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Atl riffhu ttatTHtL 

Richard Clat akd Sohs, Limited, 
lomdok akd bunoay. 

Fir^ Edition (2 vols, crown &vo) February 1869. 
, . Reprinted October 1809. 

■JVe<o Edition (1 vol. crown 8vo) February 1872. 
' ' RepriiUtd October 1872, 1874, 1877, 1879, 1888, 1886. 
>e» Edition (1 voL extra crown 8vo) 1890, 1898, 1894, 1898, 1902. 

Private Library ef 






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Since this work was first published, twenty-one years ago, 
several naturalists have visited the Archipelago ; and in order 
to give my readers the latest results of their researches I have 
added footnotes whenever my facts or conclusions have been 
modified by later discoveries. I have also made a few verbal 
alterations in the text to correct any small errors or obscurities. 
These corrections and additions are however not numerous, and 
the work remains substantially the same as in the early editions. 
I may add that my complete collections of birds and butterfliea 
are now in the British Museum. 

Parkstone, Dorset, 
October, 1890. 


My 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, 1 found myself 
surrounded by a room full of packing-cases, containing the col- 
lections that I had from time to time sent home for my private 
use. These comprised nearly three tliousand bird-skins, of about 
a thousand species ; and at least twenty thousand beetles and 
butterflies, of about seven thousand species ; besides some quad- 
rupeds and land -shells. A large proportion of these I had not 
seen for years ; and in my then weak state of healtli, the un- 
packing, sorting, and arranging of such a mass of specimens 
occupied a long time. 

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

Since my return, up to 1868, I have published eighteen 
papers, in the Transactions or Proceedings of the Linnaean 
Zoological and Entomological Societies, describing or cata- 
loguing 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 Entomological Society of London, 
who has almost completed the classification and description of 
my large collection of Longicorn beetles (now in his possession), 
comprising more than a thousand species, of which at least nine 
hundred were previously undescribed, and new to European 

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 different kinds of ants, of which two 
hundred were new. 

The six years' delay in publishing my travels thus enables 
nie 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 work. 

My journeys to the various islands were regulated by the 
seasons and the means of conveyance. I visited some islands 
two or three times at distant intervals, and in some cases had to 
make the same voyage four times over. A chronological ar- 
rangement would have puzzled my readers. They would never 


have known where they were ; and my frequent references to 
the groups of islands, classed in accordance with the peculiarities 
of their animal productions and of their human inhabitants, 
would have been hardly intelligible. I have adopted, there- 
fore, 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. The Indo-Malay Islands : comprising the Malay Penin- 

sula and Singapore, Borneo, Java, and Sumatra. 

II. The Timor Group: comprising the islands of Timor, 

Flores, Sumbawa, and Lombock, with several smaller 

III. Celebes : comprising also the Sula Islands and Bouton. 
rV. The Moluccan Group: comprising Bouru, Ceram, 

Batchian, Gilolo, and Morty ; with the smaller islands 
of Temate, Tidore, Makian, Kaioa, Amboyna, Banda, 
Goram, and Matabello. 
V. The Papuan Group : comprising the great island of 
New Guinea, with the Aru Islands, Mysol, Salwatty, 
Waigfiou, and several others. The Ke Islands are de- 
scribed with this group on account of their ethnology, 
though zoologically and geographically they belong to 
the Moluccas. 
The chapters relating to the separate islands of each of these 
groups are followed by one on the Natural History of that 
group ; and the work may thus be divided into live parts, each 
treating of one of the natural divisions of the Archipelago. 

The first chapter is 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 Archipelago and the sur- 
rounding countries. With this explanation, and a reference to 
the Maps which illustrate the work, 1 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 narrative and descriptive x>ortions 
were written on tlie 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 solution is to be 
found in the principles developed by Mr. Darwin in his various 
works. The numerous illustrations will, it is believed, add 
much to the interest and value of the book. They have been 
made from my own sketches, from photographs, or from speci- 
mens ; 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 
number of photog^phs 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 horned 
flies y and to Mr. Pascoe I am indebted for a loan of two of the 
very rare Longicorns which appear in the plate of Bornean 
beetles. All the other specimens figured are in my own 

As the main object of all my journeys was to obtain specimens 
of natural history, both for my private collection 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 liad the services of a 
young Englishman, Mr. Charles Allen. I was just eight years 
away from England, but as I travelled about fourteen thousand 
miles 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 lAstem collections amounted to : 

310 specimens of Mammalia. 

100 - 


8,060 - 


7,600 - 


13,100 - 


83,200 - 


13,400 - 

other Insects 

125,660 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 Royal Greogp'aphical 
Society, through whose valuable recommendations I obtained 
important aid from our own Government and from that of 
Holland ; and to Mr. William Wilson Saunders, whose kind and 
liberal encouragement in the early portion of ray journey was 
of great service to me. I am also greatly indebted to Mr. 
Samuel Stevens (who acted as my agent), both for the care he 
took of my collections, and for the untiring assiduity with which 
he kept me supplied, both with useful information, and with 
whatever necessaries I required. 

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



I. Physical Geography 1 


II. Singapore 15 

III. Malacca and Mount Ophir 19 

IV. Borneo — The Orang-Utan 26 

V. Borneo — Journey in the Interior 49 

VI. Borneo— The Dyaks 67 

VII. Java 72 

VIII. Sumatra 93 

IX. Natural History of the Indo-Malay Islands .... lOtf 


X. Bali and Lombock 115 

XI. Lombock — Manners and Customs 125 

XII. Lombock — How the Rajah took the Census 136 

XIII. Timor 141 

XIV. Natural History of the Timor Group 155 


XV. Celebes— Macassar 162 

XVI. Celebes — Macassar 175 

XVII. Celebes — Menado 185 

XVIIl. Natural History of Celebes 207 




XIX. Bakda 219 

XX. Amboyna 228 

XXI. Teknate 234 


XXIII. Voyage to the Kaioa Islands and Batchian . . . 244 

XXIV. Batchian 250 

XXV. Ceram, Goram, and the Matabello Islands . . . 267 

XXVI. BouRU 293 

XXVII. The Natural History of the Moluccas 299 


XXVIII. Macassar to the Aru Islands in a Native Prau . 308 

XXIX. The KA Islands 317 

XXX. The Aru Islands — Residence in Dobbo 327 

XXXI. The Aru Islands — Journey and Residence in the 

Interior 337 

XXXII. The Aru Islands — Second Residence in Dobbo . . 361 

XXXIII. The Aru Islands — Physical Geography and Aspects 

OF Nature • 369 

XXXIV. New Guinea— Dorey 376 

XXXV. Voyage from Ceram to Waigiou 391 

XXXVI. Waigiou 400 

XXXVII. Voyage from Waigiou to Ternate 410 

XXXVIII. The Birds of Paradise 419 

XXXIX. Natural History of the Papuan Islands 440 

XL. The Races of Man in the Malay Archipelago . . 446 

APPENDIX ON Crania and Languages 459 

INDEX 497 



1. Orang-XJtan attacked by Dyaks 

2. RareJems on Mount Ophir. {From specimens) 

3. Remarkable Bomean Beetles 

4. Flying Frog. [Froin a drawing hy the Avihor) 

5. Female Orang-Utan. {From a photograph by 


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


7. Dyak Suspension-bridge. {From a sketch by 

the Author) 

8. Vanda Lowii. {From specimens) 

9. Remarkable Forest-trees. {From a sketch by 

the Author) 

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

possession of the AtUhor) 

1 1. Portrait of a Javanese Chief. {From a photo- 


12. The Calliper Butterfly (Charaxes Kadcnii) . 
IS. Primula imperialis. {From specimens) . . . 

14. Chiefs House and Rice-shed in a Sumatran 

Village. {From a photograph) .... 

15. Females of Papilio memnon 

16. Papilio Coon 

17. Leaf-butterfly in flight and repose 

18. Female Hombill and young bird 

19. Grammatophyllum, a gigantic Orchid. (Fro^m 

a sketch by the AtUhor) 

20. Gun-boring in Lombock. (F^rom a sketch by 

the Author) 



Wolf . . Frontispiece 
Fitch 23 

Robinson . 

Wolf . 


Fitch . 
Fitch . 

Fitch . 



T. W. Wood 

Fitch . 

T W. Wood 
T. W. Wood 

Fitch . . . 









. 96 



. 101 

. 105 


. 130 



ttKAWH on WOOD »T 

. . Baines . 

Baixem . 
Fitch . . 

21. Timor Men. (From a phcUt^raph) 

22. Xatire YUnof^ and Yoke, Macavtar. fFroux 

a MkeUk by ike Author^ 

23. Snpu" PalnuL fFrom, a sketch by the Author) 

24. SknlloftheBabinua 

25. Pecnliar fonn of 'Wing/i of Celebes Batterflies Wallace. 

26. Ejecting an Intruder Baixes 

27. Bacquet-tailed Kingfiaher Robinson 

28 "Wallace'* Standard Wing/' a new Bird of 

Pan^liM Keulexank 

29. Sago (lab Baines . . 

30. Sago-washing in Cenun. (From a sketch by 

the Author) Baines . . 

31. Sago Oven. (From a sketch by the Author) . Baines . . 

32. Cwicvu OmatoJi, a Moluccan Marsupial . . . Robinson 

33. Molm^can Beetles Robinson 

34. Natives shooting the Great Bird of Paradise . T. W. Wood 

35. Great Black Cockatoo T. W. Wood 

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

by the Author) Baines . . 

37. Male Brenthidie fighting Robinson 

38. Papuan, Kew Guinea Baines . . 

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

40. Homed Flies Robinson . 

41. Clay-beater, used in Kew Guinea Robinson 

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

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

by the Author) Baines . . 

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

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

of Paradise Keulemanh 

46. The Magnificent Bird of Paradise Keulemans 

47. The Superb Bird of Paradise Keulemans 

48. The Six -shafted Bird of Paradise Keulemans 

49. The Long- tailed Binl of Paradise Keulemans 

50. The Great Shielded Grasshopper Robinson 

51 Papuan Chami Robiksox 













Map showing Mr. Wallace's Route (tinted) Prrface 

The British Isles and Borneo on the same scale 3 

Physical Map (tinted) 8 

Map of Minahasa, North Celebes 189 

Map of Amboyna 225 

Amboyna, with parts of Bouru and Ceram 268 

The Islands between Ceram and E^ 279 

Map of the Am Islands 338 

Voyage from Ceram to Waigiou 392 

Voyage from Waigiou to Ternate 411 


Route Map (tinted blue) at beginning of Prrface 

Physical Map at page 8 

Orang-Utan attacked by Dyaks Frontispiece 

Remarkable Beetles, Borneo to face page 28 

Ejecting an Intruder „ ,, 228 

Wallace's Standard Wing, male and female ,, ,, 253 

Moluccan Beetles ,, ,, 307 

Natives shooting the Great Bird of Paradise ,, „ 337 

Dobbo in the Trading Season „ ,, 360 

The " Twelve- wired " and the "King" Birds of Paradise 

to face first page of Chap, xxxviii 





If we look at a globe or a map of the Eastern hemisphere, we 
shall x^erceive between Asia and Austi*alia a number of large and 
small islands, forming a connected group distinct from those 
great miosses of land, and having little connexion with either of 
them. Situated upon the Equator, and bathed by the tepid 
water of the great tropical oceans, this region enjoys a climate 
more uniformly hot ana moist than almost any otlier part of the 
globe, and teems w^itli natural productions which are elsewhere 
unknown. The richest of fruits and the most precious of spices 
are here indigenous. It produces the giant flowers of the 
Rafflesia, the great green -winged Ornitlioptera (princes among 
the butterfly tribes), tlie man-like Orang- U tan, and the gorgeous 
Birds of Paradise. It is inhabited by a peculiar and interesting 
race of mankind — the Malay, found nowhere beyond the limits 
of this insular tract, which has hence been named the Malay 

To the ordinary Englisliman 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 exploi^e it j and in many 
collections of maps it is almost ignored, being divided between 
Asia and the Pacific Islands.^ It thus happens that few persons 
realize that, as a whole, it is comparable with the primary 
divisions of the globe, and that some of its separate islands are 
larger than France or the Austrian empii'e. Tne traveller, how- 
ever, soon acquires different ideas. He sails for days, or even 
for weeks, along the shores of one of these great islands, often 
so great that its inhabitants believe it to be a vast continent. 
He finds that voyages among these islands are commonly 

1 Since the esUblishinent of the British North Borneo Company the region is more 
known, but the Dutch Colonies are still rarely visited. 

J£ B 


reckoned by weeks and months, and that their several in- 
habitants are often as little known to eacli other as are the 
native I'aces of the northern to those of the southern continent 
of America. He soon comes to look upon this region as one apart 
from the i*est of the world with its own races of men and its own 
aspects of nature; with its own ideas, feeling^ customs, and 
modes of speech, and with a climate, vegetation, and animated 
life altogether peculiar to itself. 

From many points of view these islands form one compact 
geographical whole, and as such thev have always been treated 
By travellers and men of science ; but a mora caraful and de- 
tailed study of them under various aspects, reveals the unex- 
pected fact that they are divisible into two portions nearly 
equal in extent, which widely differ in their natural products, 
and really form parts of two of .the i)rimary divisions of the 
earth. I liave 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 m the 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 genei'al sketcli of such of the 
main features of the Malayan region as will render the facts 
hereafter brought forward mora interesting, and their bearing 
on the general question more easily understood. I proceeo, 
therefore, to sketeli the limits and extent of the Archipelago, 
and to point out the more striking features of its geology, 
physical geography, vegetation, and animal life. 

hefinitum and Boundaries. — For reasons which depend mainly 
on the distribution of animal life, I consider the Malay Arehi- 
pelago to include the Malay Peninsula as far as Tenasserim, and 
the Nicobar Islands on the west, the Philippines on the north, 
and the Solomon Islands beyond New Guinea, on the east. All 
the great islands included within these limits are connected 
together by innumerable smaller ones, so that no one of them 
seems to be distinctly separated from the rest. With but few 
exceptions, all enjoy an uniform and very similar (dimate, and 
are covered with a luxuriant forest vegetation. Whether we 
study their form and distribution on maps, or actually travel 
from island to island, our first impression will be that they form 
a connected whole, all the parts of which are intimately related 
to each otlier. 

Extent of ilie Archipelago and Islands. — The Malay Archipelago 
extends for more than 4,000 miles in length fi*om 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 far beyond the land into 
the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It includes three islands larger 
than Great Britain ; and in one of them. Borneo, the whole of 
the British Isles might be set down, ana would be surrounded 


by a sea of forests. New Guinea, though less compact in shape, 
ia probably larger than. Borneo. Sumatra is about equal in 
extent to Great Britain - Java, Luzon, and Celebes are each 
about the size of Ireland. Eignteen more islands are, on the 
average, as large as Jamaica ; more than a hundred are as large 
as the Isleof Wight; while the isleaand islets of smaller size are 

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 productions is rather in pro- 
portion to the inmense surface over which the islands are 
spread, than to the quantity of land which they contain. 


Geological Contrasts. — One of tlie chief volcanic belts upon the 
globe passes through the Archipelago, and produces a striking 
contrast in the soenery of the volcanic and non- volcanic islands. 
A curving line markea out by scores of active and liundreds of 
extinct volcanoes, may be traced througli the whole length of 
Sumatra and Java, and thence by the islands of Bali, Lorn bock, 
Sumbawa, Flores, the Serwatty Islands, Banda, Amboyna, 
Batchian, Makian, Tidore, Ternate, and Gilolo, to Morty Island. 
Here there is a slight but well-marked break, or shifty of about 
200 miles to the westward, where the volcanic belt again begins, 
in North Celebes, and passes by Siau and Sanguir to the 
PhiJ^ppine Islands, along the eastern side of which it continues, 
in a curving line, to their northern extremity. From the 
extreme eastern bend of this belt at Banda, we pass onwards 
for 1,000 miles over a non-volcanic district to the volcanoes 
observed by Dampier, in 1699, on the north-eastern coast of 
New 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 volcanoes, 
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 nappen, in one part or another of this district, almost 
every year. In many of the islands the years of the great earth- 
quakes 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 or Papandayang in Java, in 1773 
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 u^n 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. When I last visited it, in 1860, it was clothed 
with vegetation te the summit, and contained twelve populous 
Malay villages. On the 29th of December, 1862, after 215 years 
of perfect inaction, it again suddenly burst forth, blowing up 
ana completely altering the api)earance of the mountain, de- 
stroying the greater part of the inhabitants, and sending forth 
such volumes of ashes as to darken the air at Ternate, forty 


miles off, and to almost entirely destroy the growing crops on 
that and the surrounding islands.^ 

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

It is now well ascertained that almost all volcanoes have been 
slowly built up by the accumulation of matter — mud, ashes, and 
lava — ejected oy themselves. The openings or craters, however, 
frequently shift their position ; so that a country may be coverea 
with a more or less irre^lar series of hills in chains and masses, 
only here and there rising into lofty 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 extensive cliffs of 
coral limestone are found ; and there mav 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 tne world—owes its verv 
existence to the same intense volcanic activity which still 
occasionally devastates its surface. 

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

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

Going northward, Amboyna, a part of Bouru, and the west 
end of Ueram, 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 Archi- 
pelago contains many active and extinct volcanoes, and has 
prolmbly been reduced to its present fragmentary condition by 
subsidences attending on volcanic action. 

All along this great line of volcanoes are to be found more or 
less palpable signs of upheaval and depression of land. The 
range of islands south oi Sumatnv, a part of the south coast of 
Java and of the islands east of it, tne west and east end of 

1 More recently, in 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa was blown up fn a terriflo 
eruption, tlio aonnd uf the explosion* being heard at Ceylon, New Guinea, Manilla, and 
West Australia, while the ashes were spread over an area as large as the German Empire, 
liie chief destruction was effected by great sea waves, which entirely destroyed many 
towns and villages on the coasts of Java and Sumatra, causing the death of between 80.000 
sod 40,000 persona. The atmo8i>heric disturbance was so great that air-waves passed 
three and a quarter times round tlic globe, and the finer particles floating in the iiicher 
parts of the atmosphere produced remarkable colours in the sky at sunset for more than 
two yean allerwaids and in all iiarta of the world. 


Timor, portions of all the Moluccas, the K^ 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 forming in the adjacent seas. In many places I have 
observed the unaltered surfaces of the elevated reeis, with great 
masses of coral standing up in their natural position, and 
hundreds of shells so fresh-looking that it was hard to believe 
that the^ 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 iift^ miles ; but, for a space of two hundred 
on each side of them, evidences of subterranean action are to be 
found in recentlv elevated coral-rock, or in barrier coral-reefs, 
indicating recent submergence. In tlie very centre or focus ot 
the great cur\'e of volcanoes is placed the large island of Borneo, 
in which no sign of recent volcanic action has vet been observed, 
and where earthquakes, so characteristic oi the surrounding 
regions, 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 entirely free from 
volcanoes ; and there is some reason to believe that the volcanic 
portion has once formed a separate island. The Malay Penin- 
sula is also non- volcanic. 

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

Contrasts of Vegetation. — Placed immediately upon the Equator 
and surrounded by extensive oceans, it is not surprising that 
the various islands of the Archipelago should be almost alwavs 
clothed with a forest vegetation from 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 Mo- 
luccas, and the uncultivated parts of Java and Celebes, are all 
forest countries, except a few small and unimportant tracts, 
due perhaps, in some cases, to ancient cultivation or accidental 
fires. To this, however, there is one important exception in the 
island of Timor and all the smaller islands around it, in which 


there is absolutely no forest such as exists in the other islands, 
and this character extends in a.lesser degree to Flores, Sumbawa, 
Lombock, and Bali. 

In Timor the most common trees are Eucalypti of several 
species, so characteristic of Australia, with sandal- wood, acacia, 
and other sorts in less abundance. Tnese are scattered over the 
country more or less thickly, but never so as to deserve the 
name of a forest. Coarse ana scanty grasses grow beneath them 
on the more barren hills, and a luxuriant herbage in the moister 
localities. In the islands between Timor and Java thera 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 soutnern peninsula of Celebes 
and the east end of Java, is most prooably owing to the 
proximity of Australia. The south-east monsoon, which lasts 
for about two-thirds of the year (from March to November), 
blowing over the northern parts of that country, produces a 
degree of heat and dryness which assimilates the vegetation and 
physical aspect of the adjacent islands to its own. A little 
lurther eastward in Timor-laut and the K^ Islands, a moister 
climate prevails, the south-east winds blowing from the Pacific 
through Torres Straits and over the damp forests of New 
Guinea, and as a consequence every rocky islet is clothed with 
verdure to its very summit Further west again, as the same 
dry winds blow over a wider and wider extent of ocean, they 
have time to absorb fresh moisture, and we accordingly find the 
island of Java possessing a less and less arid climate, till in the 
extreme west near Batavia rain occurs more or less all the year 
round, and the mountains are everywhere clothed with forests 
of unexampled luxuriance. 

Contrasts in Depth of Sea, — It was first pointed out by Mr. 
George Windsor Earl, in a paper read before the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society in 1846, and subsequently in a pamphlet On 
the Physical Geography of South- Eastern Asia and Australia^ 
dated 1855. that a shallow sea connected the great islands of 
Sumatra, Java, and Borneo with the Asiatic continent, with 
which their natural productions generally agreed ; while a 
similar shallow sea connected New Guinea and some of the 
islands adjacent to Australia, all being characterized by the 
presence of marsupials. 

We have here a clue to the most radical contrast in the 
Archii)elago, and by following it out in detail I have arnved 
at the conclusion tnat we can draw a line among the islands, 
which shall so divide them that one-half shall truly belong 
to Asia, while the other shall no less certainly be allied to 
Australia. I term these respectively the Indo-Malayan, and the 


Austro-Malayan divisions of the Archipelago. (See Physical 

In Mr. Earl's pamphlet, however, he argues in favour of the 
former land-connexion of Asia and A.ustra]ia, whereas it 
apj>ears to me that the evidence, taken as a whole, points to 
their long- continued separation. Notwithstanding this and 
other important differences between us, to him undoubtedly 
belongs tne merit of first indicating the division of the Archi- 
pelago into an Australian and an Asiatic region, which it 
nas Deen my good fortune to establish by more detailed 

Contrasts in Natural Prodtictions. — 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 the results arrived at 
by geologists and naturalists in other parts of the world. 
^ It is now generally admitted that the present distribution of 
living thin^ on the surface of the earth is mainly the result of 
the last series of changes that it has undergone. Geology teaches 
us that the surface of the land and the distribution of land and 
water is everywhere slowly changing. It further teaches us that 
the forms of life which inhabit that surface have, during every 
period of which we possess any record, been also slowly changing. 

It is not now necessary to say anything about how either of 
those changes took place ; as to that, opinions may differ ; but 
as to the fact that the changes tliemselves have occurred, from 
the earliest geological ages down to the present day, and are 
still going on, there is no difference of opinion. Every successive 
stratum of sedimentary rock, sand, or gravel, is a proof that 
changes of level have taken place ; and the different species of 
animals and plants, whose remains are found in these deposits, 
prove that corresponding changes did occur in the organic 

Taking, therefore, tliese two series of changes for granted, most 
of the present peculiarities and anomalies in the distribution of 
species may 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 Sardinia and Corsica, there are some quad- 
rupeds and insects, and many plants, quite peculiar. In Ceylon, 
more closely connected to India than Britain is to Europe., many 
animals and plants are different from those found in India, and 
peculiar to the island. In the Galapagos Islands, almost every 
indigenous living thing is peculiar to them, though closely re- 
sembling other kinds found in the nearest parts of the American 

Most naturalists now admit that these facts can only be ex- 
plained by the greater or less lapse of time since the islands were 
upraised from beneath the ocean, or were separated from the 
nearest land ; and this will be generally (though not always) in- 
dicated by tne depth of the intervening sea. The enormous 


thickness of many marine de}K)sits through ^ide 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 time. When we make 
proper allowance for the continued introduction of new animals 
ana plants from surrounding countries, by those natural means 
of di8X)er8al which have been so well explained by Sir Charles 
Lyell and Mr. Darwin, it is remarkable now closely these two 
measures cori*espond. 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 diflference from the corre- 
sponding continental species. Corsica and Sardinia, divided from 
Italv by a much deeper sea, present a much greater diffei*ence 
in their organic fonns. Cuba, separated from Yucatan by a 
wider and deeper strait, differs more markexlly, so that most of 
its productions are of distinct and peculiar species : while 
Madagascar, divided from Africa by a deep channel three 
hundred miles wide, possesses so many peculiar features as to 
indicate separation at a very remote antiquity, or even to 
render it doubtful whether the two countries have ever been 
absolutely united. 

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

But it is when we examine the zoology of these countries that 
we find what we most require — evidence of a very striking 
character that these great islands must have once formed a paH 
of the continent, ana 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, 

1 It it now believed "bj moat geologists that subsidence is prodnced by the wefght of 
every fresh deposit of materials either in the sea or on the land. Accumolations of 
lock or ashes from volcanoes would, therefore, be itself a cause of subsidence. 


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 larse animals could 
possibly have passed over the arms of the sea which now separate 
these countries, and their presence plainly indicates that a land 
communication must have existed since the origin of the species. 
Among the smaller mammals a considerable portion are common 
to each island and the continent ; but the vast physical changes 
that must have occurred during the breaking up and subsidence 
of such extensive regions have led to the 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 exactly identical. Birds oSer 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-eminently wanderers, it is found that the 
others (and especially the Passeres, or true perch ing-birds, which 
form the vast majority) are often as strictly limited by 
straits and arms of the sea as are quadrupeds themselves. As 
an instance, among the islands of which 1 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 fact, possesses more birds and insects peculiar to itself 
than either Sumatra or Borneo, and this woula indicate that it 
was earliest separated from the continent; next in organic 
individuality is Borneo, while Sumatra is so nearly identical in 
all its animal forms witn the peninsula of Malacca, that we may 
safely conclude it to have been the most recently dismembered 

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 re- 
semblance, loined with the fact of the wide extent of sea which 
separates them being 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 irresistibly 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 reaching as far as the present 100-fathom line of 

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 })eriod, and 
have since been subject to many revolutions in their physical 

Turning our attention now to the remaining portion of the 
Archipelago, we shall find that all the islands from Celebes and 
Lombock eastwai'd exhibit almost as close a resemblance to 
Australia and New Guinea as the Western Islands do to Asia. 
It is well known that the natural productions of Australia differ 
from those of Asia more than those of any of the four ancient 
quarters of the world differ from eacli other. Australia, in fact, 
stands alone : it possesses no apes or monkeys, no cats or tigers, 
wolves, bears, or hyenas ; no deer or antelopes, sheep or oxen ; 
no elephant, horse, squirrel, or rabbit ; none, in short, of those 
familiar types of quadruped which are met with in every other 
part of the world. Instead of these, it has Marsupials only, 
tcan^roos 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 ; 
Dut instead of them it has the mound-making brush-turkeys, the 
honeysuckers,the cockatoos, and the brush-tongued lories, which 
ai*e found nowhere else upon the globe. All these striking pecu- 
liarities are found also in those islands which form the Austro- 
Malayan division of the Archipelago. 

The ^nreat contrast between the two divisions of the Archi- 
pelago IS nowhere so abruptly exhibited as on passing from the 
island of Bali to that of Lombock, where the two regions are in 
closest proximity. In Bali we have barbets, fruit-thrushes, and 
woodpeckers ; on passing over to Lombock tliese are seen no 
more, but we have abundance of cockatoos, honeysuckera, and 
brush-turkeys, which are equally unknown in Bali^^ or any island 
further west. The strait is here fifteen ipiles wide, so that we 
may pass in two hours from one great division of the eai*th 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 man:^ kinds, wild cats, deer, 
civets, and otters, and numerous varieties of squirrels are con- 
stantly 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 
deer (whicli have probabljr been recently introduced) in Celebes 
and the Moluccas. The birds which are most abundant in the 
Western Islands are woodpeckers, barbets, trogons, fruit- 

< I w«8 informed, however, that there were a few cockatoos at one spot on the west 
of Ball, showing tluit the intermingling of the productions of these islands Is now 
going on. 


thrushes, and leaf-thruslies : they are seen daily, and form the 

?reat ornithological features of the country. In tlie Eastern 
slands these are absolutely unknown, honeysuckers and small 
lories being the most common birds ; so that the naturalist feels 
himself in a new world, and can hardly realize tliat he has passed 
from the one region to the other in a few days, without ever 
being out of sight of land. 

The inference that we must draw from these facts is un- 
doubtedly, that the whole of the islands eastwards beyond 
Java and Borneo, with the exception, perhaps, of Celebes, do 
essentially form a part of a former Australian or Pacific con- 
tinent, 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 tlie 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 themselves, 
how a shallow sea always intimates a recent land-connexion. 
The Aru Islands, Mysol, and Waigiou, as well as Jobie, ag^ree 
with New Guinea in their species of mammalia and birds much 
more closelv than they do with 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 further to be noted — and this is a very interesting point 
in connexion with theories of the dependence of special tomis 
of life on external conditions — that this division of the Archi- 
pelago into two regions characterized by a striking diversity in 
their natural productions, does not in any way correspona to 
the main physical or climatal divisions of the surface. The 
great volcanic chain runs through both parts, and appears to 
produce no effect in assimilating their productions. Borneo 
closely resembles New Guinea, not only in its vast size and its 
freedom from volcanoes, but in its variety of geological structure, 
its uniformity of climate, and the general aspect of the forest 
vegetation that clot lies its surface. The Moluccas are the coun- 
terpart of the Philippines in their volcanic structure, their 
extreme fertility, their luxuriant forests, and their freguent 
earthquakes ; and Bali with tiie east end of Java has a climate 
almoct as dry and a soil almost as arid as that of Timor. Yet 
between these corresponding groups of islands, constructed as 
it were after the same pattern, subjected to the same climate, 
and bathed by the same oce^ins, there exists the greatest possible 
contrasts when we compare their animal productions. Nowhere 


does the ancient doctrine — ^that differences or similarities in 
the various forms of life that inhabit different countries are 
due to corresponding physical differences or similarities in the 
countries themselves — meet with so direct and palpable a con- 
tradiction. Borneo and New Guinea, as alike physically as two 
distinct countries can be, are zoologically wide as the poles 
asunder ;' while Australia, with its dry winds, its open plains, 
its stony deserts, and its temperate climate, yet proauces birds 
and quadrupeds which are closely related to those inhabiting 
the hot, damp, luxuriant forests which everywhere clothe the 
plains and mountains of New Guinea. 

In order to illustrate more clearly the means by which I 
3up{x>se this great contrast has been brought about^ let us 
consider what would occur if two strongly contrasted aivisions 
of the earth were, by natural means brought into proximity. 
No two parts of the world differ so radically iii 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 illustrate the question we are considering. On 
the one side we have baboons, lions, elephants, buffaloes, and 
giraffes ; on the other spider-monkeys, pumas, tapii*s, ant-eaters, 
and sloths ; while amon^ birds, the hornbills, tui*acos, orioles, 
and honey suckers of Africa contrast strongly with the toucans, 
macaws, chatterers, and humming-birds of America. 

Now let us endeavour to imagine that a slow upheaval of the 
bed of the Altantic 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 addi- 
tion of newly-fonned lands, and thus i^educe 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 ctiannel of the Atlantic, in whose 
appearance ana arrangement wc could discover nothing to tell 
us which had been connected with Africa and which with 
America. The animals and plants inhabiting these islands 
would, however, certainly reveal this portion of their former 
history. On those islands which had ever formed a part of the 
South American continent we should be sure to find such com- 
mon birds as chatterers and toucans and humming-birds, and 
some of the peculiar American quadrupeds ; while on those 
which had been separated from Africa, nornbills, orioles, and 
honeysuckers would as certainly be found. Some portion of 


the upraised land might at different times have had a tem- 
porary connexion with both continents, and would then con- 
tain 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 part. 

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

From this outline of the subject, it will be evident how im- 
portant an adjunct Natural History is to Geology ; not only 
in interpi*eting the fragments of extinct animals found in the 
earth's crust, but in determining past changes in tlie surface 
which have left no geological record. It is certainly a won- 
dei'ful and unexpectea fact, that an accurate knowledge of the 
distribution of birds and insects should enable us to map out 
lands and continents whicli disappeared beneath the ocean long 
before the earliest traditions 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 
movements above and below the sea-levei ; but wherever oceans 
and seas now extend, he can do nothing but speculate on the 
very limited data afforded by the depth of the waters. Here 
the naturalist steps in, and enables him to fill up this great gap 
in the past history of the earth. 

One of the chief objects of my travels was to obtain evidence 
of tliis 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 g^iven, would 
have been more appropriately placed at the end rather than at 
tlie beginning of a narrative ot the travels which supplied the 
facts. In some cases this might be so, but I have found it im- 
possible 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 tnese generalizations which add 

1 Further stody of the BU^ject has led me to conclude that Celebes never formed 
part of the Austro-Malayan land, but that it more probably indicates the furthest east- 
ward extension of the Asiatic continent at a very early period. (See the author's leland 
Life, p. 427.) 


so much to their interest. Having given this general sketch of 
the subiect, 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 of Eaces,— 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 luces. 
In this I differed from most ethnologists who had 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 could be classified. On 
drawing the line which separates these races, it is found to 
come near to that which divides the zoolo|^cal regions, but 
somewhat eastward of it ; a circumstance which appears to me 
very significant of the same causes having influenced the dis- 
tribution of mankind that have determined the range of other 
animal forms. 

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

1 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, f urther^ that all the races east of the line I have drawn 
have more affinity for each other than they have for any of the 
races west of that line ; — ^that, in fact, the Asiatic races include 
the Malays, and all have a continental origin, while the races 
of Papuan type, including all to the east of the former, as far 
as the Fiji Islands, are derived, not from any existing continent, 
but from lands which now exist or have recently existed in 
the Pacific Ocean. These preliminary observations will enable 
the reader better to apprehend the importance I attach to the 
details of j^ysical form or moral character, which I shall give 
in describing the inhabitants of many of the islands. 




(a sketch of thb town axd island as seen during bsvebal 

visits from 1854 to 1862.) 

