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TlfT readers will naturally 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, I found 
myself surrounded by a room full of packing-cases, con- 
taining the collections that I had from time to time sent 
home for my private use. These comprised nearly three 
thousand bird-skins, of about a thousand 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 in 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 
towards naming and describing the most important groups 
in my collection, and had worked out some of the more 
interesting problems of variation and geographical distri- 
bution, 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 
fntore work; but I felt that this would be as unsatis- 
fiactoiy to myself, as it would be disappointing to my 
firiendSy and uninstructive to the public. 

Since my return, up to this date, I have published 
sig^teen papers, in the Transactions or Proceedings of the 

viii PREFACE. 

limuean 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. 

Nearly two thousand of my Coleoptera, and many 
hundreds of my butterflies, have been already described 
by various eminent naturalists, British and foreign ; but 
a much larger number remains undescribed. Among those 
to whom science is most indebted for this laborious work, 
I must name Mr. F. P. Pascoe, late President of the Ento- 
mological Society of London, wlio has almost completed 
the classification and description of my large collection of 
Longicom beetles (now in his possession), comprising more 
than a thousand species, of which at least nine himdred 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 Saunders, 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 diflferent 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 
rapid change, I believe and hope that my readers will gain 
much more than they will lose, 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 wort 

PliEFACK ix 

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 intelligibla I have adopted, 
therefore, a geographical, zoological, and ethnological 
arrangement, 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 five groups of islands, 
as follow: — 
I. Thb Indo-Malay Islands: comprising the Malay 
Peninsula and Singapore, Borneo, Java, and 
IL The Timor Group: comprising the islands of 
Timor, Flores, Sumbawa, and Lombock, with 
several smaller ones. 
1IL Celebes: comprising also the Sula Islands and 

rV. The Moluccan Group : comprising Bouru, Ceram, 
Batchian, Gilolo, and Morty; with the smaller 
islands of Temate, Tidore, Makian, Kai6a, Am- 
boyna, 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 K6 
Islands are described with this group on account 
of their ethnology, though zoologically and geo^ 
graphically they belong to the Moluccas. 


The chapters relating to the separate islands of each 
of these groupa are followed by one on the Natural His- 
tory of that group ; and the work may thus be divided 
into five parts, each treating of one of the natural 
divisions of the Archipel^o. 

The first chapter ia an introductory one, on the Physical 
Geography of the whole region ; and the last is a general 
sketch of the Eaces of Man in the Archipel^o 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 endeavoured to make 
it an accurate one. Almost the whole of the naiiative and 
descriptive portions were written on the spot, and have 
had little more than verbal alterations. The chapters 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 explain my views in detail; 
while in others, owing to the greater complexity of the 
subject, I have thought it better to confine myself to a 
statement of the more interesting facts of the problem, 
whose Holution is to be found in the principles developed 
by Mr. Darwin in his various works. The numerous Illus- 
trations will, it is believed, add much to the interest and 
value of the book. They have been made from my own 
sketches, Irom photc^aphs, or irom 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 acquaintance I had the pleasure of making in 
Java, for a nmnber of photographs of scenery and of 
natives, which have been of the greatest assistance to me. 
Mr. William Wilson Saunders has kindly allowed me to 
figure the curious homed flies; and to Mr. Pascoe I 
am indebted for a loan of two of the very rare Longicorns 
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 collec- 
tion and to supply duplicates 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 
three years had the services of a young Englishman, Mr. 
Charles Allen. I was just eight years away from England, 
but as I travelled about fourteen thousand mUes within 
the Archipelago, and made sixty or seventy separate 
journeys, each involving some preparation and loss 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 Manunalia. 

100 — Reptiles. 

8,060 — Birds. 

7,600 — Shells. 

18,100 — Lepidoptera. 

83,200 — Coleoptera. 

18,400 — other Insects. 

126,660 specimens of natural history. 

It now only remains for me to thank all those friends 
to whom I am indebted for assistance or information. My 
thanks are more especially due to the Council of the Koyal 

ai PKBlfJCE. 

Geogiaphical Society, through vhoae valuable reconiioeu- 
dations I obtained impoitaot aid from our own GoTem- 
ment and firom that of Holland ; and to Mr. WiUiam 
Wilson Saunders, whose kind and liberal encouragement 
in the early portion of my journey was of great service to 
me. I am ttlso greatly indebted to Mr. Samuel Stevens 
(who acted as my agent), both for the care be took of my 
collections, and for the untiring assiduity with which he 
kept me supplied, both with useful information, and with 
whatever necessaries I required. 

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


I. Physical Geographt 1 


II. Singapore 20 

III. Malacca and Mount Ophir 25 

IV. Borneo — The Orano-Utan 84 

V. Borneo — Journey in the Interior 64 

VI. Borneo— The Dyaks 88 

VII. Java 94 

VIII. Sumatra 121 

IX. Natural History of tub Inso-Malay Islands . . 188 


X. Bali and Lombock 150 

XI. Lombock — ^Manners and Customs 163 

XII. Lombock — How the Rajah took the Census . . 177 

XIII. Timor 184 

XIV. Natural History of the Timor Group .... 202 


XV. Celebes — Macassar 211 

XVI. Celebes — Macassar 228 

XVII. Celebes — Menado 241 

XVIII. Natural History of Celkbeh 270 


XJX. Banda 286 

XX. Ambotna 291 


XXI. TBRNira 801 



XXIV. Batchian 828 

: XXV. Cerah, GujiAM, Aim the Matabbllo Islahdi . . S19 

XXVI. Bon»u 882 

XXVIL ToB Natuiul HinoRi or tbr Holitooas .... 8S1 


XXVIII. Hadaesar to tur Arc Iblahiw ik a Native Fkau 403 

XXIX. The Kfi Isiandb IIB 

XXX. Tub Abd Ielakdi! — Rebidknce in Dobdu .... 427 
XXXI. The Aru Iislands — Jodsmk and Behidknvk ik tbe 

Interior 441 

XXXII. The Abu Islandb — Second Reisidehce ih Dobbo . 472 

XXXIII. Tub AruIblands — Physical Geouramiy ANDAspBcni 


XXXIV. New Gdikba— Dorrt 4S2 

XXXV. VOTAOK FROM Ckram TO Waiqiou G13 

XXXVI. Waioioo 624 

XXXVII. VoYAOE PKuu Waigiod to Teiikaie ...... as? 

XXXVIII. The Birdb of Paradikb S4B 

XXXIX. Natural Hihtokt op the Paidaii Ihlakdb . . . ST4 

XL. The Races of Uah ik the Ualat ARcnirRLAOo , G8S 

APPENDIX ON Crania ahu LA»auAOBB S99 





1. Onng-Utan attacked by Dyaks 

2. Bare Feins on Mount Ophir. {From specimens) 

3. Hemarkable Bomoau Beetles 

4. Flyiuff Frog. (From a drawing by the Author) 

5. Female Orang-utan. (From a photograph by 


6. Portrait of a Dyak Youth. {From sketch and 


7. Byak Suspension-bridge. {From, a sketch by 

ike A lUhor) 

8. Yonda Lowii. {From specimens) .... 

9. Bemarkable Forest-trees. {Pram a sketch by 

ths Author) 

10. Ancient Bas-rcdief. {From a specimen in 

possession of the Author) 

11. Portrait of a Javanese Chief. {Prom a photo- 


12. The Calliper Butterfly (C%araaj« ^cwienn) . 

13. Primula imperialis. {Prom specimens) . . 

14. Chief ^8 House and Kice-shed in a Sumatran 

Yillaee. {From a photograph) . . . 

15. Females ox Papilio meninon 

16. Papilio Coon 

17. Leaf-butterfly in flight and repose .... 

18. Female Hombill and young bird . . . . 

19. Grammatophyllum, a gigantic Orchid. {From 

a sketch by the Author) 

20. Gun-boring in Lombock. {From a sketch by 

the Author) 

21. Timor Men. {IVwn a photograph) , . . . 

22. Katiye Plough and Yoke, Macassar. {Frotn 

a sketch by the AiUhor) 

23. Sugar Pahns. {From a sketch by the A uthor) 

24. SkuU of the Babirusa 

25. Peculiar form of Wings of Celebes Butterflies 

26. Ejecting an Intruder 

27. Biacquet-tailed Kingfisher 

i8. " "Wallace's Standard Wing,» a new Bird of 


29. Sago Club 

80. Sago-washinff in Ceram. {From a sketch by 

the Author) 

81. Sago OvetL {From a sketch by the AuUior) . 

Wolf . Frontispiece 
FiTcn .... 81 

Robinson . 

Wolf . . 

Baine8. . 

Fitch . . 
Fitch . . 

Fitch . . 

Baines . . 

Baines . . 
T. W. Wood 
Fitch . . 

Robinson . 
Robinson . 
Robinson . 
T. W. Wood 
T. W. Wood 

Fitch . . 


Fitch . . 
Robinson . 
Wallace . 
Robinson . 

Baines . . 

Baines . . 
Baines . . 

. 87 

. 88 

. 41 

. 66 

. 78 

. 82 

. 88 

. 101 

. 109 

. lis 

. 117 

. 125 

. 128 

. 129 

. 131 

. 136 

. 139 

. 170 

. 195 

. 225 

. 230 

. 276 

. 281 

. 297 

. 298 

. 329 

. 378 

. 379 

. 380 


35. UuscuB OmstoB, a Haliiccan MuBupial , . RoBiNaoN . , 

SS. HoIdccui Beetles Robihsok . , 

8*. Nativwt ahootinc the Great Bird of Pnntdwc . T. W. Wood . 

36. Great Black Cockatoo T. W. Woob . 

SS. Dobbo in the Trading Seaaon (I^nnn a ikiteh 


ST. Male Brenthidw fighting 

33. Papunn, New GiiinPa haihes. 

39. Papuan Pipe, [FTom a iheteh by the Avthar) Baineb . 

4I>. Horned Flies Robinson 

41. Clay-beater, nsed in Ne« Guinea .... Robinbon 

*2. The Red Bird of Paradise T. W. Woon , 

43. My house at Beasir, Waigiou, [Pram a akdtii 

bv Ou AvOior) BArKKB. . , 

44. Malay Anchor. (From a ilceUh by Oit AuAar) Batneb . . . 

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

of Faradiw Kkulehanb . 

4S. The MagniRceut Bird of Parodi&e .... Kgulkmakh . 

47. The Suporl) Bird of Paradiso Kehlemanb , 

4S. The Six-ahafted Biid of Paradise .... Keclehahb . 

49. The Long-tailed Bird of Paradise .... Keulemabs . 

50. The Great Shielded Gruslioppet .... Robinson . . 
fil. Fapnan Charm Robinbon . . 

Map Bhowinff Mr. Wallace's BottU (tinted) Pnfitet 

The British IsIcb and Borneo on the same scale 4 

Phymcal Mnp (tinUdl S 

Map of Minibaia, North Celebes 244 

Map of Ambovna 303 

Amooynn, tcith parts of Bonra and Cerani ... 360 

The Islands between Ccnun and £i 384 

Map of the Am Islands 44S 

V^ajfe from Ceram to Waigiou fil4 

Voyage from Waigiou to Teruat^ 5S8 


Bonte Map (tinted blue) at beginning qf Prtfau. 

FhjBical Atap nCpage 9, 

Orang-Utan attacked by Dyaks ProMi^iitet. 

Bamarkable Beetles, Borneo lofaeepagt 37. 

Ejectina an Intruder „ „ M7. 

Wallace^a Standard Wing, male and female . . lofaetpagt S2B. 

Moluccan Beetles , „ 401. 

Xativea Bhooting the Great Bird of Paradise . . „ n 448, 

Dobbo in the Tradinp Soason „ 471 

The " Twelve-wired ' and the "King" Birds of iQfiafinlpagitfQbK^ 

Fandise xnrlii 




Fr we look at a globe or a map of the Eastern hernia, 
sphere, 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 
Uttle connexion with either of them. Situated upon the 
Equator, and bathed by the tepid water of the great tropical 
oceans, this region enjoys a clunate more imiformly hot and 
moist than almost any other part of the globe, and teems 
with natural productions which are elsewhere unknown. 
Ihe richest of fruits and the most precious of spices are 
h^re indigenous. It produces the giant flowers of the 
Rafflesia, the great green-winged Omithoptera (princes 
among the butterfly tribes), the man-like Orang-Utan^ and 
the gorgeous Birds of Paradise. It is inhabited by a 

SK^uliar and interesting race of mankind — ^the Malay, 
und nowhere beyond the limits of this insular tract, 
which has hence been named the Malay Archipelago. 

To the ordinary Englishman this is perhaps the least 
known part of the globe. Our possessions in 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 between Asia and the Pacific Islands. It 
flms liq[ipens that few persons realize that, as a whole, it 
la comparable with the primary divisions of the globe, and 

i^ B 

3 TffB MJLAr 4BCSIPSLAQ0. [chap, l 

dist some of its separate islands are larger than France 
or tiie AostriaD empire. The trnveller, however, soon 
acqniies different ideas. He sails for days, or even for 
weeks, along the shores of one of these great islands, often 
80 great tliat its inhabitants believe it to be a vast con- 
tineDt He finds that voyages among these islands are 
commonly reckoned by weeks and months, and that their 
several inhabitants are often as little known to each othei 
as are the native races of the northern to those of the 
southern continent of America, He soon comes to look 
upon this region 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 
pecoliai to itself 

From many points of view these islands form one 
compact geographical whole, and as such they have always 
been treated by travellers and men of science ; but a more 
careful and detailed study of them under various aspects, 
reveals the unexpected fact that they are divisible into 
two portions nearly equal in extent, which widely difTer 
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 
tite several islands I shall have to refer continually 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 render 
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 Arcbkielago, and to point out the more 
striking features of its geol<^, physical geography, 
vegetation, and animal life. 

Definition and Boundaries. — For reasons which depend 
mainly on the distribution of animal life, I consider the 
Malay Archipelago to include the Malay Peninsula as fat 
as Tenasserim, a^ the Nicobar Islands on the west, the 
Philippines on the north, and the Solomon Islands beyond 


New Gtimea^ 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 dis- 
tinctly separated from the rest. With but few exceptions, 
all enjoy an uniform and very similar q^mate, and are 
GOYer^ 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 be 
that they form a connected whole, all the parts of which 
are intimately related to each other. 

Extent of the Archipdcyo and Idands, — The Malay 
Archipelago extends for more than 4,000 miles in length 
bom east to west, and is about 1,300 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 fieur beyond the land into the Pacific and 
Atlantic oceaua It includes three islands larger than 
Oreat Britain ; and in one of them, Borneo, the whole of 
the Britifih Mes might be set down, and would be sur- 
rounded by a sea of forests. New Guinea, though less 
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 variety of its produo- 
tions 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 pro- 
dnces a striking contrast in the scenery of the volcanic 
and non-volcanic islands. A curving line, marked out 
by accnes of active and hundreds of extinct volcanoes, 
may be traced through the whole length of Sumatra and 
3mf% nd tiieiioe hy the islands of l^ili^ Lombodk, Samr 



bawa, iElores, the Serwatty Islands, Bnoda, Amboyna, 
Batchian, Makiau, Tidore, Temate, and Gilolo, to Morty 
Island. Here there is a slight but well-inarked break, or 
shift, of about 200 miles to the westward, where the 
volcanic belt E^ain b^ixis, in North Celebes, and pasBes 

by Siaa and Sanguir to the Philippine Islands, along the 
eastern side of which it continues, in a curving line, ta 
their northern extremity. lYom the extreme eastern bend 
of this belt at Banda, we pass onwards for 1,000 miles 
over a nOD-Tolcanic district to the volcanoes obserred by 
Dampier, in 1699, on the north-eastern coast of Now 


Guinea, and can there trace another volcanic belt, through 
New Britain, New Ireland, and the Solomon Islands, to 
the eastern limits of the Archipelago. 

In the whole region occupied by this vast line of volca- 
noes, and for a considerable breadth on each side of it, 
earthquakes are of continual recurrence, slight shocks being 
felt at intervals 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 another 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 of their children are remembered, 
and the dates of many important 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 Papanda- 
yangin Java, in 1772, when the whole mountain was blown 
up by repeated explosions, and a large lake left in its place. 
By the great eruption of Tomboro in Sumbawa, in 1815, 
12,000 people were destroyed, 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 quiescent 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 summit, 
and contained twelve populous Malay villages. On the 
29th of December, 1862, after 215 years of perfect in- 
action, it again suddenly burst forth, blowing up and com- 
pletely altering the appearance of the mountain, destroying 
the greater part of the inhabitants, and sending forth such 
Tolumes of ashes as to darken the air at Temate, forty 
miles off, and to almost entirely destroy the growing crops 
on that and the surrounding islands. 

The idand of Java contains more volcanoes, active and 
eztinct^ fhan any other known district of equal extent. 


They am about forby-five in number, and many of them 
ezbibit moat beantifal examples of the Tolcanic cone on a 
large scale, Bingle oi double, vith entire or truncated 
Bununits, and averaging 10,000 i^t high. 

It is now well ascertained that almost all volcanoes 
have been slowly built up b^ the accumulation of matter 
— ^mnd, aehes, and lava — ejected by themselrea. The 
openii^ or craters, however, freijuently shift their posi- 
tion; so that a country may be covered with a more or 
leas irregular scries of hills in chains and masses, only 
here and there rising into lo^ cones, and yet the whole 
may be produced by true volcanic action. In this manner 
the greater part of Java has been formed. There has been 
some elevation, especially on the south coast, where e&- 
tensiTe cliffs of conil limestone are found; and there may 
be a substratum of older stratified rocks ; but still essentially 
Java is volcanic ; and that noble and fertile island — 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 
intense volcanic activity which still occasionally devastates 

^e great island of Sumatra exhibits in proportion to 
its extent a much smeller number of volcanoes, and a 
ooQsiderable portion of it has probably a non-volcanio 

To the eastward, the long string of islands &om Java, 
passing by the north of ^nmoi and away to Banda, are 
probably all due to volcanic action. Timor itself consists 
of ancient stratified locks, but is said to have one volcano 
near its centra 

Going northward, Amhoyna, a part of Bourn, and the 
west end of Ceram, the north part of Gilolo, and all the 
small islands around it, the northern extremity of Celebes, 
and the islands of Siaa and Sanguir, are wholly volcanic. 
The Philippine Archipelago contains many active and 
extinct volcanoes, and has probably been reduced to its 
^esent fragmentary condition by subsidences attending 
on volcanic action. 

All along this great line of volcanoes are to be found 
more or less palpable sifpia of upheaval and depieo- 


non 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 K6 and Aru Islands, Waigiou, and the 
whole south and east of Gilolo, consist in a great measure 
of upraised coral-rock, exactly corresponding to that now 
fbnning in the adjacent seas. In many places I have 
observed the imaltered surfaces of the elevated reefs, with 
great masses of coral standing up in their natural position, 
and hundreds of shells so fresh-lookiiig that 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 
ninety degrees, or one-fourth of the entire circumference of 
the 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-reefe, indicating recent sub- 
mergence. In the veiy 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 characteristic of the surround- 
ing r^ons, are entirely unknown. The equally large 
island of ,New 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 entireljp 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 mi^t, perhaps, be expected that such a division 
would correspond to some differences in the character of 
tiie v^etation and the forms of life. This is the case, 
however, to a very limited extent ; and we shall presently 
see fhal^ although this development of subterranean fires 
la on so vast a scale, — ^has piled up chains of mountains 
or twdve thousand, feet hi^h — has broken up conti- 


nents and raised up islands from the ocean, — yet it has 
all the character of a recent action, which has not yet 
succeeded in ohliterating 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 
surprising that the various islands of the Archipelago 
should be almost always clothed with a forest vegetation 
fix)m the level of the sea to the summits of the loftiest 
mountains. This is the general rule. Sumatra, New 
Guinea, Borneo, the Philippines and the Moluccas, and 
the uncultivated parts of Java and Celebes, are aU forest 
countries, except a few small and unimportant tracts, due 
perhaps, in some cases, to ancient cultivation or accidental 
fires. To this, however, there is one importtmt exception 
in the island of Timor and all the smaller isleinds around 
it, in which there is absolutely no forest such as exists in 
the other islands, eind this character extends in a lesser 
degree to Mores, 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 eind 
scanty grasses grow beneath them on the more barren 
MQs, 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 
peculiar 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 monsoon, which lasts for about two-thirds 
of the year (firam March to November), blowing over the 
northern parts of that country, produces a d^ree of heat 
and dryness which assimilates the vegetation and physical 
aspect of the aoyacent islands to its own. A little farther 

Uu AJuitioH Sm u lighlb 


CHAF. l] futsicjl qeoorapht. 9 

eastward in Timor-laat and the E^ Islands, a moister 
climate prevails, the south-east winds blowing from the 
Pacific throngh Torres Straits and over the damp forests 
of New Oninea, and as a consequence every rocky islet is 
clothed with verdure to its veiy 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 cUmate, 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. 

Cantrasta m Depth of Sea. — ^It was first pointed out by 
Mr. George Windsor Earl, in a paper read before the Boyal 
Geographical Society in 1845, and subsequently in a 
pamphlet '* On the Physical Geography of South-Eastem 
Asia and Australia," dated 1855, that a shallow sea con- 
nected the great islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo 
with the Asiatic continent, with which their natural pro- 
ductions generally agreed; while a similar shallow sea 
connected New Guinea and some of the adjacent islands 
to Australia^ all being characterised by the presence of 

We have here a clue to the most radical contrast in the 
Archipelago, and by following it out in detail I have 
arriv^ at the conclusion that we can draw a Hne 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 Australia. I term these respectively the 
Indo*MaIayan, and the Austro-Malayan divisions of the 
Archipelaga (See Physical Map.) 

On referring to pages 12, 13, and 36 of Mr. Earl's 
pamphlet^ it will be seen that he maintains the former 
connexion of Asia and Australia as an important part of 
his view, wheieas I dwell mainly on their long continued 
separation. Notwithstanding this and other important 
differences between us, to him undoubtedly belongs the 
merit of first indicating the division of the Archipelago 
into an Australian and an Asiatic region, which it has 
been mv good fortune to establish by more detailed 


ContnuU in, Natv/ral Prodtustions. — ^To understand the 
importance of this class of facts, and its bearing upon 
the former distribution of land and sea, it is necessary to 
consider tiie results arrived at by geologists and naturalists 
in other parts of the world. 

It is now generally admitted that the present distribu- 
tion of Uving things on the surface of the earth is mainly 
the result of the last series of changes that it has under- 
gone. 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 

It is not now necessary to say anything about Jiaw 
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 stiU going on, there is no dif- 
ference of opinion. Every successive stratum of sedi- 
mentary rock, sand, or gravel, is a proof that changes of 
level have taken place ; and the different species Of animals 
and plants, whose remains are found in these deposits, 
prove that corresponding changes did occur in the organic 

Taking, therefore, these two series of changes for granted, 
most of the present peculiarities and anomalies in tiie 
distribution of species mJay be directly traced to them. In 
our own islands, with a very few trifling exceptions, every 
quadruped, bird, reptile, insect, and plant, is found also 
on the adjacent continent. In the small islands of Sar- 
dinia and Corsica^ there are some quadrupeds and insects, 
and many plants, quite peculiar. In Ceylon, more closely 
epnnected to India than Britain is to Europe, many 
ftniTTiftla and plants are different from those found in India, 
and peculiar to the island. In the Gkdapagos 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 
bo explained by the greater or less lapse o{ time since 


the islands were upraised from beneath the ocean, or were 
separated from the nearest land ; and this will be generally 
(thongh not always) indicated by the depth of the inter- 
vening sea. The enormous thickness of many marine 
deposits through wide areas shows that subsidence has 
often continued (with intermitting 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 tima 
When we make proper allowance for the continued in* 
troduction of new animals and plants from surrounding 
countries, by those natural means of dispersal which have 
been so weU explained by Sir Charles Lyell and Mr. 
Darwin, it is remarkable 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 
Africa by a deep channel three hundred nules wide, pos- 
sesses 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 

Betuming now to the Malay Archipelago, we find that 
all the wide expanse of sea which divides Java, Sumatra, 
and Borneo bom each other, eind from Malacca and Siam, 
is so shallow that ships can anchor in any part of it, since 
it xaiely exceeds forty fathoms in depth ; and if we go as 
&r as the line of a hundred fathoms, we shall include the 
Philippine Islands and Bali, east of Java. If, therefore, 
tiiiese islands have been separated from each other and 
the continent by subsidence of the intervening tracts of 
land, we should conclude that the separation has been 
oompaiatively recent, since the depth to which the land- 
haa aabrided is so small It is aLso to be remarked^ that 


the great cham of active volcanoes in Sumatra and Java 
famishes 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 surrounding 
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 

But it is when we examine the zoology of these countries 
that we find what we most require— evidence of a very 
striking 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, and their presence plainly indi* 
cates 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 
continent ; but the vast physical changes that must have 
occurred during the breaking up and subsidence of such 
extensive regions have led to tiie extinction of some in 
one or more of the 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 genus 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 exactiy identical Birds o£fer us one of the 
best means of determining the law of distribution ; for 
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- 
eminentiy wanderers, it is found that the others (and 
especially the Passeres, or true perching-biids, which form 


the vast majoxitj) 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 
speaking, 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 fiact^ possesses more 
birds and insects peculiar to itself than either Sumatra 
or Borneo, and this would indicate that it was earliest 
separated from the continent; next in organic indivi 
diudiiy 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 
beiog so uniformly and remarkably shallow, and lastly, 
the existence of the extensive range of volcanoes in 
Sumatra and Java, which have poured out vast quantities 
of subterranean matter and have built up extensive 
plateaux and lofty mountain ranges, thus furnishing a 
vera causa for a parallel line of subsidence — all lead irre- 
sistibly to the conclusion that at a very recent geological 
epoch the continent of Asia extended far beyond its 
present limits in a south-easterly direction, including the 
islands of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, and probably reach- 
ing as Ceo* as the present 100-fathom line of soimdings. 

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 geography. 

Taming 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 


Islaiids do to Asia. It is well known that the natural 
prodnctions of Austialia differ from those of Asia more 
than those of any of the fonr ancient quarters of the 
world difier 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 tjrpes 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 moimd-making brush-turkeys, 
the honeysuckers, the cockatoos, and the brush-tongued 
lories, which are foimd nowhere else upon the globe. All 
these strildng peculiarities are found also in those islands 
which form the Austro-Malayan division of the Archi- 

The great contrast between the two divisions of the 
Archipelago is nowhere so abruptly exhibited as on pass- 
ing from the island of Bali to that of Lombock, where the 
two regions are in closest proximity. In BaJi we have 
barbets, fruit-thrushes, and woodpeckers ; on passing over 
to Lombock these are seen no more, but we have abund- 
ance of cockatoos, honeysuckers, and brush-turkeys, which 
are equally unknown in Bali,^ or any island further west. 
The strait is here fifteen mUes wide, so that we may pass 
in two hours from one great 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 difference is still 
more striking. In the first, the forests abound in monkeys 
of many kmds, wild cats, deer, civets, and otters, and 
numerous varieties of squirrels are constantly met with. 
In the latter none of these occur; but the prehensile- 
tailed Cuscus is almost the only terrestrial mammal seen, 
except wild pigs, which are found in all the islands, and 

^ I was informed, however, that there were a few cockatooa at one spot 
on the west of Bali, showing that the intermingling of the prodnctions of 
HiMe islands is now going on. 


deer (which have probably been recently intiodaoed) in 
Celebes and the Moluccas. The birds which are most 
abundant in the Western Islands are woodpeckers, barbet?, 
trogons, firoit-thrushes, and lea&>thrushes : they are seen 
daily, and form the great ornithological features of the 
countiy. In the Ea^m Islands these are absolutely 
unknown, hon^suckers and small lories being the most 
common birds ; so that the naturalist feels hunself 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 
beii^ out of sight of land 

The inference that we must draw from these feusts is 
undoubtedly, that the whole of the islands eastwards 
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 separated 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 separating them, 
all point to a comparatively long period of isolation. 

It is interesting to observe among the islands them- 
selves, how a shallow sea always intimates a recent land- 
connexion. The Am Islands, Mysol, and Waigiou, as 
weU as Jobie, agree with New Guinea' in their species of 
mammalia and birds much more closely than they do witii 
the Moluccas, and we find that they are all united to New 
Guinea by a shallow sea. In fact, the 100-fathom line 
round New Guinea marks out accurately the range of the 
true Paradise birds. 

It is farther to be noted — and this is a very interesting 
point in connexion with theories of. the dependence of 
special forms of life on external conditions — ^that this 
divirion of the Archipelago into two regions characterised 
by a striking diversity in their natural productions, does 
not in any way correspond to the main phyaicAl ot 

1 6 THEMAIAT ARCHIFELA 00. [ohap. i. 

climatal divisions of the surface. The great volccuiic 
chain runs through both parts, and appears to produce no 
effect in assimilating their productions. Borneo closely 
resembles New Gtdnea not only in its vast size and its 
freedom fix)m volcanoes, but in its variety of geological 
structure, its uniformity of climate, and the general aspect 
of the forest vegetation that clothes its surface. The 
Moluccas are the counterpart of thia Philippines in their 
volcanic structure, their extreme fertility, their luxuriant 
forests, and their &equent earthquakes ; and Bali with the 
east end of Java has a climate ahnost as dry and a soil 
almost as arid as that of Timor. Yet between these cor- 
responding groups of islands, constructed as it were after 
the same pattern, subjected to the same climate, and 
bathed by the same oceans, there exists the greatest pos- 
sible contrast when we compare their animal productions. 
Nowhere does the ancient doctrine — that differences or 
similarities in the various forms of life that inhabit dif- 
ferent countries are due to corresponding physical dif- 
ferences or similarities in the countries themselves — meet 
with so direct and palpable a contradiction. Borneo and 
New Guinea, as alike physically as two distinct countries 
can be, are zoologically wide as the poles asimder ; while 
Australia, with its dry winds, its open plains, its stony 
deserts, ,and its temperate cliiiiate, yet produces birds and 
quadrupeds which are closely related to those inhabiting 
tiie hot damp luxuriant forests which everywhere clothe 
the plains and mountains of New Guinea. 

In order to illustrate more cleaalj the means by which 
I suppose this great contrast has been brought about, let 
us consider what would occur if two strongly contrasted 
divisions of the earth were, by natural means, brought 
into proximity. No two parts of the world differ so 
radically in their productions as Asia and Australia, but 
the difference between Africa and South America is also 
very great, and these two regions will well serve to illus- 
trate the question we are considering. On the one side 
we have baboons, lions, elepheints, buffaloes, and giraffes ; 
on the other spider-monkeys, pumas, tapirs, ant-eaters, 
and sloths; while among birds, the hombiUs, turacos, 
orioles, and honeysuckers of AMca contrast strongly with 


the toucans, macaws, chafterers, and humming-birds of 

Now let us endeavour 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 earthquake-shocks and volcanic action on the 
land should cause increased 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 hundred 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 in- 
habiting 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 foimd. Some 
portion of the upraised land might at different times have 
had a temporary connexion 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 Bali and 
Lombock, might each exhibit an almost unmixed sample 
of the productions of the continents of which they had 
directly or indirectly once formed a pait. 



In the Malay Archipelago we have, I believe, a case 
exactly parallel to that which I have here supposed. We 
have indications of a vast continent, with a peculiar fauna 
and flora, having been gradually and irregidarly broken 
up; the island of Celebes probably marking its furthest 
westward extension, beyond which was a wide ocean. At 
the same time Asia appears to have been extending its 
limits in a south-east direction, tii*st 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 
important 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 wonderful and unexpected fact, that an accurate 
knowledge of the distribution of birds and insects should 
enable us to map out lands and continents which dis- 
appeared beneath the ocean long before the earliest tra- 
ditions of the human race. Wherever the geologist can 
explore the earth's surface, he can read much of its past 
history, and can determine approximately its latest move- 
ments above and below the sea-level ; but wherever oceans 
and seas now extend, he can do nothing but speculate or 
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 histoiy of the earth. 

One of the chief objects of my travels was to obtain 
evidence 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 appro- 
priately 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 impos- 
sible to give such an account as I desire of the natural 
history of the numerous islands and groups of islands in 
the Archipelago, without; constant reference to these gene- 


ralizations 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 islands 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 treated as mere isolated facts. 

Contrasts ofRa4ies, — Before I had arrived at the conviction 
that the eastern and western halves of the Archipelago 
belonged to distinct primary regions of the earth, I had 
been led to group the natives of the Archipelago under 
two radically distinct races. In this I differed iiom most 
ethnologists who hewi before written on the subject ; for 
it had been the almost 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 Malays 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 
cocdd 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 

The reason why exactly the same line does not limit 
both is sufficiently intelligible. Man has means of tra- 
versing the sea which animals do not possess ; and a 
superior race has power to press out or assimilate an 
infmor one. The maritime enterprise and higher civili- 
sation of the Malay races have enabled them to overrun 
a portion of the adjacent region, in which they have 
entirely supplanted the indigenous inhabitants 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 
•I ally modified the physical or moral characteristics of 
tbe people. 


20 SINGAPORE. [chap. ii. 

I believe, therefore, that all the peoples of the various 
islands can be grouped either with -the Malays or the 
Papuans ; 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 aflBnity 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 (except perhaps some in the 
Northern Pacific), are derived, not from any existing con- 
tinent, but from lands which now exist or have recently 
existed in the Pacific Ocean, These preliminary obser- 
vations 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. 



FROM 1854 TO 1862.) 

FEW places are more interesting to a traveller from 
Europe than the town and island of Singapore, fur- 
nishing, 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 papulation is Chinese, 
including some of the wealthiest merchants, the agricul- 
turists of the interior, and most of the mechanics and 
labourers. The native Malays are usually fishermen and 
boatmen, and they form the main body of the police. The 
Portuguese of Malacca supply a large number of tlie clerks 
and smaller merchants. The Elings of Western India are 
a numerous body of Mahometans, and, with many Arabs, 
are petty merchiBuits and shopkeepers. The grooms and 
washermen are all Bengalees, 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 harbour is crowded 
with men-of-war and trading vessels of many European 
nations, and hundreds of Malay praus and Chinese junks, 
from vessels of several hundred tons burthen down to little 
fishing boats and passenger sampans ; and the town com- 
prises handsome public buildings and churches, Mahome- 
tan mosques, Hindoo temples, Chinese joss-houses, good 
European houses, massive warehouses, queer old Kling 
and China bazaars, 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 attention, are the Chinese, whose numbers and 
incessant activity give the place very much the appearance 
of a town in China. 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 trousers) as the meanest coolie, 
but of finer materials, and is always clean and neat ; and 
his long tail tipped with red /ilk hangs down to his heels. 
He has a handsome warehoivic or shop in town and a good 
house in the country. He -keeps a fine horse and gig, and 
every evening may be se^n taking a drive bareheaded to 
enjoy the cool breeze. Jie is rich, he owns several 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 bfiza^r are hundreds of small shops in 
which a miscellaneous collection of hardware and dry 
goods are to be fecund, and where many things are sold 
wonderfully cheaj^. You may buy gimlets at a penny 
each, white cotton thread at. four balls for a halfpenny, 
and penknives, corkscrews, gunpowder, writing-paper, and 
many other articles as cheap or cheaper than you can 
purchase them vtl England. The shopkeeper is very good- 
DAtored ; he Will show you everything he has, and does 
not seem to mud if you buy nothing. He bat^s a little; ^ 
bat not 80 mfuch as the Elings, who almost always ask 




22 SINGAPORK [chap. ii. 

twice what they are willing to take. If you buy a few 
things of him, he will speak to you afterwards every time 
you pass liis 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 blacksmitlis. The former seem chiefly to 
make cotfins and highly painted and decorated clothes- 
boxes. The latter are mostly gun-makers, 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, 
vegetables, fruit, soup, and agar-agar (a jelly made of sea- 
weed), who have many cries as unintelligible as those of 
London. 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 
halfpence ; while coolies anO boatmen waiting to be hired 
are everywhere to be met witli. 

In the interior of the island ihe Chinese cut down forest 
trees in the jungle, and saw th3m up into planks ; they 
cultivate 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 inland Chinese, which seem very 
successful. I lived for several weeks at a time with the 
missionar}' at Bukit-tima, about the centre of the island, 
where a pretty church has been built tod there are about 
300 converts. While there, I met a missionary who had just 
arrived from Tonquin, where he had bee^n living for many 
years. The Jesuits still do their work thoroughly as of old. 
In Cochin China, Tonquin, and China, wBvere all Christian 
teachers are obliged to live in secret, a£id are liable to 
persecution, expulsion, and sometimes dd»ath, every pro- 
^-ince, even those farthest in the interior, h^« a permanent 
Jesuit mission establishment^ constantly k^pt 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 
practised in the expenditure of the funds. A missionary 
is allowed about 30i a year, on which he lives in whatever 
country he may be. This renders 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 convinced that 
they are sincere in what they teach, and have really 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 
labour 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. 

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 religion 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 kis flock, and say, " I have no rice in 
the house," or " I iliave given away my money, and am in 
want of such and' such articles." The result was that his 
flock trusted and loved him, for they felt sure that he was 
their true friendL, and had no ulterior designs in living 

The island o^ Singapore consists of a multitude of small 
hills, three or tour hundred feet high, the summits of many 
of which are ^11 covered with virgin forest. The mission- 


24 SINGAPORE. [chap. n. 

house at Bukit-tima was surrouuded 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 covered 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 one. 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 
gambir plantations, which are always made in newly- 
cleared jungle. 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 animals might be lurking close by, waiting 
an opportunity to spring upon us. 

Several hours in the middle of every fine day were 
spent in these patches of fo^-est, which were delightfully 
cool and shady by contrast >vith the bare open country 
we had to walk over to reach whem. The vegetation was 
most luxuriant, comprising enormous forest trees, as well 
as a variety of ferns, caladiums, and other undergrowth, 
and abundance of climbing rattaa palms. Insects were 
exceedingly abundant and very interesting, 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 Longicorns 
(Cerambycidae), so much esteemed by collectors. Almost 
aU 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 fiavourable conditions in the soil, climate, 
and vegetation, and to the season being yevy bright and 
siumyy with sufficient showers to keep everything fresh. 

cnAP. ii.l INSECT HARVEST. 25 

But it was also in a great measure dependent, 1 feel sui-e, 
on the labours 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 I was the first 
naturalist who had come to reap the harvest they had 
prepared In the same place, and during my walks in 
other directions, I obtained a fair collection of butter- 
flies and of other orders of insects, so that on the whole 
I was quite satisfied with these my first attempts to 
^ain a knowledge of the Natural History of the Malay 




BIRDS and most other kinds of an,imals being scarce at 
Singapore, I left it in July for Malacca, where I spent 
more than two months in the interior, and made an ex- 
cursion 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 dwellings 
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 f\irnis})es a pleasing relief to the eye, 
as well as most grateful shade. 

The old fort, the larg;e 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 
Kastem trade as Singapore is now. The following de* 

26 MALACCA. [chap. ill. 

Bcription 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 Moluccas, 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 inces.«antly, charged with an infinity of 
merchandises. There would be in this place a much 
greater number of Portuguese if it were not for the in- 
convenience, and unhealthiness of the air, which is hurtful 
not only to strangers, but also to natives of the coimtry. 
Thence it is that all who live in the country 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 endeavour to 
endure such an atmosphere. The origin of this town, as 
the natives say, was very small, only having at the be- 
ginning, by reason of the unLealthiness of the air, but 
six or seven fishermen who inhauited it. But the number 
was increased by the meeting of fishermen from Siam, 
Pegu, and Bengal, who came and built a city, and esta- 
blished a peculiar language, drawi) from the most elegant 
modes of speaking of other natiois, so that in fact the 
language of the Malays is at present the most refined, 
exacts and celebrated of all the East. The name of 
Malacca was given to this town, which, by the conve- 
nience of its situation, in a shoi-t 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 courteous, and are reckoned the most 
skilful in the world in compliments, and study much to 
compose and repeat verses and love-songs. Their language 
is in vogue through the Indies, as tlie 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 vhiquitous 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, de- 
graded, and degenerate race, but who still keep up the 
use of their mother tongue, though ruefully 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 useful philological 
phenomenon. The verbs have mostly lost their inflections, 
and one form does for all moods, tenses, numbers, and 
persons. Eu vai, serves for " I go," " I went," or, " 1 
will go." Adjectives, too, have been deprived of their 
feminine and plural terminations, so that the language is 
reduced 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, 
waistcoat, and trousers, and the abominable hat and 
cravat ; the Portuguese patronise a light jacket, or, more 
frequently, shirt and trousers only ; the Malays wear 
their 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 im- 
possible to improve for a tropical climate, whether as 
regards comfort or appearance. The loosely -hanging 
trousers, and neat white half-shirt half-jacket, are exactly 
what a dress should be in this low latitude. 

I engaged two Portuguese to accompany me into the 
interior ; one as a cook, the other to shoot and skin birds, 
which is quite a trade in Malacca. I first stayed a fort- 

28 MALACCA, ' [chap. hi. 

night at a village called Gading, where I was accom- 
modated in the house of some Chinese converts, to whom 
I was recommended 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 
neighbourhood were extensive 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 furnaces. 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 region. 

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 " liain-bird.'* It is about the 
size of a starling, black and rich claret colour with white 
shoulder stripes, and a very large and broad bill of the 
most pure cobalt blue 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 
colours of the plumage is remarkably striking and beau- 
tiful. 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)— fmit-eating birds, sonaething 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 (Calyptomena viridis), 
which is like a small cock-of-the-rock, but entirely 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 honeysuckers, 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, fipd 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 stuy in, 
and plenty of room to dry and presenre 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 collection must necessarily be. I 
was one afternoon walking along a favourite 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 ob- 
served 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 sitting on the same piece of dung, and 
succeeded in capturing it. It was an entirely new species 
of great beauty, and has been named by Mr. Hewitson 
Nymphalis calydonia. 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 Malacca, 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, with blankets, a change of clothes, insect 
and bird boxes, nets guns and ammunition. The dis- 
tance 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 chiefs 
who lent us a verandah, and gave us a fowl and Eome 

30 MALACCA, [chap. ur. 

eggs. The next day the country got wilder and more 
hSlly. 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 ci'eep 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. AU are 
small, but some are beautifully marked with stripes of 
bright yellow. They probably att£|,ch 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 moimtain, and 
encamped by the side of a fine stream, whose rocky banks 
were overgrown with ferns. Our oldest Malay had been 
accustomed to shoot birds in this neighbourhood for the 
Malacca dealers, and had been to the top of the mountain, 
and while we amused ourselves shooting and insect hunt- 
ing, he went with two others to clear the path for our 
ascent the next day. 

Early next morning we started after breakfast, carrying 
blankets and provisions, as we intended to sleep upon the 
mountain. After passing 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 moderate 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 never get any one to describe intel- 

OTAI-. iiL] SdRS FESNS. 81 

ligibly. We fonnd it to be a steep slope of even rock, ex- 
toiding along the mountain side farther than we conld see. 
Parta of it 
were quite 
bare, but 
where it was 
cracked and 
fissured there 
grew a most 
luxariant ve- 
getation, a- 
mong which 
the pitcher 
planta were 

the moBt remarkable. These 
wonderful plants never scom 
to snoceed well iu our hot- 
houses, and are there seen to 
little advantage. Here they 
grew up into half climbing 
ahrubs, their curious pitchers 
of various sizts and forms 
hanging abundantly from their 
leavea, and continually excit- 
ing our admiration by tiieir 
siae and beauty. A few 
conifersB of the ^jenua Dacry- 
dium here first appeared, and 
in the thickets just above 
tbe locky suT&ce we walked 
through groves of those splen- 
did ferns Dipteris Horstiddii -^^ 
and Matooia pectinata, which J'^^P 
bear large spreading palmate J^!^ 
fronds on slender stems six or "^ 
eight feet high. The Matonia 
i» the tallest and most elegant, 
and is known only from this 
TT^nniitftin ^id neither of them 
is vet introdoced into our hot-honaea. 

It vas very striking to come out &om the dark, cool, and 

32 MALACCA, [chap, iil 

shady forest in which we had been ascending since we 
started, 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 2,800 feet. We had been told we should find 
\vater at Padang-batu, but we looked about for it in vain, 
as we were exceedingly 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 other- 
wise iminviting. 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 de- 
scending 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 fui-ther; 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 spiing close to the summit, so we deter- 
mined 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 
we found the ascent very laborious, the slope being so steep 
as often to necessitate hand-climbing. Besides a bushy 
vegetation 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 
summit, where an overhangiHg 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 summit of Mount Ophir, 4,000 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 way — ranges 
of hill and valley everywhere covered with interminable 
forest, with glistening rivers winding among them. In a 
distant view a forest country is very monotonous, and no 


mountam 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 
thermometer, as well as with the sympiesometer, and we 
then enjoyed our evening meal and the noble prospect that 
lay before 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 rico 
to cook, and luckily we did not require the baggage they 
left behind them. In the morning I caught a few butter- 
flies 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 awamp near a stream overgrown with Zingiberaceous 
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 insect-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 although he had been for twenty years shooting 
birds in these forests he had never yet shot one, and had 
never even seen one except after it had been caught The 
bird is so exceedingly 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 colours and hch 
eye-like spots, which are so ornamental when seen in a 
museum, must harmonize well with the dead leaves among 
which it dweUs, 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 

The tiger and rhinoceros are still found here, and a few 
years ago elephants aboimded, but they have lately all 
disappeared. We found some heaps of dung, which 
seemed to be that of elephants, and some tracks of the 


34 BORNEO. [chap. it. 

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 afterwards went on to Malacca, and thence 
to Singapore. Mount Ophir has quite a reputation for 
fever, and aU our friends were astonished at our reckless- 
ness in staying so long at its foot ; but we none of ua 
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 
given 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 Boyal 
Geographical Society, but which was neither read nor 
printed owing to press of matter at the end of a session, 
and the MSS. of which cannot 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 anything has been 
written in the English language. 



I ARRIVED at Sarawak on November 1st, 1854, and 
left it on January 25th, 1856. In the interval I 
resided at many different loctdities, and saw a good deal of 
the Dyak tribes as well as of the Bomean 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 Sardwak 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 
loumey through a part of the interior seldom visited by 

The first four months of my visit were spent in various 
parts of the Sarawak Kiver, from Santubong at its mouth 
up to the picturesque limestone Mountains and Chinese 
gold-fields of Bow and Bed6. 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 collections were comparatively poor and insig- 

In March 1855 I determined to go to the coal-works 
which were being opened near the Simunjon Eiver, a 
small branch of the Sddong, a river east of Sardwak and 
between it and the Batang-Lupar. The Simuiyon enters 
the Sadong Eiver 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 walk and carry 
heavy burdens with the greatest ease, but to a booted 
European it is very slippery work, and when one's atten- 
tion is constantly attracted by the various objects of 
interest around, a few tumbles into the bog are almost 
inevitable. During my first walk along this road I saw 
£ew insects or birds, but noticed some very handsome 
orchids in flower, of the genus Ccelogyne, a group which I 
afterwards found to be very abundant, and characteristic of 
the district. On the slope of the hill near its foot a 

Ktch of forest had been cleared away, and several rude 
uses erected, in which were residing Mr. Ooulson the 
engineer, and a number of Chinese workmen. I was at 


36 BORNEO, [chap. iv. 

first kindly accommodated in Mr. Coulson*s house, but 
finding the spot very suitable for me and offering great 
facilities for collecting, I had a small house of two rooms 
and a verandah 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 favourable. 

In the tropics a large proportion of the insects of all 
ordei-s, and especially of the large and favourite 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 situations 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 
extent 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. Now, during my whole twelve years' coUecting 
in the western and eastern tropics, I never enjoyed such 
advantages in this respect as at the Simunjon coal-works. 
For several months from twenty to fifty Chinamen and 
Dyaks were employed almost exclusively in clearing a 
large space in the forest, and in making a wide opening for 
a railroad to the Sadong Eiver, two miles distant. Besides 
this, 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 increase ; a 
time which I have always found the most favourable 
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 

:hap. IV.] BEETLES. 37 

:hat were brought me, I obtained from the Dyaks and the 
Uhinamen many fine locusts and Phasmidae, as well as 
lumbers of handsome beetles. 

When I arrived at the mines, on the 14th of March, 
[ had collected in the four preceding months, 320 different 
iinds of beetles. In less than a fortnight I had doubled 
:his number, an average of about 24 new species every 
lay. On one day I collected 76 different kinds, of which 
54 were new to me. By the end of April I had more than 
1 thousand species, and they then went on increasing at a 
dower rate ; so that I obtained altogether in Borneo about 
;wo thousand distinct kinds, of which all but about a 
tiundred were collected at this place, and on scarcely more 
ihan a square mile of ground. The most numerous and 
most interesting groups of beetles were the Longicoms and 
Rhynchophora, both, pre-eminently wood-feeders. The 
!brmer, characterised by their graceful forms and long 
intennse, were especially numerous, amounting to nearly 
ihree hundred species, nine-tenths of which were entirely 
lew, and many of them remarkable for their large size, 
itrange forms, and beautiful colouring. The latter corre- 
ipond to our weevils and allied groups, and in the tropics 
ire exceedingly numerous and varied, often swarming upon 
lead timber, so that I sometimes obtained fifty or sixty 
lifferent kinds in a day. My Bomean collections of this 
proup exceeded five hundred species. 

My collection of butterflies was not large ; but I obtained 
lome rare and very handsome insects, the most remarkable 
)eing the Ornithoptera Brookeana, one of the most elegant 
pecies known. This beautiful creature has very long and 
)ointed wings, almost resembling a sphinx moth in shape, 
t is deep velvety black, with a curved band of spots of a 
nrilliant metallic-green colour extending across the wings 
rom tip to tip, each spot being shaped exactly like a small 
riangular feather, and having very much the effect of a 
ow of the wing coverts of the Mexican trogon laid upon 
»lack velvet. The only other marks are a broad neck- 
ollar of vivid crimson, and a few delicate white touches on 
he outer margins of the hind wings. This species, which 
ras then quite new and which I named after Sir James 
Jiooke, was very rare. It was seen occasionally flying 

38 BORNEO. [chap, it 

swiftly in the clearinga, and now and then settling for an 
instant at puddles and muddy places, so that I onJy suc> 
ceeded 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 
affinity to any other known insect. 

One of the most curious and interesting reptiles widch 
I met with in Borneo was a large tree-frog, which waa 

bronght me by one of the Chinese workmen. He assuied 
rae that he bad seen it come down, in a slanting direction, 
from a high tree, as if it ilew. On examining it, I found 

ciiAP. !▼.] A ""FLTINO FROG."* 39 

the toes very long and fully webbed to their very extremity, 
so that when expanded they ofTered a surface much larger 
than the bo<iy. The fore legs were also bordered by a 
membi-ane, and the body was capable of considerable 
inflation. The back and limbs were of a very deep shining 
green colour, the under surface and the inner toes yellow, 
while the webs were black, rayed with yellow. The body 
was about four inches long, while the webs of each hind 
foot, when fully expanded, covered a surface of four square 
inches, and the webs of jJl the feet together about twelve 
square inches. As the extremities of the toes have dilated 
discs for adhesion, showing the creature to be a true tree- 
frog, it is difficult 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 "fljring frog," and it is very interesting to 
Darwinians as showing, that the variability of the toes 
which have been already modified for purposes of swim- 
ming 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 Bhaoophorus, which consists of several frogs of a 
much smaller size than this, and having the webs of the 
toes less developed. 

Dining my stay in Borneo I had no hunter to shoot for 
me regularly, and, being myself fully occupied with insects, 
I 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 Gym- 
nnros Bafflesii, which looks like a cross between a pig and 
a polecat, 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 Simunjon 
was to see the Orang-utan (or great man-like ape of Borneo) 
in hia 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 aU these 
objects I succeeded beyond my expectations, and will now 
give some account of my experience in hunting the Orang- 

40 BORNEO-TEE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. tv. 

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 preference to Simia satyrus, or Orang-utan. 

Just a week aft^r my anival 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 characteristic 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 afterwards 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 immediately 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, teUing 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 towards 
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 2d, 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 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 121Ji of May I found another, which behaved in 
a very similar manner, howlifag and hooting with rage, and 
throwing down branches. I shot at it five times, and it 
remained dead on the top of the tree, supported in a fork 
in sQch a manner that it would evidently not fall. I there- 
fore returned home, and luckily found some Dyaks, who 
came back with me, and climbed up the tree for the aoinuiL 
This was the first full-grown specimen I had obtained ; but 

» Was a female, and not nearly so large or remarkable as 
'Iw fall-grown males. It was, however, 3 ft 6 in. high, 
u>d its arms stretched out to a width of 6 ft 6 in. I pre- 
KTred the skin of this specimen in a cask of arrack, and 

Cpued a perfect skeleton, which was afterwards purchased 
the Derby Museum. 

Only four days afterwards some Dyaks saw anoUiei 
%u QDar the same place, and came to teU me. We found 

42 BOBNEO^THE ORANO-UTAN. [chap. !▼. 

it to be a rather large one, very high up on a tall tree. 
At the second shot it fell rolling over, but almost imme- 
diately 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 
downwards 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 inwards at 
the last joint so as to form complete hooks. At this time 
it had not a siogle tooth, but a few days afterwards 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 
cork, 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 nourishing. When 
I put my finger in its mouth it sucked with great 
vigour, drawing in its cheeks with all its might in the 
vain effort to extract some milk, and only after per- 
severing a long time would it give up in disgust, and 
set up a scream very like that of a baby in similar 

When handled or nursed, it was very quiet and con- 
tented, 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 
diy amazihgly, and when I brushed its hair seemed to be 
perfectly happy, lying quite still with its arms and legs 
stretched out while I thoroughly brushed the long hjoi; 
of its back and arms. For the first few days it clung 
desperately 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 
th£ui anjrthing else, and it was impossible to free myself 
without assistance When restless, it would struggle about 
with its hands up in the air trying to find something to take 
hold o^ and, when it had got a bit of stick or rag in two 
or three of its hands, seemed quite happy. For want of 
something else, it would often seize its own feet, and after 
a time it would constantly cross its arms and grasp with 
each hand the long hair that grew just below the opposite 
shoulder. The great tenacity of its grasp soon diminished, 
and I was obliged to invent some means to give it exercise 
and strengthen its limbs. For this purpose I made a short 
ladder of three or four roimds, on which I put it to hang 
for a qutirter 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 by 
two hands, it would loose one, and cross it to the opposite 
shoulder, grasping its own hair ; and, as this seemed much 
more ^reeable 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 numerous tumbles. Finding it so fond of hair, I 
endeavoured to make an artificial mother, by wrapping 
np a piece of buffalo-skin into a bundle, and suspending 
it about a foot from the floor. At first this seemed to suit 
it admirably, as it could sprawl its legs about and always 
find some hair, which 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 
poll itself up close to the skin, and try about everywhere 

44 BORNEO^THB ORANO-UTAN. [cbap. !▼. 

for a likely place; but, as it only succeeded in getting 
mouthfuls of hair and wool, it would be greatly disgusted, 
and scream violently, and, after two or three attempts, let 
go altogether. One day it got some wool into its throat, 
and I thought it would have choked, but after much 
gaspiDg it recovered, and I was obliged to take the imita- 
tion mother to pieces again, and give up this last attempt 
to exercise the little creature. 

After the first week 1 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 dislike 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 flavour there was, and then push it all 
out between 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 
fortunately obtained a young hare-lip monkey (Macacus 
cynomolgus), 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 exhibiting 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 sticking to the Mias' Hps, 
and then pull open its mouth and see tf any stiU remained 
inside; afterwwxls 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 aflfectionately in its arms. It 
Bometimes, 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 Alias, 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 
little monkey, on the other hand, in constant motion; 
running and jumping about wherever it pleased, examining 
everything around it, seizing hold of the smallest objects 
with the greatest precision, balancing itself on the edge 
of the box or running up a post, and helping itself to 
anything 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 coughing 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 b^ui again harder than ever. 

After five weeks it cut its two upper front teeth, but in 
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 
equally nourishing food Bice-water, rice, and biscuits 

46 BORNEO-^THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

were but a poor substitute, and the expressed milk of the 
cocoa-nut which I sometimes gave it did not quite agree 
with its stomach. 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 afterwards it was again taken iU, and this 
time more seriously. The symptoms were exactly those 
of intermittent fever, accompanied 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 nearly 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 o£ 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 swell- 
ings 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 entomologising 
excursion when Charles^ rushed in out of breath with 
running and excitement, and exclaimed, interrupted by 
gasps, *' Gret the gun, sir,— be quick, — such a large Mias 1 " 
" 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 hill a little way up its slope, and 
parallel with it at the foot a wide opening had been made for 

> Charles Allen, an English lad of aizteen, accompanied me as an assistant 

«^^. IT.] A MI AS HUNT. 4 7 

* ^oad, 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 

lound the clearings. We walked 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 upwards. 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 soimd 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 louder, 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. 

Very soon, however, one of the Dyaks called me and 

pointed upwards, and 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 Imn. 

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 moimtain above, 
and thick with hanging and twisted creepers. Bimning, 
dimbing, 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." Seeing that he could not pass here without 
descending, he turned up again towards the hill, and I got 
two shots, and following quickly had two more by Qie 
time he had again reached the path ; but he was always 

48 BORNEO—THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iy. 

more or less concealed by foliage, aud protected by the 
large branch on which he was walking. Once while load- 
ing 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 a&aid 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 efi'ect, so I thought it 
best to send for two Chinamen with axes to cut down the 
trea While the messenger was gone, however, one of the 
Dyaks took courage and climbed towards 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 
lopes 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 faU. As a last 
resource we all began 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 fiill 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 the face broadened out 


to a ridge or fold at each side. His outstretched arms 
Pleasured seven feet three inches across, and his height, 
Tiieasuring fairly from the top of the head to the heel, 
was four feet two inches. The body just below the 
anns 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 1^ were broken, one hip- 
joint and the root of the spine completely shattered, and 
two bullets were found flattened in his neck and jaws ! 
Fefc 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, preparing 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 4th, some Dyaks 

came to tell us that the day before a Mias 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-sida On being alarmed he retreated towards the 

jungle which was close by, and a number of the men, 

armed with spears and cheppei*s, 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 

Wn 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 
l^n killed, so I ofifered them a reward to bring it up to 
^'^ landing-place inmiediately, which they promised to do. 
Jiey did not come, however, till the next day, and then 
<lecoinposition had commenced, and great patches of the 
hair came oflF, so that it was useless to skin it- This I 
'^tted much, as it was a very fine full-grown male. I 
^t off the head and took it home to clean, while I go^ 


50 BORNEO— THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

my men to make a close fence about five feet high round 
the rest of the body, which 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 18th I had another great success, and obtained 
a fine adult male. A Chinaman told me he had seen liim 
feeding 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 off 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 considerable 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 bo 
his last. Suddenly, however, by a violent 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 cendcal vertebra. Yet it was after this fearful wound 
that he had risen, and begun cUmbing with considerable 
facility. This also was a full-grown male of almost exactly 
the same dimensions as the other two I had measured. 

On June 21st 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 24th I was called by a Chinaman to shoot a 
Mias, which, he said, was on a tree close by his house, af 
the coal-mines. Arriving at the place, we had some dif& 
culty in finding the animal, as he had gone off into th' 
jungle, which was very rocky and difficult to traverse 
At last we found him up a very high tree, and could sf 
that he was a male of the largest size. As soon as I he 

cttA.1.. IV.] MAKING A NEST. 51 

fi^d, he moved higher up the tree, and while he was doing 
^ I fired again; and we then saw that one arm was 
^^ken. He had now reached the very highest part of an 
i^xnense tree, and immediately began breaking off boughs 
•11 around, and laying them across and across to make a 
^est. It was very interesting to see how well he had 
chosen his place, and how rapidly he stretched out his 
unwounded 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 formed 
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 morn- 
ing, 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 him- 
self 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 
liis 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 simshine would cause 
decomposition on the surface of the skin; but, after looking 
8t it and trying it, they determined that it "was very big 
^^ very hard, and would not attempt it. Had I doubled 
^y offer, they would probably have accepted it, as it would 
liot have been more than two or three hours' work ; and 
W I been on a short visit only I would have done so ; 
^t as I was a resident, and intended remaining several 
Jnonths longer, it would not have answered to begin paying 
^ exorbitantly, or I should have got nothing done in 
fetupe at a lower rate. 

