Malay. 

The language of the Ke people consists of words of one, 
two, or three syllables in about equal proportions, and has 
many aspirated and a few guttural sounds. The different vil- 
lages have slight differences of dialect, but they are mutually 


intelligible, and, except in words that have evidently been in- 
troduced during a long-continued commercial intercourse, seem 
to have no affinity whatever with the Malay languages. 

Jan, Qth, — The small boats being finished, we sailed for 
Aru at 4 p.m., and as we left the shores of Ke had a fine view 
of its rugged and mountainous character ; ranges of hills, three 
or four thousand feet high, stretching southward as far as the 
eye could reach, everywhere covered with a lofty, dense, and 
unbroken forest. We had very light winds, and it therefore 
took us thirty hours to make the passage of sixty miles to the 
low, or flat, but equally forest-covered Aru Islands, where we 
anchored in the harbor of Dobbo at nine in the evening of 
the next day. 

My first voyage in a prau being thus satisfactorily termi- 
nated, I must, before taking leave of it for some months, bear 
testimony to the merits of the queer Old-world vessel. Set- 
ting aside all ideas of danger, which is probably, after all, not 
'more than in any other craft, I must declare that I have never, 
either before or since, made a twenty days' voyage so pleasant- 
ly, or, perhaps more correctly speaking, with so little discom- 
fort. This I attribute chiefly to having my small cabin on 
deck, and entirely to myself, to having my own servants to 
wait upon me, and to the absence of all those marine-store 
smells of paint, pitch, tallow, and new cordage, which are to 
me insupportable. Something is also to be put down to free- 
dom from all restraint of dress, hours of meals, etc., and to 
the civility and obliging disposition of the captain. I had 
agreed to have my meals with him, but whenever I wished it 
I had them in my own berth, and at what hours I felt inclined. 
The crew were all civil and good-tempered, and with very lit- 
tle discipline every thing went on smoothly, and the vessel was 
kept very clean and in pretty good order, so that on the whole 
I was much delighted with the trip, and was inclined to rate 
the luxuries of the semi-barbarous prau as surpassing those of 
the most magnificent screw-steamer, that highest result of our 

432 The Aru Islands. 



On the 8th of January, 1 85 7, 1 landed at Dobbo, the trading 
settlement of the Bugis and Chinese, who annually visit the 
Aru Islands. It is situated on the small island of Wamma, 
upon a spit of sand which projects out to the north, and is just 
wide enough to contain three rows of houses. Though at 
first sight a most strange and desolate-looking place to build 
a village on, it has many advantages. There is a clear entrance 
from the west among the coral reefs that border the land, 
and there is good anchorage for vessels, on one side of the 
village or the other, in both the east and west monsoons. 
Being fully exposed to the sea-breezes in three directions, it 
is healthy, and the soft sandy beach offers great facilities for 
hauling up the praus, in order to secure them from sea-worms 
and prepare them for the homeward voyage. At its southern 
extremity the sand-bank merges in the beach of the island, 
and is backed by a luxuriant growth of lofty forest. The 
houses are of various sizes, but are all built after one pattern, 
being merely large thatched sheds, a small portion of which, 
next the entrance, is used as a dwelling, while the rest is 
parted off, and often divided by one or two floors, in order 
better to store away merchandise and native produce. 

As we had arrived early in the season, most of the houses 
were empty, and the place looked desolate in the extreme — 
the whole of the inhabitants who received us on our landing 
amounting to about half a dozen Bugis and Chinese. Our 
captain, Herr Warzbergen, had promised to obtain a house 
for me, but unforeseen difficulties presented themselves. One 
which was to let had no roof, and the owner, who was build- 
ing it on speculation, could not promise to finish it in less 
than a month. Another, of which the owner was dead, and 
which I might therefore take undisputed possession of as the 

Taking a House. 433 

first comer, wanted considerable repairs, and no one could be 
found to do the work, although about four times its value 
was offered. The captain, therefore, recommended me to take 
possession of a pretty good house near his own, whose owner 
was not expected for some weeks ; and as I was anxious to 
be on shore, I immediately had it cleared out, and by even- 
ing had all my things housed, and was regularly installed as 
an inhabitant of Dobbo. I had brought with me a cane chair 
and a few light boards, which were soon rigged up into a 
table and shelves. A broad bamboo bench served as sofa and 
bedstead, my boxes were conveniently arranged, my mats 
spread on the floor, a window cut in the palm-leaf wall to 
light my table ; and though the place was as miserable and 
gloomy a shed as could be imagined, I felt as contented as if 
I had obtained a well-furnished mansion, and looked forward 
to a month's residence in it with unmixed satisfaction. 

The next morning, after an early breakfast, I set off to ex- 
plore the virgin forests of Aru, anxious to set my mind at 
rest as to the treasures they were likely to yield, and the 
probable success of my long-meditated expedition. A little 
native imp was our guide, seduced by the gift of a German 
knife, value three half-pence, and my Macassar boy Baderoon 
brought his chopper to clear the path if necessary. 

We had to walk about half a mile along the beach, the 
groimd behind the village being mostly swampy, and then 
turned into the forest along a path which leads to the native 
village of Wamma, about three miles off on the other side of 
the island. The path was a narrow one, and very little used, 
often swampy, and obstructed by fallen trees, so that after 
about a mile we lost it altogether, our guide having turned 
back, and we were obliged to follow his example. In the 
mean time, however, I had not been idle, and my day's cap- 
tures determined the success of my journey in an entomo- 
logical point of view. I had taken about thirty species of 
butterflies — more than I had ever captured in a day since 
leaving the prolific banks of the Amazon, and among them 
were many most rare and beautiful insects, hitherto only 
known by a few specimens from N"ew Guinea. The large ajid 
handsome spectre-butterfly (Hestia durvillei), the pale- wing- 
ed peacock-butterfly (Drusilla catops), and the most brilliant 


434 The Aeu Islands. 

and wonderful of the clear-winged moths (Cocytia durvillei), 
were especially interesting, as well as several little " blues," 
equalling in brilliancy and beauty any thing the butterfly 
world can produce. In the other groups of insects I was not 
so successftil, but this was not to be wondered at in a mere 
exploring ramble, when only what is most conspicuous and 
novel attracts the attention. Several pretty beetles, a superb 
" bug," and a few nice land-shells were obtained, and I re- 
turned in the afternoon well satisfied with my first trial of 
the promised land. 