Few places are more interesting to a traveller from Europe 
than the town and island of Singapore, furnishing, as it does, 
examples of a variety of Eastern races, and of many different 
religions and modes of life. The government, the garrison, and 
the cliief merchants are English ; but the great mass of the 
population is Chinese, including some of the wealthiest 
merchants, the agriculturists of the interior, and most of the 
mechanics and 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 
the clerks and smaller mercliants. The Klings of Western India 
are a numerous body of Mahometans, and, with many Arabs, are 
petty merchants and shopkeepers. Tlie 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 
Celel)es, 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 

J'unks, from vessels of several hundred tons burthen down to 
ittle fishing boats and passenger sampans ; and the town com- 
prises handsome public buildings and churches, Mahometan 
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 tlie 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 silk hangs down to his heels. He 
has a handsome warehouse or shop in town and a good house in 
the country. He keeps a fine horse and gig, and every evening 
may be seen taking a drive bareheaded to enjoy tlie cool breeze. 
He 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 everv year. 

In the Chinese bazaar are hundreds of small shops in which a 


miscellaneous collection of hardware and dry goods are to be 
found, and where many things are sold wonderfully cheap. You 
may buy gimlets at a penny each, white cotton thread at four 
balls for a halfpenny, and penknives, corkscrews, gunpowder, 
writing-paper, and many other articles as cheap or cheaper than 
you can purcnase them in England. The shopkeeper is very 
good-natured ; he will show you everything he has, and does 
not seem to mind if you buy nothing. He bates a little, but not 
so much as the Klings, who almost always ask 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 his shop, asking 
you to walk in and sit down, or take a cup of tea, and you 
wonder how he can get a living where so many sell the same 
trifling articles. The tailors sit a^ a table, not on one; and lx)th 
they and the shoemakers 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 car- 
penters and blacksmiths. The former seem chiefly to make 
coffins and highly painted and decorated clothes-ooxes. The 
latter are mostly gun-makers, and bore the barrels of puns by 
hand, out of solid oars of iron. At this tedious operation they 
may be seen every day, and tliey manage to finish ofT a gun with 
a flint lock very hanasomely. All about the streets are sellers 
of water, vegetables, fruit, soup, and ag[ar-agar (a jelly made of 
seaweed), 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, nee, and vegetables for two or three halfpence ; while 
coolies and boatmen waiting to be hired are everywhere to be 
met with. 

In the interior of the island the Chinese cut down forest trees 
in the jungle, and saw them up into planks: they cultivate 
vegetables, which they bring to market ; and tney 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 missionary at Bukit-tima, about the centre of 
the island, where a pretty church has been built and tliere are 
about 300 converts. While there, I met a missionary who had 
just arrived from Tonquin, where he had been living for many 
years. The Jesuits still do their work thoroughly as of old. In 
Cochin China, Tonquin, and China, where all Cliristian teachers 
are obliged to live in secret, and are liable to persecution, ex- 
pulsion^ and sometimes death,' every province, even those farthest 
m the interior, has a permanent Jesuit mission establisliment, 
constantly kept up by fresh aspirants, who are taught the lan- 
gpiages of the countries they are going to at Penang or Singa- 
pore. In China there are said to be near a million converts ; in 

1 Binoe the Fnneli setttement in Cochin China Uiis is no longer the ease. 



Tonquin and Cochin China, more than half a million. One 
secret of the success of these missions is the rigid eoonomj 
practised in the expenditure of the funds. A missionary is 
allowed about 30^. a year, on which he li\'es 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 devotes his 
whole life to their instruction and welfare. 

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

The island of Singapore consists of a multitude of smaA hills, 
three or four hundred feet high, the summits of many of which 
are still covered with virgin forest. The mission-house at Bukit- 
tima was surrounded by several of these wood-topped hills, which 
were much frequented by wood-cutters and sawyers, and offered 
me an excellent collecting ground for insects. Here and there, 
too, were tiger pits, carefully 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 alx>ut Sin^pore, and 
they kill on an average a Chinaman every day, principally those 
who work in the gamoir 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 forest, which were delightfully cool and shady 
by contrast with the bare open country we Iiad to walk over to 
reach them. The vegetation was most luxuriant, comprising 
enormous forest trees, as well as a variety of ferns, caladiums, 
and other undergrowth, and abundance of climbing rattan 
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 all these were collected 
in one patch of jungle, not more than a square mile in extent, 
and in all my subsequent travels in the East I rarely if ever met 
with so proouctive a spot. This exceeding productiveness was 
due in part no doubt to some favourable conditions in the soil, 
climate, and vegetation, and to the season bein^ very binght and 
suimy, with sufficient showers to keep everything fresh. But it 
was also in a great measure dependent, I feel sui'e, on the labours 
of the Chinese wood-cutters. They hawi been at work here for 
several years, and during all that time had furnished a continual 
supply of dry and dead and deca3ring leaves and bark, together 
with abundance of wood and sawdust, for the nourishment of 
insects and their laryse. 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 butterflies and of other orders of 
insects, so that on the whole I was quite satisfied with these my 
first attempts to gain a knowledge of the Natural History of the 
Malay Archipelago. 



Birds and most other kinds of animals being scarce at Singa- 
pore, I left it in July for Malacca, where I spent more than two. 
months in the interior, and made an excursion to Mount Ophir.. 
The old and picturesque town of Malacca is crowded along the- 
banks of the small river, and consists of narrow streets of sliops. 
and dwelling-houses, occupied by the descendants of the Portu- 
guese, and by Chinamen., lu, the. ouburbs are the houses of Uie. 

c 2 


English officials and of a few Portuguese merchants, embedded 
in groves of palms and fruit-trees^ whose varied and beautiful 
foliage furnishes a pleasing relief to the eye, as well as most 
grateful shade. 

The old fort, the large Qovemment House, and the ruins of a 
cathedral, attest the former wealth and importance of this place, 
which was once as much the centre of Ecistem trade as ^nga- 
pore is now. The following description of it b^r 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 MozambicKie, 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 wliich places, as well as from 
Banda, Java, Sumatra, Siam, Pegu, Bengal, Coromandel, and 
India, arrive ships, which come and go incessantly, charged with 
an infinity of merchandises. There would be m this place a 
much g[reater 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 country. Thence it 
is that all who live in the country pay tribute of their health, 
sufiering[ 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 en- 
deavour to endure such an atmosphere. The origin of this town, 
as the natives say, was very small, only having at the beginning, 
by reason of the unhealthiness of the air, but six or seven 
fishermen who inhabited it. But the number was increased by 
the meeting of fishermen from Siam, Pegu, and Bengal, who 
came and built a city, and established a peculiar language, 
drawn from tlie most elegant modes of speaking of other nations, 
so that in fact the language of the Malays is at present the most 
refined, exact, and celebrated of all the East. The name of 
Malacca was given to this town, which, by the convenience of 
its situation, in a short time grew to such wealth, that it does 
not yield to the most powerful towns and regions round about. 
The natives, both men and women, are very 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 tlie Indies, as the French is here." 

At present, a vessel over a hundred tons hardly ever enters 
its port, and the trade is entirely confined to a few petty pro- 
ducts of the forests, and to the fruit, which the trees plantea 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 
ubio[uitous 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 Portu- 

fuese — a mixed, degi-adedj and degenerate race, but who still 
eep 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 phe- 
nomenon. 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, " I 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 acx)minable hat and cravat j the Portuguese 
patronize a light jacket, or^ more frequently, shirt and trousers 
only • the Malays wear their national jacket and saronc; (a kind 
of kilt), with loose drawers ; while the Chinese never depart in 
the least from their national dress, which, indeed, it is impossible 
to improve for a tropical climate, whether as regards comfort or 
appearance. The loosely-hanging trousers, and neat white lialf- 
shirt half-jacket, are exactly what a dress should be in this low 

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 fortnight at a village called 
Gading, where I was accommodated 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. Mv hosts were 
forming a pepper and gambir plantation, and in the immediate 
neighbourhood were extensive tin- washings, employing over a 
thousand Chinesa 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 " Kain-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 beautiful. The 
lovely Eastern trogons, witli their rich brown backs, beautifuUv 
pencilled wings, and crimson breasts, were also soon obtainea, 
as well as the large ^reen barbets (Megalsema versicolor) — fruit- 
eating birds, something like small toucans, with a short, straight 
bristly bill, and whose head and neck are variegated with 
patches of the most vivid blue and crimson. A day or two 
after, my hunter brought me a specimen of the green gaper 
(Calyptomena vindis), 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 king- 
fishers, green and brown cuckoos with velvety red races and 
green oeaks, red-breasted doves and metallic honeysuckers, were 
brought in day after day, and kept me in a continual state of 
pleasui*able excitement. After a fortnight one of ray servants 
was seized with fever, and on returning to Malacca, the same 
disease attacked the other as well as myself. By a liberal use 
of quinine, I soon recovered, and obtaining other men, went to 
stay at the Gk)vernment bungalow of Ayer-panas, accompanied 
by a young gentleman, a native of the place, who had a taste 
for natural history. 

At Ayer-panas we had a comfortable house to stay in, and 
plenty of room to dr^ and preserve our specimens ; but, owing 
to there being no industrious Chinese to cut doiyn timber, 
insects were comparatively scarce, with the exception of butter- 
flies, of wliich 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 neces- 
sarily 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 observed that it had 
been settling on the dung of some carnivorous animal. Thinking 
it might return to the same spot, I next day after breakfast 
took my net, and as I approached the place was delighted to see 
the same buttei'fly sitting on the same piece of dung, and suc- 
ceeded in capturing it. ft was an entirely new species of great 
beauty, and has oeen named by Mr. Hewitson Nymphalis 
calydonia. I never saw another specimen of it, and it was 
only after twelve years had elapsea that a second individual 
reached this country from the north-western part of Borneo. 

Having determined to visit Mount Ophir, wliich 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 stav at least a week at the mountain, we took 
with us a good supply of rice, a little biscuit, butter, and coffees 
some dried fish ana a little brandy, with blankets, a change oi 


clothes, insect And bird boxes, nets, ^ns, and ammunition. The 
distance from Ayer-panas was supposed to be about thii-ty miles. 
Our first day's 
march lay 

S latches of 
orest clear- 
ings and Ma- 
lay villages, 
and was pleas- 
ant enough. 
At night we 
slept at the 
bouse of a Ma- 
lay <^ief, wlio 
lent us a ve- 
randah, and B^ve 
some eggs. The 
countrygot will 
hilly. We passe 
tensive forests, 
often up to our ' 
and were much a 
leeches for which 
famous. These 1 
infest the leaici 
by the side of t 
when a passengf 
they stretch thei 
full length, and 
any part oi his < 
quit tlieir leaf an 
Tliey then creep 
l^s, or other pa 
and suck their 

generally &und 1 
a dozen on each ( 
t^uently on onr 1 
times on our Iw 
one who sucked h 
sideof niy neck.t 
missed the juguU 

are many species 

leeches. Allare small, but some b»m imhh or houht orBim. 

are beautifully marked with 

stripes of bright yellow. They probably attach themselves to 
deer or other animals which frequent the forest ^ths, and 


have thus acquired the singular habit of stretching' themselves 
out at the sound of a footstep or of rustling foliage. Early in 
the afternoon we reached the foot of the mountain, and en- 
camped by the side of a fine stream, whose rocky banks were 
overgrown with ferns. Our oldest Malay had been 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 hunting, he went with two others 
to clear the path for our ascent the next day. 

Early next morning we started after oreakfast, 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 clearea 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 
wliicli 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 
intelligibly. We found it to be a steep slope of even rock, ex- 
tending along the mountain side farther than we could see. 
Parts of it were quite bare, but where it was cracked and 
fissured there grew a most luxuriant vegetation, among which 
the pitcher plants were the most remarkable. Thexse wonderful 
plants never seem to succeed well in our hot-houses^ and are 
there seen to little advantage. Here they grew up into half- 
climbing shrubs, their curious pitchers of various sizes and forms 
hanging abundantly from their leaves, and continually exciting 
our admiration by their size and beauty. A few conifersB of the 
genus Dacrydium here first appeared, and in the thickets just 
above the rocky surface we walked through groves of those 
splendid ferns Dinteris Horsfieldii and Matonia pectinata, which 
l)ear large spreaaing palmate fronds on slender stems six or 
eight feet high. The Matonia is the tallest and most elegant, 
and is known only from this mountain, and neither of them is 
yet introduced into our hot-houses. 

It was very striking to come out from the dark, cool, and 
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 water at Padang- 
batu, but we looked about for it in vain, as we were exceed- 
ingly thirsty. At last we turned to the pitcher-plants, but 
the water contained in the pitchers (about half a pmt in each) 
was full of insects and otherwise uninviting. On tasting it, 
however, we found it very palatable, though rather warm, and 
we all quenched our thirst from these natural jugs. Farther 
on we came to forest again, but of a more dwarfed and 


stunted character than below ; and alternately passing along 
ridges and descending into valleys, we reached a peak separated 
from the true summit of the mountain by a considerable chasm. 
Here our portera gave in, and declared they could carry their 
loads no further ; and certainly the ascent to the highest peak 
was very precipitous. But on the spot where we were there 
was no water, whereas it was well known tliat there was a 
spring close to the summit, so we determined to go on without 
them, and carry with us only what was absolutely necessary. 
We accordingly took a blanket each, and divided our food and 
other articles among us, and went on with only the old Malay 
and his son. 

After descending into the saddle between the tw^o 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 over- 
hanging 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 
WHS clear, and the view fine in its way — ranges of hill and 
valley everywhere covered with interminable forest, witli glis- 
tening nyers winding among them. In a distant view a forest 
country is very monotonous, and no mountain I have ever 
ascended in the tropics presents a panorama equal to that from 
Snowdon, while the views in Switzerland are immeasurably 
superior. When boiling our coffee I took observations with a 
good boiling-x)oint thermometer, as well as with the sympieso- 
meter, 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 verv comfortable night. Our 
porters had followed us after a rest, bringing only their rice to 
cook, and luckily we did not require tlie baggage they left 
behind them. In the morning I caught a few butterflies and 
beetles, and my friend got a few land-shells : and we then 
descended, bringing with us some specimens oi the ferns and 
pitcher-plants of Padang-batu. 

The place where we had first encamped at the foot of the 
mountain, being very gloomy, we chose another in a kind of 
swamp near a stream overgrown with 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 countiy of the great Argus pheasant, 
and we continually heard its cry. On asking the old Malay to 


try and slioot one for me, he told me that although he had been 
for twenty years shooting bii^ds 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 vary, and 
runs alone the ground in the densest parts of the forest so 
quickly, that it is impossible to get near it; and its sober 
colours and rich eye-like spots, wliicli are so ornamental when 
seen in a inuseum, must harmonize well with the dead leaves 
among which it dwells, and render it very inconspicuous. All 
the specimens sold in Malacca are caught in snares, and my 
informant, though he had shot none, had snared plenty. 

The tiger and rhinoceros are still found here, and a few 
years ago elephants abounded, but they have lately all disap- 
peared. We found some heaps of dung, which seemed to be 
that of elephants, and some tracks of the rhinoceros, but saw 
none of the animals. We, however, kept a fire up all night in 
case any of these creatures should visit us, and two of our men 
declared that thev 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 all our friends wei^ astonished at our recklessness 
in staying so long at its foot ; but we none of us suffered in the 
least, and I shall ever look back with pleasure to my trip, as 
heiuf my first introduction to mountain scenery in the Eastern 

The meagreness and brevity of the sketch I have here given 
of ray visit to Singapore and the Malay Peninsula is due to my 
having trusted chienv to some private letters and a note-book, 
which were lost ; and to a paper on Malacca and Mount Ophir 
which was sent to the Royal Geographical Society, but wnich 
was neither read nor printed, owing to press of matter at the 
end of a session, and the MSS. of wtiich 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 liglitly 
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 
Januaiy 25th, 1856. In the interval I resided at many different 
localities, and saw a good deal of the Dyak tribes as well as of 
the Bornean Malays. I was hospitably entertained by Sir 


James Brooke, and lived in his house whenever I was at the 
town of Sarawak in the intervals of my journeys. But so 
many books have been written about this part of Borneo since 
I was there, that I shall avoid going into details of what I saw 
and heard and thought of Sarawak and its ruler, confining my- 
self chiefly to my experiences as a naturalist in search of 
sheila, insects, birds, and the Orang-utan, and to an account 
of a journey 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 Bed^. This part of the country has been so frequently 
desciibed that I snail pass it over, especially as, owing to its 
being the height of the wet season, my collections were com- 
paratively poor and insignificant. 

In March, 1855, 1 determined to go to the coal- works which 
were being opened near the Simunjon Biver, a small branch of 
the S^ong, a river east of Sarawak and between it and the 
Batang-Lupar. The Simunjon enters the Sddong Eiver about 
twenty miles up. It is very narrow and very winding, and 
niucli 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 attention is constantlv attracted 
by the various objects of interest around, a few tumbles into the 
bog are almost inevitable. During my first walk along tliis road 
I saw few insects or birds, but noticed some verv handsome 
orchids in flower, of the genus Ccelogyne. a group which I after- 
wards found to be very abundant, ana characteristic of the 
district. On the slope of t)ie hill near its foot a patch of forest 
had been cleared away, and several rude houses erected, in which 
were residing Mr. Coulson, the engineer, and a number of Chinese 
workmen. I was at first kindly accommodated in Mr. Coulson's 
house, but finding the spot very suitable for me, and ofifering 
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 orders, 
and especially of the large and favourite group of beetles, are 
more or less dependent on vegetation, and particularly on 
timber, bark, ana leaves in various stages of decay. In the un- 
touched 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 manjr 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 l)e collected at a given 
time in any tropical locality, will depend, first upon the imme- 
diate vicinity of a gi*eat extent of \'irgin forest^ and secondly 
upon tlie 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* collect- 
ing 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 
S4dong River, 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 ana planks. For hundreds of 
miles in every direction a magnificent forest extended over 
plain and mountain, rock and morass, and I arrived at tlie s]3ot 
just as the rains began to diminish and the daily sunshine to in- 
crease : 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 butter- 
flies : and by paying a cent each for all insects that were brought 
me, 1 obtained from the Dyaks and the Chinamen many fine 
locusts and Phasmidae, as well as numbers of handsome beetles 

When I arrived at the mines, on the 14th of March, I had 
collected in the four preceding months, 320 different kinds of 
beetles. In less than a fortnight I had doubled this number, an 
average of about twenty-four new species every day. On one 
day I collected seventy-six different kinds, of which thirty-four 
were new to me. By the end of April I had more than a thousand 
species, and they then went on increasing at a slower rate ; so 
ttiat I obtained altogether in Borneo about two thousand dis- 
tinct kinds, of which all but about a hundred were collected at 
this place, and on scarcely more than a square mile of ground. 
The most numerous and most interesting groups of beetles were 
the Longicoms and Rhynchophora, both pre-eminently wood- 
feeders. The former, characterized by their graceful forms and 
long antennae, were especially numerous, amounting to nearly 
three hundred species, nine-tenths of which were entirely new, 
and many of them remarkable for their large size, strange forms, 
and beautiful colouring. The latter correspond to our weevils 
and allied groups, and in the tropics are exceedingly numerous 
and varied, often swarming upon dead timber, so that I some- 
times obtained fifty or sixty different kinds in a aay. My Bomean 
collections of this group exceeded Hve hundred species. 

My collection of butterflies was not large ; but I obtained 






some rare and very handsome insects, the most remarkable being 
the Omithoptera Brookeana, one of the most elegant species 
known. This beautiful creature has very long and ]3ointed 
wings, almost resembling a sphinx moth in shape. It is deep 
velvety black, with a curved band of spots of a brilliant metallic- 
green colour extending across the wings from tip to tip, eacli 
six>t being shaped exactly like a small triangular feather, and 
having very much the effect of a row of the wing coverts of the 
Mexican trogon laid upon black velvet. The only other marks 
are a broad neck-collar of vivid ciimson, and a few delicate 
white touches on the outer margins of the hind wings.. This 
species, which was then quite new^ and which I named after Sir 
James Brooke, was very rare. It was seen occasionally flying 
swiftly in the clearings, and now and then settling for an in- 
stant at i)uddle8 and muddy places, so that I only succeeded 
in capturing two or three specimens. In some other parts 
of the country I was assured it was abundant, and a good 
many si)ecimens 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 

One of the most curious and interesting reptiles which I met 
witli in Borneo was a large tree-frog, which was brought me by 
one of the Chinese workmen. He assured me that he had seen 
it come down, in a slanting direction, from a high tree, as if it 
flew. On examining it, I found the toes very long and fully 
webbed to their very extremity, so that when expanded they 
offered a surface much larger than that of the body. The fore 
legs were also bordered by a membrane, and the body was capable 
of considerable inflation. The back and limbs were of a very 
deep shining green 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 all 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 ^^ flying frog," and it is 
very interesting to Darwinians as showing, that the variability 
of the toes which have been already modified for purposes of 
swimming and adhesive climbing, have been taken advantage of 
to enable an allied species to pass through the air like the flying 
lizard. It would appear to be a new species of the genus 

1 Females have since been captured in some plenty. They resemble the male, but 
have more white and less brilliant colours. 


RhtKOphorus, whicli coneiats of several frogs of a much smaller 
sUe than this, and having the webe of the toes less developed. 

During my stay in Borneo I had no hunter to shoot lor nie 
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 fivesquirrels, two tiger-cats, the Gymnurus Bafllesii, 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 his native 
haunts, to study his habits, and obtani good specimens of the 
different varieties and species of both sexes, and of the adult and 
young animals. In all these objects I succeeded beyond my ex- 
pectations, and will now give some account of my experience in 


hunting the Orang-utan, or ** Mias," as it is called by the natives : 
and as this name is shorty and easily pronounced, I shall 
generally use it in preference to Simia satynis, or Orang-utan. 

Just a week after my arrival at the mines, I first saw a Mias. 
I was out collecting insects, not more than a quarter of a miJe 
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 foi*tnight 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 firetshot, 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, telling me to cut a pole, and they would secure 
it. But although one arm >vas 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 seriouslv bitten. It now began climbing up the tree again ; 
and, to avoid trouble, I shot it through the heart. 

On May 2nd, I again found one on a very high tree, when I 
had only a small 80-lx)re 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 12tn of May I found another, which behaved in a very 
similar manner, howling and hooting with ra^e, 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 such a manner 
that it would evidently not fall. I therefore returned iiome, 
and luckily found some Dyaks, who came back with me, and 
climbed up the tree for the animal. This was tlie first full- 
grovfiL 8X)ecimen I had obtained ; but it was a female, and not 
nearly so large or remarkable as the full-grown males. It was, 


however, 3ft. ein. high, and its nrms stretched out to a width of 
6ft. 6iii. I preserved the skin of this specimen in a cask of 
nrrack, and prepared a perfect skeleton, which was afterwards 
purchased for the Derby Museum. 

Oniy four days afterwards some Dyaks saw another Mias 
near the same place, and came to t«ll me. We found it to be a 
rather Inrse one, very high up on a tall tree. At the second 
shot it fell roUine over, but almost immediately got up again 
and began to climb. At a third shot it fell dead. This was also 
a full-grown female, and while preparing to carry it home, we 

FUiALi ORAKO-UTAN. (Fnm a pliolofrapK) 

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 wlien 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 nonie it got its hands in 
my beard, and grasped so tightly tjiat I had great difficulty in 
getting free, for the fingers are Habitually bent inwards at the 
last jomt so as to form complete hooks. At this time it had 
not a single tooth, but a few days afterwards it cut its two 
lower front teetJi. Unfortunately, I had no miik 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 ^ve 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 persevering a long time would 
it give up in disgust, and set up a scream very like that of a 
baby in similar circumstances. 

When handled or nursed, it was very auiet and contented, 
but when laid down by itself would invariably cry ; and for the 
first few nights was very restless and noisy. I fitted up a little 
box for a cradle, with a soft mat for it to lie upon, which was 
changed and washed every day ; and I soon found it necessary 
to wash the little Mias as well. After I had done so a few 
times, it came to like the operation, and as soon as it was dirty 
would begin crying, and not leave off till I took it out and 
carried it to the spout, when it immediately became quiet, 
although it would wince a little at the first rush of the cold 
water and make ridiculously wry faces while the stream was 
running over its head. It enjoyed the wiping and rubbing dry 
amazingly, and when I brushed its hair seemed to be perfectly 
happy, lying quite still with its arms and legs stretched out 
while I thoroughly bruslied the long hair 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 ke^p 
my beard out of its way, as its fingers clutched hold of hair 
more tenaciously than anything 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 of, and, when it had got a bit of stick or rag in two 
or three of itk hands, seemed quite happy. For want of some- 
thing 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 g^rew just below the opposite slioulder. 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 
rounds, on which I put it to hang for a quarter of an hour at a 
time. At first it seemed much pleased, but it could not get all 
four hands in a comfortable position, and, after changing about 
several times, would leave hold of one hand after the other, and 
drop on to the floor. Sometimes, when hanging only by two 
handa, it would loose one, and cross it to the opposite shoulder, 
grasping its own hair ; and, as this seemed much more agreeable 
than the stick, it would then loose the other and tumble down, 
when it would cross both and lie on its back quite contentedly, 
never seeming to be hurt by its numerous tumbles. Finding it 


so fond of hair, I endeavoured to make an artificial mother, bv 
wrapping up a piece of buffalo-skin into a bundle, and suspena- 
ing It about a foot from the fioor. 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 Ropes that Iliad made the little orphan quite happy; 
and so it seemed for some time, till it l)egan to remember its lost 
parent, and try to suck. It would pull itself up close to the skin, 
and trv about everywhere for a likely place ; but, as it only 
succeeded in getting mouthfuls of hair and wool, it would be 
gpreatly 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 
gasping it recovered, and I was obliged to take the imitation 
mother to pieces again, and give up this last attempt to exercise 
the little creature. 

After the first week I found I could feed it better with a 
spoon, and give it a little more varied and more solid food. Well- 
soaked biscuit mixed with a little egg and sugar, and sometimes 
sweet potatoes, were readily eaten ; and it was a never-failing 
amusement tp observe the curious changes of countenance by 
which it would express its approval or dislike of what was g^ven 
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 pusli it all out between its lips. If the same food was con- 
tinued, 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 1 had finished would pick off what 
was left sticking to the Mias's lips, and then pull open its mouth 
and see if any still remained inside ; afterwards lying down on 
the poor creature's stomach as on a comfortable cushion. The 
little helpless Mias would submit to all these insults with the 
most exemplary patience, only too glad to have something warm 
near it, which it could clasp affectionately in its arms. It some- 
times, however, had its revenge ; for when the monkey wanted 
to go away, tiie 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 

It was curious to observe the different actions of tliese two 
animals, which could not liave differed much in age. The Mias, 
like a very young baby, lying on its back quite helpless^ rolling 
lazily from side to siie, stretching out all four hands into the 
air, wishing to grasp something, out 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 otlier hand, 
in constant motion ; running and jumping about wherever it 
pleased, examining everything around it, seizing hold of the 
smallest objects witli the greatest precision, balancing itself on 
the edge of the box, or running up a post, and helping itself to 
anything eat«ible 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 liad it about a month, it began to exiiibit some 
signs of learning to run alone. When laid upon the floor it 
would push itselr 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 woiud 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 begin 
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. Rice-water, rice, and biscuits were but a poor substitute, 
and the expressed milk of the cocoa-nut wliich 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 suflered 
greatly, but a small dose of castor-oil operated well^ and cured 
it. A week or two afterwards it was again taken ill, and this 
time more seriously. The symptoms were exactly those of in- 
termittent 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 nearljr three months. I much regretted the loss of 
my little pet, which I had at one time looked forward to bring- 
ing up to years of maturity, and taking home to England. For 
several months it had afforded me daily amusement by its 
curious ways and the inimitably ludicrous expression of its little 
countenance. Its weight was three pounds nine ounces, its 
height fourteen inches, and the spread of its arms twenty-three 

D 2 


inches. I preserved its skin and skeleton, and in doing so found 
that when it fell from the tree it must have broken an arm and 
a leg, which had, however, united so rapidly that I had only 
noticed the hard swellings on the limbs where the irregular 
junction of the bones had taken place. 

Exactly a week after I had caught this interesting little 
animal I succeeded in shooting a full-grown male Orang-utan. 
I had just come home from an entomologizing excursion when 
Charles^ rushed in out of breath witli running and excitement, 
and exclaimed, interrupted by gasps, **Get the gun, sir, — be 
quick,— such a large Mias ! " " Where is it ? " I asked, taking 
hold of my gun as 1 spoke, which happened luckily to have one 
bart*el 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 aft^r me as soon 
as possible. The path from our clearing to the minas 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 r.iade for a road, in whicli 
several Chinamen were working, so that the animal could not 
escape into the swampy forests l>elow without descending to 
cross the road or ascending to ^et round the clearincrs. We 
walked cautiously along, not making the least noise, ana listen- 
ing 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 some- 
where near, as it had prol>ably descended the hill, and would not 
be likely to return again. After a short time I heard a very 
slight rustling sound overhead, but on gazing up could see 
nothing. I moved about in every direction to get a full view 
into every part of the tree under whicli I had been standing, 
when I again heard the same noise but louder, and saw the leaves 
shaking as if caused b;^ 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 Rreat height, as if wanting to know what was 
making such a distu n>ance below. I instantly fired, and he made 
off at once, so that I could not then tell whether I had hit him. 

He now moved very rapidly and very noiselessly for so laree 
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 frag- 
ments of rock from the mountain above, and thick with hanging 

1 Charles Allen, an English lad of sixteen, acoompaniod inc as an assistant. 


and twisted creepers. Running, climbing, 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 
witliout descending, he turned up again towards the hill, and I 
ffot two shots, and following quickly had two more by the time 
lie had asain reached the path ; but he was always more or less 
concealed by foliage, and protected by the large branch on which 
lie was walking. Once while loading I had a splendid view of 
him, mo^dng 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 fixedhimself in a fork, where he was hidden by 
thick foliage, and seemed disinclined to n)Ove. I was afraid he 
-would remain and die in this position, and as it was nearly 
evening I could not have got tlie ti-ee cut down that day. I 
tlierefore 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. Wo then shook the adjoining 
tree, pulled the hanging creepers, and did all we could to disturb 
liim, out without eflfect, so 1 thought it best to send for two 
CJnnamcn with axes to cut down the tree. While the messenger 
■was gone, however, one of tlie Dyaks took courage and climbed 
towards nim, but the Mias did not wait for him to get near, 
moving off to another tree, where he got on to a dense mass oi 
branches and creepers which almost completelv 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 bv jungle 
ix)p)es and climbers to adjoining trees that it only fell into a 
sloping position. The Mias did not move, and I began to fear 
that after all we should not get him, as it was near evening, and 
half a dozen more trees would have to be cut down before the 
one he was on would fall. As a last resource we all 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 full as large as a 
man's. He was of the kind called by the Dyaks " Mias Chappan," 
or **' Mias Pappan," which has the skin of the face broadenea out 
to a ridge or K)ld at each side. His outstretched arms measured 
seven feet three inches across, and his height, measuring fairly 
from the top of the head to the heel, was tour feet two inche^s. 
The body just below the arms was three feet two inches round, 
and was quite as long as a man's, the legs being exceedingly 


short in proportion. On examination we found he had been 
dreadfully wounded. Both legs were broken. One hip-joint 
and the root of the spine completely shattered, and two bullets 
were found flattened in his neck and jaws ! Yet he was still 
alive when he fell. The two Chinamen carried him home tied to 
a pole, and I was occupied with Charley the whole of the next 
day, preparing the skin and boiling the bones to make a nerfect 
skeleton, whicn 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-side. On being alarmed he re- 
treated towards the jungle which was close by, and a number of 
the men, armed with spears and choppers, ran out to intercept 
him. The man who was in front triecl 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, tlie man would liave been more seriously 
injured, if not killed, as he was quite powerless ; but they soon 
destroyed the creature with their spears and choppers. The 
man remained ill for a long time, and never fully recovered the 
use of his arm. 

They told me tlie dead Mias was still lying where it had been 
killed) so I ofiered them a reward to bring it up to our landing- 
place immediately, which they promisea to do. They did not 
come, however, till the next day, and then decomposition ha^cl 
commenced, and f reat patches of the hair came oif, so that it 
was useless to skm it This I regretted much, as it was a very 
fine full-grown male. I cut off the head and took it home to 
clean, while I got my men to make a close fence about five feet 
high round the rest of the body, 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 liad seen him 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 aiillus, 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 liand, and then fell 
flat on his face and was half buried in the swamp. For several 
minutes he lay groaning and panting, while we stood close 


round, expecting every breath to be his last. Suddenly, how- 
ever, 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 
througli the back caused him to fall down dead. A flattened 
bullet was found in his tongue, having entered the lower jMirt of 
the abdomen and completely traversed the body, fracturing the 
first cervical vertebra. Yet it was after this fearful wound that 
lie had risen, and begun climbing 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 Cliinaman to shoot a Mias, 
which, he said, was on a tree close by his heuse, at the coal- 
mines. Arriving at the place, we had some difficulty in finding 
the animal, as he had gone off into the jungle, which was very 
rocky and difficult to traverse. At last we found him up a very 
high tree, and could see that he was a male of the largest size. 
As soon as I had fired, he moved higher up the tree, and while 
he was doing so I fired again ; and we then saw that one arm 
was broken. He had now reached the very highest part of an 
immense tree, and immediately began breaking off Doughs all 
around, and laying them across and across to make a nest. 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 laving them back across each other, so that in a few minutes 
he had formed a compact mass of foliage, which entirely con- 
cealed him from our sight. He was evidently going to pass the 
night here, and would probablv get away early the next morn- 
ing, if not wounded too severefv. I therefore fired again several 
time& 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, lie would 
not go away. At length he raised himself up, so that half his 
body was visible, and then gradually sank down, his head alone 
remaining on the edge of the nest. I now felt sure he was dead, 
and tried to persuade the Chinaman and his companion to cut 
down the tree j but it was a very large one, and they had been 
at work all day, and nothing would induce them to attempt it. 
The next morning, at daybreak, I came to the place, and found 
that the Mias was evidently dead, as his head was visible in 
exactly the same position as before. I now offered four China- 
men a day's wages each to cut the tree down at once, as a few 
hours of sunshine would cause decomposition on the surface of 
the skin ; but, after looking at it and trying it, they determined 
that it was very big and very hard, and would not attempt it. 
Had I doubled my offer, they would probably have accepted it, 
as it would not have been more than two or three hours work ; 


and had I been on a short visit only I would have done so ; but 
as I was a resident, and intended remaining several months 
longer, it would not have answered to beffin paying too ex- 
orbitantly, or I should have got nothing oione in future at a 
lower rate. 