Par some weeks after, a cloud of flies could be seen 
^ day, hovering over the body of the dead Mias ; but in 
^boat a month all was quiet, and the body was evidently 

E 2 

52 BORNEO^THB ORANQ-UTAN. [chap, iv 

drying up under the influence of a vertical sun alternating 
with tropical rains. Two or throe months later two 
Malays, on the offer of a dollar, climbed the tree, and 
let down the dried remains. The skin was almost entire, 
enclosing 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 
foimd three small Orangs feeding together. We had a 
long chase after them, and had a good opportunity of 
seeing how they make their way from tree to tree, by 
always choosing those limbs whose branches are inter- 
mingled 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 nm 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 
fallen trees, and hurt my ankle, and, not being careful 
enough at first, it became a severe inflamed ulcer, v^hich 
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 Simtta- 
jon Eiver to Semdbang, 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 
little luggage, I only took with me a Chinese boy as a 
servant. 1 carried a cask of medicated arrack to put Mias 
skins in, and stores and ammunition for a fortnight. 
After a few miles, the stream became very narrow 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 

««^p. IV.] A LYAK HOUSE. 53 

6XtTaordiiiary long-nosed monkey (Nasalis larvatns), which 

^ as large as a three-year old child, has a very long tail, 

^^d a fleshy nose, longer than that of the biggest-nosed 

^an. The further we went on the narrower and more 

"Ending the stream became ; fallen trees sometimes 

^locked up our passage, and sometimes tangled branches 

^^d creepers met completely across it, and had to be 

<5Ut away before we could get on. It took us two days 

to reach Semdbang, 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 th^ screw-pines (Pandanus), 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 constant succession 

of difficulties. 

Near the landing-place we found a fine house, 250 
feet long, raised high above the ground on posts, with a 
wide verandah and still wider platform of bamboo in 
fipont of it Almost all the people, however, were away 
on some excursion after edible birds'-nests or bees*-wax, 
and there only remained in the house two or three old men 
and women with a lot of children. The moimtain or hill 
was close by, covered with a complete forest of fruit-trees, 
among which the JDurian and Mangusteen 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 directions about the moun- 
tain, accompanied by a Malay, who had stayed with me 
while the other boatmen returned. For three days we 
found no Orangs, but shot a deer and several monkeys. 
On the fourth day, however, we found a Mias feeding on 
a very lofty Durian tree, and succeeded in killing it, after 
eight shots. Unfortunately it remained in the tree, hanging 
by its hands, and we were obliged to leave it and return 
home, as it was several miles off. 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 
trea To my astonishment and pleasure, it appeared to be 
ar different kind from any I had yet seen for although a 
^11-grown male by its fuUy developed teeth and very 

54 BORNEO— THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

laxge 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 in- 
cisors, however, appeared to be broader than in the larger 
species, a character distinguishing the Simia morio of 
Professor Owen, which he had described from the cranium 
of a female specimen. As it was too far to carry the 
animal home, I set to work and skinned the body on 
the spot, leaving the head hands and feet attached, to 
be finished at home. This specimen is now in the British 

At the end of a week, finding no more Orangs, I re- 
turned home ; and, taking in a few fresh scores, and this 
time accompanied by Charles, went up another branch of 
the river, very similar in character, to a place called Men- 
yille, 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 accommodated here in the verandah 
of the large house, in which were several great baskets of 
dried human heads, the trophies of past generations of 
head-hunters. Here also there was a little mountain 
covered with fruit-trees, and there were some magnificent 
Durian 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 revelled in 
this emperor of fruits in its greatest perfection. 

The very day after my arrival in this place, I was so 
fortimate as to shoot another adult male of the small 
oiang, 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 
taJl, 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 t^}^ 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 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 bamboo 
from another clump, and 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 imme- 
diately 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 fsoon 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 perfectly safe, since if 
any one peg were loose or faulty, and gave way, the strain 
wotQd be thrown on several others above and below it I 
now understood the use of the line of bamboo pegs stick- 
ing in trees,* which I had often seen, and wondered for, 

56 BORNEO— THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

TB^hat purpose they could have been put thera This 
animal was almost identical in size and appearance with 
the one I had obtained at Semabang, and was the only 
other male specimen of the Simia morio which I obtained. 
It is now in the Derby Museum. 

I afterwards shot two adult females and two young 
ones of diiferent ages, all of which I preserved. One of 
the females, with several young ones, was feeding on a 
Durian tree with unripe fruit ; and as soon as she saw us 
she began breaking off branches and the great spiny 
fruits with every appearance 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 fortime 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 fuU of trees and stumps that the ladea 
boat coiild 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 shotb 

*^*^-%^. IV.] Mr LAST MIJS, 5 7 

^ ^*^« difficulty then was to load my gun again, for I was so 
***^^p in the water that I could not hold the gun sloping 
*^ough to pour the powder in. I therefore had to 
*^^rch for a shallow place, and after several shots under 
^*^ese trying circumstances, I was delighted to see the 
^onstrous animal roll over into the water. I now towed 
^im after me to the stream, but the Malays objected to 
^ve the animal put into the boat, and he was so heavy 
^Viat I could not do it without their help. 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 13J inches wide, whereas 
the widest I had hitherto seen was only 11 J inches. The 
girth of the body was 3 feet 7J^ inches. I am inclined to 
believe, therefore, that the length 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 
lange, inhabiting many districts on the south-west, south- 
cast, 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 Sardwak 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 

58 BORNEO^THE ORANG-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

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 with planta- 
tions 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 lower part of the 
Sddong vaUey 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. Now the Sarawak 
valley has this peculiarity — ^the lower portion though 
swampy is not covered with continuous lofty forest, butis 
principally occupied by the Nipa 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 Tirgin forest, and much second-growth jungle on^ound 
which has once been cultivated by the Malays or Dyaks. 

Now it seems to me probable, that a wide extent of 
unbroken and equally lofty virgin forest 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 mode of 
progression, and where it would therefore 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 plsSns. 

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 


tae semi-erect attitude which the great length of his arms 
^*^^ the shortness of his legs cause him naturally to 
?^imie; and the disproportion between these limbs is 
^creased by his walking on his knuckles, not on the palm 
^^ the hand, as we sliould do. He seems always to choose 
^*^ose branches which intermingle with an adjoining tree, 
^^x approaching which he stretches out his long arms, and, 
Seizing the opposing boughs, grasps them together with 
l>oth hands, seems to try their strength, and then de- 
Kberately swings himself across to the next branch, on 
wiich he walks along as befoi*e. He never 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 beneatL The long and powerful arms are of 
the greatest use to the animal, enabling it to climb easUy 
up the loftiest trees, to seize fruits and young leaves from 
slender boughs which wiU 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 when 
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 because it is warmer and less ex- 
posed to wind than higlier 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 pandanus, 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 tlie sun has well 
risen and has dried up the dew upon the leaves. He 
fiBeds all through the middle of the day, but seldom 
xetums to the same tree two days running. They do not 
seem much alarmed at man, as they often stared down 
npon me for several minutes, and then only moved away 
slowly to an adjacent tree. After seeing one, I have often 
l)ad to go half a mile or more to fetch my gun, and in 

60 BORNEO— THE ORANQ-UTAN. [chap, iv, 

nearly every case have found it on the same tree, ot 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 ones were seen in 
company. Their food consists almost exclusively of fruit, 
with occasionally leaves, buds, and young shoots. They 
seem to prefer imripe fruits, some of which were very sour 
others intensely bitter, particularly the large red, fleshy 
arillus of one which seemed an especial favourite. In 
other cases they eat only the small seed of a large fruit, 
and they almost always waste and destroy more than they 
eat, so that there is a continual rain of rejected portions 
below the tree they are feeding on." The Durian is an 
especial favourite, and quantities of this delicious fruit are 
destroyed wherever it grows surrounded by forest, but they 
will not cross clearings to get at them. It seems won- 
derful 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 sufl&cient in the hollows 
of leaves. Once only I saw two half-grown Orangs on the 
ground in a dry 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 itself by branches overhead or when 
attacked. Eepresentations 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 accoimts 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 in- 
quired said: '^No animal is stroug enough to hurt the 


^fi^, and the only creature he ever fights with is the 
^^^odile. When there is no fruit in the jungle, he goes 
^ seek food on the banks of the river, where there are 
plenty of young shoots that he likes, and fruits that 
P]ow close to the water. Then the crocodile sometimes 
Wes to seize him, but the Mias gets upon him, and 
"^ats him with his hands and feet, and tears him and 
tils him." He added that he had once seen such a 
fight, and that he believes that the Mias is always the 

My next informant was the Orang Kaya, or chief of the 
Balow Dyaks, on the Simunjon lUver. 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 strength, standing upon it, pulling open its jaws, 
and ripping tip 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 he." 

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. eastward of Borneo and Java, 
the Quadrumania, Ruminants, Camivora, and many other 
groups of Mammalia, diminish rapidly, and soon entirely 
disappear. When we consider, further, that almost all 
other animals have in earlier ages been represented 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 mar- 
Bnpials ; 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 forerunners. With what interest must every 
naturalist look forward to the time when the caves 
and tertiary deposits of the tropics may be thoroughly 
examined, and the past history and earliest appearance 
of the great man-like apes be at length made known. 
I wm now say a few words as to the supposed existence 

62 BORNEO^THJB ORANO-UTAN. [chap. iv. 

of a Bomean 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 preserved 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 extent of the outstretched 
arms, from 7 feet 2 inches to 7 feet 8 inches ; and tho 
width of the face, from 10 inches to 13J 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 
Schlegel and Miiller, the largest old male was 4 feet 
1 inch; and the largest skeleton in the Calcutta Museum 
.was, according to Mr. Blyth, 4 feet 1^ inch. My speci- 
mens 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 dimen- 
sions, although the total number of skins and skeletons 
must amoimt to over a hundred. 

Strange to say, however, several persons declare that 
they have measured Orangs of a much larger size. Tem- 
minck, in his Monograph of the Orang, says, that he 
has just received news of the capture of a specimen 

5 feet 3 inches high. Unfortunately, it never seems to 
have reached Holland, for nothing has since been heard 
of any such animal Mr, St. Jolm, 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 6 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 dimensions has yet reached England. 

In a letter from Sir James Brooke, dated Octoner 1807,. 
in which he acknowledges the receipt of my Papers on the 


^^^g, published in the "Annals and Magazine of Natural 
ffiatory," he sends me the measurements of a specimen 
Wled by his nephew, which I will give exactly as I 
received it : " September 3d, 1867, kiUed female Orang- 
^taa Height, from head to heel, 4 feet 6 inches. Stretch 
fr)in fingers to fingers across body, 6 feet 1 inch. Breadth 
^\ face, including callosities, 11 inches." Now, in these 
^mensions, 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 

mnch 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 groimd. A height of 4 feet 6 inches would 

therefore require a stretch of arms of at least 8 feet ! If it 

were only 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 who 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 proportions 

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 Stmiatran Orang, the skin of 

which was described by Dr. Clarke AbeL The captain 

and crew who killed this animal declared, that when 

alive he exceeded the tallest man, and looked so gigantic 

that they thought he was 7 feet high ; but that, when he 

was killed and lay upon the ground, they found he was 

only about 6 feet. Now 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 

64 BORNEO. [chap. T. 

dimensions of Orangs, it 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 wen 
made. The only figures given by Mr. St John on hie 
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 Sardwak from the Batang Lupar, after two il 
not three days' voyage, it was so swollen by decompositioB 
as to measure an inch more than when it was fresh. Ox 
the whole, therefore, I think it will be allowed, that up tc 
this time we have not the least reliable evidence of the 
existence of Orangs in Borneo more than 4 feet 2 inchef 



(XOA'EHBER 1855 TO JAKX7ART 1856.) 

AS the wet season was approaching I determined \a 
return to Sarawak, sending all my collections witl 
Charles Allen round by sea, while I myself proposed to g» 
Aip to the sources of the Sadong Eiver, and descend by thi 
Sarawak valley. As the route was somewhat difficult, '. 
took the smallest quantity of baggage, and only one servani 
a Malay lad named Bujon, who knew the language of th 
Sadong Dyaks, with whom he had traded. We left th 
mines on the 27th of November, and the next day reaches 
the Malay village of Giidong, where I stayed a short tim 
to buy fruit and eggs, and called upon the Datu Bandar, o 
Malay governor of the placa He lived in a large an« 
well-built house, very dirty outside and in, and was ver 
inquisitive about my business, and particularly about' th 
coal mines. These puzzle the natives exceedingly, as the, 


ccinnot understand the extensive and costly preparations for 

w'oxking coal, and cannot believe it is to be used only as 

^viel when wood is so abundant and so easily obtained. It 

'^a* evident that Europeans seldom came here, for numbers 

^^ women skeltered away as I walked through the village ; 

^ud one girl about ten or twelve years old, who had just 

^tDught a bamboo full of water from the river, threw it 

. down with a cry of horror and alarm the moment she 

<^ught sight of me, turned round and jumped into the 

stream. Slie 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 

ftt 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 
^ay, and I was obliged to send it back and go on in a very 
small open one. So far the river had been very mono- 
tonous, the banks being cultivated as ric^-fields, and little 
thatched huts alone breaking the unpicturesque line of 
muddy bank crowned with taU 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 diB&culty in finding a 
dry spot to sleep on. Early in the morning we reached 
^pugnan, a small Malay village situated at the foot of an 
isolated mountain which had been visible from the mouth 
of the Simunjon River. Beyond here the tides are not 
felt, and we now entered upon a district of elevated forest, 
^th a finer vegetation. Large trees stretch out their 
anns across the stream, and the steep, earthy banks are 
clothed with ferns and zingiberaceous plants. 

Early in the afternoon we arrived at Tab6kan, the first 
^ge of the Hill Dyaks. On an open space near the 
river about twenty boys were playing at a game something 
'ike what we call " prisoner's base ; " their ornaments of 
heads and brass wire and their gay-coloured kerchiefs and 
waist-cloths showing to much advantage, and forming a 
very pleasing sight. On being called by Bujon, they imme- 

6(i BORNEO. [chap. T. 

diately lefb tlieir game to carry my things up to tlie " head- 
liouse," — a circular building attached to most Dyak 
villages, and sen'iug aa a lodging for strangers the place, 
for trade, the sleeping-room of the umnanied youths, and 
the genei-al council-chamber. It is elevated on lofty posts, 
has a laige fireplace 
in the middle and 
windows in the roof 
all round, and forma 
a very pleasant and 
comfortable aboda 
In theeveuing itwas 
crowded with young 
men and boys, who 
came to look at me. 
They were mostly 
iiuc youDg fellows, 
and I could not help 
admiring the sim- 
plicity and elegance 
uf their costume. 
Their only dress is 
tlie long "chawati'' 
or waist-cloth, 
which hangs down 
before and behind. 
It is generally of 
blue cotton, ending 
m three broad bands 
poiiTn.iT or Bv«« you™ of Tcd, bluc, and 

white. Those who 
tan afford it wear a handkerchief on the head, which is 
either red, nith a narrow border of gold lace, or of three 
colours, like the chawat' The large flat moon-shaped 
brass eamngs, the heavj necklace of white or black beads, 
rows of brass rmgs 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 
eveiy-day dress of the young Dyak gentleman. 


The " Orang Kaya,** or rich man, as the chief of the tribe 

^ called, now came in with several of the older men ; and 

tile " bitchdra " or talk commenced, about getting a boat and 

^en to take me on the next morning. As I could not 

^T^derstand a word of their language, which is very difTe- 

wut from Malay, I took no part ii^ the proceedings, but was 

^presented by my boy Bujon, who translated to me most 

oi what was saii A Chines trader 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 

Plan's business was now being discussed, and he must wait 

aLother day before his could be thought about. 

After the " bitchara " was over and the old chiefs gone, 
I rjsked the young men to play or dance, or amuse them- 
selves in their accustomed way ; and after some little hesi- 
tation they agreed to do so. They first had a trial of 
strength, two boys sitting opposite each other, foot being 
placed against foot, and a stout stick grasped by both their 
hands. Each then tried to throw himself back, so as to 
raise his adversary 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 afterwards they each grasped their own ankle with a 
hand, and while one stood as firm as he could, the othei 
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 
noivel kind of concert Some placed a 1^ across the knee, 
and struck the fingers sharply on the ankle, others beat 
their arms against tiieir 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 armpit produced a 
deep trumpet note ; and, as they all kept time veiy weU, 
the effect was by no means unpleasing. This seemed quite 
a favourite 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 chajiges its character. Hitherto, though swift, it 
had becoi deep and smooth, and confined by steep banks. 
Now it rushed and rippled over a pebbly, sandy, or rocky 



bed, occasionally forming miniature cascades and lapids 
and throwing up on one Ride or the other broad banks oi 
finely coloured pebbles. No paddling could make wa} 
here, but the Dyaks with bamboo poles propelled us along 
with great dexterity and swiftness, never losing theii 
balance in such a narrow and unsteady vessel, thougli 
standing up and exciting all their force. It was a brilliant 
day, and the cheerful exertions of the men, the rushing oi 
the sparkling waters, with the bright and varied foliage 
which from either bank stretched over our heads, produced 
an exhilarating sensation which recalled my canoe voyages 
on the grander waters of South America. 

Early in the afternoon we reached the village ol 
Borot6i, and, though it would have been easy to reach the 
next one before night, I was obliged to stay, as my men 
wanted to return and others could not possibly go on with 
me without the preliminary talking. Besides, a white man 
was too great 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 gathered round me, and I sat for half 
an hour like some strange animal submitted for the first 
time to the gaze of an inquiring public. Brass rings were 
here in the greatest profusion, many of the women having 
their arms completely covered with them, as well as their 
1^ from the ankle to the knee. Bound the waist they 
wear a dozen or more coils of fine rattan 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 armour. 
On their heads they wear a conical hat without, a crown, 
formed of variously coloured 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 
becoming quite hilly, and towards the south, mountainoua 
I took bearings and sketches of all that was visible, an 
operation which caused much astonishment to the Dyaks 

<^ AP. v.] AN EF ENINO PARTY. 6 9 

who accompanied me, and produced a request to exhibit 
tbe compaas when 1 returned. I was then surrounded by 

* larger crowd than before, and when I took my evening 
loeal in the midst of a circle of about a hundi*ed spectators 
wuiously observing every movement and criticising every 
Diouthful, my thoughts involuntarily recurred to the lions 
*t feeding tima like those noble animals, I too was used 
to it, and it did not affect my appetite. The children here 
Were more shy than at Tab6kan, and I could not persuade 
^hem to play. I therefore turned showman myself, and 
exhibited the shadow of a dog*s head eating, which pleased 
^em so much that all the village in succession came out 
to see it. The " rabbit on the wall " does not do in 
^meo, as there is no animal it resembles. The boys had 
tops shaped something like whipping-tops, but spun with 

• string. 

The next morning we proceeded as before, but the river 
had become so rapid and shallow and the boats were all 
80 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 
*nd there on the river-bank was an indurated clay-slate, 
sometimes crystalline, and thrown up almost vertically. 
Kight and left of us rose isolated limestone mountains, 
their white precipices glistening in the sun and contrasting 
beautifully with the luxuriant vegetation that elsewhere 
dothed them. The river bed was a mass of pebbles, 
mostly pure white quartz, but with abundance of jasper 
•Jid agate, presenting a beautifully variegated appearance. 
It was only ten in the morning when we arrived at Budw, 
•>id, though there were plenty of people about, I could 
^ induce them to allow me to go on to the next village, 
fhe Orang Kaya said that if I insisted on having men, of 
^ui8e he would get them, but when I took him at his 
Word and said I must have them, there came a fresh re- 
i^Qstrance ; and the idea of my going on that day seemed 
•0 painful that I was obliged to submit. I therefore 
Walked out over the rice-fields, which are here very ex- 
tensive, covering a number of the little hills and valleys 
^to which the whole country seems broken up, and ob- 
^led a fine view of hiUs and mountains in every direction. 

70 BOJIXEO. [chap. v. 

In the evening tlie Oraiig Kay a came in full dreiss (^a 
spangled velvet jacket, but no trowsei-s), and invited me 
over to his house, where he gave me a seat of honour 
under a canopy of whitd calico and coloured handkerchiefs. 
The great verandah was crowded with people, and lai^ 
plates of rice with cooked and fresh eggs were placed on 
the ground as presents for me. A very old man then 
dressed himself in bright-coloured cloths and many orna- 
ments, and sitting at the door, murmured a long prayer 
or invocaltion, sprinkling rice from a basin he held ih his 
hand, while several large gongs Were loudly beaten and 
a salute of muskets fired off. A large jar of lice wine, 
very sour but with an agreeable flavt)ur, was then handed 
round, and I asked to see some of their dances. These 
were, like most savage performances, very dull and un- 
graceful affairs; the men dressing themselves absurdly 
Uke Wdtnen, 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 vigoi-ous 
arms of as many young n^n, producing such a deafening 
discord that I was glad to escape to the round house, 
wh^tfe I slept very comfortably with half a dozen smoke- 
dried human skulls suspended over my head. 

Tfie river was now so shallow that boats could hardly 
get along. I therefore preferred walking to the next 
village, expecting to see sometliing of the country, but 
was much disappointed, 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, medze, and vegetables. The ground then 
lies fallow eight or ten years, and becomes covered with 
bamboos and shrubs, which often completely ai-ch over 
the path and shut out everything from the view. Three 
houi*s* walking brought us to the village of Senankan, 
where I was again obliged to remain the whole day, which 
I agreed to do on the promise of the Orans Kaya that 
his men should next day take me through two other 
villages across to S^nna, at the head of the ^rdwak Kiver. 
I amused myself as I l)est could till evening, by walking 
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 auJ 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 wliich a Dyak's wealth consists ; 
and theix women and children are all highly ornamented 
with bead necklaces, shells, and brass wira 

In the morning I waited some time, but the men that 
were to accompany me did pot make their appearance. 
Oil sending to the Orang Kaya I found that both he and 
another head-man had gone out for the day, and on 
inquiring the reason was told that they could not persuajde 
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 some excuse, but others were 
sent for, and by dint of threats and promises, and the 
exertion of all Bujon's eloquence, we succeedecj in getting 
oft* after two hours' delay. 

For the first few miles our path lay over a country 
cleared 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 Kiver, a main branch 
of the Sadong, we got on to the lower slopes of the Seborau 
Mountain, 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 represented by hundreds. I 
now discovered the source of the beautiful pebbles which 
bad so pleased me in the river-bed. The slaty rocks had 
ceased, and these mountains seemed to consist of a sand- 
stone 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 bad evidently been formed in past ageSi 

72 BORNEO. [ciiAP. V 

by the action of some continental stream or seabecwjh, 
before the great island of Borneo had risen from the ocean. 
The existence of such a system of hills and valleys repro- 
ducing in miniature all the features of a great mountain 
region, has an important bearing on the modem theory, 
that the form of the ground is mainly due to atmospheric 
rather than to subtermnean action. When we have a 
number of branching valleys and ravines running in many 
different directions within a square mile, it seems hardly 
possible to impute their formation, or even their origina- 
tion, 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 
suflScient causes for the production of such valleys. But 
the resemblance between their forms and outlines, their 
mode of divergence, and the slopes and ridges that divide 
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. 

About noon we reached the village of Menyerry, beau- 
tifully situated on a spur of the mountain about 600 feet 
above the valley, and affording a delightful view of the 
mountains of tliis part of Borneo. I here got a sight of 
Penrissen Mountain, at the head of the Sarawak Kiver, 
and one of the highest in the district, rising to about 
6,000 feet above the sea. To the south the Kowan, and 
further off the Untowan Moimtains in the Dutch territory, 
appeared equally lofty. Descending from Menyerry we 
again crossed the Kayan, which bends round the spCr, 
and ascended to the pass which divides the Sadong and 
Sardwak valleys, and which is about 2,000 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 guUeys 
and along the faces of some precipices by means of native 
bamboo bridgea Some of these were several hundred 
feet long and fifty or sixty high, a single smooth bamboo 


four inches diameter forming the only pathway, while 
a slender handrail of the same material was often so 
shaky that it could only be used as a guide rather than 
a support 

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 spacious clean and comfortable, and the people very 
obliging. Many of the women and children had never 
seen & white man before, and were very sceptical as to my 
being the same colour all over, as my face. They begged 
me to show them my arms and body, and they were so 
kind and good-tempered that I felt bound to give them 
some satistaction, so I turned up my trousers and let them 
see the colour of my leg, which they examined with great 

In the morning early we continued our descent along 
a fine valley, with mountains rising 2,000 or 3,000 feet in 
every direction. The little river rapidly increased in size 
till we reached Senna, when it had become a fine pebbly 
stream navigable for small canoes. Here again the up- 
heaved slaty rock appeared, with the same dip and direc- 
tion as in the Sadong 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 tweuty years before, and had 
not yet got into new habita 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 civilized 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 striking contrast to the skill of the Sea Dyaks. 
At lenJKth we came to a really dangerous rapid where 

74 BORNW. [oHAP. ▼. 

boats were often swamped, and my men were afraid to 
pass it. Some Malays with a boat-load of rice here over- 
took us, and after safely passing down kindly sent back 
one of their men to assist ma 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 picturesque, the ground 
on each side being partially cleared for rice-fields, afford- 
ing a good view of the country. Numerous little granaries 
were built high up in trees overhanging the river, and 
having a bamboo bridge sloping i\p to them from the 
bank; and here and there bamboo suspension bridges 
crossed the stream, where overhanging trees favoured their 

I slept that night in the village of the Sebungow 
Dyaks, and the next day reached Sarawak, passing 
thiough a most beautiful country, where limestone moun- 
tains with their fantastic 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, liam- 
butan. Jack, Jambou, and Blimbing, are all abundant ; but 
most abundant and most esteemed is the Durian, a fruit 
about which very little is known 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 flavour 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 natiire. 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 honourable titles, exalt it, and make verses on it." 
When brought into a house the smell is often so offensive 
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 Durian 


The DuriaD 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 
ali^tly oval, about the size of a large cocoanut, of a 
green colour, and covered all over with short stout spinea 
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 difficult matter to lift one from the 
ground. The outer rind is so thick and tough, that fiom 
whatever height it may fall it is never broken. 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 firuit may be divided with 
a heavy knife and a strong hand. The five cells are 
satiny white within, and are each filled with an oval mass 
of cream-coloured pulp, imbedded in wliich are two or 
three seeds about the size of chestnuts. This pulp is the 
eatable part, and its consistence and flavour are inde- 
scribable. A rich butter-like custard highly flavoured 
with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but inter- 
mingled with it come wafts of flavour that call to mind 
cream-cheese, onion-sauce, brown sherry, and other incon« 
gruities. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness 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 it is. It produces no nausea or other bad eflect» 
and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to 
stop. In fact to eat Durians is a new sensation, worth 
a voyage to the East to experience. 

When the fruit is ripe it falls of itself, apd the only 
way to eat Durians in perfection is to get them as they 
fall ; and the smell is then less overpowering. When un- 
ripe, 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 preserved salted, in jars and bamboos, and 
kept the year round, when it acquires a most disgusting 
odour to Europeans, but the Dyaks appreciate it highly 
as a relish with their rice. There are in the forest two 
varieties of wild Durians with much smaller fruits, one of 

76 BORNEO. [chap. y. 

them orange-coloured inside; and these are probably the 
origin of the large and iine Dorians, which are never found 
wild. It would not, perhaps, be correct to say that the 
Durian is the best of all Iruits, because it cannot supply 
the place of the subacid juicy kinds, such as the oiunge, 
grape, mango, and mangosteen, whose refreshing and cool- 
ing qualities are so wholesome and grateful ; but as pro- 
ducing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed. 
If I had to fix on two only, as representing the perfection 
of the two classes, I should certainly choose the Durian 
and the Orange as the king and queen of fruits. 

The Durian is, however, sometimes dangerous. When 
the fruit begins to ripen it falls daily and almost hourly, 
and accidents not unfrequently happen to persons walking 
or working under the trees. When a Durian 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 effusion of blood preventing the in- 
flammation which might otherwise take place. A Dyak 
chief informed me that he had been struck down by a 
Durian falling on his head, which he thought would 
certainly have caused his death, yet he recovered 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 heaviest fruits known, however, the Brazil-nut fruit 
(BerthoUetia) and Durian, grow on lofty forest trees, from 
which they fall as soon as they are ripe, and often wound 
or kill the native 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 convenience of man. 

During my many journeys in Borneo, and especially 
during my various residences among the Dyaks, I first 
came to appreciate the admirable qualities of the Bamboo. 
In those parts of South America which I had previously 


Tisited, 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 smoothness straightness round- 
ness 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 pronounced 
taste or smell, their great abundance, and the rapidity of 
their growth and increase, are all qualities which render 
them useful for a liundred different purposes, to serve 
which other materials would require much more labour 
and preparation. The Bamboo is one of the most won- 
derftd and most beautiful productions of the tropics, 
and one of nature's most valuable gifts to imciviUzed 

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 barefooted, the rounded surfaces of the 
bamboo being veiy smooth and agreeable to the feet, while 
at the same time affording a firm hold. But, what is more 
important, they form with a 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 cannot be 
supplied so well by another material without a vast 
amount of labour, palms and other substitutes requiring 
much cutting and smoothing, and not being equally good 
when finished When, however, a flat, close floor is 
required, excellent boardis 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 con- 

7S llOIiSEh. [ciiir V. 

stiint rubbing of the feet -unX the siiioko of years bectniit. 
ditrk and polished likevaluut or old ouk so that their 
I'eal material can hardly be recognised. What labour is 
here eaved to a savage whose only tools are an axe and a 
Knile and who if lie wants boards must hew them out of 
the solid trunlv. of a tree aud must give days and weeks of 
labour to obtaiu a surface as smuuth and beautiful as the 
Bamboo thus treated aftords luiu Apam if a temporary 
house IS wanted, eitlier by the native in his plantation or 
by the traveller in the forest nothing is so convenient aa 
the Bamboo with whith a house cuii be constructed with 
a quarter oi tlie labour aul time than if other materials 
are ustd 

As I have already mentioned, the Hill DyiikB in the 
interior of Sarawak make paths for loi^ distances frqw 
village to village and to their cultivated grounds, in the 
course of which they have to cross many gullies and 
ravines, and even rivers; or sometimes, to avoid a long 
circuit, to cany the path along the face of a precipice. In 
all these cases the bridges they constrnct are of Bamboo, 
and so admiiably adapted is the material for thia purpose. 

^-^i». v.] DYAJT BRIDGES. 79 

t\iat it seems doubtful whether they ever would have 
a-ttempted such works if they had not possessed it. Tlie 
^^ak bridge is simple but well designed. It consists 
Merely of stout Bamboos crossing each other at the road- 
^^y like the letter X, and rising a few feet above it At 
^e crossing they are firmly bound together, and to a large 
^mboo which lays upon them and forms the only path- 
^^y, with a slender and often very shaky one to serve as a 
"^draiL When a river is to be crossed an overhanging 
^ is chosen, from which the bridge is partly suspended 
^^i partly supported by diagonal struts from the banks, so 
^ to avoid placing posts in the stream itself, which would 
^ Gable 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 sufficient, im- 
mense Bamboos fifty or sixty feet long are fixed on the 
l^anks or on the branch of a tree below. These bridges 
are traversed daily by men and women carrying heavy 
loads, 80 that any insecurity is soon discovered, and, as the 
materials are close at hand, immediately 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 convenient 
«tep8 are thus formed with the greatest ease and celerity, 
ft is true that much of this will decay in one or two 
fcasons, but it can be so quickly replaced as to make 
it more economical 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 driving in pegs in the way I have already 
<i^8mbed at page 55. This method is constantly used in 
order to obtain wax, which is one of the most valuable 
PTOdacts of the country. The honey-bee of Borneo very 
generally hangs its combs imder the branches of the 
Tappan, a tree which towers above all othei's in the 
forest, and whose smooth cylindrical trunk often rises a 
hundred feet without a branch. The Dyaks climb these 

80 BORNEO. [chap 

lofty trees at night, building up their Bamboo ladder 
they go, and bringing down gigantic honeycombs. Th 
furnish them with a delicious feast of honey and yor 
bees, besides the wax, which they sell to traders, and w 
the proceeds buy the much-coveted brass wire, earrit 
and gold-edged handkerchiefs with which they love 
decorate themselves. In ascending Durian and other ft 
trees which branch at from thirty to fifty feet from i 
ground, I have seen them use the Bamboo pegs oi 
without the upright Bamboo which renders them so mi 
more secure. 

T)ie outer rind of the Bamboo, split and shaved thin 
the strongest material for baskets; hen-coops, bird-caj 
and conical fish-traps are very quickly made from a sin 
joint, by splitting off the skin in narrow strips J 
attached to one end, while rings of the same material 
of rattan are twisted in at regular distances. Water 
brought to the houses by little aqueducts formed of la 
Bamboos split in half and supported on crossed sticks 
various heights so as to give it a regular falL Thin loi 
jointed Bamboos form the Dyaks' only water-vessels, am 
dozen of them stand in the corner of every house. Tl 
are clean, light, and easily carried, and are in many wi 
superior to earthen vessels for the same purpose. Tl 
also make excellent cooking utensils ; vegetables and i 
can be boiled in them to perfection, and they are of 
used when travelling. Salted fruit or fish, sugar, vineg 
and honey are preserved in them instead of in jars 
bottles. In a small Bamboo case, prettily carved a 
ornamented, the Dyak carries his sirih and lime for be 
chewing, and his little long-bladed knife has a Baml 
sheath. His favourite pipe is a huge hubble-bubble, wh: 
he will construct in a few minutes by inserting a sm 
piece of Bamboo for a bowl obliquely into a large cylini 
about six inches from the bottom containing water, throi] 
which the smoke passes to a long slender Bamboo tu 
There are many other small matters for which Bamboo 
daily used, but enough has now been mentioned to sh 
its value. In other parts of the Archipelago I hf 
myself seen it applied to many new uses, and it is p 
bable that my limited means of observation did not ms 


acquainted with one-half the ways in which it is ser- 
ficieable to the Dyaks of Sarawak. 

"While upon the subject of plants I may here mention a 
fe^^ of the more striking vegetable productions of Borneo. 
Tile wonderful Pitcher-plants, forming the genus Nepen- 
thes of botanists, here reach their greatest development. 
Every mountain-top abounds with them, running along 
the ground, or climbing over shrubs and stunted trees ; 
flieir elegant pitchers hanging in every direction. Some 
ot these are long and slender, resembling in form the 
beautiful Philippine lace-sponge (EuplecteUa), which has 
now become so common ; others are broad and short Their 
colours are green, variously tinted and mottled with red 
w purpla The finest yet known were obtained on the 
fiwnmit of Kini-balou, in North-west Borneo. One of the 
Inroad sort. Nepenthes rajah, will hold two quarts of water 
111 its pitcher. Another, Nepenthes Edwardsiania, has a 
Darrow pitcher twenty inches long ; while the plant itself 
grows to a length of twenty feet. 

Fems are abundant, but are not so varied as on the 
▼olcanic mountains of Java ; and Tree-ferns are neither so 
plentiful nor so large as in that island. They grow, how- 
ever, quite down to the level of the sea, and are generally 
deader and graceful plants from eight to fifteen feet high. 
Without devoting much time to the search I collected fifty 
species of Fems in Borneo, and I have no doubt a good 
l^otamst would have obtained twice the number. The 
^teresting group of Orchids is very abundant, but> as is 
S^erally the case, nine-tenths of the species have small 
•Jid inconspicuous flowers. Among the exceptions are the 
&e Coelogynes, whose large clusters of yellow flowers orna- 
ment the gloomiest forests, and that most extraordinary 
plant, Yanda Lowii, which last is particularly abundant 
^ some hot springs at the foot of the Peninjauh Moun- 
Wn. It grows on the lower branches of trees, and its 
strange pendant flower-spikes often hang down so as almost 
to reach the groimd. These are generally six or eight feet 
long, bearing large and handsome flowers three inches across, 
and Varying in colour from orange to red, with deep purple- 
led spots. I measured one spike, which reached the extra- 
ordinary length of nine feet eight inches, and bore thirty- 



six flowera, Bpirally 
airanced upon a eleu- 
der^road-iike stalk. 
Speuiiuens grown in 
our English hot-hooses 
have produced flower- 
apikes of equal length, 
and with a much larger 
number of blossoma. 

Flowers were scarce, 
as is usual in equatorial 
forests, and it was only 
at rare intervals that I 
met with anything 
striking. A few fine 
climbers were some- 
times seen, especially 
a handsome crimson 
and yeUow .^ichynan- 
thuB, and a fine l^u- 
minous plant with 
clusters of large Cassia- 
like flowers of a rich 
purple colour. Once 
I found a number of 
small Anonaceous trees of the genus 
Folyalthea, producing a most striking 
effect in the gloomy forest shades. Tbey 
were about thirty feet high, and their 
slender trunks were covered with lai^ 
star-like crimson flowers, which clus- 
tered, over them like garlands, 
resembled some artificial decoration 
more' than a natural product, 
illustration, next paga) 

The forests abound with gigantic 
trees with cylindrical buttressed, or 
furrowed stems, while occasionally the 
traveller comes upon a wonderful fig-tree, whose trunk if 
itself a forest of stems and aerial roots. Still more rarely 
are found trees which appear to have began growing is 


XBid air and &oin the sama point send out wide Hpreading 
brandies above and a eomphcated pyramid of roots de- 

. •■f^fmmB'~y^:?W7Tli '-Hf^- 

scending for seven^ or eighty feet to the ground betaw, 
and 80 spreading on eveiy side, that oae can stand in 
the veiy centre with the trunk of the tree immediately 

84 BORNEO, [chap. 

overhead. Trees of this character are found all ov 
the Archipelago, and the preceding illustration (taki 
fix)m one which I often visited in the Am Islands) w 
convey some idea of their general character. I belie 
that they originate as parasites, from seeds carried 1 
birds and dropped in the fork of some lofty tree. Hen 
descend aerial roots, clasping and ultimately destrojrii 
the supporting tree, which is in time entirely replaced 1 
the humble plant which was at first dependent upon 
Thus we have an actual struggle for Ufe in the veg 
table kingdom, not less fatal to the vanquished than tl 
struggles among animals which we can so much mo 
easily observe and understand. The advantage of quick 
access to light and warmth and air, which is gained in o: 
way by climbing plants, is here obtained by a foi-est tr€ 
which has the means of starting in life at an elevati< 
which others can only attain after many years of growt 
and then only when the fall of some other tree has mai 
room for them. Thus it is that in the warm and moi 
and equable climate of the tropics, each available static 
is seized upon, and becomes the means of developing ne 
forms of life especially adapted to occupy it. 

On reaching Sarawak eajly in December I found the 
would not be an opportunity of returning to Singapore t; 
the latter end of January. I therefore accepted Sir Jam 
Brooke's invitation to spend a week with him and Id 
St. John at his cottage on Peninjauh. This is a very stei 
pyramidal mountain of crystalline basaltic rock, about 
thousand feet high, and covered with luxuriant foT« 
There are three Dyak villages upon it, and on a little pla 
form near the summit is the rude wooden lodge where tl 
English Ssgah was accustomed to go for relaxation ai 
cool fresh air. It is only twenty imles up the river, bi 
the road up the mountain is a succession of ladders c 
the face of precipices, bamboo bridges over gullies ar 
chasms, and slippery paths over rocks and tree-trunks ar 
huge boulders as big as houses. A cool spring under « 
overhanging rock just below the cottage furnished us wil 
refreshing baths and delicious drinlang water, and tl 
Dyaks brought us daily heaped-up baskets of Mangusteei 
and Lansats. two of the most delicious of the subaci 


tropical fruits. We returned to Sardwak for Christmas 

^the second I had spent with Sir James Brooke), when all 

the Europeans both in the town and from the out-stations 

^joyed the hospitality of the Bajah, who possessed in a 

pre-eminent degree the art of making every one around 

kim comfortable and happy. 

A few days afterwards I returned to the mountain with 
Chwles and a Malay boy named Ali and stayed there 
three weeks for the purpose of making a collection of 
land-fihells, butterflies and moths, ferns and orchids. On 
the hill itself fems were tolerably plentiful, and I made 
» collection of about forty species. But what occupied 
loe most was the great abundance of moths which on 
<%rtain occasions I was able to captui'e. As during the 
whole of my eight years' wanderings in the East I never 
found another spot where these insects were at all plen- 
tifid, it will be interesting to state the exact conditions 
^der which 1 here obtained them. 

On one side of the cottage there was a verandah, looking 
down the whole side of the mountain and to its summit on 
right, all densely clothed with forest. The boarded 
of the cottage were whitewashed, and the roof of 
the verandah was low, and also boarded and white- 
washed. As soon as it got dark I placed my lamp on 
a table against the wall, and with pins, insect-forceps, net, 
*ttd collecting-boxes by my side, sat down with a book. 
Sometimes during the whole evening only one solitary 
inoth would visit me, while on other nights they would 
pour in, in a continual stream, keeping me hard at work 
catching and pinning tiU past midnight. They came 
literally by thousands. These good nights were very few. 
Buiing the four weeks that 1 spent altogether on the 
^ I only had four really good nights, and these were 
always rainy, and the best of them soaking wet. But wet 
wghts were not always good, for a rainy moonlight night 
produced next to nothing. All the chief tribes of moths 
w^eie represented, and the beauty and variety of the 
•pecies was very great On good nights I was able to 
capture from a hundred to two hundred and fifty moths, 
ttid 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 
would fly up to the roof and give me a chase all oyei 
the verandah before I could secure them. In order 
show the curious connexion between the state of th^ 
weather and the degree in which moths were attracte^i 
to light, I add a list of my captures each night of m] 
stay on the hill. 


No. of 



Dec. 13th 


Fine ; starlight. 
Drizzly and fog. 

.. Hth 


„ 16th 


Showery; cloudy. 

.. 16th 


(120 species.) Steady rain. 

„ 17th 


Wet; rathermoonlight 

„ 18th 


Fine ; moonlight. 

„ 19th 


Fine; clear moonlight 

,. 8l8t 


(130 species.) Dark and windy 
heavy rain. 


Jail. Ist 


Very wet. 

„ 2d 


Cloudy and showers. 

„ 8d 



n *th 



„ 6th 



„ 6th 


Very fine. 

. 7th 


Very fine 

„ 8th 



,. 9th 



„ 10th 



;, nth 


Heavy rain all night, and dark. 

„ 12th 



„ 13th 


Showery ; some moonlight 

„ Hth 


Fine ; moonlight 

,. 16th 


Rain; moonlight 

„ 16th 


Showers; moonli^t 

„ 17th 


Showers; moonlight 
Showers; moonlignt 

„ 18th 


Total . . 


It thus appears that on twenty-six nights I collected 
1,386 moths, but that more than 800 of them were col- 
lected 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 ; 
bnt strange to say, during the six succeeding years I waa 


never once able to make any collections at all approaching 
those at Saiiwak. The reason of this I can pretty weU 
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 hindrance; more fre- 
quently residence in a town or village 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 afterwards lived in a solitary jungle-house with a 
low boarded and whitewashed verandah, 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 numerous 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 verandah, 
or a verandah-shaped tent of white canvas, to set up in 
every favourable situation, as a means of making a col- 
lection of nocturnal Lepidoptera, and also of obtaining rara 
specimens of Coleoptera and other insects. I make the sug- 
gestion here, because no one would suspeet the enormous 
difference in results that such an apparatus would pro- 
duce ; and because I consider it one of the curiosities 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 sul^equently accompanied me aU 
over the Archipelago. Charles Allen preferred staying 
at the Mission-house, and afterwards obtuned employment 
in Sardwak and in Singapore, till he again joined me four 
years later at Amboyna in the Moluccas. 

88 BORNEO— THE DYAKH, [chap, vi 



THE manners and cfustoms of the aborigines of Borneo-* 
have been described in great detail, and with much 
fuller information than I possess, in the writings of Sir 
James Brooke, Messrs. Low, St. John, Johnson Brooke, and 
many others. I do not propose to go over the ground 
again, but shall confine myself to a sketch, from personal 
observation, of the general 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 
remotely to the Siamese, Chinese, and other Mongol races. 
All these are characterised 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 cheekbones ; but none of the Malayan 
races have the oblique eyes which are characteristic of 
the more tjrpical Mongols. The average stature of the 
Dyaks is rather more than that of the Malays, while it is 
considerably under that of most Europeans. Their forms 
are well proportioned, their feet and hands small, and 
they rarely or never attain the bulk of body so often 
seen in Malays and Chinesa 

I am inclined to rank the Dyaks above the Malays in 
mental capacity, while in moral character they are un- 
doubtedly 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 talkative, less secretive, and less suspicious 
than the Malay, and are therefore pleasanter companions. 
The Malay boys have little inclination for active sports 
and games, which form quite a feature in the life of the 
Dyak youths, who, besides outdoor games of skill and 
strength, possess a variety of indoor amusements. One 
wet day, in a Dyak house, when a number of boys and 


young men were about me, I thought to amuse them with 
something new, and showed them how to make ''cat's 
cradle" with a piece of string. Greatly to my surprise, 
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 favourite amusement with them. 

Even these apparently trifling matters may assist us to 
form a truer estimate of the Dyaks' character and social 
condition. We learn thereby, that these people have passed 
beyond 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 apti- 
tude to enjoy other than mere sensual pleasures, which 
might be taken advantage of to elevate their whole intel- 
lectual 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 
Pyaks of whom 1 am speaking, however, have never been 
pirates, since they never go near the sea ; and head-hunting 
is a custom originating in the petty wars of village with 
village, and tribe with tribe, which no more implies a bad 
mond character 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 remarkable degree. From this 
cause it is very often impossible 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 askiug an inhabitant to gather 
me some fruit, to be answered, '' I can't do that, for the 

9 BORN SOUTHS LTAKS. [chap. tt. 

owner of the tree is not here;" never seeming to con- 
template the possibility of acting otherwisa Neither will 
they take the smallest thing belonging to an Eiiropean. 
When living at SimtLnjon, 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 
favour whether they might have them. Grimes of violence 
(other than head-hunting) are almost unknown; for in 
twelve years, under 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 dilatoriness ; 
but, however anno}ring this may be to Europeans who 
come in contact witii them, it cannot be considered a very 
grave offence, or be held to outweigh their many excellent 

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, although there were plain indications of sta- 
tionary or but slowly increasing numbers. The conditions 
most favourable to a rapid increase of population are, an 
abundance of food, a healthy climate, and early marriages. 
Here these conditions all exist. The people produco far 
more food than they consume, and exchange the surplus 
for gongs and brass cannon, ancient jars, and gold and 
silver ornaments, which constitute 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 axe 
the Dyak villages so small and so widely scattered, while 
nine-tenths of the country is still covered with forest ? 

Of all the checks to population among savage nations 
mentioned by Malthus — starvation, disease, war, infanti- 
cide, immorality, and infertility of the women---the last 


13 that which he seems to think least important, and of 
doubtfnl efficacy ; and yet it is the only one that seems 
to me capable of accoimting for the state of the popnla- 
tion among the Sarawak Dyaks. The population of Great 
Britam 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 
pf ateut twenty-five. Add to these those who die in 
J^^cy, those who never marry, or those who many late 
^ life and have no offspring, the number of children bom 
*o 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 
^ ahnost every l3yak tribe I visited, I ascertained that 
the women rarely had more than three or four children, 
^d an old chief assured me that he had viever known 
& woman have more than seven. In a village consisting 
of a hundred and fifty families, only one consisted of six 
children living, and only six of five children, the majority 
appearing to be two, three, or four. Comparing this with 
the known proportions 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 
^^untaries half the population die before the age of twenty- 
^^e, we should have only two left to replace their parents ; 
^d 80 long as this state of things continued, the popu- 
lation must remain stationary. Of course this is a mere 
^iistration ; but the facts I have stated seem to indicate 
^ something of the kind really takes place ; and if so, 
^ere is no d&culty in understanding the smallness and 
^ost stationary population of the Dyak tribes. 

We have next to inquire what is the cause of the small 
^^ber of births and of living children in a family. 
(^Umate and race may have something to do with this, but 
^ more real and efficient cause seems to me to be the hard 
labour of the women, and the heavy weights they constantly 
cany. 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 
aiid hilly paths; and not unfirequently has to dimb up 
a Toeky moimtain by ladders, and over slippery stepping^ 

92 BORNEO— THE DYAKS, [coajp, n. 

stones, to on elevation of a thousand feet. Besides this, 
she has an hour's work every evening to pound the rice 
with .a heavy wooden stamper, which violently strains 
every part of the body. She begins this kind of labour 
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 eflforts of nature to 
prevent the extermination of the race. 

One of the surest and most beneficial efiFects of ad- 
vancing civilization, will be the amelioration of the 
condition of these women. The precept and example 
of higher races will make the Dyak ashamed of his 
comparatively idle life, while his weaker partner labours 
like a beast of burthen. As his wants become increased 
and his tastes refined, the women will have more household 
duties to attend to, and will then cease to labour in the 
field — a change which has already to a great extent 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 
labour will become necessary in order to provide the 
means of existence, 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 hap- 
piness of the people as a whole be increased or diminished ? 
Will not evil passions be aroused by. the spirit of compe- 
tition, 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 analogous cases, and 
that we may at length be able to point to one instance 
of an uncivilized people who have not become demoralized 
and finally exterminated, by contact with European civi- 

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 

*"-^. tl] opinions of sir JAMES BROOKE. ^3 

^^\^^fs. Their wives and children were often captured and 
fpld into slavery, and hostile tribes purchased permission 
^[^xii their cruel rulers to plunder, enslave, and murder 
*^^m. Anything like justice or redress for these injuries 
'"^^^ utterly unattainable. From the time Sir James ob- 
^ined possession of the country, aU this was stopped, 
^-aal justice was awarded to Malay, Chinaman, and Dyak. 
^ -*-^e remorseless pirates from the rivers farther east were 
P'^nished, and finally shut up within their own territories, 
ai^-d the Dyak, for the first time, could sleep in peace. 
Hifi wife and children were now safe from slavery ; his 
^oiise was no longer burnt over his head ; his crops and 
^iB fruits were now his own, to sell or consume as he 
pleased. And the unknown stranger who had done all 
tlxis for them, and asked for nothing in return, what could 
l^e be? How was it possible for them to realize his 
naotives! Was it not natural that they should refuse to 
believe he was a man ? for of pure benevolence combined 
''^th great power, they had had no experience among men. 
They naturally concluded that he wm a superior being, 
^^oxne down upon earth to confer blessings on the afiUcted. 
In many villages where he had not been seen, I was asked 
Btrange questions about him. Was he not as old as the 
fountains ? Could he not bring the dead to life ? And 
^^J firmly believe that he can give them good harvests, 
^d make their fruit-trees bear an abundant crop. 

In forming a proper estimate of Sir James Brooke's 
|ovemment, it must ever be remembered that he held 
8ai4wak solely by the goodwill of the native inhabitants. 
Be had to deal with two races, one of whom, the 
^l^ometon Malays, looked upon the other race, the 
1^7^, as savages and slaves, only fit to be robbed and 
P'^dered. He has effectually protected the Dyaks, and 
bas invariably treated them as, in his sight, equal to the 
^^ys; and yet he has secured the affection and good- 
^ of both. Notwithstanding the religious prejudices 
of Ifahometans, he has induced them to modify many of 
their worst laws and customs, and to assimilate their 
^^riminal oode to that of the civilized world. That his 
government still continues, after twenty-seven years — 
notwifhstanding his frequent absenoes from ill-heaJtli, 

94 J A FA, [chap. viL 

notwithstanding conspiracies of Malay chiefs, and insur- 
rections 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 Brooke possessed, and especially to his 
having convinced the native population, by eveiy action 
of lus life, that he ruled them, not for lus own advantage, 
but for their good 

Since these lines were written, his noble spirit hac 
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 
Bajah Brooke was a great, a wise, and a good ruler — 
a true and &ithful friend — a man to be admired for his 
talents, respected for his honesty and courage, and loved 
for his genuine hospitality, his kindness of dispositioUt 
and his tenderness of heart 



I SPENT three months and a half in Java, from July 
18th to October Slst, 1861, and shall briefly describe 
my own movements, and my observations on tlie people 
and the natural history of the country. To all those who 
wish to understand how the Dutch now govern Java, and 
how it is that they are enabled to derive a lai'ge annual 
revenue from it, while the population increases, and the 
inhabitants are contented, I recommend the study of 
Mr. Money's excellent and interesting work, "How to 
Mimage a Colony/' The main facts and conclusions of that 
work I most heartily concur in, and I believe that the 
Dutch qrstem is the very best that can be adopted, when 

. til] the modjs of government, 95 

•UTopean nation conquers or otherwise acquires ^losses- 
of a country inhabited by an industrious but semi- 
ba.X'lMiTous people. In my account of Northern Celebes, 1 
eb-ccU show how successfully the same system has been 
ai>'plied to a people in a very different state of civilization 
fr'oxn the Javanese ; and in the meanwhile will state in 
tl^e fewest words possible what that system is. 

The mode of government now adopted in Java is to 
i^tain the whole series of native rulers, from the village 
chief up to princes, who, under the name of fi^ents, are 
^e heads of districts about the size of a small English 
coimty. With each Regent is placed a Dutch Resident^ 
^^ Assistant Resident, who is considered to be his " elder 
^^Xither," and whose •'orders" take the form of "recom- 
'J^endations,'' which are however implicitly obeyed. Along 
y^th each Assistant Resident is a Controller, a kind of 
iijispector of all the lower native rulers, who periodically 
^^iaits every village in the district, examines tiie proceed- 
^i^ of the native courts, hears complaints against the 
^^ad-men or other native chiefs, and superintends the 
Government plantations. This brings us to the " culture 
^8tem," which is the source of all the wealth the Dutch 
Motive from Java, and is the subject of much abuse in this 
cotmtry because it is the reverse of "free trade." To 
^^derstand its uses and beneficial effects, it is necessary 
fii^t to sketch the common results of free European trade 
^th uncivilized peoples. 

Katives of tropical climates have few wants, and, when 
^ese are supplied, are disinclined to work for superfluities 
Mthout some strong incitement With such a people the 
^trdduction of any new or systematic cultivation is almost 
^possible, except by the despotic orders of chiefs whom 
Qiey have been accustomed to obey, as children obey their 
pcoentcL The free competition of European traders, how- 
ler, introduces two powerful inducements to exertion. 
Spirits or opium is a temptation too strong for most 
^▼ages to resist, and to obtain these he will seU whatever 
^ nas, and will work to get mora Another temptation 
^ cannot resiBt, is goods on credit The trader offers him 
py cloths, knives, gongs, guns, and gunpowder, to be paid 
far by some crop perhaps not yet planted, or some product 


yet in the forest. He has not sufficient forethought to 
only a moderate quantity, and not enough energy to i; 
early and late in order to get out of debt ; and the cc 
quence is that he accumulates debt upon debt, and c 
remains for years, or for life, a debtor and almost a a 
This is a state of things which occurs very largely in e 
part of the world in which men of a superior race fi 
trade with men of a lower race. It extends trade no d* 
for a time, but it demoralizes the native, checks true < 
lization, and does not lead to any permanent increas 
the wealth of the country ; so that the European gov 
ment of such a country must be carried on at a loss. 

The system introduced by the Dutch was to induce 
people, through their chiefs, to give a portion of their 1 
to the cultivation of coffee, sugar, and other valu 
products. A fixed rate of wages — ^low indeed, but a1 
equal to that of all places where European competition 
not artificially raised it — ^was paid to the labourers engj 
in clearing the ground and forming the plantations u] 
Government superintendence. The produce is sold to 
(xovemment at a low fixed price. Out of the net pr 
a percentage goes to the chiefs, and the remainde 
divided among the workmen. This surplus in good y 
is something considerable. On the whole, the people 
well fed and decently clothed ; and have acquired h£ 
of steady industry and the art of scientific cultival 
which must be of service to them in the future. It r 
be remembered, that the Grovemment expended ca] 
for years before any return was obtained; and if t 
now derive a large revenue, it is in a way which is 
less burthensome, and far more beneficial to the pec 
than any tax that could be levied. 

But although tiie system may be a good one, anc 
well adapted to the development of arts and industiy 
half-civilized people, as it is to the material advantag 
the governing country, it is not pretended that in pra< 
it is perfectly carried out. The oppressive and sei 
relations between chiefs and people, which have i 
tinned for perhaps a thousand years, cannot be at < 
abolished; and some evil must result from those relati 
till the spread of education and t£e gradual infusioi 


E^^JX)pean blood causes it naturally and insensibly to dis- 
appear. It is said that the Eesidents, desirous of showing 
a large increase in the products of their districts, have 
sotaetimes pressed the people to such continued labour on 
the plantations that their rice crops have been materially 
diininished, and famine has been the result. If this has 
happened, it is certainly not a common thing, and is to be 
8©t down to the abuse of the system, by the want of judg- 
ittent or want of humanity in the Resident. 

A tale has lately been written in Holland, and trans- 
lated into English, entitled " Max Havelaar ; or, the 
Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company," and 
▼ith our usual one-sidedness in all relating to the Dutch 
Colonial System, this work has been excessively praised, 
hoth for its own merits, and for its supposed crushing 
exposure of the iniquities of the Dutch government of 
Java. Greatly to my surprise, I found it a very tedious 
Mid long-winded story, full of rambling digressions ; and 
whose only point is to show that the Dutch Eesidents 
Mid Assistant Eesidents wink at the extortions of the 
^tive princes ; and that in some districts the natives 
We to do work without payment, and have their goods 
Ween away from them without compensation. Byery 
statement of this kind is thickly interspersed with italics 
■^d capital letters; but as the names are all fictitious, and 
either dates, figures, nor details are ever given, it is im- 
possible to verify or answer them. Even if not exaggerated, 
^ &cts stated are not nearly so bad as those of the 
^ression by free-trade indigo-planters, and torturing by 
^ve tax-gatherers under British rule in India, with which 
*ke readers of English newspapers were familiar a few 
years ago. Such oppression, however, is not fairly to be 
^puted in either case to the particular form of govem- 
^^i, but is rather due to the infirmity of human nature, 
^d to the impossibility of at once destroying all trace 
of ages of despotism on the one side, and of slavish 
obedience to their' chiefs on the other. 

It must be remembered, that the complete establishment 
of the Dutch power in Java is much more recent than 
ftat of our rule in India, and that there have been several 
changes of goyemment, and in the mode of raising revenue. 



The inhabitants have' been so recently under the rule of 
their native princes, that it is not easy at once to destroy 
the excessive reverence they feel for their old masteis, or 
to diminish the oppressive exactions which the latter have 
always been accustomed to maka 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 univers^y admitted, that when a countiy increases 
rapidly in population, the people cannot 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 cultiyation 
system had been in operation eighteen years, the popula- 
tion 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 neaiiy 
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 square 
mile, jiist double that of the populous and fertile Bengal 
Presidency as given in Thornton's Gazetteer of India, and 
fully one-third more than that of Great Britain and Ireland 
at the last Census. If , as I believe, this vast population 
is on the whole contented and happy, the Dutch Gt)vem- 
ment should consider weU, 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 mo^ 
interesting 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 undoubtedly 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 

\ til] FERTILITF of SOIL. 99 

thousand feet high. Some of these are in constant activity 
and one or other of them displays ahnost every pheno- 
menon produced by the action of subterranean fires, except 
t^ular lava streams, which never occur in Java. The 
abtuidant moisture and tropical heat of the climate causes 
these mountains to be clothed with luxuriant vegetation, 
often to their very summits, while forests and planta- 
tions cover their lower slopes. The animal productions, 
especially the birds and insects, are beautiful and varied, 
uid present many peculiar forms found nowhere else 
iipon the globe. The soil throughout the island is ex- 
ceedingly 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 
uitiqnities of its own, of great interest The Brahminical 
idigion flourished in it from an epoch of imknown 
uit^uity till about the year 1478, when that of Mahomet 
superseded it. The tormer religion was accompanied by a 
cirilization which has not been equalled by the con- 

rors ; for, scattered through the country, especially in 
eastern part of it, are foimd buried in lofty forests, 
tcmples» tombs, and statues of great beauty and grandeur ; 
sod the remains of extensive cities, where the tiger, the 
ibinooeros, and the wild bull now roam undisturbed. 
A modem civilization of another type is now spreading 
OTer the land. Good roads run through the country from 
ciid to end; European and native rulers work har- 
biliously together; and life and property are as well 
•denied as in the best governed states of Europe. I 
l^lieve, therefore, that Java may fairly claim to be the 
blest tropical island in the world, and equally interesting 
to the tourist seeking after new and beautiful scenes ; to 
tke naturalist who desires to examine the variety and 
Wfy of tropical nature; or to the moralist and the 

Clitidan who want to solve the problem of how man may 
best governed under new and varied conditions. 