■^ The next two days were so wet and windy that there was 
no going out; but on the succeeding one the sun shone 
brightly, and I had the good-fortune to capture one of the 
most magnificent insects the world contains, the great bird- 
winged butterfly (Ornithoptera poseidon). I trembled with 
excitement as I saw it coming majestically toward me, and 
could hardly believe I had really succeeded in my stroke till 
I had taken it out of the net and was gazing, lost in admira- 
tion, at the velvet black and brilliant green of its wings, 
seven inches across, its golden body, and crimson breast. It 
is true I had seen similar insects in cabinets, at home, but it 
is quite another thing to capture such one's self— to feel it 
struggling between one's fingers, and to gaze upon its fresh 
and living beauty, a bright gem shining out amid the silent 
gloom of a dark and tangled forest. The village of Dobbo 
held that evening at least one contented man. 

Jmi, 2Qtth — Having now been here a fortnight, I began to 
understand a little of the place and its peculiarities. Praus 
continually arrived, and the merchant population increased 
almost daily. Every two or three days a fresh house was 
opened, and the necessary repairs made. In every direction 
men were bringing in poles, bamboos, rattans, and the leaves 
of the Nipa palm to construct or repair the walls, thatch, 
doors, and shutters of their houses, which they do with great 
celerity. Some of the arrivals were Macassar men or Bugis, 
but more from the small island of Goram, at the east end of 
Ceram, whose inhabitants are the petty traders of the far 
East. Then the natives of Aru come in from the other side of 
the islands (called here " blakang tana," or '^ back of the coun- 
try ") with the produce they have collected during the pre- 

I Puzzle the Natives. 435 

ceding six months, and whicli they now sell to the traders, to 
some of whom they are most likely in debt. Almost all, or I 
may safely say all, the new arrivals pay me a visit, to see with 
their own eyes the unheard-of phenomenon of a person come 
to stay at Dobbo who does not trade ! They have their own 
ideas of the uses that may possibly be made of stuffed birds, 
beetles, and shells which are not the right shells — that is, 
'' mother-of-pearl." They every day bring me dead and 
broken shells, such as I can pick up by hundreds on the 
beach, and seem quite puzzled and distressed when I decline 
them. If, however, there are any snail-shells among a lot I 
take them, and ask for more — a principle of selection so ut- 
terly unintelligible to them that they give it up in despair, or 
solve the problem by imputing hidden medical virtue to those 
which they see me preserve so carefully. 

These traders are all of the Malay race, or a mixture of 
which Malay is the chief ingredient, with the exception of a 
few Chinese. The natives of Aru, on the other hand, are Pa- 
puans, with black or sooty-brown skins, woolly or frizzly 
hair, thick-ridged prominent noses, and rather slender limbs. 
Most of them wear nothing but a waist-cloth, and a few of 
them may be seen all day long wandering about the half-de- 
serted streets of Dobbo offering their little bit of merchan- 
dise for sale. 

Living in a trader's house, every thing is brought to me 
as well as to the rest — bundles of smoked tripang, or " beche 
de mer," looking like sausages which have been rolled in mud 
and then thrown up the chimney; dried sharks' fins, mother- 
of-pearl shells, as well as birds of paradise, which, however, 
are so dirty and so badly preserved that I have as yet found 
no specimens worth purchasing. When I hardly look at the 
articles, and make no offer for them, they seem incredulous, 
and, as if fearing they have misunderstood me, again offer 
them, and declare what they want in return — knives or to- 
bacco, or sago, or handkerchiefs. I then have to endeavor to 
explain, through any interpreter who may be at hand, that 
neither tripang nor pearl-oyster shells have any charms for 
me, and that I even decline to speculate in tortoise-shell, 
but that any thing eatable I will buy — fish, or turtle, or 
vegetables of any sort. Almost the only food, however, 

436 The Aeu Islands. 

that we can obtain with any regularity are fish and cockles 
of very good quality; and to supply our daily wants it is ab- 
solutely necessary to be always provided with four articles 
— tobacco, knives, sago-cakes, and Dutch copper doits — be- 
cause when the particular thing asked for is not forthcoming, 
the fish pass on to the next house, and we may go that day 
without a dinner. It is curious to see the baskets and buck- 
ets used here. The cockles are brought in large volute 
shells, probably the Cymbium ducale, while gigantic helmet- 
shells, a species of Cassis, suspended by a rattan handle, form 
the vessels in which fresh water is daily carried past my 
door. It is painful to a naturalist to see these splendid 
shells with their inner whorls ruthlessly broken away to fit 
them for their ignoble use. 

My collections, however, got on but slowly, owing to the 
unexpectedly bad weather, violent winds, with heavy showers, 
having been so continuous as only to give me four good col- 
lecting-days out of the first sixteen I spent here. Yet enough 
had been collected to show me that with time and fine 
weather I might expect to do something good. From the 
natives I obtained some very fine insects and a few pretty 
land-shells ; and of the small number of birds yet shot more 
than half were known N^ew Guinea species, and therefore cer- 
tainly rare in European collections, while the remainder were 
probably new. In one respect my hopes seemed doomed to 
be disappointed. I had anticipated the pleasure of myself 
preparing fine specimens of the birds of paradise, but I now 
learned that they are all at this season out of plumage, and 
that it is in September and October that they have the long 
plumes of yellow silky feathers in full perfection. As all the 
praus return in July, I should not be able to spend that season 
in Aru without remainiiig another whole year, which was out 
of the question. I was informed, however, that the small 
red species, the " King-Bird of Paradise," retains its plu- 
mage at all seasons, and this I might therefore hope to get. • 

As I became familiar with the forest scenery of the island, 
I perceived it to possess some characteristic features that 
distinguished it from that of Borneo and Malacca, while, what 
is very singular and interesting, it recalled to my mind the 
half-forgotten impression^ of the forests of Equatorial Amer- 

Spiders, Lizards, akd Crabs. 437 

ica. For example, the palms were much more abundant 
than I had generally found them in the East, more generally 
mingled with the other vegetation, more varied in form and 
aspect, and presenting some of those lofty and majestic 
smooth - stemmed, pinnate - leaved species which recall the 
Uauassli (Attalea speciosa) of the Amazon, hut which I had 
hitherto rarely met with in the Malayan Islands. 

In animal life the immense number and variety of spiders 
and of lizards were circumstances that recalled the prolific 
regions of South America, more especially the abundance and 
varied colors of the little jumping spiders which abound on 
flowers and foliage, and are often perfect gems of beauty. 
The web-spinning species were also more numerous than I 
had ever seen them, and were a great annoyance, stretching 
their nets across the footpaths just about the height of my 
face ; and the threads composing these are so strong and glu- 
tinous as require much trouble to free one's self from them. 
Then their inhabitants, great yellow-spotted monsters with 
bodies two inches long, and legs in proportion, are not pleas- 
ant things to run one's nose against while pursuing some 
gorgeous butterfly, or gazing aloft in search of some strange- 
voiced bird. I soon found it necessary not only to brush 
away the web, but also to destroy the spinner ; for at first, 
having cleared the path one day, I found the next morning 
that the industrious insects had spread their nets again in 
the very same places. 