For some weeks after, a cloud of flies could be seen all day, 
hovering over the body of the dead Mias ; but in about a month 
all was quiet, and the body was evidently drying up under the 
influence of a vertical sun alternating with tropical rains. Two 
or three months later two Malays, on the offer of a dollar, 
climbed the tree, and let down tlie dried remains. The skin was 
almost entire, enclosing the skeleton, and inside wei'e millions of 
the pupa-cases of flies and other insects, with thousands of two 
or tiiree species of small necrophagous beetles. The skull had 
been much siiattered by balls, but the skeleton was perfect, 
except one small wrist- tx)ne, which had probably dropped out 
and oeen carried away by a lizard. 

Three days after I had shot this one and lost it, Charles found 
three small Orangs feeding together. We had a long chase after 
them, and had a good opportunity of seeing how they make their 
way from tree to tree, by always choosing those limbs whose 
branches are intermingled with those of some other tree, and 
then grasping several of the small twigs together Ijef ore they 
venture to swing themselves across. Yet they do this so quickly 
and certainly, that they make way among the trees at the rate 
of full five or six miles an hour, as we had continually to run to 
keep up with them. One of these we siiot and killed, but it re- 
mainect high up in the fork of a tree j 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 hui*t my ankle, and, not being careful enough at first, 
it became a severe inflamed ulcer, which would not heal, and 
kept me a prisoner in the house the whole of July and part of 
August. When I could get out again, I determined to take a 
trip up a branch of the Simunjon River to 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 witii me a Chinese 
lx)y as a servant. I carried a cask of medicated arrack to put 
Mias skins in, and stores and ammunition for a fortnight. Alter 
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 extraordinary long-nosed monkey 
(Nasalislarvatus), which is as large as a three-year-old child, has 
a very long tail, and a fleshy nose, longer than tliat of the biggest- 
nosed man. The further we went on the narrower and more 
>^4nding the stream became ; fallen trees Rometimes blocked up 


our passage, and sometimes tangled branches and creepers met 
completely across it, and had to be cut away before we could 
get on. It took us two days to reach Semabang, and we hardly 
saw a bit of dry land all the way. In the latter part of the 
journey I could touch the bushes on each side for miles ; and 
we were often delayed by the screw-pines (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 

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 front of it. Almost all 
the X)eople, however, were away on some excureion after edible 
birds^-nests or bees'-wax, and there only remained in the liouse 
two or three old men and women with a lot of children. The 
mountain or hill was close by, covered with a complete forest of 
frait-trees, among which the Durian and Mangusteen were very 
abundant ; but tne 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 mountain, 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 tree. To 
my astonishment and pleasure, it appeared to be a different 
kind from anv I had yet seen, for although a f uU-j^rown male by 
its fylly developed teeth and very large canines, it had no sign 
of the lateral protuberance on the face, and was alx>ut one-tenth 
smaller in all its dimensions than the other adult males. The 
upper incisors, however, appeared to be broader than in the 
larger species, a character distinguishing the Simla morio of 
Professor Owen, which he had described from the cranium of a 
female specimen. As it was too far to carry the animal home, I 
set to work and skinned the body on the spot, leaving the hecid, 
hands, and feet attached, to be finished at home. This specimen 
is now in the British Museum. 

At the end of a week, finding no more Orangs, I returned 
home ; and, taking in a few fresh stores, and this time accom- 
panied by Charles, went up another branch of the river, very 
similar in character, to a place called Menyille, where there 
were several small Dyak houses and one large one. Here the 
landing-place was a bridge of rickety poles, over a considerable 
distance of water ; and I thought it safer to leave my cask of 
arrack securely placed in the fork of a tree. To prevent the 


natives from drinking it, I let several of them see me put in a 
number of snakes and lizards ; but I rather think this did not 
prevent them from tasting it. We were 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 bv the house, the fruit of wliich 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 

The very day after my arrival in this place, I was so fortunate 
as to shoot another adult male of the small Orang, the Mias- 
kassir of the Dyaks. It fell when dead, but caug^ht in a fork of 
the tree and remained fixed. As I was very anxious to get it, I 
tried to persuade two young Dyaks who were with me to cut 
down the tree, which was tall, perfectly straight and smooth- 
barked, and without a branch tor 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 to- 
gether, they said thev would try. They first went to a clump 
of baml)oo that stoocl 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 snarp 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 imme- 
diately beg^n 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 jpeg very firmly at about three 
feet from the ground, and bringing one of the long bamboos, 
stood it upright close to the tree, and bound it firmly to the two 
first pegs, by means of the bark cord, and small notches near 
the head of each peg. One of the Dyaks now stood on the first 
peg and drove in a third, about level with his face, to which he 
tied the bamboo in the same way, and then mounted another 
step, standing on one foot, and holding by the bamboo at the 
peg immediately above him, while he drove in the next one. 
In this manner he ascended about twenty feet, when the upright 
bamboo becoming thin, another was handed up by his companion, 
and this was joined on by tying both bamboos to three or four 
of the pegs. When this was also nearly ended, a third was 
added, and shortly after, the lowest branches of the tree were 
reached, along which the young Dyak scrambled, and soon sent 


the Mias tumbling headlong down. I was exceedingly struck 
by the ingenuity of this mode of climbing, and the aoimirable 
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 would 
be thrown on several others above and below it. I now under- 
stood the use of the line of bamboo pegs sticking in trees, which 
I had often seen, and wondered for what purpose they could 
have been put there. Tliis animal was almost identical in size 
and appearance with the one I had obtained at Semdbang, and 
was the only other male specimen of the Simia morio which I 
obtained. It is now in the Derbpr Museum. 

I afterwards shot two adult females and two young ones of 
different ages, all of which I preserved. One of the females, 
with several young ones, was feeding on a Durian tree with un- 
ripe fruit; and as soon as she saw us she began breaking off 
branches and the great spiny fruits with every appearance of 
rag^, causing such a shower of missiles as effectually kept us 
from approaching too near the tree. Tins 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 afi^aid 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 
mv strong boots, and even ate a piece of my mosquito-curtain, 
i^rhere some lamp-oil had been sput over it some weeks before. 

On our return down the stream, we had the fortune to fall in 
-with a very old male Mias, feeding on some low trees growing in 
the water. The country was flooded for a long distance, but so 
full of trees and stumps that t)ie laden boat could not be got in 
among them, and if it could have been we should only have 
frightened the Mias away. I therefore got into the water, which 
was nearly up to my waist, and waded on till I was near enough 
for a shot. The difficulty then was to load my gun again, for I 
was so deep in the water that I could not hold the gun sloping 
enough to pour the powder in. I therefore had to search tor a 
shallow place, and after several shots under these trying circum- 
stances, I was delighted %b s6e the monstrous animal roll over 
into the water. I now towed him after me to the stream, but the 


Malays objected to have the animal put into the boat^ and he 
was so heavy that I could not do it without their help. I looked 
about for a place to skin him, but not a bit of dry g^und 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 whicli was just large enouffh for us to drag the 
animal upon it. I first measured him, and found him to be by 
far the largest I had vet seen, for, though the standing height 
was the same as the others (4 feet 2 inches), yet the outstretched 
anns ware 7 feet 9 inches, which was six inches more than the 
previous one, and the immense broad face was 1.3^ inches wide, 
whereas the widest I had hitherto seen was only 11 ][ inches. The 
girth of the body was 3 feet 7^ 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 range, inhabiting many districts on the south-west, 
south-east, nortli-east, and north-west coasts, but appears to be 
chiefly confined to the low and swampy forests. It seems at first 
sight very inexplicable that the Mias should be quite unknown 
in the Sarawak valley, while it is abundant in Sambas, on the 
west, and S^ong, on the east. But when we know the habits 
and mode of life of the animal, we see a sufficient reason for this 
apparent anomaly in the physical features of the Sardwak 
district. In the SAdong, where I observed it, the Mias is only 
found where the country is low, level, and swampy, and at the 
same time covered with a lofty virgin forest. From these 
swamps rise manv isolated mountains, on some of whicli the 
Dyaks have settled, and covered with plantations of fruit trees. 
These area great attraction to the Mias, whicli comes to feed on 
the unripe fruits, but always retires to the swamp at ni^ht. 
Where the country becomes slightly elevated, and tne soil dry, 
the Mias is no longer to be found. For example, in all the lower 
part of the SAdong valley it abounds, but as soon as we ascend 
above the limits of the tides where the country, though still flat, 
is high enough to be dry, it disappears. Now the Sardwak valley 
has this i>eculiarity — the lower portion though swampy is not 
covered with continuous lofty fore-st, but is principally occupied 
by the Nipa palm ; and near the town of Sardwak where the 
country becomes dry, it is greatly undulated in many parts, and 
coverecl with small patches of virgin forest, and mucn second- 
growth jungle on ground 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 mucli facility as 
the Indian on the prairie, or the Arab on the desert ; passine 
from tree-top to tree-top without ever being obliged to aescend 
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 aanger, 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 i*ise like islands out of it serving as a sort 
of gardens or plantations, where the trees of the uplands are to 
be lound in the very midst of the swampy plains. 

It is a singular and very interesting sight to watch a Mias 
making his way leisurely througii the forest. He walks de- 
liberately along some of the larger branches, in the semi-erect 
attitude which the great length of his arms and the shortness of 
liis legs cause him naturally to assume ; and the disproportion 
between these limbs is increased by his walking on his knuckles, 
not on the palm of the hand, as we should do. He seems always 
to choose tnose branches which intermingle with an adjoining 
tree, on approaching which he stretches out his long arms, and, 
seizing the opposing boughs, grasps them together with both 
hands, seems to try their strength, and then deliberately swings 
himself across to the next branch, on which he walks along as 
Ijefore. He never jumps or spnngs, or even appears to hurry 
himself, and yet manages to get along almost as quickly as a 
person can run through the forest beneath. The long and 
powerful amis are of the greatest use to the animal, enabling it 
te climb easily up the loftiest trees, te seize fruits and young 
leaves from slenoer boughs which will not bear its weight, ana 
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 eveiy night. This is 
placed low down, however, on a small tree not more than from 
twenty to fifty feet from the ground. prol)ably because it is 
warmer and less exposed to wind than higher up. Each Mias is 
said to make a f resn 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 lar^e ferns, which has perhaps 
led to the story of his making a hut in the trees. 

The Orang does not leave ii is bed till the sun has well risen 
and has dried up the dew upon the leaves. He feeds all through 
the middle of tlie day, but seldom returns to the same tree two 


days running. They do not seem much alarmed at man, as they 
often stared down upon me for several minutes, and tlien only 
moved away slowly to an adjacent tree. After seeing one, I 
have often had to go half a mile or more to fetch my gun, and 
in nearly every case have foui\d it on the same tree, or within a 
hundred yards, when I returned. I never saw two full-grown 
animals together, but both males and females are sometimes 
accompanied by naif-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 unripe fruits, 
some of wnich were very sour, others intenseljr bitter, par- 
ticularly the large red, rfeshy arillus of one which seemed an 
especial favourite. In other cases tliey eat only the small seed 
of a large fruit, and they almost always waste and destroy 
more than they ent, 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 tliey 
will not cross clearings to get at them. It seems wonderful 
how the animal can tear open this fruit, the outer covering of 
which is so thick and tough, and closely covered with strong 
conical spines. It probably bites off a few of these first, and 
then, making a small hole, tears open the fruit with its powerful 

The Mias rarely descends to the ground, except when pressed 
by hunger it seeks for succulent shoots by the river side ; or, in 
verv dry weather, has to search after water, of which it generally 
finds sufficient 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. Representations of its walking with a stick are 
entirely imaginarv. 

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


Mv next informant was the Orang Kaya, or chief of the Balow 
Dyaks, on the Simun jon River. He said : *^ The Mias has no 
enemies ; no animals dare attack it but the crocodile and the 
python. He alwa^ys kills the crocodile by main strength, stand- 
ing upon it, pulling open its laws, and ripping up its throat. 
If a python attacks a Mias, he seizes it with his hands, and 
then bites it, and soon kills it. The Mias is vei*y 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 hi^h type of form as the Orang-utan, should be con- 
fined 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 Quadru mania, 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 Marsupials ; South America 
by gigantic sloths and ant-eaters ; all dinerent from any now 
existing, though intimately alliea 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 tertiaiy 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 will now say a few words as to the supposed existence of a 
Bomean Orang as large as the Gonlla. I have myself examined 
the bodies of seventeen freshly-killed Orangs, all of which were 
carefully measui'ed ; 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 lar^e 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 
ai*ms, from 7 feet 2 inches to 7 feet 8 inches ; and the width of 
the face, from 10 inches to 13 J incites. 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'l inch ; and the largest skeleton in the Calcutta 
Museum was, according to Mr. Blyth, 4 feet li inch. My speci- 
mens were all from tne north-west coast of Borneo ; those of 
the Dutch from the west and south coasts ; and no specimen 
has yet reached Europe exceeding these dimensions, although 
the total number of skins and skeletons must amount to over a 

Strange to say, however, several persons declare that they 


liave measured Orangs of a much larger size. Temminck, in his 
Monog^ph of the Orang, says, that lie l»as 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. John, in his Life in the 
Forests of the Far EnH^ vol. ii. p. 237, tells us of an Orang sliot 
by a friend of his, which was 5 feet 2 inches from the heel to the 
top of the head, the arm 17 inches in girtli, and the wrist 12 
inches ! The head alone was brought to Sarawak, and Mr. St. 
John tells us that ]ie assisted to measure this, and that it was 15 
inches broad by 14 long. Unfortunately, even this skull appears 
not to have l)een preserved, for no specimen corresponding to 
these dimensions has yet re^iched England. 

In a letter from Sir James Brooke, dated October, 1857, in 
which lie acknowledges the receipt of my Papers on the Orang, 
published in ihe Annals aiul Magazhie of Natural Hlstorf/^ he sends 
me the measurements of a specimen killed by his nephew, which 
I will give exactly as I received it : "Septeml>er 3rd, 1867, killed 
female Orang-utan. Height, from head to heel, 4 feet 6 inches. 
Stretch from fingers to fincrers across body, 6 feet 1 inch. 
Breadth of face, including callosities, 11 inches." Now, in these 
dimensions, there is palpably one error ; for in every Orang yet 
measured by any naturalist, an expanse of arms of 6 feet 1 inch 
corresponds to a height of about 3 feet 6 inches, while the largest 
specimens of 4 feet to 4 feet 2 inches high, always have the ex- 
tended arms as much as 7 feet 3 inches to 7 feet 8 inches. It is, 
in fact, one of the characters of the genus to have the arms so 
long that an animal standing nearly erect can rest its fingers on 
the ground. A height of 4 feet 6 inches would therefore require 
a stretch of arms of at least 8 feet ! If it were only 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, 
wh© 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 ho 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 l>e deceived in the height of these 
animals is well shown in the case of the Sumatran Orang, the 
skin of which was described by Dr. Clarke Abel. The captain 
and crew who killed this animal declared, that when alive he 
exceeded the tallest man, and looked so gigantic that they 
thought he was 7 feet high ; but that, when he was killed and 
Jay 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 cunttor, 
states " that it is by no means oue of the largest size ; " which 
means that it is about 4 feet high ! 


Having these undoubted examples of error in the dimensions 
of Orangs, it is not too much to conclude that Mr. St. John's hiend 
made a similar error of measurement, or rather, perhaps, of 
memory ; for we are not told that the dimensions were noted 
down at the time they were made. The only figures given by Mr. 
St. John on his own authority are that '* the head was 15 inches 
broad by 14 inches long." As my largest male was 131 broad 
across the face, measured as soon as the animal was killed, I can 
quite understand that when the head arrived at Sarawak from 
the Batang Lupar, after two if not three days' voyage, it was so 
swollen by decomposition as to measure an inch more than when 
it was fresh. On the wliole, therefore, I think it will be allowed, 
that up to this time we have not the least reliable evidence of 
the existence of Orangs in Borneo more than 4 feet 2 inches 



As the wet season was approaching I determined to return to 
Sardwak, sending all my collections with Charles Allen round 
by sea, while I myself proposed to go up to the sources of the 
Sftdong River, and descend by the Sardwak valley. As the 
route was somewhat difficult, 1 took the smallest quantity of 
baggage, and only one servant, a Malay lad named Bujon, who 
knew the language of the Sddong Dyaks. with whom he had 
traded. We left the mines on the 27th or November, and the 
next day reached the Malay village of Gudong. wliere I stayed 
a short time to buy fruit and eggs, and callea upon the Datu 
Bandar, or Malay governor of the place. He lived in a large 
and well-built house, very dirty outside and in, and was very 
inc^uisitive about my business, and particularly about the coal 
mines. These puzzle the natives exceedingly, as they cannot 
understand the extensive and costly preparations for working 
coal, and cannot believe it is to be used only as fuel when wood 
is so abundant and so easily obtained. It was evident that 
Europeans seldom came here, for numbers of women skeltered 
away as I walked through the village ; and one girl about ten 
or twelve years old, who had lust brought a bamboo full of 
water from the river, threw it aown with a cry of horror and 
alarm the moment she caught sight of me, turned round and 
jumped into the stream. She swam beautifully, and kept 
lookmg back as if expecting I would follow her. screaming 
violenUy all the time ; while a number of men ana boys were 
laughing at her ignorant terror. 

At Jahi, the next village, the stream became so swift in con- 



seqaence of a flood, that my heavy boat could make no wayi 
uid I vas obliged to send it bock and go on in a very sm^l 
open one. So far the river liad been very monotonous, the 
banks being cultivnted as rice-fields, and little thatched huts 
alone breaking the unpicturesque line of muddy bank crowned 
with tall grasses, and backed by the top of the forest behind 
the cultivated ground, A few hours beyond Jahi we passed the 
limits of cultivation, and had the beautiful virgin forest coming 
down to the water's edge, with its palms and creepers, its noble 
trees, its ferns, and 
lytes. Th^ Ikanks 


_ _.. Btill generally 
flooded, and we had 
some difficulty in find- 
ing a dry spot to sleep 
on. Earlyinthemom- 
ing we reached Empug- 
nan, a suiall Malay vil- 
lage situated at the foot 
of an isolated mountain 
which had been visible 
from the mouth of the 
Siniunjon River. Be- 
yond here the tides are 
not felt and we now 
entered upon a district 
of elevated forest, with 
a liner vegetation. 
Large trees stretch out 
their arms across the 
stream, and the st«ep, 
earthy banks are cloth- 
ed with ferns and Zin- 
gilieraceous plants. 

Early in the after- 
noon we arriied at 
Tabrikan, the first vil- 
roBTurr or dt*k todtm. lage of the Hill Dyaks. 

On an Open space near 
the river about twenty boys were playing at a game something 
like what we call "prisoner's base" : their ornaments of beads 
and brass wire and their gay-coloured kerchiefs and waist -cloths 
showing to much advantage, and forming a very pleasing siglit. 
On being called by Bujon, they immediately left their game to 
carry my things up to the " head- ho use,"— a circular building 
attached to most Dyak villages, and serving as a lodging for 
strangers, the place for trade, the sleep ing-room of the un- 
married youths, and the general council-ohomuer. It iselevated 
on lofty posts, has a large fireplace in the middle and windows 


in the roof all round, and forms a very pleasant and comfortable 
abode. In the evening it was crowded with yonng men and 
boys, who came to look at me. They were mostly fine young 
fellows, and I could not help admiring the simplicity and ele- 
gance of their costume. Their only dress is the long " chawat,** 
or waist-cloth, which hangs down before and behind. It is 
peneiully of blue cotton, ending in three broad bands of red, 
blue, and whita Those who can afford it wear a handkerchief 
on the head, which is either red, with a narrow border of gold 
lace, or of three colonics, like the "chawat.'' The large fiat 
moon-shaped brass earrings, the heavy necklace of white or 
black beads, rows of brass rings on the arms and legs, and arm- 
lets of white shell, all serve to relieve and set off the pure 
reddish brown skin and iet-black hair. Add to this the uttle 
pouch containing materials for betel-chewing and a long slender 
Knife, both invariably worn at tlie side, and you have the every- 
day dress of tlie young Dyak gentleman. 

The " Orang Kaya, or rich man, as the chief of the tribe is 
called, now came m with several of the older men ; and the 
'' bit-chdra " or talk commenced, about getting a boat and men 
to take me on the next morning. As I could not understand a 
word of their language, which is very different from Malay, I 
took no part in the proceedings, but was represented by my boy 
Bujon,who translated to me most of what was said. A Chinese 
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 man's business was now being discussed, and he 
must wait another day before his could be thought about. 

Alter the " bitch^ra" was over and the old chiefs gone, I asked 
the young men to play or dance, or amuse themselves in their 
accustomed way ; and after some little hesitation they agreed to 
do so. They first had a trial of strength, two boys sitting 
opposite each other, foot being placed 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 other swung himself 
round on one leg, so as to strike the other's free leg, and try to 
overthrow him. When these games had been played all round 
with varying success, we had a novel kind oi concei*t. Some 
placed a leg across the knee, and struck the finders sharply on 
the ankle, others beat their arms a^inst their sides like a cock 
when he is going to crow, thus making a great variety of dap- 
ping sounds, while another with his hand under his armpit 
produced a deep trumpet note ; and, as they all kept time very 
well, the effect was by no means unpleasing. This seemed quite 
a favourite amusement with them, and they kept it up with 
much spirit. 

£ 2 


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

Early in the afternoon we reached the village of Borotdi, 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 legs from 
the ankle to the knee. Round 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 un- 
picturesque head-dress. 
^ Walking out to a small hill near the vilLage, cultivated as a 
rice-field, I had a fine view of the country, wliich was becoming 
c]uite hilly, and towards the south, mountainous. I took bear- 
ings and sketches of all that was visible, an operation which 
caused much astonishment to the Dyaks who accompanied me, 
and produced a request to exliibit the compass when I returned. 
I was then surrounded by a larger crowd tnan before, and when 
I took my evening meal in tlie midst of a circle of about a 
hundred spect^itors anxiously observing every movement and 
criticising every mouthful, my thouglits involuntarily recurred 
to the lions at feeding time. Like those noble animals, I too 
was used to it, and it did not afiect my appetite. The children 


here were more shy than at Tabokan, and I could not persuade 
them to play. I therefore turned showman myself, and exhibited 
the shadow of a dog's head eating, wliieh ple;ised them so much 
tiiat all the village in succession came out to see it. The 
"rabbit on the wall" does not do in Borneo, as there is no 
animal it resembles. The boys had tops shaped something like 
whipping-tops, but spun witli a string. 

The next morning we proceeded as before, but the river liad 
become so rapid and sliallow, and the boats were all so small, that 
though I had notliing with me but a change of clothes, a gun, 
and a few cooking utensils, two were required to take me on. 
The rock which appeai*ed here and there on the river-bank was 
an indurated clay-slate, sometimes crystalline, and thrown up 
almost vertically. Right and left of us rose isolated limestone 
mountains, their white precipices glistening in the sun and con- 
trasting beautifully with the luxuriant vegetation that elsewhere 
clothed them. The river bed was a mass of pebbles, mostly pure 
white quartz, but with abundance of jaspar and agate, presenting 
a beautifully variegated appearance. It was only ten in the 
morning when we arrived at Budw, and, though there were 
plenty of people about, I could not induce them to allow me to 
go on to the next village. The Orang Kaya said that if I insisted 
on having men of course he would get them ; but when I took him 
at his word and said I must have them, there came a fresh re- 
monstrance ; and the idea of my going on that day seemed so 
painful that I was obliged to submit. I therefore walked out 
over the rice-fields, which are here very extensive, covering a 
number of the little hills and valleys into whicn the whole 
country seems broken up, and obtained a fine view of hills and 
mountains in every direction. 

In the evening the Orang Kaya came in full dress (a spangled 
velvet jacket, but no trousers), and invited me over to his house, 
where he gave me a seat of honour under a canopy of white calico 
and coloured handkerchiefs. The great verandah was crowded 
with people, and large 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 
invocation, sprinkling rice from a basin he held in nis hand, 
while several large gongs were loudly beaten and a salute of 
muskets fired off. A large jar of rice wine, very sour but with 
an agreeable flavour, was then handed round, and I asked to see 
some of their dances. These were, like most savage performances, 
very dull and ungraceful affairs ; the men dressing themselves 
absurdly like women, and the girls making themselves as stiff 
and ridiculous as possible. All the time six or eight large Chinese 
gongs were being beaten bv the vigorous arms of as many young 
men, producing such a deafening discord that I was glad to escape 
to the round house, where I slept very comfortable with half^a 
dozen smoke-dried human skulls suspended over mv head. 


The river was now so shallow that boats could hardly get 
alon^. I therefore preferred walking to the next village, ex- 
pecting to see something of the country, but was much dis- 
appointed, as the path lay almost entirely through dense bamboo 
thickets. The Dyaks set two crops off the ground in succession ; 
one of rice and the other of su^ar-cane, maize, and vegetables. 
The ground then lies fallow eight or ten years, and becomes 
covered with bamlioos and shrubs, which often completely arch 
over the path and shut out everything from the view. Three 
hours' walking brought us to the village of Sendnkan, where I 
was again obliged to remain the whole day, wiiich I agreed to do 
on the promise of the Orang Kaya that his men should next day 
take me through two otiier villages across to S^nna, at the head 
of the Sardwak River. I amused myself as I best could till 
evening, by walking about the high ground near, to get views of 
the country and liearings of the chief mountains. There was 
then another public audience, with gift-s of rice and eggs, and 
drinking of rice wine. These Dyaks cultivate a great extent of 
ground, and supply a good deal of rice to Sarawak. They ai*e 
rich in gongs, brass trays, wire, silver coins, and other articles in 
which a Dyak's wealth consists ; and their women and children 
are highly ornamented with bead necklaces, shells, and brass 

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

lor 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 River, a main branch of the Bddong, we got 
on to the lower slopes of the Seboran Mountain, and the path 
lay along a sharp and moderately steep ridge, atFording an ex- 
cellent 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 had 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 

t>roducesuch vast quantities of well-rounded pebbles of the very 
lardest materials. They had evidently been formed in past ages, 
by the action of some continental stream or seabeach, before the 
great island of Borneo had risen from the ocean. The existence 
of such a system of hills and valleys reproducing in miniature all 
the features of a great mountain region, has an important bearing 
on the modern theory, that the form oi the ground is mainly due 
to atmospheric rather than to subterranean action. When we 
have a number of branching valleys and ravines running in 
many different directions within a square niile^ it seems hardly 
possible to impute their formation, or even their origination, to 
rents and fissures produced by earthquakes. On the other hand, 
the nature of the rock, so easily decomposed and removed by 
water, and the known action of the abundant tropical rains, are 
in this case, at least, quite sufficient causes for the production of 
such valleys. But the resemblance between their forms and out- 
lines, their mode of divergence, and the slopes and ridges that 
diviae them, and those of the grand mountain scenery of the 
Himalayas, is so remarkable, that we are forcibly led to the con- 
clusion 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, beautifully 
situated on a spur of the mountain about 600 feet above the 
valley, and affording a delightful view of the mountains of this 
part of Borneo. I here got a sight of Penrissen Mountain at the 
head of the Bardwak River, and one of the highest in the district, 
rising to about 6,000 feet above the sea. To the south the Rowan, 
and further off the Unto wan Mountains in the Dutch territory, 
appeared eaually lofty. Descending from Menyerry we again 
crossed the Kayan, which bends round the spur, and ascend^ to 
the pass which divides the S^ong and Sardwak valleys, and 
which is about 2,000 feet hi^h. The descent from this point was 
very fine. A stream, deep m 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 bv means 
of native bamboo bridges. Some of these were several hundred 
feet long and fifty or sixty high, a single smooth bamboo four 
inches in 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 a 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 satisfaction, 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 S^nna, when it had become a fine pebbly stream 
navigable for small canoes. Here again the upheaved slaty 
rock appeared, with the same dip and direction as m the Sddong 
River. On inquiring for a boat to take me down the stream, 1 
was told that the Senna Dyaks, although living on the river- 
banks, never made or used boats. They were mountaineers who 
had onlv come down into the valley about twenty years before, 
and had not yet Rot into new habits. They are of the same tribe 
as the people of Aienyerry 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 
Sardwak, 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 
skni of the Sea Dyaks. At length we came to a really dangerous 
rapid where boats were often swamped, and my men were afraid 
to pass it. Some Malays with a boat-load of rice here overtook 
us, and after safely passing down kindly sent back one of their 
men to assist me. As it was, my Dyaks lost their balance in the 
critical part of the passage, and had they been alone would 
certainly have upset the boat. The river now became exceed- 
ingly picturesque, the ground on each side being partially 
cleared for rice-fields, anbrding a ^ood view of the country. 
Numerous little granaries were built high up in trees over- 
hanging the river, and having a bamboo bridge sloping up to 
them from the bank ; and here and there bamboo suspension 
bridges crossed the stream, where overhanging trees favoured 
their construction. 

I slept that night in the village of the Sebungow Dyaks, and 
the next day reached Sarawak, passing through a most beautiful 
country, where limestone mountains with their 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, Kam- 
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. Tlie 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 nature. To those not used to it, it seems at first to smell 
like rotten onions, but immediately they have tasted it they 
prefer it to all other food. The natives give it 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 l)ear 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 eater. 

The Durian grows on a large and lofty forest tree, somewliat 
resembling an elm in its general character, but with a more 
smooth and scaly bark. The fruit is round or slightly oval, 
about the size of a large cocoanut, of a green colour, and covered 
all over with short stout spines, the Imses 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 
from whatever height it ma^ 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 tlie sutures of the carpels, and 
show where the fruit may be divided with a heavy kniie 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 which are two or three seeds about the size oi chestnuts. 
This pulp is the eatable part, and its consistence and flavour are 
indescribable. A rich butter-like custard highly flavoured with 
almonds gives the best general idea of it, but intermingled with 
it come wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion- 
sauce, brown sherry, and other incongruities. 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 
effect, ana 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, and the only way to eat 
Durians in perfection is to get them as they fall ; and the smell 
is then less overpowering. When unripe, it makes a very good 
vegetable if cooked, and it is also eaten by the Dyaks raw. In 
a good fruit season large quantities are 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 them 
orange-coloured inside ; and these are probably the origin of 


the large and fine Durians, which are never found wild. It 
would not, perhaps, be correct to say tliat the Durian is the 
best of all iruits, because it c^mnot supply the place of the 
subacid juicy kinds, such as the orange, grape, mango, and man- 
gostcen, whose ref feshing and cooling qualities are so wholesome 
and grateful ; but as producing a food of the most exquisite 
flavour it is unsurpassed. If I had to ^x on two only, as repre- 
senting 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 acci- 
dent-s 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 o]>en the 
esh, while the blow itself is very heavy ; but from this very 
circumstance death rarely ensues, the copious effusion of blood 
preventing the inflammation which might otherwise tafce place. 
A Dj$rak chief informed me that he had been struck down by a 
Dunan 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 hea^aest fruits 
known, however, the Brazil-nut fruit (Bertholletia) 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 con- 
clusions 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 ap- 
preciate the admirable qualities of the Bamboo. In those parts 
of South America which I had previously visits, these gigantic 
grasses were comparatively scarce, and where found but little 
used, their place being taken as to o||e 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, 
roundness, and hoUowness, the facilitv 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 ana 
wit^ which holes can be made through them, their hardness out- 
side, 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 hundred different 


purposes, to serve Tvhich other materials would require much 
more labour and preparation. The Bamboo is one of the most 
wonderful and most beautiful productions of the tropics, and one 
of nature's most valuable gifts to uncivilized man. 

The Dyak houses are all raised on posts, and are often two or 
three hundred feet long and forty or fifty wide. The floor is 
always formed of strips split from large Bamboos, so that each 
may oe nearly flat and about tliree 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 very smooth and agree- 
able to the feet, wliile at the same time anording 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 Bamooo 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 boards are made 
by splitting open large Bamboos on one side onl^, and flattening 
them out so as to form slabs eighteen inches wide and six feet 
long, with which some Dyaks floor their houses. These with 
constant rubbing of the feet and the smoke of years become 
dark and polished, like walnut or old oak, so that their real 
material can hardly be recognized. What labour is here saved 
to a savage whose only tools are an axe and a knife, and who, if 
he wants 1t)oards, must hew them out of the solid trunk of a tree, 
and must give days and weeks of labour to obtain a surface as 
smooth and beautiful as the Bamboo thus treated afibrds him. 
Again, if a temporary house is wanted, either by the native in 
his plantation or by the traveller in the forest, nothing is so 
convenient as the Bamboo, with which a house can be con- 
structed with a quarter of the laliour and time than if other 
materials are used. 