The Dutch mail steamer brought me from Temate to 
SoQiabaya, the chief town and port in the eastern part of 
hrtL, and after a fortnight spent in packing up and sending 
off my last collectionB, I started on a short journey into 


100 JAFA. [OHAP. Tit 

the interior. Travelling in Java is very luxurious but 
very expensive, the only way being to hire or borrow f 
carriage, and then pay half-a-crown a mUe for post-horses 
which are changed at regular posts. every six miles, anc 
will carry you at the rate of ten miles an hour from on< 
end of the island to the other. Bullock carts or cooliet 
are required to carry all extra baggage. As this kind o 
travelling would not suit my means, I determined oi 
making only a short journey to the district at the foot o 
Mount Arjuna, where I was told there were extensive 
forests, and where I hoped to be able to make somi 
good collections. The country for many miles behinc 
Sourabaya is perfectly flat and everywhere cultivated 
being a delta or alluvial plain watered by many branchini 
streams. Immediately around the town the evident sign 
of wealth and of an industrious population were veri 
pleasing; but as we went on, the constant succession o 
open fields skirted by rows of bamboos, with here anc 
there the white buildings and tall chimney of a susar-mill 
became monotonous. The roads run in straight lines fo 
several mQes at a stretch, and are bordered by rows o 
dusty tamarind-trees. At each mUe there are little guard 
houses, where a policeman is stationed; and there is i 
wooden gong, which by means of concerted signals may b 
made to convey information over the country with grea 
rapidity. About every six or seven miles is the post-house 
where the horses are changed as quickly as were thos* 
of the mail in the old coaching days in England. 

I stopped at Modjokerto, a small town about forty mile 
south of Sourabaya, and the nearest point on the high roa< 
to the district I wished to visit. I had a letter of intro 
duction to Mr. Ball, an Englishman long resident in Jav 
and married \/o a Dutch lady, and he kindly invited me i 
stay with him tLQ I could fix on a place to suit m& 1 
Dutch Assistant Besident as well as a Begent or nativ 
Javanese prince lived here. The town was neat, and hai 
a nice open grassy space like a village green, on whicl 
stood a magnificent fig-tree (allied to the Banyan of Indif 
but more lofty), under whose shade a kind of market i 
continually held, and where the inhabitants meet togethc 
to lounge and chat The day after my arrival, Mr. Bai 

caAP. Tij.] ANCIENT RUINS. 101 

•iiove me over to the village of Modjo-^ong, where he waa 
hnildJng a house and premises for the tobacco trade, which 
is earned on here by a system of native cultivation and 
■dyance purchase, somewhat similar to the indigo trade in 
Bntish India. On our way we stayed to look at a frag- 
ment of the ruins of the ancient city of Modjo-pahit, con- 
nsting of two lofty brick masses, apparently the sides of a 

giteway. The extreme perfection and beauty of the brick- 
work astonished me. The bricks are exceedingly fine and 
hard, with sharp angles and true surfaces. They are laid 
with great exactness, without visible mortar or cement, yet 
wmebow fastened together so that the joints are hardly 
perceptible, and sometimes the two surfaces coalesce in a 
moat incomprehensible manner. Such admirable briok> 

102 JAVA. [chap. 1 

work I have never seen before or since. There was i 
sculpture here, but abundance of bold projections ai 
finely-worked mouldings. Traces of buildings exist f 
many miles in every direction, and almost every road ai 
pathway shows a foundation of brickwork beneath it — M 
paved roads of the old city. In the house of the Waidoi 
or district chief at Modjo-agong, I saw a beautiful figu 
carved in high relief out of a block of lava, and which hi 
been found buried in the ground near the village. On n 
expressing a wish to obtain some such specimen, Mr. 
asked the chief for it, and much to my surprise he imm 
diately gave it me. It represented the Hindoo godde 
Durga, called in Java, Lora Jonggrang (the exalted viigii 
She has eight arms, and stands on the back of a knedii 
bull. Her lower right hand holds the tail of the bu 
while the corresponding left hand grasps the hair of 
captive, Dewth Mahikusor, the personification of vice, wl 
has attempted to slay her bull He has a cord round b 
waist, and crouches at her feet in an attitude of supplic 
tion. The other hands of the goddess hold, on her rig 
side, a double hook or small anchor, a broad straight swoi 
and a noose of thick cord ; on her left, a girdle or arml 
of large beads or shells, an unstrung bow, and a standa 
or war flag. This deity was a special favourite amoi 
the old Javanese, and- her image is often found in tl 
ruined temples which abound in the eastern part of tl 

The specimen I had obtained was a small one, abo 
two feet high, weighing perhaps a hundredweight ; and t! 
next day we had it conveyed to Modjo-kerto to await n 
return to Sourabayau Having decided to stay some tii 
at Wonosalem, on the lower slopes of the Arjuna Mou 
tain, where I was informed I should find forest sj 
plenty of game, I had first to obtain a recommendati< 
from the Assistant Eesident to the Eegent, and then i 
order from the Begent to the Waidono ; and when aft 
a week's delay I arrived with my baggage and men 
Modjo-agong, I found them all in the midst of a five da; 
feasts to celebrate the circumcision of the Waidom 
younger brother and cousin, and had a small room in ; 
outhouse given me to stay in. The courtyard and t 

cn-*^. til] native MUSICIANS. 1 03 

gi^"^^ open reception-slied were full of natives coming and 
going and malung preparations fpr 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 
playing almost all the evening, and I had a good oppor- 
tUTiity of seeing the instruments and musicians. The 
former are chiefly gongs of various sizes, arranged in sets 
of firom eight to twelve, on low wooden frames. Eeich set 
18 played by one performer with one or two drumsticks. 
There are dso some very large gongs, played singly or in 
pcuis, and taking the place of our drums and kettledrums. 
Other instruments are formed by broad metallic bars, sup- 
ported on strings stretched across frames ; and others again 
of strips of bfunboo similarly placed and producing the 
Mghest notes. Besides these there were a flute and a 
carious two-stringed violin, requiring in all twenty-four 
performers. There was a conductor, who led off and regu- 
W«d the time, and each performer took his part, coming 
in occasionally with a few bars so as to form a harmonious 
combination. The pieces played were long and complicated, 
^d some of the players were mere boys, who took their 
P^ with great precision. The general effect was very 
pleasmg, but, owing to the similarity of most of the instru- 
'^ts, more like a gigantic musical box than one of our 
^'lUids; and in order to enjoy it thoroughly it is necessary 
*o watch the large number of performers who are engaged 
^ it The next morning, while I was waiting for the men 
^ horses who were to take me and my baggage to my 
^^stination, the two lads, who were about fourteen years 
^H were brought out, clothed in a sarong from the waist 
^wnwards, and having the whole body covered with a 
Mow powder, and profusely decked with white blossoms 
^ wreaths, necklaces, and armlets, looking at first sight 
VBiy like savage bridea They were conducted by two 
priests to a bench placed in front of the house in the open 
^, and the ceremony of circumcision was then performed 
Wore the assembled crowd 

The road to Wonosalem led through a magnificent forest, 
in the depths of which we passed a fine ruin of what 
appeared to have been a royal tomb or mausoleum. It is 
formed entirely of stone, and elaborately carved. Near 

104 JAVA. [OHAP. vit 

the base ib a course of boldly projecting blocks, sculptured 
in high relief, with a series of scenes which are probably 
incidents in the life of the defunct These are all beauti- 
fully executed, some of the figures of animals in particular 
being easily recognisable 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, effect being given 
by an immense number and variety of projecting or re- 
treating 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 sur- 
pass 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 photography an accurate record of their beautiful 
sculptures before it is too late, I will enumerate the most 
important, as briefly described in Sir Stamford Saffles' 
" History of Java." 

Brambanam. — Near the centre of Java, between the 
native capitals of Djoko-kerta and Surakerta, is the village 
of Brambanam, near which are abundance of ruins, the 
most important being the temples of Loro-Jongran and 
Chandi Sewa. At Loro-Jongran there were twenty sepa- 
rate buildings, six large and fourteen small temples. Thoy 
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 carv- 
ings and bas-reliefs, and adorned with number» of statuea, 


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 
iipver in his life seen "such stupendous and finished 
specixnens of human labour, and of the science and taste 
of ages long since forgot, crowded together in so small 
a coropass 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 
thircl of sixty-four, a fourth of forty-four, and the fifth 
fomaing an inner parallelogram of twenty-eight, in all 
two hnndred and ninety-six small temples; disposed in 
five r^ular parallelograms. In the centre is a large 
cf^ciform temple surrounded by lofty flights of steps 
richly ornamented with sculpture, and containing many 
^^partments. The tropical vegetation has ruined most of 
the smaller temples, but some remain tolerably perfect^ 
^m which the effect of the whole may be imagined. 

About half a mile off is another temple, called Chandi 
^^ Bening, seventy-two feet square and sixty feet high, 
^. Very fine preservation, and covered with sculptures of 
Hindoo mythology surpassing any that exist in India, 
^'ier ruins of palaces, haUs, and temples, with abundance 
^ Sculptured deities, are found in the same neighbour- 

. -^BOBODO. — About eighty miles westward, in the pro- 

^^Ce of Kedu, is the great temple of Borobodo. It is built 

^P^ix a small hill, and consists of a central dome and seven 

?^^ges of terraced walls covering the slope of the hill and 

loritiiiig open galleries each below the other, and com- 

^^^Hicating by steps and gateways. The central dome is 

'^ feet in diameter ; around it is a triple circle of seventy- 

^o towers, and the whole building is six hundred and 

tw^xjty feet square, and about one himdred feet high. In 

^^ terrace walls are niches containing cross-legged figures 

^^r than life to the number of about four hundred, and 

hoUi sides of all the terrace walls are covered with bas- 

Kliefe crowded with figures, and carved in hard stone; 

and which must therefore occupy an extent of nearly 

thtee miles in length ! The amount of human labour and 

skill expended on the Great Pyramid of Egypt sinks into 

106 JAVA. [OHAP. TU 

insignificance when compared with that required to com- 
plete this sculptured hill-temple in the interior of Java. 

GuNONG Pbau. — About forty miles south-west of Sama^ 
rang, on a moimtain called Gunong Prau, an extensive 
plateau is covered with ruins. To reach these temples 
four flights of stone steps were made up the mountain 
from opposite 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 enclosures. 

In the eastern part of Java, at Kediri and in Malang, 
there are equally abundant traces of antiquity, but the 
buildings themselves have been mostly destroyed. Sculp- 
tured figures, however, abound; and the ruins of forts, 
palaces, baths, aqueducts, and temples, can be eveiywhere 
traced. It is altogether contrary to the plan of thiis 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 over- 
whelmed 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 sub- 
sistence 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 life, that 
in the very country where, five hundred years ago, these 
grand works were being yearly executed, the inhabitants 
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 
Government 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 
8ea» 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 insecta The place was, however, famous for 
peacocks, and my boy soon shot several of these magni- 
ficent 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 scale-like green feathers, and the crest 
.of a different form ; but the eyed train is equally large and 
equally beautiful It is a singular 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 un- 
known in Java. Exactly parallel is the fact that in Ceylon 
and Southern India, where the peacock abounds, there are 
none of the splended Lophophori and other 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 considered 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 fix 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 honour. 

Three days after my arrival at Wonosalem, my friend 
Mr. Ball came to pay me a visit He told me that two 
evenings before, a boy had been killed and eaten by a tiger 
close to Modjo-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. Next morning his remains were dis- 
covered, consisting only of a few mangled bones. The 
Waidono had got together about seven hundred men, and 
was in chase of the animal, which, I afterwards heard, 
they found and killed. They only use spears when in 

108 ^^ ^^ lOHAF, VII.— 

pursuit of a tiger in this way. They surround a large tracts 
of country, and draw gradually together till the animal isK. 
enclosed in a compact liug of ai^ied men. When he seeap 
there is no escape he generally makes a spring, and l» 
received on a dozen spears, and almost instantly stabbecL 
to death. The skin of an animal thus killed is, of course, 
worthless, and in this case the skuU, which I had begged 
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 
surrounded by several patches of forest, and seemed alto- 
gether pretty well suited to my pursuits. The chief of 
the vUlage had prepared two small bamboo rooms on 
one side of his own courtyard 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 speci- 
mens more than seven feet long, one of which I preserved 
entire, whUe 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 distance, and then rising obliquely ; and will fly 
over trees of a considerable height. I also obtained here 
ti specimen of the rare green jungle-fowl (G«dlus furcatus), 
whose back and neck are beautifully scaled with bronzy 
feathers, and whose smooth-edged oval comb is of a violet 
purple colour, changing to green at the base. It ia also 
remarkable in possessing a single large wattle beneath its 
ihroat, brightly coloured in three patches of red, yellow, and 
blue. The common jungle-cock (Gallus bankiva) was also 
obtained here. It is almost exactly like a common gam^ 
cock, but the voice is different^ being much shorter and 
more abrupt; whence its native name is Bek^ko. Six 

''^ -a-p. VII.) 


^fir«rent kinds of woodpeckers and four kingfishers were 
^ixnd here, the fine hornbUl, Buceroa lunatus, more than 
'o^ feet long, and the pretty little lorikeet, Loriculus 

l*«aillas, scarcely more than aa many inches. 

One morning, as I was preparing and arranginff mr 

specimens, I was told there was to be a trial ; and pielentlT 

w^xr or five men *^ ■' 

'^■Koe in and squat- r 

*6d down on a mat i 

"iKier the audience- 

;^ed in the court ^ 

•ao chief then came I 

"^ with his clerk, 

*'*^ sat down oppo- 

»*« them. Each 

?Poke in tarn, teU- 

™8 his own tale, and 

^er I found out 

'«at those who first 

**it«red were the 

Prisoner, accuser, 

policemen, and wit- 

D««»8, and that the 

Prisoner was indica- I 

*^d solely by having I 

*■ loose piece of cord I 

•^^ined round his | 

?^t8, but not tied. I 
J-t was a case of rob- L 
^ty, and after the I 
Evidence was given, [ 
*»d a few questions ' 

Vd been asked by ™..~..i u, -...»=« ««,.,. 

Hie chief, the ac- 
cused said a few words, and then sentence was pronounced, 
which waa a fine. The parties then got up and walked 
away together, Boemiug quite friendly ; and throughout 
there was nothing in the manner of any one present indi- 
cating passion or ill-feeling — a very good illustration (rf 
Uie Malayan Qrpe of character. 
In a mcmth's collecting at Woaosalem and Djapannan 

110 JA VA, [chap. ni. 

I accumxdated ninety-eight species of birds, but a most 
miserable lot of insects. I then determined to leave East 
Java and try the more moist and luxuriant districts at the 
western extremity 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 carefully 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 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 afterwards I went by steamer to Batavia, 
where I stayed about a week at the chief hotel, while 
1 made arrangements for a trip into the interior. The 
business part of the city is near the harbour, 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 veiy inconvenient for visitors, as the only public 
conveyances are handsome two-horse carriages, whose 
lowest charge is five guilders (8^. 4(2.) for half a da^, so 
that an hour^s business in the morning and a visit in 
the evening costs 16a. 8(2. a day for carriage hire alone. 

Batavia agrees very well with Mr. Mone/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 &ct that in Batavia every- 
body drives, as it can hardly be supposed that people 
never walk in their gardens. The H6tel des Indes was 
very comfortable, each visitor having a sitting-room and 
bedroom opening on a veiundah, where he can take his 
morning coffee and afternoon tea. In the centre of the 
quadrangle is a building containing a number of marble 
baths always ready for use ; and there is an excellent 
iahU cPhdte 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 

CHAP, ^^l] terraced hills. 111 

delidous climate and its Botanical (hardens. With the 
latter I was somewhat disappointed. The walks were all 
of loose pebbles, making any lengthened wanderings about 
theia -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 skilful laying-out ; there are not enough men to keep 
the place thoroughly in order, and the plants themselves 
are Seldom to be compared for luxuriance and beauty to 
the species grown in our hothouses. This can easily 
be explained. The plants can rarely be placed in natural 
or veiy fjELYourable conditions. The climate is either too 
hot or too cool, too moist or too dry, for a Ifiu^e proportion 
of tbem, and they seldom get the exact quantity of shade 
or the right quality of soU to suit them. In our stoves 
these varied conditions can be supplied to each individual 
plant far better than in a large garden, where the fact that 
the plants are most of them growing in or near their 
'^ive coimtry is supposed to preclude the necessity of 
giving them much individual attention. Still, however, 
theie is much to admire here. There are avenues of 
Btately palms, and clumps of bamboos of perhaps fifty 
Afferent kinds ; and an endless variety of tropical shrubs 
^d trees with strange and beautiful foliage. As a change 
^01 the excessive heats of Batavia, Buitenzorg is a 
delightful abode. It is just elevated enough to have 
deliciously cool evenings and nights, but not so much as 
^ ^uire any change of clothing ; and to a person long 
^ident in the hotter climate of the plains, the air is 
always fresh and pleasant, and admits of walking at 
^most any hour of the day. The vicinity is most pic- 
turesque and luxuriant, and the great volcano of Gimung- 
^lak, with its truncated and jagged summit, forms a 
characteristic background to many of the landscapes. A 
great mud eruption took place in 1699, since which date 
the mountain has been entirely inactiva 

On leaving Buitenzorg, I had coolies to carry my 
baggage and a horse for myself, both to be changed every 
fiix or seven miles. The road rose gradually, and after the 
first stage the hills closed in a little on each side, forming 
A broaa valley ; and the temperature was so cool and 

112 J ATA. [ 

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 
oflBcials, 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 equalled in 
the world. The slopes of the main valley, and of its 
branches, were everywhere cut in terraces up to a con- 
siderable height, and when they wound round the recesses 
of the hiUs produced all the eflfect of magnificent amphi- 
theati*es. Himdreds of square miles of country are thus 
terraced, and convey a striking idea of the industry of the 
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 chiefe ; and it is 
perhaps by this system of village culture alone, that such 
extensive terracing and irrigation has been rendered pos* 
sible. 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 people, the 
terrace system is unknown. I first saw this mode of cul- 
tivation 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. The lower slopes of the mountguns 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 scat- 
tered 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 M^amendong Mountain, at an elevation of about 
4,500 feet The country is finely mountainous, and there 

E*. VII.] 



is Hiuch vii'gin forest still left upon the hilla, together with 
s»CMc of the oldest cofl'ie-plantatioiia in Java, where tlie 
pla-iita have attained almost the dimensions of forest trees. 
About 600 feet below tlie summit level of the pass there 
is a road-keeper's Imt, half of which I hired for a fortnight, 
as the country looked promising for making collections. 
1 a.\i)]ost immediately found that tlie productions of West 

Java were remarkably different from those of the eastern 
pKit of the ifllaiid ; and that aU the more remarkable and 
(^baracteristic Javanese birds aud insects were to be found 
W. Oil the very firet day, my hunters obtained for nie the 
elegant yellow and green trogon (Uarpactes Rcinwardti), the 
gorgeous little minivet flycatcher (Pericrqcotua miniatus), 
vliicb looks like a flame of Ere aa it flutters among the 
bushes, and the rare and curious black and crimson oriole 
(AooldpuB sanguinoleutUB), all of thetn species which are 

114 •/^ ^-^' [CHAF. TIL 

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 number 
increased to forty species, almost all of which are peculiar 
to the Javanese fauna. Large and handsome butterflies 
were also tolerably abimdant. In dark ravines, and occa- 
sionaUy 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 elegantly-formed Papilio coon was sometimes to be 
found fluttering slowly along the shady pathways (see 
figure at page 129). One day a boy brought me a butter- 
fly 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 generaUy 
so intent upon their meal that they can be easily ap- 
proached and captured. It proved 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 I ever saw, and is still the only repre- 
sentative of its kind in English collections. 

In the east of Java I had sufi*ered 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 unfavourable. During the month which 1 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 really had no chance of getting a fair 
sample of Javanese entomology. 

By far the most interesting incident in my visit to Java 
was a trip to the summit of the Pangerango and Gredeh 
moimtains; 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- 


^^Qeral and a branch of the Botanic Gardens are situated 
^GTe, the keeper of which accommodated me with a bed 
*c>r a night There are many beautiful trees and shrubs 
planted here, and large quantities of European vegetables 
*re grown for the Governor-General's table. By the side 
of a little torrent that bordered the garden, quantities of 
oitjhids were cultivated, attached to the trunks of trees, or 
siispended from the branches, forming an interesting open- 
air orchid-housa As I intended to stay two or tnree 
flights on the mountain I engaged two coolies to carry my 
t>aggage, and with my two himters we started early the 
ttext morning. The first mile was over open country, 
^hich brought us to the forest that covers the whole 
n^ountain from a height of about 5,000 feet The next 
inile or two was a tolerably steep ascent through a grand 
virgin forest, the trees being of great size, and the under- 
growth consisting of fine herbaceous plants, tree-ferns, 
and shrubby v^etation. I was struck by the immense 
number of ferns that grew by the side of the road. Their 
variety seemed endless, and I was continually stopping to 
admire some new and interesting forms. I could now well 
^deistand what I had been told by the gardener, that 
^00 species had been foimd on this one mountain. A 
Utile before noon we reached the small plateau of Tjiburong 
at the foot of the steeper part of the mountain, where 
theie is a plank-house for the accommodation of travellers. 
(^ by is a picturesque waterfall and a curious cavern, 
^hich I had not time to explore. Continuing our ascent 
^e Toad became narrow, rugged and steep, winding zigzag 
^P the cone, which is covered with irregular masses of 
'^i and overgrown with a dense luxuriant but less lofty 
Vegetation. We passed a torrent of water which is not 
^uch lower than the boiling point, and has a most singular 
^pearance as it foams over its rugged bed, sending up 
douds of steam, and often concealed by the overhanging 
Wbage of ferns and lycopodia, which here thrive with 
inore luxuriance than elsewhera 

At about 7,500 feet we came to another hut of open 
bamboos, at a place called Eandang Badak, or " Bhinooeros- 
field*'' which we were going to make our temporary abode. 
Here was a small clearing, with abundance of tree-ferns 


116 J^y^ [CHAP 

and some young plantations of Cinchona. As there was 
a thick mist and drizzling rain, I did not attempt to go c 
the sunmiit that evening, but made two visits to it du 
my stay, as well as one to the active crater of Gedeh. 
is a vast semicircular chasm, boimded by black perpendic 
walls of rock, and surrounded by miles of rugged so 
covered slopes. The crater itself is not very deep, 
exhibits patches of sulphur and variously-coloured 
canic products, and emits from seveml vents conti 
streams of smoke and vapour. The extinct cone of ] 
gerango was to me more interesting. The summit i 
irregular undulating plain with a low bordering ridge, 
one deep lateral chasm. Unfortunately there was 
petual mist and rain either above or below us all 
time I was on the mountain ; so that I never on^^e saift 
plain below, or had a glimpse of the magnificent ' 
which in fine weather is to be obtained from its sun 
Notwithstanding this drawback I enjoyed the excui 
exceedingly, for it was the first time I had been 
enough on a mountain near the Equator to wat<3h 
change from a tropical to a temperate flora. I will 
briefly sketch these changes as I observed them in Ja^ 

On ascending the mountain, we first meet with 
perate forms of herbaceous plants, so low as 3,000 
where strawberries and violets begin to grow, but 
former are tasteless, and the latter have very small 
Dale flowers. Weedy Compositae also begin to gi^ 
teuropean aspect to the wayside herbage. It is bet> 
2,000 and 5,000 feet that the forests, and ravines exl 
the utmost development of tropical luxuriance and bet 
The abundance of noble Tree-ferns, sometimes fifty 
high, contributes greatly to the general efiect, since o 
the forms of tropical vegetation they are certainly the : 
striking and beautiful Some of the deep ravines w 
have been cleared of large timber are full of them 
top to bottom ; and where the road crosses one of t 
valleys, the view of their feathery crowns, in v( 
positions above and below the eye, oft'ers a spectac! 
picturesque beauty never to be forgotten. The sple 
foliage of the broad-leaved Musacead and Zingiben> 
with their curious and brilliant flowers ; and the elegant 

our vil] 



varied forms, of plants allied to Begonia and Melastoma, 
continually attract the attention in this region. F illin g 
ap the spaces between the trees and larger plants, on 
every trunk and stamp and branch, are hosts of Orchids, 
Fenis and Lycopods, vhich -wave and haog and inter- 
twine in ever-varying complexity. At about 5,000 feet 
I first saw horsetails (Equisetum), veiy like oar own 
species. At 6,000 
feet, Raspberries 
nbonnd, and thence 
to the summit of the 
monntain there are 
three species of eat- 
able Rubus. At 7,000 
feet Cypresses ap- 
pear, and the forest 
trees become reduced 
in 8126, and more 
covered with mosses 
and lichens. From 
this point upward 
these rapidly in- 
crease, BO that the 
blocks of rock and - 
scoria that form the \ 
mountain slope are 
completely hidden in 
a mossy vegetation. 
At about 8,000 feet 
Enropean fonqs of { 
plants become abun- 
dant Several species 
of Honey-suckle, St. 
Tobn's-wort, and 
Gnelder-rose abound, 
uid at about 9.000 
Feet we first meet 
vith the rare and 
jeautiful Eoyal Cowslip (Primula imperialis), which is 
laid to be found nowhere else in the world but on this 
lolitary mountain sununit It has a tall, stout stem, some- 

118 JAVA, [OHAP. 7 

times moie than three feet high, the root leaves are eightei 
inches long, and it bears several whorls of cowslip-li 
flowers, instead of a terminal cluster only. The forest tr©< 
gnarled and dwarfed to the dimensions of bushes, reai 
up to the very rim of the old crater, but do not extei 
over the hollow on its summit. Here we find a go< 
deal of open ground, with thickets of shrubby Artemisi 
and Gnaphaliums, like our southernwood and cudweed, b 
six or eight feet high ; while Buttercups, Violets, Whortl 
berries. Sow-thistles, Chickweed, white and yellow Or 
ciferee, Plantain, and annual grasses everywhere abouc 
Where there are bushes and shrubs, the St. John's-wc 
and Honeysuckle grow abundantly, while the Imperi 
Cowslip only exhibits its elegant blossoms under tl 
damp shade of the thickets. 

Mr. Motley, who visited the mountain in the dry seasc 
and paid much attention to botany, gives the foUowii 
list of genera characteristic of distant and more tempera 
regions : — Two species of Violet, three of Ranunculi 
three of Impatiens, eight or ten of Bubus, and sped 
of Primula, Hypericum, Swertia, Convallaria (lily of tl 
Valley), Vaccinium (Cranberry), Rhododendron, Gnaph 
lium. Polygonum, Digitalis (Foxglove), Lonicera (Hone; 
suckle), Plantago (ifib-grass), Artemisia (Wormwooc 
Lobelia, Oxalis (Wood-sorrel), Quercus (Oak), and Taxi 
(Yew). A few of the smaller plants (Plantago major ai 
lanceolata, Sonchus oleraceus, and Artemisia vulgaris) a 
identical with European species. 

The fact of a vegetation so closely allied to that 
Europe occurring on isolated mountain peaks, in an islai 
south of the Equator, while all the lowlands for thousam 
of miles around are occupied by a flora of a total 
difierent character, is very extraordinary ; and has on! 
recently received an intelligible explanation. The Pea 
of TeneriSe, which rises to a greater height and is muc 
nearer to Europe, contains no such Alpine flora ; neith< 
do the mountains of Bourbon and Mauritius. The cat 
of the volcanic peaks of Java is therefore somewhi 
exceptional, but there are several analogous, if not exactl 
parallel cases, that will enable us better to understao 
in what way the phenomena may possibly have bee 

cHA.^. t,l] the glacial epoch. 119 

broxigiit about The higher peaks of the Alps and even 

of \la& Pyrenees, contain a number of plants absolutely 

id^Titical with those of Lapland, but nowhere found in 

th^ intervening plains. On the summit of the White 

Mox^utiains, in the United States, every plant is identical 

witt species growing in Labrador. In these cases all 

ordinary means of transport fail. Most of the plants 

tave heavy seeds, which could not possibly be carried 

s^ch immense distances by the wind ; and the agency of 

bixtis in so effectually stocking these Alpine heights is 

eq^TXally 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 peaka The determination of a recent glacial epoch, 

bo-wever, soon offered a much more satisfactory solution, 

*^d one that is now universally accepted by men of science^ 

At this period, when the mountains of Wales were full 

^^ glaciers, and the mountainous parts of Central Europe, 

*^d much of America north of the great lakes, were 

^Vered with snow and ice, and had a climate resembling 

*^t of Labrador and Greenland at the present day, an 

-^^^tic flora covered all these regions. As this epoch of 

^Id passed away, and the snowy mantle of the country, 

^ith the glaciers that descended from every mouutaiu 

®^iiimit, receded up their slopes and towards the north 

P^le, the plants receded also, always clinging as now to 

^^6 margins of the perpetual snow line. Thus it is that 

**^e same species are now found on the summits of the 

fountains of temperate Europe and America, and in the 

"^rren north-polar regions. 

But there is another set of facts, which help us on 

Mother step towards the case of the Javanese mountain 

floRL On the higher slopes of the Himalaya, on the tops 

of the moimtains of Central India and of Abyssinia, a 

number of plants occur which, though not identical with 

those of European mountains, 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 

120 JATA. fcuAP. VII. 

extended to the confines of the tropics, and on its de- 
parture, will have retreated up these southern mountains, 
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 Antarctic 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 an 
hypothesis, it enables us to account for the presence of 
a flora of European type on the volcanoes of Java. 

It wiU, 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 undoubtedly be a fatal objection, were there 
not abundant evidence 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 Mam- 
malia of Java, the rhinoceros, the tiger, and tlie Banteng 
or wild ox, occur also in Siam and Burmah, and these 
would certainly not have been introduced by man. Tlie 
Javanese peacock and several other birds are also common 
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 cor- 
responds 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 now forced to exist, and the proba- 
bility of some of them having since died out on the con- 
tinent of India, sufficiently accounts for the Javanese 
species being different 

CHAP, vin.] MOV I^TAIN BIRDS. 121 

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 7,000 to 8,000 feet elevation, I obtained one of the 
most lovely of the small fruit pigeons (Ptilonopus rosei- 
coUis), whose entire head and neck are of an exquisite 
rosy pink colour, 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-coloured thrush, with the form 
and habits of a starling (Turdus fumidus). Insects were 
almost entirely absent, owing no doubt to the extreme 
dampness, 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 department of natural history. 

After my return to Toego, I endeavoured to find another 
locality 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 suc- 
ceeded in obtaining insects in any abundance, and birds 
were far less plentiful than on the Megamendong Moun- 
tain. 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 col- 
lections, and left by steamer on November 1st for Banca 
and Sumatra. 



(NOVEMBER 1861 TO JAXrARY 1862.) 

rpHE mail steamer from Batavia to Sinprapore took me to 
-L Muntok (or as on English maps, " Minto "), the chief 
town and port of Banca. Here I stayed a day or two, till I 
could obtain a boat to take me across the straits, and up 
the river to Palembang. A few walks into the country 

122 SUMATRA. [chap. viu. 

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 Pfidembang 
river, where at a fishing village, a rowing-boat wtts hired 
to take me up to Palembang, a distance of nearly a hundred 
miles by water. Except when the wind was strong and 
favourable 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. Eeaching Palembang on the 8th of Novem- 
ber, I was lodged by the Doctor, to whom I had brought 
a letter of introduction, and endeavoured to ascertain 
where T 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. Tlie 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 that by taking a small 
boat it is easy to go to market and purchase anything 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 
ofl&cials of the Dutch Government. The town is situated 
at the head of the delta of the river, and between it and 
the sea there is very little ground elevated above high- 
water maik; while for many miles further inland, the 
banks of the mtdn stream and its numerous tributaries are 


swampy, and in the wet season ficoded for a considerable 
<5dstance. Palembang is built on a patch of elevated 
^Tound^ a few miles in extent, on the north bank of the 
mver. At a spot about three miles from the town this 
xises into a little hill, the top of which is held sacred by 
"the natives, and is shaded by some fine trees, inhabited by 
^ colony of squirrels, which have become half tame. On 
liolding out a few crumbs of bread or any fruit, they come 
Yonning down the trunk, take the morsel out of your 
fingers, and dart away instantly. Their tails are carried 
^rect, and the hair, which is ringed with grey, yellow, and 
1)rown, radiates uniformly around them, and looks exceed- 
ingly pretty. They have somewhat of the motions of 
xnice, 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 delibera- 
tion 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 that propensity to mischief 
which European boys exhibit. How long would tame 
squirrels continue to inhabit trees in the vicinity of an 
E^lish 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 heetrd of these pretty 
ammals 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 
water 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 foimd some tolerable collecting ground. By this 
means I should secure 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. Leaving early in the morning we did 
not reach Lorok, the village where the road begins, till 

124 SUM A TRA, [chap. viii. 

late at night. I stayed 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 parroquet 
(Palaeomis 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 Eembang, 
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 
coolies ready, only this distance can be travelled in a day. 
At each station there are houses for the accommodation 
of passengers, 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 five days at a time. This arrangement makes travel- 
ling veiy 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 exploi'e 
the village and neighbourhood, having a house ready to 
occupy without any formalities whatever. In three days 
I reached Moera-dua, the fii^st village in Eembang, and 
finding the country dry and undulating, with a good 
sprinkling of forest, I determined to remain a short time 
and try the neighbourhood. 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, tlu-ough 
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 bmb 

•-iiir.T.'Ill ftiiin llii- VnlLimiill Sl<i-<1--^ "i .M;il.iriM. i n;ii-i- 

l'«-ire moved tni iiimtlicr stage tn IjjIio Ilaiiian, wliui-u lliii 
t; viai-d-hfiuse is situiited quite by itself in tlio, fcmmt, m-iirly 
a. mi'e from each ol' three vilia^^es. Tiiis was vcsry aj^rot:- 
i».l>le to me, as I could move about without hiiviiif; eveiy 
motion watched by cnjwils of men women and cldldreii, 
and I had also a nmub greator variety of walks to eae)i 
!jf the villages and the plantations iiround tlieni. 

The villaKos of tlie Siiniatran Malays are sonicwbal 
peculiar and very picturtjsfiue. A space of some acres is 
surrounded with a high fence, and over thisnn'iilhehoua-s 
are thickly strewn without the least attempt at rcyuhti ity. 
Tidl cocoa-nut trees j-row abundantly between tln-m, ami 

the ground is bare and smooth with the tramplin;:; of many 
feet, Tlie bouses are raised about six feet on posts, the 
liest 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. T\ie 
gable ends and all the chief posts and beams are some- 
times covered with exceedingly tasteful carve<l work, and 
this is still mora the case in the district of Menangkabo, 
fnither west The floor is made of Bplit bamboo, and 's 

126 SUMATRA. [chap. 7I1L 

rather shaky, and there is no sign of anything 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 lia The aspect of the village itself is very 
neat, the ground being often swept before the chief houses ; 
but very bad odours 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 scrupulously 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 gradually 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 practised 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 with- 
out a regular system of drainage, the arrangement of the 
villages is such, that any other system would be very 

In all these Sumatran villages I found considerable 
difliculty in getting anything to eat. It was not the 
season for vegetables, and when, after much trouble, I 
managed to procure some yams of a curious variety, 1 
found them hard and scarcely 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 entire 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 dozens 
of silver coins strung round their necks or suspended from 
their ears. 

As I had moved away from Pidembang, 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 


roe it was a fonn 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 disputes about boundaries or 
intrigues with women. Now, however, since the coimtry 
has been divided into districts imder " ControUeurs," who 
visit every village in turn to hear complaints 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 Gk)vemment. It exercises a strict surveil- 
lance over its most distant possessions, establishes a form 
of government well adapted to the character of the people, 
reforms abuses, punishes crimes, and makes itself every- 
where respected by the native population. 

Lobo Eaman 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 favourable time of year it would 
prove exceedingly rich ; but it was now the rainy season, 
when, in the very best of localities, insects are fidways 
scarce, and there being no fruit on the trees there was 
also a scarcity 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 

128 SVMATRA. [oaiP. tiii. 

The first ia the haii<l.some Papilio mcninon, a splendid 
butterfly of a deep black colour, dotted over with liues and 
gixjups of scales of a clear ashy blue. Its wiugs are five 
iuchea in expanse, and the hind wings ate rounded, with 
scalloped ed^es. This applies to the males ; hut the females 
are very diiJerent, 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 eutii-ely from him in the 

outline of the wings. The first vary much in colour, 
being often nearly white with dusky yellow ond red 
markint's, but such differences often occur in butterflies. 
The second group are much more extraordinary, and would 
never be supposed to be the same insect, since the hind 
wii^ are lengthened out into large spoon-shaped talk, no 

F. TIU.] 



rudiment of vhich 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, 
bat ate invariably ornamented with stripes and patches of 
white or buff, occupying the larger part of the surface of 
the hind wings. This peculiarity of colouring led me to 
discover that this extraordinary female closely resembles 
(when flying) another butterfly of the same genus but of a 
different group (Fapilio coon); and that we have here 8 

case of mimicty similar to those so well illustrated and 
explained by Mr. Bates.^ That the resemblance is not 
accidental is suMciently proved by the fact, that in the 
North 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 fP. androgeus), 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 by birds, and by so closely resembling these in 
form and colour the female of Memnon and its sHy, also 
I Truii. linn. Soc vol. ziiii. p. 485 ; " Nitnraliat on the Amuotu, " 

•oi i.t>.aw 

130 SUMATRi. [chap. vin. — 

escape persecution. Two other species of this same section -^ 
(Papilio antiphus and Papilio polyphontea) are so closely ^ 
imitated by two female forms of Papilio theseus (which -• 
comes in the same section with Memnon), that they com- — 
pletely deceived the Dutch entomologist 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 larvce were bred in Java by a Dutch 
entomologist, and pi*oduced males as well as tailed 
tailless females, and there is every reason to believe thai 
this is always the case, and that forms intermediate 
character never occur. To illustrate these phenomena^ 
us suppose a roaming Englishman in some remote 
to have two wives — one a black-haired red-skinned. 
Indian, the other a wooUy-headed sooty-skinned n^iess ^ 
and that instead of the children being mulattoes of browik. 
or dusky tints, mingling the characteristics 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 
herself, 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 fieunily 
group as our Purple Emperor, and of about the same sixe 
or larger. Its upper surface is of a rich purple, variouslj 
tinged with ash colour, and across the fore wings there i 
a broad bar of deep orange, so that when on the wing it i 
very conspicuous. This species was not uncommon in di 
woods and thickets, and I ofton endeavoured to capture 
without success, for after flying a short distance it wow 
enter a bush among diy or dead leaves, and however ca 
fully I crept up to the spot I could never discover it 
it would suddenly start out again and then disappear i 
similar place. At length I was fortunate enough to 
the exact spot where the butterfly settled, and thou/ 
lost sight of it for some time, I at length discovered th 

^.vui.] LEAP-LIKE hUTTERFLY. 131 

8 close before ray eyes, but tbat in its position of repose 
Bo closely resembled a dead leaf attached to a twig aa 
Qost certainly to deceive the eye even wbeu gazing full 

m it I captured several specimens oq the wiag, and 
J able fully to understand the way in which this 
oderful resemblance is produced. 

132 SUMATRA. [chap. ^ 

The end of the upper wings terminates in a f 
pointy just as the leaves of many tropical shn 
and trees are pointed, while the lower wings are soi 
what more obtuse, and are lengthened out into a sh 
thick tail Between these two points there runs a di 
curved line exactly representing the midrib of a leaf, € 
from this radiate on each side a few oblique marks wh 
well imitate the lateral veins. These marks are m 
clearly seen on the outer portion of the base of the wii 
and on the inner side towards the middle and apex, t 
they are produced by striae and markings which are vi 
common in allied species, but which are here modified f 
strengthened so as to imitate more exactly the venatioii 
a leaf. The tint of the under surface varies much, 1 
it is always some ashy brown or reddish colour, wh 
matches with those of dead leaves. The habit of 
species is always to rest on a twig and among dead 
&j leaves, and in this position with the wings dos 
pressed together, their outline is exactly that of a mo 
rately-sized leaf, slightly curved or shrivelled. The 1 
of the hind wings forms a perfect stalk, and touches < 
stick while the insect is supported by the middle pair 
legs, which are not noticed among the twigs and fib 
that surround it. The head and antennsB are drawn be 
between the wings so as to be quite concealed, and th 
is a little notch hollowed out at the very base of 1 
wings, which allows the head to be retracted sufiBicient 
All these varied details combine to produce a disgu 
that is so complete and marvellous as to astonish ev< 
one who observes it; and the habits of the insects \ 
such as to utilize all these peculiarities, and render tb 
available in such a manner as to remove all doubt 
the purpose of this singular case of mimicry, which 
undoubtedly a protection to the insect. Its strong a 
swift flight is sufficient to save it from its enemies wl 
on the wing, but if it were equally conspicuous when 
rest it could not long escape extinction, owing to 1 
attacks of the insectivorous birds and reptiles that abou 
in the tropical forests. A very closely allied speci 
Eallima inachis, inhabits India, where it is very comm 
and specimens are sent in every collection from i 


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 of yellow, ash, brown, 
and red is found here, and in many specimens 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 £dmost impossible at first not to believe that 
fungi have grown on the butterflies themselves ! 

If such an extraordinary adaptation as this stood alone, 
it wrould be very difficult to offer any explanation of it ; but 
although it is perhaps the most perfect case of protective 
imitation known, there are hundreds of similar resem- 
blances 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 elabo- 
rated by Mr. Darwin in his celebrated " Origin of Species," 
offers the foundation for such a theory ; and I have myself 
endeavoured to apply it to all the chief cases of imitation 
in an article published in the Westminster Review for 1867, 
entitled " Mimicry, and other Protective Eesemblances 
among Animals," to which any reader is referred who 
wishes to know more about this subject. 

In Sumatra, monkeys are very abundant, and at Lobo 
Raman they used to frequent the trees which overhang 
the guard-house, and give me a fine opportunity of 
observing their gambols. Two species of Semnopitbecus 
were most plentiful — monkeys of a slender form, with very 
long tails. Not being much shot at they are rather bold, 
and remain quite unconcerned 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 amusing 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 thiow themselves 
frantically into the air, and often go crashing through the 
slender branches and fall to the ground. 

134 SUATATRA. [chai\ vul 

A very curious ape, the Siamang, was also rather abundant, 
but it is much less bold than the monkeys, keeping to the 
virgin forests and avoiding villages. This species is allied to 
the little long-armed apes of the genus Hylobates, but is 
considerably larger, and differs from them by having the tui'o 
first fingors of the feet united together, nearly to the end, 
whence its Latin name, Siamanga syndactyly It moves 
nmch more slowly 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 im- 
mense long arms, five feet six inches across in an adult 
about three feet high, can swing itself 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 
verandah 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 afterwards, as from that time it 
disliked me more than ever. It would allow my Malay- 
boys to play with it, and for hours together wotJd swing 
by its arms from pole to pole and on to the rafters of the 
verandah, with so much ease and rapidity, that it was a 
constant source of amusement to us. When 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 inqidries 
about it; but none of the natives had ever heard of such an 
animal, nor could I find any of the Dutch oflBcials who 
knew anything about it. We may conclude, therefore, that 
it does not inhabit the great forest plains in the east of 
Sumatra where one would naturally expect to find it, but 

cfiAP. Till.] THE FLYING LEMUR. 135 

is probably confined to a Kmited region in the north-west — 
a part of the island entirely 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 of cultivation. 
About Lobo Saman tusks and bones are occasionally found 
in the forest, but the living animal is now never seen. 
The rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sumatranus) still abounds, and 
I continually saw its tracks and its dung, and once dis- 
turbed one feeding, which went crashmg 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 natives. 

Another curious animal, which I had met with in Singa- 
pore and in Borneo, but which was more abundant here, is 
the Galeopithecus, or fljdng lemur. This creature has a 
broad membrane extending all 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 clinging to the trunks of trees, where 
its olive or brown fur, mottled with irregular whitish spots 
and blotches, resembles closely the colour 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 
immediately 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 five. This I 
think proves that the animal must have some power of 
guiding itself through the air, otherwise in so long a dis- 
tance it would have little chance of alighting exactly upon 
the trunk. like the Cuscus of the Moluccas, the Gkdeo- 
pithecus feeds chiefly on leaves, and possesses a very 
Yolmmnoua stomach and long convoluted intestines. Tho 

CHAP, ▼iil] EOENBILLS. 137 

once shot a female, with a very small blind and naked 
little creature clinging closely to its breast, which was 
quite bare and much wrinkled, 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 1;he Chinchilla. 

I returned to Palembang by water, and while staying a 
day at a village while a boat was being made watertight, 
I had the good fortune to obtain a male, female, and young 
bird of one of the large hombills. I had sent my hunters 
to shoot, and while I was at breakfast they returned, 
bringing me a fine large male, of the Buceros bicomis, 
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 lean- 
ing 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 hola After a while we 
heard the harsh cry of a bird inside, and could see the 
white extremity of its beak put out. I ofiered 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 afterwards, much to my 
snrprise, a tremendous loud hoarse screaming 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 particle 
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 hombills, and is one of those strange 
facts in natural history which are ** stranger than fiction." 




IN the first chapter of this work I have stated generally^ 
the reasons which lead us to conclude that the largos 
islands in the western portion of the Archipelago — Java,»r 
Sumatra, and Borneo — as well as the Malay peninsula andfl 
the Philippine islands, have been recently separated from^ 
the continent of Asia. I now propose to give a sketch ol^ 
the Natural History of these, which I term the Indo-Malay— 
islands, and to show how far it supports this view, ancL 
how much information it is able to give us of the antiquitjr 
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 cannot draw from it many facts of importance. The 
Malayan 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 parte 
of India, and that many plants found in Ceylon, the Hima- 
layas, the Nilghiri, and Khasia mountains are identical with 
those of Java and the Malay peninsula. Among the more 
characteristic 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, Zingiberace®, 
and ferns are especially abundant, aud the genus Gramma- 
tophyllum — 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 (Nepenthaceae), which are only represented 
elsewhere by solitary species in Ceylon, Madagascar, the 
Seychelles, Celebes, and the Moluccas. Those celebrated 
fruits, the Mangosteen and the Durian, 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 connexion with the continent of Asia; 
and a still more extraordinary and more ancient connexion 



with Australia has been indicated by Mr. Low's collections 
from the summit of Kioi-balou, the loftiest mountaia in 

Plants have mnch greater feciUties 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 bii'ds, are 
also the means of distributing plants, since the seeds 
readily germinate after passing through their bodies. It 
thus happens that plants which grow on shores and low- 
lands 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 

1 40 NATURAL HISTORY OF THE [chap, ix 

of the several islands of the A]*chipelago ; and it is only by 
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 connexion of that 
island with the Asiatic continent. With land animals, how- 
ever, the case is very different. Their means of passing a 
wide expanse of sea are far more restricted. Their distri- 
bution 1ms been more accurately studied, and we possess 
a much more complete 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- 
Malay 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 Quadrumana or monkey tribe form one of the most 
characteristic features of this region. Twenty-four dis- 
tinct species are known to inhabit it, and these are distri- 
buted 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 representatives of the Gibbons or long- 
armed apes, and of monkeys. The lemur-like animals, 
Nycticebus, Tarsius, and Galeopithecus, 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 
North India. With the exception of the Orang-utan, 
the Siamang, the Tarsius spectrum, and the Galeopi- 
thecus, all the Malayan genera of Quadrumana are re- 
piesented in India by closely allied species, althou<^h. 


owing to the • limited range of most of these animals, so 
few are absolutely identicfJ. 

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 Malayan Carnivora, thirteen are represented in 
India by more or less closely allied species. As an ex- 
ample, the curious Malayan glutton (Helictis orientalis) is 
represented in Northern India by a closely allied specie? 
Helictis nipalensis. 

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 sondaicus of Java and 
Borneo is also found in Siam and Burmah. A goat-like 
animal is found in Sumatra which has its representative 
in India ; while the two-homed rhinoceros of Sumatra 
and the single-homed 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 considered to be 
identical with that of Ceylon and India. 

In all other groups of Mammalia the same general 
phenomena 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 genera, 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 Eodents (squirrels, rats, &c.), of which 
six or eight only are Indian ; and ten Insectivora, with one 
exception peculiar to the Malay region. The squirrels are 
very abundant and chai'acteristic, 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 Gymnurua 

1 142 NATURAL HISTORY OF THB [chap. ix. 

. As the Malay penineula is a part of the continent of 
Asia, the question of the former union of the islands to 
the mainland will be best elucidated by studying the 
species which are found in the former district, and also in 
some of the islands. Now, if we entirely leave out of con- 
sideration the bats, which 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, monkeys, 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 cannot 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 Eodents 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 
inhabiting 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 cer- 
tain that there has been at some former period a connexion 
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 identi- 
cal, indicates that the separation must have been recent in 
a geological sense ; that is, not earlier than the Newer 
Pliocene epoch, at which time land animals began to 
assimilate 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 eauh other and from the continent without 
some fonner connexion. 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 island, and thus produce an almost perfect 
uiiiformity of species over the whole region. But no such 
uniformity exists, and the 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 Sumatra, a propor- 
tion about the same as that of the Eodents, 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 sufficient 
cause we can imagine is the former connexion 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 
he limited in their range by arms of the sea, and would 
thus afford few indications of the former union or separa- 
tion of the islands 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 little known except to ornithologists. I 
shall therefore refer chiefly to a few of the best known 
and most remarkable families 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 Tndia ; for though a very large proportion 


of the species are quite distinct, there are only about fiftee 
peculiar genera, and not a single family group confined t(C3 
the former district. If, however, we compare the islands 
with the Burmese, Siamese, and Malayan countries, w^ 
shall find still less difference, and shall be convinced thatS" 
all are closely imited by the bond of a former union. In^ 
such well-known families as the woodpeckers; parrots,^ 
trogons, barbets, kingfishers, pigeons, and pheasants, wes 
find some identical species spreading over all India, andfl 
as far as Java and Borneo, while a very large proportioiiK 
are common to Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. 

The force of these facts can only be appreciated whei^ 
we come to treat of the islands of the Austro-Mala^ 
region, and show how similar barriers have entireljr 
prevented the passage 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 know- 
ledge of the distribution of animals may reveal unsus- 
pected 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 re- 
sidents there sent some collections of birds and animals 
to Leyden, 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 inhabiting 
both Sumatra tmd Borneo, and which did not perceptibly 
differ in these large and widely separated 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 beve 


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 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 intervening island of lingen, in being 
formed of granite and laterite; and these have all most 
likely once formed an extension 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 peninsula. At that 
period the same species of squirrel and Pitta may have 
inhabited all these countries ; but when the subterranean 
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 isolated 
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 
inhabitants remained, to reveal by their distinct forms their 
different origin. Unless we suppose some such changes 
in physical geography to have occurred, the presence of 
peculisir species of birds and mammals in such an island 
as Banca is a hopeless puzzle ; and I think I have shown 
that the changes required 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 nms through them gives 
such an air of unity to the two, that the idea of their 
having been recently dissevered is immediately suggested. 
The natives of Java» however, go further than this; for 


they actually have a tradition of the catastrophe whickl 
broke them asunder, and fix its date at not much moi^ 
than a thousand years ago. It becomes interesting, there- 
fore, to see what support is given to this view by thf= 
comparison of their animal productions. 

The Mammalia have not been collected with sufficienflC 
completeness in both islands to make a general comparisorB. 
of much value, and so many species have been obtainec7 
only as live specimens in captivity, that their locality bajs 
often been erroneously given, — ^the island in which they 
were obtained being substituted for that from which they 
originally came. Taking into consideration only thoee 
whose distribution 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 (SemnojHthecus) 
inhabiting Sumatrst, one extends into Borneo, but the two 
species of Java are both peculiar to it. So also the great 
Malay deer (Eusa equina), and the small Tragulus kanchil, 
are common to Sumatra and Borneo, but do not extend into 
Java, where they are replaced by iSragulus javanicus. The 
tiger, it is true, is found in Sumatra and Jav% 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 f i-om the 
main 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 
possesses 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 woodpeckers inhabiting Sumatra only four reach 
Java, while eight of them are found in Borneo and twelve 
in the Malay peninsula. The two Trogons found in Java 
are peculiar to it^ while of those inhabiting Sumatra at 


!rwo extend to Malacca and one to Borneo. There are 
Y large number of birds, such as the great Argus 
ant, the fire-backed and ocellated pheasants, the 
d partridge (BoUulus coronatus), the small Malacca 
: (Psittinus incertus), the great helmeted hombill 
roturus galeatus), the pheasant ground-cuckoo (Car- 
cyx radiatus), the rose-crested bee-eater (Nyctiomis 
a), the great gaper (Corydon sumatranus), and the 
Kjrested gaper (Calyptomena viridis), and many 
\, which are common to Malacca, Sumatra, and 
io, but are entirely absent from Java. On the other 
we have the peacock, the green jungle cock, two blue 
d thrushes (Arrenga cyanea and Myophonus flavi- 
j), the fine pink-headed dove (Ptilonopus porphyreus), 
broad-tailed ground pigeons (Macropygia), and many 
interesting birds, which are found nowhere in the 
pelago out of Java. 

sets furnish us with similar facts wherever sufficient 
.re to be had, but owing to the abundant collections 
lave been made in Java, an unfair preponderance may 
en to that island. This does not, however, seem to 
e case with the true Papilionidae or swallow-tailed 
flies, whose large size and gorgeous colouring has led 
ir being collected more frequently than other insects, 
y-seven species are known from Java, twenty-nine 
Borneo, and only twenty-one from Sumatra. Four 
itirely confined to Java, while only two are peculiar 
neo and one to Sumatra. The isolation of Java will, 
'er, be best shown by grouping the islands in pairs, 
idicating the number of species common to each pair. 

rneo . 

meo . 
'a . . 

'a . . 

• 21 ^^^^^"^ ( ^^ ®P®^^^^ common to both iaUnds. 
. 29 do. I 

21 do. 

27 do. '^^ ^°- ^ 

27 do. " ^^- ^• 

king some allowance for our imperfect knowledge of 
imatran species, we see that Java is more isolated 
ihe two larger islands than they are from each other^ 
mtiiely confirming the results given by the distri* 



bution of birds and Mammalia, and rendering it almoin 
certain that the last-named island was the first to be co] 
pletely separated from the Asiatic continent, and that 
native tradition of its having been recently separated fix)] 
Sumatra is entirely without foundation. 

We are now enabled to trace out with some probabiliir^ 
the course of events. Beginning at the time whex7 
the whole of the Java sea, the Gulf of Siam, and th^ 
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 sink- 
ing down of the Java sea, and the Straits of Sunda, con- 
sequent on the activity of the Javanese volcanoes along 
the southern extremity of the land, and leading to the 
complete separation of that island. As the volctmic belt 
of Java and Sumatra increased in activity, more and more 
of the land was submerged, till first Borneo, and after- 
wards 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 immigrsr 
tion may thus have modified their animal productions, 
and led to those anomalies in distribution which are bo 
difficult to account for by any single operation of elevation 
or submergence. The form of Borneo, consisting of radiat- 
ing mountain chains with intervening 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, assisted by gradu^ 
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 distinct species ia found in Borneo and 


Sumatra, while the Javanese species occurs in Birmah and 
3veii in BengaL Among birds, the small ground dove, 
Greopelia striata, and the curious bronze-coloured magpie, 
Chrypsirhina varians, are common to Java and Siam; while 
bliere oie in Java species of Pteruthius, Arrenga, Myio- 
|3lionus, Zoothera, Sturnopastor, and Estrelda, the nearest 
sJlies of which are found in various parts of India, while 
clothing like them is known to inhabit Borneo or Sumatra. 
Such a curious phenomenon as this can only be under- 
s'ftood, by supposing that, subsequent to the separation 
:>:£ Java, Borneo became almost entirely submerged, and 
:>'m its re-elevation was for a time connected with the 
Bi^alay peninsula and Sumatra, but not with Java or 
Siam. Any geologist who knows how strata have been 
c^ontorted and tilted up, and how elevations and depres- 
^lions must often have occurred alternately, not once or 
only, but scores and even hundreds of times, will 
ive no difficulty in admitting that such changes as have 
^>^ii here indicated are not in themselves improbable. The 
^^tence of extensive coal-beds in Borneo and Sumatra, of 
^ch recent origin that the leaves which abound in their 
shales are scarcely distinguishable from those of the forests 
^hich now cover the country, proves that such changes of 
level actually did take place ; and it is a matter of much 
u^terest, both to the geologist and to the philosophic 
naturalist, to be able to form some conception of the order 
^ those changes, and to understand how they may have 
i^ted in the actual distribution of animal life in these 
countries ; — a distribution which often presents phenomena 
90 strange and contradictory, that without taking such 
changes into consideration we are imable even to imagine 
W they could have been brought about 

150 BALI. TcuAP. 


(JUNE, JULY, 1856.) 

THE islands of Bali and Lombock, situated at the ea^^ 
end of Java, are particularly interesting. They are th^ 
only islands of the whole Archipelago in which the Hindoo 
religion 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 appear- 
ance 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 some- 
what 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 probably 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' 
passage from Singapore in the " Kembang Djepoon " (Kose 
of Japan), a schooner belonging to a Chinese merohant, 
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 inter- 
esting scene. We went first to the house of the Chinese 
Bandar, or chief merchant, where we found a number of 
natives, well dressed, and aU 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 distin- 
guished from the natives of the island — an indication of 
the close affinity of the Malayan and Mongolian racca. 


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

During the two days that we remained here, I walked 

out into the surrounding country to catch insects, shoot 

lords, 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 

«nd well cultivated a district out of Europe. A slightly 

"ondulating plain extends from the sea-»coast about ten 

«r twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a fine 

lange 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 perfectly 

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 ind^nous v^etation, except upon the sea- beach. 
We saw plenty of the fine race of domestic cattle descended 

152 LOMBOCK. [< 

from the Bob sondaicus of Java, driven by half-naked boya^ 
or tethered in pasture-grounds. They are large and hand- 
some animals, of a light brown colour, with white 1^, 
and a conspicuous ovsd patch behind of the same colour. 
Wild cattle of the same race ai*e said to be still found 
in the mountains. In so well-cultivated a countiy it was 
not to be expected that I could do much in natural histoiy, 
and my ignorance of how important a locality this was 
for the elucidation of the geographical distribution 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 bottle- 
shaped nests by dozens on some trees near the beach. 
It was the Ploceus hypoxanthus, a native of Java ; and 
here, at the extreme lunits of its range westerly. I shot 
and preserved specimens of a wagt^ol-thrush, an oriole, 
and some starlings, all species found in Java, and some 
of them peculiar to that island. I also obtained some 
beautiful outterflies, richly marked 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 pro- 
posed to remain 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 magnificeut 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 laka The beach of 
black volcanic sand is very steep, and there is at all times 
a heavy surf upon it, which during spring-tides inci'eases 
to such an extent that it is often impossible for boats to 
land, and many serious accidents 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 imdulations began, which rapidly increased, so as to 


form rollers which toppled over on to the beach at regular 
inteivals with a noise like thunder. Sometimes this surf 
increases suddenly during perfect calms, to as great a force 
and fury as when a gale of wind is blowing, beatipg 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 1 
What seamen 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 imder the brightest skies. 

I felt considerably relieved when all my boxes and 
myself had passed in safety through the devouring surt 
which the natives look upon with some pride, saying, 
that " their sea is alwajrs hungry, and eats up everything 
it can catch." I was kindly received by Mr. Carter, an 
Englishman, who is one of the Bandars 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 tall 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 before, 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 off. Mr. Carter kindly lent me 
a horse, and I was accompanied by a young Dutch gentle- 
man 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 afterwards 
over sandy pastures near the sea» and occasionally along 

154 LOMBOCK. [< 

the beach itsel£ Mr. S. received us kindly, and offered 
me a residence at his house should I think the neighbour- 
hood favourable for my pursuits. After an early break- 
fast we went out to explore, taking guns and insect-net. 
We reached some low hills which seemed to offer the 
most favourable ground, passing over swamps, sandy flats 
overgrown with coarse sedges, and through pastiu^s and 
cultivated grounds, finding however very little in the way 
of either birds or insects. On our way we p&ssed one 
or two human skeletons, enclosed within a small bamboo 
fence, with the clothes, pillow, mat, and betel-box of the 
unfortunate individual, — who had been either murdered or 
executed. Eetuming to the house, we found a Balinese 
chief and his followers on a visit Those of higher rank 
sat on chairs, the others squatted on the floor. The chief 
very coolly asked for beer and brandy, and helped himself 
and his followers, apparently more out of curiosity than 
anythiug else as re^uxls the beer, for it seemed very 
distasteful to them, while they drank the brandy in 
tumblers with much relish. 