, The lizards were equally striking by their numbers, vari- 
ety, and the situations in which they were found. The beau- 
tiful blue-tailed species so abundant in Ke was not seen here. 
The Aru lizards are more varied, but more sombre in their 
colors — shades of green, gray, brown, and even black being 
very frequently seen. Every shrub and herbaceous plant 
was alive with them, every rotten trunk or dead branch 
served as a station for some of these active little insect-hunt- 
ers, who, I fear, to satisfy their gross appetites, destroy many 
gems of the insect world, which would feast the eyes and de- 
light the heart of our more discriminating entomologists. 
Another curious feature of the jungle here was the multitude 
of sea-shells everywhere met with on the ground and high 
up on the branches and foliage, all inhabited by hermit- 

438 The Aru Islands. 

crabs, who forsake the beach to wander in the forest. I have 
actually seen a spideu carrying away a good-sized shell, and de- 
vouring its (probably juvenile) tenant. On the beach, which 
I had to walk along every morning to reach the forest, these 
creatures swarmed by thousands. Every dead shell, from the 
largest to the most minute, was appropriated by them. They 
formed small social parties of ten or twenty around bits of 
stick or sea-weed, but dispersed hurriedly at the sound of ap- 
proaching footsteps. After a windy night, that nasty-look- 
ing Chinese delicacy the sea-slug was sometimes thrown up 
on the beach, which was at such times thickly strewn with 
some of the most beautiful shells that adorn our cabinets, 
along with fragments and masses of coral and strange sponges, 
of which I picked up more than twenty different sorts. ^ In 
many cases sponge and coral are so much alike that it is 
only on touching them that they can be distinguished. Quan- 
tities of sea-weed, too, are thrown up ; but, strange as it 
may seem, these are far less beautiful and less varied than 
may be found on any favorable part of our own coasts. 

The natives here, even those who seem to be of pure Pa- 
puan race, were much more reserved and taciturn than those 
of Ke. This is probably because I only saw them as yet 
among strangers and in small parties. One must see the 
savage at home to know what he really is. Even here, how- 
ever, the Papuan character sometimes breaks out. Little 
boys sing cheerfully as they walk along, or talk aloud to 
themselves (quite a negro characteristic) ; and, try all they 
can, the men can not conceal their emotions in the true Ma- 
lay fashion. A number of them were one day in my house, 
aiid having a fancy to try what sort of eating tripang would 
be, I bought a couple, paying for them with such an extrava- 
gant quantity of tobacco that the seller saw that I was a 
green customer. He could not, however, conceal his delight, 
but as he smelt the fragrant weed, and exhibited the large 
handful to his companions, he grinned and twisted and gave 
silent chuckles in a most expressive pantomime. I had often 
before made the same mistake in paying a Malay for some 
trifle. In no case, however, was his pleasure visible on his 
countenance — a dull and stupid hesitation only showing his 
surprise, which would be exhibited exactly in the same way 

Psychology of Eaces. 439 

whether he was over or under paid. These little moral traits 
are of the greatest interest when taken in connection with 
physical features. They do not admit of the same ready ex- 
planation by external causes which is so frequently applied 
to the latter. Writers on the races of mankind have too oft- 
en to trust to the information of travellers who pass rapidly 
from country to country, and thus have few opportunities of 
becoming acquainted with peculiarities of national character 
or even of ascertaining what is really the average physical 
conformation of the people. Such are exceedingly apt to be 
deceived in places where two races have long intermingled, 
by looking on intermediate forms and mixed habits as evi- 
dences of a natural transition from one race to the other, in- 
stead of an artificial mixture of two distinct peoples ; and 
they will be the more readily led into this error if, as in the 
present case, writers on the subject should have been in the 
habit of classing these races as mere varieties of one stock, 
as closely related in physical conformation as from their geo- 
graphical proximity one might suppose they ought to be. 
So far as I have yet seen, the Malay and Papuan appear to 
be as widely separated as any two human races that exist, 
being distinguished by physical, mental, and moral character- 
istics, all of the most marked and striking kind. 

Feb, 6th, — ^I took advantage of a very fine calm day to pay 
a visit to the island of Wokan, which is about a mile from us 
and forms part of the " tanna busar," or main-land of Aru. 
This is a large island, extending from north to south about a 
hundred miles, but so low in many parts as to be intersected 
by several creeks, which run completely through it, ofiering 
a passage for good-sized vessels. On the west side, where 
we are, there are only a few outlying islands, of which ours 
(Wamma) is the principal ; but on the east coast are a great 
number of islands, extending some miles beyond the main- 
land, and forming the " blakang tana," or " back country," of 
the traders, being the principal seat of the pearl, tripang, and 
tortoise-shell fisheries. To the main-land many of the birds 
and animals of the country are altogether confined ; the birds 
of paradise, the black cockatoo, the great brush-turkey, and 
the cassowary, are none of them found on Wamma or any of 
the detached islands. I did not, however, expect in this ex- 

44Q. The Abu Islands. 

cursion to see any decided difference in the forest or its pro- 
ductions, and was therefore agreeably surprised. The beach 
was overhung with the drooping branches of large trees, 
loaded with Orchideae, ferns, and other epiphytal plants. In 
the forest there was more variety, some parts being dry, and 
with trees of a lower growth, while in others there were some 
of the most beautiful palms I have ever seen, with a perfect- 
ly straight, smooth, slender stem, a hundred feet high, and a 
crown of handsome drooping leaves. But the greatest nov- 
elty and most striking feature to my eyes were the tree-ferns, 
which, after seven years spent in the tropics, 1 now saw in per- 
fection for the first time. All I had hitherto met with were 
slender species, not more than twelve feet high, and they gave 
not the least idea of the supreme beauty of trees bearing their 
elegant heads of fronds more than thirty feet in the air, like 
those which were plentifully scattered about this forest. There 
is nothing in tropical vegetation so perfectly beautiful. 

My boys shot five sorts of birds, none of which we had ob- 
tained during a month's shooting in Wamma. Two were 
very pretty fly-catchers, already known from E"ew Guinea ; 
one of them (Monarcha chrysomela), of brilliant black and 
bright orange colors, is by some authors considered to be the 
most beautiful of all fly-catchers ; the other is pure white and 
velvety black, with a broad fleshy ring round the eye of an 
azure-blue color ; it is named the " spectacled fly-catcher " 
(Monarcha telescopthalma), and was first found in ISlew 
Guinea, along with the other, by the French naturalists during 
the voyage of the discovery-ship Coquille. 