As I have already mentioned, the Hill Dyaks in the interior of 
Sarawak make paths for Ions distances from 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 carry the path along the face of a 
precipice. In all these cases the bridges they construct are of 
Bamboos, and so admirably adapted is the material for this pur- 
pose, that it seems doubtful whether they ever would have 
attempted such works if they hsul not possessed it. The Dyak 
bridge is simple but well designed. It consists merely of stout 
Bamooos crossing each other at the roadway like the letter X, and 
rising a few feet above it. At the crossing they are firmly bound 
together, and to a lar^e Bamboo which lays upon them and forms 
the only pathway, with a slender and often very shaky one to 
serve as a handrail. When a river is to be crossed an over- 


hanging tree is t-hoseii, from wliich tlie bridge is partly suspended 
and partly supported by diagonal etrutsfrom the banks, soaa to 
avoid placing posts in tlie stream itself, which would be liable to 
be curried away by floods. In carrying a path along the face of 
a precipice, trees and roots are made of for suspension ; 
struts arise from suitable notches or crevices in tlie rocka, and 
if these are not sufficient, immense Bamboos fifty or sixty feet 
long nre fixed on the banks or on the branch of a tree below. 
These bridges are traversed daily by men and women carrying 
heavy loads, bo that any insecurity is soon discovered, and, as the 
materials are close at hand, immediately repaired. When a jiath 
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 forni^ through wliich pees are drixen, and 
firm and convenient steps are thus formed with the greatest ease 
and celerity. It is true that much of this will decay in one or 
two seasons, but it can be so quickly replaced aa tomakeit moie 
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 ah'eady described at page 42. This 
methml is constantly used in order to obtain wax, which is one 
of the most laluable products of the country. The honey-bee 
of Borneo very generally hangs its combs under the branches of 


the Tappan, a tree which towers above all others in the forest, 
and whose smooth cylind^cal trunk often rises a hundred feet 
without a branch. The Dyaks climb these lofty trees at night, 
building up their Bamboo ladder as they go, ana bringing down 
ffigantic honeycombs. These furnish them with a delicious 
feast of honey and young bees, besides the wax, which they sell 
to traders, and with the proceeds buy the much- coveted brass 
wire, earrings, and gold-adged handkerchiefs with which they 
love to decorate themselves. In ascending Durian and other 
fruit trees which branch at from tliirty to fifty feet from the 
ground, I have seen them use tlie Bamboo pegs only, without 
the upright Bamboo which renders them so much more secure. 

The outer rind of the Bamboo, split and shaved thin, is the 
strongest material for baskets; nen-coops, bird-cages, and 
conical fish-traps are very quickly made from a single joint, by 
splitting off the skin in narrow strips left attached to one end, 
while rings of the same material or of i^ttan are twisted in at 
regular distances. Water is brought to the houses by little 
aqueducts formed of lar^e Bamboos split in half and supported 
on crossed sticks of various heights so as to give it a regular 
fall. Thin, long-jointed Bamboos form the Dyaks* only water- 
vessels, and a dozen of them stand in the comer of every house. 
They are clean, light, and easily carried, and are in many ways 
superior to earthen vessels for the same purpose. They also 
make excellent cooking utensils; vegetables and rice can be 
boiled in them to perfection, and they are often used when 
travelling. Salted fruit or fish, sugar, vinegar, and honey are 
preserved in them instead of in jars or bottles. In a small 
Bamboo case, prettily carved and ornamented, the Dyak carries 
his sirih and lime for betel chewing, and his little long-bladed 
knife has a Bamboo sheath. His favourite pipe is a huge 
hubble-bubble, which he will construct in a few minutes by 
inserting a small piece of Bamboo for a bowl obliquely into a 
large cylinder about six inches from the bottom containing 
water, through which the smoke passes to a long, slender 
Bamboo tube. There are many other small matters for which 
Bamboo is daily used, but enough has now been mentioned to 
show its value. In other parts of the Archipelago I have myself 
seen it applied to many new uses, and it is pi*obable that my 
limited means of observation did not make me acquainted with 
one-half the ways in which it is serviceable to the Dyaks of 

While ux)on the subject of plants I may here mention a few 
of the more striking vegetable productions of Borneo. The 
wonderful Pitcher-plants, forming the genus Nepenthes of 
botanists, here reach their greatest development. Every moun- 
tain-top abounds with them, running along the grouncL or 
climbing over shrubs and stunted ti*ees ; their elegant pitcners 
hanging in every direction. Some of these are long and 
Blender, resembling in form the beautiful Philippine lace-sponge 


(Euplectella\ which has now become so common ; others are broad 
and short. Their colours are g^reen, vfirioasly tinted and mottled 
with red or purple. The finest yet known were obtained on the 
summit of Kini-balou, in North-west Borneo. One of the broad 
sort. Nepenthes rajah, will hold two Quarts of water in its 
pitcher. Another, Nepenthes Edwarasiania^ has a narrow 
pitcher twenty inches long ; while the plant itself grows to a 
length of twenty feet. 

Ferns are abundant, but are not so varied as on the volcanic 
mountains of Java ; and Tree-ferns are neither so plentiful nor 
so large as in that island They grow, however, quite down to 
the level of the sea, and are generally slender and graceful 
plants from eight to fifteen feet nigh. Without devoting much 
time to the search I collected fifty species of Ferns in Borneo, 
and I have no doubt a good botanist would have obtained twice 
the number. The interesting group of Orchids is very abundant, 
but, as is generally the case, nine-tenths of the species have 
small and inconspicuous flowera. Amons the exceptions are 
the fine Coelogynes, whose large clusters of yellow flowers orna- 
ment the gloomiest forests, and that most extraordinary plant, 
Vanda Lowii, which last is particularly abundant near some hot 
springs at the foot of the Peniniauh Mountain. It grows on 
the lower branches of trees, ancl its strange pendant flower- 
spikes often hang down so as almost to re^ch the ground. 
These are flrenerally six or eight feet long, bearing large and 
handsome nowera three inches across, and varying in colour 
from orange to red, with deep purple-red spots. I measured 
one spike, which reached the extraordinary lengtli of nine feet 
eight inches, and bore thirty-six flowers, spirally arranged upon 
a slender thread-like stalk. Specimens grown in our English 
hot-houses have produced flower-spikes of equal length, and 
with a much larger number of blossoms. 

Flowers were scarce, as is usual in equatorial forests, and it 
was only at rare intervals that I met with anything striking. 
A few fine climbers were sometimes seen, especially a handsome 
crimson and yellow iEschynanthus, and a fine leguminous 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 
Polyalthea. producing a most striking efiect in the gloomy forest 
shades. Tney were about thirty feet high, and their slender 
trunks were covered with large star-like crimson flowers, which 
clustered over them like garlands, and resembled some ai*tificial 
decoration more than a natural product. 

The forests abound with gigantic trees with cylindrical, but- 
tressed, or furrowed stems, while occasionally the traveller 
comes upon a wonderful fig-tree, whose trunk is itself a forest 
of stems and aerial roots. Still more rarely are found trees 
which appear to have beg^in growing in mid-air, and from the 
same point send out wide- spreading branches above and a com- 
plicated pyramid of roots descending for seventy or eighty feet 


to the ground below, and so spreading on every side^ that one 
can Btaad in the veiy centre with the trunk of the ti'ee imnie- 
diat«lj; overhead. Trees 
of this character are 
found all over the Archi- 
pela^, and the preced- 
ing illustration (taken 
from one wliich I often 
visited in the Aru la- 
lands) will convey some 
idea of tlieir general 
character. I believe that 
they originate as para- 
sites, from seeds carried 
by birds and dropped in 
the fork of some lofty 
tree. Hence descend 
aerial roots, clasping 
and ultimately destroy- 
ing the aujiporting tree, 
which is in time en- 
tirely replaced hv tlie 
humble plant which was 
at first dependent upon 
it. Thus we have an 
actual struggle for life 
in the vegetable king- 
dom, not less fatal to 
the vanquished than the 
struggles among ani- 
mals which we can so 
much more easily ob- 
serve and understand. Tin 
quicker access to light am 
air, which is gained in one w 
plants, is here obtained b] 
which has the means of sta 
an elevation which others c 
after many years of gro' 
only when tjie fall of some 
made room for them. Thi 
the warm and moist and e 
of the tropics, each availii 
seized upon, and becomes 
developing new forms of 
adaptwl to occupy it 

On reaching Sarawak early in Decern- nww lowii. 

ber I found there would not be an oppor- 
tunity of returning to Singapore till the latter end of January. 
I therefore accepted Sir James Brooke's invitation to spend a 


week witli liim and Mr. St. John at his cottage on Peninjauh. 
This ia a very st«ep pyramidal mountain of crystalline basaltic 

rock, about a tliousnnd feet liigli, anil covered with luxuriant 
Forest. There are three Dj'nk villages upon it, and on a little 
platform near the summit is the rude wooden lodge where the 


English Rajah was accustomed to go for relaxation and cool 
fresh air. It is only twenty miles up the river, but the road 
up the mountain is a succession of ladders on the face of 
precipices, bamboo bridges over gullies and chasms and slippery 
paths over rocks and tree-trunks and huge boulaers as big as 
nouses. A cool spring under an overhanging rock just below 
the cottage furnished us with refreshing baths and delicious 
drinking water, and the Dyaks brought us daily heaped-up 
baskets of Mangusteens and Lansats, two of the most delicious 
of the subacid tropical fruits. We returned to Sarawak for 
Christmas (the second I had spent with Sir James Brooke), 
when all the Europeans both in the town and from the out- 
stations enjoyed the hospitality of the Rajah, who possessed in 
a pre-eminent degree the art of making every one around him 
comfortable and happy. 

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

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




the state of the weather and the degree in which moths were 
attracted to light, I add a list of my captures each night of my 
stay on the hiU, 


No. of 



Dea Idth 


Fine; starlight. 

„ 14th 


Drizzly and fog. 

„ 15th 


Showery; cloudy. 

,, 16th 


(120 species.) Steady rain. 

„ 17th 


Wet ; rather moonlight 

„ 18th 


Fine ; moonlight 

„ 19th 


Fine; clear moonlight 

*, Slat 


(130 species.) Dark and windy; 
heavy rain. 


Jan. Ist 


Very wet. 

»i 2nd 


Cloudy and showers. 

M 8rd 



„ 4th 



„ 5th 



„ 6th 


Very fine. 

1. 7th 


Very fine. 

,, 8th 



„ 9th 



„ 10th 



„ 11th 


Heavy rain all night, and dark. 

„ 12th 



„ 13th 


Showery ; some moonlight 

„ 14th 


Fine ; moonlight. 

„ 15th 


Rain ; moonlight. 

„ 16th 


Showers; moonlight 

„ 17th 


Showers; moonlight. 

„ 18th 


Showers; moonlight. 



It thus appears that on twenty-six nights I collected 1.386 
moths, but that more than 800 of them were collected on tour 
very wet and dark nights. My success here led me to hope 
that^ by similar arrangements, t might in every island be able 
to obtain abundance of these insects; but, strange to say, 
during the six succeeding years I was never once able to make 
any collections at all approaching those at Sardwak. The 
reason of this I can prettv well understand to be owing to the 
absence of some one or other essential condition tliat were here 
all combined. Sometimes the dry season was the hindrance ; 
more frequently 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 expenence, my numerous failures, and my one success, I 
feef 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 repav 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 collection of noc- 
turnal Lepidoptera, and also of obtaining rare specimens of 
Goleoptera ana other insects. I make the suggestion here, be- 
cause no one would suspect the enormous difference in results 
that such an apparatus would produce ; 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 subsequently accompanied me all over the 
Archipelaffo. Charles Allen preferred staying at the Mission- 
house, ana afterwards obtained employment in Sarawak and in 
Singapore, till he again joined me tour years later at Amboyna 
in the Moluccas. 



The manners and customs 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 manv 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 
characterized by a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown skin of 
various shades, oy iet-black straight hair, by the scanty or de- 
ficient 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 typical Mongols. The 
average stature of the Dyaks is rather more than that of the 
Malays, while it is considerably under that of most Europeans. 

F 2 


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 Chinese. 

I am inclined to rank the Dyaks above the Malays in mental 
capacity, while in moral character they are undoubtedly superior 
to them. They are simple and lionest, and become the prey of 
the Malay and Chinese traders^ who cheat and plunder tnem 
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 g^ames, which form quite a feature in the life of the 
Dyak youths, who, besides outdoor games of skill and strength, 

g>ssess a variety of indoor amusements. One wet day, in a 
yak 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 ab- 
sorbs the whole faculties, and in which every thought and idea 
is connected with war or hunting, or the pix)vision for their 
immediate necessities. These amusements indicate a capability 
of civilization, an aptitude to enjoy other than mere sensual 
pleasures, which might be taken advantage of to elevate their 
whole intellectual and social life. 

The moral character of the Dyaks is undoubtedly high — a 
statement which will seem strange to those who have heard of 
them only as head-hunters and pirates. The Hill Dyaks of whom 
I am speaking, however, have never been pirates, since they never 
go near the sea ; and head-hunting is a custom originating in the 
petty wars of village with village, and tribe with tribe, which no 
more implies a bad moral character than did the custom of the 
slave-traae a hundred years ago imi)ly want of general morality 
in all who participated in it. Against this one stain on their 
character (which m the case of the Sarawak Dyaks no longer 
exists) we nave 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 tliem any definite information, or even 
an opinion. Tney say, " If I were to tell you what I don't know, 
I miglit tell a lie ; " and whenever they voluntarily relate any 
matter of fact, you may be sure they are speaking the truth. In 
a Dyak village the fruit trees have each their owner, and it has 
often happened to me, on asking an inhabitant to gather me 


some fruit, to be answered, " I can't do that, for the owner of the 
tree is not here ; " never seeming to contemplate the possibility 
of acting otherwise. Neither will they take the smallest thing 
belonging to an European. When living at Simunjon, the^ con- 
tinually came to my house, and would pick up scraps ot torn 
newspaper or crooked pins that I had thrown away, and ask as 
a great favour whether they might Jiave them. Crimes 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. Thev have the usual fault of all people 
in a half -savage state — apatny and dilatoriness ; but, however 
annoying this may be to Europeans who come in contact with 
them, it cannot be considered a very ^rave offence, or be held to 
outweigh their many excellent qualities. 

During my residence among the Hill Dyaks, I was much struck 
by the apparent absence of those causes which are generally 
supposed to check the increase of population, although there 
were plain indications of stationary or but slowly increasing 
numbers. The conditions most favourable to a rapid increase of 
population are, an abundance of food, a healthy climate, and 
earlv man*iages. Here these conditions all exist. The people 
produce far more food than they consume, and exchange the 
surplus for gongs and brass cannon, ancient jars, and gold and 
silver ornaments, which constitute tneir wealth. On the whole, 
they appear very free from disease, marriages take place early 
(but not too earlyX and old bachelors and old maids are alike 
unknown. Why, tnen, we must inquire, has not a greater popu- 
lation been proauced ? Why are the Dyak villages so smaU and 
so widely scattered, while nine-tenths of the country is still 
covered with forest i 

^ Of all the checks to population among savage nations men- 
tioned by Malth us-— starvation, disease, war, infanticide, im- 
morality, and infertility of the women —the last is that which he 
seems to think least important, and of doubtful efficacy ; and 
yet it is the only one that seems to me capable of accounting for 
the state of the population among the Sarawak Dyaks. The 
population of Great Britain increases so as to double itself in 
about fifty years. To do this it is evident that each married 
couple must average three children who live to be married at the 
aee of about twenty-five. Add to these those who die in infancy, 
those who never marry, or those who marry late in life and have 
no offspring, the number of children bom to each marriage must 
average four or five ; and we know that families of seven or eight 
are very common, and of ten and twelve by no means rar& Sut 
from inquiries at almost every J)yak tribe I visited. I as- 


oertained that the women rarely had more than three or four 
children, and an old chief assured me that he had never known 
a 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 Eyropean countries, it is evident tliat the 
number of children to each marriage can hardly average more 
than three or four ; and as even in civilized countries half the 
population die before the age of twenty-five, we should have only 
two left to replace their parents ; and so long as this state of 
things continued, the population must remain stationary. Of 
course this is a mere illustration ; but the facts I have stated 
seem to indicate that something of the kind really takes place ; 
and if so, there is no difiicult^ in understanding the smallness 
and almost stationary population of the Dyak tribes. 

We have next to inquire what is the cause of the small number 
of births and of living children in a family. Climate and race 
may have sometliing to do with this, but a more real and 
efficient cause seems to me to be the hard labour of the women, 
and the heavy weights they constantly carry. A Dyak woman 
generally spends trie whole day in the field, and carries home 
every night a heavy load of vegetables and firewood, often for 
sevei*al miles, over rough and hifly paths ; and not unfreauently 
has to climb up a rocky mountain dv ladders, and over slipi>ery 
stepping-stones, to an 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 de- 
crepitude of age. Surely we need not wonder at the limited 
number of her progeny, but rather be surprised at the successful 
efibrts of nature to prevent the extermination of the race. 

One of the surest and most beneficial efiects of advancing 
civiliziition, 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 taste 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 com- 
plicated social state will take the place of the simple conditions 
of society which now obtain among them. But, with the sharper 
struggle for existence that will then occur, will the happiness of 
the people as a whole be increased or diminished ? Will not evil 
pussions be aroused by the spirit of competition, and crimes and 


vices, now unknown or dormant^ be called into active existence? 
These are problems that time alone can solve ; but it is to be 
hoped that education and a high-class Euro})ean example may 
obviate much of the evil i hat too often arises in analogous cases, 
and that we may at length be able to point to one instance ot 
an uncivilized people who have not become demoralized and 
finalhr exterminated, by contact with European civilization. 

A tew words in conclusion^bout the government of Sardwak. 
Sir James Brooke found the Dvaks oppressed and ground down 
by the most cruel tyranny. They were cheated by the Malay 
traders, and robbed by the Malay chiefs. Their wives and 
children were often captured and sold into slavery, and hostile 
tribes purchased nermission from their cruel rulers to nlunder, 
enslave, ^nd murder tiiem. Anything like justice or redress for 
these injuries was utterly unattainable. From the time Sir 
James obtained possession of the country, all this .was stopped. 
Equal justice was awarded to Malay, Chinaman, and Dyak. llie 
remorseless pirates from the rivers farther east were punished, 
and finally snut up within their own territories, and the Dyak, 
for the first time, could sleep in peace. His wife and chilaren 
were now safe from slavery ; nis house was no longer burnt over 
his head ; his crops and his fruits were now his own, to sell or 
consume as he pleased. And the unknown stranger who had 
done all this for them, and asked for nothing in return, what 
could he be? How was it possible for them to realize his 
motives ? Was it not natural that they should refuse to believe 
he was a man ? for of pure benevolence combined with great 
power, they had hsul no exi)erience among men. They naturallv 
concluded that he was a superior being, come down upon earth 
to confer blessings on the afflicted. In many villages where he 
had not been seen, I was asked strange questions about him. 
Was he not as old as the mountains ? Could he not bring the 
dead to life ? And they firmly believe that he can give them 
good harvests, and make their fruit-trees bear an abundant 

In forming a proper estimate of Sir James Brookes govern- 
ment, it must ever oe remembered that he held Sardwak solely 
by the goodwill of the native inhabitants. He had to deal witn 
two races, one of whom, the Mahometan Malays, looked upon 
the other race, the Dvaks, as savages and slaves, only fit to be 
robbed and plundered. He has effectually protected the Dyaks, 
and has invariably treated them as, in his sight, equal to the 
Malays * and yet he has secured the affection and goodwill of 
both. Notwithstanding the religious prejudices of Mahometans, 
he has induced them to modify many of their worst laws and 
customs, and to assimilate their criminal code to that of the 
civilized world. That his government still continues, after 
twenty-seven years — notwithstanding his frequent absences 
from lU-health, notwithstanding conspiracies of Malay chiefs, 
and insurrections of Chinese gold-diggers, all of which have 


been overcome by the suppoi*t 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 every action of his life, that he ruled 
them, not for his own advantege, but for their good. 

Since these lines were wtitten, his noble spirit has passed 
away. But though, by those who knew him not, he may be 
sneered at as an enthusiastic 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 Kajah Brooke was a great, a wise, 
and a good ruler — a true and faithful friend — a man to be ad- 
mired for his talents, resi)ected for his honesty and courage, and 
loved for his genuine hospitality, his kindness of disposition, 
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 the 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 large annual revenue from it, while the population in- 
creases, and the inhabitants are contented, I recommend the 
study of Mr. Money's excellent and interesting work, How to 
Manage a Colony, The main facts and conclusions of that work 
I most heartily concur in, and I believe that the Dutch system 
is the very best that can be adopted, when a European nation 
conquers or otherwise acquires possession of a country inhabited 
by an industrious but semi-barbarous people. In my account 
of Northern Celebes, I shall show how successfully the same 
system has been applied to a people in a very different state of 
civilization from tne Javanese ; and in the meanwhile will state 
in the fewest words possible what that system is. 

The mode of government now adopted in Java is to retain the 
whole series of native rulers, from the village chief up to princes, 
who, under the name of Kegents, are the heads of aistricts 
about the size of a small English county. With each Eegent is 

1 The present Riyah, Charles Johnson Brooke, nepliew of Sir James, seems to have 
continued tiie goyemmei^t In the spirit of its founder. Its territories have been extended 
by friendly arrangement with the Sultan of Bruni so as to include the laiger part of the 
norUi-west district of Borneo, and peace and prosperity have everywhere been main- 
tained. Fifty years of government of alien and anta^nistic races, with their own 
consent, and with the continued support of the native chiefs, is a success of wliich the 
friends and coantxrmen of Sir James Brooke may well be proud. 


VII.] JAVA. 78 

I>laced a Dutch Resident, or Assistant Resident, who is con- 
sidered to be his " elder brother," and whose " orders " take the 
form of " recominendations," which are however implicitly 
obeyed. Along with each Assistant Resident is a Controller, a 
kind of inspector of all the lower native rulers, who periodically 
visits every village in the district, examines tne proceedings of 
the native courts hears complaints against the head-men or 
other native chieis, and superintends the Government planta- 
tions. This brings us to the "culture system," which is the 
source of all the wealth the Dutch derive from Java, and is the 
Bubiect of much abuse in this country because it is the reverse 
of free trade." To understand its uses and beneficial effects, it 
is necessary first to sketch the common results of free European 
trade with uncivilized peoples. 

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

The system introduced by the Dutch was to induce the people, 
through their chiefs, to give a portion of their time to the 
cultivation of coffee, sug^r, and other valuable products. A 
fixed rate of wages — low indeed, but about equal to that of all 
places where European competition has not artificially raised it 
— was paid to the labourers engaged in* clearing the ^ound and 
foitning the plantations under Government supenntendenoe 
The produce is sold to the Government at a low fixed price. 
Out of the^ net profits a percentage goes to the chiefs, and the 
remainder is divided among the workmen. This surplus in good 
years is something considerable. On the whole, the people are 
well fed and decently clothed ; and have acquired habits of 


steady industry and the art of scientific cultivation, which must 
be of service to them in the future. It must be remembered, 
that the Government expended capital for years before anj 
return was obtained ; and if they now derive a large revenue, it 
is in a way which is far less burtnensome, and far more beneficial 
to the people, than any tax that could be levied. 

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

A tale has lately been written in Holland, and translated into 
English, entitled ifax Havelaar; or^ Tfie Co fee Auctions of the Dutch 
Trading Company^ and with our usual one-sidedness in all 
relating to the Dutch Colonial System, this work has been 
excessively praised, both for its own merits, and for its supposed 
crushing exposure of the iniquities of the Dutch government of 
Java. Greatly to my surprise, I found it a very tedious and 
long-winded story, full of rambling digressions * and whose only 

Soint is to show that the Dutch Residents ana Assistant Resi- 
ents wink at the extortions of the native princes ; and that in 
some districts the natives have to do wort without payment, 
and have their goods taken away from them without com- 
pensation. Every statement of this kind is thickly interspersed 
with italics and capital letters ; but as the names are all fic- 
titious, and neither dates, figures, nor details are ever given, it 
is impossible to verify or answer them. Even if not exaggerated, 
the facts stated are not nearly so bad as those of the oppression 
by free-trade indigo-planters, and torturing by native tax- 
gatherers under Britisn rule in India, with which the readers of 
English newspapers were familiar a few years ago. Such op- 
' pression, however, is not fairly to be imputed in either case to 
tlie particular form of government, but is ratlier due to the 
infirmity of human nature, and 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 that of our 

VII.] JAVA. 76 

rule in India^ and that there have been several changes of 
government, and in the mode of raising revenue. The inhabit- 
ants 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 masters, or to diminish the 
oppressive exactions which the latter have always been accus- 
tomed to make. There is, however, one grand test of the 
prosperity, and even of the happiness, of a community, wjiich 
we can apply here — the rate of increase of the population. 

It is universally admitted, that when a country increases 
rapidly in population, the people cannot be very greatly 
oppressed or very baaly governed. The present system of 
raising a revenue by the cultivation of coffee and sugar, sold to 
Qovemment at a fixed price, began in 1832. Just before this, 
in 1826, the population by census was 5,500,000, while at the 
beginning of the century it was estimated at 3,500,000. In 1850, 
when the cultivation system had been in operation eighteen 
years, the population by census was over 9,500,000, or an increase 
of seventy- three per cent, in twenty-four years. At the last 
census, in 1865, it amounted to 14,168,416, an increase of very 
nearly fiftv 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 ffive an average of 368 persons to the square mile, just 
double that of the populous and fertile Beneai 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 ana 
happy, the Dutch Qovemment should consider well before 
abruptly changing a system which has led to such great 

Taking it as a whole, and surveying it from every point of 
view, Java is prolmbly the very finest and most interestinjg 
tropical island in the world. It is not first in size, but it is 
more than 600 miles long, and from sixty 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 populotis island 
within the tropics. Its whole surface is magnificently varied 
with mountain and forest scenery. It possesses thirty-eiffht 
volcanic mountains, several of which nse to. ten or twelve 
thousand feet high. Some of these are in constant activity, and 
one or other of them displays almost every phenomenon pro- 
duced by the action of subterranean fires, except regular lava 
streams, which never occur in Java. The abundant moisture 
and tropical heat of the climate causes these mountains to be 
clothed with luxuriant ve^tation, often to their very summits, 
while forests and plantations cover their lower slopes. The 
animal productions, especially the birds and insects, are 

1 In 1870 the populatiou had still further Increased to over nineteen milllona, and 
In 1804 to twenty-iiTe mlUione. 


beautiful and varied, and present many peculiar forms found 
nowhere else upon the globe. The soil throughout the island is 
exceedingly fertile, and all the productions of the tropics, 
together with many of the temperate zones, can be easily culti- 
vated. Java too possesses a civilization, a history and anti- 
quities of its own, of great interest. The Brahminical religion 
nourished in it from an epoch of unknown antiquity till about 
the year 1478, when that ot Mahomet sui^erseded it. The former 
religion was accompanied by a civilization which has not been 
equalled b^ the conquerors ; for, scattered through the country, 
especially in the eastern part of it, are found buried in lofty 
forests, temples, tombs, and statues of great beauty and 
grandeur ; and the remains of extensive cities, where the tiger, 
the rhinoceros, and the wild bull now roam undisturbed. A 
modern civilization of another type is now spreading over the 
land. Good roads run through the country from end to end ; 
European and native rulers work harmoniously together ; and 
life and property are as well secured as in the best governed 
states of Europe. I believe, therefore, that Java may fairly 
claim to be the finest tropical island in the world, and equally 
interesting to the tourist seeking after new and beautiful scenes ; 
to the naturalist wlio desires to examine the variety and beauty 
of tropical nature ; or to the moralist and the politician who 
want to solve the problem of how man may be best governed 
under new and varied conditions. 

The Dutch mail steamer brought me from Temate to Soura- 
baya, the chief town and port in the eastern part of Java, and 
after a fortnight spent in packing up and sending off my last 
collections, I started on a short journey into the interior. 
Travelling in Java is very luxurious but very expensive, the 
only way Deing to hire or borrow a carriage, and then pay half- 
a-crown a mile for post-horses, which are changed at regular 
posts every six miles, and will carry you at the rate of ten miles 
an hour from one end of the island to the other. Bullock carts 
or coolies are required to cany all extra baggage. As this kind 
of travelling would not suit my means, I determined on making 
only a short journey to the district at the foot of Mount Arjuna, 
where I was told there were extensive fore.sts, and where I hoped 
to be able to make some good collections. The country for many 
miles behind Sourabaya is perfectly flat and everywhere culti- 
vated, being a delta or alluvial plain watered by many branch- 
ing streams. Immediately around the town the evident signs of 
wealth and of an industrious population were very pleasing: 
but as we went on, the constant succession of open fielas skirtea 
by rows of bamboos, with here and there the white buildings and 
tall chimney of a sugar-mill, became monotonous. The roads 
run in straight lines for several miles at a stretch, and are 
bordered by rows of dusty tamarind-trees. At each mile there 
are little guard-houses, where a policeman is stationed ; and 

VII.] JAVA. 77 

there is a wooden gong:, which by means of concerted signals 
may be made to convey information over the country with great 
rapidity. About every six or seven miles is the post-house, where 
the horses are changed as quicklv as were those of the mail in 
the old coaching days in England. 

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

J resented the Hindoo goddess Durga, called in Java, Lora 
onggrang (the exalted virgin). She has eight arms, and stands 
on the back of a kneeling bull.- Her lower right hand holds the 
tail of the bull, while the corresponding lert hand grasps the 
hair of a captive, Dewth Mahikusor, the personification of vice, 
who has attempted to slay her bull. He has a cord round his 
waist^ and crouches at her feet in an attitude of supplication. 
The other hands of the goddess hold, on her right side, a double 
hook or small anchor, a broad straight sword, and a noose of 
thick cord ; on her left^ a girdle or armlet of large beads or 


■bellB, an unstruDg bow, aod a standard or war flag. Thii deity 
was a special favourite among the old Javanese, and her imtwe 
is often found in the ruined temples which abound in tAe 
eastern part of the island. 

The specimen I had obtained was a small one, about two feet 
high, weighing perhaps a hundredweight ; and the next day we 
had It conveyed to Modjo-kerto to await my return toSourabaya. 
Having decided to stay some time at Wonosalem, on the lower 

slopes of the Arjuna Mountain, where I was informed I should 
find forest and plenty of game, I hnd first to obtain a recom- 
mendation from the Assistant Itesident to the Regent, and then 
an order from the Reeent to the Waidono ; and when after a 
week's delay I arrived with my baggage and men at Modjo- 
amsng, I found them all in the midst oi a five days' feast, to 
celebrate the circumcision of the Waidono's younger orother and 
cousin, and had a small room in an outhouse given me to stay in. 

Yli.] JAVA. 79 

The courtyard and the great open reoeption-shed were full of 
natives coming and going and making preparations for a feast 
which was to take place at midnight, to which I was invited, but 
preferred going to bed. A native band, or Gamelang, was play- 
ing almost all the evening, and I haa a good opportunity of 
seeing the instruments ana musicians. The former are chiefly 
gongs of various sizes, arranged in sets of from eight to twelve, 
on low wooden frames. Each set is played by one performer 
with one or two drumsticks. There are also some very large 
gongs, played singly or in pairs, and taking the place of our 
arums and kettledrums. Other instruments are formed by broad 
metallic bars, supported on strings stretched across frames ; and 
others again of strips of bamboo similarly placed and producing 
the highest notes. Besides these there were a flute and a curious 
two-stringed violin, requiring in all twenty-four performers. 
There was a conductor, who led off and regulated 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, and some of the players were mere 
bo^s, who took their parts with great precision. The general 
effect was very pleasing, but, owing to the similarity of most of 
the instruments, more like a ^gantic musical box than one of 
our bands : and in order to enjoy it thoroughly it is necessary 
to watch the large number of performers who are engaged in it. 
The next morning, while I was waiting for the men and horses 
who were to take me and my baggage to my destination, the 
two lads, who were about fourteen years old, were brought out, 
clothed in a sarong from the waist downwards, and having the 
whole body covered with a yellow powder, and profusely decked 
with white blossoms in wreaths, necklaces, and armlets, looking 
at first sight verv like savage brides. Thev were conducted by 
two priests to a bench placed in front of the house in the open 
air, and the ceremony of circumcision was then performed before 
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 roval tomb or mausoleum. It is formed entirely of 
stone, and elaborately carved. Near the base is a course of 
boldly projecting blocics, sculptured in liigh relief, with a series 
of scenes which are probably incidents in the life of the defunct. 
These are all beautifully executed, some of the figures of animals 
in particular being easily recognizable 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 retreating courses 
of squared stones in place of mouldings. The size of this structure 
is about thirty feet square by twenty high, and as the traveller 
comes suddenly upon it on a small elevation by the roadside, 
overshadowed by giffantic 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 pro^n*e8s, which looks so like re- 
trogression, and which m 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 t^ke most persons 
by surprise to learn that they far surpass those of Central 
America^ perhaps even those of India. To give some idea of 
these rums, and perchance to excite wealthy amateurs to explore 
them thoroughly and obtain by photography an accurate record 
of their beautiful sculptures before it is tcK> late, I will enumerate 
the most important, as briefly described in Sir Stamford Baffles' 
Ilistory of Java, 

Brahbanam. — Near the centre of Java, between the native 
capitals of Djoko-kerta and Surakerta, is the village of Bram- 
banam, near which are abundance of ruins, the most impoiiant 
being the temples of Loro-Jongran and Chandi Sewa. At Loro- 
Jongran there were twenty separate buildings, six large and 
fourteen small temples. Thev are now a mass of ruins, but the 
largest temples ai*e supposed to have been ninety feet high. 
They were atll constructed of solid stone, everywhere decorated 
with carN'ings and bas-reliefs, and adorned with numbers of 
statues, many of which still remain entire. At Chandi Sewa, 
or the "Thousand Temples,'' are many fine colossal figures. 
Captain Baker, who surveved these ruins, said he had never in 
his life seen " such stupendous and finished specimens of human 
labour, and of the science and taste of ages lon^ since foreot, 
crowded together in so small a compass as in this spot." Tney 
cover a space of nearly six hundred feet square, and consist of an 
outer row of eighty-four small temples, a second row of seventy- 
six, a third of sixty-four, a fourth of forty-four, and the fifth 
forming an inner parallelogram of twenty-eight; in all two 
hundred and ninety-six small temples, disposed in five regular 
parallelograms. In the centre is a large cruciform temple sur- 
rounded by lofty flights of steps richly ornamented with 
sculpture, and containing many apartments. The tropical vege- 
tation has ruined most of the smaller temples, but some remain 
tolerably perfect, from which the effect of the whole may be 

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

BoROBODO. — About eighty miles westward, in the province of 
Kedu, is the great temple of Boroboda It is built upon a small 

vu.] JAVA. 81 

hilL and consists of a central dome and seven ranges of terraced 
walls covering the slope of the hill and forming open galleries 
each below the other, and communicating by steps and ^teways. 
The central dome is fifty feet in diameter ; around it is a triple 
circle of seventy-two towers, and the whole building is six 
hundred and twenty feet square, and about one hundred feet 
high. In the terrace walls are niches containing cross-legged 
figures larger than life to the number of about four hundred, and 
both sides of all the terrace walls are covered with bas-reliefs 
crowded with figures, and carved in hard stone ; and which must 
therefore occupy an extent of nearly three miles in length I The 
amount of human labour and skill expended on the Great 
Pyramids of Egypt sinks into insignificance when compared with 
that required to complete this sculptured hill-temple in the 
interior of Java. 