Betuming to Ampanam, I devoted myself for some days 
to shooting the birds of the neighbourhood. The fine fig- 
trees of the avenues, where a market was held, were tenanted 
by superb orioles (Oriolus broderpii) of a rich orange 
colour, and pecidiar to this island and the adjacent ones 
of Sumbawa and Flores, All ro\md the town were abun- 
dance of the curious Tropidorhynchus timoriensis, alHed 
to the Friar bird of Australia. They are here called 
" Quaich-quaich," from their strange loud voice, which 
seems to repeat these words in various and not immelo- 
dious intonations. 

Every day boys were to be seen walking along the 
roads and by the hedges and ditches, catching dragon-flies 
with birdlime. They carry a slender stick, with a few 
twigs at the end well anointed, so that the least touch 
captures the insect, whose wings are pulled off before it 
is consigned to a small basket. The dragon-flies are so 
abimdant 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 laivse of bees and wasps are 
eaten, either alive as pulled out of the cells, or fried like 
the dragon-flies. In the Moluccas the grabs of the palm- 
beetles (Calandra) are regularly brought to market in bam- 
boos, and sold for food ; and many of the great homed 
Lamellicom beetles are slightly roasted on the embers and 
eaten whenever met with. The superabundance of insect 
life is thcTefore turned to some account by these islanders. 

Iinding 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 dajr'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 
ixL His name was " Inchi Daud " (Mr. David), and he was 
very civil ; but his accommodations were limited, and he 
coidd 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 arrange- 
ments were possible, and then set to work. The country 
around was pretty and novel to me, consisting of abrupt 
volcanic hills enclosing 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 aAd 
very interesting, and I now saw for the first time many 
Australian forms that are quite absent from the islands 
westward. Small white cockatoos were abundant, and 
their loud screams, conspicuous white colour, and pretty 
yellow crests, rendered them a very important feature in 
the landscape. This is the most westerly point on the 
gbbe where any of the family are to be found. Some 
small hoBejBuckers 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 others in never sitting upon their eggs, which they 
bury in sand, earth, or rubbish, and leave to be hatched by 
the heat of the sun or of fermentation. They are aU 
characterised by very large feet and long curved claws, 
and most of the species of Megapodius rske and scratch 
together all kinds of rubbish, dead leaves, sticks, stones, 
earth, rotten wood, &c., 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 msJ^ing 
these mounds and lay their eggs together, so that some- 
times 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 cannot understand who can 
possibly have heaped together cartloads of rubbish in such 
out-of-the-way places; and when they inquire of the 
natives they are but little 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 entirely of dark olive and 
brown tints. It is a miscellaneous feeder, devouring Cedlen 
fruits, earth-worms, snails, and centipedes, but the flesh is 
white and well-liavoured when properly cooked 

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 
tiie pigeon's bill and head, it would seem impossible that it 
CQuld swallow such large masses, or that it could obtain 


aay nourisbment from them ; yet I often 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 beautUul 
new one, named by Mr. Gould, Halcyon fulgidus. It was 
found always in tluckets, away from water, and seemed to 
feed on snaols and insects picked up from the ground after 
the manner of the great Laughing Jackass of Australia. 
The beautiful little violet and orange species (Ceyx rufi- 
dorsa) 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 omatus). This elegant 
little bird sits on twigs in open places, gazing eagerly 
around, and darting ofT at intervals to seize some insect 
"which it sees flying near; returning afterwards to the 
same twig to swallow it. Its long, sharp, curved bill, the 
two long narrow feathers in its tail, its beautiful green 
plumage varied with rich brown and black and vivid blue 
on the throat, render it one of the most graceful and 
interesting 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 carpeted at this season with dead leaves. They were 
80 shy tibat it was very difficult to get a shot at them, and 
it was only after a good deal of practice that I discovered 
how to do it. The habit of these birds is to hop about 
cm 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 
not€» which when once heard is easily recognised, 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, 
imitating the notes as near as possible. After half an 
bourns waiting I was often rewarded by seeing the pretty 
bird hopping along in the thicket Then I would perhaps 
lo0e sight of it again, tiU, having my gun raised and ready 

158 LOMBOCK. [osAP. z. 

for a shot, a second glimpse would enable me to secnre my 
prize, and admire its soft pufify plumage and lovely colonra 
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 bufT with a stripe of 
rich crimson, bordered with black on the belly. Beautifol 
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 domestic 
breeds of poultry — were among the birds that chiefly 
attracted my attention during our stay at Labuan Tring. 

The most characteristic feature of the jungle was its 
thorniness. The shrubs were thorny ; the creepers weie 
thorny ; the bamboos even were thorny. Everything 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 favourable to the production of such 
stunted and thorny vegetation, for the natives assured me 
that this was nothing to the thorns and prickles of Sum- 
bawa, 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 ApocynacesB were most abundant, their bilobed 
fruits of varied form and colour and often of most tempting 
appearance, hanging everywhere by the waysides as if to 
invite to destruction the weary traveller who may be un- 
aware of their poisonous properties. One in particular 
with a smooth shining skin of a golden orange colour 
rivals in appearance the golden apples 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 fmit bursts 
open. The great palm caUed " Gubbong " by the natives, 
a species of Gorypha» is the most striking feature of ttie 


plains, where it grows by thousands and appears in throe 
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 o£P when the tree flowers, which it does 
only once in its life in a huge terminal spike, on which are 
produced masses of a smooth round fruit of a green colour 
and about an inch in diameter. When these ripen and fall 
the tree dies, and remains 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 scat- 
tered here and there among them. The trees in fruit are 
the resort of the great green fruit pigeons, which have been 
already mentioned, ^^ops of monkeys (Macacus cyno- 
molgus) may often be seen occupying a tree, showering 
down the firuit in great profusion, chattering when dis- 
turbed and making an enormous rustling as they scamper 
off among the dead palm leaves ; while the pigeons 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 eating sleeping and working, for storehouse and dis- 
secting-room ; in it were no shdves, cupboards, chairs or 
tables; ants swarmed in every part of it, and dogs, cats and 
fowls entered it at pleasure. Besides this it was the parlour 
and reception-room of my host, and I was obliged to con- 
salt his convenience and that of the numerous guests who 
visited us. My principal 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 boiTowed, with some 
difficulty, an old bench, the four legs of which being placed 
in cocoa-nut shells filled with water kept us tolerably free 
bom these pests. The box and the bench were however 
literally the only places where anything 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 
anytluog balky or out of the conmion way was collected, 
the qaertion ^ Where is it to be put ? " was rather a diffi^ 

160 LOMBOCK. [chap- x. 

cult one to answer. All animal substances moreover re- 
quire some time to dry thoroughly, emit a very disagreeable 
odour 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 impossibla 

My readers may now partially understand why a travel- 
ling 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, remarkable 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 
favourites. When travelling by boat the difficulties 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 labour and pains. 

While Manuel sat skinning his birds of an afternoon, 
generally 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 be- 
lieved he was daily the subject " Allah has been merciful 
to-day," he would say — for although a Christian he adopted 
the Mahometan 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 appointed time to die ; when 
that time comes nothing can save them, and if it has not 
come you cannot kill them." A murmur of assent follows 
this sentiment, and cries of "Butull Butull" (Right, 
right.) Then Manuel would tell a long story of one of his 
unsuccessful hunts ; — how he saw some fine bird and fol- 
lowed 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 I^ says an old Malay, " its time was not come, and 
ao it was impossible 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 
siLtogether satisfactory. 

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 rather surprised one evening to hear the following 
curious iad stated, and as it was not contradicted by any 
of the persons present I am inclined to accept it provi- 
sionally, as a contribution 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 Malay, " 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 numbers of men killed, and their bodies lie im- 
buried in the fields and by the roadside, and yet you can 
walk by them at night and never hear or see anything at 
all, which is not the case in our country, as you know very 
welL" "Certainly 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 
whispering earnestly together outside the door, and could 
distinguish various allusions to '' krisses," throat-cutting, 
heads, &c &c. At length Manuel came in, looking very 
solemn and frightened, 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 
them, that the Sajah had just sent down an order to the 
viUaoB, that they were to get a certain number of heads for 
an offeiiiig in tiie temples to secure a good crop of rice. 


1(52 LOMBOCK, [CHAP. X. 

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 necessaiy 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 
aloue, and I was obliged to accompany him every morn- 
ing, 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 enormous spear. 
I was quite sure all the time that no such order had been 
sent or received, and that we were in perfect safety. This 
was well shown shortly afterwai'ds, when an American 
sailor ran away from his ship on the east side of the 
island, and made his w^y on foot and unarmed across to 
Ampanam, having met with the greatest hospitality on the 
whole route. Nowhere would the smallest payment be 
taken for the food and lodging which were willingly fur- 
nished him. On pointing out this fact to Manuel, he re- 
plied, " 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 afterwards at Ampanam, I 
found that no earthquake had 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 having 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 woidd seem 
to indicate, that although the ordinary heavy surf may be 
due to the swell of the great Southern Ocean confined 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. 



HAYING made a very fine and interesting collection of 
the birds of Labuan Tring, I took leave of my kind 
host, Inchi Daud, 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. Boss, 
an Englishman bom in the Keeling Islands, and now 
employed by the Dutch Government to settle the affairs 
of a missionary who had imfortunately become bankrupt 
here. Mr. Carter kindly lent me a horse, and Mr. Eoss 
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, afterwards grassy, 
with occasional streams and mud-hole& At a distance 
of about four nules we reached Mataram, the capital of 
the island and the residence of the Bajah. It is a large 
village with widef streets bordered by a magnificent avenue 
of tocees, and low houses concealed behind mud walla. 


164 LOMBOCK. [chap. XI, 

Within thia royal city no native of the lower orders ia 
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 Eajah and of the High Priest 
are distinguished by pillars of red brick constructed with 
much taste; but the palace itself seemed to differ bat 
little from the ordinary houses of the country. Beyond 
Mataram and close to it is Karangassam, the ancient 
residence of the native or Sassak Eajahs before the con- 
quest of the island by the Balinese. 

Soon after passing Mataram the country began gradually 
to rise in gentle undulations, swelling occasionally into 
low hills towards 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 labour 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 tradera at the port are jealously excluded, 
many hundreds of square miles of irregularly undulating 
coimtry have been so skilfully 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 consists 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 ploughed, some 
with rice-crops in various stages of growth. Hero were 
luxuriant patches of tobacco; there, cucumbers, sweet 
potatoes, yams, beans or Indian-corn, varied the scena 
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 each 
other ; sometimes rounding an abrupt knoll and looking 
like a fortification, or sweeping round some deep hollow 
and forming on a gigantic 8(»le the seats of an amphi- 


theatre. 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 ancient trees and moss-grown stones so 
as to have all the appearance of a natural channel, and 
bearing testimony to the remote period at which the work 
had been done. As we advanced further 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 background 
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 rice in bags or in the ear, on their way to the port of 
Ampanam. 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 plan- 
tains, 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 difierent character; con- 
sisting 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 
destination — the village of Coupang, situated nearly in the 
centre of the island — and entered the outer court of a 
house belonging to one of the chiefs with whom my friend 
Mr. Boss had a alight acquaintance. Here we were re« 


quested 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 courtyard, we waited till the great man's Malay 
interpreter appeared, who inquired our business and in- 
formed us that the Pumbuckle (chief) was at the Eajahs 
house, but would soon be back. As we had not yet break- 
fasted, 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 anything 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 conversation with a number 
of men and boys who gathered round us ; and by exchang- 
ing 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 impudent 
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 
appearance, 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 Eajah of Lombock. This we had 
not done, thinking it quite unnecessaiy; 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 began to. think we were suspected 
of some evil designs, for the Pumbuckle was evidently 
afraid of getting himself into trouble. He is a Sassak 
prince, and, though a supporter of the present Eajah, is 
related to some of the heads of a conspiracy which was 
quelled a few years since. 

About five o'clock a pack-horse bearing my gvms 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 hungty as we sat wearily under the shed 
flnd no one came. Still hour after hour we waited, till 


about nine o'clock, the Pumbuckle, the Bajah, some priests, 
and a number of their followers arrived and took their 
seats around us. We shook hands, and for some minutes 
there was a dead silenca Then the Bajah asked what we 
wanted; to which Mr. Eoss replied by endeavouring to 
make them understand who we were, and why we had 
come, and that we had no sinister intentions whatever ; 
and that we had not brought a letter from the '*Anak 
Agong," merely because we had thought it quite imne- 
cessary. 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 followed by a low and serious 
conversation which we could not understand, but the pur- 
port of which we could guess. They were evidently quite 
puzzled, and did not bttlieve a word we had told them. 
They then inquired if we were really English, and not 
Dutch ; and although we strongly asserted our nationality, 
they did not seem to believe us. 

After about an hour, however, they brought us some 
supper (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 con- 
fei'ence took place ; questions were again asked, and the 
answers again commented on. Between whiles lighter 
topics were discussed. 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 
interpreter, 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 weU 
accommodated where we wera It was quite chilly^ MA^-dglil 

1 68 LOMBOCK. [chap, xl 

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 uncomfort- 
ably, 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 vanished into the inner court, locking the 
door behind him and leaving 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 pre- 
pared to start. Just then the interpreter came up on horse- 
back, and looked aghast at our preparations. " Where is 
the Pumbuckle ?" we asked. " Gone to the Eajah's," said 
he. " We are going," said I. " Oh 1 pray don't," said he ; 
" wait a little ; they are having a consultation, 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 almost 
weeping at our obstinacy and hurry, and assuring us — 
" the Pumbuckle would be very sorry, and the Eajah 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 
afterwards 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 gims 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 tlie 

^xi.] NATIFE UN-MAKERS, 169 

locila were taken from English muskets. The Gusti 
Assured me, however, that the Bajah had a man who made 
l(Milc8 and also rifled barrels. The workshop where these 
g^zins are made and the tools used were next shown us» 
M^ci were very remarkable. An open shed with a couple 
0^ small mud forges were the chief objects visible. The 
Allows consisted of two bamboo cylinders, with pistons 
"''^OTked by hand. They move very easily, having a loose 
8tvi:ffing of feathers thickly set round the piston so as to act 
*^ a valve, and produce a regular blast. Both cylinders 
^xximunicate with the same nozzle, one piston rising while 
"^^ other falls. An oblong piece of iron on the ground 
^^^ the anvil, and a small vice was fixed on the projecting 
^'''^^^>t of a tree outsida These, with a few files and hammers, 
^^xe literally the only tools with which an old man 
"^^ies these fine guns> finishing them himself from the 
^^*^xxgh iron and wood, 

1 was anxious to know how they bored these long 
'^^Trels, which seemed perfectly true and are said to shoot 
**irnirably ; and, on asking the Gusti, received the enig- 
°^^tical answer : " We use a basket full of stones." Being 
^^"terly unable to imagine what he could mean, I asked if 
^ oould see how they did it, and one of the dozen little 
"^Jrs around us was sent to fetch the basket He soon 
^^tiumed with this most extraordinary boring-machine, the 
^*^ode of using which the Gusti then explained to me. It 
^^^^ simply a strong bamboo basket, through the bottom of 
?^l^ch was stuck upright a pole about three feet long, kept 
JJ^ its place by a few sticks tied across the top with rattans. 
"■^Ixe bottom of the pole has an iron ring, and a hole in 
?!f tiich four-cornered borers of hardened iron can be fitted. 
J^ iie barrel to be bored is buried upright in the ground, the 
^^ler is inserted into it, the top of the stick or vertical 
^*^mft is held by a cross-piece of bamboo with a hole in it, 
^^d the basket is filled with stones to get the required 
^ight. Two boys turn the bamboo round. The barrels 
^ made in pieces of about eighteen inches long, which 
^^ first bored small, and then welded together upon a 
^kftught iron rod. The whole barrel is then worked with 
^iei8 of gradually increasing size, and in three days the 
Wing is finished. The whole matter was explained in 

1 70 LOXBOCS. [aatr. xi- 

such a straightforward manner that I hare no donbt tb^ 
process described to me was that actually used ; although^ 
when examining one of the handsome, well-finished, aD<3 
serviceable guns, it was very hard to realize the fact, thaM 
they had been made from first to last with toots faardls 
sufficient for an English blacksmith to make a horsa-8lio& 


The day after we returned from our excursion, the 
Bajah came to Ampanara to a feast given by Guata 
Gadioca, who resides there ; and soon after his arrival w« 
went to have an audience. We found him in a large 
coar^fud sitting on a mat under a shady tree ; and all hu 


foUowiers, to the number of three or four hundred, squat- 
ting 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 intellect combined 
'^ith indecision. We bowed, and took our seats on the 
ground near some chiefs we were acquainted with, for 
^hile the Rajah sits no one can stand or sit higher. He 
first inquired who I was, and what I was doing in Lom- 
^>ock, and then requested to see some of my birds. T 
Accordingly sent for one of my boxes of bird-skins and 
*^^e of insects, which he examined carefully, and seemed 
^Uch surprised that they could be so well preserved. We 
^^n had a little conversation about Europe and the 
^^ssian war, in which all natives take an interest. 
Sa.ving heard much of a country-seat of the Eajah's 
^^lled Gunong Sari, I took the opportunity to ask per- 
?^8sion to visit it and shoot a few birds there, which he 
^^^xnediately granted. I then thanked him, and we took 
^'^i' leava 

-An hour after, his son came to visit Mr. Carter accom- 

P^tiied by about a hundred followers, who all sat on the 

8^X>imd while he came into the open shed where Manuel 

?^o^ skinning birds. After some time he went into the 

^oiise, had a bed arranged to sleep a little, then drank 

f^Tue wine, and after an hour or two had dinner brought 

*^^Xn from the Gusti's house, which he ate with eight of 

^e principal priests and princes. He pronounced a 

^J^ssing over the rice and commenced eating first, after 

^tiich the rest fell to. They rolled up balls of rice in 

''*^eir hands, dipped them in the gravy and swallowed them 

^pidly, with little pieces of meat and fowl cooked in a 

^^Tiety of ways. A boy fanned the young Rajah while 

^^ting. He was a youth of about fifteen, and had already 

^■^Tee wives. All wore the kris, or Malay crooked dagger, 

^^ the beauty and value of which they greatly pride them- 

^Ives. A companion of the Rajah's had one with a 

S^lden handle, in which were set twenty-eight diamonds 

JJJd several other jewels. He said it had cost him 700£ 

*he sheaths are of ornamental wood and ivory, often 

^ered on one side with gold. The blades are beautifully 

1 A 

rice for Cliiiia. AVe wnv mounted on a very i 
lot of LoniV)()ck ponies, wliieli Ave liad some 
supplying with the necessary saddles, Sec. ; an 
had to patch up our girths, bridles, or stirru 
best we could. We passed through Matars 
were joined by our Mend Gusti Gadioca, n: 
handsome black horse, and riding as all th 
without saddle or stirrups, using only a banc 
cloth and very ornamental bridle. About 
further, along pleasant byways, brought us 
"We entered through a rather handsome b 
supported by hideous Hindoo deities in stone. 
an enclosure with two square fish-ponds and so 
then another gateway through which we e 
park. On the right was a brick house, buill 
the Hindoo style, and placed on a high terrac* 
on the left a large fish-pond, supplied by a 
which entered it out of the mouth of a gigs 
well executed in brick and stone. The edge 
were bricked, and in the centre rose a fantas 
resque pavilion ornamented with grotesque 
pond was well stocked with fine fish, whic 
morning to be fed at the sound of a woodc 
is hung near for the purpose. On striking i 
fish immediately came out of the masses 

XL] SErERE LAWS, 1 73 

andromeda. The former belies its name by not frequenting 
water or feeding on fish. It lives constantly in low damp 
thickets picking np ground insects, centipedes, and small 
mollusca. 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. 
T 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 differing in appearance from the 
people of Malacca or Borneo. They are Mahometans 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 monarchy, but it seems to be conducted with 
more wisdom and moderation than is usual in Malay 
countries. The father of the present Bajah 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 restored, 
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 if 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 would certainly be shot A few months after- 
wards 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 ugon the beach, 
and no questions will be asked. 

The men are exceedingly jealous and very strict with 
their wivea A married woman may not accept 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 
connexion being considered quite honourable by the natives. 
During some festival this girl offended against the law by 
accepting a flower or some such trifle from another man. 
This W8LS reported to the Eajah (to some of whose wives 
the girl was related), and he immediately sent to the Eng- 
lishman's house ordering him to give the woman up as she 
must be " krissed." In vain he begged and prayed, and 
ofiered to pay any fine the Rajah might impose, and finally 
refused to give her up unless he was forced to do so. This 
the Sajah did not wish to resort to, as he no doubt thought 
he was acting as much for the Englishman's honour as 
for his own; so he appeared to let the matter drop. 
But some time afterwards he sent one of his followers 
to the house, who beckoned the girl to the door, and 
then saying, " The Eajah 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 croco- 
diles are always on the watch to devour the bodies. One 
such execution took place while I was at Ampanam, 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 enclosure ; 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 killed 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 destroyed. In their wars 
a whole regiment of these people will sometimes agree to 
" amok," and then rush on with such energetic desperation 
as to be very formidable to men not so excited as them- 
selves. Among the ancients these would have been looked 


upon as heroes or demigods who sacrificed themselves for 
their country. Here it is simply said, — they made " amok" 
Macassar is the most celebrated place in the East for 
"running 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 woimded at one of them. It is the 
national and therefore the honourable mode of committing 
suicide among the natives of Celebes, and is the fashion- 
able way of escaping from their difficulties. A Boman 
fell upon his sword, a Japanese rips up his stomach, and 
an Englishman blows out his brains with a pistol. The 
Bugis mode has many advantages to one suicidically 
indined. A man thinks himself wronged by society — ^he 
is in debt and cannot pay — he is taken for a slave or has 
gambled away his wife or child into slavery — he sees no 
^ay of recovering what he has lost, and becomes desperate. 
He will not put up with such cruel wrongs, but will be 
Avenged on mankind and die like a hero. He grasps his 
kris-handle, and the next moment draws out the weapon 
and stabs a man to the heart He runs on, with bloody 
Icris 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 
Pushes madly forward, kills all he can — men, women, and 
ohildren — and dies overwhelmed by numbers amid all the 
Excitement of a battle. And what that excitement is 
^hose who have been in one best know, but all who have 
^ver given way to violent passions, or even indulged in 
Xriolent and exciting exercises, may form a very good idea. 
^t is a delirious intoxication, a temporary madness that 
absorbs every thought and every energy. And can we 
"Vronder at the kris-bearing, untaught, brooding Malay 
'preferring such a death, looked upon as almost honourable, 
\o the cold-blooded details of suicide, if he wishes to 
escape £rom overwhelming troubles, or the merciless 
clutches of the hangman 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 aie rice and coffee ; the former grown on the plains, 

1 76 LOMBOCK. \cba:b, xi. 

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 coimted 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 colour, 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 Baly-soldiers, but are 
more generally known elsewhere as penguin-ducks. 

My Portuguese bird-stuffer 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 consider- 
able 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 pas- 
sage. As a fitting "bonclusion to my sketch of these 
interesting islands, I will narrate an anecdote which I 
heard of tihe present Bajah ; and which, whether altogether 
true or not, well illustrates native character, 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 Bajah of Lombock was a very wise man, and he 
showed his wisdom greatly in the way he took the 
census. For my readers must know that the chief revenues 
of the Bajah were derived from a head-tax of rice, a small 
measure being paid annually by every man, woman, and 
child in the islimd. 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 
storehouses. 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 compassion on 
the poor or sick and passed over their short measure, and 
sometimes was obliged to grant a favour to those who 
had complaints against him ; and then he must keep up 
his own dignity by having his granaries better fiUed than 
his neighbours, 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 the 
"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 BajaL And the " Gustis " or princes 
who received the rice from the Waidonos helped them- 
selves 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 Bajah 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 
kiifiaeB of his chiefs and officers were getting handsomer 


1 78 LOMBOCK. [chap, xii 

and handsomer ; and the handles that were 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 weU 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 

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 answer 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 Bajah 
thought and thought, as hard as a Malay Eajah 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 favourite wife, and eat scarcely anything; 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 bewitched the Rajah; and an 
unfortunate Irish captain who had come in for a cargo of 
rice and who squinted dreadfuUy, 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 stayed in the port. 

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

"For many days my heart has been very sick and 1 
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 moimtain — 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 aJone, 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. Now 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 throiiigh the forest and up the great mountain." 

So the news was spread over the whole island that the 
Kajah must go to meet the great spirit on the top of the 
moimtain ; 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 Eajah's 
passage. And when they came to the steep and craggy 
Tocks of the mountain, they sought out the best paths, 
aometimes along the bed of a torrent, sometimes along 
narrow ledges of the black rocks ; in one place cutting down 
a tall tree so as to bridge across a chasm, in another con- 
structing 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 neighbourhood of shady trees, 
where they built sheds and huts of bamboo well thatched 
with the leaves of palm-trees, in which the Eajah 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 honour 
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 preparation throughout the 
whole island. The best cattle were killed and the meat 
salted and sim-dried; and abundance of red peppers 
and sweet potatoes were gathered; and the tall pinang- 
txees 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 


180 LOMBOCK. [chap. xii. 

any of the materials 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 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 provisions. And they en- 
camped under the tall Waringin-trees that border ail the 
roads about Mataram, and with blazing fires frighted away 
the ghouls and evil spirits that nightly haunt the gloomy 

In the morning a great procession was formed to con- 
duct the Eajah to the mountain. And the royal princes 
and relations of the Bajah moimted their black horses, 
whose tails swept the ground ; they used no saddle or 
stirrups, but sat upon a cloth of gay colours; the bits 
were of silver and the bridles of many-coloured cords. 
The less important people were on small strong horses of 
various colours, well suited to a mountain journey; and all 
(even the Eajah) were bare-legged to above the knee, 
wearing only the gay coloured cotton waist-cloth, a silk 
or cotton jacket, and a large handkerchief tastefully folded 
roimd the head. Every one was attended by one or two 
servants bearing his sirih and betel boxes, who were also 
moimted on ponies ; and great numbers more had gone on 
in advance or waited to bring up the rear. The men in 
authority were numbered by hundreds and their followers 
by thousands, and aU the island wondered what great thing 
would come of it. 

For the first two days they went alonjg 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 Bajah came, squatted down upon the 
ground in respect, and every man riding got ofif his horse 
and squatted down also, and many joined the procession 
at every village. At the place where they stopped for the 
night, tiie 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 deft were fastened little day lamps, 
and between them were stuck the green leaves of pa^- 
trees, which, dripping with the evening 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 hetel-nut was 
consumed, and endless were the conjectures what would 
come of it. 

On the second day they left the last village behind 
them and entered the wUd 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 Bajah'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 mid-day metd. 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 Hajah set out, he was accom- 
panied 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 Bajah ordered 
them all 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 guK whence issue forth con- 
tinually smoke and vapour. And the Bajah 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 Bajah went a little 
way on under another rock ; and he was tired, and the sun 
was warm and pleasant, and he too fell asleep. 

And those who were waiting for the Bajah 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 

1 82 LOMBOCK, \cba:2, xii 

to keep him on the mountain always, or perhaps he had 
missed his way in coming down again. And they wen 
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 re- 
turned as it had come ; and the Eajah went to his palace 
and the chiefs to their villages, and the people to theii 
houses, to tell their wives and children all that hac 
happened, and to wonder yet again what would come of it 

And three days afterwards the Eajah summoned the 
priests and the princes and the chief men of Mataram, tc 
hear what the great spirit had told him on the top of th( 
mountain. And when they were all assembled, and the 
betel and sirih had been handed round, he told them whal 
had happened. On the top of the mountain he had fallei 
into a trance, and the great spirit had appeared to hin 
with a face like burnished gold, and had said — '' Eajah 
much plague and sickness and fevers are coming upon al 
the earth, upon men and upon horses and u})on cattle ; bul 
as you and your people have obeyed me and have come uj 
to my great mountain, I will teach you how you and aL 
the people of Lombock may escape this plague." And al 
waited anxiously, to hear how they were to be saved iron 
so fearful a calamity. And after a short silence the Eajal 
spoke again and told them, — that the great spirit had com- 
manded that twelve sacred krisses should be made, anc 
that to make them every village and every district mus' 
send a bundle of needles — a needle for every head in th< 
villaga And when any grievous disease appeared in an] 
village, one of- the sacred krisses should be sent there 
and if every house in that village had sent the righ 
number of needles, the disease would immediately cease 
but if the number of needles sent had not been exact 
the kris woxild have no virtxie. 

So the princes and chiefs sent to all their villages anc 
communicated the wonderful news ; and all made hast 
to collect the needles with the greatest accuracy, for the; 
feared that if but one were wanting the whole villag 
\*'ould suffer. So one by one the head men of the village 
brought in their bundles of needles ; those who were nea 

crup.xiLj TAKING A CESSUS. 183 

Uatuiam came first, and those who were far off came last ; 
ud the Bajah received them with his own hands, and put 
tiem away carefully in an inner 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 
^t in its bundle^ the Eajah divided the needles into 
twelve equal parts, and ordered the best steel-worker in 
Mataram to brincj his forge and his bellows and his 
nanimers to the palace, and to make the twelve krisses 
nnder the Eajah's eye, and in the sight of all men who 
chose to see it. And when they were finished, they were 
wrapped up in new silk and put away carefully until 
ftey 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 
l^rvest, and the chiefs of districts and of villages brought 
^ their tax to the Eajah according to the number of 
heads in their villages. And to those that wanted but 
little of the full amount, the Eajah said nothing ; but 
^hen those came who brought only half or a fourth part 
^ what was strictly due, he said to them mildly, " The 
^^^es which you sent from your village were many more 
tnau came from such-a-one's village, yet your tribute is 
^ than his ; go back and see who it is that has not 
paid the tax." And the next year the produce of the tax 
?^cieased greatly, for they feared that the Eajah might 
J^tly kill those who a second time kept back the right 
^l>ute. And so the Eajah became very rich, and increased 
the number of his soldiers, and gave golden jewels to his 
^yes, and bought fine black horses from the white- 
skinned Hollanders, and made great feasts when his 
^dren were bom or were married; and none of the 
^jahs or Sultans among the Malays were so great or so 
powerful as the Eajah of Lombock. 

And the twelve sacred krisses had great virtue. And 
when any sickness appeared in a village one of them was 

184 TIMOR. LCHAP. J[11L 

sent for ; and sometimes the sickness went away^ and then 
the sacred kris was taken back again with great honoor, 
and the head men of the village came to tell the Bajah 
of its miraculous power, and to thank him. And some- 
times the sickness would not go away; and then everybody 
was convinced that there had been a mistake in the 
number of needles sent from that village, 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 honour, — for was not the fault their own ? 



(OOTTPANQ, 1857—1859. DELLI, 18^1.) 

THE island of Timor is about three hundred miles long 
and sixty wide, and 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 aU 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 formerly 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 1869, when I stayed a fortnight in the same 
neighbourhood. In the spring of 1861 I spent four 
months at Delli, the capital of me Portuguese possessions 
in the eastern part of the island. 


The whole neighboxirhood of Coupang appears to have 
been elevated at a recent epoch, consisting of a rugged 
sorfiEu^ of coral rock, which rises in a vertical waU between 
the beach and the town, whose low white red-tiled houses 
give it an appearance very similar to other Dutch settle- 
ments in the East. The vegetation is everywhere scanty 
and scrubby. Plants of the families Apocynaceas and 
EnphorbiacesB abound; but there is nothing that can be 
called a forest, end the whole coimtry has a parched and 
desolate appearance, contrasting strongly with the lofty 
forest trees and perennial verdure of tiie Moluccas or of 
Singapore. The most conspicuous feature of the vegetation 
was the abundance of fine fan-leaved palms (Borassus 
flabelliformis), from the leaves of which are constructed 
the strong and durable water-buckets in general use, and 
Birhich are much superior to those formed fix>m any other 
species of palm. From the same tree, palm-wine and sugar 
ure made, and the common thatch for houses formed of the 
.eaves lasts six or seven years without removal Close 
"JO the town I noticed the foundation of a ruined house 
Delow 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 
"^ell as Australian ships often come here for stores and 
"^ater. The native Timorese preponderate, and a very 
little examination serves to show that they have nothing 
^ common with Malays, but are much more closely allied 
^ the true Papuans of the Am Islands and New Guinea. 
^*^y are tall, have pronounced features, large somewhat 
l^uiline noses, and frizzly hair, and are generally of a 
'^^ky brown colour. The way in which the women talk 
^ each other and to the men, their loud voices and 
^^fihter, and general character of self-assertion, would 
'^^able an experienced observer to decide, even without 
^^^ing them, that they were not Malays. 

Itr. Amdt, a Germcm and the Government doctor, 
^vited me to stay at his house while in Coupang, and I 

186 TIMOR. [chap, xiit 

glcuUy accepted 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 afterwards 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 neighbourhood of the town, 1 
foamd such a poverty of insects and birds that 1 deter- 
mined to go for a few days to the island of Semao at the 
western extremity of Timor, where I heard that there was 
forest country with birds not found at Coupang. With 
some difficulty I obtained a large dug-out boat with out- 
riggers, to take me over, a distance of about twenty miles. 
I found the country pretty well wooded, but covered with 
shrubs and thorny bushes rather than forest trees, and 
everywhere excessively parched and dried up by the long- 
continued dry season. I stayed at the village 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 roimd 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 vegetation 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 crystal, 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 dif- 
ferent 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 hsdr and of a coppery brown colour. 
The better class appear to have a mixture of some suDeriot 


race which has much improved their features. I saw in 
Ckmpang some chiefs from the island of Savu further west^ 
vrho presented characters very distinct from either the 
Malay or Papuan races. They most resembled Hindoos, 
having fine well-formed features and straight thin noses 
with clear brown complexions. As the Brahminical 
religion once spread over aU Java, and even now exists in 
Bali and Lombock, it is not at all improbable that some 
natives of India should have reached this island, either 
by accident or to escape persecution, and formed a per- 
manent settlement there. 

I stayed at Oe&ssa four days, when, not finding any 

insects and very few new birds, I returned to Coxipang to 

fi.wait the next mail steamer. On the way I had a narrow 

escape of being swamped. The deep coffin-like boat was 

filled up with my baggage, and with vegetables cocoa-nuts 

^nd other fruit for Coupang market, and when we had got 

^ame way across m\jo a rather rough sea, we found that a 

c^oantity of water was coming in which we had no means 

of haling out. This caused us to sink deeper in the water, 

^md then we shipped seas over our sides, and the rowers 

'vrho had before declared it was nothing now became alarmed, 

^ind turned the boat round to get back to the coast of 

SBemao, which was not far off. By clearing aw ay some of 

^he baggage a little of the water could be baled out, but 

hardly so fast as it came in, and when we neared the coast 

"^e found nothing but vertical walls of rock against which 

^he sea was violently beating. We coasted along some 

^istcmce till we foimd a little cove, into which we ran the 

lx)at, hauled it on shore, and empt3dng it found a large 

lole in the bottom, which had been temporarily stopped 

Tip with a plug of cocoa-nut which had come out. Had we 

l)een a quarter of a mile further off 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 

neady being swamped a second time, which made me vow 

never to trust mvself aji^ain in such small and miserable 


188 TIMOR. [chap. xixi. 

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 five 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 vulne- 
ratus), allied to an Australian species, and a green species 
of the genus Geoflfroyus. The TYopidorhynchus timorensis 
was as ubiquitous and as noisy as I had found it at 
Lombock; and the Sphsecothera viridis, a curious green 
oriole, witJi bare red orbits, was a great acquisition. There 
were several pretty finches, warblers, and flycatchers, and 
among them I obtained the elegant blue and red Cyomis 
hyacinthina; but I cannot recognise among my collections 
tibe 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 always repeated all his notes twice, one after the 
other, beginning high and shriU arid 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 abundant 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 i^atives, 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 pos- 
sessions in Timor, on January 12, 1861, and was kindly 
received by Captain Hart, an Englishman and an old resi- 
dent, who trades in the produce of the countiy and culti- 
vates coffee on an estate at the foot of the hiUs. With 
him I was introduced to Mr. G^ach, a mining-engineei 
who had been for two years endeavouring to discovei 
copper in sufficient quantity 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 enclosure; and the 

ILP. xni.] BARE INSECTS, 189 

stom-hoxuse and church are built of the same mean 
iterials, with no attempt at decoration or even neatnesa 
e whole aspect of the place is that of a poor native town, 
d there is no sign of cultivation or civilization round 
Dut it His Excellency the (jovemor's house is the only 
e that makes any pretensions to appearance, and that 
merely a low whitewashed cottage or bungalow. Yet 
BTe is one thing in which civilization exhibits itsell 
ficials in black and white European costume, and officers 

gorgeous uniforms, abound in a degree quite dispro- 
rtionate to the size or appearance of the place. 
The town being surrounded for some distance by swamps 
d mud-flats is very unhealthy, and a single night often 
ires a fever to new-comers which not unfrequently proves 
oiL To avoid this malaria, Captain Hart always slept 

his plantation, on a slight elevation about two miles 
>in the town ; where Mr. Greach also had a small house, 
lich he kindly invited me to share. We rode there in 
e evening ; and in the course of two days my baggage 
18 brought up, and I was able to look about me and see 
I could do any collecting. 

For the first few weeks I was very unwell and could not 
* bx from the house. The country was covered with low 
iny shrubs and acacias, except in a little valley where 
stream came down from the hills, where some fine trees 
id bushes shaded the water and formed a very pleasant 
ace to ramble up. There were plenty of birds about, and 

a tolerable variety of species ; but very few of them 
ere gaily coloured. Indeed, with one or two exceptions, 
e birds of this tropical island were hardly so ornamental 

those of Great Britain. Beetles were so scarce that a 
fleeter might fairly say there were none, as the few 
iscure or uninteresting species would not repay him for 
e search. The only insects at aU remarkable or inter- 
ting were the butterflies, which, though comparatively 
w in species, were sufficiently abundant, and comprised 
laige proportion of new or rare sorts. The banks of the 
»am formed my best coUecting-ground, and I daily wan- 
red up and down its shady bed, which about a mile up 
came rocky and precipitous. Here I obtained the rare 
d beautiful swaUow-tail butterflies, Papilio asnomaus 

190 TIMOR. [chap. xiiL 

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 un- 
distinguishable on the wing, aud to an uneducated eye 
equally so in the cabinet. Several other beautiful butter- 
flies 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 Lom- 
bock and at Coupang, while others were new to me. 

Early in February we made arrangements to stay for a 
week at a village called BaUba, situated about four miles 
off on the mountains, at an elevation of 2,000 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 than six or seven miles, we were half a day 
getting there. The roads were mere tracks, sometimes up 
steep rocky stairs, 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 Eucaljrpti. 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 fe^ 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 enclosed portion served us for a sleeping 
apartment We had a splendid view down upon JDelli 
and the sea beyond. The country round was undulating 
and open, except in the hollows, where there were some 


patches of forest, which Mr. Gteach, 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 mists 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, Trichoglossus euteles. 
I got a few more of these at the blossoms of the Eucalypti, 
and also the allied species Trichoglossus iris, and a iiew 
other small but interesting birds. The common jungle- 
cock of India (Gallus banMva) was found here, and fur- 
nished us with some excellent meals ; but we could get no 
deer. Potatoes 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 Belli are 
continually 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 situations might be found on a lower level at 
half an hour's distance. The fact that potatoes and wheat 
of excellent quality are grown in abundance at from 3,000 
to 3,500 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 all the 
vaiied products which require climates between those of 
cofifee 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 
eleivation. The grain is of excellent quality, the bread 
made fix>m it being equal to any I have ever tasted ; and 

192 TIMOR. [CHAF. Xllt^ ^ 

it is xmiversally acknowledged to be unsurpassed by an 
made from imported European or American flour. Thi 
fact that the natives have (quite of their own accord] 
taken to cultivating such foreign articles as wheat an< 
potatoes, which they bring in small quantities on th 
backs of ponies by the most horrible mountain tracks, an< 
sell very cheaply at the seaside, sufficiently indicates whai 
might be done, if good roads were made, and if the 
were taught, encouraged, and protected. Sheep also d 
well on tiie mountains ; and a breed of hardy ponies 
much repute all over the Archipelago, runs half wild ; s 
that it appears as if this island, so barren-looking an 
devoid of the usutJ features of tropical vegetation, 
yet especially adapted to supply a variety of produe 
essential to Europeans, which the other islands will no 
produce, and which they accordingly import £rom tin 
other side of the globe. 

On the 24th of February my friend Mr. (reach 
Timor, having finally reported that no minerals wortl^-' 
working were to be found. The Portuguese were veiy^^ 
much annoyed, having made up their minds that copper ia/^ 
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 in the bed of a ravine, and 
many years ago a captain of a vessel is said to have goir 
some hundreds-weight of it. Now, however, it is evidently" 
very scarce, as during the two years Mr. Greach resided in. 
the coimtry, none was found. I was shown one piece 
several pounds* weight, having much the appearance 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 copper, 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 w^aste of time and money to have any exploration made 


rst ; and accordingly sent to England for a mining- 
ogineer, who was to bring out all necessary tools, 
lacMnery, laboratory, utensils, a number of mechanics, 
ad stores of all kinds for two years, in order to com- 
lence work on a copper-mine which he was told was 
jeady discovered. On reaching Singapore a ship was 
eighted to take the men and stores to Timor, where they 
; length arrived after much delay, a long voyage, and 
^ry great expense. 

A day was then fixed to " open the mines." Captain 

[art accompanied Mr. Greach as interpreter. The Governor, 

le Commandante, the Judge, and all the chief people of 

le place, went in state to the mountain, with Mr. Geach*s 

^sistant and some of i^he workmen. As they went up the 

alley Mr. Greach examined the rocks, but saw no signs of 

>pper. They went on and on, but stUl nothing except a 

5W mere traces of very poor ore. At length they stood on 

le copper mountain itself The Governor stopped, the 

E&cials formed a circle, and he then addressed them, 

lying, — ^that at length the day had arrived they had all 

een so long expecting, when the treasures of the soU of 

imor would be brought to light, — and much more in very 

randUoquent Portuguese ; and concluded by turning to 

It. Greach, and requesting him to point- out the best spot 

DT them to begin work at once, and uncover the mass of 

digin copper. As the ravines and precipices among which 

hey had passed, and which had been carefully examined, 

«vealed very clearly the nature and mineral constitution 

rf the country, Mr. Geach simply told them that there was 

aot a trace of copper there, and that it was perfectly 

useless to begin work. The audience were thunderstruck ! 

The Governor colild not believe his ears. At length, when 

^. Geach had repeated his statement, the Governor told 

^ severely that he was mistaken ; that they all knew 

there was copper there in abundance, and all they wanted 

*^ to tell them, as a mining-engineer, was how lest to get 

^it; and that at all events he T^as to begin work some- 

^^ere. This Mr. Geach refused to do, trying to explain, 

tbat the ravines had cut far deeper into the hill than he 

co^d do in years, and that he would not throw away 

money or time on any such useless attempt. After this 


194 TIMOR, [chap. xiiL 

speech had been interpreted 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 copper, 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 allowed to travel about, and for more than a year 
he and his assistant explored the eastern part of Timor, 
crossing it in several places from sea to sea, and ascending 
every important valley, 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 labour and materials to import, it would have been 
a losing concern. Gold also occurs, but very sparingly and 
of poor quality. A fine spring of pure petroleum was dis- 
covered far in the interior, where it can never be available 
tUl the country is civilized. The whole affair was a 
dreadful disappointment to the Portuguese Government, 
who had considered it such a certain thing that they had 
contracted for the Dutch mail steamers to stop at Delli ; 
and several vessels from Australia were induced to come 
with miscellaneous cargoes, for which 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 coimtry 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 reaUy 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 widiout 

The mountaineers of Timor are a people of Papuan type^ 
having rather slender forms, bushy frizzled hair, and Qie 

CHAP, rtii.] NATIVE RAVES. 195 

Bbiii of a dusky brown colour. They have the long nose 
with overhanging apex which is sn characteristic of the 
Papuan, and so absolutely unknown among races of 
Malayan origin. On the coast there has been much admix- 
ture of some of the Malay races, and perhaps of Hindoo, as 


well as of Portuguese. The general stature there is lower, 
tlie hair wavy instead of frizzled, and the features less 
promineat. The houses are built on the ground, while the 
moantaiiieeis raise theirs on posts three or four feet high, 

196 TIMOR. [chap. xiu. 

The common dress is a long cloth, twisted round the waist 
and hanging to the knee, as shown in the illustration 
(page 195), copied from a photograpL Both men cany 
the national umbrella, made of an entire fan-shaped palm 
leaf, carefully stitched at the fold of each leaflet to prevent 
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 comers of which 
are connected by cords, and often much ornamented with 
beads and tassela 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 re- 
spected. It is used on the commonest occasions, and a 
few palm leaves stuck outside a garden as a sign of the 
"pomali" will preserve its produce from thieves as 
effectually as the threatening notice of man-traps, spring 
gims, or a savage dog, would 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 remains till the relatives 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 op- 
portimity of kidnapping unprotected people of other tribes 
for slaves; but Europeans may pass anywhere through 
the coimtry in safety. Except a few half-breeds in the 
town, there are no native Christians in the island of Timor. 
The people retain their independence in a great measure, 
and both dislike and despise their woidd-be rulers, wheth^ 
Portuguese or Dutch. 

The Portuguese government in Timor is a most miserable 
one. Nobody seems to care the least about the improve- 
ment 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 Europeaa 
resident anywhere 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 de- 
fensible should the Timorese attempt to attack it So 
ignoramt 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 iU ! and 
they were allowed to get possession of an important 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 

In its present state Timor is more trouble than profit to 
its Dutch and Portuguese rulers, and it will continue to 
be so unless a different system is pursued. A few good 
roads into the elevated districts of the interior; a con- 
ciliatory policy and strict justice towards the natives, and 
the introduction of a good system of cultivation as in 
Java and l^orthem Celebes, might yet make Timor a 
productive and valuable island. Bice 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 
£resh 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 could be ^cheaply transported to the coast Under such 
a system the natives would soon perceive that European 
government was advantageous to them. They would begin 
to save money, and property being rendered secure they 
would rapidly acquire new wants and new tastes, and 

198 TIMOR, [crap, xii^ 

become large consumers of European goods. Thk woxilc::! 
be a far sui'er source of profit to their rulers than im — 
posts and extortion, and would be at the same time mor^ 
likely to produce peace and obedience, than the mock — 
military rule which has hitherto proved most ineffective — 
To inaugurate such a system would however require 
immediate outlay of capital, which neither Dutch noi 
Portuguese seem inclined to make, — and a number o: 
honest and energetic ofiScials, which the latter nation 
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 mis- 

Morality at Delli is at as low an ebb as in the far interior 
of Brazil, and crimes are connived at which would entail 
infamy and criminal prosecution in Europe. While I was 
there it was generally asserted and believed in the place, 
that two officers 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 question being low half- 
castes, who of course ought to make way for the pleasures 
of their superioi*s. 

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 eveiy- 
where covered with scrubby Eucalypti, which only occa- 
sionally grow into lofty forest trees. Mingled with these 
in smaller quantities are acacias and the Iragrant sandal- 
wood, while the higher mountains, which rise to about six 
or seven thousand feet, are either covered with coarse grass 
or are altogether barren. In the lower grounds biq 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 superba, winding among 
the bushes, and displaying its magnificent blossoms in 
great profusion. A wild vine also occurs, bearing great 
irregular bunches of hairy grapes of a coarse but very 
luscious flavour. In some of the valleys where the 

CHAP, xni.] SOIL /7-7;/;r//'/ry,v. [\)[) 

vegetation is richer, thorny shrubs and climbers ai'e so 
abundant as to make the thickets quite impenetrable. 

The soil seems very poor, consisting chiefly of decom- 
posing clayey shales ; and the bai-e earth and rock is almost 
everywhere 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 ; everything 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 
ihere 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 
m the mountains of Timor and many of the other islands 
in the far East. The wood is of a fine yellow colour, and 
possesses a well-known delightful fragrance which is won- 
derfully permanent It is brought down to Delli in small 
logs, and is chiefly exported to China, where it is largely 
used to bum in the temples, and in the houses of the 

The bees'-wax is a still more important and valuable 
product, formed by the wild bees (Apis dorsata), which 
build huge honeycombs, suspended in the open air from 
the nnder-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 
lookiDg 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 direc- 
tionSy .wMch showed that it was very tough and stringy. 
He then wrapped it in palm-leaves, which were secured 

200 TIMOR, [chap, xiii^ - 

by twisting a slender creeper round them. He then.^ 
fastened his cloth tightly round his loins, and producing "3 
another cloth wrapp^ it round 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-knife 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 roimd 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 irregularities 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 groimd ; and I kept 
wondering how he could possibly mount the next few feet 
of straight smooth trunk. Still, however, he kept on with 
as much coolness and apparent certainty as if he were 
going up a ladder, till he got within ten or fifteen feet of 
the bees. Then he stopped a moment, and took care to 
swing the torch (which hung just at his feet) a little 
towards 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 Umb and, 
in a manner quite unintelligible to me, seeing that both 
hands were occupied 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 towards the nearest 
comb and swung the torch just under it. The moment 
the smoke touched it, its colour changed in a most curious 


manner from black to white, the myriads of bees that had 
covered it flying off 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 de- 
liberately, was more than I could understand. The bees 
were evidently not stupified 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 
became rather numerous below, flying about wildly and 
stinging viciously. Several got about me, and I was 
soon stung, and had to nm 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 perhaps 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- 

202 NATURAL HISTORY [chap. xit. — 



IF we look at a map of the Archipelago, nothing seems 
more unlikely than that the closely coonected chain of 
islands from Java to Timor should dififer materially in their 
natural productions. There are, it is true, certain diflfer- 
ences of climate and of physical geography, but these do 
not correspond with the division the natiuulist is obliged t6 
make. Between 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 portion of that island having as strongly marked 
seasons as Lombock and Timor. There is also a difference 
in physical geography ; but this occurs at the eastern ter- 
mination of the chain, where the volcanoes which are the 
marked feature of Java, Bali, Lombock, Sumbawa, and 
Flores, turn northwards through Gunong Api to Baiida, 
leaving Timor with only one volcanic peak near its centre ; 
while the main portion of the island consists of old sedi- 
mentary rocks. Neither of these physical differences cor- 
responds with the remarkable change in natural produc- 
tions which occurs at the Straits of Lombock, separating 
the island of that name from Bali ; and which is at once 
80 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 foxmd in it which does not in- 
habit the larger island. During the few days which I 
stayed on the north coast of Bali on my way to Lombock, 
I saw several birds highly characteristic of Javan orni- 
thology. Among these were the yellow-headed weaver 

CHAP, xiv.j OF Tin: TIMOR niiorv. :203 

(Ploceus hypoxautluisj, the black grasshopper thrush 
(Copsychus amoenus), the rosy barbet (Megalsema rosea), 
the Malay oriole (Oriolua horsfieldi), the Java ground 
starling (Stumopastor 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 dififerent set 
of species, most of which were utterly imknown not only in 
Java, but also in Borneo, Sumatra, and Malacca. For ex- 
ample, among the commonest birds in Lombock were white 
cockatoos and three species of Meliphagid.'B 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 dis- 
tinctness firam 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. Besides my own collections in Lom- 
bock 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 Australia 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 king« 
fishers, swallows, and a few others), which range so widety 

204 NATURAL HISTORY, [ohap. xiv. 

over a large part of the 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. 
Floras . 12 „ 7 „ 6 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 extensive 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 proportion of Australian forms and de- 
creased proportion of Indian forms, as we go from west to 
east. We shall show this in a yet more striking manner 
by counting the number of species identical with those of 
Java and Australia respectively in each island, thus : 

In Lombock. In Flores. In Timor. 
Javan birds ... 88 . 23 II 

Australian birds . . 4 5 10 

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 offers 
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 

^ The names of all the birds inhabiting these islands are to be found 
in the "Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London'* for the Teor 


eparates Australia from Timor. But this would be a hasty 
ind^ as we shall soon see, an unwarranted supposition, 
besides these birds identical with species inhabiting Java 
Old Australia, there ar^ a considerable number of others 
'ery closely allied to species peculiar to those countries, 
nd we must take these also into account before we form 
ny conclusion on the matter. It will be as well to com- 
bine these with the former table thus : 

In Lombock. In Flores. In Timor* 

Javan birds 38 23 11 

Closely allied to Javan birds . . 1 5 6 

Total 84 28 17 

Australian birds 4 5 10 

Closely allied to Australian birds .3 9 26 

Total 7 14 36 


We now see that the total number of birds which seem 
o have been derived from Java and Australia is very 
learly equal, but there is this remarkable difference be- 
ween the two series : that whereas the larger proportion 
>y far of the Java set are identical with those still inhabit- 
ng that country, an almost equally large proportion of the 
Australian set are distinct, though often very closely allied 
pecies. It is to be observed also, that these representative 
»r allied species diminish in number as they recede from 
Australia, while they increase in number as they recede 
irom Java. There are two reasons for this, one being that 
he islands decrease rapidly in size from Timor to Lom- 
>ock, and can therefore support a decreasing number of 
pecies ; the other and the more important is, that the dis- 
ance of Australia from Timor cuts off the supply of fresh 
mmigrants, and has thus allowed variation to have full 
>lay; while the vicinity of Lombock to Bali and Java 
las allowed a continual influx of fresh individuals which, 
ny crossing with the earlier immigrants, has checked 

To simplify our view of the derivative origin of the 
»ird8 of these islands let us treat them as a whole, and 
hufl perhaps render more intelligible their respective rela- 
ions to Java and Australia. 


The Timor group of islands contains : — 

[CflAi*. XIV.^' 

Javan birds 36 

Closely allied species . . 11 

Derived from Java . 47 

Australian birds ... 18 
Closely allied species . . 35 

Doriyed from Australia . 48 

We have here a wonderful agreement in the number of 
birds belonging to Australian and Javanese groups, but 
they are divided in exactly a reverse manner, three-fourths 
of the Javan birds being identical species and one-fourth 
representatives, while only one-fourth of the Australian 
forms are identical and three-fourths representatives. This 
is the most important fact which we can elicit from a 
study of the birds of these islands, since it gives us a very 
complete clue 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 tak^n place, 
nie 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 
district was first peopled from Australia. But, for this to 
have been the case, the physical conditions must have been 
very different from what they are now. Nearly three 
hundred miles of open sea now separate Australia fix)m 
Timor, which island is connected with Java by a chain of 
broken land divided by straits which are nowhere more 
than about twenty 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 cdl 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 North Australia, which probably 
once extended as far as the edge of this bank, between 
which and Timor there is an unlathomed depth of oceaiL 
I do not think that Timor was ever actually coimected 

cHAr. xiv.J OF THE TIMOR GROIT. tli)7 

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 Timor ; 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 (Calyptorhynchus), the blue wrens (Malurus), the 
crowshrikes (Cracticus), the Australian shrikes (Falcun- 
cuius and Colluricincla), and many others, which abound 
all over Australia, woidd certainly have spread into Timor 
if it had been united to that country, or even if for any 
long time it had approached nearer to it than twenty 
miles. Neither do any of the most characteristiC|groups 
of Australian insects occur in Timor ; so that evCTything 
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 equality in the numbers of identical and representa- 
tive species derived from each extremity. It is true that 
the widening of the strait at the Australian end by sub- 
sidence, woidd, by putting a stop to immigration and inter- 
crossing of individuals 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 character of the faima 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 want- 
ing. 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 

208 NATURAL HISTORY \cbai\ xx< 

forms than the other islands, would point them out as of 
comparatively recent origin. A wide arm of the sea pro- 
bably 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 woidd be 
sinking beneath the ocean. Some such changes as have 
been here indicated, enable us to understand hew it 
happens, that 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 extend through Java to Bali, should 
not have transmitted a single representative to the islands 
further east. 

The MammaUa of Timor as well as those of the other 
islands of the group are exceedingly scanty, with the 
exception of bats. These last are tolerably abimdant, and 
no doubt many more remain to be discovered. Out of 
fifteen species known from Timor, nine are foimd also in 
Java, or the islands west of it ; three are Moluccan spe- 
cies, 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 conveyed from island to island on trees carried 
down by floods. 2. Paradoxurus f asciatus ; a civet cat, 
very common over a large part of the Archipelago. 
3. Felismegalotis; a tiger cat, said to be peculiar to Timor, 
where it exists only in the interior, and is very rara Its 
neare&t allies are in Java. 4 Cervus timoriensis ; a deer, 
closely allied to the Javan and Moluccan species, if dis^ 
tinct. 6. A wild pig, Sus timoriensis ; perhaps the same 
as some of the Moluccan species. 6. A shrew mouse, Sorex 
tenuis ; supposed to be peculiar to Timor. 7. An Eastern 
opossum, Cuscus orientalis; foimd 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 
marsupial 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 thou- 
sands of years, these islands and the seas between them 
have been subjected to volcanic action. The land has 
been raised and has 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 
improbabla that once in a thousand, or ten thousand years, 
thei-e should have occurred such a favourable 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 frag- 
mentary group of Mammalia which now inhabit the large 
island of Timor. The deer may very probably 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 countiy so different in climate and vegetation 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 
domesticated animals as the cattle on a South American 

I have dwelt at some length on the origin of the 
Timorese fauna, because it appears to me a most interest- 
ing and instructive 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 furnish such decisive evidence, of the time, and 
the manner, and the proportions of their introduction. 
We have here a group of Oceanic Islands in miniature— 


210 NATURAL HISTORY Lchap. xit 

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 
sliglitly 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 mammals, and the presence of only a few strag- 
glers from the west, which can be accounted for in the 
manner already indicated. Bats are tolerably abundant 
Birds have many peculiar species, with a decided relation- 
ship to those of the two nearest masses of land. The 
insects have similar relations with the birds. As an ex- 
ample, four species of the Papilionidse are peculiar to 
Timor, three others are also found in Java, and one in 
Australia. Of the four peculiar species two are decided 
modifications 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 mainland, — 
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 posi- 
tive evidence that such has been the mode of peopling the 
islands. Their productions art of that miscellaneous cha- 
racter which we should expect from such an origin ; and 
to suppose that they have been portions of Australia or of 
Java will introduce perfectly gratuitous difficulties, and 
render it quite impossible to explain those curious rela- 
tions 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 charact^ of most of the islands, 
all point to an independent origin. 

Before concluding, 1 must make one remark to avoid 
misapprehension. When I say that Timor has never 
formed part of Australia, I refer only to recent geological 
epochs. In Secondary or even Eocene or Miocene times, 
Timor and Australia may have been connected ; but if so, 
all record of such a imion has been lost by subsequent 
submergence; and in accounting for the present land- 
inhabitants of any coimtry we have only to consider these 
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. 