Mb, I8th. — Before leaving Macassar, I had written to the 
Governor of Amboyna, requesting him to assist me with the 
native chiefs of Aru. I now received by .a vessel which had 
arrived from Amboyna a very polite answer, informing me 
that orders had been sent to give me every assistance that I 
might require ; and I was just congratulating myself on be- 
ing at length able to get a boat and men to go to the main- 
land and explore the interior, when a sudden check came in 
the form of a piratical incursion. A small prau arrived which 
had been attacked by pirates, and had a man wounded. 
They were said to have five boats, but more were expected 
to be behind, and the traders were all in consternation, fear- 

The Pirates Visit Us. 441 

ing that their small vessels sent trading to the " blakang 
tana " would be plundered. The Aru natives were of course 
dreadfully alarmed, as these marauders attack their villages, 
burn and murder, and carry away women and children for 
slaves. 'Not a man will stir from his village for some time, 
and I must remain still a prisoner in Dobbo. The Governor 
of Amboyna, out of pure kindness, has told the chiefs that 
they are to be responsible for my safety, so that they have an 
excellent excuse for refusing to stir. 

Several praus went out in search of the pirates, sentinels 
were appointed, and watch-fires lighted on the beach to guard 
against the possibility of a night attack, though it was hard- 
ly thought they would be bold enough to attempt to plunder 
Dobbo. The next day the praus returned and we had positive 
information that these scourges of the Eastern seas were real- 
ly among us. One of Herr Warzbergen's small praus also 
arrived in a sad plight. It had been attacked six days be- 
fore, just as it was returning from the " blakang tana." The 
crew escaped in their small boat and hid in the jungle, while 
the pirates came up and plundered the vessel. They took 
away every thing but the cargo of mother-of-pearl shell, 
which was too bulky for them. All the clothes and boxes of 
the men, and the sails and cordage of the prau, were cleared 
off. They had four large war-boats, and fired a volle}^ of 
musketry as they came up, and sent off their small boats to 
the attack. After they had left, our men observed from their 
concealment that three had staid behind with a small boat ; 
and being driven to desperation by the sight of the plunder- 
ing, one brave fellow swam off armed only with his parang, 
or chopping-knife, and, coming on them unawares, made a des- 
perate attack, killing one and wounding the other two, receiv- 
ing himself numbers of slight wounds, and then swimming 
off again when almost exhausted. Two other praus were 
also plundered, and the crew of one of them murdered to a 
man. They are said to be Sooloo pirates, but have Bugis 
among them. On their way here they have devasted one of 
the small islands east of Ceram. It is now eleven years since 
they have visited Aru, and by thus making their attacks at 
long and uncertain intervals the alarm dies away, and they 
find a population for the most part unarmed and unsuspicious 

442 The Ard" Islands. 

of danger. None of the small trading-vessels now carry- 
arms, though they did so for a year or two after the last at- 
tack, which was just the time when there was the least occa- 
sion for it. A week later one of the smaller pirate-boats was 
captured in the " blakang tana." Seven men were killed, and 
three taken prisoners. The larger vessels have been often 
seen, but can not be caught, as they have very strong crews, 
and can always escape by rowing out to sea in the eye of the 
wind, returning at night. . They will thus remain among the 
innumerable islands and channels, till the change of the mon- 
soon enables them to sail westward. 

March mh. — For four or five days we have had a continu- 
al gale of wind, with occasional gusts of great fury, which 
seem as if they would send Dobbo into the sea. Rain accom- 
panies it almost every alternate hour, so that it is not a 
pleasant time. During such weather I can do little, but am 
busy getting ready a boat I have purchased, for an excursion 
into the interior. There is immense difficulty about men, but 
I believe the orang-kaya, or head-man of Wamma will accom- 
pany me to see that I do not run into danger. 

Having become quite an old inhabitant of Dobbo, I will 
endeavor to sketch the sights and sounds that pervade it, and 
the manners and customs of its inhabitants. The place is 
now pretty full, and the streets present a far more cheerful 
aspect than when we first arrived. Every house is a store, 
where the natives barter their produce for what they are 
most in need of. Knives, choppers, swords, guns, tobacco, 
gambler, plates, basins, handkerchiefs, sarongs, calicoes, and 
arrack are the principal articles wanted by the natives ; but 
some of the stores contain also tea, cofiee, sugar, wine, bis- 
cuits, etc., for the supply of the traders ; and others are full 
of fancy goods, china ornaments, looking-glasses, razors, um- 
brellas, pipes, and purses, which take the fancy of the wealth- 
ier natives. Every fine day mats are spread before the doors 
and the tripang is put out to dry, as well as sugar, salt, bis- 
cuit, tea, cloths, and other things that get injured by an ex- 
cessively moist atmosphere. In the morning and evening 
spruce Chinamen stroll about or chat at each other's doors^ 
in blue trowsers, white jacket, and a queue into which red 
silk is plaited till it reaches almost to their heels. An old 

The Towjsr of Dobbo. 443 

Bugis hadji regularly takes an evening stroll in all^the dig- 
nity of flowing green silk robe and gay turban, followed by 
two small boys carrying his sirib and betel boxes. 

In every vacant space new houses are being built, and ill 
sorts of odd little cooking-sheds are erected against the old 
ones, while in some out-of-the-way corners massive log pig- 
sties are tenanted by growing porkers ; for how could the 
Chinamen exist six months without one feast of pig ? Here 
and there are stalls where bananas are sold, and every morning 
two little boys go about with trays of sweet rice and grated 
cocoa-nut, fried fish, or fried plantains ; and whichever it may 
be, they have but one cry, and that is — " Chocolat — t — t !" 
This must be a Spanish or Portuguese cry, handed down for 
centuries, while its meaning has been lost. The Bugis sail- 
ors, while hoisting the mainsail, cry out "Vela a vela — vela, 
vela, vela !" repeated in an everlasting chorus. As " vela " 
is Portuguese for a sail, I supposed I had discovered the ori- 
gin of this ; but I found afterward they used the same cry when 
heaving anchor, and often changed it to " hela," which is so 
much a universal expression of exertion and hard breathing 
that it is most probably a mere interjectional cry. 