QuNONG Pkatj. — About forty miles south-west of Samaran^, 
on a mountain called Gunong Prau, an extensive plateau is 
covered with ruins. To reach these temples four flights of stone 
steps were made m> the mountain from opposite directions, each 
flight consisting ot 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 countrv 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 Malan^, there are 
eaually abundant traces of antiquity, but the buildings them- 
selves have been mostly destroyed. Sculptured figures, however, 
abound ; and the ruins of forts, palac^ baths, aqueducts ana 
temples, can be everywhere tracecL It is altogether contrary to 
the plan of this book to describe what I have not myself seen ; 
but, having been led to mention them, I felt bound to do some- 
thing to call attention to these marvellous works of art. One is 
overwhelmed by the contemplation of these innumerable sculp- 
tures, worked with delicacy and artistic feeling in a hani, 
intractable, trachytic rock, and all found in one tropical island. 
What could have oeen the state of society, what the amount of 
population, what the means of subsistence which rendered such 
gigantic works possible, will, perhaps, ever remain a mystery ; 
and it is a wondei*ful 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 in- 
habitants 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 Riants or of demons. 
It is much to be regretted thlEit the Dutch Government do not 
take vi^rous 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 



Wonosalem is situated about a thousand feet above the sea, 
but unfortunately it is at a distance from the forest^ and is sur- 
rounded by coffee-plantation^ thickets of bamboo, and coarse 
grasses. It was too far to walk back daily to the forest, and in 
other directions I could find no collecting ground for insects. 
The place was, however, famous for peacocks, and my boy soon 
shot several of these magniBcent 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 )yemg 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 geo^aphical dis- 
tribution that the peacock should not be found in Sumatra or 
Borneo, while the superb Argus, Fire-backed, and Ocellated 

Eheasants of those islands are equally unknown in Java. 
Ixactly parallel is the fact that in Ceylon and Southern India, 
where the peacock abounds, there are none of the splendid 
Lophophori and other gorgeous pheasants which inhabit 
Northern India. It would seem as it 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 alto- 
gether unrivalled for stateliness and beauty. As it is, I suppme 
scarcely any one if asked to fix upon the most beautiful binl in 
the world would name the x)eacock, any more than the Papuan 
savaee 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 
I'emains were discovered, 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 pursuit of a 
tiger in this way. They surround a lar^e tract of country, and 
draw gradually together till the animal is enclosed in a compact 
ring of armed men. When he sees there is no escape he generally 
makes a spring, and is received on a dozen spears, and almost 
instantly stabbed to death. The skin of an animal thus killed is. 
of course, worthier and in this case the skull, which I had 
begged ^[r. 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 altogether pretty well 
suited to my pursuits. The chief of the village had prepared 

VII.] JAVA. 88 

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 scarcitv of insects, and especially of beetles. I therefore 
devoted myself chiefly to obtaining a ^od set of the birds, and 
succeeded m making a tolerable couection. All the peacocks we 
had hitherto shot had had short or imperfect tails, but I now 
obtained two magnificent specimens more than seven feet long, 
one of which I preserved entire, while I kept the train onfy 
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 ana cumberaome train of feathers. 
It does so, however, with great ease, by running quickly for a 
short distance, and then rising obliquely ; and will ny over trees 
of a consideraole height. I also obtained here a specimen of the 
rare green jungle-fowl ^Gallus 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 is also remarkable in possessing a single large 
wattle beneath its throat, brightly coloured in tnree patches of 
redf yellow, and blue. The common jungle-cock (Gallus bankiva) 
was also obtained here. It is almost exactly like a common 
gamecock, but the voice is different, being much shorter and 
more abrupt ; whence its native name is Bek^ko. Six different 
kinds of woodpeckers and four kingfishers were found hera the 
fine hombill, Iftuceros lunatus, more tlian four feet long, and the 
pretty little lorikeet, Loriculus pusillus, scarcely more than as 
many inches. 

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

In a month's collecting at Wonosalem and Djapannan I accu- 
mulated 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 

G 2 


which broaeht myself, servants, and baggage at one-fifth the 
expense it had cost me to come to Modjo-kerto. The river hu 
been rendered navigable by being carefully banked up, but 
with the usual effect of rendering the adjacent country liable 
occasionally to severe floods. An imoieose 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 

A few days after- 
wards I went by 
steamer to Batavia, 
where I stayed about 
a week at the chief 
hotel, while I 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 Euro- 
pean merchants are 
in a suburb two miles 
off, laid out in wide 
streets and squares 
so aa to cover a great 
extent of ground. 
This is very incon- 
venient for visitors, 
as the only public 
conveyances are 
handsome two-horse 
carriages, whose low- 
est chaive is five 
Kilders (St. 4d.) for 
If a day, so that 
KiBTKAiT or i»T*»Mi cHiiT ^n hour's business in 

the morning and a 
visit in the evening costs 16i. Sd. a day for carriage hire 

Batavia agrees very well with Mr. Money's graphic account 
of it, except that his "clear canals "were ail muddy, and his 
"smooth gravel drives" up to the houses were one and all 
formed of coarse pebbles, very painful to walk upon, and liardly 
explained by the fact that in ^tavtaeverylxxly drives, as it can 
hardly be supposed that people never walk in their gardens. 
The H6te1 des Indes was very comforiiable, each visitor having a 
Bitting-room and liedroom opening on a verandah, where he can 

▼II.] JAVA. 86 

take his morning ooiiee 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 table (TMie 
breakfast at ten, and dinner at six, for all which there is a 
moderate charge per day. 

I went by coach te Buitenzorg, foi*ty miles inland and about 
a thousand feet above the sea, celebrated for its delicious climate 
and its Botanical Gardens. With the latter I was somewhat 
disappointed. The walks were all of loose pebbles, making any 
lenffthened wanderings about them very tiring and painful 
under a tropical sun. The gardens are no doubt wonderfully 
rich in tropical and especially in Malavan plants, but there is a 
great absence of skilful laying-out ; there are not enough men 
to keep the place thoroughlv in order, and the plants themselves 
are seldom to be compared for luxuriance and beauty to the 
same species grown in our hothouses. This can easily l^e ex- 
plained. The plants can rarely be placed in natural or verv 
favourable conditions. The climate is either too hot or too cool, 
too moist or too dry, for a large proportion of them, and they 
seldom get the exact quantity of shade or the right quality of 
soil to suit them. In our stoves these varied conditions can be 
supplied to each individual plant far better than in a large 
{garden, where the fact that the plants are most of them growing 
m or near their native country is supposed to preclude the 
necessity of giving them much individual attention. Still, how- 
ever, there is much to admire here. There are avenues of stately 
palms, and clumps of bamboos of perhaps fifty different kinds ; 
and an endless variety of tropical shrubs and trees with strange 
and beautiful foliage. As a change from the excessive heats of 
Batavia, Buitenzorig^ is a delightful abode. It is just elevated 
enough to have deliciously cool evenings and nights, but not so 
much as to require any change of clothing ; and to a person long 
resident in the hotter climate of the plains, the air is always 
fresh and pleasant, and admits of walking at almost an;^ hour of 
the day. The vicinity is most pictures(][ue and luxuriant, and 
the great volcano of Gunung-Salak. with its truncated and jagged 
summit, forms a characteristic backfipround to many of the land- 
scapes. A great mud eruption took place in 1699, since which 
date the mountain has been entirely inactive. 

On leaving Buitenzorg, I had coolies to carry my baggage 
and a horse for myself, both to be changed every six or seven 
miles. The road rose gradually, and after the nrst stage the 
hills closed in a little on each side, forming a broad valley ; and 
the temperature was so cool and agreeable, and the country so 
interesting, tliat I preferred walking. Native villages imbeaded 
in fruit trees, and pretty villas inhabited by planters or retired 
Dutch officials, gave this district a very pleasing and civilized 
aspect ; but what most attracted my attention was the system 
of terrace-cultivation, which is here univereally 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 considerable height^ and when they 
wound round the recesses of the hills produced all the effect of 
magnificent amphitheatres. Hundreds of sq^uare 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 |>opulation 
increases, by the inhabitants of each village working in concert 
under the direction of their chiefs ; and it is perhaps by this 
system of village culture alone, that such extensive terracing 
and irrigation has been rendered possible. It was probablv in- 
troducea by the Brahmins from India, since in those Malay 
countries where there is no trace of a pi^evious occupation by a 
civilized people, the terrace system is unknown. I first saw this 
mode of cultivation in Bali and Lombock, and, as I shall have to 
describe it in some detail there (see Chapter X.), I need say no 
more about it in this place, except that, owing to the finer out- 
lines and greater luxuriance of the country in West Java, it 
{)roduces there the most striking and picturesque effect. The 
oyer slopes of the mountains in Java possess such a delightful 
climate and luxuriant soil ; living is so cheap and life and 
property are so secure, that a considerable number of Europeans 
who have been engaged in Government service, settle per- 
manently in the country instead of returning to Europe. Tliey 
are scattered everywhere throughout the more accessible parts 
of the island, and tend greatly to the gi*adual improvement of 
the native population, ana to the continued peace and prosperity 
of the whole country. 

Twenty miles beyond Buitenzorg the post road passes over 
the Megamendong Mountain, at an elevation of about 4,500 feet. 
The countrv is finely mountainous, and there is much virgin 
forest still left upon the hills, together with some of the oldest 
coffee-plantations in Java, where the plants have attained 
almost the dimensions of forest trees. About 500 feet below 
the summit level of the pass there is a road -keeper's hut, half of 
which I hired for a fortnight, as the country looked promising 
for making collections. 1 almost immediately found that the 
productions of West Java were remarkably different from those 
of the eastern part of the island ; and that all the more re- 
markable and characteristic Javanese birds and insects were to 
be found here. On the very first day, my hunters obtained for 
me the elegant yellow and gn*een trogon (Harpactes Heinwardti), 
the gorgeous little minivet fiycatcner (Pencrocotus miniatus), 
which looks like a flame of fire as it flutters among the bushes, 
and the rare and cuiious black and crimson oriole (Analcipus 
sanguinolentus), all of them species which are found only in 
Java, and even seem to be confined to its western portion. In a 
week I obtained no less than twenty-four species of birds, 
which I had not found in the east of the island, and in a fort- 
night this number increased to foi*ty species, almost all of which 

ore peculiar to the Javanese fanna. Ijarge and handsome 
butterflies were also tolerably abundant. In dark ravines, and 
occasionalif on the roadside, I captured the superb Fapilio 
arjuna, whose wings seem powdered with grains of golden green, 
condensed into bands and moon-shaped spots ; while the ele- 
gantlj-formed Papilio ccion was sometimes to be found fluttering 
Sowly along the shady pathways (see figure at page 99). One 
day a boy brought me a butt«rfly between his Angers, perfectly 
unnnrt. 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 liabit, and they 
are generally so intent upon their uieal that they can be easily 
approached and captured. It proved to be the rare and curious 
Chai-axes kadenii, remarkable for having on each hind wing 
two curved tails hke a pair of callipers. It was the only speci- 
men I ever saw, and is still the only representative of its kind 
iu English collections. 

In the east of Java I had suffered from tlie 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 unfavourabla 
During the month which I spent in the interior of West Java, I 
never had a really hot fine day throughout. It rained almost 
every afternoon, or dense mists came down from the mountains, 
which equally stopped collecting, and rendered it most difficult 
to dry my specimens, so that I 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 tnp to the summit of the Fangerango and Qedeh mountains ; 
the former an extinct volcanic cone about 10,000 feet high, the 
latter an active crater on a lower portion of the same mountain 
range. Tchipanas, about four niiles over the Megamendong 
Pass, is at the foot of the mountain. A small countnr house for 
the Governor-General and a branch of the Botanic Gardens are 
situated here, the keeper of which accommodated me with a bed 
for a night. There are many beautiful trees and shrubs planted 
here^ and large quantities of European vegetables are grown for 
the Govemor-Generars tabl& By the side^ of a little torrent 
that bordered the garden, quantities of orchids were cultivated, 
attached to the trunks of trees^ or suspended from the branches, 
forming an interesting open-air orchid-house. As I intended to 
stay two or three nights on the mountain I engaged two coolies 
to carry my baggage, and with my two hunters we started early 
the next morning. The first mile was over open country, which 
brought us to the forest that covers the whole mountain from a 
height of about 6,000 feet. The next mile or two was a tolerably 
steep lucent through a grand virgin forest, the trees being of 
great size, and the undergrowth consisting of fine herbaceous 
plants, tree-ferns, and shrubby vegetation. I was struck by 
the immense number of ferns that grew by the side of the road. 
Their variety seemed endless, and 1 was continually stopping to 
admire some new and interesting forms. I could now well 
understand what I had been told by the gardener, that 300 
species had been found on this one mountain. A little before 
noon we reached the small plateau of Tjiburong at the foot of 
the steeper part of the mountain, where there is a plank-house 
for the accommodation of travellers. Close by is a picturesque 
waterfall and a curious cavern, which I had not time te explore. 
Continuing our ascent the road became narrow, rugged and 
steep, winding zigzac up the cone, which is covered with ir- 
regular masses of rock, and overgrown with a dense luxuriant 
but less lofty vegetation. We passed a torrent of water which 
is not much lower than the ooiling point, and has a most 
singular appearance as it foams over its rugged bed, sending up 
clouds of steam, and often concealed by the overhanging herbage 
of ferns and lycopodia, which here thrive with more luxuriance 
than elsewhere. 

At about 7,500 feet we came to another hut of open bamboos, 
at a place called Kandang Badak, or " Rhinoceros-field,'' which 

Yii.] JAVA. 89 

"we were going to make our temporary abode. Here was a small 
clearing, with abundanoe of tree-ferns and some young planta- 
tions of Cinchona. As there was now a thick mist and drizzling 
rain, I did not attempt to go on to the summit that evening, but 
made two visits to it during my sta^r, as well as one to the active 
crater of Gedeh. This is a vast semicircular chasm, bound^ by 
black perpendicular walls of rock, and surroundea by miles of 
rugged scoria-covered slopes. The crater itself is not very deep. 
It exhibits patches of sulphur and variously-coloured volcamc 
products, and emits from several vents continual streams of 
smoke and vapour. The extinct cone of Pangerango was to me 
more interestmg. The summit is an irregular undulating plain 
with a low bordering ridge, and one deep lateral chasm. ' Unfor- 
tunately there was perpetual mist and rain either above or below 
us all the time I was on the mountain ; so that I never once saw 
the plain below, or had a glimpse of the magnificent view which 
in fine weather is to be obtained from its summit. Notwith- 
standing this drawback I enjoyed the excursion exceedingly, for 
it was the first time I had been high enough on a mountam near 
the Equator to watch the change from a tropical to a temperate 
flora. I will now briefly sketch these changes as I observed them 
in Java. 

On ascending the mountain, we first met with temperate forms 
of herbaceous plants, so low as 3,000 feet, where strawberries and 
violets begin to grow, but the former are tasteless and the latter 
have very small and pale flowers. Weedv Compositae also begin 
to give a European aspect to the wayside herbage. It is between 
2,000 and 5,000 feet that the forests and ravines exhibit the 
utmost development of tropical luxuriance and beauty. The 
abundance of noble Tree-ferns, sometimes fifty feet high, con- 
tributes greatly to the general eflect, since of all the rorms of 
tropical vegetation they are certainly the most striking and 
beautiful. Bonie of the deep ravines which have been cleared 
of large timber are full of them from top to bottom ; and where 
the road crosses one of these valleys, the view of their feathery 
crowns, in varied positions above and below the eye, ofi'ers a 
spectacle of picturesque beauty never to be forgotten. The 
splendid foliage of the broad-leaved Musacese and Zingiberacese. 
with their curious and brilliant flowers, and the elegant ana 
varied forms of plants allied to Begonia and Melastoma, con- 
tinuallv attract the attention in this region. Filling ujp the 
spaces between the trees and larger plants, on every trunk and 
stump and branch, are hosts of Orcnids, Ferns and Lycopods, 
which wave and hang and intertwine in ever- varying complexity. 
At about 5,000 feet I first saw horsetails (Equisetum), verv like 
our own species. At 6,000 feet. Raspberries abound, and thence 
to the summit of the mountain there are three species of eatable 
Rubus. At 7,000 feet Cypresses appear, and the fot*est trees 
become reduced in size, and more covered with mosses and 
lichens. From this point upward these rapidly increase, so that 


the blocks of rock sod scoria that form the monntaio elope are 
completely bidden in a mosej v^etation. At about 8,000 feet 
European fomis of plants become abundant- Several species of 
Honeysuckle, Bt John's-wort, and Guelder-rose abound, and at 
about 8,000 feet we first meet with the rare and beautiful Ro^l 
Cowslip (Primula un- 
perialis), which is said 
to be found nowhere 
else in the world but 
on this solitary moun- 
tain summit. It has 
a tall, stout stem, 
sometimes more than 
three feet high, the 
root leaves are eigh- 
teen inches long, and 
it bears several whorls 
of cowslip-like flowen, 
instead of a terminal 
cluster only. Tiie for- 
est trees, gnarled and 
dwarfed to the dimen- 
sions of bushes, reach 
up to the very rim of 
the old crater, but do 
not extend over the 
hollow on its summit. 
Here we find a good 
deal of open ground, 
with thickets of shrub- 
by Artemisias and 
Cfnaphaliuina, like 
our southernwood and 
cudweed, but six or 
eight feet high: while 
Buttercup, Violets, 
Who rtle- terries. Sow- 
thistles, Chick weed, 
white and yellow Cru- 
cifene. Plantain, and 
annual grasses every- 
rmiiui* iHFUiAus. wliere abound. Where 

there are bushes and 
shrubs the St. Jolin's-wort and Honeysuckle grow abundantly, 
while the Imperial Cowslip only exhibits its elegant blossoms 
under the damp shade of the thickets. 

Mr. ^lotlcy, who visited the mountain in the dry season, and 
paid much attention to botany, gives the following list of genera 
characteristic of distant and more temperate regions :— Two 
species of Violet, three of Ranunculus, three of Impatiens, eight 

VII.] JAVA. 91 

or ten of Rubus, and species of Primula, Hypericum, Swertia, 
Convallaria (Li]y of the Valley), Vaccinium (Cranberry), Rho- 
dodendron, Gnaphalium, Polygonum, Digitalis, (FoxrIovo), 
Lonicera (Honeysuckle), Planta^o (Ribgrass), Artemisia (Worm- 
woodX Lobelia, Oxalis (Wood-sorrel), Quercus (Oak), and Taxus 
(Yew). A few of the smaller plants (rlantago major and lan- 
ceolata, Sonchus oleraceus, and Artemisia vulgaris) are identical 
with European species. 

The fact of a vegetation so closely allied to that of Europe 
occurring on isolated mountain peaks, in an island south of tne 
Equator, while all the lowlands for thousands of miles around 
are occupied by a flora of a totally different character is very 
extraordinary, and has only recently received an intelligible 
explanation. The Peak of Teneriffe, which rises to a greater 
height and is much nearer to Europe, contains no such Alpine 
flora ; neither do the mountains of Bourbon and Mauritius. The 
case of the volcanic peaks of Java is therefore somewhat ex- 
ceptional, but there are several analogous, if not exactly parallel 
cases, that will enable us better to understand in what way the 
phenomena may possibly have been brought about. The higher 
peaks of the Alps, and even of the Pyrenees, contain a number 
of plants absolutely identical with those of Lapland, but nowhere 
found in the intervening plains. On the summit of the White 
Mountains, in the United States, every plant is identical with 
species growing^ in Labrador. In these cases all ordinary means 
of transport fail. Most of the plants have heavy seeds, which 
could not possibly be carried such immense distances by the 
wind ; ana the agency of birds in so effectually stocking these 
Alpine heights is equally out of the question. The difficulty was 
so great, that some naturalists were driven to believe that these 
si)ecies were all separately created twice over on these distant 
peaks. The determination of a recent glacial epoch, however, 
soon offered a much more satisfactorv solution, and one that is 
now universally accepted by men of science. At this i)eriod, 
when the mountains of Wales were full of glaciers, and the 
mountainous parts of Central Eurox)e, and much of America 
north of the great lakes, were covered with snow and ice, and 
had a climate resembling that of Labrador and Greenland at the 
present day, an Arctic flora covered all these regions. As this 
e])och of cold passed away, and the snowy mantle of the country, 
with the glaciers that descended from every mountain summit, 
receded up their slopes and towards the north pole, the plants 
receded also, always clinj^ng as now to the margins of the per- 
petual snow line. Thus it is that the same species are now found 
on the summits of the mountains of temperate Europe and 
America, and in the barren north-polar regions. 

But there is another set of facts, which help us on another 
step towards the case of the Javenese mountain floi*a. On the 
higher slopes of the Himalaya, on the tops of the mountains of 
Central India and of Abyssinia, a number of plants occur wliich. 


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 believed that this class of facts can be explained in 
the same way ; for, during the greatest severity of tne glacial 
epoch, temperate forms ot plants will have extended to the con* 
fines of the tropics, and on its departure, 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 manv 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 lew north-temperate plants to cross 
the Equator (by the most elevated routes) and to reach the Ant- 
arctic regions, where they are now found. The evidence on 
which this belief rests, will be found in the latter part of 
Chapter II. of the Origin of Species ; and, accepting it for the 
present as an hypothesis, it enables us to account for the 
presence of a flora of European type on the volcanoes of Java. 

It will, however, naturally be objected that there is a wide 
expanse of sea between Java and the continent, which would 
have effectually prevented the immigration of temperate forms 
of plants during the glacial epoch. This would undoubtedly be 
a ratal obiection, were there not abundant evidence to snow 
that Java has been formerly connected with Asia, and that the 
union must have occurred at about the epoch required. The 
most striking pix>of of such a junction is, tliat the great Mam- 
malia of Java, the rhinocero.s, the tiger, and the Banteng or 
wild ox, occur also in Siam and Burmah, and these would 
certainly not have been introduced by man. The Javanese 
peacock and several other birds are also common to these two 
countries ; but, in the maiorit^ of cases, the species are distiact, 
though closely allied, indicating that a considerable time (re- 
quire for such modification) has elapsed since the separation, 
while it has not been so long as to cause an entire change. Now 
this exactly corresponds with the time we should require since 
the temperate forms of plants entered Java. These are almost 
all now distinct species ; but the changed conditions under 
which they are now forced to exist, and the probability of some 
of them having since died out on the continent of India, 
sufficiently accounts for the Javanese species being difiei*ent.^ 

In my more special pursuits, I had very little success upon 
the mountain, owing, perhaps, to the excessively unpropitious 
weather and the shortness of m v stay. At from 7,000 to 8,000 
feet elevation, I obtained one or the most lovely of the small 
fruit pigeons (Ptilonopus roseicoUis), whose entire head and 

1 I have now arrived at another explanation of these and analogous facts, and one 
whioh seems to me more complete and less improbable. (See my Island Life, chap, 
xxiii., and Darwinitw^ pp. 862-373.) 

Yiii.] SUMATRA. 98 

neck are of an exquisite rosy pink colour, contrasting finely 
with its otherwise green plumage ; and on the verv 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 (Turd us 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 

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 succeeded in obtaining 
insects in any abundance, and birds were far less plentiful than 
on the Megamendong Mountain. The weather now became 
more rainy than ever, and as the wet season seemed to have set 
in in earnest, I returned to Batavia, packed up and sent off my 
collections, and left by steamer on November 1st for Banca and 



The mail steamer from Batavia to Singapore took me to 
Muntok (or as on Enslish maps, "Minto'% the cliief 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 Palem- 
bang. A few walks into the country showed me that it was 
verv hilly,' and full of granitic and laterite rocks, with a dry 
and stunted forest vegetation ; and I could find very few insects. 
A good-sized open sailing-boat took me across to the mouth of 
the Palembang River, where at a fishing village, a rowing-boat 
was hired to take me up to Palembang, a distance of nearly a 
hundred miles by water. Except when the wind was strong and 
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 lie at anchor passed very heavily. 
Reaching Palembang on the 8th of November^ I was lodged by 
the Doctor, to whom I had brought a letter of introduction, and 
endeavoured to ascertain where I could find a good locality for 
collecting. Every one assured me that I should have to go a 
very long way furtlier to find any dry forest, for at this season 
the whole country for many miles inland was flooded. I there- 


fore had to stay a week at Falembang before I could determine 
on my future movements. 

The city is a large one, extending for three or four miles along 
a fine curve of the river, which is as wide as the Thames at 
Greenwich. The stream is, however, much narrowed by the 
houses which project into it upon piles, and within these, again, 
there is a row of nouses 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 Falembang. The natives are true Malays, never 
building a house on drv 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 ai*e Chinese 
and Arabs, who carrj[ on all the trade : wnile the only Europeans 
are the civil and military officials 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 mark j while for many miles further inland, the 
banks of the main stream and its numerous tributaries are 
swampy, and in the wet season flooded for a considerable dis- 
tance. Falembang is built on a patch of elevated ground, a few 
miles in extent, on the north bank of the river. At a spot about 
three miles from the town this rises into a little hill, the top of 
which is held sacred by the natives, and is shaded bv some fine 
trees, inhabited by a colony of squirrels, which have oecome half 
tame. On holding out a few crumbs of bread or any fruit, they 
come running down the trunk, take the morsel out of your 
fineers, and dart away instantly. Their tails are carried erect, 
and the hair, which is ringed with Kvev, yellow, and brown, 
radiates uniformly around them, and looks exceedingly pretty. 
They have somewhat of the motions of mice, coming on with 
little starts, and gazing intently with their large black eyes, 
before venturing to advance further. The manner in which 
Malays often obtain the confidence of wild animals is a very 
pleasing trait in their character, and is due in some degree to 
the quiet deliberation of their manners, and their love of repose 
rather than of action. The young are obedient to the wishes of 
their elders, and seem to feel none of that propensity to mischief 
which European boys exhibit. How long would tame squirrels 
continue to inhabit trees in the vicinity of an English village, 
even if close to the church ? They would soon be pelted and 
driven away, or snared and confined in a whirling cage. I have 
never heard of these pretty animals being tamed in this way in 
England, but I should think it might be easily done in any 
gentleman's park, and they would certainly be as pleasing and 
attractive as they would he uncommon. 

After many inquiries, I found that a day*s journey by water 


above Palembang there commenced a military road, which ex- 
tended up to the mountains and even across to Bencoolen, and 
I determined to take this route and travel on till I found some 
tolerable collecting ground. By this means I should 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 tlie 
morning we did not reach Lorok. the village where the road 
begins, till late at night. I staved there a few davs, 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 (Palseomis longi- 
Cauda). 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, 1- found a man who knew the 
country, and was more intelligent ;'and he at once told me that 
if I wanted forest I must go to the district of Rembang, which 
I found on inquiiy was about twenty-five or thirty miles off. 

Tlie'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 very easy, and was a great convenience for me. I had a 
pleasant walk of ten or twelve miles in the morning, and the 
rest of the day could stroll about and explore the village and 
neighbourhooa, having a house ready to occupy without any 
formalities whatever. In three days I reached Moera-dua, the 
first village in Rembang, and finding the country dry and 
undulating, with a good sprinkling of forest, I determined to 
remain a snort 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 nne patch of forest, through which 
the road passed, overshadowed hv magnificent trees, which 
partly tempted me to stay ; but after a fortnight I could find 
no good place for insects, and very few birds different from the 
common species of Malacca. I therefore moved on another 
8ta^ to Lobo Raman, where the guard-house is situated quite 
by itself in the forest, nearly a mile from each of three villages, 
^niis was very agreeable to me, as I could move about without 


children, ana I had also a much greater variety of walks to each 
of the villages and the plantations around them. 

The villages of the Suwatran Malaya are somewhat peculiar 
and very picturesque. A space of some acres is surrounded 
with a high fence, and over this area the houses are thickly 
strewn without tl)e least attempt at regularitv. Tall cocoa-nut 
trees grow abundantly between them, and the ground is bare 
and smooth with the trampling of many feet. The houses are 
raised about six feet on posts, the best being entirely built of 
planks, others of bamboo. The former are alwavs more or less 
ornamented with carving, and have high-pitched rooia and 

overhanging eaves. The gable ends and all the chief posts and 
beams are sometimes covered with exceedingly tasteful carved 
work, and this is still more tlie case in the distiict of Menangkabo, 
further west. The floor is made of split bamboo, and is rather 
shaky, and there is no sign of anything we should call furni- 
ture. There are no lienches or chairs or stools, but merely the 
level floor covered with mats, on which the inmates sit or lie. 
The aspect of the village itself is very neat, the ground being 
often swept before the chief houses ; but very bad odours 
abound, owing to there being under every house a stinking 
luud-hole, formed by all waste liquids and refuse matter, poured 
down through tlie floor above. In most other tilings Malays 
are tolerably clean— in some scrupulousl.v 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 drv interior. Habits which were 
at once so convenient and so cleanly, and which had been so 
lon^ 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 without a regular system of drainage, 
the arrangement of the villages is such, that any other system 
would be very inconvenient. 

In all these Sumatrah villages I found considerable difficulty 
in Retting anything to eat. It was not the season for vegetables, 
ana when, after much trouble, I managed to procure some yams 
of a curious variety, I 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 arm- 
lets from wrist to elbow, and carry dozens of silver coins strung 
round their necks or suspended from their ears. 

Ab I had moved away from Palembang, I had found the Malav 
spoken by the common people less and less pure, till at length 
it became quite unintelligible, although the continual recurrence 
of many well-known words assured me it was a form of Malay, 
and enabled me to guess at the main subject of conversation. 
This district had a very bad reputation a few years ago, and 
travellers were frequently robbed and murdered. Fights 
between village and village were also of frequent occurrence, 
and many lives were lost, owing to disputes about boundaries 
or intrigues with women. Now, however, since the country has 
been divided into districts under ** Controlleurs," 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 
Government. It exercises a strict surveillance over its most 
distant possessions, establishes a form of government well 
adapted to the character of the x)eople, reforms abuses, punishes 
crimes, and makes itself everywhere respected by the native 

iiobo Baman 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 
mountaips 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 lorest^ both virgin and 
second growth, with abundance of fruit trees ; and there is no 



lack ot paths to get about in uny direotion. Altogether it is tho 
very country tliat would promise most for a naturalist, and I 

feel sure that at a more favourable time ot year it would prove 
exceedingly rich ; but it was now the rainy season, when, in the 
verv best of localities, insects are always scarce, and thei-e 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, altJiough I obtained very tine spccmiens 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 butter- 
flies, which, though very common in collections, present us with 
Iieculiarities of the highest interest 

The flrst is the handsome Papilio memnon, a. splendid butterfly 
of a deei> black colour, dotted over with lines and groups of 
scales of^a clear ashy blue. Its wings arc five inches in expanse 
and the hind wings are rounded, with scalloped edges. This 

viti.] SUMATBA. » 

applies to the males ; but the femftlea are very different, and 
vary BO much tliat they were once supposed to form several 
distinct species. They may be divided into two groups^those 
wliich resemble tlie male in shape, and those which differ entirely 
from him in the outline of the wings. The firat vary much in 
colour, being oft«n nearly white with dusky yellow and red 
markings, 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 lirnd wings are length- 
eoea out into large spoon-shaped tails, no rudiment of wliica is 
ever to be perceived in the males or in the ordinary form of 
females. These tailed females are never of the dark and blue- 
glossed tints which prevail in the male and often occur in the 

females of the same form, but are invariably ornamented with 
stripee and patches of white or bufl^ occupying the larger part 
of tne surface of the hind wings. This peculiarity of colouring 
led me to discover that this extraordinary female closely re- 
sembles (when flying) anotlier butterfly of the same genus but 
of a different group (Papilio coon) : and that we have here a 
case of mimicry similar to those HO well illustrated and explained 
by Mr. Bates.' That the resemblance is not accidental is 
sufficiently 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 (P. androgeus), has the tailed female 
also red spotted. The use and reason of this resemblanceappears 
to be, that the butterflies imitated belong to a section of the 

1 Trui. Lino. Soc. vol. ivUL f. tti ; Natarallit m Olc ^muimi, ml, 1. p. 280. 


genuB Papilio which from some cause or other are not attacked 
y birds, and by so closely resembling these in form and colour 
the female of Memnon and its ally also escape persecution. 
Two other species of this same section (Papilio antiphus and 
Papilio polyphontes) are so closely imitated by two female 
forms of Papilio theseus (which comes in the same section with 
Memnon), that they completely deceived the Dutch 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 larvfld were bred in Java by a Dutch entomologist, and 
produced males as well as tailed and tailless females, and there 
IS everj^ reason to believe that this is always the case, and that 
forms intermediate in character never occur. To illustrate these 
phenomena, let us suppose a roamine Englishman in some remote 
island to have two wives — one a black -haired, red-skinned Indian, 
the other a woollv-headed, sooty-skinned negress ; and tliat in- 
stead of the chilaren being mulattoes of brown or dusky tints, 
minglinff the characteristics of each parent in varying degre^ 
all tne 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 enoujp^h, 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 different from herself ! 

The other species to which I have to direct attention is the 
Kallima paralekta, a butterfly of the same family group as our 
Purple Emperor, and of about the same size or larger. Its upper 
surface is of a rich purple, variously tinged with ash colour, and 
across the fore win^s there is a broad bar of deep orange, so 
that when on the wmg it is very conspicuous. This species was 
• hot uncommon in dry woods and thickets, and I often en- 
deavoured to capture it without success, for after flying a short 
distance it would enter a bush among dry or dead leaves, and 
however carefully I crept up to the spot I could never discover 
it till it would suddenly start out again and then disappear in a 
similar place. At length I was fortunate enough to see the exact 
spot where the butterfly settled, and though llost sight of it for 
some time, I at length discovered that it was close before mj' 
eyes, but that in its position of repose it so closely resembled a 
dead leaf attached to a twig as almost certainly to deceive the 
eye even when gazing full upon it. I captured several specimens 
on the wing, and was able rully to understand the way in which 
this wonderful resemblance is produced. 