I LEFT Lombock on the 30th of August, and reached 
Macassar 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 per- 
petual haze over the land at this time of the year, I could 
nowhere discern the high central range of the peninsula^ 
or the celebrated peak of Bontyne at its southern ex- 
tremity. In the roadstead of Macassar there was a fine 
42-gun frigate, the guardship of the place, as well as a 
Bmidl war stesmer and three or four little cutters used for 
'CmiaiDg after the pirates which infest these seas. There 




212 CELEBES. [chap. xv. 

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 gentleman, Mr. Mesman, and also 
to a Danish shopkeeper, who could both speak English, 
and who promised to assist me in finding a place to 
stay at, suitable for my pui^suits. In the meantime, 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 regular 
tions. All European houses must be kept well white- 
washed, 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 sewers, into which the tide is admitted at 
high-water and allowed to flow out when it has ebbed, 
carrying all the sewage 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 merchants* offices and warehouses, and 
ths native shops or bazaars. This extends northwards for 
more than a mile, gradually 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 being generally backed by fruit 
trees. This street is usually thronged with a native popu- 
lation of Bugis and Macassar men, who wear cotton 
trousers about twelve inches long, covering only from the 
hip to half-way down the thigh, and the universal Malay 
sarong, of gay checked colours, 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 enclosed 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 of 
native huts and many country houses of the tradesmen 
and merchants. All ai*ound 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 verdure, and their barren appearance at this 
season offered 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 effect of a perpetual 

The day after my arrival I paid a visit of ceremony to 
the Governor, accompanied by my friend the Danish 
merchant, who spoke excellent English. His Excellency 
was very polite, and offered me every facility for travelling 
about the country and prosecuting my researches in 
natural history. 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 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 coimtry- 
house. It consisted of two rooms raised about seven feet 
above the ground, the lower part being partly open (and 
serving excellently 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 
further 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 lifa 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 Bajah 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 Kajah, to claim his protection, and permission to travel 
in his territories whenever I might wish to do so This 


214 CELEBES, [chap. xt. 

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 
accompanied me on my visit to the Eajah, with whom he 
was great friends. We found his Majesty seated out of 
doors, watching the erection of a new house. He was naked 
fix)m the waist up, wearing only the usual short trousers 
and sarong. Two chairs were brought out for us, but all 
the chiefs and other natives were seated on the ground. 
The messenger, squatting down at the Rajah's feet^ pro- 
duced 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 Bajah, 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. Permission was immediately 
granted me to go where I liked in the territories of Goa, 
but the Sajah desired, that should I wish to stay any time 
at a place I would first give him notice, in order that he 
might send some one to see that no injury was done me. 
Some wine was then brought us, and afterwards some 
detestable coffee and wretched sweetmeats, for it is a fact 
that I have never tasted good coffee where people grow it 

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 inconvenience, 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 ma 
Hardly was he gone than I fell ill myself, 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 morning he was 
pretty well, and then managed to cook me enough for tha 
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 roying 
life, having been several voyages to North 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 
saccharifera, from which wine and sugar are made, and 
which also produces a coarse black fibre used for cordage. 
That uec^sary of life, the bamboo, has also been abun- 
dantly planted. In such places I found a good many 
birds, among which were the fine cream-coloured pigeon, 
Carpophaga luctuosa, and the rare blue-headed roller, 
Coracias temmincki, which has a most discordant voice, 
and generally goes in pairs, fljring 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 charac- 
teristic 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 examin- 
ing their form and structure in detail. Thousands of 
crows^ rather smaller than our rook, keep up a constant 
cawing 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 l)rre-tailed drongo-shrike, with 
brilliant black plumage and milk-white eyes, continually 
deceives the naturalist by the variety of its unmelodious 

In the more shady parts butterflies were tolerably 


abundant ; the most common being species of Euplaea and 
Danais, which frequent gardens and shrubberies, and 
owing to their weak flight are easily captured A beautifal 
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 appearance. Both were quite new 
to European naturalists.^ Now and then I extended my 
walks some miles further, 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, taking our breakfast 
with us, and eating it wherever we could find shade and 
water. At such times my Macassar boys woidd 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 of the 
c(pot; for though nominal Mahometans the Macassar 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 digni- 
fied by the name of bazaars, which are scattered about 
the country wherever there is any traflBc. 

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 biixis. 
However, I resolved to explore it, and the next morning 
at five 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-bottle and determined to devote myself 

^ The former has been named Eronia tritsea ; the latter Tachyrii ithome. 


wholly to the insects. Scarcely had I entered the forest 
when I found some beautiful little green and gold speckled 
weevils allied to the genus 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 trodden by horses and 
cattle, and I quickly obtained some butterflies I had not 
before met with. Soon a couple of reports were heard, and 
coming up to my boys I found they had shot two speci- 
mens of one of the finest of known cuckoos, Phcenicophaus 
callirhynchus. This bird derives its name from its lerrge 
bill being coloured 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. 

^fter saimtering along for a couple of hours we reached 
a small river, so deep that horses could only cross it by 
swimming, so we had to turn tack ; but as we were getting 
hungry, and the water of the almost stagnant river was 
too muddy to drink, we went towards 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 beautifdl of 
butterflies. I trembled with excitement as I took the first 

218 CELEBES. Lgbap. xt. 

out of my net and found it to be in perfect condition. The 
ground colour 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 exti*eme 
interest, as I at first thought it was quite a new species. 
It proved however to be a variety of Omithoptera ramus, 
one of the rarest and most remarkable species of this 
highly esteemed group. I also obtained several other new 
and pretty buttertiies. When we arrived at our lodging- 
house, being particularly anxious about my insect treasm-es, 
I suspended the box from a bamboo on which I oould 
detect no sign of ants, and then began skinning some of 
my birds. During my work I often glanced at my precious 
box to see that no intruders had arrived, till after a longer 
spell of work than usual I looked again, and saw to my 
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 halt-hour 
would have seen my whole day's collection destroyed. 
As it was, I had to take every insect out, dean 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 
dean 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 indoors. As soon as I was well, I again 
went to Goa, accompanied by Mr. Mesman, to beg the 
Kajah's assistance 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. Near 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 fi-ont were ready to administer 
to her wants. The Bajah seated himself opposite 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, some 
the Rajah's daughters, others slaves, were standing about ; a 
few were working at frames making sarongs, but most of 
them were idle. 

And here I might (if I followed the example of most 
travellers) 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 weU 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 pro- 
fusely. But, alas ! regard for truth will not permit me 
to expatiate too admiringly on such topics, determined as 
I am to give as far as I can a true picture of the people 
and places I visit. The princesses were, it is true, sufl&- 
ciently good-looking, yet neither their persons nor their 
garments had that appearance of freshness and cleanli- 
ness without which no other charms can be contemplated 
with pleasure. Everything had a dingy and faded ap- 
pearance, very disagreeable and unroyal to a European 
eye. The only thing that excited some degree of admi- 
ration was the quiet and dignified manner of the Sajah, 
and the great respect always paid to him. None 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 literally, with these people, 
the place of honour and the sign of rank. So unbending 
are the rules in this respect, that when an English carriage 
which the Sajah of Lombock had sent for arrived, it was 
fbond impossible to use it because the driver^s seat was 
tlie highest, and it had to be kept as a show in its coach* 


house. On being told the object of my visit, the Eajali 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 afterwards I called on the Sajah, 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 instructions, 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 lived here, and in about half an hoar 
we started again, and another hour's walk brought us to 
the village where I was to be lodged. We went to the 
residence of the village chief, who conversed with my con- 
ductor 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 shooting in the 
forest. This seemed to puzzle them, and at length, in 
answer to questions, very poorly explained by one or two 
bystanders who knew a Uttle 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 Eajah 
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 Bajah had ordered, I should go back and 
complain 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, 80 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 

cnAP. xv.J J ''BITCH ±Z\ 

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 villaga The next 
morning we took our baggage on three pack-horses, and, 
after a few break-downs, arrived about noon at our des- 

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 ofc the house, but 
that the £ajah 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 woidd bring me shells and insects, of 
which I showed them specimens, they also might earn a 
good many coppers. After all this had been fully ex- 
plained to them, with a long talk and discussion between 
every sentence, I could see that I had made a favourable 
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 Tew speci- 
mens 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. I 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 anything. This con- 
vinced me that there was not a sufficient extent of forest 
in the neighbourhood 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 pro- 
duced excessive lassitude and disinclination to all exertion. 
In vain I endeavoured 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 occa- 
sionally to be found; and the rest of the day to wait 
quietly at home, and receive what beetles and shells my 
Uttle 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 inclosed mudhole where three buf- 
faloes were shut up every night, and the effluvia from 
which freely entered through the open bamboo floor, ify 
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 native cotton into sarongs. The weaving is done in 
the simplest kind of frame stretched on the floor, and is a 
very slow and tedious process. To form the checked 
pattern in common use, each patch of coloured threads has 
to be puUed up separately 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, lie men culti- 
vate a little sirih (the pungent pepper leaf used for chewing 
with betel-nut) and a few vegetables; and once a year 
rudely plough 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 

coAP. XT.J FEAR OF My SELF. 223 

than a few words of Malay, and hardly any of the people 
appeared to have seen a Euiopean 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 sud- 
denly upon a well where women were drawing water or 
children bathing, a sudden flight was the certain result ; 
which things occurring day after day, were very unpleasant 
to a person who does not like to be disliked, and who had 
never been accustomed to be treated as an ogre. 

About the middle of November, finding my health no 
better, and insects, birds, and shells all very scarce, I deter- 
mined to return to Mam^jam, and pack up my collections 
before the heavy rains commenced. The wind had already 
begnn to blow from the west, and many signs indicated 
that the rainy season might set in earlier than usual ; and 
then eveiything becomes very damp, and it is almost 
impossible to Sxj collections 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 
everything home safe. Few can imagine the luxury it was 


to stretcli myself on a sofa, and to take my supper com- 
fortably at table seated in my easy bamboo chair, after 
having for five weeks taken ail my meals imicomfortably 
on the floor. Such things are trifles in health, but when 
the body is weakened by disease the habits of a lifetime 
cannot be so easily set aside. 

My house, like aU 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 degree, 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 fastened 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 dis- 
covered 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 discover the true way is a mystery. This plan is, 
to build the house in the usual way, but instead of having 
all the principal 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 inquired 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 L "Oh," re- 
plied he, '' they prefer some like that in a house, because 
then it won't fall," evidently imputing the effect to somo 
occult property of crooked timber. A little consideration 
and a diagram will, however, show, that the effect imputed 



to the crooked post may be really produced by it A true 
square cbangea its figure readily into a rhomboid or obUqut) 
figure, but when one or two of the uprights are bent or 
sloping, and placed so as to oppose each other, the eOect of 
a stmt is produced, though in a rude and clumsy manner. 
Just before I had left Mamajam the people Imd sown a 
considerable quantity of maize, which appears above 
ground in two or three days, and in favourable seasons 
ripens in less than two months. Owing to a week's pre- 
mature rains the ground was all flooded when I returned, 
and the plants just coming into ear were yellow and dead. 
Not a grain would be obtained by the whole village, but 
lucidly it is only a luxury, not a necessary of life. The 

lain was the 8%nal for ploughii^ to begin, in order to sow 
rice on all the flat lands between ns and the town. The 
plough used is a rude wooden instrument with a very 
short single handle, a tolerably well-shaped coulter, and 
the ^int formed of a piece of hard palm-wood fastened 
in with wedges. One or two buff^oes draw it at a 
very slow pace. The seed is sown broadcast, and a rude 
wooden hsjrow is used to smooth the surface. 

£y the b^inning of December the regular wet season 
had set in. Westerly winds and driving rains sometimes 
contiDued for days . together ; the flelds for miles around 
were under water, and the ducks and buffaloes enjoyed 
themselves amazingly. All along the road to Macassar, 

226 CELEBES. [chap. xv. 

ploughmg was daily going on in the mud and water, 
through which the wooden plough easily makes its way, 
the ploughman holding the plough-handle with one hand 
while a long bamboo in the other serves to guide the 
buffaloes. These a;nimals require an immense deal of 
driving to get them on at ail; a continual shower of 
exclamations is kept up at them, and "Oh! ah I gee! 
ugh ! " are to be heard in various keys and in an uninter- 
rupted succession all day long. At night we were favoured 
with a different kind of concert. The dry ground around 
my house hcwi 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. Tn 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-bom 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 servants, slaves, or dependants. He usually 
rose before the sun, and after a cup of coffee looked after 
his servants, horses, and dogs, till seven, when a sub- 
stantial breakfast of rice and meat was ready in a cool 
verandah. 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 his affairs. 
His business was that of a coffee and opium merchant. 
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 tortoiseshelL About one he would return home, 
have coffee and cake or fried plantain, first changing his 
dress for a coloured cotton shirt and trousers 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 
generally 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 morn- 
ing, one of my greatest luxuries. Others had charge of 
the horses, wliich 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 direction 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 
waddle 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 neighbours. 

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

Ou 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 visiter 
another disfcrict to the north of Macassar, which will foi 
the subject of the next chapter. 



I BEACHED Macassar again on the 11th of July, and 
established 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, I 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, seveo 
months before, a flooded marsh being ploughed up for the 
rice-sowiog. The rains had continued for five months, yet 
now all the rice was cut, and dry and dusty stubbles 
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 ofTered to find me house-room and give me assist- 
ance should I feel inclined to visit him. I accordingly 
obtained a pass from the Eesident, and having hired a 
boat set ofT 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 Gorman doctor, 
and I had to make shift with two new servants utterly 
ignorant of everything. 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 Basident, and applied for ten men to 

CHAP. ZVI.l MaROS. •>•>() 

carry my baggage, aud a Lorsu lor my sell'. These were 
promised to be ready that night, so that 1 could start as 
soon as I liked in the morning. Alter 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 morning. It took some time to divide my 
l>aggage fairly among them, as they aU wanted to shirk 
the heavy boxes, and would seize hold of some light 
article and march off with it, till made to come back and 
i^ait till the whole had been fairly apportioned. At length 
about eight o'clock all was an'anged, and we started for 
our walk to Mr. M.'s farm. 

The country was at first a uniform plain of burnt-up 
Tice-grounds, but at a few miles' distance precipitous hilLi 
appeared, backed by the lofty central range of the penin- 
sula. Towards these our path lay, and after having 
£one six or eight miles the hills began to advance into 
tiie plain right and left of us, and tlie ground became 
3>ierced here and there with blocks aud pillars of lime- 
stone rock, while a few abrupt conical hills and peaks rose 
Jike 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 vdley almost entirely 
surrounded by mountains, risiug abruptly in huge preci- 
pices, and forming a succession of knolls and peaks and 
domes of the most varied and fantastic shapes. In the 
very centre of the vaUey was a large bamboo house, 
while scattered around were a dozen cottages of the same 

I was kindly received by Mr. Jacob Mesman in an airy 
saloon 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 shoidd 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 dreadfuUy hot in the after- 
noon, 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 mUe off, at the foot of a forest-covered hill. 




where in a few days Mr. M. built for me a nice little 
honae, consisting of a good-sized enclosed verandah oi open 
room, aud a small Inner sleeping-room, with a little cook- 
house outside. Ab 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 linderwood, consisting of lai^e trees, widely scattered 
with a great quantity of palin-trees (Arenga saccharifera), 
from which palm wine and sugar are made. There were 
also great numbers of a wild Jack-&uit tree (Artocarpiu), 

CHAP, xvl] (ui Min' Lii'K. ii:u 

Avhich 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 
2fovember; the little rocky streams were all dry, and 
scarcely a drop of water or even a damp place was any- 
where to be seen. About fifty yards below my house, at 
the foot of the lull, was a deep hole in a watercourse 
M^here good water was to be had, and where I went daily 
to bathe, by having buckets of water taken out and pour- 
ing it over my body. 

My host Mr. M. enjoyed a thoroughly coimtry life, de- 
pendiing almost entirely on his gun and dogs to supply 
his table. Wild pigs of large size werQ very plentiful 
aud be generally got one or two a week, besides deer 
occasionally, and abundnnce of jungle-fowl, hombills, and 
Igreat fruit pigeons. His buffaloes supplied plenty of milk, 
from which he made his own butter; he grew his own 
lAce and coifee, and had ducks, fowls, and their eggs in pro- 
fusioiL His palm-trees supplied liim all the year round 
with '' sagueir," which takes the place of beer ; and the 
£ugar made from them is an excellent sweetmeat. All 
the fine tropical vegetables and fruits were abundant in 
their season, and his cigars were made from tobacco of his 
own raising. He kindly sent me a bamboo of bufifalo- 
milk every morning; it was as thick as cream, and re- 
quired diluting with water to keep it fluid during the day. 
It mixes very well with tea and coffee, although it has 
a slight peculiar flavour, which after a time is not dis- 
agreeable. 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 bufi'alo 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 vegetables 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 pre- 
cipitous as to be quite inaccessible. These circumstances^ 
combined with the excessive drought, were very unfavour- 
able for my pursuits. Birds were scarce, and I got but 

232 CELEBS [chap. 

few new to me. Insects were tolerably plentiful^ b 
unequal Beetles, usually so numerous and interesting^ 
were exceedingly scarce, some of the families being quit- 
absent and others only represented by very minute 
The Flies and Bees, on the other hand, were abundant^ aji 
of these I daily obtained new and interesting speci 
The rare and beautiful Butterflies of Celebes were th 
chief object of my search, and I found many speciejs 
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. Thi*ee species of 
Omithoptera, measuring seven or eight inches across the 
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. maoedon, 
and the rare little swallow-tail Papilio rhesus, of all of 
which, though very active, I succeeded in capturing fine 
series of specimens. 

I have rarely enjoyed myself more than during my 
residence here. As I sat taking my cofifee at six in the 
morning, rare birds would often be seen pn 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 hombills of Celebes (Buceros cassidix) would 
often come with loud-flapping wings, and perch upon a 
lofty tree just in front of me ; and the black baboon- 
monkeys, Cynopithecus nigrescens, often stared down in 
astonishment at such an intrusion into their domains; 
while at night herds of wild pigs roamed about the bouse, 
devouring refuse, and obliging us to put away everything 
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 


Tillages or at a distance from the forest are inevitably 
wasted. Where the sugar-palms were dripping with sap, 
flics congregated in immense numbers, and it was by 
spending h^f an hour at these when I had the time to 
spare, that I obtained the finest and most remarkable 
collection of this group of insects that I have ever made. 

Then what delightful hours I passed wandering up and 
dovm the dry river-courses, full of water-holes and rocks 
and fallen trees, and overshadowed by magnificent vege- 
tation! 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 produca At one 
place I would find a little 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 Omithoptera at rest 
and an easy prey. At certain rotten trunks I was sure to 
get the curious little tiger beetle, Therates flavilabria 
In the denser thickets I would capture the small metal- 
lic blue butterflies (Amblypodia) sitting on the leaves^ 
as well as some rare and beautiful leaf-beetles of the 
fjEtmilies Hispid^e 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 mom- 
ing^s search at these often produced me a score of species, 
— Staphylinidse, Nitidulidae, Onthopbagi, and minute Cara- 
bid» being the most abundant. Now and then the 
" sagueir " makers brought me a fine rosechafer (Stemoplus 
schaumii) which they found licking up the sweet sap. 
Almost the only new birds I met with for some time 
were a handsome ground thrush (Pitta cclebensis), and 
a beautiful violet-crowned dove (Ptilonopus celebensis), 
both very similar to birds I had recently obtained at 
Am, but of distinct species. 

About the latter part of September a heavy shower of 
tain fell^ admonishing us 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 

234 CELEBES. [chap, xvl 

Maros river, situated at the point where it issues from the 
mountains— a spot often visited by travellers and con- 
sidered very beautiful Mr. M. lent me a horse, and I 
obtained a guide from a neighbouring 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-fields 
skirting the mountains which rose in grand precipices on 
our left, we reached the river about half-way between 
Aiaros 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 
accommodation 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 was about a quarter of a mile further on. The 
river is here about twenty yards wide, and issues fix)m a 
chasm between two vertical walls of limestone, over a 
rounded mass of basaltic rock about forty feet high, form- 
ing 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 concen- 
tric cones till it falls into a fine deep pool below. Close 
to the veiy 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 himdred 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 itself 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 disclosing a dark chasm de- 
scending into the bowels of the mountain, and which. 


liaving visited several such, I had no great curiosity to 

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 explore. Eetuming to where 
this rift had begun, the main path turns up to the left 
in a sort of gully, 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 moimtains, 
probably leading into the main river valley again. Tliis 
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 might at any time set in, I might be 
prevented from returning 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 Phlsegenas 
tristigmata, a large groimd pigeon with yellow breast and 
crown, and purple 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 clifis 
many hundred feet high. Even at the time of my visit 
it was most precipitous and fatiguing yet women and 
children came over it daily, and men carrying heavy 
loads of palm sugar of very little value. It was along 
the path between the lower and the upper falls, and about 
the maiigin 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 ei 
pected to meet with — the magnificent Papilio androoh 
one of the largest and rarest known swallow-taile^c:^ 
butterflies. During my four days' stay at the falls I wa^^ 
80 fortimate as to obtain six good specimens. As this? 
beautiful creature flies, the long white tails flicker like 
streamei^s, and when settled on the beach it carries them 
raised upwards, 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 repeatedly before I succeeded in 
their captura When the sun shone hottest about uoon, 
the moist beach of the pool below the upper faU presented 
a beautiful sight, being dotted with groups of gay butter- 
flies, — orange, yellow, white, blue, and green, — which on 
being disturbed rose into the air by himdreds, forming 
clouds of variegated colours. 

Such goi-ges, chasms, and precipices as here abound, I 
have nowhere seen in the Archipelago. A sloping surface 
is scarcely 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 precipices five or six hundred feet high, yet 
completely clothed with a tapestry of vegetation. Ferns, 
Pandanaceae, shrubs, creepers, and even forest trees, are 
mingled in an evergreen network, through the interstices 
of which appears the white limestone rock 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 aflbrding 
an admiraWe support to the roots of the shrubs, trees, and 
creepers, which luxuriate in the warm pure atmosphere 
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 
OP the smaU ledc^es and in the minutest crevice& 


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 for- 
^tten to mention the brilliant flowers, which, in gorgeous 
masses of crimson gold or azure, must spangle these 
Terdant 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 pendant creepers and bushy shrubs, all around the 
cascade, on the river's bank, or in the deep caverns and 
gloomy fissures, — not one single spot of bright colour 
could be seen, not one single tree or bush or creeper 
bore a flower sufficiently 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 colour and aspect of the foliage, there was grandeur 
in the rocky masses and in the exuberant luxuriance of 
the vegetation, but there was no brilliancy of colour, 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 luxu- 
riant tropical scene as noted down on the spot, and its 
general characteristics as regards colour 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 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 glorious flowers that we know do exist in 
the tropics? These questions can be easily answered. 
The fine tropical flowering-plants cultivated in our hot- 
houses, have been culled from the most varied regions, 
and therefore give a most erroneous idea of their abun- 
dance in any one region. Many of them are very rare, 
others extremely locaj, while a considerable number 
inhabit the more arid regions of Africa and India, in which 
tropical vc^tation does not exhibit itself in its usual 
luxuriance. Fine and varied foliage, rather than gay 
flowers^ 18 more characteristic of those parts where tropical 

238 CELEBES. [chap. 

vegetation attains its highest development, and in su 
districts each kind of flower seldom lasts in perfecti 
more than a few weeks, or sometimes a few days, 
every locality a lengthened residence will show an abu 
dance of magnificent and gaily-blossomed plants, but th 
have to be sought for, and are rarely at any one time 
place so abundant as to form a perceptible feature in t 
landscape. But it has been the custom of travellers 
describe and group together all the fine plants they ha^?"^ 
met with during a long journey, and thus produce tfci^ 
effect of a gay and flower-painted landscape. They hav^ 
rarely studied and described individual scenes where vege- 
tation was most luxuriant and beautiful, and fairly stat^J 
what effect was produced in them by flowers. I have 
done so frequently, and the result of these examinations 
has convinced me, that the bright colours of flowers 
have a much greater influence on the general aspect of 
nature in temperate than in tropical climates. During 
twelve years spent amid the grandest 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 
interesting. 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 precipitous mountains. • In the rocky beds 
of the streams basalt is almost always found, and it is a 
step in this rock which forms the cascade already described. 
From it the limestone precipices rise abruptly ; and in as- 
cending the little stairway along the side of the faU, 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 honeycombed 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 xnoimtains. They are 
all skittle-shaped, larger in the middle than at the base, 
the greatest diameter occurring at the height to which the 

CHAP, xvi.j EXd-s.siri: D/cocG/ii. 2:V,) 

couDtry is flooded iu the wet season, and thence decreasing 
Tegularly to the ground. Many of them overhang consider- 
ably, and some of the slenderer pillars appear to stand upon 
a point. When the rock is less solid it becomes curiously 
honeycombed 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 accu- 
mulate at a great depth beneath it, yet the authorities 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 unsuccessful 

Betuming to my forest hut, I continued my daily search 
after birds and insects. The weather however became 
dreadfully 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 un- 
affected by the intense drought ; the Diptera, or two-winged 
flies, continued as plentiful as ever, and on these I was 
almost compelled to concentrate my attention for a week 
or two, by which means I increased my collection of that 
Order to about two hundred species. 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 omatus, and a rare black 
and white crow, Corvus advena. 

At length about the middle of October, after several 
gloomy days, down came a deluge of rain, which continued 
to fall almost every afternoon, showing that the early part 
of the wet season had 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 
rocks by the side of ^a forest stream, I found abundance of 
Carabidse, a £amily generally scarce in the tropics. The 
butterflies however disappeared Two of my servants 
were attacked with fever, dysentery, and swelled feet, just 
at the time that the third had left me, and for some days 

240 CELEB BS. [chap, xtl 

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 everything was getting very damp, I 
was obliged to prepare for my return to Macassar, especi- 
ally as the strong westerly winds would render the passage 
in a small open boat disagreeable if not dangerous. 

Since the rains began, numbers of huge millipedes, as 
thick as one's finger and eight or ten inches long, crawled 
about everywhei*e, 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 colour 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 
colour, which lie coiled up on leaves and shrubs and can 
scarcely be seen till one is close upon them. Browu 
snakes got into my net while beating among dead leaves 
for insects, and made me rather cautious about inserting 
my hand till I knew wha^ 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 
burning 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 shoidd perhaps have stayed 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 impossibla During 
the heavy rains a fine drizzly mist penetrated into eveiy 
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 mau 
steamer for Amboyna and Temate. .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 island wluch I visited two yesia 

OBLAT. xvxi.] MBNJDO. 241 



r* was after my residence at Timor-Goupang that I 
visited the north-eastern extremity of Celebes, touching 
on my way at Banda, Amboyna, and Temate. 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 Temate), who had much taste for 
natural history ; and to Mr. Neys, 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 kindness, accom- 
panied me in my earliest walks about the coimtry, and 
assisted me hy every means in their power. I spent a 
week in the town very pleasantly, making explorations 
and inouiries after a good collecting station, which I had 
much difficulty in finding, o^ing to the wide cultivation 
of coffee and cacao, which has led to the clearing away of 
tiie forests for many miles roimd 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 betweeuj 
forming streete generally at right angles with each other. 
Grood roads branch off in several directions towards the 
interior, with a succession of pretty cottages, neat gardens^ 
and thriving plantations, interspersed with wildernesses 
of fruit trees. To the west and south the country is 
mountainous, with groups of fine volcanic peaks 6,000 or 
7,000 feet high, forming grand and picturesque back- 
grounds to the landscape. 

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


242 CELEBES. [obap. xni. 

and iu fact from any other people in the Archipelaga 
They are of a light-brown or yellow tint, often approach- 
ing the fairness of a European ; of a rather short stature, 
stout and well-made ; of an open and pleasing counte- 
nance, 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 handsome ; while nearer 
the coasts where the purity of their blood has been de- 
stroyed by the intermixture of other races, they approach 
to the ordinary types of the wild inhabitcuits of tiie sur- 
rounding countries. 

In mental and moral characteristics they are also highly 
peculiar. They are remarkably quiet and gentle in dispo- 
sition, submissive to the authority of those they consider 
their superiors, and easily induced to learn and adopt the 
habits of civilized people. They are clever mechanics, and 
seem capable of acquiring a considerable amount of intel- 
lectual education. 

Up to a very recent period these people were thorough 
savages^ and there are persons now living in Menado who 
remember a state of things identical with that described by 
the writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
The inhabitants of the several villages were distinct tribes, 
each under its own chief, speaking languages unintelli- 
gible to each other, and almost always at war. They built 
their houses elevated upon lofty posts to defend themselves 
from the attacks of their enemies. They were head 
hunters like the Dyaks of Borneo, and were said to be 
sometimes cannibals. When a cJuef died, his tomb was 
adorned with two fresh human 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 
coimtry was a pathless wilderness, with small cultivated 
patches of rice and vegetables, or clumps of fruit-troes, 
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 

CHAP. xvn. I NATIFE3 OF MltfAHASA. 243 

mountain, the torrent and the lake, were the abode of their 
deities ; and certain trees and birds were supposed to have 
especial influence over men's actions and destiny. They 
Ldld wild and exciting festivals to propitiate these deities 
or demons ; and believed that men could be changed by 
them into animals, either during life or after death. 

Here we have a picture of true savage life ; of small 
isolated conmiunities at war with aU around them, subject 
to the wants and miseries of such a condition, drawing a 
precarious existence from the luxuriant soil, and living on 
from generation 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 ad- 
mirably at from fifteen hundred up to four thousand feet 
above the sea. The chiefs of villages were induced to 
undertake its cultivation. Seed and native instructors 
were sent from Java ; food was supplied to the labourers 
engaged in clearing and planting ; a fixed price was esta- 
blished at which fdl coffee brought to the government col- 
lectors was to be paid for, and me village chiefs who now 
received the titles of " Majors " were to receive five 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 settied 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 '' Gontrolleurs," 
whidii had worked so well in Java, was introduced. The 
^ Controlleur " was a European, or a native of European 
Uood, who was the general superintendent of the cultiva- 
tion of the district, the adviser of the chiefs, the protector 
of the people, and the means of communication between 
both and the European Grovemment His duties obliged 
him to visit every village in succession once a month, and 
to send in a report on their condition to the Besident. 
As disputes between adjacent villages were now settled by 
appeal to a superior authority, the old and inconveuient 

» 9 

244 CELEBES, [ohap. ztti 

semi-fortified houses were disused, and under the direction 
of the " Controlleurs " most of the houses were rebuilt 
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 ajl on tiie 
22d of June. Mr. Tower drove me the first three miles 
in his chaise, and Mr. Neys accompanied me on horseback 
three miles further to the village of Lotta. Here we met 
the Controlleur of the district of Tonddno, who was return- 
ing 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 Tonddno at 
an elevation of about 2,400 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 bufifaloes, 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 perp^ually in 
blossom. There is a broad oentral path and a bcnrder of fine 
turf, which is kept well swept and neatly out 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 verandah enclosed with a neat balustrade, and are 
generally surrounded by orange-trees and flowering shrubs. 
The surrounding scenery is verdant and picturesque. 
Coffee plantations of extreme luxuriance, noble palms and 
tree ferns, wooded hills and volcanic peaks, everywhefe 
meet the eye. I had heard much of the beauty of this 
country, but the reality far surpassed my expectations. 

About one o'clock we reached Tomoh6n, the chief place 
of a district, having a native chief now called the " Mfyor," 
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 wo 
entered, madeira and bitters were ofiered us. Then two 


handsome Loys neatly dressed in white and with smoothly 
bmshed jet-black hair, handed ns each a basin of water 
and a clean napkin on a salver. The dinner was excel- 
lent. Fowls cooked in various ways, wild pig roasted 
stewed and fried, a fricassee of bats, potatoes rice and 
other vegetables, all served on good china, with finger 
glasses and fine napkins, and abmidance 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 really 
looked comfortable and almost gentlemanly in them. Ee 
sat at the head of the table and did the honours well, 
though he did not talk much. Our conversation was en- 
tirely in Malay, as that is the official language here, and in 
fact the mother-tongue and only language of the control- 
leur, who is a native-bom 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 abimdantly decorated with human heads. 
Of course we were expected, and our dinner was prepared 
in the best style, but I was assured that the chiefs all 
take a pride in adopting European customs, and in being 
able to receive their visitors in a handsome manner. 

After dinner and coflee, the Controlleur went on to 
Tondano, and I strolled about the village waiting for my 
ba^age, 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 convenience. Next morning at sun- 
rise the thermometer in the verandah stood at 69°, which 
I was told is about the usual lowest temperature at this 
place, 2,500 feet above the sea. I had a good breakfast 
of coffee, eggs, and fresh bread and butter, which I took in 
the spacious verandah, amid the odour of roses, jessamine, 
and other sweet-scented flowers, which filled the garden 
In &ont} and about eight o'clock left Tomoh6n with a 
dozen men carrying my baggage. 

Our road lay over a mountain ridge about 4,000 feet 
above the sea, and then descended about 500 feet to the 
Utfle village of Kurdkan, the highest in the district of 


Minahasa, and probably in all Celebes. Here I had de- 
termined to stay for some time to see whether this eleva- 
tion would produce any change in the zoology. The 
village had only been formed about ten 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 down to the 
beautiful lake of Tonddno, with volcanic mountains be- 
yond. On one side is a ravine, and beyond it a fine 
mountainous and wooded countiy. 

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 hemi- 
spheres, loaded with fruit from top to bottom, and pro- 
ducing 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 popu- 
lation are summoned by sound of gong. An account is 
kept of the number of hours' work done by each family, 
and at the yearns end the produce of the sale is divided 
among them proportionately. The coffee is taken to 
Grovemment stores established at central places over the 
whole country, and is paid for at a low fixed price. 
Out of this a certain percentage goes to the chiefs and 
majors, and the remainder is divided among the inha- 
bitants. 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 Imndred 
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 verandah. The thermo- 
meter 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 
positivdy eold, while the spout of water where I went 
daily for my bath had quite an ioy feeL Althoi^h I 

248 CELBB£S. Lchap, xvil 

enjoyed myself very much among these fine mountains, 
and forests^ I was somewhat disappointed as to my coUec- 
tionp. There was hardly any perceptible difference 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. 
nothing absolutely peculiar to this elevation. Birds and 
quadrupeds were less plentiful, but of the same speciea. 
In insects there seemed to be more difference. The 
curious beetles of the family CleridsB, which are found 
chiefly on bark and rotten wood, were finer than I have 
seen them elsewhere. The beautiful Longicorns were scarcer 
than usual, 6md the few butterflies were all of tropical 
species. One of these, Papilio blumei, of which I obt^ed 
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 
flying about the village when the sun shone, but in a very 
shattered condition. The great amount of wet and cloudy 
weather, was a great drawback all the time I was at 

Even in the vegetation there is very Kttle to indicate 
elevation. 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 
perpetual moisture that here prevails. Abundance of a 
tasteless raspberry, with blue and yellow Compositse, have 
somewhat of a temperate aspect; and minute ferns and 
Orchidea3, with dwaxf Begonias on the rocks, make some 
approach to a sub-alpine vegetation. The forest however 
is most luxuriant. Koble palms, Pandani, and tree-ferns 
are abundant in it, while the forest trees are completely 
festooned with Orchideae, Bromelire, Araceae, 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 adding 
endless variety and interest to the forest paths. The 
cocoa-nut palm still produces fruit abimdantly, but is 
said to be deficient in oil. Oranges thrive better than 


below, producing abuudauce of delicious Ixuit; but tJio 
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, although the 
temperature rarely or never rises to 80^ so that one 
would think it might be grown even in England in fine 
summers, especially if the young plants were raised under 

The mountains have an unusual quantity of earth or 
vegetable mould spread over them. Even on the steepest 
slopes there is everywhere a covering of clays and sands, 
and generally a good thickness of vegetable soil It is 
this which perhaps contributes to the uniform luxuriance 
of the forest, and delays the appearance of that sub-alpine 
vegetation which depends almost as much on the abun- 
dance of rocky and exposed surfaces as on difference of 
climate. At a much lower elevation on Mount Ophir in 
Malacca, Dacrydiums and Ehododendrons with abundance 
of Nepenthes, ferns, and terrestrial 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 3,000 feet. The quantity of 
vegetable soU, and also of loose sands and clays, resting 
on steep slopes, hUl-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 
disintegration of rock ; but would also seem to indicate 
that the country has been long exposed to gentle atmo- 
spheric action, and that its elevation has been exceedingly 
slow and continuous. 

During my stay at Bunikan my curiosity was satisfied 
by experiencing a pretty sharp earthquake-shock. On the 
evening of June 29th, at a quarter after eight, as I was 
sitting reading, the house began shaking with a very gentle, 
but rapidly increasing motion. I sat stiU 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 ML to pieces. Then began a cry 
throughout the village of ''Tana goyang! tana goyang!"* 

250 CELEBhlS, [CBAP. zva 

(Earthquake! earthquake!) Everybody rushed 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 hardly 
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. Qoing into the house 
again, I found a lamp and a bottle of arrack upset. The 
tumbler which 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 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 impos- 
sible for them to be much injured, except by a shock that 
would utterly destroy a European 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 the 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 village 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 con- 
vulsed, 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 running in and out of their houses, on what 
each time proved a very unnecessary alarm, as each shook 
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 hkugb. 

CHAP. XVII.] A}f EAUmqUAKE. 251 

even while reminding each other that it leally 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 coidd 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 tiie inhabitants had not been to bed at aU, and 
some had stayed out of doors all night For the next 
two days and nights shocks still continued at short in- 
tervals, and 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 vdlley, 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 elements 
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 earth- 
quake. A severe one is the most destructive and the 
most horrible catastrophe to which human beings can be 

A few days after the earthquake I took a walk to Ton- 
dano, a large village of about 7,000 inhabitants, situated at 
the lower end of the lake of the same name. I dined with 
the ControUeur, Mr. Bensneidor, who had been my guide 
to TomoluSn. He had a fine large house, in which he often 
received visitors ; 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 hedge* ,jV 

252 CELEBES. [CHAP. xvii. 

which give such a charming appearance to the villages; 
and to him is chiefly due the general neatneas and good 
order that everywhere prevail I consulted him aboat a 
fresh locality, as I found Eunikan too much in the clouds, 
dreadfully damp and gloomy, and with a general stagnation, 
of yisA and insect life. He recommended me a village 
some distance beyond the lake, near which was a laiga 
forest, where he thought I should find plenty of birda As 
he was going himself in a few days I decided to accompany 

After dinner I asked him for a guide to the celebrated 
waterfedl on the outlet stream of the lake. It is sitrmted 
about a mile and half below the village, where a slight 
rising ground closes in the basin, and evidently onoe 
formed the shore of the lake. Here the river enters a 
gorge, very narrow and tortuous, along which it rushes 
furiously for a short distance and then plunges into a 
great chasm, forming the head 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 visit, the Govemor- 
Greneral of the Ketherland 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 foimd next day in the stream below. 

Unfortimately, no good view of the fstll could now be 
obtained, owing to the quantity of wood and high grass., 
that lined the margins of the pi-ecipices. There are twa 
falls, the lower being the most lofty ; and it is possible, by 
a long circuit, to descend into the valley and see them 
from below. Were the best points of view searched for 
and rendered accessible, these falls would probably be 
found to be the finest in the Archipelago. The chasm 
seems to be of great depth, probably 500 or 600 feek 
Unfortunately I had no time to explore this valley, as I 
was anxious to devote every fine day to increasing my 
hitherto scanty collections. 


JujBt opposite my abode in Rurdkan was the school- 
housa The schoolmaster was a native, educated by the 
Ifisaionaiy at Tomoh6n. 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 chHdren were all taught 
in Malay, and I often heard them repeating the multi- 
plication-table up to twenty times twenty very glibly. 
Th«y 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 
(me of the real blessings which Missionaries introduce 
among savage nations, whose native chants are almost 
always monotonous and melancholy. 

On catechising evenings the schoolmaster 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 woik for his auditors, however warming to himself; 
and I am inclined to think that these native teachers, 
having acquired facility of speaking and an endless supply 
of Teligious platitudes 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 wonder- 
fully short space of time. Forty years ago the country 
Was a wilderness, the people naked saVages, garnishing 
their rude houses with human heads. Kow 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 oofTee plantations in the world surround the villages, 
interspersed with extensive rice-fields more than sufi&cient 
for the support of the population. 

The people are now the most industrious, peaceable, 
and chrilized 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 towards a 
higher social state. I believe there is no example else- 
where 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 

254 CELEBES. \i 

possessions. The system is one which may be called a 
" paternal despotism/' Kow we Englishmen do not like 
despotism — ^we hate the name and the thing, and we would 
rather see people ignorant, lazy, and vicious, thai), use any 
but moral force to make them wise, industaious, and good. 
And we are right when we are dealing with men of our own 
race, and of similar ideas and equal capacities with our- 
selves. Example and precept, the force of public opinion, 
and the slow, but sure spread of education, will do eveiy- 
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 govern- 
ment But what should we think of a man who should 
advocate these principles 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 ren- 
dered it inapplicable — ^the case in which the governed are 
in an admitted state of mental inferiority to those who 
govern them, and are imable to decide what is best for their 
permanent welfare. Children must be subjected to some 
degree of authority, and guidance ; and if properly 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 the use of which 
they cannot comprehend, and which they would never 
learn without some moral jmd social if not physical 
pressure. Habits of order, of industry, of cleanliness, of 
respect and obedience, are inculcated by similar means. 
Children would never 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, children are subjected to a mild 
despotism for the good of themselves and of society ; and 
their confidence in the wisdom and goodness of those 
who ordain and apply this despotism, neutralizes the bad 
passions and degrading feelings, which imder less favour- 
able conditions are its general results. 

Now, there is not merely an analogy, — there is in niany 
respects an identity of relation, between master and pupil 
or parent and child on the one hand, and an uncivOized 
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 wiQ adopt such usages as do not interfere too much 
with his sloth, his passions, or his prejudices. But as the 
wilful chUd or the idle schoolboy, who was nevei* taught 
obedience, and never made to do anything which of his 
own free will he was not uiclined 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 bene- 
ficial customs of civilization, without some stronger 
stimulus than precept, very imperfectly backed by 

If we are satisfied that we are right in assuming the 
government over a savage race, and occupying their country ; 
and if we further consider it our duty to do what we can 
to improve our rude subjects and raise them up towards 
our own level, we must not be too much afraid of the cry 
of " despotism" and " slavery," but must use the authority 
we possess, to 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 policy 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 intelligence and self- 
interest, of these chiefis, have brought about changes in the 
manners and customs of the people, which would have 
excited ill-feeling 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 
admirably in one place could only be very partially worked 
otit in another. In Minahasa the natuitil docility and 
inteUigence of the race have made their progress rapid ; and 
how important this is, is well illustrated by the fact, that in 

25r) i'i:u:iu:s. ' vwxw wn. 

the immediate vicinity of the town of Menado are a tril)e 
called Banteks, of a much less tractable disposition, who 
have hitherto resisted all efforts of the Dutch Grovemment 
to induce them to adopt any systematic cultivation. Theses 
remain in a ruder condition, but engage themselves will^ 
ingly as occasional porters and labourers, for which their- ^ 
greater strength and activity well adapt them. 

No doubt the system here sketched, seems open to serioi 
objection. It is to a certain extent despotic, and i 
with free trade, free labour, and free communication. A. 
native cannot leave his village without a pass, and cannot 
engage himself to any merchant or captain without 
Gk)vemment permit. The coflfee has all to be sold to 
Grovemment, at less than half the price that the local, 
merchant would give for it, and he consequently cries out' 
loudly against " monopoly'* and " oppression." He forgets, 
however, that the coffee plantations were established by ^ 
the Government at great outlay of capital and skill; that 
it gives free education to the people, and that the monopoly 
is in lieu of taxation. He forgets that the product he 
wants to purchase and make a profit by, is the creation oH*' *^ 
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 whole cargoes of 
arrack, which would be carried over the country and 
exchanged for coffee. That drunkenness and poverty 
would spread over the land ; that the public coffee plan- 
tations would not be kept up ; that the quality and quan- 
tity of the coffee would soon deteriorate ; that traders and 
merchants would get rich, but that the people would re- 
lapse into poverty and barbarism. That such is invariably 
the result of free trade with any savage tribes who pos- 
sess a valuable product, native or cultivated, is well known 
to those who have visited such people ; but we might even 
anticipate from general principles that evil results would 
happen. If there is one thing rather than another to 
wluch the grand law of continuity or development will 
apply, it is to human progress. There are certain stages 
through which society must pass in its onward xnansh 
from barbarism to civilization. Nosv one of these stages 
has always been some form or other of despotism, such as 


feadalism or servitude, or a despotic paternal government ; 
and ve have every reason to believe that it is not possible 
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, 
whic^ we (the English) try to force upon them at once. 
Oar system has ^ways failed. We demoralize and we 
extirpate, but we never really civilize. Whether the Dutch 
system can permanently succeed is but doubtful, since it 
may not be possible to compress the work of ten centuries 
into one ; but at all events it takes nature as a guide, and 
is therefore more deserving 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 mothers 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 believe is often a 
pleasure and relaxation. They either take their infants 
with them, in which case they leave them 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 directiy interested, since it is by the increase of the 
population alone that there can be any large and per- 
manent increase in the produce of coffee. The Slissionaries 
should take up the question, because, by inducing married 
women to confine themselves to domestic duties, they will 
decidedly promote a higher civilization, and directly in- 
crease the health and happiness of the whole community. 


258 CELEBES. [oiiAF, XTir. 

The x)eople are so docile, and so willing to adopt the 
maDDeie and customs of Europeans, that the change might 
ho easily effected, by merely showing them that it was a 
question of morality and civilization, and an essential 
step in their progress towards an equality with their white 

After a fortnight's stay at Rurdkan, 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 dis- 
tance 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 appearance of a great 
river, the width being about two miles. At the upper end 
is the village of Kdkas, where I dined with the head man 
in a good house like those I have already described ; and 
then went on to Lang6wan, four miles distant over a level 
plain. This was the place where I had been recommended 
to stay, and I accordingly unpacked my baggage and made 
mysei comfortable in the large house devoted to visitors. 
I obtained a man to shoot for me, and another to accom- 
pany me the next day to the forest, where I was in hopes 
of finding a good collecting groimd. 

In the morning after breakfast I started off, bat found 
I had four miles to walk over a wearisome straight road 
through coffee plantations before I could get to the forest, 
and as soon as I did so it came on to rain heaivily, and 
did not cease tiU night This distance to walk every day 
was too far for any profitable work, especially when the 
weather was so imcertain. I therefore decided at once 
that I must go further on^ tiU I found some place doee 
to or in a forest country. In the afternoon my friend 
Mr. Bensneider arrived, together with the Controlleur o( 
the next district, called Belang, from whom I leamt that 
six miles further on there was a village called Paxighu, 
which had been recently formed and had a good deal of 
forest close to it ; and he promised me the use of a email 
house if I liked to go there. 

The next morning I went to see the hot-springs and 


mud volcanoes, for which this place is celebrated. A 
picturesque vpath amoiig plantations and ravines, brought 
uS'to a beautiful circular basin about forty feet diameter, 
bordered by a calcareous ledge, so uniform and truly 
curved that it looked like a work of art. It was filled 
with clear water very near the boiling point, and emitting 
clouds of steam with a strong sulphureous odour. 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 outhne, 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-springs, 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 boiUng 
and .bubbUng most furiously. All around on the indu- 
rated clay, are small wells and craters full of boiling mud. 
These seem to be forming continually, a small hole appear- 
ing 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 imsafe, as it 
is evidently liquid at a small depth, and bends with pres- 
sure 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 drop of mud 
that spurted on to my finger scalded like boUing water. 
A short distance ofiT 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 
day used for whitewash, it was still so hot close to the 
surfSetce that the hand could hardly bear to be held in 
cracks a few inches deep, and ^m which arose a strong 
sulphureous vapour. I was informed that some years 
bacK a French gentleman who visited these springs ven- 
tured too near the liquid mud, when the crust gave way 
and ha Was engulfed in the horrible caldron. 


260 CELEBES. LcBAP. xvu. 

This evidence of inteuse 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 countiy. 
Yet it is probable 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 mag- 
nificent appearance and covering the surrounding country 
with showers of ashes. The plains around the lake formed 
by the intermingling and decomposition of volcanic pro- 
ducts are of amazing fertility, and with a little manage- 
ment in the rotation of crops might be kept in continual 
cultivation. Eice 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 coffee trees 
continue bearing abundantly for ten or fifteen years, with- 
out any manure and with scarcely any cultivation. 

I was delayed a day by incessant rain, and then pro- 
ceeded to Panghu, which I reached just before the daily 
rain began at 11 a.m. After leaving the summit level of 
the lake basin, tlie road is carried along the slopq 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, winch had a good deal 
of forest and wild country around it ; and found prepared 
for me a little house consisting only of a verandaii and a 
back room. This was only intended for visitors to rest in, 
or to pass a night, but it suited me very well. I was so 
imfortunate, however, as to lose both my hunters just at 
this time. One had been left at Tond&no with fever 
and diarrhoea, and the other was attacked at Lang6wan 
with inflammation of the chest, and as his case looked 
rather bad I had him sent back to Menado. The people 
here were all so busy with their rice-harvest^ which it was 

cBAt. xnu] BIRDS AND INSECTS. 26 1 

important for them to finish owing to the early rains, that 
I could get no one to shoot for me. 

Dnring the three weeks that I stayed at Fanghu it 
rained nearly every day, either in the afternoon oSty, or 
all day long ; but there were generally a few hours' sun- 
shine in the morning, 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 instead 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 blowpipe, and brought me a good many 
snmll birds, which they shot with pellets of clay. Among 
these' was a pretty little flower-pecker of a new species 
(Prionochilus aureolimbatus), and several of the loveliest 
honeysuckers I had yet seen. My general collection of 
birds was, however, almost at a standstill ; for though I at 
length obtained 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 insects, tne 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 insect, which was 
always found motionless in crevices, and was therefore 
probably nocturnal. It appeared to me to form a new 
genua 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 
tnmks overhanging the water and on the banks and foliage, 
I obtained three very pretty species of Cicindela, quite 
distinct in size^ form, and colour, but having an almost 

262 CELEBES. [chap, xvu 

identical pattern of pale spots. I also found a single 
specimen of a most curious species with veiy long antenniae. 
But my finest discovery here was the Cicindela glorioBa, 
which I found on mossy stones just rising above tbe watei: 
After obtaining my first specimen of this elegant insect^ I 
used to walk up Uie stream, watching caiefially eveiy 
moss-covered rock and stone. It was rather shy, and 
would often Ibad me a long chase from stone to stone, 
becoming invisible every time it settled on the daifip 
moss, owing to its rich velvety green colour. On sonie 
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 without 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 illustra- 
tion of the low state of civilization of these people till 
quite recently, is to be foimd in the great diversity of their 
languages. Villages three or four miles apart have sepa- 
rate dialects, and each group of three or four such villages 
has a distinct language quite unintelligible to all the rest; 
so that, till the recent introduction of Malay by the Mis- 
sionaries, there must have been a bar to all free communi- 
cation. These languages offer many peculiarities. They 
contain a Celebes-Malay element and a Papuan element^ 
along with some radical peculiarities found also in the 
languages of the Siau and Sanguir islands further north, 
and therefore probably derived from the Philippine 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 phy- 
siognomy prevails. The plateau of Tondano is chiefly 
inhabited by people nearly as white as the Chinese, and 
with very pleasing semi-European features. The people 
of Siau and Sanguir much resemble these, and I believe 
them to be perhaps immigrants from some of the islands 
of North Polynesia. The Papuan type will represent the 
remnant of the aborigines, while those of the Bngia 
chacacter show the extension northward of the supenor 
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 collections and getting £resh servants, it was a fortnight 
brfore I was again ready to start. I now went eastward 
over an undulating country skirting the great volcano 
of EH&bat, to a -^age 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 destination (a distance 
of eighteen miles) till sunset. I was wet through, and 
had to wait for an hour in an imcomfortable state till 
the first instalment of my baggage arrived, which luckily 
contained my clothes, while the rest did not come in till 

This being the district inhabited by that singular animal 
the Babirusa (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 depressicomis). 
Of tins 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 difier from very 
small high-bred oxen principally by the low-hanging dew- 
lap, 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 obtain were very interesting. Among 
these were the rare forest Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis), 
a. small new species of Megapodius, and one specimen of 
the laige and interesting Maleo (Megacephalon rubripes), 
to obtain which was one of my chief reasons for visiting 
this district. Getting no more, however, after tea days' 
search I removed to licoupang, at the extremity of the 
peninsula, a place celebrated for these birds, as well as for 
the Bftbirdsa and Sapi-utan. I found here Mr. Goldmann, 
the eldest son of the Governor of the Moluccas, who was 
supedntending the establishment of some Grovemment salt- 
works. This was a better locality, and I obtained some 

264 CELEBES. [chap. xtii. 

fine butterflies and very good birds, among which was 
one more specimen of the rare ground dove (Phl^eenas 
tristigmata), whicb I had first obtained near the Mdros 
waterfall in South Celebes. 

Hearing what I was particularly in search of, Mr. 
Groldmann kindly offered to make a hunting-party to the 
place where the " Maleos " ai-e most abundant, a remote 
and uninhabited 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 arrangements 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 s^nd five 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 consider 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 skiu *' Maleos,** 
Mr. Goldmann and the Major to hunt wild pigs, Babimsa, 
and Sapi-utan. The place is situated in the large bay 
between the islands of limb^ 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 smafi 
river, with hilly ground beyond ; while the forest behind 
the beach itself is tolerably level and its growth stunted. 
We have here probably an ancient lava stream from the 
Elabat volcano, which has flowed down a valley into the 
sea, and the decomposition of which has formed the loosa 
black sand. In confirmation of this view it may be men 

5HAF. xvil] MALEOS' breeding PLACE, 265 

tioned, that the beaches beyond the small livers 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 favourite 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 female bird is sup- 
posed to lay six or eight eggs during the season. The male 
assists the female in making the hole, coming down and 
returning with her. The appeai-ance of the bird when 
walking on the beach is very handsome. The glossy 
black and rosy whitd 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 renders still more remarkable. There is hardly any 
diflference between 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 
colour a little deeper in the male bird, but the difference 
18 so slight that it is not always possible to tell a male 
torn a female without dissection. They run quickly, but 
vhen shot at or suddenly disturbed take wing with a 
icavy noisy flight to some neighbouring tree, where they 
ettle on a low branch ; and they probably roost at night 
Q a similar situation. Many birds lay in the same hole, 
or a dozen eggs are often found together ; and these are so 
aige that it is not possible for the body of the bird to 
x>ntain more than one fully-developed egg at the same 
ime. In all the female birds which I shot, none of the 
^ggs besides the one large one exceeded the size of peas, 
md there were only eight or nine of these, which is pro- 
bably 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 quite fresh are indeed delicious. They are 
richer than hens' eggs and of a finer flavour, and each one 

266 CELEBES. [chap. xvu. 

completely fills an ordinary teacup, and forms with bread 
or rice a very good meal. The colour of the shell is a pale 
brick red, or very rarely pure whita 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 tlirough the sand 
and nm off at once to the forest ; and I was assured by 
Mr. Duivenboden of Ternate, that they can fly the very 
day they are hatched. He had taken some eggs on board 
his schooner which hatched during the m'ght, 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 deposited by a 
nimiber of hens in succession in the same hole, would 
render it impossible for each to distinguish its own ; and 
the food necessary for such laige birds (consisting entirely 
of fallen 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 tliis bird, we may detect^ 
a cause for its departiug from the habits of its nearest^ 
allies, the Megapodii and TalegaUi, which heap up earth, ^ 
leaves, stones, and sticks into a huge mound, in which thejr^ 
bury tiieir eggs. The feet of the Maleo are not nearly so-^ 
large or strong in proportion as in these birds, while its -^ 
claws are short and straight instead of being long and ^ 
much curved. The toes are, however, 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 labour accumu* 
late the heaps of miscdlaneous rubbish, which the lai^ 
grasping feet of the Megapodius bring together with ease. 


We may also, I think, see in the peculiar organization of 
bhe entire family of the Megapodidse or Brush Turkeys, a 
ceaaon why they depart so widely from the usual habits of 
bhe 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 ^gs can be matured (the natives say 
^out thirteen days). Each bird lays six or eight eggs or 
even more each season, so that between the first and last 
there «iay be an interval of two or three months. Now, if 
these eggs were hatched in the ordinaiy way, either the^ 
parents must keep sitting continually for this long period, 
or if they only began to sit after the last egg was deposited, 
tibe 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 Toam 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 Megapodidae, in order 
that iihey might not exhibit that parental afifection, 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 
Hifitory, to take the habits and instincts of animals as fixed 
points, and to consider their structure and organization as 
specially adc^ted to be in accordance with these. This 
assumption 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 directiy due to a 
first cause," and therefore incomprehensible to us. I 
believe thajb 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 
witii changes in external conditions, react upon structure, 
and by means of " variation" and '' natural selection" both 
are kept in harmony. 

My friends remained th]ree days, and got plenty of wild 


268 CELEBES. [chap, xvn 

pigs and two An6as, but the latter were much injured by 
the 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 five hours perched on platforms in trees without getting 
a shot, although we had been assured that pigs, Babirdsas, 
and Aii6as would rush past us in dozens. I myself, with 
two men, stayed three days longer to get more specimens of 
the Maleos, and succeeded in preserving twenty-six very 
fine ones ; the flesh and eggs of which supplied us witb 
abimdance 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 prac- 
ticable route I expressed my fear that we were losing our 
way, as the sun being vertical I could see no possible clue 
to the right direction. My conductors, 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 himt 
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, l£e direction 
of the streams, the belts of bamboo or rattan, and many 
other indications 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 convinced, 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 systemt 
its soil and its vegetation, that as they approach the point 

CHAP, xvii.] RATTAN PALMS. 269 

they are to reach, many easily-recognised indications 
enable them to hit upon it with certainty. 

The chief feature of this forest was the abundance of 
lattan palms, hanging from the trees, and turning and 
twisting about on the ground, often in inextricable con- 
fusion. One wonders at first how they can get into such 
queer shapes ; but it is evidently caused by the decay and 
&11 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 slightest vestige of it left. The rattan seems to have 
unlimited powers of growth, and a single 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 like a light- 

The other most interesting object in the forest was a 
beautiful 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; whUe the fan- 
shaped leaves which compose its crown, are almost com- 
plete circles of six or eight feet diameter, borne alofb 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-buckets and 
impromptu baskets, as well as for thatching and other 

A few days afterwards I returned to Menado on horse- 
back, sending my baggage round by sea ; and had just time 
to pack up aJI my collections to go by the next mail steamer 
to Amboyna. 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. 

270 NA'Il'RAL HISTORY. [chaf. xviri. 



THE position of Celebes is the most central in the 
Archipelago. Immediately to the north axe the Fhili]^ 
pine islands; on the west is Borneo; on the east are tibe 
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 reefe, 
neither by inspection on the map nor by actual oboetrva- 
tion around its coast, is it possible to determine accural 
which should be grouped with it, and which with the- 
surroimding districts. Such being the case, we should. 
naturally expect to find, that the productions of this ceni 

island in some degree represented the richness and variety 

of the whole Archipelago, while we should not expect «i^^^^ 
much individuality in a country, so situated, that it would-^^-^ 
seem as if it were pre-eminently fitted to receive straggleiB 
and immigi*ants from all around. 

As so often happens in nature, however, the fact tuns 
out to be just the reverse of what we should have ex-^ — 
pected ; and an examination of its animal productjons , m,^ ^ \ 
shows Celebes to be at once the poorest in the number xJT^^^^ 
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 nearly 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 
immigrants from every side more readily than Java, yet 
in proportion to the species which inhabit it &r fewer 
seem derived from other islands, while fiar more axe 
altogether peculiar to it ; and a considerable number of its 
animal forms are so remarkable, as to find no close allies in 
any other part of the world. I now propose to ezanune 

OK-iP. xviii.] OF CELEBES. 271 

the best known groups of 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 
\7ading and swimming birds have to be added, yet the list 
of land birds, 144 in number, and which for oiu: present 
purpose are much the most important, must be very nearly 
coniplete. I myself assiduously collected birds in Celebes 
Tor nearly ten months, and my assistant, Mr. Allen, spent 
;wo months in the Sula islands. The Dutch natm*alist 
FoTsten spent two years in Northern Celebes (twenty 
rears before my visit), and collections of birds had also 
ye&n sent to Holland from Macassar. The French ship 
)f discovery, L' Astrolabe, also touched at Menado and 
procured coUections. Since my return home, the Dutch 
laturalists Bosenberg and Bernstein have made extensive 
collections both in North Celebes and in the Sula islands ; 
fet all their researches combined, have only added eight 
species of land birds to those forming part of my own 
collection — a fswjt which renders it almost certain that 
there are very few moxe to discover. 

Besides Sakyer and Boutong on the south, with Peling 
and Bungay on the east, the three islands of the Sula 
(or Zula) Ajchipelago also belong zoologically to Celebes, 
although their position is such, that it would seem more 
natural to group them with the Moluccas. About 48 land 
birds are now known fi*om 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 island, 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 I the whole thirteen Moluccan species being in this 

272 NATURAL HISTORY [chap. xvin. 

category, thus adding to the productions of Celebes a 
foreign element which does not really belong to it. In 
studying the peculiarities of 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 disguise 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 comparing these with the biids of 
all the surrounding countries, we find that only nine extend 
into the islands westward, and nineteen into the islands 
eastward, while no less than 80 are entirely confined to 
the Celebesian fauna — a degree of individuality, which, 
considering the situation of the island, is hardiy 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 affinities with distant parts of the world which 
many of them seem to indicate. These points are of so 
much interest 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 

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 suddenly changed on entering Celebes. Another, 
(Accipiter trinotatus) is a beautiful hawk, with el^ant 
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 pecidiar ; and one, 
a barn owl (Stnx rosenbergii), is very much laiger 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-taUed 
parrots forming the genus Prioniturus and which are 

CHAP, xvin.] OF CELEBES. 273 

characterised by possessing two long spoon-shaped feathers 
in the tail Two allied sj^ecies are found in the adjacent 
island of Mindanao, one of the Philippines, and this form 
of tail is found in no other parrots in the whole world. 
A small species of Lorikeet (Trichoglossus flavoviridis) 
eeems to have its nearest ally in Australia. 