I dare say there are now near five hundred people in 
Dobbo of various races, all met in this remote corner of the 
East, as they express it, " to look for their fortune ;" to get 
money any way they can. They are most of them people 
who have the very worst reputation for honesty, as well as 
every other form of morality — Chinese, Bugis, Ceramese, and 
half-caste Javanese, with a sprinkling of half-wild Papuans 
from Timor, Babber, and other islands — yet all goes on as yet 
very quietly. This motley, ignorant, bloodthirsty, thievish 
population live here without the shadow of a government, 
with no police, no courts, and no lawyers ; yet they do not 
cut each other's throats, do not plunder each other day and 
night, do not fall into the anarchy such a state of things 
might be supposed to lead to. It is very extraordinary. It 
puts strange thoughts into one's head about the mountain- 
load of government under which people exist in Europe, and 
suggests the idea that we may be overgoverned. Think of 
the hundred acts of Parliament annually enacted to prevent 
us, the people of England, from cutting each other's throats, 

444 The Aru Islands. 

or from doing to our neighbor as we would not be done by. 
Think of the thousands of lawyers and barristers whose whole 
lives are spent in telling us what the hundred acts of Parlia-^ 
ment mean, and one would be led to infer that if Dobbo has 
too little law England has too much. 

Here we may behold in its simplest form the genius of 
Commerce at the work of Civilization. Trade is the magic 
that keeps all at peace, and unites these discordant elements 
into a well-behaved community. All are traders, and all 
know that peace and order are essential to successful trade, 
and thus a public opinion is created which puts down all 
lawlessness. Often in former years, when strolling along the 
Campong Glam in Singapore, I have thought how wild and 
ferocious the Bugis sailors looked, and how little I should like 
to trust myself among them. But now I find them to be 
very decent, well-behaved fellows ; I walk daily unarmed in 
the jungle, where I meet them continually ; I sleep in a palm- 
leaf hut, which any one may enter, with as little fear and as 
little danger of thieves or murder as if I were under the pro- 
tection of the Metropolitan police. It is true, the Dutch in- 
fluence is felt here. The islands are nominally under the 
government of the Moluccas, which the native chiefs acknowl- 
edge ; and in most years a commissioner arrives from Am- 
boyna, who makes the tour of the islands, hears complaints, 
settles disputes, and carries away prisoner any heinous offen- 
der. This year he is not expected to come, as no orders 
have yet been received to prepare for Kim ; so the people of 
Dobbo will probably be left to their own devices. One day 
a man was caught in the act of stealing a piece of iron from 
Herr Warzbergen's house, which he had entered by making 
a hole through the thatch wall. In the evening the chief 
traders of the place, Bugis and Chinese, assembled, the offen- 
der was tried and found guilty, and sentenced to receive 
twenty lashes, on the spot. They were given with a small 
rattan in the middle of the street, not very severely, as the 
executioner appeared to sympathize a little with the culprit. 
The disgrace seemed to be thought as much of as the pain ; 
for though any amount of clever cheating is thought rather 
meritorious than otherwise, open robbery and house-breaking 
meet with universal reprobation. 




MARCH TO MAY, 1857. 

My boat was at length ready, and having obtained two 
men besides my own servants, after an enormous amount of 
talk and trouble, we left Dobbo on the morning of March 13th 
for the main-land of Aru. By noon w^e reached the mouth of 
a small river or creek, which we ascended, winding among man- 
grove swamps, with here and there a glimpse of dry land. In 
two hours we reached a house, or rather a small shed, of the 
most miserable description, which our steersman, the orang- 
kaya of Wamma, said was the place we were to stay at, and 
where he had assured me we could get every kind of bird and 
beast to be found in Aru. The shed was occupied by about 
a dozen men, women, and children; two cooking-fires were 
burning in it, and there seemed little prospect of my obtaining 
any accommodation. I however deferred inquiry till I had 
seen the neighboring forest, and immediately started ofE with 
two men, net, and guns, along a path at the back of the house. 
In an hour's walk I saw enough to make me determine to give 
the place a trial, and on my return, finding the orang-kaya was 
in a strong fever-fit, and unable to do any thing, I entered into 
negotiations with the owner of the house for the use of a slip 
at one end of it about Rve feet wide, for a week, and agreed 
to pay as rent one " parang," or chopping-knife. I then im- 
mediately got my boxes and bedding out of the boat, hung up 
a shelf for my bird-skins and insects, and got all ready for 
work next morning. My own boys slept in the boat to guard 
the remainder of my property ; a cooking-place, sheltered by 
a few mats, was arranged under a tree close by, and I felt that 
degree of satisfaction and enjoyment which I always experi- 
ence when, after much trouble and delay, I am on the point of 
beginning work in a new locality. 


The Aru Islands. 

One of my first objects was to inquire for the people who 
are accustomed to shoot the paradise birds. They lived at 
some distance in the jungle, and a man was sent to call them. 
When they arrived, we had a talk by means of the orang-kaya 

T34[ EastLongilude 


'i^ Har. 

dee^ sect 





shell lo w 



as interpreter, and they said they thought they could get some. 
They explained that they shoot the birds with a bow and arrow, 
the arrow having a conical wooden cap fitted to the end as large 
as a tea-cup, so as to kill the bird by the violence of the blow 

The KiNa-BiRD. 447 

without making any wound or shedding any blood. The trees 
frequented by the birds are very lofty ; it is therefore neces- 
sary to erect a small leafy covering or hut among the branches, 
to which the hunter mounts before daylight in the morning 
and remains the whole day, and whenever a bird alights they 
are almost sure of securing it. (See Frontispiece.) They re- 
turned to their homes the same evening, and I never saw any 
thing more of them, owing, as I afterward found, to its being 
too early to obtain birds in good plumage. 

The first two or three days of our stay here were very wet, 
and I obtained but few insects or birds, but at length, when I 
was beginning to despair, my boy Baderoon returned one day 
with a specimen which repaid me for months of delay and 
expectation. It was a small bird, a little less than a thrush. 
The greater part of its plumage was of an intense cinnabar 
red, with a gloss as of spun glass. On the head the feathers 
became short and velvety, and shaded into rich orange. Be- 
neath, from the breast downward, was pure white, with the 
softness and gloss of silk, and across the breast a band of deep 
metallic green separated this color from the red of the throat. 
Above each eye was a round spot of the same metallic green ; 
the biU was yellow, and the feet and legs were of a fine cobalt 
blue, strikingly contrasting with all the other parts of the 
body. Merely in arrangement of colors and texture of plum- 
age this little bird was a gem of the first water, yet these com- 
prised only half its strange beauty. Springing from each side 
of the breast, and ordinarily lying concealed under the wings, 
were little tufts of grayish feathers about two inches long, 
and each terminated by a broad band of intense emerald 
green. These plumes can be raised at the will of the bird, 
and spread out into a pair of elegant fans when the wings are 
elevated. But this is not the only ornament. The two mid- 
dle feathers of the tail are in the form of slender wires about 
five inches long, and which diverge in a beautiful double 
curve. About half an inch of the end of this wire is webbed 
on the outer side only, and colored of a fine metallic green, and 
being curled spirally inward, form a pair of elegant glittering 
buttons, hanging five inches below the body, and the same dis- 
tance apart. These two ornaments, the breast-fans and the 
spiral-tipped tail-wires, are altogether unique, not occurring 