"" The end of the upper wings terminates in a fine point, just as 
the leaves of many tropical shrubs and trees are pointed, while 
the lower wings are somewhat more obtuse, and are lengthened 
out into a short thick tail. Between these two points there runs 
a dark curved line exactly representing the miorib of a leaf, and 

from this radiate on each side a few oblique marks which well 
imitate the lateral veins. These nmrks are more clearly seen on 
the outer portion of the bacse of the wings, and on the inner side 

towards the middle and apex, and they are produced Ipr strife 
and markings which are very common in allied species, but 
which are here modified and strengthened so as to imitate more 
exactly the venation of a leaf The tint of the under surface 


varies much, but it is always some ashy brown or reddish colour, 
which matches with those of dead leaves. The habit of the 
species is always to rest on a twig and among dead or dry 
leaves, and in this position with the wings closelv pressed to- 
gether, their outline is exactly that of a moderately -sized leaf, 
slightly curved or shrivelled. The tail of the hind wings forms 
a perfect stalk, and touches the stick while the insect is sup- 
ported by the middle pair of legs, which are not noticed among 
the twigs and fibres that surround it. The head and antennae 
are drawn back between the wings so as to be quite concealed, 
and there is a little notch hollowed out at the very base of tlie 
wings, which allows the head to be retracted sufficiently. All 
these varied details combine to produce a disguise that is so 
complete and marvellous as to astonish every one who observes 
it ; and the habits of the insects are such as to utilize all these 
peculiarities, and render them available in such a manner as to 
remove all doubt of the purpose of this singular case of mimicry, 
which is undoubtedly a protection to the insect. Its strong ana 
swift flight is sufficient to save it from its enemies when on the 
wing, but if it were equally conspicuous when at rest it could 
not long escape extinction, owing to the attacks of the in- 
sectivorous birds and reptiles that abound in the tropical forests. 
A very closely allied species, Kallima inachis, inhabits India, 
where it is very common, and specimens are sent in every 
collection from the Himalayas. On examining a number of 
these, it will be seen that no two arealike, 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 i)atches and spots formed of small black dots, so closely 
resembling the way in which minute fungi grow on leaves that 
it is almost impossible at first not to believe that fungi have 
grown on the butterflies themselves ! 

If such an extraordinary adaptation as this stood alone, it 
would be very difficult to offer any explanation of it ; but 
although it is perhaps the most perfect case of protective imita- 
tion known, there are hundreds of similar resemblances in 
nature, and from these it is possible to deduce a general theory 
of the manner in which they have been slowly brought about 
The principal of variation and that of " natural selection," or 
survival of the fittest, as elaborated by Mr. Darwin in his 
celebrated Origin of Species, offers the foundation for such a 
theory ; and I have myself endeavoured to apply it to all the 
.chief cases of imitation in an article publishea in the Westminster' 
Review for 1867, entitled "Mimicry, and other Protective Re- 
semblances 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, 

1 This article forms tlie tliird chapter of my Natural 8eleet}on and Tropical Nature. 


and give me a fine opportunity of observing tlieir gambols. Two 
species of Semnopitnecus 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 ofE 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 ^uite unable to make up their minds to leap till the 
rest are disappearing, when, as it in desperation at being left 
alone, they throw themselves frantically into the air, and often 
go crashing through the slender branches and fall to the ground. 

A very curious ape, the Siamang, was also rather abundant, 
but it is much less bold than the monkeys, keeping to the virgin 
forests and avoiding villages. This species is allied to the little 
long-armed apes of the genus Hylo twites, but is considerably 
larger, and diners from them by having the two first fingers of the 
feet united together, nearly to the end. whence its Latin name, 
Siamanga svndactyla. It moves much more slowly than the 
active Hylobates, keeping lower down in trees, and not indulging 
in such tremendous leaps; but it is still very active, anjT by 
means of its immense 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. 1 purchased a small one, which had oeen 
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 re- 
leased 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 ueating, 
which I regret tea afterwards, as from that time it disliked me 
more than ever. It would allow my Mala^ boys to play with it, 
and for hours together would swing by its arms from pole to 
pole and on to the rafters of the verandah, with so much ease 
and rapidity that it was a constant source of amusement to us. 
When 1 returned to Singapore it attracted gi-e^it attention, as no 
one had seen a Siamang alive before, althougn it is not uncommon 
in some parts of the Malay peninsula. 

As the Orang-utan is niown to inhabit Sumatra^ and was in 
fact first discovered there, I made many inquiries about it ; but 
none of the natives had ever heard of such an animal, nor could 
I find any of the Dutch ofiicials who knew anything about it. 
We may conclude, tlierefore, that it does not inhabit the great 


forest plains in the east of Sumatra where one would naturally 
expect to find it, but is probably confined to a limited region in 
the north-west — a part of the island entirely in tlie 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 yeai*s ago, and 
seems to retire rapidly before the spread of cultivation. About 
Lobo Eaman 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 
tracts and its dung, and once disturbed one feeding, which went 
crashing away through the jungle, only permitting me a 
momentary glimpse of it through tlie dense underwood. I ob- 
tained a tolerably perfect cranium, and a number of teeth, which 
were picked up by tlie natives. 

Another curious animal, which I had met with in Singapore 
and in Borneo, but which was more abundant here, is the 
Galeopithecus, or flying lemur. This creature has a broad 
membrane extending ail round its bodv to tlie extremities of 
the toes, and to the point of the rather long tail. This enables 
it to p&ss obliquely through the air from one tree to another. 
It is sluggish m its motions, at least by day, going up a tree 
by short runs of a few feet, and then stopping a monient 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 wliitish 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 throueh the 
air, otherwise in so long a distance it would have little chance 
of alighting exactly upon the trunk. Like the Cuscus of the 
Moluccas, the Galeopithecus feeds chiefly on leaves, and 
possesses a very voluminous stomach and long convoluted 
intestines. The brain is very small, and the animal possesses 
such remarkable tenacity of life, that it is exceedingly difficult 
to kill it by any ordinary means. The tail is prehensile, and is 
probably made use of as an additional support while feeding, 
it is said to have only a single young one at a time, and my 
own observation confirms this statement, for I once shot a 
female, with a very small blind and naked little creature 
clinging closely to its breast, which was auite bare and much 
wrinkled, reminding me of the young of Marsupials, to which it 
seemed to form a transition. On the back, ana extending over 
the limbs and membrane, the fur of these animals is short 


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

at a village while a boat was l>eing made watertiglit, I had the 
good fortune to obtain a male, female, and younglrird of one of 
the large hornbills. I had sent my hunters to sTioot, and while 
I WHS at breakfast they returned, bringing nie 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 
quantitv of mud, which I was assurea had been used in stopping 
up the large hole. After a while we heard the harsh crv of a 
bird inside, and could see the white extremity of its beak put 
out. I offered a rupee to any one who would go up and get out 
the bird, with the egg or young one : but they all declared it 
was too difficult, and they w^ere afraia to try. I therefore very 
reluctantly came away. In about an hour afterwards, much to 
my surprise, a tremendous loud hoarse screaming was heard 
and the bird was bix)ught 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 anjr 
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 natui'al 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 large islands in the 
western portion of the Archipelago — Java, Sumatra,, and 
Borneo— as well as the Malay peninsula and the Philippine 
islands, have been recently separated from the continent of 
Asia. I now propose to give a sketch of the Natural History 
of these, which I term the Indo-Malay islands, and to show how 
far it supports this view, and how much information it is able 
to give us of the antiquity and origin of the separate islands. 

The flora of the Archipelago is at present so imperfectly 
known, and I have myself paid so little attention to it, that I 
cannot draw from it many facts of importance. The Malayan 
type of vegetation is however a very important one ; and Sir 
Joseph Hooker states, in his Flora Jndica^ that it spreads over 
all the moister and more equable parts of India, ana that many 
plants found in Ceylon, the Himalayas, the Nilghiri, and Khasia 
mountains are identical with those of Java and the Malay 


peninBuIft. Among the more characteristic forms of thb flora 
are the rattans — climbing palms of the genus Calamus, and a 
great variety of tall as well as stemlesa palms. Orchids. 
Araceaa, ZingiberacesB, and fems are especially abundant, and 
the genus Qrammatophyllum— a gigantic epiphytal orchid, 
whose clusters of leaves and flower-Btems are ten or twelve feet 
long — is peculiar to it. Here, too, is the domain of the wonderful 
pitcher jrfante (Nepenthace»X which are only represented else- 

„ , . ., n, Madagascar, the Se^Tohelles, 

Celebes, and the Moluccas. Those celebrated fruits, the 
Mangosteen and the Durian, are nfttivcs 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 con- 
nexion with the continent'of Asia; and a atill more extra- 
ordinary and more ancient connexion with Australia has been 
indicated by Mr. Low's collections from tlie summit of Kini- 
balou, the loftiest mountain in Borneo. 

Plants have much greater facilities for passing across arms of 
theaea than animals. Tlie lighter seeds are easily carried by 
the winds, and many of them are specially adapt«d to be so 


carried. Others can float a long time unhurt in the water, and 
are drifted by winds and currents to distant shores. Pigeons, 
and other fruit-eating birds, are also the means of distributing 
plants, since the seeds readily germinate after passing through 
their bodies. It thus happens that plants whico grow on shores 
and lowlands have a wide distribution, and it requires an 
extensive knowled^ of the species of each island to determine 
the relations of their floras with any approach to accuracy. At 
present we have no such complete knowledge of the botany of 
the several islands of the Archipelago ; and it is only bv such 
striking phenomena as the occurrence of northern and even 
European genera on the summits of the Javanese mountains 
that we can prove the former connection of that island with the 
Asiatic continent. With land animals, however, the case is very 
diflerent. Their means of passing a wide expanse of sea are far 
more restricted. Their distribution has been more accurately 
studied, and we ])ossess a much more complete knowledge of sucn 
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 or our facts as to the geographical distribution oi organized 
beings in this region. 

The number of Mammalia known to inhabit the Indo-Malay 
region is very considerable, probably 250 sx)ecies. 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 determin- 
ing 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 distinct 
species are known to inhabit it, and these are distributed with 
tolerable uniformity over the islands, nine being found in Java, 
ten in the Malay peninsula, eleven in Sumatra, and thirteen in 
Borneo. The great man -like Orang-utans are found only in 
Sumatra and Borneo ; the curious biamang (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 

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 Qaleopithecus, all the Malavan genera of Quadrumana 
are represented in India by closely allied species, although, 
owing to the limited range of most of these animals, so few are 
absolutely identical. 

Of Camivora, thirty -three species are known from the Indo- 
Malay region, of which about eight are found also in Burmah 


and India. Amone these are the tiger, leopard, a tiffer-cat, 
civet, and otter ; while out of the twentv genera of Malayan 
CamiyorsL thirteen are represented in Inoia by more or less 
closely allied species. As an example, the curious Malayan 
glutton (Helictis oriehtalis') is represented in Northern India by 
a closely allied species, 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 ^oat-like animal is found in Sumatra which 
has its representative in India ; while the two-homed rhinoceros 
of Sumatra and the sinjo^le-homed species of Java, long supposed 
to be peculiar to these islands, are now both ascertained to exist 
in Burmah, Peeu, and Moulmein. The elei)hant 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 8i)ecies ; thirty -four Rodents (squirrels, rats, &c.), of 
which six or eight only are Indian ; ana ten Insectivora, with 
one exception peculiar to the Malay region. The squirrels are 
very abundant and characteristic, only two species out of 
twenty -five extending into Siam and Burmah. TneTupai£& are 
curious insect-eaters, which closely resemble squirrels, and are 
almost confined to the Malay islands, as are the small feather- 
tailed Ptilocerus lowii of Borneo, and the curious long-snouted 
and naked-tailed Gymnurus rafflesii. 

As the Malay peninsula 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 consideration the bats, which have the 
power of flighty 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 which pass their whole existence in forests, 
which never swim, and wnich would be quite unable to traverse 
a single mile of sea; nineteen Camivora, 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 i)ointw is from thirty to fifty miles wide ; and five hoofed 
animals, including the tapir, two species of rhinoceros, and an 
elephant. Besides these there are thirteen Rodents and four 
Insectivora, including a shrew-mouse and six squirrels, whose 


unaided passage over twenty miles of sea is even more 
inconceivable than that of the larger animals. 

But when we come to the cases of the same species 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 racts seem to render it absolutely 
certain tnat there has been at some former period a connexion 
between all these islands and the mainland, and the fact that 
most of the animals common to two or more of them show little 
or no variation, but are often absolutely indentical, indicates that 
the separation must have been recent in a geological sense ; 
that is, not earlier than the Newer Pliocene epocn, at which 
time land animals began to assimilate closely with those now 

Even the bats furnish an additional argument, if one were 
needed, to show that the islands could not have been peopled 
from each other and from the continent without some former 
connexion. For if such had been the mode of stocking them 
with animals, it is quite certain that creatures which can fiy 
long distances would be the first to spread from island to island, 
and thus produce an almost perfect uniformity 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 pro- 
portion about the same as that of the Rodents, which have no 
direct means of migration. We learn from this fact, that the 
seas which separate the islands from each other are wide enough 
to prevent the passage even of flying animals, and that we must 
look to the same causes as having lea to the present distribution 
of both gnx>ups. The only sufficient cause we can imagine is 
the former connexion of all the islands with the continent, 
and such a change ia 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 nundred long. 

It may, perhaps, be thought that birds which possess the 
power of night in so pre-eminent a degree, would not be limited 
in their range by arms of the sea, and would thus affi>rd few in- 
dications of the former union or separation of the islands they 
inhabit. This, however, is not the case. A very larse number 
of birds appear to be as strictly limited by watery barriers as 
are quadrupeds ; and as they have been so much more atten- 


tively 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 re- 
markable families of birds, as a sample of the conclusions 
furnished by the entire class. 

The birds of the Indo-Malav region have a close resemblance 
to those of India ; for though a very large proportion of the 
species are quite distinct, there are only alx>ut fifteen peculiar 
ffenera, and not a single family group confined to the former 
district. If, however, we compare the islands with the Burmese, 
Siames^ and Malayan countries, we shall find still less difference, 
and shall be convinced that all are closely united by the bond ot 
a former union. In such well-known families as the wood- 
peckers, parrots, trogons, barbets, king^shers, pigeons, and 
pheasants, we find some identical species spreading over all 
India, and as far as Java and Borneo, while a very large propor- 
tion are common to Sunmtra and the Malay peninsula. 

The force of these facts can only be appreciated when we come 
to treat of the islands of the Austro-Malav region, and show how 
similar barriers have entirely 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 liave passed eastward into Celebes. Yet the straits of 
Macassar are not nearly so wide as the Java sea, and at least a 
hundred species are common to Borneo and Java. 

I will now give two examples to show how a knowledge of the 
distribution of animals may reveal unsuspected facts in the past 
history of the eartli. At the eastern extremity of Sumatra, and 
separated from it by a strait about fifteen miles wide, is the 
small rocky island of Banca, celebrated for its tin mines. One 
of the Dutch residents there sent some collections of birds and 
animals to 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 respjectively tlie M^lay peninsula, 
Sumatra, and Borneo, but quite as aistinct from them all as 
tliey 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 and 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 have ex- 
isted 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 nundred 
miles distant. Bajica, 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 inter- 
vening 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 neriod the same species of squirrel 
and Pitta may have inhabitea 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, ana its productions being thus isolated 
might be gradually modified before the senaration 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 pro- 
ductions, 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 peculiar species of birds and mam- 
mals 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 

For our next example let us take the great islands of Sumatra 
and Java. These approach so closely together, and the chain of 
volcanoes that runs through them gives such an air of unity to 
the two, that the idea of tiieir 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 which broke them asunder, and ^x its date at not 
much more than a thousand years ago. It becomes interesting, 
therefore, to see what support is given to this view by the 
comparison of their animal productions. 

The Mammalia have not been collected with sufficient com- 
pleteness in both islands to make a general comparison of much 
value, and so many species have been obtained only as live 
specimens in captivity, that their locality has often been errone- 
ously given — tne island in which thej^ were obtained being 
substituted for that from which they originally came. Taking 
into consideration only those whose distribution is more accu- 
rately 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 


nil common to the two former countries, while they are absent 
from the latter. Of the three long-tailed monkeys (Semno- 
pithecus) inhabiting Sumatra, one extends into Borneo, but the 
two species of Java are )x>th peculiar to it. So also the ffreat 
Malay deer (Rusa equina), and the small Tragulus kanchiL are 
common to Sumatra and Borneo, but do not extend into Java, 
where they are replaced by Tragulus javanicus. The tiger, it is 
true, is found in Sumatra and Java, but not in Borneo. But as 
this animal is known to swim well, it may have found its way 
across the Straits of Sunda, or it may have inhabited Java before 
it was separated from the 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 least 
two extend to Malacca and one to Borneo. There are a very 
large number of birds, such as the sreat Argus pheasant, the 
fire-backed and ocellated pheasants, the ci*ested partridge (RoU- 
ulus coronatus), the small Malacca parrot (Psittinus incertus), 
the great helmeted hornbill (Buceroturus galeatus), the phea- 
sant ground-cuckoo (Carpococcyx radiatus), the rose-crest«d 
bee-eater (Nyctiornis amicta), the great gaper (Cory don suma- 
tranus), and the green-crested gaper (Calyptomena viridis), and 
many others, which are connuon to Malacca, Sumatra, and 
Borneo, but are entirely absent from Java. On the other hand 
we have the peacock, the green jungle cock, two blue ground 
thrushes (Arrenga cyanea and Myophonus flavirostris), the fine 
pink-headed dove (Ptilonopus porpliyreus), three broad-tailed 
ground pigeons (Macropygia), and many other interesting 
birds, which are found nowhere in the Archipelago out of 

Insects furnish us with similar facts wherever sufficient data 
are to be had, but owing to the abundant collections that ha\'e 
been made in Java, an unfair preponderance may be given to 
that island. This does not, however, seem to be the case with 
the true Papilionidae or swallow-tailed buttei'flies, whose large 
size and gorgeous colouring has led to their being collected moi'e 
frequently than other insects. Twenty-seven species are known 
from Java, twenty -nine from Borneo, and only twenty -one from 
Sumatra. Four are entirely confined to Java, while only two 
are peculiar to Borneo and one to Sumatra. The isolation of 
Java will, however, l^e best shown by grouping the islands in 



pairs, and indicating tlie number of species common to each 
pair. Thus :— - 

Borneo . 

Borneo . 
Java . . 

Java . . 

21 ^^j ^^^ \ 20 species common to both islands. 

27 do. /- 

29 do. , „rt , 1 

do. do. 

21 J"- ■- do. Uo. 

27 do! }" 

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

We are now enabled to trace out with some probability the 
course of events. Beginning at the time when the whole of 
the Java sea, the Gulf of Siam, and the Straits of Malacca were 
dry land, forming with Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, a vast 
southern prolongation of the Asiatic continent, the first move- 
ment would be the sinking down of the Java sea and the Straits 
of Sunda, consequent 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 volcanic belt of 
Java and Sumatra increased in activity, more and more of the 
land was submerged, till first Borneo, and afterwards Sumatra, 
became entirely severed. Since the epoch of the first disturb- 
ance, several distinct elevations and depressions may have 
taken place, and the islands may have been more than once 
joined with each other or with the mainland, and again 
separated. Successive waves of immigration may thus have 
modified their animal productions, and led to those anomalies 
in distribution which are so difficult to account for by any single 
operation of elevation or submergence. The form of Borneo, 
consisting of radiating mountain cliains 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 some- 
what resembled Celebes or Gilolo in outline), and has been 
increased to its present dimensions by the filling up of its gulfs 
with sedimentarv matter, assisted by gradual elevation oi th^ 
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 tlie 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 disHnct 
species is found in Borneo and Sumatra, while the Javanese 
species occurs in Burmah and even in Bengal. Among birds, 
the small ground dove, Qeopelia striata, and the curious oronze- 
coloured magpie, Crypsirhina varians are common to Java and 
Siam ; while there are in Java species of Pteruthius. Arrenga, 
Myiophonus, Zoothera, Sturnopastor, and Estrelda, the nearest 
allies of which are found in various parts of India, while nothing 
like them is known to inhabit Borneo or Sumatra. 

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


(JUNE, JULY, 1866.) 

The islands of Bali and Lombock, situated at the east end of 
Java, are particularly interesting. They are the 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 app^earance and in all physical 
features, they differ greatly in their natural productions. It 
was after having spent two years in Borneo, Malacca, and 
Singapore, that I made a somewhat involuntary visit to these 
islands on my way to Macassar. Had I been able to obtain a 

I 2 


passage direct to that place from Singapore, I should probably 
never have gone near them, and should nave missed some of the 
most important discoveries of my whole ezi>edition to the East 

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

The Chinamen had given up their national costume and 
adopted the Malay dress, and could then hardly be distinguished 
from the natives of the island — ^an indication of the close affinity 
of the Malayan and Mongolian races. Under the thick shade 
of some mango>trees close by the house, several women-merehants 
were selling cotton goods ; for here the women trade and work 
for the benefit of their husbands, 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 trade in Singapore, and we then took a walk to 
look at tlie village. It was a very dull and dreary place ; a 
collection of narrow lanes bounded by high mud walls, enclosing 
bamboo houses, into some of which we entered and were very 
kindly received. 

During the two days that we remained here, I walked out into 
the surrounding country to catch insects, shoot birds, and spy 
out the nakedness or fertility of the land. I was both astonished 
and delighted ; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I 
had never beheld so beautiful and well -cultivated a district out 
of Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the sea- 
coast about ten or twelve miles iiiland, where it is bounded by a 
fine range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, 
marked out by dense clumps of cocoa-nut palms, tamarind and 
other fruit trees, are dotted about in every direction ; while 
between them extend luxuriant rice-grounas, 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 
g^uiid, 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 siaes of tne lanes and bridle roads were often edged with 
prickly Cacti and a leafless Euphorbia, but the country oeing so 
highly cultivated there was not much room for indigenous 
vegetation, except upon the sea-beach. We saw plenty of the 
fine race of domestic cattle descended from the Bos sondaicus of 
Java, driven by half-naked boys, or tethered in pasture-grounds. 
They are large and handsome animals, of a light brown colour, 
wiUi white legs, and a conspicuous oval patch behind of the same 
colour. Wild cattle of the same race are said to be still found in 
the mountains. In so well -cultivated a countrv it was not to be 
expected that I could do much in natural history, 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 nest.s by dozens on some trees near the 
beach. It was the Ploceus hypoxanthus, a native of Java ; and 
here at the extreme limits of its range westerly. I shot and 
preserved specimens of a wagtail-thrush, an oriole, and some 
starlings, all species found in Java, and some of them peculiar to 
that island. 1 also obtained some beautiful butterflies, richlv 
marked with black and orange on a white ground, and which 
were the most abundant insects in the county lanes. Among 
these was a new species, which I have named Pieris tamar. 

Leaving Bileling, a pleasant sail of two days brought us to 
Ampanam in the island of Lombock, where I proposed to 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 magnificent objects at sun- 
rise and sunset, when they rise out of the mists and clouds that 
surround their bases glowing with the rich and chang^g tints 
of these the most charming moments in a tropical day. 

The bay or roadstead of Ampanam is extensive, and being at 
this season Weltered from the prevalent south-easterly winds, 
was as smooth as a lake. The beach of black volcanic sand is 
very steep, and there is at all times a heavy surf upon it, which 
during spring- tides increases to such an extent that it is often 
impossible for boats to land, and many serious 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 undulations began, wliich rapidly increased, 
so as to form rollers which toppled over on to the beacii at regular 
intervals 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;, beating to pieces all boats that 
may not have been hauled sufliciently 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 prex)aring to anchor in the bay 
are sometimes suddenly swept away into the straits, and are not 
able to get back again for a fortnight ! What 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 under the brightest skies. 

I felt considerably relieved when all my boxes and myself had 
passed in safety through the devouring surf, which the natives 
look upon with some pride, saying that " their sea is always 
hungry, and eats up everything it can catch.'' I was kindly 
received by Mr. Carter, an Engl isliman, who is one of the Bandars 
or licensea traders of the port, who offered me hospitality and 
every assistance during my stay. His house, store-houses 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 beiore, 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 accom- 
panied by a young Dutch gentleman residing at Ampanam, who 
offered to be my guide. We first passed through the towns 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 Bilelin^, and afterwards 
over sandy pastures near the sea, and occasionally along the 
beach itself. Mr. S. received us kindly, and offered me a resi- 
dence at his house should I think the neighbourhood favourable 
for my pursuits. After an early breakfast we went out to ex- 
plore, 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 course sedges, and through 
pastures and cultivated grounds, finding however very little in 
the way of either birds or insects. On our way we passed one 
or two human skeletons, enclosed within a small bamboo fence, 
with the clothes, pillow, mat, and betel-box of the unfortunate 
individual, — who nad been either murdered or executed. Return- 
ing 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 anything else as regards the beer, for it seemed 
very distasteful to them, while they drank tne brandy in 
tumblers with much relish. 

Eetuming to Ampanam, I devoted mvself for some days to 
shooting the birds of the neighbourhood. The fine fig-trees of 


the avenu^ where a market was held, were tenanted by superb 
orioles (Oriolus broderpii) of a rich orange colour, and peculiar 
to this island and the adjacent ones of Sumbawa «nd Flores. 
All round the town were abundance of the curious Tropi- 
dorhynchus timoriensis, allied 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 
unmelodious intonations. 

Everv day boys were to be seen walking along the roads and 
bv the hedges and ditches, catching dragon flies with bird-lime. 
They carry a slender stick, with a few twigs at the end well 
anointed, so that the least touch captures the insect, whose 
wings are pulled off before it is consi^ed to a small basket. 
The dragon flies are so abundant at the time of the rice-flowering 
that thousands are soon caught in this way. The bodies are 
fried in oil with onions and preserved shrimps, or sometimes 
alone and are considered a great delicacy. In Borneo, Celebes, 
and many other islands, the larvae of bees and wasps are eaten, 
either alive as pulled out of the cells, or fried like the dragon- 
flies. In the Moluccas the grubs of the palm-beetle (Calandra) 
are regularly brought to market in bamboos, 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 therefore turned to some account 
by these islanders. 

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

I had a note of introduction to an Amboynese Malay, and 
obtained the use of part of his house to live and work in. His 
name was " Inchi Daud " (Mr. David), and he was very civil ; 
but his accommodations were limited, and he could only give me 
part of his reception-room. This was the front part of a bamboo 
house (reached by a ladder of about six rounds very wide apart), 
and having a beautiful view over the bay. However, I soon 
made what arrangements were possible and then set to work. 
The country around was pretty and novel tq 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 and 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 verv impK)rtant feature in 
the landscape. This is the most westerly point on the globe 
where any of the family are to be found. Some small honey- 
suckers of the genus Ptilotis, and the strange mound-maker 
(MegapodiuB gouldii), are also here first met with on the 
traveller's journey eastward. The last-mentioned bird requires 
a fuller notica 

The Megapodidfls 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, ana leave to be Hatched by the heat of the sun or of 
fermentation. They are all characterized bj' verv large feet and 
long curved claws, and most of the species of Megaix>dius rake 
and scratch togetlier all kinds of rubbish, dead leaves, sticks, 
stones, earth, rotten wood, dbc, 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 tiiey rob 
them whenever they can, as the brick-red eggs (as large as those 
of a swan) are considered a great delicacy. A number of birds 
are said to join in making these mounds and lay their eggs 
together, so that sometimes forty or fifty may be found. The 
mounds are to be met with here and there in dense thickets, and 
are ^eat 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 fallen fruits, earth-worms, snails, and 
centipedes, but the flesh is white and well -flavoured when 
properly cooked. 

Tne large green pigeons were still better eating, and were 
much more plentiful. These fine birds, exceeding our largest 
tame pigeons in siz^ abounded on the palm trees, which now 
bore huge bunches of fruits — mere hard globular nuts, about an 
inch in diameter, and covered with a dry green skin and a very 
small portion of pulp. Looking at the pigeon's bill and head, 
it would seem impossible that it could swallow such large masses, 
or that it could obtain any nourishment from them ; yet I 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 beautiful 
new one^ named by Mr. Qould, Halcyon f ulgidus. It was found 
always in thickets, awav from water, and seemed to feed on 
snails and insects picked up from the ground after the manner 


of the great Laughing Jackass of Australia. The beautiful 
little violet and orange species (Ceyx rufidorsa) is found in 
similar situations, and darts rapidly along like a flame of fire. 
Here also I first met with tne pretty Australian Bee-eater 
(Merops ornatus). This elegant little bird sits on twigs in open 
places, gazing eagerly around, and darting off at intervals to 
seize some insect which it sees nying 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 throaty 
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 denselv covered with thickets, and carx)eted at 
this season with dead leaves. They were so shy that it was 
very difficult to get a shot at them, and it was only after a ^ood 
deal of practice that I discovered now to do it. The habit of 
these birds is to hop about on the ffround, picking up insects, 
and on the least alarm to run into uie densest thicket or take a 
flight close along the ground. At intervals they utter a peculiar 
cry of two notes which when once heard is easily recognized, and 
they can also be heard hopping along among the dry leaves. My 
practice was, therefore, to walk cautiously along the narrow 
pathways with which the country abounded, and on detecting 
any sign of a Pitta's vicinity to stand motionless and give a 
gentle whistle occasionally, imitating the notes as near as 
possible. After half an hour's waiting I was often rewarded 
oy seeing the pretty bird hopping along in the thicket. Then I 
would perhaps lose sight of it a^n, till, having my gun raised 
and ready for a shot, a second glimpse would enable me to secure 
my prize, and admire its soft puffy plumage and lovely colours. 
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 
ana on the shoulders are bands of bright silvery blue, and the 
under side is delicate buff with a stripe of rich crimson, bordered 
with black on the belly. Beautiful grass-green doves, litUe 
crimson and black flower-peckers, large Uack 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 atti'acted my attention during our stay at Labuan Tring. 

The most characteristic feature of tne jungle wasitstiiominess. 
The shrubs were thorny ; the creepers were thorny ; the bamboos 
even were thorny. Everything grew zigzag and lagged, and in 
an inextricable l^gle, 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 Sumbawa, whose surface 
still bears the covering of volcanic ashes thrown out forty years 
ago by the terrible eruption of Tomboro. Among the shrubs 
and trees that are not prickly the Apocynacese were most 
abundant, their bilobed fruits of varied form and colour, and 
often of most tempting appearance, hanging everywhere by the 
waysides as if to invite to destruction the weary traveller who ' 
may be unaware 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 g^eat 
attractions for many bims, from the wnite cockatoos to the 
little yellow Zosterops, who feast on the crimson seeds which 
are displayed when the fruit bursts open. The great x)alm 
called **Gubbong" by the natives, a species of Corypha, is the 
most striking feature of the plains, where it grows by thousands 
and appears in three different states— in leaf, in flower and fruit, 
or dead. It has a loftv cylindrical stem about a hundred feet 
high and two to three leet in diameter ; the leaves are large and 
fan- shaped, and fall off when the tree flowers, which it does only 
once in its life in a huge terminal spike, on which are produced 
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 far more numerous than those in flower and fruit, 
while dead trees are scattered here and there among them. 
The trees in fruit are the resort of the great green fruit pigeons, 
which have been already mentioned. Troops of monkeys 
(Macacus cvnomolgus) may often be seen occupying a tree, 
showering down the fruit in great profusion, chattering when 
disturbed, 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 dissecting-room ; in it 
were no shelves, 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 consult 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 skin- 
ning birds, and as the receptacle of the birds when skinned and 
dri^. To keep them free from ants we borrowed, with some 
difficulty, an old bench, the four legs of which being placed in 
cocoa-nut shells filled with water kept us tolerably free from 


these pests. The box and the bench were however literally the 
only places where 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 anything bulky or out of the common way 
was collected, the question " Where is it to be put 1 " was rather 
a difficult 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 impossible. 

My readers may now partially understand why a travelling 
naturalist of limited means, like myself, does so much less than 
is expected or than he would himself wish to do. It would be 
interesting to preserve skeletons of many birds and animals, 
reptiles and fishes in spirits, skins of the larger animals, remark- 
able fruits and woods, and the most curious articles of manu- 
facture and commerce ; but it will be seen that under, the 
circumstances I have just described it would have been im- 
possible to add these to the collections which were my own 
more especial favourites. When travelling by boat the diffi- 
culties are as great or greater, and they are not diminished 
when the journey is by land. It was absolutely necessary 
therefore to limit my collections to certain groups to which I 
could devote constant personal attention, ana 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 in- 
digenes of Lombock are termed), he often held forth to them 
with the air of a teacher, and was listened to with profound 
attention. He was very fond of discoursing on the " special 
providences " of which he believed he was daily the suoject. 

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 oomes nothing can save them, and if it has not come 
you cannot kill them." A murmur of assent follows this senti- 
ment, and cries of " Butul ! Butul ! " (Right, right} Then 
Manuel would tell a long story of one of his unsuccessful hunts : 
— how he saw some fine bird and followed it a long way, ana 
then missed it, and again found it, and shot two or uiree times 
at it, but could never hit it. " Ah ! " says an old Malay. " its 
time was not come, and so 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 altogether 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 fact stated, ana as it 
was not contradicted by any of the persons present, I am in- 
clined to accept it provisionally, as a contribution to the Natural 
History of the island. A Bomean 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 skbout. But here there are numbers 
of men killed, ana their bodies lie unburied 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 verv scarce, if not altogether un- 
known 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 sufficientlv Avell establish^. 