The three Woodpeckers which inhabit the island are all 
peculiar, and are allied to species found in Java and 
Borneo, although very different from them all. 

Among the three peculiar Cuckoos two are very re- 
markable. Phoenicophaus callirhynchus is the largest and 
handsomest species of its genus, and is distinguished by 
the three colours of its beak, bright yellow, red, and black. 
Eadynamis melanorynchus 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 Eoller (Coracias temmincki) is an interest- 
ing example of one species of a genus being cut off from the 
restb 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 Africa 

In the next family, the Bee-eaters, is another equally 
isolated bird, Meropogon forsteni, which combines the 
characters 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 Hombills have no close allies in those 
which abound in the surroimding countries. The only 
Thrush, Geocichla erythronota, is most nearly allied to a 
species peculiar to Timor. Two of the Flycatchers are 
closely allied to Indian species which are not found in the 
Malay islands. Two genera somewhat allied to the Mag- 
pies (Streptocitta and Charitomis), but whose affinities are 
so doubtfrd that Professor Schlegel places them among 
the Starlings, are entirely confined to Celebes. They are 
beantiftil long-tailed birds, with black and white plumage, 
and with the feathers of the head somewhat rigid and 


274 NATURAL HISTORY [chap. xvm. 

Doubtfully allied to the Starlings are two other veiy 
isolated 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, 
BasUornis celebensis, is a blue-black bird with a white 
patch on each side of the breast, and the head ornamented 
with a beautiful compressed scaly crest of feathers, resem- 
bling 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 up- 
wards into quite a different fornu 

A stiU more curious bird is the Scissirostrum pagei, 
which although it is at present classed in the Starlmg 
family, dififers 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 celebrated ornithologist PriQce 
Bonaparte finally placed it It is almost entirely of a slaty 
colour, with yellow bill and feet, but the feathers of the 
rump and upper tail-coverts each terminate in a rigid 
glossy pencil or tuft of a vivid crimson. These pretty 
little birds take the place of the metaUic-green starlings of 
the genus Calomis, which are found in most other islands 
of the Archipelago, but which are absent from Celebes. 
They go in flocks, feeding upon grain and firuits, often 
frequenting dead trees, in holes of which they build their 
nests; and they cling to the trunks as easily as wood- 
peckers or creepers. 

Out of eighteen Pigeons found in Celebes eleven are 
peculiar to it. Two of them, Ptilonopus gularis and 
Turaca?na menadensis, have their nearest allies in Timor. 
Two others, Carpophaga forsteni and Phkegenas tristig- 
mata, most resemble Philippine island species ; and Car- 
pophaga radiata belongs to a New Guinea group. Lastly, 
in the Gallinaceous tribe, the curious helmeted Maleo 
(Megacephalon rubripes) is qidte isolated, having its 
nearest (but still distant) allies in the Brush-turkeys of 
Australia and New Guinea. 

Judging, therefore, by the opinions of the eminent 
naturalists who have described and classified its birds, we 
find that many of the species have no near allies whatever 

CHAP, xviii.] OF CELEBES. 275 

in the countries which surround Celebes, but are either 
quite isolated, or indicate relations with such distant 
i^ons as New Guinea, Australia, India, or Africa. Other 
cases of similar remote afi&nities between the productions 
of distant countries no doubt exist, but in no spot upon 
the globe that I am yet acquainted with, do so many of 
them occur together, or do they form so decided a feature 
in the natural history of the country. 

The Manmialia of Celebes are very few in number, con- 
sisting 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, Viverra tangalunga, which has a stUl wider 
range ; and 3, a Deer, which seems to be the same as the 
Eusa 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 m the one small island of Batchian, 
into which it has probably been introduced accidentally. 
An allied species is found in the Philippines, but in no 
other island of the Archipelago is there anything resem- 
bling them. These creatures are about the, size of a 
spaniel, of a jet-black colour, and have the projecting 
dog-like muzzle and overhanging brows of the baboons. 
They have large red callosities and a short fleshy tail, 
flcaicely an inch long and hardly visible. They go in 
large bands, living chiefly in the trees, but often descend- 
ing on the ground and robbing gardens and orchards. 

Anoa depressicomis, the Sapi-utan, or wild cow of the 
Malays, is an animal which has been the cause of much 
controversy, 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 Africa. It is found only in the 
mountains, and is said never to inhabit places where there 


276 NATURAL HISTORF [cbap. xvui^ 

are deer. It is somewhat smaller than a small Highlanw* 
cow, and has long straight homa, which are ringed at th_ ■ 
hase and slope hackwards over the neck. 

The wild pig seems to be oi' a species peculiar to tk* 
island ; but a much more curious animal of this &mily s^ 
the Babirusa or Fig-deer, so named by the Malaya froxs 
its long 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, ai 

it feeds on fallen fruits. The tusks (tf the lower jav are 
very long and sharp, but the upper ones instead c^ grow- 
ing downwards in the usual way are completely reversed, 
growing upwards out of bony sockets through the akin oa 
each side of the enout, curving backwards to near the 
eyes, and in old animals often reaching eight or ten inchn 
in length. It is difficult to understand what can be ttie 

enAP. xviii.j Oh' ('I.Lb:iii:s. 277 

use of these extraordinary lioru-like teetli. 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 spiny plants. Even this, however, is not 
satisfectoiy, 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 monstrous form, just as the 
incisors of the Beaver or Rabbit wUl 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 Africa, whose upper canines grow outwards and curve 
up so as to form a transition from the usual mode of 
growth to that of the Babirusa. In other respects there 
seems no affinity between these animals, and the Babirusa 
stands completely isolated, having no resemblance to the 
pigs of any other part of the world. It is found all over 
Cdiebes and in the Sula islands, 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 connexion 
between them at some former period than now exists. 

The other terrestrial mammals of Celebes are, tive 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 individual and remarkable than the 
birds, since three of the largest and most interesting 
species have no near allies in surrounding coimtries, but 
seem vaouely to indicate a relation to the African continent 

278 NATURAL HISTORY Ichaf.xviii. 

Many groups of insects appear to be especially subject 
to local influences, their forms and colours 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 animals would be still more prominent in these 
creatures with less stable organisms. On the other hand, 
however, we have to consider that the dispersion and 
migration of insects is much more easily effected than 
that of mammals or 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 enclosed in wateiproof cocoons, may be 
floated for days or weeks uninjured over the ocean. These 
facilities of (^stribution tend to assimilate the productions 
of adjacent lands in two ways : first, by direct mutual 
interchange of species; and secondly by repeated immi- 
grations of fresh individuals of a species common to other 
islands, which by intercrossing, tend to obliterate the 
changes of form and colour, which differences of condi- 
tions might otherwise 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 compaiisons 
with other islands, I shall confine myself to those groups 
which are best known, or which I have myself carefully 
studied. Beginning 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. K 
we compare this with Borneo, which out of 29 species has 
only two not found elsewhere, the difference is as striking 
as anything can be. In the family of the Pieridse, 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 Danaidae are laige, 
but weak-flying butterflies, which frequent forests and 
gardens, and are plainly but often very richly coloured 




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 latter. The NymphalidsB are a very extensive 
group, of generally strong- winged and very bright-coloured 
butterflies, very abundant in the tropics, and represented 
in our own country by our Fritillaries, our Vanessas, and 
our Purple-emperor. Some months ago I drew up a list of 
the Eastern species of this group, including all the new 
ones discovered by myself, and arrived at the following 
comparative results : — 

Java ... 70 23 33 

Borneo. . . 52 15 29 

Celebes. . . 4S 85 78 

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 
Cetoniadas 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 yo ; yet only 13, or 35 per cent., are 
pectdiar to the former island, and 19, or 63 per cent., to the 

The result of these comparisons is, that although Ce- 
lebes 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 following table shows the com- 
parison of Celebes with the other groups of islands : — 

Indo-Malay region 
Philippine group 
GeleM • . . 
Koluocan group 
Timor group . 
Tamum (croup 


Per cent, of |>eculittr 

. 56 . . 

. 66 . . 

. 69 . . 

. 52 . . 

. 42 . . 

. 64 . . 


Per cent of pecnliar 

. . 54 

. . 73 

. . 60 

. . 62 

. . 47 


2S0 N.ri'i:i:.a iiisroin' [chap, xvih- 

These large and well-kiiowu families well represent th-^ 
general character of the zoology of Celebes; and t\i»^S 
show that this island is really one of the most isolate 
portions of the Archipelago, although situated in its v< 

But the insects of Celebes present us with other phenc 

mena more curious and more difficult to explain than thei ^ 

striking individuality. The butterflies of that island 
in many cases characterised by a peculiarity of outline 
which distinguishes them at a glance from those of an] 
other part of the world. It is most strongly manifested i 
the Fapilios and the Fieridae, and consists in the foi 
wings being either strongly curved or abruptly bent m 
the base, or in the extremity being elongated and 
somewhat hooked. Out of the 14 species of Papilio i 
Celebes, 13 exhibit this peculiarity in a greater or \i 
degree, when compared with the most nearly allied specie 

of the surrounding islands. Ten species of Fierid» havi_^ 

the same character, and in four or five of the Nymphalida^^^^ 
it is also very distinctly marked. In almost every 
the species found in Celebes are much larger than those oi 
the islands westward, and at least equal to those of the 
Moluccas, or even larger. The difference of form is how- 
ever the most remarkable feature, as it is altogether a ne^ 
thing for a whole set of species in one country, to differ h 
exactly the same way from the corresponding sets in 
the surrounding countries ; and it is so well marked, that 
without looking at the details of colouring, most Celel 
Fapilios and many Fieridse, can be at once distingoishe 
from those of other islands by their form alona 

The outside figure of each pair here given, shows the 
exact size and form of the fore-wing in a butterfly 
Celebes, wlule the inner one represents the most clcweljr^ 
allied species from one of the adjacent islands. Figure L. 
shows the strongly curved margin of the Celebes species^ 
Fapilio gigon, compared with the much straighter margin, 
of Fapilio demolion from Singapore and Java. Figure 2 
shows the abrupt bend over the base of the '^iVmg in 
Fapilio miletus of Celebes compared with the slight curva- 
ture in the common Fapilio sarpedon, which has almost 
exactly the same form from India to New Guinea and 

CRAP, xyia,] 



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 compared it is much more striking than 
:in these partial outlines. 

From the analogy of birds, we should suppose that the 
^inted wing gave increased rapidity of flight, since it is a 
character of terns, swallows, falcons, and of the swift- 
flying pigeons. A short and rounded wing, on the other 
hand, alwavs accompanies a more feeble or more laborious 

282 NATURAL HISTORY [chap, xviil 

flighty and one much less under command. We might 
suppose, therefore, 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 cannot 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 Mammalia now 
inhabiting it; and when the abundance of insectivorous 
creatures, rendered some unusual means of escape a 
necessity for the large-winged and showy butterflies. It 
is some confirmation of this view, that neither the very 
small nor the very obscurely coloured groups of butterflies 
have elongated wings, nor is any modification perceptible 
in those strong-winged groups which already possess gi-eat 
strength and rapidity of flight. These were already suffi- 
ciently protected from their enemies, and did not require 
increased power of escaping from them. It is not at all 
clear, what efiect the peculiar curvature of the wings has, 
in modifying flight. 

Another curious feature in the zoology of Celebes is 
also worthy of attention. I aUude 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 intervening island. In Birds we 
have the two families of Podargidse and Laniadae, 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, Bhipi- 
dura among Flycatchers, Ccilomis 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, .^jnong 
insects, the large genus of Eose-chafers, Lomaptera, is found 
in every country and island between India and New 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 

CHAP, xviii.] OF ('i.ij:ui:s. 2^.\ 

certaiuly adds cuiisiderabiy to the siraii^^e charauter ot 
this remarkable island 

The anomalies and eccentricities in the natural history 
of Celebes which I have endeavoured to sketch in this 
chapter, all point to an origin in a remote antiquity. The 
history of extmct animals teaches us, that their distribu- 
tion in time and in space are strikingly similar. The rule 
is, that just as the productions of adjacent areas usually 
resemble each other closely, so do the productions of 
successive periods in the same area; and as the produc- 
tions 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 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 different manner in both In 
either case the amount of individuality 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 
3>arts of the Archipelago. It probably dates from a period 
Tiot 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 
^intiquity is necessary, to account for the number of 
^mimal forms it possesses, which show no relation to those 
of India or Australia, but rather with those of Africa ; and 
'we are led to speculate on the possibility of there having 
once existed a continent in the Indian Ocean which might 
■serve as a bridge to connect these distant countries. Now 
it is a curious fact, that the existence of such a land has 
been already thought necessary, to account for the distri- 
bution of the curious Quadrumana forming the family of 
the Lemurs. These have their metropolis in Madagascar, 
but are found also in Africa, in Ceylon, in the penin- 
sula 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 connecting 
these distaat points, and whose former existea^^ S& 

284 NATURAL HISTORY. [chap, xnit 

indicated by tlie Mascarene isleuads £uid the Maldive cor»^ 
group, the name of Lemuria. Whether or no we believe i^ 
its existence in the exact form here indicated, the studeJ^^ 
of geographical distribution must see in the extraordina^^ 
and isolated productions of Celebes, proofia of the form^^^ 
existence of some continent from whence the ancestors ^^^ 
these creatures, and of many other intermediate fornix ^' 
could have been derived. 

In this short sketch of the most striking peculiarities ^^^ 
the Natural History of Celebes, I have been obliged to enti^^ 
much into details that I fear will have been uninteresting f>^ 
the general reader, but imless 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 th^ 
unusual features that Celebes presents to us. Situated in 
the very midst of an Archipelago, and closely hemmed in 
on every side by islands teeming with varied forms of lifi^ 
its productions have yet a surprising amount of indi- 
viduality. While it is poor in the actual number of its 
species, it is yet wooderfully rich in peculiar 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 ^ome 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 distribution upon the globe is the result of 
all the more recent changes the earth's surface has under- 
gone; and by a careful study of the phenomena we are 
sometimes able to deduce approximately what those past 
changes' must have been, in order to produce the distri- 
bution we find to exist. In the comparatively 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 a whole series of 
the later revolutions which have resulted in the present 
distribution of land in the Eastern Hemisphere. 

rii.\r SIX.] A DUTCH yfJlL STh.fMhR. 263 



(DECEMBER 1857, MAY 1859, APRIL 1861.) 

THE Dutch mail steamer in which I travelled from 
Macassar to B£iiida and Amboyna was a roomy and com- 
fortable vessel, 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 servemts, 
as every cabin passenger invariably brings his own, and 
the ship's stewards attend 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, sardines, &c. At ten, Madeira 
giu 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, &c. 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 sodawater 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 
island for several hundred miles, having always a view 
of hilly ranges covered with scanty vegetation, rising ridge 
behind lidge to the height of six or seven thousand feet. 
Taming off towards Banda we passed Pulo-Cambing, 
Wetter, and Boma, all of which are desolate and barren 
volcanic islands, almost as uninviting as Aden, and offer- 
ing a straiMe contrast to the usual verdure and luxuriance 
of the Arcnipelago. In two days more we reached the 
volcanic group of Banda, covered with an unusually dense 

286 : BANDA. i 

and brilliant green vegetation, indicating that we had 
passed beyond the range of the hot dry winds from the 
plains of Central Australia. Banda is a lovely little 8pot> 
its three islands enclosing a secure harbour from whence 
no outlet is visible, and with water so transparent, 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 
situated, where there is a telegraph station and a magni- 
ficent view. Below lies the little town, with its neat red- 
tiled white houses and the thatched cottages of the natives, 
bounded 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 ; whUe 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 well 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, marked by the narrow black 
vertical lines of water gullies. The smoke unites as it 
li^es, 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 deso- 
late 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 knowledge from childhood, of the fact that 


rolcanoes and earthquakes exist, has taken away somewhat 
>f the strange and exceptional character that really belongs 
io them. The inhabitant of most parts of northern Europe, 
jees in the earth the emblem of stability emd repose. His 
virhole life-experience, and that of all his age and genera- 
tion, teaches him that the earth is solid and firm, that its 
massive rocks may contain water in abimdance but never 
fire ; and these essential characteristics of the earth are 
manifest in every mountain 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 unaccountable that we may be sure 
it would not be believed on any human testimony, if pre- 
sented to us now for the first time, as a natural phenomenon 
happening in a distant country. 

ThQ summit of the small island is composed of a highly 
ciystalline 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, therefore, that this little group of four islands is 
the fragment of a larger district which was perhaps once 
connected with Geram, but which was separated and 
broken up by the same forces which formed the volcanic 
cone. When I visited the larger island on another occa- 
sion, 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 fiooded it as to 
destroy the vegetation on all the low lands. Almost 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 harbour bodily into the streets. 

Notwithstanding the losses incurred by these terrific 
visitations, and the small size and isolated position of 
these little islands, they have been and still are of con- 
siderable value to the Dutch Government, as the chief 
Dutmeg-garden in the world. Almost the whole surface 
is plant^ with nutmegs, grown under the shade of lofly 

288 BAN DA. [chap. xur. 

Kanary trees (Kanarium comiDune). The light volcanic 
soil, the shade, and the excessive 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 unnatural system of cul- 
tivation have ruined the nutmeg planters 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 colour 
of a peach, but rather oval. It is of a tough fleshy con- 
sistence, 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 un- 

The nutmeg trade has hitherto been a strict monopoly 
of the Dutch Government ; but since leaving the coimtiy 
I believe that this monopoly has been partially or wholly 
discontinued, a proceeding which appears exceedingly in 
judicious and quite imnecessary. There are cases in 
which monopolies are perfectly justifiable, and I believe 
this to be one of them. A small country like Holland, 
cannot afford to keep distant and expensive colonies at a 
loss ; and having possession of a very small island where 
a valuable product, not a rvecessary of lifty can be obtained 
at little cost, it is almost the duty of the state to mono- 
polise it No injury is done thereby to any one, but a 
great benefit is conferred on the whole population of Hol- 
land and its dependencies, since the produce of the state 
monopolies saves them from the weight of a heavy taxa- 
tion. 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 propedy of 
one or more large capitalists. The monopoly 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 individuals 
instead of to the nation. As an illustration of how a state 
monopoly may become a state duty, let us suppose 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 fhe state to keep and work the mines for the 
public benefit, since by doing so, the gain would be fairly 
divided among the whole population by decrease of taxa- 
tion ; whereas by leaving it open to free trade while merely 
keeping the government 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 
certainly not nearly so bad as many monopoUes we our- 
selves have till very recently maintained. Nutmegs and 
cloves are not necessaries cPlife ; they are not even used 
as spices by the natives of the Moluccas, and no one was 
materially or permanently 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 prohibition of the growth of tobacco 
in England, for fiscal purposes, and is, morally and economi- 
cally, neither better nor worse. The salt monopoly which 
we so long maintained in India was much worse. As long 
^ we 'keep up a system of excise and customs on articles 
of daily use, which requires an elaborate array of ofl&ceis 
^Qd coastguards to carry into effect, and which creates a 
^^mnber of purely legal crimes, it is the height of absurdity 


21)0 BAND A. [chap. six. 

for US to affect indignation at the conduct of the Datcfa, 
who carried out a much more justifiable, less hurtful, and 
more profitable sj'stem in their Eastern possessions. I 
challenge objectors to point out any physical or moral evib 
that have actually resulted from the action of the Dutch 
Government in this matter ; whereas such evils are the 
admitted results of every one of our monopolies and restric- 
tions. 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 conditions of its truth is, the approxi- 
mate mental and social unity of the society in which it is 
applied. I shall again refer to this subject in my chapter 
on Temate, one of the most celebrated of the old spice- 

The natives of Banda are very much mixed, and it is 
probable that at least three-fourths of the population are 
mongrels, in various degrees of Malay, Papuan, Arab, 
Portuguese, and Dutch. The first two form the basis of 
the larger portion, 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 
K6 islands, where they emigrated when the Portuguese 
first took possession of their native island. It is such 
people as these that are often looked upon as transitional 
forms between two very distinct races, like the Malays 
and Papuans, whereas they are only examples of int^- 

The animal productions of Banda, though veiy few, aie 
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 oollectoTS have added a few others. The most 


Tematkable 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. 




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 peninsulas, 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 several miles long 
and forms a fine harbour, on the southern side of which is 
situated the town of Amboyna. I had a letter of intro- 
duction to Dr. Mohnike, the chief medical oflBcer 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 oflTered me a room 
during my stay in Amboyna, and introduced me to his 
junior, Dr. Doleschall, a Hungarian and also an ento- 
mologist. He was an intelligent and most amiable young 
man, but I was shocked to find that he was dying of con- 
BTimption, though still able to perform the duties of his 
office. In the evening my host took me to the residence 
of the Governor, Mrl* Goldmann, who received me in a 
-Most kind and cordial manner, and offered me every 
^^ifitiince. The town of Amboyna consists of a few 




business streets, and a number of roads set out at right 
angles to each other, bordered by hedges of flowering 
shrubs, and enclosing country houses and huts embosomed 
in palms and fruit trees. Hills and mountains form the 
background in almost every direction, 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 Funnell, in his voyage with Dampier to the 
South Seas in 1705, says: ''Whilst 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 vapour 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 
ofthese subterranean 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 Amboyna, that they had never heard of any 
such thing as a volcano on the island. 

During the few days that elapsed before I could make 
arrangements 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 collections almost entirely by 
means of native collectors. Dr. Doleschall studied chiefly 
the flies and spiders, but also collected buttei'flies and 

294 JMBOnrj. I 

moths, and in his boxed I saw grand specime&s ot the 
emerald Omithoptera priamus and the azure Papilio 
ulysses, with many more of the superb butterflies of this 
rich island. Ur. Mohnike oonfined 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 Buprestidse and Longicoms of 
the tropics. The doctor made the voyage to Jeddo by 
land from Nagasaki, and is well acquainted with the 
character, manners, and customs of the people of Japan, 
and with the geology, physical features, and natural 
history of the country. He showed me collections of 
cheap woodcuts printed in colours, 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 humour. He also possesses a large collection of 
coloured 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, ihe character and perspective 
of very complicated plants being admirably given, and the 
articulations of stem and loaves shown in a most scientific 

Having made arrangements to stay for three weeks at a 
small hut, on a newly cleared plantation in the interior of 
the northern half of the island, I with some difficultv 
obtained a boat and men to take me across the water; 
for the Amboynese are dreadfully lazy. Passing up the 
harbour, in appearance like a fine river, the clearness of 
the water afforded 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 productions, of magnificent 
dimensions, varied forms, and brilliant colours. The depth 
varied from about twenty to fifty feet, and the bottom was 
very uneven, rocks and chasms and little hills and valleys, 
offering a variety of stations for the growth of these animal 
forests. In and out among them, moved numbers of Uae 


and red aud yellow fishes, spotted and banded and striped 
in the most striking manner, while great orange or rosy 
transparent medusae floated along near the snrfiace. It was 
a sight to gaze at for hours, and no description can do jus- 
tice to its surpassing beauty and interest. For once, the 
reality exceeded the most glowing accounts I had ever 
lead 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 harbour of Ambo^^na. 

from the north side of the harbour, a good broad path 
passes through swamp clearing and forest, over hill and 
Talley, to the farther side of the island; the coralline 
lock constantly protruding through the deep red earth 
which fills all the hollows, and is more or less spread over 
the plains and hill-sides. The forest vegetation is here 
of the most luxuriant 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 
Vas 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 Iiut, consisting 
of an open verandah in front and a small dark sleeping- 
loom behind. It was raised about five feet from thB 
ground, and was reached by rude steps to the centre of 
the verandah. 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 Curculionida, Longi- 
coms, and Buprcstidse, most of them remarkable for 
their elegant forms or brilliant colours, and almost all 
entirely new to me. Only the entomologist can appreciate 
the delight with which I hunted about for hours in the 

296 AMBOTNA, [chap, xx- 

hot sunshine, among the branches and twigs and bark of 
the fiEdlen trees, every few minutes securing insects which 
were at that time ahnost all rare or new to European 

In the shady forest paths were many fine butterflies, 
most conspicuous among which was the shining blue Papilio 
ulysses, one of the princes of the tribe. Though at that 
time so rare in Europe, I found it absolutely common in 
Amboyna, though not eady 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 imdulating motion, and from its large size, its tailed 
wings and brilliant colour, is one of the most tropical- 
looking insects the naturalist can gaze upon. 

There is a remarkable contrast between the beetles of 
Amboyna and those of Macassar, the 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 aUied to each other the species of 
Amboyna are of larger size and more brilliant colours, 
so that one might be led to conclude that, in passing east 
and west into a less favourable soil and climate, they had 
degenerated into less striking forms. 

Of an evening I generally sat reading in the verandah, 
ready to capture any insects that were attracted to the 
light One night about nine o'clock, I heard a curious 
noise and nistling 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 
afterwards. 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 upwards I 
saw a large mass of something overhead which I had not 
noticed before. Looking 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 laige 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 liis way under the thatch 
within a yard of my head, and taken up a comfortable 
position in the roof — and I had slept soundly all night 
directly under him. 

I caJled 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 tliey rushed out of the house 
and begged me to come out directly. Finding they 
^were too much afraid to do anything, we called some of 
the labourers 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 hfind poked at the snake, 
who then began slowly to uncoil itself He then man- 
aged to slip the noose over its head, and getting ib well 
on to the body, dragged the animal down. There was a 
great scuffle as the snake coUed round the chairs and 
posts to resist his enemy, but at length the man caught 
bold of its tail, rushed out of the house (running so 
quick that the creature seemed quite confounded), and 
tried to strike its head against a tree. He missed however, 
and let go, and the snake got imder 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 kUled 
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 lor}% Eos rubra — a brush- 
tongaed parroquet of a vivid crimson colour, which was 
very abundant. . Large flocks of them came about the 
plantation, and formed a magnificent object when tliey 
settled down upon some flowering tree, on the nectar of 
wliich lories feed, I also obtained one or two specimens 
of the fine racquet-tailed kingfislier of Amboyna, Tany- 
^ptera nais, one of the most singular and beautiful of that 
beautiful funily. These birds difier from all other king- 

fiahera (vbicb ha%-G 
UBiully short tails) by 
having the two mid- 
dle tail-featheis im- 
mensely lengthened 
and very naiTowly webbeil, 
but terminated by a spoou 
shaped enlargement, as iii 
the motmots and some of 
the humming-birds. They 
belong to that division erf 
the femily termed king- 
hunters, living chiefly on 
insects and small land-mol- 
luscs, which they dart down 
upon and pick up from the 
ground, just as a kingdslicr 
picks out of the water. 
They are confined to a very 
limited area, comprising the 
Moluccas, New Guinea, and 
Northern Australia. About 
ten species of these birds 
are now known, all much 
resembling each other, but 
yet sufficiently distinguish- 
able ia every locality. The 
Amboynese species, of 
which a very accurate re- 
presentation is here given, 
is one of the largest and 
handsomest. ItiafiSlsevi,'n- 
teen inches long to the lips 
of the tail-feathers; the bill 
is coral red, the under-sur- 
face pure white, the back 
and wings deep purple, 
while the shoulders, head 
and nape, and some spots 
on the upper part of the 
back and wings, are pure 

cUAi\ XX. J SOCIAL LIFE. 2i>li 

azure blue. The tail is white, with the feathers uarrowly 
blue-edged, but the narrow part of the long feathers is 
rich blue. This was an entirely new species, and has been 
well named after an ocean goddess, by Mr. G. E, Gray. 

On Christmas eve I returned to Amboyna, where I 
stayed about ten days with my kind friend Dr. Mohnike. 
Considering that I had been away only twenty days, and 
that on five or six of those I was prevented doing any- 
thing by wet weather and slight attacks of fever, 1 had 
made a very nice collection of insects, comprising a much 
larger proportion of large and brilliant species than I had 
ever before obtained in so short a time. Of the beautiful 
metallic Baprcstidae I had about a dozen handsome species, 
yet in the doctor's collection I observed four or five more 
veiy ftne ones, so that Amboyna is unusually rich in this 
degant groap. 

Dniiug 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 
ttie hours of seven and twelve, the afternoon being given 
up to repose, and the evening to visiting. When in the 
house daring the heat of the day, and even at dinner, 
they use a loose cotton dress, only putting on a suit of thin 
ESoropean-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 in- 
cident to the climate greatly diminished. Christmas day 
is not made much of, but on New Year's day official and 
complimentary visits are paid, and about simset we w^ent 
to the Governor's, where a large party of ladies and gen- 
tlemen 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 
company are ladies. I here saw for the firat lime the 
rare black lory from New Guinea, Chalcopsitta atra. 
The plumage is rather glossy, and slightly tinged with 

300 AMBOYNA, [chap. xx. 

yellowish and pui-ple, the bill and feet being entirely 

The native Amboynese who reside in the city are a 
strange half-civilized half-savage lazy people, who seem 
to be a mixture 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 trousers, 
and a black frock or upper shirt. The women seem to 
prefer a dress entirely black. On festivals and holy 
days every man wears the swallow-tail coat, chimney- 
pot hat, and their accompaniments, displaying all the 
absurdity of our European fashionable dress. Though 
now Protestants, 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 Por- 
tuguese than Dutch in it, although they have been in close 
communication with the latter nation for more than two 
hundred and fifty years ; even many names of birds, trees 
and other natuiul 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 tem- 
porary settlement. In a suburb of Amboyna there is a 
village of aboriginal Malays who are Mahometans, 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. 

^ The following are a few of the Portuguese words in common use by 
the Malay-speaking natives of Amboyna and the other Molucca islands : 
Pombo (pigeon); milo (maize); testa (forehead); horas (hours); alhnete 
(pin); cadeira (chair); len^o (handkerchieO ; fresco (cool); trigo (flour); 
Bono (sleep) ; familia (family) ; histori (talk) ; vosso (you) ; mesmo 
(even) ; cuflhado (brother-in-law) ; scnhor (sir) ; nyora for signora 
(madam). — None of them, however, have the least notion that these 
words belong to a European language. 


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. Bleeker, 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 colours, 
being marked with bands and spots of the purest yellows, 
reds, and blues ; whUe their forms present all that strange 
and endless variety so characteristic of the inhabitants of 
the ocean. The shells are also very numerous, and com- 
prise a number of the finest species in the worid. The 
Mactras and Ostreas in particular struck me by the variety 
and beauty of their colours. Shells have long been an 
object of trafl&c in Amboyna; many of the natives get their 
living by collecting and cleaning them, 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 London for 
SI penny each, being natives of the distant isle of Amboyna, 
'M^here they cannot be bought so cheaply. The fishes in 
t;he collection were all well preserved in clear spirit in 
liiindreds of glass jars, and the shells were arranged in 
large shallow pith boxes lined with paper, every specimen 
TDcing fastened down with thread. I roughly estimated that 
'there were nearly a thousand difierent kinds of shells, and 
3)erhaps ten thousand specimens, while the collection of 
Amboyna fishes was nearly perfect. 

On the 4th of January I left Amboyna for Temate ; but 
two years later, in October 1859, I again visited it after 
my residence in Menado, and stayed a month in the town 
in a small house which I hired for the sake of assorting 
and packing up a large and varied collection which I 
had brought with me from North Celebes, Temate, and 
Gilolo. I was obliged to do this because the mail-steamer 
would have come the following month by way of Amboyna 
to Temate, and I should have been delayed two months 
before I could have reached the former place. I then paid 

302 AMBOYNA, [chap. 

my first visit to Ceram, and on returning to prepare :loi 
my second more complete exploration of that island^^ ] 
stayed (much against my will) two months at Paso, on 
the isthmus which connects the two portions of the islsi^kQc) 
of 'Amboyna. This village is situated on the eastern & ^de 
of the isthmus, on sandy ground, with a very pleasant vx^ir 
over the sea to the island of Hanika. On the Ambojrms 
side of the isthmus there is a small river which has be^ 
continued by a shallow canal to within thirty yards of 
high-water mark on the other side. Across tins sxnaff 
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 Saparda and Hanika, 
passes through Paso. Tlie canal is not continued quite 
through, merely because every spring-tide would throw 
up just such a sand-bank as now exists. 

I had been informed that the fine butterfly Omithoptera 
priamus was plentiful here, as well as the racquet-tailed 
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, including one or two of the above-mentioned rarities. 
I was much pleased to get here the fine long-armed chafer, 
Euchirus 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 themselvus lazily along 
by means of their immense fore-legs. A figure of this 
and other Moluccan beetles is given in the 27Si 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 
difficulty in finding a side to lie upon without pain. &eee 


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 
agreement 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 learnt to skin birds very well, agreed to go with 
Allen, as well as a very quiet and industrious lad named 
Cornelius, whom I had brought from Menado. I had two 
Amboynese, named Petnis Rehatta, and Mesach Mata- 
kena ; the latter of whom had two' brothers, named re- 
spectively 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 
Inxnry I have never met with either before or since — the 
true bread-fruit. A good deal of it has been planted 
cibout here and in the surrounding villages, and almost 
^very day we had opportunities of purchasing some, as 
^11 the boats going to Amboyna were unloaded just oppo- 
^te my door to be dragged across the isthmus. Though 
it grows in several other parts of the Archipelago, it is 
>:iowhere abundant, and the season for it only lasts a short 
time. It is baked entire in the hot embers, and the 
Xnside scooped out with a spoon. I compared it to York- 
shire pudding; Charles AUen said it was like mashed 
;j)otatoes and milk. It is generally about the size of a 
:xiielon, a little fibrous towards the centre, but everywhere 
^Ise quite smooth and puddingy, something in consistence 
\)etween yeast-dumplings and batter-pudding. We some- 
times made curry or stew of it, or fried it in slices ; 
\)vX it is no way so good as simply baked. It may be 
^aten sweet or savory. With meat and g^a^'y 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 

304 TEEN ATE, [chap, xxl 

but characteristic flavour, which, like that of good bread 
and potatoes, one never gei^ 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 there- 
fore 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 
Wards 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 
Amboyna 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 groimd in 
the eves of the naturalist, and characterise its fauna as 
one of the most remarkable and beautiful upon the globe. 
On the 20th of February I finally quitted Amboyna for 
Ceram and Waigiou, leaving Charles Allen to go by a 
Government boat to Wahai on the north coast of Ceram. 
and thence to the unexplored island of MysoL 



ON the morning of the 8th of January, 1858, 1 arrived at 
Ternate, the fourth of a row of fine conical volcanic 
islands which skirt the west coast of the large and v almost 
unknown island of Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly 
conical mountain is Tidore, which is over four thousand 


feet high — ^Temate being very nearly the same height, but 
with a more rounded and irregular summit The town 
of Temate 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 beau- 
tiful volcanic cone of Tidore ; to the east is the long 
mountainous, coast of Gilolo, terminated towards the north 
by a group of three lofty volc^c peaks, while imme- 
diately 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 Temate, of an ancient Dutch family, but who 
was, educated in England, and speaks our language per- 
fectly. 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 gene- 
rally known as the king of Temate, from his large pro- 
perty and great influence with the native Eajahs and their 
subjects. Through his assistance I obtained a house, 
rather ruinous, but well adapted to my purpose, being 
close to the town, yet with a free outlet to the country and 
the mountain. A few needful repairs were soon made, 
some bamboo furniture and other necessaries obtained, and 
after a visit to the Besident and Police Magistrate I found 
myself an inhabitant of the earthquake-tortured island of 
Temate, 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 
uf the Moluccas and New Guinea, where I could pack 
my collections, recruit my health, and make preparations 




[ouap. XXL 

for future journeys. To avoid repetitions, I will in this 
chapter combine what notes I have about Temate. 

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 
root everywhere except in the verandah filled in with the 



Back Verandah. 


H — V 

11 X 20 

4 V 

Ha I.I. 

SOX 18 


^ ^ 

11 X 11 

Vkrandau 40 X 10. 


I J 


leaf-stems of the sago-palm, fitted neatly in woodeiir-^ 
framing. The floor is of stucco, and the ceilings are like^ 
the walls. The house is forty feet square, consists of four^^ 
rooms, a hall, and two verandahs, 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 thie house I spent many happy days. Betuming to it 
after a three or four months' absence in some uncivilized 


I, I enjoyed the unwonted luxuries of milk and fresh 

and regular supplies of fish and eggs, meat and 
ibles, which were often sorely needed to restore my 
L and energy. I had ample space and convenience 
ipacking, sorting, and arranging my treasures, and I 
slightful wedks in the suburbs of the town, or up the 

slopes of the mountain, when I desired a little 
se, or had time for collecting. 

J lower part of the mountain, behind the town of 
te, is almost entirely covered with a forest of fruit 
and during the season hundreds of men and women, 
and girls, go up every day to bring down the ripe 

Durians and Mangoes, two of the very finest tropical 
are in greater abundance at Temate than I have ever 
:hem, and some of the latter are of a quality not 
)r to any in the world. Lansats and Mangustans are 
tbundant, but these do not ripen till a little later. 
5 the fruit trees there is a belt of clearings and cul- 
i grounds, which creep up the mountain to a height 
ween two and three thousand feet, above which is 

forest, reaching nearly to the summit, which on the 
ext the town is covered with a high reedy grass. On 
rther side it is more elevated, of a bare and desolate 
■^ with a slight depression marking the position of the 
From tins part descends a black scoriaceous tract, 
•ugged, and covered with a scanty vegetation of scat- 
bushes as far down as the sea. This is the lava of 
eat eruption near a century ago, and is called by the 
!S " batu-angas " (burnt rock), 
t below my house is the fort, built by the Portu- 

bftlow which is an open space to the beach, and 
d this the native town extends for about a mile to 
Drth-east About the centre of it is the palace of 
iltan, now a large untidy, half-ruinous biulding of 

This chief is pensioned by the Dutch Government, 
jtains the sovereignty over the native population of 
land, and of the northern part of Gilolo. The sultans 
•nate and Tidore were once celebrated through the 
or their power and regal magnificence. When Drake 
I Temate in 1579, the Portuguese had been driven 
- the island, although they still had a settlement p^ 

308 TERN ATE, \cahx\ xu. 

Tidore. He gives a glowing account of the Sultan : " The 
King had a very ricli 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 breadth, 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." 

All 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 Uie 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 pait in which it was cultivated. Nut- 
megs and mace were procured from the natives of New 
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, 
dnd 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 with the native rulers. 
These agreed to have all the spice trees in their posses- 
sions destroyed. They gave up large though fluctuating 
revenues, but they gained in return a fixed subsidy, free- 
dom from the constant att^acks and harsh oppressions 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 
Prague horror, as something utterly unprincipled and bar- 
barous, that the native population suffered grievously by 
bhis 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 sub- 
jects more than would amount to their usual wages, while 
ihey would surely exact as large a quantity of spice as they 
30idd possibly obtain. Drake and other early voyagers 
ilways seem to have purchased their spice-cargoes from the 
Sultans and Eajahs, and not from the cultivators. Kow 
the absorption of so much labour in the cultivation of this 
3ne product must necessarily have raised the price of food 
said 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 
valuable products of the seas and the forests would be ob- 
tained. I believe, therefore, that this abolition of the spice 
trade in the Moluccas was actually beneficicd to the inha- 
bitants, and that it was an act both wise in itself and 
morally and politically justifiable. 

In the selection of the places in which to carry on the 
cultivation, the Dutch were not altogether fortunate or 
wise. Banda was chosen for nutmegs, and was eminently 
successful, since 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 culti- 
vation ; but the soil and climate, although apparently very 
similar to that of its native islands, is not favourable, and 
for some years the Grovemment have actually been pajring 
ko 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 a term of years by the Dutch 
Government, and which rate is still most honourably paid. 

In walking about the suburbs of- Temate, we find 
Bverywhere the ruins of massive stone and brick build- 
ings, gateways and arGhes, showing at once the superior 
ir^th of the ancient town and the destructive effects of 

810 TERN ATE. [ohaf. xzi. 

earthquakes. It was during 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 occurring 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 immediately 
afterwards my bed shook too, so that for an instant I 
imagined myself back in New 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; bute=^ 
none came, and this was the only earthquake I ever fell 
in Temate. 

The last great one was in February 1840, when almost::^ 
every house in the place was destroyed. It began about 
midnight on the Chinese New Year's festival, at 
time every one stays up nearly all night feasting at thi^^^ 
Chinamen's houses and seeing the processions. This pre- 
vented any lives being lost, as every one ran out o\ 
doors at the first shock, which was not very severe. Th< 
second, a few minutes afterwards, threw down a greal 
many houses, and others, which continued all night an< 
part of the next dqy, completed the devastation. The lim 
of disturbance was very narrow, so that the native town 8 
mile to the east scarcely suffered at alL The wave passec::;;^ 
from north to south, through the islands of Tidore anc:— ^ 
Makian, and terminated in Batchian, where it was not feK ' 
till four the following afternoon, thus taking no less 
sixteen hours to travel a hundred miles, or about six niil< 
an hour. It is singular that on this occasion there was m 
rushing up of the tide, or other commotion of the sea, as ii 
usually the case during great earthquakes. 

The people of Temate are of three well-marked races ^ 
the Temate Malays, the Orang Sirani, and the Dut^h^ 
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 adiacent mainland of Gilolo» and 


established a monarchy. 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 natives of Gilolo, while it contains 
much that pomts to a Malayan 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 Sh»ni," or Nazarenes, is the name giyen, 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 Arabs, 
and a number of half-breeds between all these races and 
native women. 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 of 
its component parts. 

Soon after my first arrival in Temate I went to the 
island of Gilolo, accompanied by two sons of Mr. Duiven- 
boden, and, by a young Chinaman, a brother of my land- 
lord, 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 ^be morning, instead of which none appeared till five, 
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 b^tering 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 succeeded 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 induced to favour us with his company and 
assistance. In three hours' rowing and sailing we reached 
our destination, Sedingole, where there is a house belong- 
ing to the Sultan of Tidore, who sometimes goes there 
hunting. It was a dirty ruinous shed, with no furniture 
but a few bamboo bedsteada On taking a walk into the 

312 TE&NATE, [chap. xxi. 

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 i>o insects, and 
we therefore arranged to stay only two days, and then go 
on to Dodinga, at the narrow central isthmus of Gilolo, 
whence my friends would return to Temate. 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 )ve did not 
want for provisions. When the time canja for ub to con- 
tinue our journey, a fresh diflSculty presented itself, for our 
gentlemen slaves refused in a body to go with us, saying 
very determinedly that they would return to Tern^te. 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 nighty 
with my two men and my baggage. 

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. 
No ill results followed. Owing to the aipicable relations 
which had always existed between them and their 
masters, due no doubt in part to the Govenm^ent having 
long accorded them legal rights and protection against 
cruelty and ill-usage, many continued in the same service, 
and after a little temporary difficulty in some cases, almost 
all returned to, work either for their old or for new 
masters. The Government took the very proper step o 
placing every emancipated slave under the surveillance a 
the police-magistrate. They were obliged to show thai 
they were working for a living, and had some honestly 
acquired means of existence. All who could zuit do 
were placed upon public works at low wages, and 
were kept from the temptation to peculation or othe 
crimes, which the excitement of newly-acquired fireedompi^ 
and disinclination to labour, might have led them into. 

ciiAi>. xxif.] DODINGA 313 


(march and sbptbmbek 1858.) 

I MADE but few and comparatively short visits to this 
large and little known island, but obtained a consider- 
able knowledge of its natural history by sending first my 
boy Ali, and then my assistant, Charles Allen, who stayed 
two or three months each in the noi-thern 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 exactly opposite Ternate, and a 
short distance up a little stream which penetrates a few 
miles inland. The village is a small one, and is com- 
pletely shut in by low hiUs. 

As soon as I arrived, I applied to the head man of the 
village for a house to live in, but all were occupied, and 
thei*e was much difficulty in finding one. In the mean- 
time I unloaded my baggage on the beach and made some 
tea, and afterwards 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 immediate 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 ^t me; and when I each time insisted upon his 
immediately mending the roof according to contract, all 
the answer I could cet was, " Ea nanti,'* (Yes, wait a little). 
However, 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 

On the top of a bank, of about a hundred feet ascont 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 mas- 
sive structure has also been rent; but it cannot well be 
thrown down, being a solid mass of stonework, forming a 
platform about ten feet high, and perhaps forty feet square. 
It is approached by narrow steps und6r an archway, and 
is now surmounted by a row of thatched hovels, in which 
live the small garrison, consisting of a Dutch corporal and 
four Javanese soldiei*s, the sole representatives of the 
Netherlands Government in the island. The village is 
occupied entirely by Ternate mei^ The true indigenes of 
Gilolo, "Alfuros" as they are here called, live on the 
eastern coast, or in the interior of the northern peninsula. 
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 
abrupt hills and valleys, with angiilar masses of limestone 
rock everywhere projecting, and often almost blocking up 
the pathway. Most of it is virgin forest, very luxuriant 
and picturesque, and at this time having abundance of 
laige scarlet Ixoras 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, Pitta gigas, a larcje gi*o\md-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 strong legs, and hops about 
with such activity in the dense tangled forest, bristling 
with rocks, as to make it very diflBcult to shoot. 

In September 1858, after my return from New Guinea, 
I went to stay some time at the village of Djilolo, situated 
in a bay on the northern peninsula. Here I oldtained a 
house through the kindness of the Eesident of Ternate, 
who sent orders to prepare one for me. The first walk into 
the unexplored forests of a new locality is a moment of 
intense interest 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 &id a most 


beautiful little long-tailed bird, ornamented with green, 
red, and blue colours, and quite new to me. It was a 
variety of the Charmosyna placentis, one of the smallest 
and most .elegant of the brush-tongued lories. 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'Urvillel 

The village of Djilolo was formerly the chief residence 
of the Sultans of Temate, 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 popu- 
lous as is indicated by the wide extent of cleared land in 
the neighbourhood, 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 insects and a very 
limited variety of birds, which obliged 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 Mahometans 
and Alfuros, which latter race I much wished to sea I 
set oflf one morning to examine this place myself, expect- 
ing 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 village of Sahoe that some high forest 
land was perceived stretching towards 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 

Although Sahoe did not at all appear what I expected, 
I determined to give it a trial, and a few days afterwards 
obtained a boat to carry my things by sea while I walked 
overland. A large house on the beach belonging to the 
Sidtan was g^ven 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 veiy 
few days dispelled all hopes 1 might have entertained of 

316 GILOLO. [chap. XXII. 

making good coUectioas in this place. Nothing 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 and there were 
clumps 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 virgin 
forest that 1 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 interesting beetlea Two or three new birds 
were obtained by my hunters, and by incessant inquiries 
and promises I succeeded in gettjjig the natives to bring 
me some land shells, among which was a very fine and 
handsome one. Helix pyrostoma. I wa3, however, com- 
pletely 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 attempt3 at col- 
lecting in Gilolo. 

In the country round about Sahoe, and in the interior, 
theie is a large population of indigenes, numbers of whom 
came daily into the village, bringing their produce for sale, 
while others were engaged as labourers by the Chinese 
and Ternate traders. A careful examination convinced me 
that these people 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-Papuaji — neither straight, 
smooth, and glossy, like all true Malays', nor so frizzly and 
woolly as the perfect Papuan type, b^it always crisp, 
waved, and rough, such a^ often occurs ampng the true 
Papuans, but never among the Malays. Their colour 
alone is often exactly that of the Malay, or even lighter. 
Of course there has been intermixture, and there occur 
occasionally individuals which it is difficult to classify ; 
but in most cases the large, somewhat aquiline nose, with 
elongated apex, the tall stature, the waved hair, the beaded 
face, and hairy body, as well as the less reserved manner 
and louder voice, unmistakeably proclaim the Papuan 
typa Here then I had discovered the exact boundary line 


between the Malay and Papuan races, and at a spot where 
no other writer had expected it. I was very much pleased 
at this determination, as it gave me a clue to one of the 
most difficult problems in Ethnology, and enabled me in 
many other places to separate the two races, and to unravel 
their intermixtures. 

On my return from Waigiou in 1860, I stayed some 
days on the southern extremity of Gilolo* but, beyond 
seeing something more of its structure and general 
character, obtained very little additional information. It 
is only in the northern peninsula that there are any indi- 
genes, the whole. of the rest of the island, with Batchian 
and the other islands westward, being exclusively in- 
habited 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 

GUolo, or Halmaheira as it is called by the Malays 
and Dutch, seems to have been recently modified by up- 
heaval and subsidence. In 1673, 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 navigation. At 
the same time, the character of its natural history 
proves it to be a rather ancient land, since it possesses a 
number of animals peculiar to itself or common* to the 
small islands around it| but almost always distinct fromi 
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 curious 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 fus- 
cicapillus), and a large crow-like starling (Lycocorox mpro- 

318 FOYAOE TO BATGEIAN. [chap. x:3Lm. 

tensis), 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 firom its 
natural history that an arm of the sea twenty-five miles 
wide serves to limit the range even of birds of consider- 
able powers of flight. 



(OOTOBEB 1858.) 

ON returning to Ternate from Sahoe, I at once began 
making 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 opportimity of obtaining a passs^ presented itsell I 
accordingly went into the native town, and coidd 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 coasting 
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 Bomean 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 ; Labi, a native of 
Gilolo, who could speak Malay, as woodcutter 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 Chinaman named 
Lau Keng Tong, for five guilders a month. 

HAP. xmii.] THB COMBT OF IS58. 319 

We started on the morning of October 9th^ but had 
Lot got a hundred yards &om laud, when a strong head 
idnd sprung up, against which we could not row, so we 
rept sJong shore to below the town, and waited till the 
urn of the tide should enable us to cross over to the coast 
if Tidore. About three in the afternoon we got o^ and 
bund that our boat saUed well, and would keep pretty 
lose to the wind. We got on a good way before the wind 
ell and we had to take to our oars again. We landed 
m a nice sandy beach to cook our suppers, just as the 
un set behind the rugged volcanic hiUs, to the south of 
he great Gone of Tidore, and soon after beheld the planet 
Tenus shining in the twilight with the brilliancy of a new 
Qoon, and casting a very distinct shadow. We left again 
. little before seven, and as we got out from the shadow of 
he mountain I observed a bright light over one part of the 
idge, and soon after, what seemed a fire of remarkable 
irhiteness on the very summit of the hill. I caUed the 
.ttention of my men to it, and they too thought it merely 
. fire ; but a few minutes afterwards, as we got farther off 
hore, the light rose clear up above the ridge of the hill, 
nd some faint clouds clearing away from it, discovered 
he magnificent comet which was at the same time 
stonishmg all Europe. The nucleus presented to the 
laked eye a distinct disc of brilliant white light, from 
Fhich the tail rose at an angle of about 30** or 35** with 
he horizon, curving slightly downwards, and terminating 
a a broad brush of faint light, the curvature of which 
iminished till it was nearly straight at the end. The 
ortion of the tail next the comet appeared three or four 
imes as bright as the most luminous portion of the 
dlky way, and what struck me as a singular feature was 
bat its upper margin, from the nucleus to very near the 
xtremity, was clearly and almost sharply defined, while 
he lower side gradually . shaded off into obscurity. 
Mrectly it rose above the ridge of the hill, I said to my 
len, " See, it's not a fire, it's a bintang ber-ekor " (" tailed- 
tar," the Malay idiom for a comet). " So it is," said they ; 
nd aU declared that they had often heard tell of such, 
»at had never seen one till now. I had no telescope 
rith me, nor any instrument at hand, but I estimated tiie 

320 rOTAGB TO BATCHIAN. [chap, xxiil 

length of the tail at ahout 20°, and the "width, towards the 
extremity, about 4t or 6^ 

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. stayed 
till morning. The comet was again visible, but not nearly 
so brilliant, being partly obscured by clouds, and dimmed 
by the light of the new moon. We then towed across to the 
island of Motir, which is so surrounded with coral-reefs 
that it is dangerous to apprpacL These are perfectly flat, 
and are only covered at high water, ending in israggy 
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 ms^e 
a fire and cook our dinner — the boat having no accommo- 
dation for more than heating water for my morning and 
evening coffee. 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, 
tlie comet appeared with quite as much splendour as 
when we first saw it. 

The coasts of these small islands are very difiTerent 
according 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, occuning only in small patches 
in quiet bays, and rarely or never forming reefa Temate^ 
Tidore, and Makian belong to this class. Islands oC 
volcanic origin, not themselves volcanoes, but which hav9 
been probably recently upraised, are generally more of 
less completely surrounded by fringing reefSs of coral, ami 
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. Mareh and Motir are of this character, the out- 
line of the latter giving it the appearance of having 
been a tnie volcano, and it is said by Forrest to have 
thrown out stones in 1778. The next day (Oct. 12th), 
live 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 moun- 
tain, leaving the truncated jagged summit and vast 
floomy crater valley which at this time distinguished it. 
t was said to have been as lofty as Tidore before this 

I stayed some time at a place where I saw a new 
clearing on a very steep part of the mountain, and ob- 
tained a few interesting 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 Kai6a. 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 burn- 
ing 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 violent 
current carrying us out to sea. At length we over- 
came 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, resembling those of the K6 Islands (Chap. XXIX.) 
It was accompanied 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 village, and see if their animal produc- 
tions were correspondingly interesting. While searching 
for a secure anchorage for the night we again saw the 

1 Soon after I left the Archipelago, on the 29th of December, 1862, 
Another eruption of this mountain suddenly took place, which caused 
great devastation in the island. All the Tillages and crops were de- 
stroyed, and numbers of the inhabitants killed. The sand and ashes fell 
ao thick that thu crops were partiaUy destroyed fifty miles olT, at Temate, 
where it was so dark the following day that lamps had to be lighted at 
noon. For the position of this and the acescent islands, see the map in 
Chapter XXXVII. 


322 rOYAQE TO BATCEIAN. [chap. xxni. 

comet, still apparently as brilliant as at first, but the tail 
had now risen to a higher angle. 

October X^th. — All this day we coasted along the Eaida 
Islands, which have much the appearance and outline of 
K6 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 southern 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 heated 
by the sun as to be disagreeably warm, and drag our vessel 
a considerable distance among weeds and sponges, corals 
and prickly corallines. It was late at night when we 
reached the little village harbour, and we were all pretty 
well knocked 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 Eesident of 
Ternate when he made his oflScial 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 b^ged 
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 evidently 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 meta- 
morphic sandstona 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 subsidence. 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 Gilolo. 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 felled and burnt logs, 
on which I found quantities of beetles of the famUy 
Buprestidse of six diflerent species, one of which was new 
to ma 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 exploration 
for the next day. 

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, 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 Mahome- 
tan 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 comprehension. 

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 
fi9itiguing, 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 (Anthribidse), 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 

7 3 

324 VOYAGE TO BATCHIAN. [chap, xxjil 

were almost equally common, forming such an assembhge 
as for once to realize that idea of tropical luxuriance which 
one obtains by looking over the drawers of a well-fiUed 
cabinet. On the under sides of the trunks clung numbers 
of smaller or more sluggish Longicoms, 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 entomo- 
logists. October 15th, 33 species of beetles; 16th, 70 
species; 17th, 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 Longi- 
coms among them, and on the last day I took twenty- 
eight species of Longicoms, of which five were new to me. 

My boys were less fortunate in shooting. The only 
birds at all common were the great red parrot (Edectas 
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 difierent 
species &om those found in the other islands, and come 
nearest to the bird originally described by Linu«us 
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 m 
common, a fact which certainly occurs in insects. 

The people of Kai6a interested me much. They ai« 
evidently a mixed race, having Malay and Papuan aflSni- 
ties, and are allied to the peoples of Ternate and of Gilolo. 
They possess a peculiar language, somewhat resembling 
those of the surrounding islands, but quite distinct. Hey 
are now Mahometans, and are subject to Ternate. The 
only fruits seen here were papaws and pine-apples» the 
rocky soil and dry climate being unfavourable. Rice, maixe, 
and plantains flourish well, except that they sutTer from 
occasional dry seasons like 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 
m the islands, situated close to the landing-place, to 
nrhich all the inhabitants come for drinking water. The 
nen are good boat-buildei'S, and they make a regular trade 
)f it and seem to be very well off. 

After five days at Kai6a we continued our journey, and 
K)on got among the narrow straits and islands which lead 
lown to the town of Batchian. In the evening we stayed 
it a settlement of Gallia men. These are natives of a 
listn'ct in the extreme north of Gilolo, and are great 
wanderers over this part of the Archipelago. They build 
aige and roomy praus with outriggers, and settle on any 
K)ast or island they take a fancy for. They hunt deer and 
wrild pig, drying the meat ; they catch turtle and tripang ; 
'.hey cut down the forest and plant rice or maize, and are 
altogether remarkably energetic and industrious. They 
ire very fine people, of light complexion, tall, and with 
Papuan features, coming nearer to the drawings and 
iescriptions of the true Polynesians of Tahiti and Owyhee 
/han any I have seen. 

During this voyage I had several times had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing my men get fire by friction. A sharp- 
»dged piece of bamboo is rubbed across the convex surface 
rf another piece, on which a small notch is first cut. Tlie 
rubbing is slow at first and gradually quicker, till it 
becomes very rapid, and the fine powder rubbed off ignites 
ind falls through the hole which the rubbing has cut in 
the bamboo. This is done with great quickness and cer- 
tainty. The Temate people use bamboo in another way. 
rhey strike its flinty surface with a bit of broken china, 
md produce a spark, which they catch in some kind of 

On the evening of October 21st we reached our destina- 
:ion, having been twelve days on the voyage. It had been 
ine weather all the time, and, although very hot, I had 
jnjoyed myself exceedingly, and had besides obtained 
lome experience in boat work among islands and coral 
■eefs, which enabled me afterwards to undertake much 
onger voyages of the same kind. The village or town of 
Satchian is situated at the head of a wide and deep bay, 

326 BATCRIAN. \i 

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 Whenever rock 
was visible it was eitlier sandstone in thin layers, dipping 
south, or a pebbly conglomerata 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 
Temato and Gilolo ; and hoping for a corresponding rich- 
ness in the birds and insects, it was with much satisfaction 
and with considerable expectation that I began my explo- 
rations in the hitherto unknown island of J^tchian. 



(OCTOBER 1S58 TO APRIL 1859.) 

LANDED opposite the house kept for the use erf 
Resident of Temate, and was met by a respectable 
middle-aged Malay, who told me he was Secreiaiy to 
the Sultan, and would receive the oflScial letter with which 
I had been provided On giving it him, he at once iD- 
formed me I might have the use of the official residence 
which was empty. I soon got my things on shore, but oD 
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 mysdi 
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 anything 
up except by driving nails, and not half the conveniences 
of a native bamboo and thatch cottage. I accordingly 


inquired 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 substan- 
tial 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 h^lf a mile on, and thence to the coal mines 
four miles further. These advantages at once decided me, 
and I told the Secretary I would be very glad to occupy 
the housa I therefore sent 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 com- 
fortably 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 
dijiairs, an easy cane chair, and hanging shelves suspended 
with insulating oil cups, so as to be safe from ants, com- 
pleted my furnishing arrangements. 