4:4:8 The Aeu Islands. 

on any other species of the eight thousand different birds that 
are known to exist upon the earth ; and, combined with the 
most exquisite beauty of plumage, render this one of the most 
perfectly lovely of the many lovely productions of nature. 
My transports of admiration and delight quite amused my Aru 
hosts, who saw nothing more in the "burong raja" than we 
do in the robin or the goldfinch.^ 

Thus one of my objects in coming to the far East was ac- 
complished. I had obtained a specimen of the King Bird of 
Paradise (Paradisea regia), which had been described by Lin- 
naeus from skins preserved in a mutilated state by the natives. 
I knew how few Europeans had ever beheld the perfect little 
organism I now gazed upon, and how very imperfectly it was 
still known in Europe. The emotions excited in the minds of 
a naturalist who has long desired to see the actual thing which 
he has hitherto known only by description, drawing, or badly- 
preserved external covering, especially when that thing is of 
surpassing rarity and beauty, require the poetic faculty fully 
to express them. The remote island in which I found myself 
situated, in an almost unvisited sea, far from the tracks of 
merchant-fleets and navies ; the wild luxuriant tropical forest, 
which stretched far away on every side ; the rude uncultured 
savages who gathered round me — all had their influence in 
determining the emotions with which I gazed upon this " thing 
of beauty." I thought of the long ages of the past, during 
which the successive generations of this little creature had run 
their course — ^year by year being born, and living and dying 
amid these dark and gloomy woods, with no intelligent eye to 
gaze upon their loveliness — ^to all appearance such a wanton 
waste of beauty. Such ideas excite a feeling of melancholy. It 
seems sad that on the one hand such exquisite creatures should 
live out their lives and exhibit their charms only in these wild 
inhospitable regions, doomed for ages yet to come to hopeless 
barbarism ; while on the other hand, should civilized man ever 
reach these distant lands, and bring moral, intellectual, and 
physical light into the recesses of these virgin forests, we may 
be sure that he will so disturb the nicely-balanced relations of 
organic and inorganic nature as to cause the disappearance, 
and finally the extinction, of these very beings whose wonder- 
^ See the upper figure on Plate VIII. at commencement of Chap. XXXVIII. 

The G-reat Paradise Bird. 449 

ful structure and beauty he alone Ts fitted to appreciate and 
enjoy. This consideration must surely tell us that all living 
things were not made for man. Many of them have no rela- 
tion to him. The cycle of their existence has gone on inde- 
pendently of his, and is disturbed or broken by every advance 
in man's intellectual development; and their happiness and 
enjoyments, their loves and hates, their struggles for existence, 
their vigorous life and early death, would seem to be immedi- 
ately related to their own well-being and perpetuation alone, 
limited only by the equal well-being and perpetuation of the 
numberless other organisms with which each is more or less 
intimately connected. 

After the first king-bird was obtained, I went with my men 
into the forest, and we were not only rewarded with another 
in equally perfect plumage, but I was enabled to see a little 
of the habits of both it and the larger species. It frequents 
the lower trees of the less dense forests, and is very active, 
flying strongly with a whirring sound, and continually hop- 
ping or flying from branch to branch. It eats hard stone- 
bearing fruits as large as a gooseberry, and often flutters its 
wings after the manner of the South American manakins, at 
which time it elevates and expands the beautiful fans with 
which its breast is adorned. The natives of Aru call it 
" goby-goby." 

One day I got under a tree where a number of the Great 
Paradise Birds were assembled, but they were high up in the 
thickest of the foliage, and flying and jumping about so con- 
tinually that I could get no good view of them. At length I 
shot one, but it was a young specimen, and was entirely of a 
lich chocolate-brown color, without either the metallic green 
throat or yellow plumes of the full-grown bird. All that I 
had yet seen resembled this,' and the natives told me that it 
would be about two months before any would be found in 
full plumage. I still hoped, therefore, to get some. Their 
voice is most extraordinary. At early morn, before the sun 
has risen, we hear a loud cry of " Wawk — wawk — wawk, wok 
— wok — wok," which resounds through the forest, changing 
its direction continually. This is the Great Bird of Paradise 
going to seek his breakfast. Others soon follow his example ; 
lories and parroquets cry shrilly, cockatoos scream, king-hunt- 


450 The Aru Islands. 

ers croak and bark, and the various smaller birds cbirp and 
whistle their morning song. As I lie listening to these inter- 
esting sounds, I realize my position as the first European who 
has ever lived for months together in the Aru Islands, a place 
which I had hoped rather than expected ever to visit. I think 
how many: besides myself have longed to reach these almost 
fairy realms, and to see with, their own eyes the many won- 
derful and beautiful things which I am daily encountering. 
But now ■ Ali and Baderoon are up and getting ready their 
guns and ammunition, and little Baso has his fire lighted and 
is l)oiling my coffee, and I remember that I had a black cock- 
atoo brought in late last night, which I must skin immediate- 
ly, aud so I jump up and begin my, day's work very happily. 
This cockatoo is the first I have seen, and is a great 
prize." It has a rather small and weak body, long weak legs, 
large -wiiigs, and an enormously developed head, ornamented 
with a magnificent crest, and armed with a sharp-pointed 
hooked bill of immense size and strength. The plumage 
is ;"eritirely black,, but has all over it the curious powdery 
white secretion characteristic of cockatoos. The- cheeks are 
bare, aind of an intense blood-red color. Instead of the harsh 
screarii of the white cockatoos, its voice is a somewhat plain- 
tive whistle. The tongue is a* curious organ, being a slen- 
der fleshy cylinder of a deep red color, terminated by a horny 
black plate, furrowed across, and somewhat prehensile: The 
wJiole tongue has a considerable extensile power. I will here 
relate something of the habits of this bird, with which I have 
since become acquainted. It frequents the lower parts of the 
forest, and is seen singly, or at most two or three together. 
It flies slowly and noiselessly, and may be killed by a compar- 
atively-slight wound. It eats various fruits and - seeds, but 
seems more particularly attached to the kernel of the kanary- 
nut, which grows on a lofty forest-tree (Canarium commune) 
abundant in the islands where this bird is found ; and the 
manner in which it gets at these seeds shows a correlation of 
structure and habits, which would point out the " kanary " as 
its special food. The shell of this nut is so excessively hard 
that only a heavy hammer will crack it ; it is somewhat trian- 
gular, and the outside is quite smooth. The manner in which 
the bird opens these nuts is very curious. Taking one end- 

Great Black Cockatoo. 


ways in its bill and keeping it firm by a pressure of the 
tongue, it cuts a transverse notch by a lateral sawing motion 
of the sharp-edged lower mandible. This done, it takes hold 
of the nut with its foot, and, biting off a piece of leaf, retains 


it in the deep notch of the upper mandible, and again seizing 
the nut, which is prevented from slipping by the elastic tis- 
sue of the leaf, fixes the edge of the lower mandible in the 
notch, and by a powerful nip breaks off a piece of the shell. 