One evening I heard Manuel, AH, and a Malay man whisper- 
ing earnestly together outside the door, and could distinguish 
various allusions to " krisses," throat-cutting, heads, &c., <kc. 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 Kajah had just sent down an 
order to the village, that they were to get a certain number of 
heads for an ofiering in the temples to secure a good crop of rice. 
Two or three other Malays and Bugis, as well as the Amboyna 
man in whose house we lived, confirmed this account, and de- 
clared that it was a regular thing every year, and that it was 
necessary to keep a good watch and never go out alone. I 
laughed at the whole thing, and tried to pursuade them that it 
was a mere tale, but to no effect. They were all firmly persuaded 
that their lives were in danger. Manuel would not go out 
shooting alone, and I was obliged to accompany him every 
morning, but I soon gave him the slip in the jungle. Ali was 
afraid to go and look for firewood without a companion, and 
would not even fetch water from the well a few yards behind 
the house unless armed with an 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 afterwards, when an American sailor ran away from his 
ship on the east side of the island, and made his way on foot 
ana 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 lodgings which were willingly 


furnished him. On pointing out this fact to Manuel, he replied, 
" He one bad man — run away from his ship — ^no one can believe 
word he say ;" and so I was obliged to leave him in the un- 
comfortable persuasion that he might any day have his throat 

A circumstance occurred here which appeared to throw some 
light on the cause of the tremendous suit 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 hioon, 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 oeen noticed, but tliat 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 
thouffht much of ; but by careful inquiry I ascertained that the 
surf had occurred on the very night I had felt the earthquake 
at Labuan Tring, nearly twenty miles off. This would seem to 
indicate, that altliough 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 heavv 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. 



Having 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 ot the 
island, accompanied by Mr. Ross, an Englishman bom in the 
Keeling Islands, and now employed by the Dutch Government 
to settle the affairs of a missionary who had unfortunately 
become bankrupt here. Mr. Carter kindly lent me a horse, and 
Mr. Ross took his native groom. 

Our route for some distance lay along a perfectly level country, 
bearing ample crops of rica The rc^ was straight ana 
generally bordered with loftv trees forming a fine avenue. It 
was at first sandy, afterwards grassy, with occasional streams 


and mud-holes. At a distance of about four miles we reached 
Mataram, the capital of the island and the residence of the 
Rajah. It is a large village with wide streets bordered by a 
magnificent avenue of trees, and low houses concealed behind 
mud walls. Within this royal citv no native of the lower orders 
is allowed to ride, and our attendant, a Javanese, was obliged 
to dismount and lead his horse while we rode slowly through. 
The abodes of the Bajah and of the High Priest are distinguished 
by piUars of red brick constructed with much taste ; but the 
palace itself seemed to differ but little from the ordinary houses 
of the country. Beyond Mataram and close to it is Karangassam, 
the ancient residence of the native or Sassak Rajahs beK>re the 
conquest of the island by the Balinese. 

Soon after i)assing Mataram the country besan gradually to 
rise in gentle undulations, swelling occasionally into low hills 
towards the two mountainous tracts m 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 traders, 
at the port are jealously excluded, many hundreds of square 
miles of irregularlv undulating country 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 otliers 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. Here were luxuriant patches of 
tobacco; there, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, yams, beans or 
Indian-corn, varied the scene. In some places the ditches were 
dry, in others little streams crossed our road and were distri- 
buted 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 scale tiie seats of an amphitheatre. 
Every brook and rivulet had been diverted from ite bed. and 
instead of flowing along the lowest ground were to be lound 
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 i)eriod 
at which the work liad 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 ana 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 ix>int, 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 nundreds of women 
carrying rice, fruit, and vegetables to market : and further on an 
almost uninterrupted line of horses laden witli rice in bags or in 
the ear. on their way to the jwrt of Ampanam. At every few 
miles along the road, seated under shady trees or sliffht sheds, 
were sellers of sugar-cane, palm-wine, cooked rice^ salted eggs, 
and fried plantains, with a few other native delicacies. At these 
stalls a heafty 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 boraering 
the streams. Here the country was as beautiful as before, but 
of a different character ; consisting of undulating downs of short 
turf interspersed with fine clumps of trees and bushes, sometimes 
the woodland, sometimes the open ground predominating. We 
only passed through one small patch of true forest, where we 
were shaded by lofty trees and saw around us a dark and dense 
vegetation, highly agreeable after the heat and glare of the open 

At length, about an hour after noon, we reached our destina- 
tion — 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. Ross had a slight ac- 
quaintance. Here we were requested to seat ourselv^ 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 courtyaixl, we waited till the great man's 
Malay interpreter appeared, who inquired our business and in- 
formed us that the rumbuckle (chief) was at the liaiah's house, 
but would soon be back. As we had not yet breakfasted, we 
begged he would ^et 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 
exchanging glances and smiles with a number of women and 

f iris who peeped at us through half -open doors and other crevices. 
'wo 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 rumbuckle made his ap- 
pearance, and we informed him of our desire to stay with him a 
few days, to shoot birds and see the country. At this he seemed 
somewhat disturbed, and asked if we had brought a letter from 


the Anak Affong (Son of Heaven), which is tlie title of the Rajah 
of Lombock. This we had not done, thinking it quite un- 
necessary; 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 Rajah, is related to some 
of the heads of a conspiracy which was quelled a few years 

About five o'clock a pack-horse bearing my guns*and clothes 
arrived, with my men Ali and Manuel, who had come on foot. 
The sun set, and it soon became dark, and we got rather hungry 
as we sat wearily under the shed and no one came. Still hour 
after hour we waited, till about nine o'clock, the Pumbuckle, the 
Rajah, 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 silence. Then the Rajah asked what 
we wanted ; to which Mr. Ross 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 Acong," merely because we had 
thought it quite unnecessary. A long conversation in the Bali 
language then took place, and Questions were asked about my 
guns, and what powder I had, ana whether I used shot or bullets ; 
also what the oirds 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 purport of which we 
could guess. They were evidently Quite puzzled, and did not 
believe a word we had told them. They then inquired if we 
were really 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 conference took place ; questions 
were again asked, and the answers again conmiented 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 well 


accommodated where we were. It was quite chilly, and we 
were very thinly clad and had brought no blankets, but all we 
could eet 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 liibtle from the cold breeze. We passed 
tiie rest ot the night very uncomfortably, and determined to 
return in the morning and not submit any longer to such shabby 

We rose at daybreak, but it was near an hour before the in- 
terpreter made his appearance. We then asked to have some 
coffee and to see the rumbuckle, 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 vanishexl 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 horseback, 
and looked aghast at our preparations. *' Where is the Pum- 
buckle 1 " we asked. " Gone to the Rajah's,^' said he. " We are 
going/' said I. " Oh ! pray don't," saicf 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 
tlie Anak A^ong for you to stay." Tliis 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 in- 
terpreter almost weeping at our obstinacy and hurry, and 
assuring us — "the Pumbuckle would be very sorry, and the 
Rajah would be very sorry, and if we would but wait all would 
be right." I gave Ali my horse, and started on foot, but he 
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 work- 
men. Two guns were e.xhibited, 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 oura. 
The stock was well made, and extended to the end of the barrel. 
Silver and gold ornament was inlaid over most of the surface, 
but the locks were taken from Enfflish muskets. The Gusti as- 
sured me, however, that the Rajah had a man who made locks 
and also rifled barrels. The workshop where these guns were 
made and the tool used were next shown us, and were very re- 
markable. An open shed with a couple of small mud forges were 
the cliief objects visitje. The bellows consisted of two bamboo 
cylinders, with pitsons worked by hand. They move very easily, 
having a loose stuffing of feathers thickly set round the piston 
so as to act as a valve, and produce a regular blast. Both 
cylinders communicate with the same nozzle, one piston rising 
while the other falls. An oblong piece of iron on the ground was 



the anvil, and a small vice was £xed on the projecting root of a 
tree outaide. These, with a few files and hammers, were literally 
the only tools with which an old man makes these fine guns, 
£nisliing them himself from the rough iron and wood. 

I was anxious to know how they bored diese long barrels, 
which seemed perfectly true and aro said to shoot aoinirably ; 
and, OD asking the Gusti, received the enigmatical answer : 

"We use a basket full of Btoues." Being utterly unable to 
imagine what he could mean, I asked if I could see how they did 
it, and one of the dozen little boys around us wus sent to fetch 
the basket. He soon returned with this most extraordinary 
boring- machine, the mode of using which the Gusti then ex- 
plained to me. It was eimply a strong bamboo bosket, through 


the bottom of which was stuck upriglit a pole about three feet 
long, kept in its place by a few sticks tiea across the top with 
rattans. The bottom of the pole has an iron ring, and a hole in 
which four-cornered borers of hardened iron can be fitted. The 
barrel to be bored is buried upright in the ground, the borer is 
inserted into it, the top of the stick or vertical shaft is held by 
a cross-piece of bamboo with a hole in it, and the basket is 
filled with stones to get the required weight. Two boys turn 
the bamboo i*ound. The barrels ai*e made in pieces of about 
eighteen inches long, which are first boi'ed small, and then 
welded together upon a sti-aight iron rod. The whole barrel is 
then worked with borers of gradually increasing size, and in 
three days the boring is finisned. The whole matter was ex- 
j)lained in such a straightforward manner that I have no doubt 
zhe process described to me was that actually used ; although, 
when examining one of the handsome, well-finished, and service- 
able guns, it was very hard to realize the fact, that they had 
been made from first to last with tools hardly sufficient for an 
Enfflish blacksmith to make a horse-shoe. 

The day after we returned from our excursion, the Rajah 
came to Ampanam to a feast g^ven bv Gusti Gsidioca, who 
resides there ; and soon after his arrival we went to have an 
audience. We found him in a large courtyard sitting on a mat 
under a shady tree ; and all his followers, to the number of three 
or four hundred, squatting on tiie 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 with 
indecision. We bowed, anci took our seats on the gi'ound near 
some chiefs we were acquainted with, for while the liajah sits 
no one can stand or sit higher. He first inquired who I was, 
and what I was doing in Lombock, and then requested to see 
some of my birds. I accordingly sent for one ot my boxes of 
bird-skins and one of insects, which he examined carefully, and 
seemed much surprised that they could be so well preserved. 
We then had a little conversation about Europe and the Russian 
war, in which all natives take an interest. Having heard much 
of a country-seat of the Rajah's called Gunong Sari, I took the 
opportunity to ask permission to visit it and shoot a few birds 
there, which he immediately granted. I then thanked him and 
wc took our leave. 

An hour after, his son came to visit Mr. Carter accompanied 
by about a hundred followers, who all sat on the ground while 
he came into the open shed where Manuel was skinning birds. 
After some time he went into the house, had a bed arranged to 
sleep a little, then drank some wine, and after an hour or two 
had dinner brought him from the Gust is house, which he ate 
with eight of the principal priests and princes. He pronounced 
a blessing over the rice and commencea eating first, after which 
the rest fell to.- They rolled up balls of rice in their hands, 

K 2 


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

A few aays afterwards our long- talked -of excursion to Gunong 
Sari took place. Our party was increased by the captain and 
supercargo of a Hamburg ship loading with rice for China. We 
were mounted on a very miscellaneous lot of LomlK>ck ponies, 
which we had some difficulty in supplying witii the necessary 
saddles, iS:c. ; and most of us had to patch up our girths, bridles, 
or stirrup-leathers, as best we could. We passed through 
Mataram, where we were joined by our friend Gusti Gadioca, 
mounted on a handsome black horse, and riding as all the 
natives do, without saddle or stirrups, using only a handsome 
saddle-cloth and very ornamental bridle. About three miles 
further, along pleasant byways, brought us to the place. We 
entered through a rather handsome brick gateway supported by 
hideous Hindoo deities in stone. Within was an enclosure with 
two square fish-ponds and some fine trees ; then another gate- 
way through which we entered into a park. On the right was 
a brick house, built somewhat in the Hindoo style, and placed 
on a high terrace or platform ; on the left a large fish-pond, 
supplied by a little rivulet which entered it out of the mouth 
of a gigantic crocodile well executed in brick and stone. The 
edges of the pond were bricked, and in the centre rose a fan- 
tastic and picturesque pavilion ornamented with grotesque 
statues. The pond was well stocked with tine fisli, which come 
every morning to be fed at the sound of a wooden gong which 
is hung near lor the purpose. On striking it a number of fish 
immediately came out of the nuisses of weed with which the 
pond abounds, and followed us along the margin expecting food. 
At the same time some deer came out of an adjacent wood, 
which, from being seldom shot at and regularly fed, are almost 
tame. The jungle and woods which surrounded the park 
appearing to abound in birds, I went to shoot a few, and was 
rewarded by getting several specimens of the fine new kingfisher, 
Halcyon fulgidus, and the curious and handsome ground thrush, 
Zoothera andromeda. The former belies its name by not fre- 
quenting water or feeding on fish. It lives constantly in low 
damp thickets picking up ground insects, centipedes, and smaU 


mollusca. Altogether I was much pleased with my visit to this 
place, and it gave me a higher opinion than I had before enter- 
tained of the taste of these people, although the style of the 
buildings and of the sculpture is very much inferior to those of 
the magnificent ruins in Java. I must now say a few words 
about the character, manners, and customs of these interesting 

Tne aborigines of Lombock are termed Sassaks. They are a 
Malay race nardly differing in appearance from the people of 
Malacca or Borneo. They are Manometans 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 tlie 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 Kajah conquered 
the island, and tlie people seem now quite reconciled to their 
new rulers, who do not interfere with their religion, and prob- 
ably 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 afterwards the 
same man stole a horse from Mr. Carter. The horse was re- 
covered, but the thief was not caught. It is an established rule, 
that any one found in a house after dark, unless ^vith the owner's 
knowledge, may be stabbed, his body thrown out into the street 
or upon the beach, and no questions will be asked. 

The men are exceedingly jealous and very strict with their 
wives. A married woman may not accept a cigar or a sirih leaf 
from a stranger underpain of death. I was informed that some 
years ago one of the English traders had a Balinese woman of 
good family living with hira-^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 was reported to the Kajah (to 
some of whose wives the girl was related), and he immediately 
sent to the Englishman's house, ordering him to give the woman 
up as she must be " krissed." In vain he begged and prayed, 
and offered to pay any fine the Hajah might impose, and finally 
refused to give her up unless he was forced to do so. This the 
Rajah did not wish to resort to, as he no doubt thought he was 
acting as much for the 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 Kajah 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 ero<-x>dile8 
are always on the watch to devour the bodies. One such execu- 
tion took place while I was at Ampanam, but I took a long walk 
into the country to he out of the way till it Mas all over, thus 
missing the opportunity of having n 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 tho village 
— in other words, that a man was " running a muck." Orders 
were immediately gi^'en to shut and fasten the gates of our en- 
closure ; but hearing nothing for some time, we went out, and 
found tnere 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 l^efore, 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 des- 
pei'ation as to be very formidable to men not so excited as 
themselves. Among the ancients these would have l>een 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 sjiid to be one or two a month on the average, 
and five, ten, or twenty persons are sometimes killed or wounded 
at one of them. It is tiie national and therefore the honourable 
mode of committing suicide among the natives of Celebes, and 
is the fashionable way of escaping from their difficulties. A 
Roman fell upon his swoixl, 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 inclined. A man 
thinks himself wi*onged 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 way of recovering what he has 
lost, and becomes desperate. He will not put up with such 
cruel wrongs, but will i)e i*evenged 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 
the bloody kris in his hand, stabbing at every one he meets. 
" Amok ! Amok ! " then resounds through the streets. Spears, 
krisses, knives and guns are brought out against him. He rushes 
madly forward, kills all he can — men, women, and children — 
and dies overwhelmed by numbers amid all the excitement of a 
battle. And what that excitement is those who have been in 
one best know, but all who have ever given way to violent 
passions, or even indulged in violent and exciting exercises, may 
form a very good idea. It is a delirious intoxication, a temporary 


madness that absorbs every thought and every energy. And can 
we wonder at the kris*bearing, untaught^ brooding Malay pre- 
ferring such a death, looked ui)on as almost honourable, to the 
cold-blooded details of suicide, if he wishes to escape from over- 
whelming troubles, or the merciless clutches of the hangman 
and the disgrace oi a public execution, when he has taken tlie 
law into his own hands, and too hastily revenged himself upon 
his enemy 7 I]i either case he chooses rather to ^' amok." 
^ The great staples of the trade of Lombock as well as of Bali are 
rice and coffee ; the former grown on the plains, the latter on 
the hills. The rice is exported very largely to other islands of 
the Archipelago, to Singapore, and even to Cliina, and there are 
generally one or i. ^/e vessels loading in the port. It is brought 
into Ampanam on pack-hoi*ses, and almost every day a string of 
these would come into Mr. Carter's yard. The only money the 
natives will take for their rice is Chinese copper cash, twelve 
hundred of which go to a dollar. Every morning two large sacks 
of this money had to be counted out into convenient sums for pay- 
ment. From Bali quantities of dried beef and ox-tails are ex- 
ported, 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 largelv 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-stuti'er Fernandez now insisted on break- 
ing bis agreement and returning to Singapore ; partly from 
home-sickness, but more I believe from the idea that his life was 
not worth many months purchase among such bloodthirsty and 
uncivilized peoples. It was a considerable loss to me, as I had 
paid him full three times the usual wages for three months in 
advance, half of which was occupied in the voyage and the rest 
in a place where I could have done without him, owing to there 
being so few insects that I could devote my own time to shoot- 
ing and skinning. A few days after Fernandez had left, a small 
schooner came m bound for Macassar, to which place 1 took a 
passage. As a fitting conclusion to my sketch of these interest- 
ing islands^ I will narrate an anecdote which I heard of the 
present Bajah ; and which, whether altogether true or not^ well 
illustrates native character, and will serve as a means of intro- 
ducing some details of the manners and customs of the country 
to which I have not yet ulluded. 




The Rajah of Loinbock was a very wise man, and he showed 
his wisdom gi^eatly in the way lie took the census. For 
my readers must know that tlie chief revenues of the Rajah 
were derived from a head -tax of rice, a small measure being 
paid annually by every man, woman, and child in the 
island. There was no doubt that every one paid this tax, for it 
was a very light one, and the land was fertile and the people 
well off; but it had to p<ass through many hands before it reached 
the Gk)vernment storehouses. When tlie harvest was over the 
villagers brought their rice to the Kapala kam}K)ng, or head of 
the village ; and no doubt he sometimes had compjission on the 
poor or sick and passed over their short measure, and sometimes 
was obliged to grant a favour to those who had complaints 
a^inst him ; and then he must keep up his own dignity by having 
his granaries better tilled 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 coui'se to take care of themselves, for they 
were all in debt, and it was so easy to take a little of the Gov- 
ernment rice, and there would still be plenty for the Rajah. 
And the " Gustis " or piinces who received the rice from the 
Waidonos helped themselves likewise, and so when the harvest 
was all over and the rice tribute was all brought in, the quantity 
was found to be less eticli year than the one before. Sickness 
in one district, and fevers in another, and failure of the crops 
in a third, were of course alleged as the cause of this falling 
off; but when the Rajah went to hunt at the foot of the ereat 
mountain, or went to visit a " Ousti " on the other side oi the 
island, he always saw the villages full of people, all looking 
well-fed and happy. And he noticed that the krisses of his 
chiefs and officers were getting handsomer and handsomer ; and 
the handles that were of yellow wood were changed for ivory, 
and those of ivory were changed for gold, and diamonds ana 
emeralds sparkled on many of them ; and he knew very well 
which way the tribute-rice w^ent. 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 numl)er 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 tlie Kajah 
thought and thought, as hard as a Malay Hajah can be expected 
to think, but could not solve it * and so he was very unhappy, 
and did nothing but smoke ana chew betel witli 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 car^o of 
rice and who squinted dreadfully, was very nearly being knssed, 
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 Rajah sent to call together all the chiefs and priests and 
princes who were then in Mataram, his capital city ; and when 
the^ were all assembled in anxious expectation, he thus 
addressed them : 

" For many days my heart has been very sick and I knew not 
why, but now the trouble is cleared away, for I have had a 
dream. Last ni^ht the spirit of the 'Gunong Agong' — the 
great fii*e mountain — appeared to me, and told me that I must 
go up to the top of the mountain. All of you may come with 
roe to near the top, but then I must ^o up alone, and the great 
spirit will again appear to me and will tell me what is of great 
importance to me and to you and to all the people of the island. 
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 
through the forest and up the great mountain." 

So the news was spread over the whole island that the Rajah 
must go to meet the great spirit on the top of the mountain ; 
and every village sent forth its men, and they cleared away 
the jungle and made bridges over the mountain streams and 
smoothed the rough places for the Rajah's passage. And when 
they came to the steep and craggy rocks of the mountain, they 
sought out the l^est paths, sometimes 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 constructing ladders to mount the smooth face of a 
precipice. The chiefs who superintended the work fixed upon the 
lengtn 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 neighlx>urho(Kl of shady trees, where they 
built sheds and huts of oamboo 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 a^in 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 sun-dried ; and abundance of red peppers 
and sweet potatoes were gathered ; and the tall pinan^-trees 
were climbed for the spicy betel nut, the sirih-leaf was tied up 
in bundles, and every man filled his tobacco pouch and lime box 
to the brim, so that ho might not want 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 all the roads 
about Mataram, and with blazing fires flighted away the 
ghouls and evil spirits that nightly haunt the gloomy avenues. 

In the morning a great procession was formed to conduct the 
Rajah to tlie mountain. And the royal princes and relations of 
the Rajah mounted their black horses, whose tails swept the 
ground ; they used no saddle or stirrups, but sat upon a cloth 
of gay 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 loumey ; 
and all (even the Rajah) were bare-legged to above tlie knee, 
wearing only the gay coloured cotton waist-cloth, a silk or 
cotton jacket, and a large handkerchief tastefully folded round 
the head. Every one was attended by one or two servants 
bearing his sirili and betel boxes, who were also mounted on 
ponies ; and great numbers more had gone on in advance or 
waited to bring up the rear. The men in authority were num- 
bered by hundreds and their followers by thousands, and all the 
island wondered what great thing would come of it. 

For the first two days they went along good roads and 
through many villages which were swept clean, and had bright 
cloths hung out at tlie windows ; and all the people, when the 
Rajah came, squatted down upon the ground in respect, and 
every man riding got off his horse and squatted down also, and 
many joined the procession at eveiy village. At the place 
where they stopped for the night, the people had placed stakes 
along each side of the roads in front of the houses. These 
were split crosswise at the top, and in the cleft were fastened 
little clay lamps, and between them were stuck the green leaves 


of palm-trees, which, dripping with the evening dew, gleamed 
prettilv with the many twinkling lights. And few went to 
sleep that night till the morning hours, for every house held a 
knot of eager talkers, and much betel-nut was consumed, and 
endless were the conjectures what would come of it. 

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

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

And those who were waiting tor the Rajah thought him a 
lon^. time on the top of the mountain, and thought the great 
spirit must have much to say, or might perhaps want to keep 
him on the mountain always, or perhaps he haa missed his way 
in coming down again. And they were debating whether they 
should go and search for him, when they saw him coming down 
with the two boys. And when he met them he looked very 
grave, but said nothing ; and then all descended together, ana 
the procession returned as it had come ; and the Rajah went to 
his palace and the chiefs to their villages, and the people to 
their houses, to tell their wives and children all that had 
happened, and to wonder yet again what would come of it. 

And three days afterwards the Rajah summoned the priests 
and the princes and the chief men of Mataram, to hear what 


the great spirit had told him on the top of the mountain. And 
when thev were all assembled, and the betel and sirih had 
been handed round, he told tliem what had happened. On the 
top of the mountain lie had fallen into a trance, and the great 
spirit had appeared to him with a face like burnished gold, and 
had said — *' Hajah ! much plague and sickness and fevers are 
coming upon all the earth, upon men and upon horses and upon 
cattle ; but as you and your people have ooeyed me and have 
come up to my great mountain, I will teach you how you and 
all the people of Lombock may escape this plague." And all 
wait(*d anxiously, toihear how they were to be saved from so 
fearful a calamity. And after a short silence the Rajah spoke 
again and told them,— that the great spirit had commanded 
that twelve sacred krisses should be mfule, and tliat to make 
them every village and every district must send a bundle of 
needles — a needle for every head in the village. And when any 

frievous disease appeared in any' village, one of the sacred 
risses should l>e sent there ; and if every house in that village 
had sent the right number of neediest the disease would im- 
mediately cease ; but if the number oi needles sent had not 
been exact, the kris would have no virtue. 

So the princes and chiefs sent to all their villages and com- 
municatea the wonderful news ; and all made haste to collect 
the needles with the greatest accuracy, for they feared that if 
but one were wanting the whole village would suffer. So one 
by one the head men of the villages brought in their bundles of 
needles ; those wlio were near Mataram came firsts and those 
who were far off came last ; and the Rajah receivea them with 
his own liands, and put them 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 he:ird and obeyed the commands 
of the great spirit. 

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

Now the journey to the mountain was in the time of the east 
wind when no rain falls in Lombock. And soon after the 
krisses were made it was the time of the rice harvest, and the 
chiefs of districts and of villages brought in their tax to the 
Rajah according to the number of heads in their villages. And 
to those that wanted but little of the fuU amount, the Rajah 
said nothing ; but when those came who brought only half or a 
fourth part of what was strictly due, he said to them mildly. 

XIII.] TIMOR. 141 

**The needles which you sent from your village were man^ 
more than came from such-a-one's village, yet your tribute is 
less than liis ; go back and see who it is that has not paid the 
tax." And the next year the produce of the tax increased 
greatly, for they feared that the Rajah might justly kill those 
who a second time kept back the right tribute. And so the 
Eajah became very rich, and increased the number of his 
soldiers, and gave golden lewels to his wives, and bouglit fine 
black horses from the white-skinned Hollanders, and made 
great feasts when his children were bom or were married ; and 
none of the Rajahs or Sultans among the Malays were so great 
or so powerful as the Raiah of Lombock. 

Ana the twelve sacred krisses had great virtue. And when 
any sickness appeared in a village one of them was sent for * 
and sometimes the sickness went away, and then the sacreci 
kris was taken back again with great honour, and the head 
men of the village came to tell tlie Rajah of its miraculous 
power, and to thank him. And sometimes the sickness would 
not go away ; and then eveiybody was convinced that there 
liad 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,— tor was not the fault their own ? 



(couPANG, 1857-1859. delli, 1861.) 

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 all the other islands of the chain in not 
possessing any active volcanoes, with the one exception of 
Timor Peak near the centre of the island, which was tormerly 
active, but was blown up during an eruption in 1638 and has 
since been quiescent. In no other part of Timor do thet*e 
appear to be any recent igneous rocks, so that it can hardly lie 
caused 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. 

1 first visited Timor in 1857, staying a day at Coupang, the 
chief Dutch town at the west end of the island ; and again in 
May 1859, when I stayed a fortnight in the same neighbour- 
hood. In the spring of 1861 I spent four months at Delli, the 


capital of the Portugueee possessions in the eastern part of 
the island. 

The whole neighbourhood of Coupang appears to have been 
elevated at a recent epoch, consisting of a rugged surface of 
cor9.1 rock, which rises in a vertical wall between the beach and 
the town, whose low wiiite red-tiled houses give it an appearance 
very similar to other Dutch settlements in the East. The vege- 
tation is everywhere scanty and scrubby. Plants of the families 
Apocynacese and Euphorbiaceie abound ; but there is nothing 
that can be called a forest, and the whole country has a. parched 
and desolate appearance, contrasting strongly with the lofty 
forest trees ana perennial verdure of the Moluccas or of Singa- 
pore. The most conspicuous feature of the vegetation was the 
abundance of tine fan-leaved palms (Borassus flabelliformis), 
from the leaves of which are constructed the strong and durable 
water-buckets in general use, and which are much superior to 
those formed from any other species of palm. From the same 
tree, palm-wine and sugar are made, and the common thatch 
for nouses formed of the leaves lasts six or seven years without 
removal. Close to the town I noticed the foundation of a ruined 
house below high-water mark, indicating recent subsidence. 
Earthquakes are not severe here, and are so infrequent and 
harmless that the chief houses are built of stone. 

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

Mr. Amdt, a German and the Government doctor, invited me 
to stay at his house while in Coupang, and I gladly accepted 
his offer, as I only intended making a short visit. We at first 
l^egan speaking French, but he got on so badly that we soon 
passed insensibly into Malay ; and we afterwards held long dis- 
cussions on literary, scientific, and philosophical questions, in 
that serai-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, I found 
such a poverty of insects and birds that I determined to go for 
a few days to the island of Semao at the western extremity of 
Timor, where I heard that there was forest country with birds 

XIII.] TIMOR. 143 

not found at Coupang. With some difficulty I obtained a large 
dug-out boat with out-riggefs, 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 villaj^e of Oeassa, 
remarkable for its soap springs. One of is in the middle 
of the village bubbling out from a little cone of mud to which 
the ground rises all round like a volcano in miniature. The 
water has a soapy feel and produces a strong lather when any 
greasy substance is washed m 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 different from 
any I have seen elsewhere. They are of an oval figure, and the 
walls are made of sticks about four feet high placed close 
together. From this rises a high conical roof thatched with 
grass. The only opening is a door about three feet high. The 
people are like the Timorese with frizzly or wavy hair and of a 
coppery bi'own colour. The better class appear to have a 
mixture of some superior race which has much improved their 
features. I saw in (Joupang some chiefs from the island of Savu 
further west, who presented characters very distinct from either 
the Malay or Papuan races. They most resembled Hindoos, 
havinff fine well-iormed features and straif^ht thin noses with 
clear Drown complexions. As the Brahminical religion once 
spread over all 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 perse- 
cution, and formed a permanent settlement there. 

I stayed at Oeassa four days, when, not finding any insects 
and very few new birds, I returned to Coupang to await the 
next mail steamer. On the way I had a nartx>w escape of being 
swamped. The deep coffin-like boat was filled up with my 
^8S»^Sr^ Ai^d with vegetables, cocoa-nuts and other fruit for 
Coupang market, and when we had got some way across into a 
rather rough sea, we found that a quantity of water wtis coming 
in which we had no means of baling out. This caused us to sink 
deeper in the water, and then we shipped seas over our sides, 
and the rowers who had before declared it was nothing now 
became alarmed, and turned the boat round to ge^ back to the 
coast of Semao, which was not far off. By clearing away some 
of the baggage a little of the water could be baled out, but 


hardly so fast as it came in, and wlien we neared the coast we 
found nothing but vertical walls of rock against which the sea 
was violently beating. We coasted along some distance till we 
found .a little cove into which we ran the boat, hauled it on 
shore, and emptying it found a large hole in the bottom, which 
had been temporarily stopped up with a plug of cocoa-nut husk 
which had come out. Had we been 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 aci*oss got 
into such a strong current and hi^h cross sea that we were very 
nearly being swamped a second time, which made me vow never 
to trust myself again in such small and miserable vessels. 

The mail steamer did not arrive for a week, and I occupied 
myself in getting as man^fr 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 vulneratus) allied to an Australian species, and 
a green species of the genus GreofFroyus. The Tropidorhynchus 
timorensis was as ubiquitous and as noisy as I had found it at 
Lomliock ; and the Spha»cothera viridis, a curious green oriole, 
with 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' Cyornis hyacinthina ; 
but I cannot recognise among mv collections the species men- 
tioned by Dampier, who seems to have been much struck by the 
number of small son^- birds in Timor. He says : "One sort of 
these pretty little birds my men called the ringing bird, be- 
cause it had six notes, and always repeated all his notes twice, 
one after the other, beginning high and shrill and ending low. 
The bird was about the bigness of a lark, having a small sharp 
black bill and blue w^ngs, the head and breast were of a pale red, 
and there was a blue streak about its neck." In Seniao 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 natives, who 
often carry it about captive. There are also some deer, but it 
is not quite certain whether they are of the same species as are 
found in Java. 

I arrived at Delli, the capital of the Portuguese possessions in 
Timor, on January 12, 1861, and was kindly received by Captain 
Hart, an Englishman and an old resident, who trades in the 
produce of the country and cultivates coffee on an estate at the 
foot of the hills. With him I was introduced to Mr. Geach, a 
mining-engineer who had lx?en for two years endeavouring to 
discover copper in sufiiciont quantity to he 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 

XIII.] TIMOR. 146 

fort is only a mud inclosure ; and the custom-house and church 
are built of the same mean materials, with no attempt at 
decoration or even neatness. The whole aspect of the place is 
that of a poor native town, and there is no sign of cultivation or 
civilization round about it His Excellency the Governor's 
house is the only one that makes any pretensions to appearance, 
and that is merely a low wliite- washed cottage or Dung^low. 
Yet there is one thing in which civilization exhibits itself. 
Officials in black and white European costume, and officers in 
gorgeous uniforms, abound in a degree quite disproportionate 
to the size or appearance of the place. 

The town being surrounded for some distance by swamps 
and mud-flats is very unhealthy, and a single night often gives 
a fever to new-comers which not unfrequently proves fatal. To 
avoid this malaria, Captain Hart always slept at his plantation, 
on a slight elevation about two miles trom the town, where Mr. 
Qeach also had a small house, which he kiudlv invit^ me to 
share. We rode there in the evening : and in the course of two 
days my baggage was brought up, and I was able to look about 
me and see u I could do any collecting. 

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


Earlv in February we made arrangements to st ly for a week 
at a village called Baliba, 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 oy the route we took was not more than six or seven 
miles, we were half a day getting there. The roads were mei*e 
tnicks, 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 tnem 
crushea. 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' tracks ; and thus we went up and down, over bare 
hills whose surface was covered with small pebbles and scattered 
over with Eucalypti, reminding me of what I had read of 
parts of the interior of Austrsilia rather than of the Malay 

The village consisted of three houses only, with low walls, 
raised a few feet on posts, and very high roofs thatched with 
grass hanging down to within two or three feet of the ground. 
A house whicli 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 Delli 
and the sea beyond. The country round was undulating and 
open, except in the hollows, where there were some patches of 
forest, whicli Mr. Geach, who had been all over the eastern part 
of Timor, assured me was the most luxuriant he had yet seen in 
the islana. I was in hopes of finding some insects here, but was 
much disappointed, owing perhaps to tlie 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-heade<l pigeon, Ptilonopus cinctus, and the pretty 
little lorikeet, Trichoglossus eu teles. I got a few more of these 
at the blossoms of tne Eucalypti, and also the allied species 
Trichoglossus iris, and a few other small but interesting birds. 
The common jungle-cock of India (Gallus bankiva) was found 
here, and furnished us with some excellent me*ils ; 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 Delli are 
continually ill from fever, and the Portuguese have occupied the 

Elace for three centuries, no one has yet ouilt a house on these 
ne hills, which, if a tolerable road were made, would be only 
an hour's ride from the town ; and almost equally good situa« 

xni.] TIMOR. 147 

tions might be found on a lower level at half an hour's distance. 
The facttiiat 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, coifee would thrive ; and 
there are hundreds of square miles of country, over which all 
the varied products which require climates between those of 
coffee and wneat would flourish ; but no attempt has yet been 
made to form a single mile of road, or a single acre of plantation ! 