In the afternoon succeeding my amval, the Secretary 
accompanied me to visit the Sultan. We were kept wait- 
ing a few minutes in an outer gate-house, and then ushered 
to the door of a rude, half-fortified whitewashed house. A 
small table and three chairs were placed in a large outer 
corridor, and an old dirty-faced man with grey hair and a 
grimy beard, dressed in a speckled blue cotton jacket and 
loose red trousers, came forward, shook hands, and asked 
me to be seated. After 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 ia 1 thanked him for 
the house, and ofiered 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 ; 


where a low isthmus connects tJ>e north 
raountaiiioua parts of the island. To tli 
range of mouutains, and I had noticed 
landing-places that the geological forma- 
was very different from those around ii 
was visible it was eitlier sandstone in t 
south, or a pebbly conglomerate. So 
a little coralline limestone, but no v^ 
forest had a dense luxuriance and lo' 
on the dry and porous lavas and i- 
Ternato and Gilolo ; and hoping for n 
ness ill the birds and insects, it waa w 
and with considerable expectation tb 
rations in the hitherto unknown islai 

.- had 

(OOTOUB 1868 TO Ar 

I LANDED opposite the hous 
Besideut of Ternato, and \ 
middle-aged Malay, who told 
the Sultan, and would receive tl 
I had been provided On giv 
formed me 1 might have the i. 
which was empty. I soon got 
looking about me found that I 
stay long in. There was no w 
distance, and one of my m 
occupied getting water and ■ 
have to walk all tlirough ■ 
forest, and live almost in )i 
The rooms were all boarded 
great nuisance, as tlii?n' :\i,_- 
up except by drivinj; ■, 
of a native bamboLi 

■■'•■. I seat 
" <he road 
■ uteivd tlw 
■■"•■■eiit treei 
] 'art was flat 
i-'u alongside 
y house, and 
■ky or pebWy 
"n Its matyitit^ 
Ji banks drowned 
L'getation. Afta 
nnd the road was 
nse abruptly fiom 
rock bad bMD eat 
•-ered vitb elramt 
■■.ixm wen ahnnjin^ 
: Isnzinoe and rich 
::e di; nlmdo soil to 
i Alitibftirtber tbe 
: :iM n% by a bridga 
^ignat turn at rock m 
;:piit IxSt, and two nwim 
4n$tt)ad brought ma 

: f^toe, at a spot when 
::Traa. Several fbreat- 
e)B collecting gnnmd^ 

',.'r«tiiig insects ; but ai 

Ti> a more thonn^ 

had b€'en di^KX)Texed 

_ -^ii mode iu ordar la 

T.,-. ^-r^^'-tt ^ 


bring down a sufficient quantity for a fair trial on tlie 
Datch steamers. The quality, however, was not thought 
sui&ciently 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 tramroad 
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,*' holding 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 from each shoulder. Ali 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 of Para- 
dise, difTering 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 
plnmes 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 colour. They are about six inches long, 
equalling the wing, and can be raised at right angles to it. 

330 BATCHIAN. [chap. xxit. 

or laid along the body at the pleasure of the bird. The 
bill is horn colour, 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 
Standard wing." 

A few days later I obtained an exceedingly beautiful 
new butterfly, allied to the fine blue Papilio Ulysses, but 
differing from it in the colour being of a more intense tint^ 
and in having a row of blue stripes around the mai^in 
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 anticipated. Several of the 
fine Moluccan species were however obtained. The hand- 
some 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 
cyanicollis, a green parrot with a red bill and head, wlucb 
colour shaded on the crown into azure blue, and thence 
into verditer blue and the green of the back. T^o large 
and handsome fruit pigeons, with metallic green, ashy, and 
rufous plumage, were not uncommon ; and I was rewarded 
by finding a splendid deep blue roller (Eurystom\is azureus)» 
a lovely golden-capped sunbird (Nectarinea auriceps), and 
a fine racquet-tailed kingfisher (Tanysiptera isis), all of 
which were entirely new to ornithologists. Of insects I 
obtained a considerable number of interesting beetlea, 
including many fine longicoms, among which was the 
largest and handsomest species of the genus Glenea ye^ 
discovered. Among butterflies the beautiful little Dani^ 
sebee was abundant, making the forests gay with its deli-^ 
cate wings of white and the richest metallic blue ; while 
showy Papilios, and pretty Pieridse, and dark, rich Euplseas, 
many of them new, furnished a constant source of interest 
and pleasing occupation. 

The island of Bat^hian possesses no really indigenous 
inhabitants, the interior being altogether uninhabit^ and 


there are only a few small villages on various parts of the 
coast ; yet I found here four distinct races, which would 
wofully mislead 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 Ternate. 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 sufficiently homogeneous. 
Then there are the " Orang Sirani," as at Ternate and 
Amboyna. Many of these have the Portuguese physiog- 
nomy strikingly preserved, but combined with a skin gene- 
rally 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 described ; 
.and the fourth is a colony from Tomor^, in the eastern 
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 
Tartar physiognomy, low stature, and a language of the 
Bugis 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 con- 
tinuously and regularly beaten out that it becomes as thin 
and as tough as paischment 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 colour and renders 
it nearly waterproof. 

Here are four very distinct kinds of people who may all 
be seen any day in and about the town of Batchian. Kow 
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 customs of the Batchian people " — (for there 
aie travellers who do all this in four-and-twenty hours) — 

332 • BATCH I AK [chap. xxrr. 

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 intro- 
duced a new copper coinage of ctrUs instead of daiU (the 
100th instead 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 6,000 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 boxe» 
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 getting up and finding the 
house empty, we nished out to discover tracks of the thieves. 
Not being able to find the copper money which they — 
thought 1 had just received, they decamped, taking nothing^ 

but a few yards of cotton cloth and a black coat and 

trousers, which latter were picked up a few days afterwards^ 
hidden in the grass. There was no doubt whatever wh< 
were the thieves. Convicts are employed to guard th< 
Government stores when the boat arrives from Ternate. 
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 ii 
a strong box fastened under my bed. I took out five or siic: 
hundred cents for daily expenses, and put them in a small 
japanned box, which always stood upon my table. In the 
aftfemoon 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 robberies to the Director at the mines and to the Com- 
mandant 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 afterwards found that one of the convicts who 
was on duty at the Government rice-store in the village 
had quitted his guard, was seen to pass over the bridge 


towards 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 between 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 lie 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 locked, but so were others 
which I required to open immediately. There was, how- 
ever, a very clever blacksmith employed to do ironwork 
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 

Towards the end of November 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 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 earth- 
quake shock, which made the house and furniture shake 
and rattle for five 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 village, 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 Temate. I 
obtained the use of a good-sized house in the Campong 
Sirani (or Christian village), and at Christmas and the 
New Year had to endure the incessant gim-firing, drum- 
beating, 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. 
Wo enter a gloomy palm-leaf hut in which two or three 

J^?4 BJTCHTjy. [chap. rxi?. 

y^^ ii- l»=i?? barely nKider darkness viaibla The floor 
is c: bli»:i saniy etini, the rx»f hid in a smoky impene- 
trible l:lAv-k:>ess ; :^,^ or Uiree benches stand against the 
wslIs. ini :he crcb-£$:T:i ct^^nsists of a fiddle, a fife, a drum, 
and a trjin^l^. Thrr^? is plenty of company, consisting of 
yo;;in^ iL^n and wozith. all rery neatly dressed in white and 
black— a ime Portz^^es>e babiL QoadiiUes, waltzes, polkas, 
and inamrkas are danced with great vigour and much 
skUL The rvfr^hments are muddy coffee and a few sweet- 
meats Dancing is kept up for hours, and all is conducted 
with much decomm and propriety. A party of this kind 
mevts aN>ut occ^ a week, the principal inhabitants taking 
it by nims, and all who please come in without much 

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 nationality. 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 poorly as r^rds their house 
and furniture, but preser\-e a semi-European dress, and 
have almost all full suits of black for Sundays. They are 
nominally Protestants, but Sunday evening is their grand 
day for music and dancing. The men are often good 
hunters ; and two or three times a week, deer or wild pigs 
are brought to the village, which, with fish and fowls, 
enables them to live well. They are almost the only 
people in the Archipelago who eat the great fruit-eating 
bats called by us " flying foxes." These ugly creatures are 
considered a great delicacy, and are much sought after. 
At about the beginning of the year they come in laige 
flocks to cat 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 baskets-fulL They require to be carefully pre- 
pared, as the skin and fur has a rank and powerful foxy 
odour ; but they are generally cooked with abundance of 
spices and condiments, and are really very good eating, 
something like hare. The Orang Sirani are good cooks^ 


having a much greater variety of savoury dishes than the 
Malays. Here, they live chiefly on sago as bread, with 
a little rice occasionally/ and abundance of vegetables and 

It is a curious fact that eveiywhere in the East where 
the Portuguese have mixed with the native races they 
have l}ecome darker in colour 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 Portuguese or Brazilian with the Indian 
produces the " Mameluco," who is not unfrequently lighter 
than either parent, and always lighter than the Indian. 
The women at Batchian, although generally 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 
sometimes collected together and burnt, the eflect was most 
magnificent^the tall stems, the fine crowns of foliage, and 
the immense fruit-clusters, being brilliantly illuminated 
against a dark sky, and appearing like a fairy palace sup- 
ported on a hundred 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 butter- 
fly of a dark colour marked with white and yeUow spots. 
I could not capture it as it flew away high up into tha 
forest, but I at once saw that it was a female of a new 
species of Omithoptera 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 succeeding months I 
only saw it once again, and shortly afterwards 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 
January, I found a beautiful shiub with large white leafy ^mm 
bracts and yellow flowers^ a species of Mussaenda^ and ssiM^^ 

328 * BATCHIAN. [chap. xxit. 

all of which requests I evaded as skilfully as I was able, 
and we parted very good friends. He seemed a sensible 
old man, and lamented the small population of the island, 
which he assured me was rich in many valuable minerals, 
including gold ; but there were not people enough to look 
after 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 interested, and exclaimed, " Oh ! if we had 
but people like that, my country would be quite as rich ! " 

The morning after 1 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 forest, at a place where some magnificent tre^5 
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 sandbanks on its margins, 
and at other places flowing between high banks crowned 
with a varied and magnificent forest vegetation. After 
about two miles, the valley narrowed, and the i*oad 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 already 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 accustomed. 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 ndning 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 occasions. Coal had been discoveml 
here some years before, and the road was made in order to 

336 BATCHIAN. [( 

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 catcliing 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 coloured butterflies in the world. 
Fine specimens of the male are more than seven inches 
across the wings, which are velvety black and fiery orange, 
the latter colour replacing the gretin of the allied speciea 
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 head- 
ache 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 obtained a good series of the new butterfly, which I have 
since named Ornithoptera croesus. The Mussaenda bush 
was an admirable place, which I could visit every day on 
my way to the forrst ; 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. Afterwards, finding that it was often 
necessary to wait some time there, I had a little seat pat 
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 passed it 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 foe 


very good specimen he could catch. After a day or 
wro he brought me two very fair specimens, and told me 
e had caught them in the bed of a large rocky stream 
[lat descends from the mountains to the sea about a mile 
elow the village. They flew down this river, settling 
ccasionally on stones and rocks in the water, and he was 
bliged to wade up it or jump from rock to rock to get at 
tiem. I went with him one day, but found that the 
bream was far too rapid and the stones too slippery for 
le to do anything, so I left it entirely to him, and all the 
est of the time we stayed in Batchian he used to be out 
U day, generally bringing me one, and on good days two 
r three specimens. I was thus able to bring away with 
le more than a hundred of both sexes, including perhaps 
venty very fine males, though not more than five or six 
liat were absolutely perfect. 

My daily walk now led me, first about half a mile along 
lie sandy beach, then through a sago swamp over a cause- 
ray of very shaky poles to the village of the Tomore 
eopla Beyond this was the forest with patches of new 
learing, shady paths, and a considerable quantity of 
died timber. I found this a very fair collecting ground, 
specially for beetles. The fallen trunks in the clearings 
bounded with golden Buprestidss and curious Brenthidse 
nd longicoms, while in the forest I found abundance of 
he smaller Gurculionidse, many longicoms, and some fine 
reen Carabidse. 

Butterflies were not abundant, but I obtained a few 
lore of the fine blue Papilio, and a number of beautiful 
ttle Lycaenidse, as well as a single specimen of the very 
ire Papilio Wallacei, of which I had taken the hitherto 
nique specimen in the Aru Islands. 

The most interesting birds I obtained here, were the 
eautiful blue kingfisher, Todiramphus diops; the fine 
reen and purple doves, Ptilonopus superbus and P. 
)gaster, and several new birds of small size. My shooters 
bill brought me in specimens of the Semioptera Wallacei, 
nd I was greatly excited by the positive statements of 
3veral of the native hunters that another species of this 
ird existed, much handsomer and more remarkable. They 
edared that the plumage was glossy black, with metallio 

338 BJTCHIAN. [asAP. zyiv. 

green breast as in my species^ but that the white shoulder 
plumes were twice as long, and hung down isx below the 
body of the bird. They declared that when hunting pigi 
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 Qerman naturalist, Dr. Bernstein, stayed many months 
in the island with a large staff of hunters collecting for 
the Leyden Museum ; and as he was not more successfiil 
than myseK, 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 
abimdant in some parts of the forest. This animal has 
bare red callosities, 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 aU 
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 
introduced 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 fipom Bb*- 
chian by a very narrow strait The introduction insy 
have been very recent, as in a fertile and unoccupied 
island such an animal would multiply rapidly. The only 
other mammals obtained were an Intern opossum, which 
Dr. Gray has described as Guscus omatus; the httlo 
flying opossum, Belideus ariel; a Civet cat, Viven* 
zebetha; and nine species of bats, most of the smalls 
ones bemg caught in the dusk with my butterfly nefc •* 
they flew about before the house. 

After much delay, owing to bad weather and the illxi^ 
of one of my men, I determined to visit Kasserota (f^ 
merly the chief village), situated up a small stream, ^ 
an island dose to the north coast of Batchian ; whx^ 
I was told that many rare birds were found. After ID/ 
boat was loaded and everything 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 
ive entered the little river, and in about an hour we 
reached the Sultan's house, which I had obtained per- 
mission to use. It was situated on the bank of the river, 
and surrounded 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 little but unload and unpack. Towards 
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 insects. I 
found too on inquiry that the people here made no clear- 
ings, living entirely on sago, fruit, hsh, and game ; and the 
ps^ only led to a steep rocky mountain equally imprao- 
ticable and unproductive. The next day I sent my men 
to tUs 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 leading to a dense sago swamp. I 
saw that I should waste time by staying here, and deter- 
mined to leave the following day. 

This is one of those spots so hard for the European 
naturalist to conceive, where with all the riches of a 
tropical vegetation, 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 con- 
spicuous. In temperate climates there is a tolerable 
xuiifonnity in the distribution of insects over those p8ui» 
of a country in which there is a similarity in the vege- 
tation, any deficiency being easily accoimted for by the 
absence of wood or imiformity 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 ascertained 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 

Z 2 

340 BATCHIAK [chap, jlxlx 

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 Tomor^ 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 when small clearings and paths are 
made, the fallen trees in various stages of drying and 
decay, the rotting leaves, the loosening bark and the fun- 
goid growths upon it, together with the flowers that appeal 
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 month 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. Towards 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 momitain 
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 Amazon, I have 
observed them at the level of the sea, and think it piO" 
bable that the altitude supposed to be requisite for them 
may have been deduced trom facts observed in countri^ 
where the plains and lowlands are largely cultivated, ^^ 
most of the indigenous vegetation destroyed. Such is ^ 
case in most parts of Java, India, Jamaica, and Brazil, wb^ 
the vegetation of the tropics has been most fully exploit 

Coming out to sea we turned northwards, and in aW" 
two hours' sail reached a few huts, called Langundi, wb*"* 
some Galela men had established themselves as collect^^ 
of gum-dammar, with which they made torches for ^ 
supply of the Temate market About a hundred yaru^ 


back rises a rather steep hill, and a short walk having 
shown me that there was a tolerable path up it, I deter- 
mined to stay here for a few days. Opposite ns, and all 
along this coast of Batchiau, stretches 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 island, and 
canying devastation to all the small settlements around ; 
robbing, destroying, killing, or taking captive all they meet 
witL Their long well-manned praus escape from the 
pursuit 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-west coast of Borneo, and deserves the thanks 
of the whole population of the Archipelago 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 immense sword-shaped leaves, six or eight 
inches wide, and as many feet long. Others have a single 
nnbranched stem, six or seven feet high, the upper part 
clothed with the spirally arranged 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 young plants of the larger species 
liave smooth glossy thick leaves, sometimes ten feet 
long and eight inches wide, which are used all over 
the Moluccas and New Guinea, to make "cocoyas" 
or sleeping mats, which are often very prettily orna* 
mented with coloured patterns. Higher up on the hill is 
a £DPest of immense trees, among which those producing 

342 BATCHIJN. [chap. xxit. 

the resin called dammar (Dammara sp.) are abundant 
The inhabitants of several small villages in Batchian are 
entirely engaged in searching for this product^ and making 
it into torches by poimding 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 dammar 
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 complicated network, to 
which nothing but a photograph could do justice (see illus- 
tration at page 83). The Kanary is also abundant in 
this forest, the nut of which has a very agreeable flavour, 
and produces an excellent oil. The fleshy outer covering 
of the nut is the favourite food of the great green pigeons 
of these islands (Carpophaga perspicillata), and their 
hoarse cooings and heavy flutterings among the branches 
can be almost continually heard. 

After ten days at Langundi, finding it impossible to get 
the bird I was particularly in search of (the Nicobar 
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 oB * 
distinct island), where some Malays and Galela men have * 
small village, and have made extensive rice-fields and pl^' 
tain grounds. Here we foimd a good house near the ri'^ 
bank, where the water was fresh and clear, and the owiJ^» 
a respectable Batchian Malay, ofiered me sleeping ro^^ 
and the use of the verandah if I liked to stay. Seeifl? 
forest all round within a short distance, I accepted bis 
ofier, and the next morning before breakfast walked out to 
explore, and on the skirts of the forest captured a ftw 
interesting insects. 


Afterwards^ I found a path which led for a mile or 
more through a very fine forest, richer in pabns than 
any I had seen in the Moluccas. One of these especially 
attracted my attention 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 immense height closely 
resembled in appearance the Euterpes of South America. 
Here also grew the fan*leafed palm, whose small, nearly 
entire leaves are iised to make the dammar torches, and to 
form the water-buckets in universal use. During 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 
Plantains (Musa), bearing an edible fruit not so lavge 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 suffi- 
ciently long. 

Batchian is an island that would perhaps repay the 
researches of a botanist better than any other in the 
whole Archipelago. It contains a great variety of sur- 
face and of soil, abundance of large and small streams, 
many of which are navigable for some distance, and there 
being no savage inhabitants, every part of it can be visited 
with perfect safety. It possesses gold, copper, and coal, 
hot springs and geysers, sedimentary and volcanic rocks 
and coralline limestone, alluvial plains, abrupt hUls and 
lofty mountains, a moist climate, and a grand and luxuriant 
forest v^etation. 

The few days I stayed here produced me several new 
insects, but scarcely any birds. Butterflies and birds are 
in £Eu;t remarkably scarce in these forests. One may walk 
a whole day and not see more than two or three species of 
either. In everything but beetles, these eastern islands 
are very deficient compsured with the western (Java^ 
Borneo, &c.), and much more so if compared with the 
forests of South America, where twenty or thirty species 
of bntterflies may be caught every day, and on very good 

344 BATCHIAN. [chap, xxir^^ 

days a hundred, a number we can hardly reach heie i 
months of unremitting searcL In birds there is the sam 
difference. In most parts of tropical America we ma; 
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 
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 surpass, anything that even South America 
can produce. 

One afternoon when I was arranging my insects, and 
surrounded by a crowd of wondering spectators, I showed 
one of them how to look at a small insect witii 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 aU were as much astonished, 
and made as much shouting and gesticulation, as children 
at a pantomime, or at a Chnstmas exhibition of the oxy- 
hydrogen microscope. And all this excitement was pro- 
duced by a little pocket lens, an inch and a half focus, and 
therefore magnifying only four or five times, but which to 
their unaccustomed eyes appeared to enlarge a hundred- 

On the last day of my stay here, one of my hunters 
succeeded 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 ^e 
neck, were greatly admired. I subsequently obtained a 
specimen in New Guinea, and once saw it in the Kai6a 
islands. It is found also in some small islands near 
Macassar, in others near Borneo, and in the Nicobar 
islands, whence it receives its nama It is a gioond 


is a very 

I'jict of its 

'. Iiile in the 

■ ■irely absent 

it is subjeci 

.\liich are not 

otribution over 

Nirome west to 

witli the excep- 

-;ingle land bird 

i'»Ls are generally 

! this species is so 

sight quite unable 

■ows, however, that 

;».s in proportion to 

lier pigeon, and its 

'ct communicated to 

:\onboden of Ternate, 

.1 these peculiarities of 

/ Hying long distances. 

:!i a small coral island, a 

M'li, with no intervening 

'iL settled a year, and 

:> son paid it a visit ; 

liing to an anchor, a bird 

which fell into the water 

li the shore. A boat was 

..IS found to be a Nicobar 

'ino from New Guinea, and 

.' 1^ no such bird previously 

' urious case of adaptation to 

ii;il necessity. The bird does 

u.Mt powers of flight, since it 

o on fallen fruits, and roosts 

LiTOund pigeons. Tlie majority 

• lore, can never make full use 

M-rful wings, till the exceptional 

ividual bein^ blown oat to sea^ 

i >y the incnrsioxL of some carniro- 

]>ressai-e of acamiiy of food. ▲ 

346 BATCHIAN. [CHAF. xxir. 

modification 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 either to return to land, or to migrate safely to the 
continent. Bad fl3ring was worse than not flying at alL 
So, while in such islands as New Zealand and Mauritius, 
far from all land, it waa safer for a ground-feeding bird 
not to fly at all, and the short-winged individuals con- 
tinually surviving, prepared the way for a wingless group 
of birds ; in a vast Archipelago thickly strewn with 
islands and islets it was advantageous to be able occa- 
sionally to migrate, and thus the long and strong- winged 
varieties maintained their existence longest, and ultimately 
supplanted all others, and spread the race over the whole 

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 colour, with a black border and 
remarkable white antennae — perhaps the very finest but- 
terfly of the genus; and a large black wasp-like insect, 
with immense jaws like a stag-beetie, which has been 
named Megachile pluto by Mr. F. Smith. I collected 
about a hundred species of beeties quite new to me, but 
mostly very minute, and also many rare and handsome 
ones which I had edready 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 instal myself, and work and 


eat at ease. When I could not find accommodation on 
ehoie I slept in the boat, which was always drawn up 
on the beach if we stayed for a few days at one spot 

On my return to Batchian I packed up my collections, 
and prepared for my return to Temate. 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 Gk)vemment boat which had 
just arrived with rice for the troops, and obtained per- 
mission to return in her, and accordingly 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 low, and 
about four tons burthen. It had outriggers of bamboo 
about five 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 afb. The middle 
portion of the boat was covered with a thatch-house, in 
which baggage 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 unfrequently 
lost A triangle mast and mat sail carried us on when 
the wind was favourable, 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 Temate in three days, having had fine 
weather and little wind all the way. 

There were several passengers besides myself : three 
or four Javanese soldiers, two convicts whose time had 
expired (one, curiously enough, being the man who had 
stolen my cash-4)ox and keys), the schoolmaster's wife 
and a servant going on a visit to Temate, 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 mattrass, and we 
got on very well together. There was a little cook- 

348 BATCH IAN. [chap. xxit. 

house in the bows, where we could boil our rice and 
make our coffee, every one of course bringing his own 
provisions, and arranging his meal-times as he found 
most convenient The passage would have been agree- 
able 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 Temate. They get about three- 
pence a day, and find their own provisions. 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 
incessantly ; eat dry sago and a little salt fish ; seldom 
«ing w^hile rowing, except when excited and wanting to 
reach a stopping-place, and do not talk a great deal 
They are mostly Malays, with a sprinkling of Alfuros from 
Gilolo, and Papuans from Guebe or Waigiou. 

One afternoon we stayed 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, I put out my candle, there 
being still a glimmering lamp burning, and, missing my 
handkerchief, thought 1 saw it on a box which fonu^ one 
aide 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 Ught, qiiick,'* 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 kiU 
him neatly, or he would escape among the piles of miscel- 
laneous luggage, and we should hardly sleep comfortably. 
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 ftee blow, I cut him quietly across the back, holding 
him down while my boy with another knife crushed his 
head. On examination, I found he had large poison 
fangs, and it is a wonder he did not bite me when I 
first touched him. 

Thinking it very unlikely that two snaked 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 reverse of my 
usual habits. The next day we reached Temate, and 
I ensconced myself in my comfortable house, to examine 
all my treasures, and pack them securely for the voyage 



(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 together. Captain Van 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 stayed 
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 afternoon reached 
Captain Van 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 comer 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 prepara- 
tions for some weeks' stay. A few days, however, served to 
show that I should be disappointed. Beetles were tolerably 
abundant, and I obtained plenty of fine long-homed An- 
thribidce and pretty Longicoms, but they were mostly the 
same species as I had found during my first short visit to 
Ambo3ma. There were very few paths in the forest, which 
seemed poor in birds and butteries, and day after day 
my men brought me nothing worth notica I was there- 
fore soon obliged to think about changing my locality, 
as I could evidently obtain no proper notion of the pro- 
ductions of the almost entirely unexplored island of Ceram 
by staying in this place. 

I rather regrett^ leaving, because my host was one of 
the most remarkable men and most entertaining com- 
panions I had ever met with. He was a Fleming by 
birth, and, like so many of his countrymen, had a won- 
derful talent for languages. When quite a youth he had 
accompanied a Government official who was sent to report 
on the trade and commerce of the Mediterranean, and had 
acquired the colloquial language of every place they 
stayed a few weeks at He had afterwards 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 
speculating in the various islands. He now spoke Dutch, 
TVench, 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 Modem 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 stayed 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 joining 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 schoolmasters, and the inhabitants have been 
long converted to Christianity. In the larger villages 
there are European missionaries ; but there is little or no 
) external difference between the Christian and Alforo 
villages, nor, as far as I have seen, in their inhabitants. 
The people seem more decidedly Papuan than those of 
Gilolo. They are darker in colour, and a number of them 
have the frizzly Papuan hair; their features also are harsh 
and prominent, and the women in particular are far le^ 
engaging than those of the Malay race. Captain Van der 
Beck was never tired of abusing the inhabitants of these 
Christian villages as thieves, liars, and drunkards, 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 Mahometans for sei^ 
vants, even if convicts, than any of the native Christians. 
One great cause of this is the fact, that with the Mahome- 
tans temperance is a part of their religion, and has become 
so much a habit that practically the rule is never trans* 
gressed. One fertile source of want, and one great incen- 
tive to idleness and crime, is thus present with the one 
class, but absent in the other ; but besides this the Chris- 
tians 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 endeavour 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 wholly ceremonial, and that neither are the 
doctrines of Christianity comprehended, nor its moral 
precepts obeyed. At the same time, as far as my own 
experience goes, I have found the better class of " Oxang 


Sirani" as civil, obligiug, and industrious as the Malays, 
and only inferior to them from their tendency to get 

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 necessaiy 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, wliich we reached in two days. I 
had intended to 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 formed, and 
inhabited by indigenes from tlie 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 manj^er of the plantations) and the native 
chief, obtained 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 voyage. 

I found the people here x^vy 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 cylindei-s 
of wood as thick as one s finger, and coloured 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 physiognomy. There is an Amboyna 
schoolmaster 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 — trousers and a loose shirt. Very few 
speak Malay, all these coast villages having been recently 
formed by inducing natives to leave the inaccessible 
inteiioi: In all the central part of Ceram there now 

354 CBRJM, [cHAF. 

remains only one populous village in the mountains 
Towards 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 dis- 
tricts they are mostly Mahometans, while on the south- 
west coast, nearest Amboyna, they are nominal Christians. 

In all this part of the Archipelago, the Dutch make 
very praiseworthy efforts to improve the condition of the 
aborigines by establishing schoolmasters in every village 
(who are mostly natives of Amboyna or Saparua, who have 
been instructed by the resident missionaries), and by em- 
ploying native 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 something of European tastes and habits. 

My collections here did not progress much better than 
at 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 Papilios brought 
me by the children. Beetles, however, were scarce, and 
birds still more so, and I began to think that the hand- 
some species which I had 30 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 Amahay, is situated the village of Makariki, from 
whence there is a native path quite across the island 
to the north coast. My friend Mr. Eosenberg, whoee 
acquaintance I had made at New Guinea, and who was 
now the Government superintendent 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 mountain streams 
in the int<3rior. He indicated a spot about the centre of 
the island where he thought I might advantageously stay 
a few days. I accordingly visited Makariki vnXh him the 
next day, and he instructed the chief of the village to 


famish me with men to cany my baggage, and accom- 
pany 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 


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 carrj^ing my baggage and their 
own provisions, and a lad from Awaiya, who was accus- 
tomed to catch butterflies for me. IVIy two Amboyna 
hunters I left behind 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 
undei'growth, 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 Euatan, 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 assist me. The water was above my waist, 
and so strong that I should certainly have been carried off 
my feet had I attempted 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. Another hour ,brought us to a 
smaller stream flowing in a wide gravelly bed, up which 
our road lay. Here we stayed half an hour to breakfast, 
and then went on, continu^iUy crossing the stream, or 
walking on its stony and gravelly banks, till about noon, 
when it became rocky and enclosed by low hills. A little 
further we entered a regular mountain-gorge, and had to 

A A 2 

356 CERAM, [CHAP. 

clamber ovei rocks, and every moment cross and recross 
the water, oi take short cuts through the forest. This waa 
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. Eosenberg'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 lighted fires ; I made 
3ome coffee, and my men roasted their fish and plantains, 
and as soon as it was dark, we made ourselves comfortable 
for the night. 

Starting at six the next morning, we had three hours of 
the same kind of walking, during which we crossed the 
river at least thirty or forty times, the water being gene- 
rally 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 
i'eet above the sea Here 1 noticed one of the smallest 
and most elegant tree ferns 1 had ever seen, the stem 
being scarcely thicker than my thumb, yet reaching a 
height of fifteen or twenty feet. I also caught a nevf 
butterfly of the genus Pieris, and a magnificent femsl^ 
specimen of PapiHo gambrisius, of which I had hithexto 
only found the males, which are smaller and very difler^^^ 
in colour. Descending the other side of the ridge, 1:>'3 ^ 
very steep path, we reached another river at a spot wl3-^^ 
is about the centre of the island, and which was to be. ^^. 
resting-place for two or three days. In a couple of hcr^^J* 
my men had built a little sleeping-shed for me, about e^^S 
feet by four, with a bench of spUt poles, they themse^^^^ 
occupying two or three smaller ones, which had been y^ 
up by former passengers. 

The river here was about twenty yards wide, runr^-^^ 
over a pebbly and sometimes a roclgr bed, and bord^-^ 
by steep hills with occasionally flat swampy 8pot« ^ 


tweeii 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 sunshine to 
penetrate. Here there were several handsome butterflies 
flying about, the finest of which, however, escaped me, 
and I tnever 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; out we were all equally unsuccessful, getting abso- 
lutely nothing the whole time we were in the forest. 
The Qnly good bird seen was the fine Amboyna lory, but 
these were always too high to shoot; besides this, the 
great- Moluccan hombill, which I did not want, was 
almost' the only bird met with. I saw not a single ground- 
thrush, or kingfisher, or pigeon ; and, in fact, have never 
been in .a forest so utterly desert of animal life as this 
appeared to be. Even in all other groups of insects, 
except butterflies, there was the same poverty. I had 
hoped to find some rare tiger beetles, as I had done in 
similar situations in Celebes; but, though I searched 
closely in forest, river-bed, and mountain-brook, I could 
find nothing 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 

358 CBRAM. [ 

tlioroQghly uncomfortable. All the time I had been in 
Ceram I had suffered much from the irritating bites of an 
invisible acarus, which is worse than mosquitoes, ants, 
and every other pest, because it is impossible to guard 
against tliem. 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 for nearly two months, — a not 
very pleasant memento of my first visit to Ceram, which 
terminated with the year 1859. 

It was not till the 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 opposite 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 baggage on board, set up mast 
and sails after dark, and had the men ready that night; 
80 that we were actually on our way at five the next 
morning, — a display of energy and activity I scarcely ever 
saw before in a native cliief on such an occasion. We 
touched at Cepa, and stayed for the night at Tamilan, the 
first two Mahometan villages on the south coast of Ceram. 
Tlie next day, about noon, we reached Hoya, which was a3 
far as my present boat and crew were going to take me^ 
The anchorage is about a mile east of the village, which i 
faced by coral reefs, and we had to wait for the ev 
tide to move up and unload the boat into the stran 
rotten wooden pavilion kept for visitors. 

There was no boat here large enough to take m , 

baggfi^e ; and although two woidd have done very wel — :: 
the Eajah insisted upon sending four. The reason of this — ' 
found was, that there were four small villages under hi 
rule, and by sending a boat from each he would avoid th^^ 
difficult task of choosing two and letting off the others. T 
was told that at the next village of Teluti there weie 
plenty of Alfuros, and that I could get abundance of lories 
and other birds. The Eajah declared that black and ydlov 


lories and black cockatoos were found there ; but I am in- 
clined 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, instead 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 
Mahometans, who confine their religion almost 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 
Tduti, 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 vigorous 
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 anything new. » 

My first inquiries were about the lories, but 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 Ambo^nia. Black lories and 
cockatoos were quite unknown. The Alfiiros resided in the 
mountains five or six days' journey away, and there were 
•only one or two live birds to be found in the village, and 
jfbese were worthless. My hunters could get nothing but 
a few common birds ; and notwithstanding fine moimtains, 
luxuriant forests, and a locality a hundred miles eastward, 
I could find no new insects, and extremely few even of the 
common species of Amboyna and West Ceram. It was 
evidently no use stopping 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 
formed among the loose rocks that cover the ground, and 
which are kept constantly full of moisture by tlie rains, and 
by the abundance of rills whicli trickle down among them. 

360 CERAM. [cnAP. 

This sago forms almost the wliole subsistence of the inha- 
hitants, 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, handsome lamps, and other expensive 
European goods, yet lives every day on sago and fish as 
miserably as the rest. 

After three days in this ban^en place I left on the morn- 
ing of March 6th, in two boats of the same size as those 
which had brought me to TelutL With some difficulty 
I had obtained permission to take these boats on to Tobo, 
where I intended to stay a while, and therefore got on 
pretty quickly, changing men at the village of Leiiemu, 
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 Alfuios, 
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 harbour, so that the 
men had to go on shore and come on board by swimming. 
Arriving in the evening of March 7th at Batuassa, the first 
village belonging to the Eajah of Tobo, and under the 
government 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 preparations, by placing a row of logs from 
the water's edge on which to pull up our boats, we rowed 
as quickly as we could straight on to them, after watching 
till the heaviest surfs had passed. The moment we touchea 
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 
st«m. 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 Eajah 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 safely hauled up. At Ambojma 
' 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.KW.), 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 numerous bays and headlands, we had con- 
trary 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 the first three days I saw that it would be quite use- 
less for me to stay, and begged the Eajah to give me a prau 
and men to carry me on to Gorara. But instead of getting 
one close at hand, he insisted on sending several miles ofif ; 
^nd when after many delays it at length arrived, it was 
altogether unsuitable 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 
5tnd none appeared, and we were obliged at length to get 
K)ne at the adjoining village, where it might have been so 
much more easily obtained at first. Then came caulking 

362 CERAU. [CHAP. 

and covering over, and quarrels between the owner and the 
Sajah's men, which occupied more than another ten days, 
during all whicli time I wa§ getting absolutely nothing, 
finding this part of Ceram a perfect desert in zoology, 
although a most beautiful country, and with a very luxu- 
riant 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 burthen, in which 
my numerous boxes were with difficulty packed so as to 
leave sleeping 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 decora- 
tion. 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 rat- 
tans, the anchor was of wood, and a long and thick rattan 
served as a cable. Our crew consisted of four men, whose 
sole accommodation was about three feet by four in the 
bows and stem, with the sloping thatch roof to stretch 
themselves upon for a change. We had nearly a hundred 
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 com- 
parative comfort. 

On the second day we passed the eastern extremity of 
Ceram, formed of a group of hummocky limestone hiUs ; 
and, sailing by the islands of Kwammer and KefiSng, both 
thickly inhabited, came in sight of the little town of Kil- 
waru, which appears to rise out of the sea like a rustic 
Venice. This place has really a most extraordinary ap- 
pearance, 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, being the emporium 
for much of the produce of these Eastern seas, and is the 


Tesidence of many Bugis and Ceramese traders, and appears 
to have been chosen on account of its 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 were rowing towards Manowolko, the largest of 
the Goram 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 amable 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 vigour 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 Eajah was at 
the opposite island of Goram ; but he was immediately sent 
for, and in the meantime a large shed was given for our 
accommodation. At night the Eajah 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 
ArtL He was very friendly, and we had a long talk ; but 
^hen I begged for a boat and men to take me on to K^, 
Ite made a host of diflSculties. There were no praus, as all 
liad gone to K^ 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 three days there was more 
talking and more difficulties were rjdsed, and I had time 
to make an examination of the island and the people. 

Manowolko is about fifteen miles long, and is a mere 
upraised coial-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 characteristic 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 wliich 
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 Mahometans of the 
mainland of Ceram, which is perhaps due to there having 
been no indigenes 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 population consists 
almost entirely of the indigenes of the adjacent islands. 
They are a fine race, with strongly-marked Papuan fea- 
tures, frizzly hair, and bro\vn 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 languages of Ceram, but possesses a peculiar element 
which I have not met with in other languages of the 

After great delay, considering the importance of every 
day at this time of year, a miserable boat and five men 
were found, and \vith 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 qua- 
lities of the boat were liighly 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 eastern extremity the following 
morning (April lltihi), and found a strong W.S.W. wind 
blowing, which just allowed us to lay across to the Mata- 
bello Islands, a distance little short of twenty miles. I did 
not much like the look of the heavy sky and rather rough 
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 oar little boat 
soon reduced me to a state of misemble helplessness, and 
I lay down, resigned to whatever might happen. After 
three or four hours, I was told we were neany over; but 

366 MATABBLLO. [oRAr. 

when I got up, two hours later, just as the sun was setting, 
I found we were still a good distance from the pointy 
owing to a strong current which had been for some time 
against us. Night closed in, and the wind drew mere 
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 


At daylight I found we were in a beautiful little 
harbour, formed by a coral reef about two himdred 
yards from shore, and perfectly secure in every wind 
Having eaten nothing since the previous morning, we 
cooked our breakfast comfortably on shore, and left 
about noon, coasting along the two islands of this group, 
which lie in the same line, and are separated 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 support 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 TJta, 
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 despair of ever reaching K^ and determined on 
returning. We 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' favourable weather. We sailed on veiy 


well in the direction of Teor for about an hour, aftet 
which the wind shifted to W.S.W., and we were driven 
mnch out of our course, and at nightfall found our- 
selves 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 New 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 favourable 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 K6 and the 
intervening islands, which I had looked forward to as 
likely to make up for my disappointment in Ceram, since 
my short ^4sit on my voyage to Aru had produced me 
so many rare and beautiful insects. 

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 favourable to the growth 
of the cocoa-nut palm, which abounds over the whole island 
to the very highest points, and produces fruit all the year 
round. Along with it are great numbers of the areca or 
betel-nnt 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, carried 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 cake, and 
the refuse nut after the oil has been extracted by boiling, 
fonn the chief sustenance of these people ; and the effect 

368 MATABELLO. [obaf. zxt. 

of this poor and unwholesome diet is seen in the frequency 
of eruptions and scurfy skin diseases, and the nuikierons 
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 extreme. 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 actually wealthy, and have the 
means of purchasing all the necessaries 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 of 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/. a- 
piece. 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 people 
and such savages as the best tribes of hill Dyaks in Borneo, 
or the Indians of the Uaupes in South America, living on 
the banks of clear streams, clean in their pei^sons and 
their houses, with abundance of wholesome food, aud 
exhibiting its efiiect in healthy skins and beauty of 'fom 
and feature ! There is in fact almost as much difference 
betweeu the various races of savage as of civilized peoples, 
and w^e 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 
cocoa-nut. It is really a very nice drink, more Uke cyder 
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 tod 
a delicious beverage by climbing up a tree for it. It ^ 
the water of the young fruit that is clriink, before the 


pulp has hardened ; it is then more abundant, clear, and 
, rcfireshing, and the thin coating of gelatinous pulp is 
thought a great luxury. The water of full-grown cocoa- 
nuts is always thrown away as undrinkable, 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 appreciate 
anything of a fruity nature. 

Many persons in Europe are under the impression that 
firuits of delicious flavour 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 idand 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 kanaiy-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; firuits which would be highly esteemed by the 
natives of these islands, and would form an important 
part of their sustenance. All the fine tropical fruits are 
as much cultivated productions as our apples, peaches, 
and plums, and their wild prototypes, when found, are 
generally either tasteless or uneatable. 

The people of Matabello, like those of most of the 
Mahometan villages of East Ceram and Goram, amused 
me much by their strange ideas concerning the Sussian 
war. They believe that the Bussians were not only most 
thoroughly beaten by the Turks, but were absolutely con- 
quered, and all converted to Islamism ! And they can 
hardly be convinced that such is not the case, and that had 
it not been for the assistance of !FVance and England, the 
poor Sultan would have fared HI. 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 inosifltible nation. Whenoe such strangely incorrect 

B B 

370 OORAM. [chap. ZX7. 

opinions could have arisen it is difficult to nndetstand, 
unless they are derived from Arab priests, or hadjis le- 
tumed 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. 


4. steady south-east wind having set in, we returned to 
Manowolko on the 25th of April, and the day after crossed 
over to Ondor, the chief village of Goram. 

Around this island extends, with few interruptions, an 
encircling coral reef about a quarter of a mile fix)m the 
shore, visible as a stripe of pale green water, but only at 
veiy lowest ebb-tides showing any rock above the sui&ce. 
There are several deep entrances through this reef, and 
inside it there is good anchorage in all weathers. The land 
rises graduetlly to a moderate height, and numerous smaU 
streams descend on all sides. The mere existence of these 
streams would prove that the island was not entirely coral- 
line, as in that case all the water would sink through the 
porous rock as it does at Manowolko and Matabello ; bat 
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 surfece of rugged coral, which slopes dcfwnwad 
towards the interior, and then after a slight ascent is 
boimded by a second wall of coraL Similar walls occur 
higher up, and coral is foimd on the highest part of 

This peculiar structure teaches us that before 
coral was formed land existed in this spot ; that thii 
land sunk gradually beneath the waters, but with is* 
tervals of rest, during which encircling ree& were iowf^ 
around it at different elevations ; that it then rose to 
above its present elevation, and is now again sinldBft 
We infer this, because enciroling reeSs are a proof v 
subsidence ; and if the island were again elevated ^kufsA 
a hundred feet, what is now the reef and tilie ahalkfV 


sea within it would form a wall of coral rock, and aia 
undulating coralline plain, eicactly similar to those that 
still exist at various altitudes up to the summit of th«i 
island. We learn 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, exactly resembling those still 
found upon the beach, and many of them retaining their 
gloss and even their colour, are scattered over the surfeuse 
of the island to near its simimit. 

Whether the Gk)ram group formed originally part of 
New Guinea or of Ceram it is scarcely possible to deter- 
mine, 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, 
aa 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 resemblance to the £^ 
Islands and Banda. The fine pigeon, Carpophaga concinna, 
inhabits K4, Banda, Matabello, and Goram, and is replaced 
by a distinct species, C. neglecta, in Ceram. The insects of 
these four islands have also a common facies — facts which 
seem to indicate that some more extensive land has 
recently disappeared from the area they now occupy, 
and has supplied them with a few of its peculiar pro- 

The Groram people (among whom I stayed a month) are a 
race of traders. Every year they visit the Tenimber, K6, 
and Aru Islands, the whole north-west coast of New 
Guinea from Getanata to Salwatty, and the islands of 
Waigiou and MysoL They also extend their voyages to 
Tidore and Ternate, as well as to Banda and Ajnboyna. 
Their praus are all made by that wonderful race of boat- 
builders, the K4 Lslanders, who annually turn out some 
hundreds of boats, large and small, which can hardly be 
surpassed for beauty of form and goodness of workmanship. 
They trade chiefly in tripang, the medicinal mussoi bark, 
wild nutm^, and tortoise-sheU, which they sell to the 
Bngis traders at Ceram-laut or Axu, few of them caring to 

B B 2 

372 i^ORAM. [CMAF. 

take their products to any other market. In other respects 
they are a lazy race, living very poorly, and much given to 
opiimi smoking. The only native manufactures are sail- 
matting, coarse cotton cloth, and pandanus-leaf boxes^ 
prettily stained and ornamented with shell-work. 

In the island of Goram, only eight or ten miles long, 
there are about a dozen Bajahs, scarcely better off 
than the I'est 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 Eajah of Ammer (commonly called Itajah 
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 often fighting when on the way to the same 
locality, or trafficking in the same villaga 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 
gims 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 
(9t) a small prau, which was brought over the next day, 
as I was informed it was more easy to have the necessaij 
alterations made in Goram, where several K^ 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 proposed 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, includii^ & 
small ^w and some chisels, and these were now severel} 


tried, cutting and fitting heavy iron-wood planks for the 
flooring and the posts that support the tnangular 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 K^ workman to put in new ribs, 
for which I bought nails of a Bugis trader, at id, a pound. 
My gimlets were, however, too small; and having no augers 
we were obliged to bore all the holes with hot irons, a 
most tedious and unsatisfactory operation. 

Five men had engaged to work at the prau till finished, 
and then go with me to Mysol, Waigiou, and Temata Their 
ideas of work were, however, very different from mine, and 
I had immense dif&culty 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 difliculties 
with the men increased. The imcle 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 inexorable 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 village 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 substitute 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 New 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 
praos had left this village a few months before, and among 

374 GORdM, [chap. XX7. 

the murdered men were the Bajah's son, and the relationi 
or slaves of many of the inhabitants. The cry of lamen- 
tation that arose when the news arrived was most distress- 
ing. 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 villfige were crowded together round that which I 
occupied, our situation was anything but agreeable. 

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 before to buy some tripang. The crew were living on 
shore, the praus being in a small river close by, and tiiey 
were attacked and murdered in the day-time while bar- 
gaining 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 Quinea, 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 Goram and Ceram traders 
are themselves generally inoffensive; they are well ac- 
quainted 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 placa On the south-west coasts and in the laige 
island of Jobie, however, the natives are in a yery bc^ 
barons condition, and take every opportunity of robbeiy 
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 
pimishment. 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 feared 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 for the capture of the murderers at the peril of 
their own heads. But anything of this kind would be 
quite contrary to the system adopted by the Dutch 
Government in its dealings 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 Gk)ram 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. suflBcient 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 stayed here two days, and sent two of my 
boxes of specimens by a Macassar prau to be forwarded to 
Temate, thus relieving myself of a considerable incimi- 
brance. I bought knives, basins, and handkerchiefi9 for 
barter, which with the choppers, cloth, and beads I had 
brought with me, made a pretty good assortment I also 
bought two tower muskets to satisfy my crew, who insisted 
on &e necessity of being armed against attacks of pirates ; 
and with spices and a few articles of food for the voyage 
nearly my last doit was expended. 

The little island of Eilwaru is a mere sandbank, just 
laige enough to contain a small village, and situated 
between the islands of Geram-laut, and Kissa — straits about 

376 CERAM. [CBAF. iLxy. 

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 tlian fifty yards 
across, and not elevated more than three or four feet above 
the highest tides, it has weUa of excellent drinking water — 
a singular phenomenon, wl^ich would seem to imply deep- 
seated subterranean channels connecting it with other 
islands. These advantages, with its situation in the centre 
of the Papufim 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 ei- 
change for cloth, sago cakes, and opium; and the in- 
habitants of all the surroimding islands visit it with the 
same object It is the rendezvous of the praus trading to 
various parts of New 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 villagers of 
the mainland of Ceram bring their sago, which is thus 
distributed to the islands farther east, while rice from 
Bali and Macassar can also be purchased at a moderate 
price. The Goram men come here for their supplies of 
opium, both for their own consimiption and for barter ia 
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 bazaar, as well as of 
the looms of Lancashire and Massachusetts. 

One of the Bugis traders who had arrived a few days 
before 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 Ist^ 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- warus to wait for a changa 
llie night was very squally, and though in a good harbour 
i^e rolled and jerked uneasily ; but in the morning I had 
greater cause for imeasiness in the discovery that our 
entire Groram crew had decamped, teddng 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 signal of 
distress, which was soon answered by the village chief 
sending off a boat, which took me on shore. I requested 
that messengers should be immediately sent to the neigh- 
bouring villages in quest of the fugitives, which was 
prompUy done. My prau was brought into a small creek, 
where it could securely 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 I had overcome my chief difl&culties. 
As I had treated my men with the greatest kindness, and 
had given them almost everything they had asked for, I 
can impute their running away only to their being totally 
tmaccustomed to the restraint of a European master, and 
to some imdefined dread of my ultimate intentions regard- 
ing them. The oldest man was an opium 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, thei'e 
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 our week's delay I had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing the whole process of making it, aud 
obtaining some interesting statistics. The sago tree is a 
palm, thicker and larger than the cocoa-nut tree, although 
rarely so taU, and having immense pinnate spiny leaves, 
which completely cover the trunk till it is many years old. 
It has a creeping root-stem like the Nipa 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 haid 
thin rind or bark. Entire houses are built of these ; they 
form admirable roofing-poles for thatch; split and well- 
supported, they do for flooring ; and when chosen of equal 
size, and pegged together side by side to fill up the panels 
of framed wooden houses, they have a very neat appear- 
ance, and make better walls and partitions than boards, as 
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 boaros with p^ 
of the bark itself, and are the foundation of the leaf- 
covered boxes of Goram. All the insect-boxes I used in 
the Moluccas were thus made at Ambc^ma, and when 
covered with stout paper inside and out, are strong, lights 
and secure the insect-pins remarkably well. The leaSets 
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 aome 
hundred thousands of men. 



When sago is to be made, a full-grown tree is selected 
just before it is going to fiower. It is cut down close* to 
the ground, the leaves and leaf-stalks cleared away, and a 
broad strip of the bark taken off the upper side of the 
tnink. This exposes the pithy matter, which is of a rosty 
colour near the bottom of the tree, but higher up pure 



white, about as hard as a dry apple, but with woody fibrca 
ruimiiig through it about a quarter of an inch apart. This 
pith is out or broken down into a coarse powder by meana 
of 8 tool constructed for the purpose — a club of hard and 
heavy wood, having a piece of sharp quartz rock firmly 
imbedded into its blunt end, and projecting about half an 
inch. By succeasivo blo^vs of this, narrow strips of the 
pith are cut away, and fall down into the cylinder fonned 
Oj the bark. l^Yxieeding steadily on, the whole trunk is 
cleared out, leaving a skin not more than half an inch in 
thickness. Thia material ia carried away (in baskets made 
of the aheathing bases of the leaves) to the nearest water, 
where a washing-machine is put op, which is composed 

almost entirely of the sago tree itself. The large aheathing 
bases of the leaves form the troughs, and the fibrous cover- 
ing from the leaf-stalks of the young cocoa-nut the strainer. 
Water is poured on the mass of pith, which is kneaded and 
pressed 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 

380 CB&AM. \catr. xxv. 

clutTged with sago etarch passes od to a trough, with ■ 
depressioB in the centre, where the sediment is deposited, 
the surplos water trickling off hy a shallow outlet When 
the trough is nearly full, the ntass of starch, which has a 
slight reddish tinge, is made into cylinders of about thirty 
pounds' weight, and neatly covered with sago leaves, and 
in this state is sold as raw sago. 

Boiled with water this forms a thick glntinooA mass, 
with a rather astrii^nt taste, and is eaten with salt, 
limes, and chilies. S^o-bread Is made in large quan- 
tities, 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 taw s^o 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 s^ bark, and in about 
hve 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 
com-flour cakes, but have a 
slight characteristic ftavour which is lost in the refined sago 
we use in tlds country. When not waiited 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 contentedly as ours with their bread- 
and-butter. If dipped in water and then toasted, they 
become 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 vegetable, and served well to economize our rice, which 
is sometimes difficult to get so far east. 
It is trnly an eztraordinaiy saght to witness a whole 


tree-trunk, perhaps twenty feet long and tour or five in 
circumference, converted into food with so little labour 
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, reckon- 
ing a tree to produce 1,800 cakes, weighing 600 poimds, it 
will supply a man with food for a whole yeai The labour 
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, and 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 sixpence for 
one ; and as labour here is five pence 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 countries 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 neighbouring islands ; and as far as the 
comforts of life are concerned, are much inferior to the 
wild hill-Dyaks of Borneo, or to many of the more bar- 
barous tribes of the Archipelago. 

The country round Warns- 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 collect much during my enforced stay, and found no 
rare birds or insects to improve my opinion of Coram as a 
collecting ground. Finding it quite impossible to get men 
here to accompany me on the whole voyage, I was obliged 
to be content with a crew to take me as far as Weditti, on 
the middle of the north coast of Geram, and the chief 
Dutch station in the island. The journey took us five 
days, owing to calms and light winds, and no incident oi 
any inter^ occurred on it^ nor did I obtain at our 

382 BOURU. [c«AP. xxvu 

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 Bosenberg, 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 
voyage with me to Temate, 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 foimd 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 retum to 

As my voyage from this place to Waigiou was among 
islands inhabited by the Papuan race, and was an event- 
ful and disastrous one, I will narrate its chief inci- 
dents 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. 


(MAY AND JUNE 1861. Map^ p. 292.) 

I HAD long wished to visit the large island of Bouru, 
which lies due west of Ceram, and of which scarcely 
anything appeared to be known to naturalists, except 
that it contained a babirusa very like that of Celebes. 
I therefore made arrangements for staying there two 
months after leaving Timor DeUi in 1861. This I could 
conveniently do by means of the Dutch mail-steamien, 
which make a monthly round of- the Moluccas. 
We arrived at the harbour of Cajeli on the 4th of May; 


a gun was fired, the Commandant of the fort came along- 
side in a native hoat to receive the post-packet, and took 
me and my baggage on shore, the steamer going off again 
without coming 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 Besident ; yet 
the appearance of the village was very far superior to that 
of DeUi, which possesses " His Excdlency the (Jovemor," 
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 enclosure at Belli, with its numerous staff of lieu- 
tenants, Captain, and Major. Yet this, as well as most 
of the forts in the Moluccas, was originally bmlt by the 
Portuguese themselves. Oh! Lusitania, how art thou 

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 surroimded b^ swamps on every side. The 
houses were mostly well built, of wooden framework filled 
in with gaba-gaba (leaf-stems of the sago-palm), but as they 
had no 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 wijbli 
the floor raised about a foot, and succeeded in making a 
baigain with the owner to turn out immediately, so that 
by night I had instaUed 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 rupees very easily. Eveiy 
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 un- 
hi»sdthy at other times of the year. Unfortunately I had 
oome two months too. soon, for the rains were not yet over« 

384 BOUBU. [chat, xxtl 

and mud and water were the prominent features of tiie 

About a mile behind and to the east of the village the 
hUls 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 cele- 
brated cajeput oil is made. Such districts are absolutely 
destitute of interest for the zoologist A few miles further 
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 eastward 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 
arranged to ^o myself on a little excursion up a river 
which flows into the bay about five mUes north of the 
town, to a village of the Alfuros, or indigenes, where I 
thought I might perhaps find a good collecting ground. 

The Eajjdi of Cajeli, a good-tempered old man, offered to 
accompany me, as the village was imder his government ; 
and we started one morning early, in a long narrow boat 
with eight rowers. In about two hours we entered the 
river, 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 coxmtry 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 trousers as high as possible, grasped a 
stout stick to prevent awkward falls, and then boldly 
plunged into the first mud-hole, which was immediately 


sncceeded by another and another. The mud or mud and 
water was Imee-deep, with little intervals of firmer ground 
between, making progression exceedingly difficult. 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 beaten track, and we were obliged 
to go floundering on, never knowing where our feet would 
rest, as the mud 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 difficult 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 village 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 
handrail, 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. 

The next morning was clear and fine, and I set out soon 
after sunrise to explore the neighbourhood. The village 
had evidently been newly formed, and consisted of a single 
straight street of veiy 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 ; so I returned 
and deferred further 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 every- 


ggg BOURU. [chap, xzvl 

where 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 favourable to 
insect catching, which requires above everything 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 mid-day reached Cajeli, 
where I waited Ali'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 intelligent 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 inquiries, I found that the forest country com- 
menced at a place called Waypoti, only a few miles beyond 
Pelah, but that, as the coast beyond that place was exposed 
to the east monsoon and dangerous for praus, it was neces- 
sary to walk. I immediately went to the Opzeiner, and 
he called the Bajah. 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 Alfuros to cany my baggage. 

The journey was made as arranged, and on May 19th 
we arrived at Waypoti, having wfJked about ten nules 
along the beach, and through stony forest bordering the 
sea, with occasional 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 ^nth a 


very rotten roof, showing the sky through in several places, 
was the only one I could obtain. Luckily it did not rain 
that night, and the next day we puUed down some of 
the walls to repair the roof, which was of immediate 
importance, especially over our beds and table. 

About half a mile firom 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 riveV 
without getting much above my knees, although I would 
sometimes slip oS 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 impossible 
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 
gbtain many fine beetles before I lefL 

During the whole of my stay, however, insects never 
became plentiful My clearing produced me a few fine 
longicoms and Buprestidse, 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 
Bourn, while in three weeks at Amboyna, in 1857, 1 found 
more than 300 species. One of the finest insects found at 
Bonru was a large Cerambyx, of a deep shining chestnut 
colour, and with very long antennae. It varied greatly 
in size, the largest specimens being three inches long, 
while the smallest were only an inch, the antennae varying 
firom one and a half to five inches. 

c c 2 

S8g BOUEU. [chap. zxn. 

One day my boy Ali came home with a stoiy of a 
big snake. He was walking through some high grass, 
and stepped 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 aSright 
and prepared to shoot, but coiQd 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 sncJ^cs, which he 
declared were all as nothing compared with this, I am 
inclined to believe it must really have been a monster. 
Such creatures 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 pro- 
bably have been killed and devoured by it had not his 
cries brought out his neighbours, who destroyed it with 
their choppers. As far as I could make out it was about 
twenty feet long, but Ali'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 comfortable home. My house at Waypoti was a bare 
shed, with a large bamboo platform at one side. At one 
end of this platform, which was elevated about three feet, I 
fixed up my mosquito curtain, and partly enclosed it with 
a large Scotch plaid, making a comfortable little sleeping 
apartment. I put up a rude table on legs buried in the 
earthen floor, and had my comfortable rattan-chair for 
•a seat. A line across one comer carried my daily- 
washed cotton clothing, and on a bamboo shelf was 
arranged my small stock of crockery and hardware, BoxeB 
were ranged against the thatch walls, and hanging shelves, 
to preserve my collections from ants whUe drymg, were 
suspended botii without and within the house. On my 
table lay books, penknives, scissors, pliers, and pins, with 
insect 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 move 
ignorant companions the peculiarities and uses of tliai 

jp. XXVI.] THE NATIVES. 889 

mge Euit)pean production — a needle with a head, but 
eye ! Even paper, which we throw away hourly as 
»bish, was to them a curiosity ; and I often saw them 
king up L'ttle scraps which had been swept out of 
house, ana carefully putting them away in their betel- 
ich. Then when I took my morning coffee and evening 
, how many were the strange things displayed to them! 
ipot, teacups, teaspoons, were all more or less curious in 
ir eyes ; tea, sugar, biscuit, and butter, were articles of 
nan consumption seen by mtmy of them for the first 
la One asks if that whitish powder is " gula passir " 
id-sugar), so called to distinguish it from the coarse 
ip palm-sugar or molasses of native manufacture ; and 
biscuit is considered a sort of European sago-cake, 
ich the inhabitants of those remote r^ons are obliged 
use in the absence of the genuine articla My pursuits 
re of course utterly beyond their comprehension. They 
itinually asked me what white people did with the birds 
I insects I took so much care to preserve. If I only 
)t what was beautiful, they might perhaps comprehend 
but to see ants and flies and small ugly insects put 
ly so carefully was a great puzzle to them, and they 
*e convinced that there must be some medical or 
^ical use for them which I kept a profound secret 
»e people were in fact as complet^y unacquainted with, 
ilized Hfe as the Indians of the Bocky Mountains, or 
savages of Central Africa — yet a steamship, that 
best triumph of human ingenuity, with its little float- 
epitome of European civilization, touches monthly at 
eli, twenty miles ofif; while at Amboyna, only sixty 
es distant, a European population and government have 
n established for more than three hundred years, 
laving seen a good many of the natives of Bouru from 
ierent villages, and from distant parts of the island, I 
. convinced that they consist of two distinct races now 
tiaUy amalgamated. The larger portion are Malays of 
Celebes type, often exactly similar to the Tom6re 
pie of East Celebes, whom I foimd settled in Batchian ; 
ile others altogether resemble the Alfuros of Ceram. 
) influx of two races can easily be accounted for. The 
a Islands, which are closely connected with East 

390 BOURU, [cftAP. xxYi 

Cfelebes, approach to within forty miles of the north coast 
of Bonru, while the island of Manipa offers an easy point 
of departure for the people of Ceram. I was confirmed in 
this view by finding that the languages of Bourn possessed 
distinct resemblances to that of Sula, as well as to those 
of Ceram. 