452 The Aeu Islands. 

Again taking the nut in its claws, it inserts the very long and 
sharp point of the bill and picks out the kernel, which is seized 
hold of, morsel by morsel, by the extensive tongue. Thus 
every detail of form and structure in the extraordinary bill of 
this bird seems to have its use, and we may easily conceive 
that the black cockatoos have maintained themselves in com- 
petition with their more active and more numerous white al- 
lies, by their power of existing on a kind of food which no 
other bird is able to extract from its stony shell. The species 
is the Microglossum aterrimum of naturalists. 

During the two weeks which I spent in this little settle- 
ment, I had good opportunities of observing the natives at 
their own home, and living in their usual manner. There is 
a great monotony and uniformity in every-day savage life, and 
it seemed to me a more miserable existence than when it had 
the charm of novelty. To begin with the most important 
fact in the existence of uncivilized peoples — their food — the 
Aru men have no regular supply, no staff of life, such as 
bread, rice, mandiocca, maize, or sago, which are the daily 
food of a large proportion of mankind. They have, however, 
many sorts of vegetables, plantains, yams, sweet potatoes, and 
raw sago ; and they chew up vast quantities of sugar-cane, as 
well as betel-nuts, gambir, and tobacco. Those who live on 
the coast have plenty of fish ; but when inland, as we are here, 
they only go to the sea occasionally, and then bring home 
cockles and other shell-fish by the boat-load. ITow and then 
they get wild pig or kangaroo, but too rarely to form any 
thing like a regular part of their diet, which is essentially veg- 
etable; and what is of more importance, as affecting their 
health, green, watery vegetables, imperfectly cooked, and even 
these in varying and often insufficient quantities. To this 
diet may be attributed the prevalence of skin diseases, and 
ulcers on the legs and joints. The scurfy skin disease so 
common among savages has a close connection with the poor- 
ness and irregularity of their living. The Malays, who are 
never without their daily rice, are generally free from it ; the 
Hill Dyaks of Borneo, who grow rice and live well, are clean 
skinned, while the less industrious and less cleanly tribes, who 
live for a portion of the year on fruits and vegetables only, 
are very subject to this malady. It seems clear that in this, 

Native Houses and Habits. 453 

as in other respects, man is not able to make a beast of him- 
self with impunity, feeding like the cattle on the herbs and 
fruits of the earth, and taking no thought of the morrow. To 
maintain his health and beauty, he must labor to prepare 
some farinaceous product capable of being stored and accumu- 
lated, so as to give him a regular supply of wholesome food. 
When this is obtained, he may add vegetables, fruits, and 
meat with advantage. 

The chief luxury of the Aru people, besides betel and to- 
bacco, is arrack (Java rum), which the traders bring in great 
quantities, and sell very cheap. A day's fishing or rattan cut- 
ting will purchase at least a half-gallon bottle ; and when the 
tripang or birds' nests collected during a season are sold, they 
get whole boxes each containing fifteen such bottles, which 
the. inmates of a house will sit round day and night till they 
have finished. They themselves tell me that at such bouts 
they often tear to pieces the house they are in, break and de- 
stroy every thing they can lay their hands on, and make such 
an infernal riot as is alarming to behold. 

The houses and furniture are on a par with the food. A 
rude shed, supported on rough and slender sticks rather than 
posts, no walls, but the floor raised to within a foot of the 
eaves, is the style of architecture they usually adopt. Inside 
there are partition-walls of thatch, forming little boxes or sleep- 
ing-places, to accommodate the two or three separate fami- 
lies that usually live together. A few mats, baskets, and cook- 
ing-vessels, with plates and basins purchased from the Macas- 
sar traders, constitute their whole furniture ; spears and bows 
are their weapons ; a sarong or mat forms the clothing of the 
women, a waistcloth of the men. For hours or even for days 
they sit idle in their houses, the women bringing in the vege- 
tables or sago which form their food. Sometimes they hunt 
or fish a little, or work at their houses or canoes, but they 
seem to enjoy pure idleness, and work as little as they can. 
They have little to vary the monotony of life, little that can 
be called pleasure, except idleness and conversation. And they 
certainly do talk ! Every evening there is a little Babel 
around me : but as I understand not a word of it, I go oh 
with my book or work undisturbed. ISTow and then they 
scream and shout, or laugh frantically for variety; and this 

454 The Aeu Islands. 

goes on alternately with vociferous talking of men, women, 
and children, till long after I am in my mosquito-curtain and 
sound asleep. 

At this place I obtained some light on the complicated 
mixture of races in Aru, which would utterly confound an 
ethnologist. Many of the natives, though equally dark with 
the others, have little of the Papuan physiognomy, but have 
more delicate features of the European type, with more glos- 
sy, curling hair. These at first quite puzzled me, for they have 
no more resemblance to Malay than to Papuan, and the dark- 
ness of skin and hair would forbid the idea of Dutch inter- 
mixture. Listening to their conversation, however, I detect- 
ed some words that were familiar to me. ,"Accab6 " was one ; 
and to be sure that it was not an accidental resemblance, I 
asked the speaker in Malay what "accabo" meant, and was 
told it meant " done or finished " — a true Portuguese word, 
with its meaning retained. Again, I heard the word " jafui " 
often repeated, and could see, without inquiry, that its mean- 
ing was " he's gone," as in Portuguese. " Porco," too, seems 
a common name, though the people have no idea of its Euro- 
pean meaning. This cleared up the difiiculty. I at once un- 
derstood that some early Portuguese traders had penetrated to 
these islands, and mixed with the natives, influencing their 
•language, and leaving in their descendants for many genera- 
tions the visible characteristics of their race. If to this we 
add the occasional mixture of Malay, Dutch, and Chinese with 
the indigenous Papuans, we have no reason to wonder at the 
curious varieties of form and feature occasionally to be met 
with in Aru. In this very house there was a Macassar man, 
with an Aru wife and a family of mixed children. In Dobbo 
I saw a Javanese and an Amboyna man, each with an Aru 
wife and family; and as this kind of mixture has been going 
on for at least three hundred years, and probably much long- 
er, it has produced a decided effect on the physical character- 
istics of a considerable portion of the population of the islands, 
more especially in Dobbo and the parts nearest to it. 