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 difficult \o 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 afieady severely 
wounded his feet with thorns ; and when we had only two 
days more to stay, he went of his own accord one evening 
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 evening he brought me home two speci- 
mens, one with the head blown completely off, and other- 
wise too much injured to preserve, the other in very good 
order, and which I at once saw to be a new species, very 
like the Pitta celebensis, but ornamented with a square 
patch of bright red on the nape of the neck. 

The next day after securing this prize we returned to 
Cajeli, and packing up my collections left Bouru by the 
steamer. During our two days' stay at Ternate, I took on 
board what baggage I 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 foimd in any island of the 


Moluccas. Among these were two kingfishers, Tanysip- 
tera acis and Ceyx Cajeli ; a beautiful sunbird, ISTectarinea 

Sroserpina ; a handsome little black and white flycatcher, 
lonarcha loricata, whose swelling throat was beautifully 
scaled with metallic blue ; and several of less interest 1 
also obtained a skull of the babirusa, one specimen of 
which was killed by native hunters during my residence 
at Cajeli 



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, K^, Timor-laut, and Amboyna; and among 
the smaller ones, Teniate, Tidore, Kai6a, and Banda. These 
occupy a. space of tei^ degrees of latitude by eight of 
longitude, and they are connected 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 pro- 
ductions and discuss their relations to the countries which 
surround them on every side in almost equal proximity. 

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 exceeding poverty of terrestrial mammals does not a,t 
all represent 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 man, either purposely or by accident 

The only quadnimanous animal in thn group is the 

392 NATURAL HISTORY [chap. xxvn. 

carious baboon-monkey, Cynopithecus nigrescens, alieady 
described as being one of the characteristic ftTiimAl^ of 
Celebes. This is found only in the island of Batchian; 
and it seems so much out of place there — as it is difficult 
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 strait to Gilolo— that 
it seems more likely to have originated from some indi- 
viduals 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 Viverra tangalunga, 
which inhabits both Batchian and Boiiru, 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 imtameable, 
and therefore likely to escapa This view is rendered still 
more probable by what Antonio de Morga tells us was 
the custom in the Philippines in 1602. He says that "the 
natives of Mindanao carry about pivet-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 oncft 
Hupposed to be a distinct species, but is now generaltj 
considered to be a slight variety of the Busa hippelaphu^ 
of Java. Deer are often tamed and petted, and their fle&*\ 
is so much esteemed by all Malays, that it is very nati 
they should endeavour to introduce them into the remot 
islands in which they settled, and whose luxuriant fores- 
seem so well adapted for then* subsistence. 

The strange babirusa of Celebes is also found in Boarc-^ 
but in no other Moluccan island, and it is somewhat 
cult to imagine how it got there. It is true that there 
some approximation between the birds of the Sula Island^ 
(where the babirusa is also found) and those of Boun^ 
which seems to indicate that these islands have recenUy 
been closer together, or that some intervening land ha0 

CfKAP. xxvil] or THE MOLUCCAS. 393 

disappeared. At tliis time the balnrusa may have entered 
Bouru, since it probably swims as well as its allies the 
pigs. These are spread all over the Ai-chipelago, 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 dispersal There is a popular idea that 
pigs cannot swim, but Sir Charles Lyell has shown that 
this is a mistake. In his " Principles of (Jeology " (10th 
Edit, vol ii p. 355) he adduces evidence to show that pigs 
have swum many miles at sea, and are able to swim with 
great ease and swiftness. I have n^yself seen a wild pig 
swimming across the arm of the sea that separates Singa- 
pore 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 New 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 conveyed 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, aU may very probably 
have been introduced by man, since all except the pig are 
of species identical with those now abounding in the great 
Malay islands, or in Celebes. 

The four remaining mammals are Marsupials, an order 
of the class Mammaha, which is very characteristic of the 
Australian 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 New Guinea or 
North Australia. 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 terminal half is generally 
bare. They have small heads, large eyes, and a dense 

394 NATURAL aiSTORi [chap, xxtii. 

covering of woolly fiir, which is often pure white with 
insular black spots or blotches, or sometimes ashy brown 
with or without white spots. They live in trees, feeding 
npon 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 

1 arm and even breaking the spine or piercing the bra 
will not kill them for some hours. The natives everywh^^'* 
eat their flesh ajid as their motions are so slow eas^^/ 
catch them by clunbing so that it is wonderful they ha."^ 
not been extermmated. It may be however that th^^ 
dense woolly fur protects them from birds of prey and lS* 
islands they live in are too thinly inhabited for man to IX 


able to exterminate them. The figure represents Guscus 
omatus, a new species discovered by me in Batchian, and 
which also inhabits Temate. It is peculiar to the Moluccas, 
while the two other species which inhabit Ceram axe found 
also in New Guinea and Waigiou. 

In place of the excessive poverty of mammjJs which 
characterises the Moluccas, we have a very rich display of 
the feathered tribea The number of species of birds at 
present known from the various islands of the Moluccan 
group is 265, but of these only 70 belong to the usually 
abundant tribes of the waders and swimmers, indicating 
that these are very imperfectly known. As they are also 
pre-eminently wanderers, and are thus little fitted for illus- 
trating the geographical distribution 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 aU 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 storehouses, 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 com- 
paratively unknown islands of the Moluccas 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-tv^entieth in the latter 
countiy. On the other hand, such wide-spread groups as 
the tlmishes, warblers, and finches, which in India fcoro 
nearly one-third of all the land-birds, dwindle down in the 
Moluccas to one-fourteenth. 

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 

396 NATURAL HISTORY [chaf.xxvil 

seventy-eight genera in "whicli the Moluccan land-biids 
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 isltuids. These facts teach us, that 
though the birds of this group have evidently been derived 
maiidy from New Guinea, yet the immigration has nqt 
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 New Guinea forms 
have not entered the Moluccas at aU, while othexs ibund 
in Coram 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 condusion 
that these islands are not fragments which have beeik 
separated from New Guinea, but form a distinct insular 
region, which has been upheaved independently at a 
rather remote epoch, and during dl the mutations it has 
undergone has been constantly receiving immigrants from 
that great and productive island. The considerable 
length of time the Moluccas have remained isolated )b 
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 Coram, including also Bouru, 
Amboyna, Banda, and K6 ; and that of Gijolo, includir»% 
Morty, Batchian, Obi, Temate, and other small islanc^^ 
These divisions have each a considerable number of pe<5 
liar species, no less than fifty-five being found in xT 
Ceram group only ; and besides this, most of the separ^^"^ 
islands have some species peculiar to themselves. Th'^-^ 
Morty island has a peculiar kingfisher, honeysucker, dM^^ 
starling; Temate has a groxmd-thrush (Pitta) and a fi^' 
catcher ; Banda has a pigeon, a shrike, and a Pitta ; }C^ 
has two flycatchers, a Zosterops, a shrike, a king-cro^/ 
and a cuckoo; and the remote Timor-laut» which ahoulf/ 
probably come into the Moluccan group, has a cockatoo 


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 commonly 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 New Guinea group. The pigeons 
are hardly less ilbundant or beautiful twenty-one species 
being known, incladin^ twelve of the beautiM green fruit 
pigeons, the smaller kinds of which are ornamented with 
the most brillitLnt patches of colour on the head and the 
under-surface. Next to these come the kingfishers, in- 
cluding sixteen species, dmost all of which are beautiful, 
and many are among the most brilliantly-coloured birds 
that exist. 

One of the most curious groups of birds, the M^apodii, 
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 colour, 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 scrubby jungles along 
the sea-shore, where the soil is sandy, and there is a con- 
siderable quantity of dSbris, consisting of sticks, shells, 
seaweed, leaves, &c. Of this rubbish the Megapodius 
forms immense mounds, often six or eight feet high and 
twenty 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 thix)w backwards a quantity 
of material 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 
v^;etable 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 afterwards 
met with them frequently, and have once or twice come 
upon the birds engaged in making them. They run a 
few steps backwards, grasping a quantity of loose material 

398 NATURAL HISTORY [chap, xxm 

in one foot, and throw it a long way behind them. 
When once properly buried the eggs seem to be no moie 
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 

I was so fortunate as to discover a new species (M^a- 
podius wallacei), which inhabits Gilolo, Temate, and 
BourxL 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 fre- 
quents the forests of the interior, and comes down to the 
sea-beach to deposit its eggs, 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 down- 
wards, 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 neighbourhood. It lays its eggs only at night, and 
at Bouru 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 ate 
all of a rusty red colour, and very large for the size o^ 
the bird, being generally three or three and a quart^^ 
inches long, by two or two and a quarter wide. Thts^l 
are very good eating, and are much sought after by tfc^^ 

Another large and e^^traordinary bird is the Cassowar**^ 
which inhabits the island of Ceram only. It is a stout 
strong bird, standing five or six feet high, and covered wit 
long coarse black hair-like feathers. The head is oi 
mented with a large homy casque or helmet, and the 
skin of the neck is conspicuous with bright blue and 
colours. The wings are quite absent, and are replaced b^ 
a group of homy black spines like blunt porcupine quill^' 
These birds wander about the vast mountainous forests tha^ 
cover the islgnd of Ceram, feeding chiefly on Mien finzitB; 

CHAP, xxvii.] OF THE MOLUCCAS. 89 9 

and on insects or Crustacea. The female lays from three 
to five 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 New Guinea, New Britain, and North 

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 weU, 
however, first to explain what is meant by mimicry in 
natural history. At page 131, 1 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 resemblance." If however the 
butterfly, being itself a savoury morsel 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 imita- 
tions 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 resem- 
blance of one creature to quite a different one were con- 
fined to insects^ and it was therefore with great pleasure 
that I discovered in the island of Bouru two birds which I 
constantly mistook for each other, and which yet belonged 
to two cQstinct and somewhat distant feumliea One of 
these is a honeysucker named Tropidorhynchus bouruensis, 
and the other a kind of oriole, which has been called Mimeta 
bouruensis. The oriole resembles the honeysucker in the 
following particulars : the upper and imder surfaces of the 
two birds are exactly of the same tints of dark and light 
brown ; the Tropidorhynchus 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 Tropidorfayn- 

400 NATURAL HISTORY [chap, xxvil 

chus 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 Tropido- 
rhynchus 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 position. 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 differences, and cannot be 
placed near each other in any natural arrangement ' 

In the adjacent island of Ceram we find very distinct 
species of both these genera, and, strange to say, these 
resemble each other quite as closely as do those of Bouru. 
The Tropidorhynchus subcomutus is of an earthy brown 
colour, washed with ochreish yellow, with bare orbits, dusky 
cheeks, and the usual recurved nape-ruff. The Mimeta 
forsteiii 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- 
suckers are coloured 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 con- 
clude that it is the latter who mimic the former. If 
so, however, they must derive some advantage from the 
imitation, and as they are certainly weak birds, with small 
feet and claws, they may require it. Now the Tropido- 
rhynchi 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 together in time of 
danger. They are very plentiful and veiy pugnacious, fre- 
quently 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 

CHAP. Jixvir.] OF THE MOLUCCAS. 401 

learnt to respect these birds and leave them alone, and it 
may thus be a great advantage for the weaker and less 
couTageons Mimetas to be mistaken for them. This being 
the case, the laws of Variation and Survival of the 
Fittest, will snffioe 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. Darwin's " Origin of Species " will have no 
diflSculty in comprehending the whole process. 

The insects of the Moluccas are pre-eminently beautiful, 
even when compared with the varied and beautiful pro- 
ductions of other parts of the Archipelago. The grand 
bird -winged butterfees (Omithoptera) here reach their 
maximum of size and beauty, and many of the Papilios, 
Pierida, Danaidse, and Nymphalidfls are equally pre- 
eminent There is, perhaps, no island in the world so 
small as Amboyna where so many grand insects are to be 
found. Here are three of the very finest Omithopteras — 
priamus, helena, and remus ; three of the handsomest and 
largest Papilios — ^ulysses, deiphobus, and gambrisius ; one 
of the handsomest Pieridae, Iphias leucippe ; the largest of 
the Danaidad, Hestia idea ; and two imusually large and 
handsome NymphalidaB — ^Diadema pandarus, and Charaxes 
euryalus. Among its beetles are the extraordinary 
Enchirus longiman^. whose enotmons legs spread over i 
space of eight inches, and an unusual number of large and 
handsome Longicoms, Anthribidae^ 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 
mentioned 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 Eu- 
pholus,) of rich blue and emerald green colours, banded 
with black. It is a native of Ceram and Goram, and is 
found on foliage. 3. A female of Xenocerus semiluo- 
tuosus, one of the Anthribidae of delicate silky white 
and black colours. It is abundant on fallen trunks 
and stumps in Ceram and Amboyna. 4 An unde- 
scribed species of Xenocerus ; a male, with very long and 
curious antennae, and elegant black and white markinga 

D D 

402 NATURAL HISTORT. [chap.xxto. 

It is found on fallen trunks in Batchian. 5. An un- 
described 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 turning rapidly round the edge to 
the under-surface when disturbed. It was found in 
Gilolo. All these insects are represented of the natural 

Like the birds, the insects of the Moluccas show a 
decided afiinity with those of New Guinea rather than 
with the productions of the great western islands of the 
Archipelago, but the difference in form and structure be- 
tween 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 gene- 
ral uniformity of its climate and vegetation ; while on 
the other hand the great susceptibility of the insect 
organization to the action of external conditions has led to 
infinite detailed modifications of form and colour, which 
have in many cases given a considerable diversity to the 
productions of adjacent islands. 

Owing to the great preponderance among the birds, of 
parrots, pigeons, kingfishers, and sunbirds, almost all of gay 
or delicate colours, and many adorned with the most 
gorgeous plumage, and to the numbers of very large and 
showy butterflies which are almost everywhere to be met 
with, the forests of the Moluccas oflPer to the naturalist 
a veiy 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 haa 
in reality but little in common with the great Afdatio 
continent, although an unbroken chain of islands seems to 
link them to it 




(DECEMBER, 1856.) 

IT was the beginning of December, and the rainy season 
at Macassar had just set in. For nearly three months 
I had beheld the sun rise daily above the palm-groves, 
mount to the zenith, and descend like a globe of fire into 
the ocean, unobscured 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 variable 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 favourable climate for collecting in during that 
period, and to return in the next dry season to complete 
my exploration of the district. Fortunately for me I was 
in one of the great emporiums of the native trade of the 
Archipelago. Eattans from Borneo, sandal- wood and bees'-f 
wax from Flores and Timor, tripang from the Gulf of 
Carpentaria, cajuputi-oil from Bouru, wild nutmegs and 
mussoi-bark from New Guinea, are all to be foimd in the 
stores of the Chinese and Bugis merchants of Macassar, 
along with the rice and coffee which are the chief products 
of the surrounding country. More important than all these 
however is the trade to Aru, a group of islands situated on 
the south-west coast of New Guinea, and of which almost 
the whole produce comes to Macassar in native vessels. 

D D 2 

404 MACASSAR TO THE ARU ISLANDS [chap, xxrai. 

These islands are quite out of the track of all EuropeaD 
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 tortoiseshell, 
find their way to Europe, while edible birds' nests and 
"tripang" or sea-slug are obtained by shiploads for the 
gastronomic enjoyment of the Chinese. 

The trade to these islands has existed from very early 
times, and it is from tliem that Birds of Paradise, of the 
two kinds known to Linnoeus, were first brought The 
native vessels can only make the voyage once a year, 
owing to the monsoons. They leave Macassar in Decem- 
ber 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 Macassar 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 rather than 
expected ever to reach this *' Ultima Thule " of the East ; 
and when I foimd 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 & 
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 fix 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 satisfied, and shall ask no more/' 

The remainder of my stay was fully occupied in laying, 
in stores, engaging servants, and making every other pre* 

cflAi. xxviii.] IN A NATIVE PRAU. 41O5 

paration for an absence of seven months from even the 
outskirts of civilization. On the morning of December 
13th, 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 foimd us 
back again in Macassar harbour. We remained there four 
days longer, owing to its raining all the time, thus render- 
ing 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 didn't rain, made myself acquainted 
with our outlandish craft, some of the peculiarities of 
which I will now endeavour to describe. 

It was a vessel of about seventy tons burthen, 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 
overhimg 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 of 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 com- 
fortable 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 tioor 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 wliich Macassar is celebrated ; against 
the further wall were arranged my gun-case, insect-boxes, 
clothes, and books ; my mattress occupied the middle, and 

406 MACASSAR TO THE ABU ISLANDS [chap, xxnii. 

next the door were my canteen, lamp, and little store of 
luxuries for the voyage ; while guns, revolver, and hunting 
knife himg conveniently from 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 saloon of a first-class 
steamer. Then, how comparatively sweet was everything 
on board — ^no paint, no tar, no new rope, (vilest of smells 
to the qualmish !) no grease, or oil, or varnish ; but instead 
of these, bamboo and rattan, and coir rope and palm 
thatch; pure vegetable fibres, which smell pleasantly 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 moveable triangles. If in an ordinary 
ship you replace 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 bamboa 
The mainyai-d, an immense afiair nearly a hundred feet 
long, was formed of many pieces of wood and bamboo 
boimd together with rattans in an ingenious 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 moimted high in the air, 
making up for the lowness of the mast itself. The fore- 
sail was of the same shape, but smaller. Both these were 
of matting, and, with two jibs and a fore and aft sail asteiu 
of cotton canvas, completed our rig. 

The crew consisted of about thu-ty men, natives of 
Macassar and the adjacent coasts and islands. They were 
mostly young, and were short, broad-faced, good-humoured 
looking fellows. Theii* dress consisted generally of a pfti' 
of trousers 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 steersmen, 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 occupi6<l 


the other half of the little house on deck. There were 
about ten respectable men, Chinese or Bugis, whom our 
owner used to call "his own people." He treated them 
very well, shared his meals 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 police 
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 
nothing 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 almost all in a phronio 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 seivices 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 
ti-ade 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 effectually pre- 
venting a man from earning anything towards paying 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 anything, and was quite attentive and trustworthy. H(^ 
was a good shot, and fond of shooting, and I had taught 
him to skin birds very well. The second, named Baderoon, 
was a Macassar lad, also a pretty good boy, but a desperate 
gambler. Under pretence 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, aU 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 learnt to 

408 MACJSSAU TO THE.MiU ISLANDS. [cauiP, xxrai 

cook tolerably. He was to fulfil the important office of 
cook azid iiousekeeper, for I could not get any ijQgnlar 
servants to go to such a terribly remote coimtiy ; one 
joajght as well ask a chef de cvddne to go to Patagonia. 

Or the fifth day that I had spent on board (Dec 15th) 
the lain ceased, and final preparations were made foi 
starting. Sails were dried and furled, boats were constantly 
coming and going, and stores for the voyage, fruit, vege- 
tables, fish, and palm sugar, were taken on board. In the 
afternoon two women arrived with a large party of Mends 
and relations, and at parting there was a general nose- 
rubbing (the Malay kiss), and some tears tihed. 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 immediately weighed, and 
by four we set sail. Just as we were fairly off and clear 
of the other praxis, the old juragan repeated some prayers, 
all around responJding 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 
journey. We liad a light breeze, a calm sea, and a fine 
morning, a prosperous commencement of our voyage of 
about a thousand miles to the far-famed Am 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.theywere much afraid of this place. Not quite com- 
prehending, I made him r0|>eat his request, when, seeing he 
was in earnest, I. said, "Very well, 1 suppose there are 
*hantus' (spirits) here." *Yes,*' said he, "and they don t 
like anything 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 Mahometans on board 
all repeated a few words of prayer with a genex-al chorus, 
reminding me of the pleasing and impressive "Ave Maria'' 
of Catholic countries. 

Dec. 20th. — At sunrise we were opposite the Bontyne 

aiAF. BxwnL] IN A NATIVE PEAU. 409 

* mountain, said to be one of the highest in Celebes. In the 
afternoon we passed the Salayer Straits and bad 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. 

Bee, 21st. — ^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, 22d, — The swell had gone down. We passed 
Boutong, 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 fuU of people, with several 
black Papuans on board. At 6 P.M. we passed Wangi- 
wangi, low but not flat, inhabited 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 
vrith whirling sparks of fire. It resembled (more nearly than 
anything else to which I can compare it) one of the large 
iiTegular nebulous star-clusters seen through a good tele- 
scope, with the additional attraction of ever-changing form 
and dancing motion. 

Dec 2Sd, — luie red sunrise; the island we left last 
evening barely visible beliind 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 
iiBvhich they notice at simsct, 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 five 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, 


assumed 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 on the boom, it is a very dangerous 
thing to have them standing when overtaken by a squalL 
Our crew, though numerous enough for a vessel of 7U0 
instead of one of 70 tons, have it ver}- nmch their own 
way, and there seems to be seldom more than a dozen at 
work at a time. When anything important is to be done, 
however, all start up willingly enough, but then all think 
themselves at liberty to give theii* opinion, and half a 
dozen voices are heard giving orders, and there is such a 
shrieking and confusion that it seems wonderful anything 
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 educa- 
tion, 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 excite- 
ment which might be expected. In fine weather tlie 
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 liis chopping-knife, another 
is stitching away at a new pair of trousers 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 bdov? 
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 con- 
trivance, which meajsures 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 measurer of time. I tested it with my 
watch and foimd 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 accompanied with a 
little bubbling and commotion of the water, which calls 
the attention to it. It is also quickly replaced if lost while 
in harbour. 

Our captain and owner I find to be a quiet, good- 
tempered 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 coff'ee and cakes, morning and after- 
noon, in company with his supercargo and assistants. He 
is a man of some little education, can read and writ« 
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. 

Deo, 24tth. — ^Ime, 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 afternoon the prau is covered with shirts, trousers, 
and sarongs of various gay colours. I made a discovery 
to-day which at first rather alarmed me. The two ports, 
oropeniags, 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 imagined 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 farther side, and do no more hann 
than give the steersmen a drenching. To my surprise 
.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 ^'essel 
going to sea for a month with two holes, each a yard 
square, into the hold, at three feet above the water-line, — 
holes, too, which cannot possibly be closed! But our 
captain says all praus eire so ; and though he acknowledges 
the danger, " he does not know how to alter it — the people 
are used to it ; he does not imderstand praus so well as 
they do, and if such a great alteration 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. 

Dec. 25th. — Christmas-day dawned upon us with gusts 
of wind, driving rain, thunder and lightning, add^ 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 mUes distant, its moun- 
tains 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 &e 
west monsoon, there is no regularity or steadiness about 
it, calms and breezes from every point of the compass 
continually occurring. The captain, though nominally a 
Protestant, seemed to have no idea of Chnstmas-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. 26ih. — Fine view of the mountains of Bouru, 
which we have now approached considerably. Our crew 
seem rather a clumsy lot. They do not walk the deck 
with the e£Lsy swing of English sailors, but hesit€tte and 
stagger like landsmen. In the night the lower boom o{ 
our mainsail broke, and they were all the morning re- 
pairing 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 strangijly 

CHAP, xxviiij IN A NATIVE FRAU. 418 \ 

with that of European vessels, in which the various ropes 
and spars, though much more numerous, 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 anything can be done 
without first clearing something else out of the way. The 
large sails cannot 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 e£u^h 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 
others. 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 aU repairs 
can be done by the crew, and very few European stores 
are required. 

Dec, 2iih, — This day we saw the Banda group, the 
volcano first appearing, — a perfect cone, having very 
much the outline of the Egyptian pyramids, and looking 
almost as regular. In the evening the smoke rested over 
its summit like a small stationary cloud. This was my 
first view of an active volcano, but pictures and pano- 
ramas have so impressed such things on one's mind, that 
when we at length behold them they seem nothing 

Dec, ZQth, — ^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 merely 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. 

414 MACASSAR TO THE ARU ISLANDS [chaf. xxviil 

Dec, Zlst. — At daybreak the K6 Islands (pronounced 
kay) were in sight, where we are to stay a few days. 
About noon we rounded the northern point, and endea- 
voured 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 leaving us altogether, we were 
carried back by a strong current Just then two boats- 
load of natives appeared, and our owner having agreed 
with them to tow us into harbour, 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 K6 along which we had passed was very pic- 
turesque. Light coloured limestone rocks rose abruptly 
from the water to the height of several hundred feet, every- 
where broken into jutting peaks and pinnacles, weather- 
worn into sharp points and honeycombed surfaces, and 
clothed throughout with a most varied anci luxuriant 
vegetation. The cliffs above the sea offered to our view 
screw-pines and arborescent Liliaceae 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 
whiteness. The water was transparent as crystal, and tilled 
the rock-strewn slope which plunged steeply into its 
unfathomable depths with colours 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 forests, 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 specu* 
lating on what my wanderings there for a few days might 
bring to light. 



(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 no w had my first 
view of Papuans in their o^vn 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 strongly 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 K^ 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, without 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 
confiision. These forty black, naked, mop-headed savages 
seemed intoxicated with joy and excitement. Not one of 
tbcm could remain still for a moment. Eveiy individual 
of our crew was in turn surrounded and examined, 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 employed to tow us 
in, and who begged vociferously to be paid in advance. A 
few preaents of tobacco made their eyes glisten; they 

416*. THE Kt: ISLANDS, [chap. xxix. 

would express their satisfaction by grins and shouts, by 
rolling on deck, or by a headlong leap overboard. School- 
boys on an unexpected holiday, Irishmen at a fair, or mid- 
shipmen on shore, would give but a faint idea of the 
exuberant animal enjoyment of these peopla 

Under similar circumstances Malays could not behave as 
these Papuans did. If they came on board a vessel (after 
asking permission), not a word would be at first spoken, 
except a few compliments, and only after some time, and 
very cautiously, 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 ^vord about the matter, unless yiu 
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 ba(l 
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 con- 
clusive of absolute diversity than even the physical 
contrast presented by the two races, though that is suffi- 
ciently remarkable. The sooty blackness of the skin, the 
mop-like head of frizzly hair, and, most important of all, 
the marked form of countenance of quite a different type 
from that of the Malay, are what we cannot believe to 
result from mere climatal or other modifying influences on 
one and the same race. The Malay face is of the Mon** 
golian 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 dilatation of the 
nostrils. The face is smooth, and rai-ely 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 pwK 
tuberant and overhanging, the mouth laige and prominodty 
while the nose is very large, the apex elongated down* 
wards, the ridge thick, and the nostrils large. It is an 


obtrosiye and remarkable feature in the countenance, the 
very reverse of what obtains in the Malay face. The 
twisted beard and frizzly hair complete this remarkablo 
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 entered, we may fairly say 
that there is as much difTerence, both moral and physical, 
as between the red Indians of South America and the 
negroes of Guinea on the opposite side of the Atlantic. 

JixTk Ist, 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 anchor- 
age, 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 
hollowa 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 concealed, and sur- 
mounted by a dense and varied growth of timber. 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 a long 
boat was being built, while others in various stages of com- 
pletion 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 four 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 
TO0&. They had small doors and no windows, an opening 

418 THE Kt ISLANDS. [ohap. xxiz 

under the projecting gables letting the smoke out and 
a little light in. 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. Native 
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 
throughout dark and smoke-blackened, and dismal in the 

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 
trodden path from the beach led us into a shady hollow, 
where the trees were of immense height and the under- 
growth scanty. From the summits of these ti'ees 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 colour, with the 
back wings and tail intense metallic green, with golden, 
blue, and violet reflexions, the feet coral red, and the eyes 
golden yellow. It is a rare species, which I have named 
Carpophaga concinna, and is foimd 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 habit of devouring thp fruits, the seed or nutm^ 
being thrown up entire ana uninjured. Though these 
pigeons have a narrow 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 nimiber of hard globular palm-fruits in 
its crop, each more than an Inch in diameter. 

A little further the path divided into two, one leading 
along the beach, and across mangrove and sago swamps, 
the other rising to cultivated grounds. We theiefoie 
returned, and taking a fresh departure from the village, 
endeavoured to ascend the hills and penetrate into the 
interior. The path, however, was a most trying ona 
Where there was earth, it was a deposit of leddisn clay 

OKAP. xxdl] trade and products. 419 

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 rugged and broken, and 
80 honeycombed and weatherworn into sharp points and 
angles, that my boys, who had gone barefooted all their 
lives, could not stand it. Their feet began to bleed, and I 
saw that if I did not want them completely 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 efifeminacy 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 
cultivated 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 K6 (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 con- 
sists almost entirely of rock and mountain. It is every- 
where covered with luxuriant forests, and in its bays and 
inlets the sand is of dazzling whiteness, resulting from the 
decomposition of the coraiybne limestone of which it is 
entirely composed. In all the little swampy inlets and 
valleys sago trees abound, and these supply the main sub- 
sistence 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 surround 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 Am 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 aU parts of the Moluccas. But the art in which 
the natives of K^ pre-eminently excel is that of boat- 
building. Their forests supply abundance of fine timber, 

S E 2 

^2Q THB KE ISLANDS. [chap. xxzz. 

though probably not more so than many other islands, and 
from some imknown 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 terminate in 
high-pointed beaJks more or less carved, and ornamented 
with a plume of feathers. They are not hollowed out of 
a tree, but are regularly built of planks running from end 
to end, and so accurately fitted that it is often difficult to 
find a place where a.kmfe-blade can be inserted between 
the joints. The larger ones are from 20 to 30 tons 
burthen, and are finished ready for sea without a nail or 
particle of iron being used, and with no other tools than 
axe, adze, and auger. These vessels are handsome to look 
at, good sailers, and admirable 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 firee as word-painting travellers 
love to represent them. 

The forests of K6 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 laiger 
boats an entire tree is consumed. It is felled, often miles 
away from the shore, cut across to the proper length, and 
then hewn longitudinally into two equcd portiona Each 
of these forms a plank by cutting down with the axe to a 
uniform thickness of three or four inches, leaving at firsts 
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 importance in the construc- 
tion of the vessel. When a sufficient number of planks 
have been made, they are laboriously dragged 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 ming 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, pro- 
perly curved and tapering at each end, is held firnofy 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 laige 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 contact ; and difficult as this seems 
to do without any other aid than rude practical skill in 
forming each edge to the true corresponding 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 cannot 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 obtained. 
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 secured to the projecting pieces of the plank below 
by a strong lashing of rattan. Eibs 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 care- 
fully 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, 
airip leaf, wooden bowls, and trays, &c. &c., which every 

422 THE KS islands. \imAJt, zza. 

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 cany with 
him whatever he can afford to buy. 

Money is unknown and valueless here — ^knives, doth, 
and arrack forming the only medium of exchange, with 
tobacco for small coin. Every transaction is the subject of 
a special bargain, and the cause of nmch talking. It is 
absolutely necessary to offer very little, as the natives are 
never satisfied till you add a little more. They are then 
far better pleetsed than if you had given them 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 children, bringing bamboos full 
of creeping things, which, alas ! too frequently had eaten 
each other into fragments 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 Buprestidae, and has been named CyphO' 
gastra calepyga. 

Each morning after an early breakfast I wandered bjT' 
myself into the forest, where I found delightful occupation-— 
in capturing the large and handsome butterflies, which — 
were tolerably abundant, and most of them new to me ; -5 
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 feasted 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 col- 
lectors, 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 ni 


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, re-, 
quiring the attention to be so continually directed to 
securing a footing, as to make it very difficult 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-water everywhere pene- 
trates its fissures ; at least such is the character of the 
neighbourhood we visited, the only water being small 
springs trickling out close to the sea-beach. 

In the forests of K6, arboreal Liliaceae and Fandanaceae 
abound, and give a character to the vegetation in the more 
exposed roclqr places. Flowers were scarce, and there 
were not many orchids, but I noticed the fine white 
butterfly-orchis, Phalflsnopsis grandiflora, or a species 
closely allied to it. The freshness and vigour of the 
vegetation was very pleasing, and on such an arid rocky 
surface was a sure indication of a perpetually humid 
climate. Tall clean trunks, many of them buttressed, and 
immense trees of the fig family, with aSrial roots stretching 
out and interlacing and matted together for fifty or a 
hundred feet above the ground, were the characteristic 
features ; 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 already alluded to. In damp places a fine 
\indergrowth of broad-leaved herbaceous plants was found, 
^bout which swarmed little green lizards, with tails of the 
xtiost " 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 resem- 
Uance to small snakes. Almost the only sounds in these 
primaeval woods proceeded from two birds, the red lories, 
iBvho 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, altogether 
peculiar and remarkable. Only two quadrupeds are said 

424 ^^^ ^^ ISLANDS, [chap, xaox, 

by the natives to inhabit the island — a wild pig and a 
Cuscus, or Eastern opossum, of neither of which could 
1 obtain specimens. 

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 collec- 
tions. 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 beautiful little ''blues," and some 
brilliant day-flying moths. The beetle tribe were less 
abundant, yet I obtained some very fine 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 
papua), which, when the flowers were shaken, flew off like 
a small swarm of bees. I got one of our crew to dimb 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 Buprestis family, already mentioned as 
having been obtained from the natives, who told me they 
found it in rotten trees in the moimtains. 

In the forest itself the only common and conspicuous 
coleoptera were two tiger beetles. One, Therates labiata, 
was much larger than our green tiger beetle, of a purple 
black colour, with green metallic glosses, and the broad 
upper lip of a bright yellow. 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 im- 
mediately ascertained, often before it was seen, by a very 
pleasant odour, 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 CicindelidsQ, and is almost exclusively confined to tbe 


Malay islands. In shape it resembles a very large ant, 
more than an inch long, and of a purple black colour. 
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 capture, so that it 
requires a sudden run and active fingers to secure a 
specimen. This species emits the usual fetid odour of the 
ground beetles. My collections during our four days' stay 
at ISA were ba follow: — 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 
marked, and who are pagans ; and a mixed race, who are 
nominally Mahometans, and wear cotton clothing, while 
the former use only a waist cloth of cotton or bark. These 
Mahometans 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 descend- 
ants here exhibit great variations of colour, hair, and 
features, graduating between the Malay and Papuan types. 
It is interesting to observe the influence of the early 
Portuguese trade with these coimtries in the words of 
their language, which still remain in use even among these 
remote and savage islanders. '' Len^o " for handkerchief, 
and " faca " for knife, are here used to the exclusion of the 
proper Malay terms. The Portuguese and Spaniards were 
truly wonderful conquerors and colonizers. They effected 
more rapid changes in the countries they conquered than 
any other nations of modem times, resembling the Eomana 
in their power of impressing their own language, religion, 
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 me catching an insect He stood very quiet 
till I had pinned and put it away in my collecting box, 
when he could contain himself no ledger, but bent almost 
double, and enjoyed a hearty roar of laughter. Every 
one will recognise 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 nature to laughs 

426 THE k£ islands. [chap. XXIX. 

never heartily, and still less at or in the presence of a 
stranger, to whom, however, his disdainfii glances or 
whispered 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 ordinary 
occasions, are altogether removed from the general taci- 
turnity and reserve of the Malay. 

The language of the K6 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 
villages have slight differences of dialect, but they are 
mutually intelligible, and, except in words that have 
evidently been introduced during a long-continued com- 
mercial intercourse, seem to have no affinity whatever with 
the Malay languages. 

Jan. 6th. — The small boats being finished, we sailed 
for Aru at 4 p.m., and as we left the shores of K& had a 
fine view of its rugged and mountainous character ; ranges 
of hills, three or four thousand feet high, stretching south- 
wards 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 
haibour of Dobbo at nine in the evening of the next day. 

My first voyage in a prau being thus satisfactorily 
terminated, I must, before taking leave of it for some 
months, bear testimony to the merits of the queer old- 
world vessel Setting 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 pleasantly, or perhaps, 
more correctly speaking, with so little discomfort 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 insupportabia Something is also to be put down 
to freedom from all restraint of dress, hours of meals, &c., 
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 little discipline everjrthing 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 civilization. 




ON the 8th of January, 1857, I 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 ofifers 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 vaiious sizes, but are 
all built after one pattern, being merely large thatched 

428 THE ABU ISLANDS. [gtap. xxz. 

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 stow 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 imforeseen difficulties pre- 
sented themselves. One which was to let had no root 
and the owner, who was building 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 there- 
fore take undisputed possession of as the first comer, 
wanted considerable repairs, and no one could be found 
to do the work, although about four times its value was 
oflTered. 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 evening 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 weU-fumished mansion, and looked forward 
to a month's residence in it with unmixed satisfiEu^tion. 

The next morning, after an early breakfast, I set off to 
explore the virgin forests of Am, anxious to set my mind 
at rest as to the treasures they were likely to jdeld, 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-halfpence, and my Mar ^t^ ^g ay 
boy Baderoon brought his chopper to clear the path if 

We had to walk about half a mile along the beach, the 


gtoond behind the village being mostly swampy, and then 
tamed 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 meantime, however, I had not been 
idle, and my day's captures determined the success of my 
journey in an entomological 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 New Guinea. The large and handsome spectre* 
butterfly, Hestia durviUei; the pale-winced peacock 
butterfly, Drusilla catops ; and the most brilliant and 
wonderfiil of the clear-winged moths, Cocytia d'Urvillei, 
were especially interesting, as well as several little 
'' blues," equalling in brilliancy and beauty anything the 
butterfly world can produce. In the other groups of 
insects I was not so successful, 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 returned 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, Omithoptera poseidon. I trembled with 
excitement as I saw it coming majestically towards 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 admiration, at the velvet black and brilliant green 
of its wings, seven inches across, its golden body, and 
crimson breast. It ijs true I had seen similar insects in 
cabinets at home, but it is quite another thing to capture 
such oneself — ^to feel it struggling between one's fingers, 
and to gaze upon its fresh and living beauty, a bright gem 

430 ^^S ^^^ ISLANDS. [onAP. zzx. 

shining out amid the silent gloom of a dark and tangled 
forest. The village of Dobbo held that evening at least 
one contented man. 

Jan, 2&th, — Having now been here a fortnight^ I 
began to imderstand a little of the place and its pecu- 
liarities. Praus continually arrived, and the merchant 
population increased almost daily. Eveiy 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 palin 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 
country") with the produce they have collected during 
the preceding six months, and which 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 imheard-of phe- 
nomenon 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 utterly imintelligible 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 Papuans, 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 wan- 


dering aboat the half-deserted streets of Dobbo offering 
their little bit of merchandise for sale. 

Living in a trader's house everything is brought to me as 
well as to the rest, — bundles of smoked tripang, or " bSche 
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 ofi'er 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 tobacco, or sago, or handkerchiefs. I then 
have to endeavour 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 specu- 
late in tortoiseshell, but that anything eatable I will buy — 
fish, or turtle, or vegetables of any sort. Almost the only 
food, however, that we can obtain with any regularity, are 
fish and cockles of very good quality, and to supply our 
daily wants it is absolutely necessary to be always pro- 
vided with four articles — tobacco, knives, sago-cakes, and 
Dutch copper doits — ^because 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 l^iskets and buckets used hera The 
cockles are brought in large volute shells, probably the 
Oymbium ducale, while gigantic helmet-sheUs, 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 imexpectedly bad weather, violent winds with heavy 
showers having been so continuous as only to give me four 
good collecting 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 
fiew pretty land-shells ; and of the small number of birds 

432 ^^^ ^^^ ISLANDS. [chap. xxi. 

yeitfliot more than half were knowi^ New Guinea species, 
and therefore certainly rare in European collections, while 
the remainder were probably new. In one respect my 
hopes seemed doomed to be disappointed. I had antici- 
pated the pleasure of myself preparing fine specimens of 
the Birds of Paradise, but I now learnt 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 remaining 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 plumage 
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 impressions of the forests of 
Equatorial America. For example, the palms were much 
more abimdant 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 Uauassii (Attalea speciosa) of the 
Amazon, but which I had hitherto rarely met with in 
the Malayan islands. 

In animal life the immense number and variety of 
spiders and of Uzards were circumstances that recalled 
the prolific regions of South America, more especially the 
abimdance and varied colours 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 fsLce ; and the threads composii^ 
these are so strong and glutinous as to require much trouble 
to free oneself from them. Then their inhabitants, great 
yellow-spotted monsters with bodies two inches long, and 
legs in proportion, are not pleasant things to run one's nose 
against wlule pursuing some gorgeous butterfly, or gasiQg 


aloft in search of soiihj strange- voiced biri 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, 
variety, and the situations in which they were found. The 
beautiful blue-tailed species so abundant in K6, was not 
seen here. The Am lizards are more varied but more 
sombre in their colours — shades of green, grey, 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-hunters, who, I fear, to satisfy their gross 
appetites, destroy many gems of the insect world, which 
would feast the eyes and delight 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-crabs, who forsake the 
beach to wander in the forest. I have actually seen a 
spider carrying away a good-sized sheU and devouring its 
(probably juvenile) tenant. On the beach, which I hfwi to 
walk along every morning to reach the forest, these crea- 
tures swarmed by thousands. Every dead shell, from the 
largest to the most ^linute, was appropriated by them. 
They formed small social parties of ten or twenty around 
bits of stick or seaweed, but dispersed hurriedly at the 
sound of approaching footsteps. After a windy night, that 
nasty-looking 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. Quantities of seaweed, too, 
are thrown up ; but strange as it may seem, these are far 
less beautiful and less varied than may be found on any 
fiEtvourable part of our own coasts. 

The natives here, even those who seem to be of purs 

F F 

434 ^^^ ^^^ ISLANDS. [OHAP. xxjL 

Papuan race, were much more reserved and tacitam than 
those of ILL .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, however, the Papuan character sometimes breaks out 
Little boys sing cheerfully as they walk along, or talk 
aloud to themselves (quite a negro characteristic) ; and, tiy 
all they can, the men cannot conceal their emotions in the 
true Malay fashion. A number of them were one day in 
my house, and having a fancy to try what sort of eating 
tripang would be, I bought a couple, paying for them with 
such an extravagant quantity of tobacco that the seller 
saw 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 
pajring 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 whether he was over 
or under paid. These little moral traits are of the greatest 
interest when taken in connexion with physical features. 
They do no^ admit of the same ready explanation by 
external causes which is so frequently applied to the 
latter. Writers on the races of mankind have too often 
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 cha- 
racter, or even of ascertaining what is really the average 
physical conformation of the peopla Such are exceed- 
ingly apt to be deceived in places where two races have 
long intermingled, by looking on intermediate forms and 
mixed habits as evidences of a natural transition from one 
race to the other, instead 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 geographical proximity 
one might suppose they ought to be. So far as 1 have yel 


seen, the Malay and Papuan appear to be as widely sepa- 
rated as any two human races that exist, being distin- 
guished by physical, mental, and moral characteristics, all 
of the most marked and striking kind. 

Feb, 5th — 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, offering a passage for good-sized 
vessela 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 mainland, and 
forming the "blakang tana," or "back country," of the 
traders, being the principal seat of the pearl, tripang, and 
tortoiseshell fisheries. To the mainland many of the 
birds and animals of the coimtry are altogether confined; 
the Birds of Paradise, the black cockatoo, the great brush- 
turkey, tod the cassowary, are none of them found on 
Wamma or any of the detached islands. I did not, 
however, expect in this excursion to see any decided differ- 
ence in the forest or its productions, and was therefore 
agreeably surprised. The beach was overhung with the 
drooping branches of large trees, loaded with OrchideiB, 
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 perfectly straight^ 
smooth, slender stem, a himdred feet high, and a crown of 
handsome drooping leaves. But the greatest novelty and 
most striking feature to my eyes were the tree-ferns, which, 
after seven years spent in the tropics, I 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 

F y 2 

436 ^^^ -'^^ ISLANDS. [chap, xxl 

Aly boys shot five sorts of birds, none of which we had 
obtained during a month's shooting in Wamma. Two 
were very pretty flycatchers, already known from New 
Guinea ; one of them (Monarcha chrysomela), of brilliant 
black and bright orange colours, is by some authors con- 
sidered to be the most beautiM of all flycatchers; Uie 
other is pure white and velvety black, with a bioad fleshy 
ring round the eye of an azure blue colour ; it is named 
the ''spectacled flycatcher" (Monarcha telescopthalma), 
and was first foimd in New Guinea, along with the other, 
by the French naturalists during the voyage of the dis- 
covery-ship Coquille, 

FeK IStL — 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 being at length able to get a boat 
and men to go to the mainland 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, fearing 
that their small vessels sent trading to the '* blakang tana** 
would be plundered. The Aru natives were of course 
dreadfully alarmed, as these mai*auders attack their 
villages, bum and murder, and carry away women and 
children for slaves. Not a man will stir firom his village 
for some time, and I must remain still a prisoner in 
Dobbo. The Governor of Amboyna, out of pure kind- 
ness, has told the chiefs that they are to be respon- 
sible for iny 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 hardly thought they would be bold enough to attempt 
to plunder Dobbo. The next day the praus returned, and 
we had positive information that these scouiges of the 

CHAP, xxjl] the pirates FISIT US. 437 

Eastern seas were really among us. One of Heir Warz- 
beigen's small prans also arrived in a sad plight. It had 
been attacked six days before, just as it was returning 
&om 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 everything 
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 volley 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 stayed behind with a small 
boat ; and being driven to desperation by the sight of the 
plimdering, one brave fellow swam off armed only with 
his parang, or chopping-knife, and coming on them un- 
awares made a desperate attack, killing one and wounding 
the other two, receiving himself numbers of slight wounds, 
and then swimming off ag^ when almost exhausted. 
Two other praus were also plimdered, 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 devastated one of the small islands east of 
Geram. It is now eleven years since they have visited 
Aru, and by thus making their attacks at long and uncer- 
toin intervals the alarm dies away, and they find a 
population for the most part unarmed and unsuspicious of 
danger. None of the small trading vessels now carry 
arms, though they did so for a year or two after the last 
attack, which was just the time when there was the least 
occasion 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 cannot 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 monsoon enables them to 
sail westward. 

March 9th. — ^For four or five days we have had a con- 
tinual gale of wind, with occasional gusts of great fuiy, 

488 THB AMU ISLANDS. [orap. zxx. 

which seem as if they would send Dobbo into the sea. 
Rain accompanies it almost every alternate hour, so that 
it is not a pleasant tima 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 
diflSculty about men, but I believe the " Orang-kaya," oi 
head man of Wamma, will accompany me to see that T 
don't run into danger. 

Having become quite an old inhabitant of Dobbo, I will 
endeavour 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, gambier, plates, basins, handkerchiefs, sarongs, 
calicoes, and arrack, are the principal articles wanted by 
the natives ; but some of the stores contain also tea, coffee, 
sugar, wine, biscuits, &c., for the supply of the traders; and 
others are full of fancy goods, china ornaments, looking- 
glasses, razors, umbrellas, pipes, and purses, which take 
the fancy of the wealthier natives. Every fine day mats 
are spread before the doors and the tripang is put out to 
dry, as well as sugar, salt, biscuit, tea, cloths, and other 
things that get injured by an excessively moist atmosphere. 
In the morning and evening, spruce Chinamen stroll about 
or chat at each other's doors, in blue trousers, white jacket, 
and a queue into which red silk is plaited till it reaches 
almost to their heels. An old Bugis hadji regularly takes 
an evening stroll in all the dignity of flowing green silk 
robe and gay turban, followed by two small boys canying 
his sirih and betel boxes. 

In every vacant space new houses are being built, and 
all sorts of odd little cooking-sheds are erected against the 
old ones, while in some out-of-the-way comers, massive log 
pigsties 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 Bweet 
rice and grated cocoa-nut, fned fish, or fried plantains ; and 
whichever it may be, they have but one cry, and that is — 

CHIP, xxt] LAW OR NO LAW. 439 

*• Ghocolat — t — ^t I" This must be a Spanish or Portuguese 
cry, handed down for centuries, while its meaning has 
been lost. The Bugis sailors, while hoisting the main- 
sail, cry out, "Vela k vela, — ^vfla, v^la, vela!" repeated 
in an everlasting chorus. As ^ vela" is Portuguese 
for a sail, I supposed I had discovered the origin of 
this, but I found afterwards they used the same cry 
when heaving anchor, and often changed it to "hela," 
which is so much an universal expression of exertion 
and hard breathing that it is most probably a mere in- 
teijectional cry. 

I daresay there are now near five hundred people in 
Dobbo of various races, all met in this remote comer 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 sprinlding 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 tiiroats, 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 slxange 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 overgovemed. Think of the hundred 
Acts of Parliament annually enacted to prevent us, the 
people of England, from cutting each other's throats, 
or from doing to our neighbour as we would not be 
done by. Think of the thousands of lawyers and bar- 
risters whose whole lives are spent in telling us what 
the hundred Acts of Parliament 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-bohaved community. All are traders, and all 

440 ^^^ ^^^' ISLANDS. [chap. xxx. 

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 stroDing along 
the Campong 61am in Singapore, I have thought how wild 
and ferocious the Bugis sailors looked, and how little I 
should like to ti-ust 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 con- 
tinually ; 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 protection of the Metro- 
politan police. It is true the Dutch influence is felt here. 
The islands are nominally imder the government of the 
Moluccas, which the native chiefs acknowledge ; and in 
most years a commissioner arrives from Amboyna> who 
makes the tour of the islands, hears complaints, settles 
disputes, and carries away prisoner any heinous ofiTender. 
This year he is not expected to come, as no orders have yet 
been received to prepare for him ; 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 chi^ 
traders of the place, Bugis and Chinese, assembled, the 
ofiender was tried and foimd 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 sympathise a little with the 
culprit. The disgrace seemed to be thought as much of as 
the pain; for though any amoimt of clever cheating is 
thought rather meritorious than otherwise, open robb^ 
and housebreaking meet with universal reprobation. 





(MAKCH TO MAT 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 mainland of Aru. By noon we 
reached the mouth of a small river or creek, which we 
ascended, winding among mangrove swamps, with here 
and there a glimpse of dry land. In two hours we reached 
a house, or rather small shed, of the most miserable de- 
scription, 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 acconmiodation. I however deferred 
inquiry till I had seen the neighbouring forest, and imme- 
diately started off 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 anjrthing, I entered into nego- 
tiations with the owner of the house for the use of a slip 
at one end of it about five feet wide, for a week, and agreed 
to pay as rent one " parang," or chopping-knife. I then 
immediately 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 enjoy- 
ment which I always experience when, after much trouble 



[chap, zxxt 

anO delay, I am on the point of beginoing work in a new ' 

One of my first objects was to inquire for tbe people 
who are accustomed to shoot the Paradise birda Tfaey 
lived at some distance in the jtu^le, and a man was sent 
to call them, "When they arrived, we had a talk by means 
of the " Orang-ksya " as interpreter, and they said they 




''"\1' ^"'""' 






d,,_p >.« 

— ""r^ff-^K^ 

■/ L,^T "" Y 


/ t5^^ 





ARU ISLANDS. shalUy* <«a | 

JWrtf«ff««> Itmut* 

. — 1 


CHAP, zxxi.] THB KINQ-BIRD. 443 

thought they could get soma 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 teacup, 
so as to kill the bird by the violence of the blow without 
making any wound or snedding any blood. The trees 
firequented by the birds are. very lofty; it is therefore 
necessary 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 thev are almost sure of securing it (See 
Illustration.) lliey returned to their homes the same 
evening, and I never saw anything more of them, owing, 
as I ^berwards 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. Beneath, from the breast down- 
wards, was pure white, with the softness and gloss of silk, 
and across tiie breast a band of deep metallic green sepa- 
rated this colour from the red of the throat. Above each 
eye was a round spot of the same metallic green ; the bill 
was yellow, and the feet and legs were of a fine cobalt 
bine, strikingly contrasting with aU the other parts of the 
body. Merely in arrangement of colours and texture of 
plumage this little bird was a gem of the first water, yet 
these comprised only half its strange beauty. Springing 
£rom each side of the breast, and ordinarily lyiog concealed 
under the wings, were little tufts of greyish 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 fims 
when the wings are elevated. But this is not the only 
ornament. The two middle feathers of the tail are in the 
form of slender wires about five inches long, and which 
diverge in a beautiftd double curve. About half an inch of 

444 ^-iOf ARU ISLANDS. [chap, xxxl 

the end of this wire is webbed on the outer side onlj, and 
coloured of a fine metallic green, and being curled spirally 
inwards form a pair of elegant glittering buttons, hanging 
five inches below the body, and the same distance apart 
These two ornaments, the breast fans and the spiral 
tipped tail wires, are altogether unique, not occurring 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 pro- 
ductions of nature. My transports of admiration and 
delight quite amused my Aru hosts, who saw nothing 
mure in the "Burong raja" than we do in the robin or 
the goldfincL* 

Thus one of my objects in coming to the far East was 
accomplished. I had obtained a specimen of the King 
Bird of Paradise (Paradisea regia), which had been de- 
scribed by Linnaeus from skins preserved in a mutilated 
state by the natives. I knew how few Europeans had 
ever beheld the perfect little organism I now gased 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 sm^ 
passing rarity and beauty, require the poetic £etcalty fully 
to express them. The remote island in which I foaAd 
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 erery side; 
the rude uncultured savages who gathers! 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 gene- 
rations of this little creature had run their course — ^yeer 
by year being born, and living and dying amid tibese 
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 melafi- 

^ See the upper figure qu PUte at commencement of Chtptec 


choly. 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 
wonderful structure and beauty he alone is fitted to appre- 
ciate and enjoy. This consideration must surely tell us 
that all living things were Tiot made for man. Many of 
them have no relation to him. The cycle of their exist- 
ence has gone on independently of his, and is disturbed or 
broken by every advance in man's intellectual develop- 
ment; and their happiness and enjoyments, their loves 
and hates, their struggles for existence, their vigorous life 
and early death, would seem to be immediately related to 
their own well-being and perpetuation alone, limited only 
by the equal well-being and perpetuation of the number- 
less other oiganisms with which each is more or less inti- 
mately 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 hopping 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 continually 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 rich chocolate-brown colour, without either 

446 ^^^ ^^^ ISLANDS. [caiAP. xxxl 

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 mom, before the sun has risen, we hear a loud 
cry of " Wawk — wawk — wawk, w6k — ^wdk — ^w6k," which 
resounds through the forest, changing its direction con- 
tinually. 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-hunters 
croak and bark, and the various smaller birds chirp and 
whistle their morning song. As I lie listening to these 
interesting sounds, I realize my position as the first 
European who has ever lived for months together in the 
Am 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 wonderful 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 
boiling my coffee, and I remember that I had a hUek 
cockatoo brought in late last night, which I must skin 
immediately, and so I jump up and begin my day's work 
very happily. 

This cockatoo is the first I have seen, and is a greafc 
prize. It has a rather small and weak body, long weak 
legs, liurge wings, 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 entirely black, but has all over it the 
curious powdery white secretion characteristic of cockatoos. 
The cheeks are bare, and of an intense blood-red colour. 
Instead of the harsh scream of the white cockatoos, its 
voice is a somewhat plaintive whistla The tongue is a 
curious organ, being a slender fleshy cylinder of a deep 
red colour, terminated by a homy black plate, furrow^ 
across and somewhat prehensile. The whole tongue has 
a considerable extensile power. I will here relate some- 
thing of the habits of this bird, with which I have sinod 


become acquainted. It frequents the lower parts of the 
forest, and ia seen singly, or at most two or three together. 
It flies slowly and noiselessly, and may be killed by a 

comparatively 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 foie-st tree 

448 ^^^ ^^^^ ISLANDS. [cHAF. xxxf. 

(Oanarium 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 triangular, and the 
outside is quite smooth. The manner in which the bird 
opens these nuts is very curious. Taking one endways 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 tissue of the leaf, fixes the edge of the lower 
mandible in the notch, and by a powerful nip breaks ofi 
a piece of the shell Again taking the nut in its daws, 
it inserts the veiy long and sharp point of the bill and 
picks out the kernel, which is seized hold of, morsel by 
morsel, by the extensible tongue. Thus eveiy detail of 
form and structure in the extraordinary bill oi tlds bird 
seems to have its use, and we may easily conoeive that 
the black cockatoos have maintained themaelves in com- 
petition with their more active and more numerous white 
allies, by their power of existing on a kind of food which 
no other bird is able to extract ^m its stony shelL The 
species is the Microglossum aterrimum of naturalists. 

During the two weeks which I spent iu 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 eveiy-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 ihey 
chew up vast quantities of sugar-cane, as well as betel- 
nuts, gambir, and tobacco. Those who live on the coast 


havo 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 boatload. Now 
and then they get wild pig or kangaroo, but Ixx) rarely to 
form anything like a regular part of their diet, which is 
essentially vegetable ; and what is of more importance, 
as affecting their health, green, watery vegetables, imper- 
fectly cooked, and even these in varying and often in- 
sufficient 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 connexion with the poorness and irregularity of 
their living. The Malays, who are never without their 
daUy 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, as in other respects, man is not able to make a beast 
of himself with impunity, feeding like the cattle on the 
herbs and &uit6 of the earth, and taking no thought of 
the morrow. To maintain his health and beauty he must 
labour to prepare some farinaceous product capable of 
being stored and accumulated, so as to give him a regular 
supply of wholesome food When this is obtained, he 
may add vegetables, fruits, and meat with advantag& 

The chief luxury of the Am people, besides betel 
and tobacco, is arrack (Java rum), which the traders 
bring in great quantities and sell very cheap. A day's 
fishing or rattan cutting 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 
destroy everything 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 tlie food. 
A rude shed, supported on rough and slender sticks rather 
than posts, no walls, but the fioor raised to within a toot 

G G 

460 THE ARU ISLANDS. [chap. xxxi. 

of the eaves, is the style of architectare they usually 
adopt Inside there are partition walls of thatch, forming 
little boxes or sleeping places, to accommodate the two (V 
three separate families that usually live together, A few 
mats, baskets, and cooking vessels, with plates and basins 
purchased from the Macassar traders, constitute their 
whole furniture; spears and bows are their weapons; a 
sarong or mat forms the clothing of the women, a waist- 
cloth of the men. For hours or even for days they sit 
idle in their houses, the women bringing in the vegetables 
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 conver- 
sation. And they certainly do talk 1 Every evening there 
is a little Babel around me: but as I understand not a 
word of it, I go on with my book or work undisturbed. 
Now and then they scream and shout, or laugh frantically 
for variety ; and this goes on alternately with vociferous 
talking of men, women, and children, till long after I am 
in my mosquito curtain and sound asdeep. 

At this place I obtained some light on the complicated 
mixture of races in Am, 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 glossy, curling hair. These at first quite puzzled 
me, for they have no more resemblance to Malay than to 
Papuan, and the darkness of skin and hair would forbid 
the idea of Dutch intermixture. Listening to their con- 
versation, however, I detected some words that were 
familiar to ma " Accab6" was one ; and to be sure that 
it was not an accidental resemblance, I asked the speaker 
in Malay what " accab6" meant, and was told it meant 
"done or finished," a true Portuguese word, with its 
meaning retained. Again, I heard the word " jafoi" often 
repeated, and could see, without inquiry, that its meaning 
was "he's gone," as in Portuguese. "Porco," too, seems 
a conmion name, though the people have no idea of its 
European meaning. This cleared up the difficulty. I st 


once understood that some early Portuguese traders had 
penetrated to these islands, aad mixed with the natives, 
influencing their language, and leaving in their descendants 
for many generations 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 &mily ; and 
as this kind of mixture has been going on for at least 
three hundred years, and probably much longer, it has 
produced a decided effect on the physical characteristics 
of a considerable portion of the population of the islands, 
more especially in Dobbo and the parts nearest to it 

Mardi 28th, — ^The " Orang-kaya " being very iU 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. 
Now that I wanted to move, the bugbear of the pirates was 
brought 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, aQ well as a 
Dutch gunboat which had arrived since I left Dobbo. I 
had, fortunately, by this time heard that the Dutch ** Com- 
missie" had re^ly arrived, and therefore threatened that if 
my guide did not go with me immediately, I would appeal 
to the authorities, and he would certainly be obliged to give 
bock the cloth which the "Orang-kaya" had transferred 
to him in prepayment This had the desired efifect ; 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 promising, 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 b^ and 

o a 2 

452 ^^^ ^^^ ISLANDS. [chap. xxxi. 

some boxes on shore. In the evening, after daxk, we were 
suddenly alarmed by the cry of " Bajak ! bajak !" (Pirates !) 
The men all seized their bows and spears, and rushed down 
to tlie beach ; we got hold of our guns and prepared for 
action, but in a few minutes all came back laughing and 
chattering, for it had proved to be only a small boat and 
some of their own comrades returned 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 unpro- 
ductive 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 assumed entirely the 
aspect of a river about the width of the Thames at London, 
winding among low but undulating and often hilly country. 
The scene was exactly such as might be expected in the 
interior of a continent The channel continued of a uniform 
average width, with reaches and sinuous bends, one bank 
being often precipitous, or even forming vertical 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 
occasional assistance from our oars, till about three in the 
afternoon, 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