March 28^A. — ^The orang-kaya being very ill with fever, 
had begged to go home, and had arranged with one of the 
men of the house to go on with me as his substitute. ]N'ow 
that I wanted to move, the bugbear of the pirates was brought 

The Watelai Channel. 455 

up, and it was pronounced unsafe to go further than the next 
small river. This would not suit me, as I had determined to 
traverse the channel called Watelai to the " blakang-tana ;" 
but my guide was firm in his dread of pirates, of which I knew 
there was now no danger, as several vessels had gone in search 
of them, as well as a Dutch gun-boat which had arrived since 
I left Dobbo. I had, fortunately, by this time heard that the 
Dutch " commissie " had really arrived, and therefore threat- 
ened that if my guide did not go with me immediately I would 
appeal to the authorities, and he would certainly be obliged to 
give back the cloth which the orang-kaya had transferred to 
him in prepayment. This had the desired effect; matters 
were soon arranged, and we started the next morning. The 
wind, however, was dead against us, and after rowing hard-till 
midday we put in to a small river, where there were a few 
huts, to cook our dinners. The place did not look very prom- 
ising, but as we could not reach our destination, the Watelai 
River, owing to the contrary wind, I thought we might as 
well wait here a day or two. I therefore paid a chopper for 
the use of a small shed, and got my bed and some boxes on 
shore. In the evening, after dark, we were suddenly alarmed 
by the cry of " bajak ! bajak !" (pirates). The men all seized 
their bows and spears and rushed down to the beach ; we got 
hold of our guns and prepared for action, but in a few min- 
utes all came back laughing and chattering, for it had proved 
to be only a small boat and some of their own comrades re- 
turned from fishing. When all was quiet again, one of the 
men, who could speak a little Malay, came to me and begged 
me not to sleep too hard. " Why ?" said I. " Perhaps the 
pirates may really come," said he very seriously, which made 
me laugh and assure him I should sleep as hard as I could. 

Two days were spent here, but the place was unproductive 
of insects or birds of interest, so we made another attempt to 
get on. As soon as we got a little away from the land we had 
a fair wind, and in six hours' sailing reached the entrance of 
the Watelai channel, which divides the most northerly from 
the middle portion of Aru. At its mouth this was about half 
a mile wide, but soon narrowed, and a mile or two on it as- 
sumed entirely the aspect of a river about the width of the 
Thames at London, winding among low but undulating and 

4:56 The Aru Islands. 

often hilly country.- The scene was exactly such as might be 
expected in the interior of a continent. The channel contin- 
ued of a uniform average width, with reaches and sinuous 
bends, one bank being often precipitous, or even forming ver- 
tical cliffs, while the other was flat and apparently alluvial ; 
and it was only the pure salt water, and the absence of any 
stream but the slight flux and reflux of the tide, that would 
enable a person to tell that he was navigating a strait and not 
a river. The wind was fair, and carried us along, with occa- 
sional assistance from our oars, till about three in the after- 
noon, when we landed where a little brook formed two or three 
basins in the coral rock, and then fell in a miniature cascade 
into the salt-water river. Here we bathed and cooked our 
dinner, and enjoyed ourselves lazily till sunset, when we pur- 
sued our way for two hours more, and then moored our little 
vessel to an overhanging tree for the night. 

At five the next morning we started again, and in an hour 
overtook four large praus, containing the "commissie," who had 
come from Dobbo to make their official tour round the isl- 
ands, and had passed us in the night. I paid a visit to the 
Dutchmen, one of whom spoke a little English, but we found 
that we could get on much better with Malay. They told me 
that they had been delayed going after the pirates to one of 
the northern islands, and had seen three of their vessels, but 
could not catch them, because on being pursued they rowed 
out in the wind's eye, which they are enabled to do by having 
about fifty oars to each boat. Having had some tea with 
them, I bade them adieu, and turned up a narrow channel, 
which our pilot said would take us to the village of Watelai, 
on the west side of Aru. After going some miles we found 
the channel nearly blocked up with coral, so that our boat 
grated along the bottom, crunching what may truly be called 
the living rock. Sometimes all hands had to get out and wade, 
to lighten the vessel and lift it over the shallowest places ; but 
at length we overcame all obstacles, and reached a wide bay 
or estuary studded with little rocks and islets, and opening to 
the western sea and the numerous islands of the "blakang- 
tana." I now found that the village we were going to was 
miles away ; that we should have to go out to sea, and round 
a rocky point. A squall seemed coming on ; and as I have a 

To Wanumbai. 457 

horror of small boats at sea, and from all I could learn Wate- 
lai village was not a place to stop at (no birds of paradise be- 
ing found there), I determined to return and go to a village I 
had heard of up a tributary of the Wetelai River, and situated 
nearly in the centre of the main-land of Aru. The people 
there were said to be good, and to be accustomed to hunting 
and bird-catching, being too far inland to get any part of their 
food from the sea. While I was deciding this point the squall 
burst upon us, and soon raised a rolling sea in the shallow wa- 
ter, which upset an oil-bottle and a lamp, broke some of my 
crockery, and threw us all into confusion. Rowing hard, we 
managed to get back into the main river by dusk, and looked 
out for a place to cook our suppers. It happened to be high 
water, and a very high tide, so that every piece of sand or 
beach was covered; and it was with the greatest difficulty, 
and after much groping in the dark, that we discovered a lit- 
tle sloping piece of rock about two feet square on which to 
make a fire and cook some rice. The next day we continued 
our way back, and on the following day entered a stream on 
the south side of the Watelai River, and, ascending to where 
navigation ceased, found the little village of Wanumbai, con- 
sisting of two large houses surrounded by plantations, amid 
the virgin forests of Aru. 

As I liked the look of the place, and was desirous of stay- 
ing some time, I sent my pilot to try and make a bargain for 
house accommodation. The owner and chief man of the place 
made many excuses. First, he was afraid I would not like 
his house, and then was doubtful whether his son who was 
away would like his admitting me. I had a long talk with 
him myself, and tried to explain what I was doing, and how 
many things I would buy of them, and showed him my stock 
of beads and knives and cloth and tobacco, all of which I 
would spend with his family and friends if he would give me 
house-room. He seemed a little staggered at this, and said he 
would talk to his wife, and in the mean time I went for a 
little walk to see the neighborhood. When I came back I 
again sent my pilot, saying that I would go away if he