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

On the 24th of February my friend Mr. Qeach left Timor, 
having finally reported that no minerals worth working were to 
be found, l^he Portuguese were very much annoyed, having 
made up their minds that copper is abundant, and still believing 
it to be so. It appeal's that from time immemorial pure native 
copper has been found at a place on the coast alwut thirty 
miles east of DellL 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 got some hundreds-weight of it. Now, however, it is 
evidently very scarce, as during the two years Mr. Qeach 
resided in the oountrv, 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 Singapore 
supplying most of the capital. So confident were they of the 
existence of the copper, that they thought it would be waste of 

L 2 


time and money to liave any exploration made first; and 
accordingly sent to England for a mining-engineer, who was to 
bring out all necessary tools, machinery, laboratory utensils, 
a number of mechanics, and stores of all kinds for two years, 
in order to commence work on a copper-mine which he was 
told was already discovered. On reaching Singapore a ship 
was freighted to tiike the men and stores to Timor, where 
tliey at length arrived after much delay, a long voyage, and 
very great expense, 

A day was then fixed to " open the mines." Captain Hart 
accompanied Mr. Geach as interpreter. The Governor, the 
Commandante, the Judge, and <ill the chief people of the place, 
went in state to the mountain, with Mr. Geach s assistant and 
some of the workmen. As they went up the valley Mr. Geach 
examined the rocks, but saw no signs of copper. They went on 
and on, but still nothing except a few mere traces of verv poor 
ore. At length they stood on the copper mountain itselL The 
Governor stopped, the ofiicials formed a circle, and he then 
addressed them, saying,— that at length the day had arrived they 
liad all been so long expecting, when the treasures of the soil 
of Timor would be brought to light, — and much more in very 
grandiloquent Portuguese ; and concluded by turning to Mr. 
Geach, and requesting him to point out the best spot for them 
to begin work at once, and uncover the mass of virgin copper. 
As the ravines and precipices among which they had passed, and 
which had been carefully examined, revealed very clearly the 
nature and mineral constitution of the country, Mr. Geach 
simply told them that there was not a trace of copper there, 
and that it was perfectly useless to begin work. The audience 
were thunderstruck ! The Governor could not believe his ears. 
At length, when Mr. Geach liad repeated his statement, the 
Governor told him severely that he was mistaken : that they all 
knew there was copper there in abundance, and all they wanted 
him to tell them, as a mining-engineer, was how best to get at it; 
and that at all events he was to begin work some where. This Mr. 
Geach refused to do, trying to explain, that the ravines liad cut 
far deeper into the hill than he could do in years, and that lie 
would not throw away money or time on any such useless 
attempt. After this speech had been interpreted to him, the 
Governor saw it was no use, and without saving 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 ne should send the mechanics 
home again, and himself explore tiie 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 

XIII.] TIMOR. 149 

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 tlie expense of working. Copper 
ore exists in several i}laces, but always too poor in quality. Tlie 
best would pay well if situated in Englancl ; but in the interior 
of an utterly barren country, with roads to make, and all 
skilled labour and materials to import, it would liave l)een a 
losing concern. GJold also occurs, but very sparingly and of 
poor quality. A fine spring of pure petroleum was discovered 
far in tlie interior, where it can never be available till the 
country is civilized. The whole aflfair was a dreadful disap- 
pointment to the Portuguese Government, who had considered 
it such a certain thing tliat they had contracted for the Dutch 
mail steamers to stop at Del 11 ; and several vessels from 
Australia were induced to come with miscellaneous cargoes, for 
which they expected to find a re^vdy sale among the }X)pulation 
at the newly-opened mines. The lumps of native copper are 
still, however, a mystery. Mr. Greach has examined the country 
in every direction without being able to trace their origin ; so 
that it seems probable that they result from the dehru of old 
copper-bearing strata, and are not really more abundant than 
gola nuggets are in Australia or California. A high reward 
was ofFer^ to any native who should find a piece and show the 
exact spot where he obtained it, but without effect. 

The mountaineers of Timor are a people of Papuan type, 
having rather slender forms, bushy frizzled hair, and the skin 
of a dusky brown colour. They have the long nose with over- 
hanging apex which is so chai*acteristic of the Papuan, and so 
absolutely unknown among races of Malayan origin. On the 
coast there has been much admixture of some of the Malay 
races, and perhaps of Hindoo, as well as of Portuguese. The 
general stature there is lower, the hair wavy instead of frizzled, 
and the features less prominent. The liouses are built on the 
ground, while the mountaineers raise theirs on posts three or 
four feet high. The common dress is a long cloth, twisted round 
the waist and hanging to the knee, as shown in the illustration 
(pa^ 150), copied from a photograph. Both men carry the 
national umbrella, made of an entire fan-shaped palm leaf, 
carefully stitched at the fold of each leaflet to prevent splitting. 
This is opened out, and held sloping over the head and ImcK 
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 tassels. Leaning against the house 
behind the figure on the right are bamboos, used instead of 
water jars! 

A prevalent custom is the " ^wmali,** exactly equivalent to the 
" taboo ^ of the Pacific islanders, ana equally resjKjcted. It is 


him] nn the cnmrnonewt occasions, and a. few palm lotres stack 
imUiidt! > gardf^n oh a i-ifni of the "poniiili vill preserve its 
prodnoefr'iiii tliit^vtnsKi^f^ctually as tlie threat^nins itulice of 
maU'trnM, Mjiririg ffann, or a israge dog, would do with u&. 
The dead »« pU^wron a Ktage. raisnl rix or eiclit fert above 

K MUl. (fnm a |iAo(tvapft.) 

the ground, Bometimea open and sometimea covered with a roof. 
Here the body reinaina till the relatives can afford to make a 
feast, when it is buried. The Timorese are generally great 
thieveB,but are not bloodthirsty. They tight continually among 
tiiemBelves and take every opportunity of kidnapping uu- 


protected people of other tribes for slaves ; but Europeans may 
pkss anywhere through the oountry in safety. Except a few 
half-breeds in the town, there ai*e no native Christians in the 
island of Timor. The people retain their independence in a 
gi*eat measure, and botn aislike and despise taeir would-be 
rulers, whether Portuguese or Dutch. 

Tlie Portuguese government in Timor is a most miserable one. 
Nolxxly seems to care the least about the improvement of the 
country^ and at this time, after three hundred years of 
occupation, there has not been a mile of road made beyond the 
town, and there is not a solitary European resident anywhere in 
the interior. All the Gk>vernment ol&cials oppress and rob the 
natives as much as they can, and yet there is no care taken to 
render the town defensible should the Timorese attempt to 
attack it. So ignorant are the military officers, that having 
received a small mortar and some shells, no one could be found 
who knew how to use them ; and during an insurrection of the 
natives (while I was at Delli) the officer who expected to be sent 
against the insurgents was instantly taken ill ! and they were 
allowed to get possession of an 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 tlie hills ; a famine was imminent, and the 
Governor had to send ofl' to beg for supplies from the Dutch 
Governor of Amlx>yna. 

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 conciliatory policy and 
strict justice towards the natives, and the introauction of a 
good system of cultivation as in Java and Northern Celebes, 
might yet make Timor a productive and valuable island. Eice 
grows well on the marshy flats which often fringe tlie coast, 
and maize thrives in all the lowlands, and is the common food 
of the natives as it was when Darapier visited the island in 
1699. The small quantity of coffee now grown is of very 
superior c|uality. and it might be increased to any extent. 
Sheep thrive, ana would always be valuable as fresh food for 
whalers and to supply the adjacent islands with mutton, if not 
for their wool ; although it is probable that on the mountains 
tliis product miglit soon be obtained by judicious breeding. 
Horses thrive amazingly ; and enough wheat might be grown to 
supply the whole Archipelago if there were sufficient induce- 
ments 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. Tiiey would begin to 
save money, and property being rendered secure they would 
rapidly acquire new wants and new tastes, and become large 
consumers of European goods. This would be a far surer 


source of profit to their rulers than imposts and extortion, and 
-would be at the same time more likely to produce peace and 
obedience, than tlie mock-military rule Wliich has hitherto 
proved most ineffective. To inaugurate such a system would 
however require an immediate outlav of capital, which neither 
Dutch nor Portuguese seem inclined to make, — and a number 
of honest and energetic officials, which the latter nation at 
least seems unable to produce ; so that it is much to be feared 
that Timor will for man}r years to come remain in its present 
state of chronic insurrection and mis-government.^ 

Morality at Delli is at as low an ebb as in the far int<erior of 
Brazil, and crimes are connived at which would entail infamy 
and criminal prosecution in Europe. Wliile 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 co- 
habited 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 superiors. 

Judging from what I saw myself and by the descriptions of 
Mr. Geach, the indigenous vegetation of Timor is poor and 
monotonous. The lower ranges of the hills are everywhere 
covered with scrubby Eucalypti, which only occasionally grow 
into lofty forest trees. Mingled with these in smaller quan- 
tities are acacias and the fragrant sandal-wood, while the 
higher mountains, which rise to about six or seven thousand 
feet, are either covered with coarse grass or are altogether 
iMrren. In the lower grounds are a varietv of weedy bushes, 
and open waste places are covered evervwhere 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 vegetation is richer, thorny shrubs and climbers are so 
abundant as to make the thickets quite impenetrable.* 

The soil seems very poor, consisting chiefly of decomposing 
clayey shales ; and the bare earth and rock is almost every- 
where visible. The drought of the hot season is so severe that 
most of the streams dry up in the plains before thev reach the 
sea ; everything becomes burnt up, and the leaves of the larger 

1 When Mr. H. O. Forbes visited Delli in 1883, a slight improvement had taken plaoe 
under a more energetic governor. 

3 Hr. H. O. Foiu)e8 collected plants assiduonsly for six months in the eastern portion 
of Timor, and obtained about 255 species of flowering plants, a very small number for a 
tropical island. The total number of species known m)m the whole island is consider- 
ably less tlian a thousand, iJthough it was visited by the celebrated Robert Brown in 
1808, and later by numerous continental botanists and collectors. (See Forbes' 
I/atunUst'$ Wandering$ in the BaeUm Archipelago, pji. 497-523.) 

xni.] TIMOK 153 

trees fall as completely as in our 'winter. On the mountains 
from two to four thousand feet elevation there is a much 
moister atmosphere, so that potatoes and other European 
products can be grown all the year round. Besides ponies, 
almost the only exports of Timor are sandal-wood and bees'- 
wax. The sandal-wood (Santalum sp.) is the (produce of a 
small tree, which grows sparingly in the mountains of Timor 
and many of the other islands in the far East. The wood is of 
a fine yellow colour, and possesses a well-known delightful 
fragrance which is wonderfully permanent. It is brought 
down to Delli in small logs, and is chiefly exported to China, 
where it is largely used to burn in the temples, and in the 
houses of the wealthy. 

The bees'- wax is a still more important and valuable product, 
formed bv the wild bees (Apis dorsata), which build huge 
honeycombs, suspended in the open air from the under-side of 
the lofty branches of the highest trees. These are of a semi- 
circular 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 
larse bee.s' combs.' Tlie tree was straight and smooth-barked 
ana without a branch, till at seventy or eighty feet from the 
ground it gave out the limb which the bees had chosen for 
their home. As the men were evidently looking after the bees, 
I waited to watch their operations. One of them first 
produce! a long piece of wood apparently the stem of a small 
tree or creeper, which he had brought with him, and began 
splitting it through in several directions, which showed that it 
was very tough and stringy. He then wrapped it in palm- 
leaves, which were secured by twisting a slender creeper round 
them. He then fastened his cloth tiglitly round his loins, and 
producing another cloth wrapped it round his head, neck, and 
Dody, 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 lie had been making these prepara- 
tions 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. J ust 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 round the trunk of the tree, 
holding one end in each hand. Jerking it up the tree a little 
a1x)ve nis head he set his foot against the trunk, and leaning 
back be^an 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 ground ; 
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 witliin ten or fifteen feet of the bees. 
Tlien he stopped a ntoment, 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 
tiiem. Still going on, in a minute more he brought himself 
under the limb, and, in a manner c^uite unintelligible to me, 
seeing that both hands were occupied in supporting himself 
by the ci'eeper, managed to get upon it. 

By this time the bees began to be alarmed, and formed a 
dense busszing 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. Tlien 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 of 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 crawd of angry 
bees, and how he bore their stings so coollv, and went on with 
his work at that giddy height so deliberately, was more than I 
could undersUind. The bees were evidently not stupefied by 
the smoke or driven away far by it, and it was impossible that 
the small stream from the torch could protect his whole body 
when at work. There were three other combs on the same ti^ee, 
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 run away, beating them off with my net and capturing 
them for specimens. Several of them followed me for at least 
half a mile, getting into my hair and persecuting me most 
pertinaciously, so that I was more astonisshed than ever at the 
immunity of the natives. 1 am inclined to think that slow and 
deliberate motion, and no attempt at escape, are perhaps the 
best safeguards. A bee settling on Ji 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 leai-n to bear it 
impassively, as without doing so no man could be a bee-hunter. 




If we look at a map of the Archipelago, nothing seems more 
unlikely than that the closely connected, chain of islands from 
Java to Timor should differ materially in their natural produc- 
tions. There are, it is true, certain differences of climate and 
of physical geography, but these do not correspond with the 
division tlie naturalist is obliged to make. Between tlie two 
ends of the chain tliere 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. Tiiis change, however, occure 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 geogrraphy ; but this occurs at the 
eastern termination of the chain, where the volcanoes which are 
the marked feature of Java, Bali, Lombock, Sumbawa, and 
Flores, turn northwards through Gunong Api to Banda, leaving 
Timor with only one volcanic peak near its centre ; wliile the 
main portion of the island consists of old sedimentary rocks. 
Neither of these physical differences corresponds with the re- 
markable change in natural productions which occurs at the 
Straits of Lombock, separating the island of that name from 
.Bali ; and which is at once so large in amount and of so funda- 
mental a character, as to form an important feature in the 
zoological geography of our f^lobe. 

The Dutch naturalist Zollinger, who resided a long time in 
the island of Bali, informs us that its productions completely 
assimilate with those of Java, and that he is not aware of a 
single animal found in it which does not inhabit the lai*ger 
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 ornithology. Among these were the 
yellow-headed weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus), the black 
hopper thrush (Ck)psychus aniosnus), the rosy barbet (Megalsema 
roseaX tl^o Malay oriole (Oriolus horsfieldi), the Java ground 
starling (Sturnopastor jalla), and the Javanese three-toed wood- 
pecker (Chrysonotus tiga). On crossing over to Lombock, 
separated from Bali by a strait less than twenty miles wide, I 
naturally expected to meet with some of these birds again ; but 
during a stay there of three months I never saw one of them, 
but found a totally different set of species, most of which were 
utterly unknown not only in Java, but also in Borneo, Sumatra, 
and ^lalacca. For example, among the commonest birds in 


Lombock were white cockatoos and three species of Melipha- 
gidse or honey-suckers, belonging to family groups which are 
entirely absent from the western or ludo-Malayan i*egion of 
the Archipelago. On passing to Flo^es and Timor the distinct- 
ness from the Javanese productions increases, and we find that 
these islands form a natural group, whose birds are related to 
those of Java aud Australia, but are quite distinct from either. 
Besides my own collections in Lombock and Timor, my assistant 
Mr. Allen made a good collection in Flores ; and these, with a 
few species obtained by the Dutch naturalists, enable us to 
form a very good idea of the natural history of this group of 
islands, and to derive therefrom some very interesting results. 

The number of birds known from these islands up to this 
date, is, — 63 from Lombock, 86 from Flores, and 118 from Timor : 
and from the whole group 188 species.* With the exception of 
two or three species which appear to have l>een derived from 
the Moluccas, all these birds can be traced, either directly or by 
close allies, to Java on the one side or to Austrjilia on the other ; 
although no less than 82 of them are found nowhere out of this 
small group of islands. Thero is not, however, a single genus 
peculiar to the group, or even one which is largely represented 
in it by peculiar species ; and this is a fact which indicates that 
the fauna is strictly derivative, and that its origin does not go 
back beyond one of the most recent geological epochs. Of 
course there are a large number of species (such as most of the 
waders, many of the raptorial birds, some of the kingfishers, 
swallows, and a few others), which range so widely over a large 
part of the Archipelago, that it is impossible to trace them as 
having come from any one part rather than from another. 
There are fifty-seven such species in my list, and besides these 
there are thirty -five more which, though peculiar to the Timor 
group, are yet allied to wide-ranging forms. Deducting these 
ninety-two species, we have nearly a hundred birds left whose 
relations with those of other countries we will now consider. 

If we first take those species which, as far as we yet know, 
are absolutely confined to each island, we find, in — 

Lombock 4, belonging to 2 genera, of which 1 is Australian, 1 Indian. 
Flores . 12 ,, 7 „ 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 numl>ers 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 decreased proportion of Indian forms, as 

1 Ponr or five new species have been since Rdde<l from tlie island of Sttmbawa. (See 
Ouillfuiiard'a Cruiu of the Marcheaa, Vol. II., p. 864.) 


we go from west to east. We shall show this in a }ret more 
striking manner by counting the number of spjecies identical 
with those of Java and Australia respectively in each island, 
thus : 

In Lombock. 


In Timor. 

Javan birds .... 33 



Australian birds . . 4 



Here we see plainly the course of the migration which has been 
going on for nundreds 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 numlier get over to the next island.^ It will be ob- 
served that the number of birds tliat 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 separatees Australia from Timor. But this would 
be a hast>[ and, as we shall soon see, an unwarranted supposi- 
tion. Besides these birds identical with species inhabiting J ava 
and Australia, there are a considerable number of others very 
closely allied to species peculiar to those countries, and we must 
take these also into account before we form any conclusion on 
the matter. It will be as well to combine these with the former 
table thus : 

In Lombock. In Flores. In Timor. 

Javan birds 33 23 11 

Closely allied to Javan birds ... 1 5 6 

Total 34 28 17 

Anstralian birds 4 5 10 

Closely allied to Aastralian birds .3 9 26 

Total 7 14 36 

We now see that the total number of birds which seem to 
have b€«n derived from Java and Australia is very nearly 
equal, but there is this remarkable difference between the two 
series : that whereas the larger proportion by far of the Java 
set are identical with those still inhabiting timt country, an 
almost equally large proportion of the Australian set are 
distinct, thoueh often very closely allied species. It is to 
be observed also, that these representative or allied species 
diminish in number as they recede from Australia, while they 
increase in number as they recede from Java. There are two 
reasons for this, one being that the islands decrease rapidly in 

1 The names of all the birds inhabiting thette inlands are to be found in the " Pro- 
ceedings of the Zoological Society of London " for the year 1863. 


size from Timor to Lombock, and can therefore support a de- 
creasing number of species ; the other and the more important 
i& that the distance of Australia from Timor cuts off the supply 
ot fresh immigrants, and has thus allowed variation to nave 
full play ; i^'hiie the vicinity of Lombock to Bali and Java has 
allowed a continual influx of fresh individuals which, by 
crossing with the earlier immigrants, has checked variation. 

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

Tlie Timor group of islands contains : — 

Javan birds 36 Australian birds .... 13 

Closely allied si>ooies ... 1 1 Closely allied 8i)ecies ... 35 

Derive<l from Java . . . 47 Derived from Australia . . 48 

We have here a wonderful agreement in the number of birds 
belonging to Australian and Javanese groups, but they are 
divided in exactly a reverse manner, three-fourths of the Javan 
birds being identiail species and one-fourth re|)resentatives, 
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 

Change of species is a slow process. On that we are all 
ag|^eed, though we may differ about how it has taken place. 
The fact that the Australian species in these islands have 
mostly changed, while the Javan species have almost all re- 
mained unchanged, would therefore indicate that the district 
was first peopled trom 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 from Timor, which island is con- 
nected 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 produc- 
tions of Java to spread over and occupy the whole of these 
islands, while those of Australia would find very great diffi- 
culty in getting across. To account for the present state of 
things, we shoiud naturally suppose that Australia was once 
much more closely connected witn Timor than it is at present ; 
and that this was the case is rendered highly probable by the 
fact of a submarine bank extending along all the north and 

1 The new species of birds discovered in the group since this was written are so few, 
and so equally distributed between the two regions, that they will not aflect tlui 
conclusions here airived at. 


west coast of Australia, and at one place approaching within 
twenty miles of tlie coast of Timor. This indicates a i^ecent 
subsidence of North Australia, which probably once extended 
as far as the edge of tliis bank, between which and Timor there 
is an unfatliomed depth of ocean. 

I do not think that Timor was ever actually connected with 
Australia, because such a large number of very abundant and 
characteristic groups of Australian birds are quite absent, and 
not a single Australian mammal has entered Timor : which 
would cortainly not have been the case had the lanas been 
actually united. Such groups as the bower bii*ds (Ptilono- 
rhynchus), the black and red cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus), the 
blue wrens (Malurus), the crowshrikes (Cracticus), the Australian 
shrikes (Falcunculus and Colluricincla), and many others, which 
abound all over Australia, would certainly have spread into 
Timor if it had been united to that country, or even if for any 
long time it had approached nearer to it than twenty miles. 
Neither do any of the most charactenstic groups of Australian 
insects occur in Timor ; so tliat everytliing combines to indicate 
that a strait of tlie 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 iind more equality in the 
numbers of identical and representative species derived from 
each extremity. It is true that the widening of the strait at the 
Australian end by subsidence, would, by putting a stop to im- 
migration and inter-crossing of individuals from the mother 
country, have allowed full scope to the causes which have led to 
the moditication of the species ; while the continued stream of 
immigrants fit^ni Java, would by continual intercrossing, check 
such modification. This view will not, however, explain all the 
facts ; for the character of the fauna of the Timorese group is 
indicated as well by the forms which are absent from it as by 
those which it contains, and is by this kind of evidence shown 
to be much more Australian than Indian. No less than twenty- 
nine genera, all more or less abundant in Java, and most of 
which range over a wide area, are altogether absent ; while of 
the equally diffused Australian genera only about fourteen are 
wanting. This would clearlv indicate that there has been, till 
recently, a wide separation rrom Java ; and the fact that the 
islands of Bali and Lombock are small, and are almost wholly 
volcanic, and contain a smaller number of modified forms than 
the other islands, would point them out as of comparatively 
lucent origin. A wide arm of the sea probably occupied their 
place at the time when Timor was in the closest proximity to 
Australia ; and as the subterranean Hres were slowlv piling up 
the now fertile islands of Bali and Lombock, the northern shores 
of Australia would be sinking beneath the ocean. Some such 


changes as liave been here indicated, enable us to understand 
how it happens, that though the biras of this group are on the 
whole ahnost as mucli Indian as Australian, yet the species 
which ai*e peculiar to tlie group are mostlv Australian in 
charact^er ; 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 Mammalia of Timor as well as those of the other islands 
of the ffroup are exceedingly scanty, with the exception of bats. 
These last are tolerably abundant, and no doubt many more 
remain to be discovered. Out of fifteen species known from 
Timor, nine are found also in Java, or the islands west of it ; 
three are Moluccan species, most of which ara also found in 
Australia, and the rest are peculiar to Timor. 

The land mammals are only six 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 irom island to 
island on trees carried down by floods. 2. Paradoxurus fas- 
ciatus ; a civet cat, very common over a large part of the 
Archipelago. 8. Cervus timoriensis ; a deer, closely allied to tlie 
Javan and Moluccan species, if distinct. 4. A wild pig, Sus 
timoriensis ; perhaps the same as some of the Moluccan species. 
5. A shrew mouse, Sorex tenuis ] supposed to be peculiar to 
Timor. 6. An Eastern opossum, Cuscus orientalis ; found also 
in the Moluccas, if not a distinct species. 

The fact that not one of these species is Australian, or nearly 
allied to any Australian form, is strongly corroborative 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 doul^ very difficult 
to account for the presence of some of the few mammals that 
do exist in Timor, especially the deer. We must consider, 
however, that during thousands, and perhaps hundreds of 
thousands of years, these islands and the seas between them 
have been subjected to volcanic action. The land has lieen 
liaised and has sunk again ; the straits have been narrowed or 
widened ; many of the islands may have been joined and dis- 
severed again ; violent floods have again and again devastated 
the mountains and plains, carrying out to sea hundreds of forest 
trees, as has often happened during volcanic eruptions in Java ; 
and it does not seem improbable that once in a tnousand, or ten 
thousand years, there 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 scant v 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 country 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 ori^n of the Timorese 
fauna, because it appears to me a most interesting and in- 
structive problem. It is very seldom that we can trace the 
animals oi 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 propor- 
tions of their introduction. We have here a group of Oceanic 
Islands in miniature— islands which have never formed part of 
the adjacent lands, although so closely approaching them ; and 
their productions have the characteristics of true Oceanic Islands 
slightly modified. These characteristics are, the absence of all 
Mammalia except bats, and the occurrence of peculiar species of 
birds, insects, and land shells, which, though found nowhere else, 
are plainly related to those of the nearest land. Thus, we have 
an entire absence of Australian mammals, and the presence of 
only a few stragglers 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 relationship to 
those of the two nearest masses ot land. The insects have similar 
relations with the birds. As an example, four species of the 
Papilionidae 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 Pieridae (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 Molucccas. 

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 ajid jetsam theory,'' and 
it has been maintained that nature does not work by the " chapter 
of accidents." But in the case which I have here described, we 
have the most positive evidence that such has been the mode of 
peopling the islands. Their productions are of that miscellaneous 
character which we should expect from such an origin ; and to 
suppose that they have been portions of Australia or of Java 
will introduce perfectly j^tuitous difficulties, and render it 
quite impossible to explain those curious relations which the 
best known groxxp of animals (the birds) have been shown to 


exhibit. On the other hand, the depth of the surrounding seas, 
the form of the submerged banks, and the volcanic character of 
most of the islands, all point to an independent origin. 

Before concluding, I must make one remark to avoid mis- 
apprehension. Wlien I say that Timor has never formed part 
or Australia, I refer only to recent geolo^cal epochs. In 
Secondary or even Eocene or Miocene times, Timor and Australia 
may have been connected ; but if so, all record of such a union 
has been lost by subsequent submergence ; and in accounting 
for the present land-inhabitants of any country we have only to 
consider these changes which have occun^ed since its last ele- 
vation above the waters. Since such last elevation, I feel 
confident that Timor has not formed part of Australia. 



I LEFT Lombock on the 90th of Au^st, and reached Macassar 
in three days. It was with ^reat 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 ana 

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

Macassar was the first Dutch town I had visited, and I found 
it prettier and cleaner than any I had yet seen in the East. 
The Dutch have some admirable local regulations. All Euro- 
pean houses must be kept well whitewashed, and every person 
must, at four in the afternoon, water the road in front of his 

XV.] CELEBES. 163 

house. The streets are kept clear of refuse, and covered drains 
carry away all impurities into large open sewers, into which 
the tide is admittea 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 the 
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 population of Bug[is 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, ot ga^ cliecked 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 Qovemor 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 around extend the flat rice- 
fields, now bare and dry and forbidding, covered with dusty 
stubble and weeds. A few months back these were a mass of 
verdure, and their barren appearance at this season oflered 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 spring. 

The day after my arrival I paid a visit of ceremony to the 
Gk>venior, accompanied by my friend the Danish merchant, 
who sjpoke 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 con- 
versed 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 country house. It consisted of two 
rooms raised about seven feet above the ground^ the lower part 
beinff partly open (and serving excellently to skin birds in) and 
partly used as a g^nary for rice. There was a kitchen and 
other outhouses, 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 \ye made without going much further into 
the country. The rice-fields for some miles round resembled 

M 2 


English stubbles late in autumn, and were almost as unproduc- 
tive of bird or insect life. There were several native villages 
scattered about, so embosomed in fruit trees that at a distance 
they looked like clumps or patches of forest. These were my 
only collecting places, uut they produced a very limited number 
of species, and were soon exhausted. Before 1 could move to 
any more promising district it was necessary to obtain per- 
mission from the Rajah of Qoa, whose territories approach to 
within two miles of the town of Macassar. I therefore pre- 
sented myself at the Governor's office and requested a letter to 
the Bajah, to claim his protection, and permission to travel in 
his territories whenever I might wish to do so. This was im- 
mediately granted, and a special messenger was sent with me 
to carrv the letter. 

My friend Mr. Mesman kindly lent me a horse, and accom- 
panied me on my visit to the Rajah, with whom tie was great 
friends. We found his Majesty seated out of doors, watclnng 
tlie erection of a new house. He was naked from the waist up, 
wearing only the usual short trousers and sarong. Two chairs 
were brought out for us, T)ut all the cliiefs and other natives 
were seated on the ground. The messenger, squatting down at 
the Rajah's feet, produced the letter, which was sewn up in a 
covering of yellow silk. It was handed to one of the chief 
officers, who ripped it open and returned it to the Rajah, who 
read it, and then showed it to Mr. M., who both speaks and 
reads the Macassar language fluently, and who explained fully 
what I required. Permission was immediately granted me to 
go where I liked in the territories of Goa, but the Kaiah 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 themselves. 

Although this was the height of the dry season, and there was 
a fine wind all day. it was by no means a healthy time of year. 
My boy AH had hardly })een a day on shore when he was 
attacked by fever, which put me to ^reat inconvenience, as at 
the house where I was staying nothing could be obtained but 
at meal-times. After having cured AH, and with much difficulty 
got another servant to cook for me, I was no sooner settled at 
my country abode than the latter was attacked with the same 
disease ; and, having a wife in the town, left me. Hardly was 
he gone than I fell ill 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 AH 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 the day. In a week I cured him and also succeeded 
in getting another boy who could cook and shoot, and had no 

XT.] CELEBES. 165 

objection to go into the interior. His name was Baderoon, and 
as he was unmarried and had been used to a roving life, having 
been several voyages to North Australia to catch trepang or 
'* beche 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 ana 
make himself generally useful. Ali had by this time become 
a pretty good bird-skinner, so that I was uiirly supplied with 

I made manv excursions into the country, in search of a good 
station for collecting birds and insects. Some of the villages a 
few miles inland ai'e 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 jparticu- 
larly by the large palm, Aren^a saccharifera, from which wine 
and sugar are made, and which also produces a coarse black 
fibre used for cordage. That necessary of life, the bamboo, has 
also been abundantly planted. In such places I found a good 
many birds, among which were the fine cream-coloured pigeon, 
Carpopha|^ luctuosa, and the rare blue-headed roller, Coracias 
temmincki, which has a most discordant voice, and generally 
goes in pairs, flying from tree to tree, and exliibitin^ while at 
rest that all-in-a-heap appearance and jerking motion of the 
head and tail which are so characteristic of the great Fissiros- 
tral ^roup to which it belongs. From this habit alone, the 
kingfishers, bee-eaters, rollers, trogons, and Soutli American 
puft-birds, might be grouped together by a person who had 
observed them in a state of nature, but who had never had an 
opportunity of examining their form and structure in detail. 
Tnousands 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 
night but differ much in form and structure, twitter from the 
tree-tops; while a lyre-tailed drongo-shrike. with brilliant 
black plumage and milk-white eyes, continually deceives the 
naturalist by the variety of its unmelodious notes. 

In the more shadv parts butterflies were tolerably abundant ; 
the most common being species of Euplsea and Danais, which 
frequent gardens and slirubbenes, and owing to their weak 
flight are easily captured. A beautiful pale blue and black 
butterfly, which flutters along near the ground among the 
thickets, and settles occasionally upon flowers, was one of the 
most striking ; and scarcelv less so, was one witli a rich orange 
band on a blackish ground : these both belong to the Pieridee, 
the group that contains our common white butterflies, althougli 
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 

1 The former has been named Eronia tritaea ; the latter Tacbyris itlwmo. 


could find, accompanied by my two boys with guns and insect- 
net. We used to start earl v. taking our breakfast with us, and 
eating it wherever we coula find shade and wat^r. At sucli 
times my Macassar boys would put a minute fragment of rice 
and meat or fish on a leaf, and lay it on a stone or stump as an 
ofieringto the deity of the spot ; 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 cicter. When 
well made it is a very refreshing drink, and we often took a 
draught at some of the little sheds dignified by the name of 
bazaars, which are scattered about the country wherever there 
is any traffic. 

One day Mr. Mesman told me of a larger piece of forest 
where he sometimes went to shoot deer, but he assured me it 
was much further off, and that there were no birds. 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 sta^ the niffht 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, oaso 
carrying our provisions and my insect-box, while I took only mv 
net and collecting-bottle and determined to devote myself 
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 Pa<;hyrhynchus, 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 specimens of one of the finest of known cuckoos, 
Phoenicophaus callirhynchus. This bird derives its name from 
its large Dill being coloured of a brilliant yellow, red, and black, 
in about equal proportions. The tail is exceedingly long, ana 
of a fine metallic purple, while the plumage of the body is liglit 
coffee brown. It is one of the characteristic birds of the island 
of Celebes, to which it is confined. 

After sauntering along for a couple of liours we reached a 
small river, so deep that horses could only cross it by swimming, 
so we had to turn oack ; 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 plan- 
tation 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 

XV.] CELEBES. 167 

door-step, and asked for the provisions. In handing them up, 
Baderoon saw the infant, ana started back as if he had seen a 
serpent. It then immediately struck me that this was a hut in 
which, as among the Dyaks of Borneo and many other savage 
tribes, the women are secluded for some time after the birth of 
their child, and that we did very wrong to enter it ; so we 
walked off and asked permission to eat our breakfast in the 
family mansion close at hand, which was of course granted. 
While I ate, three men, two women, and four children watched 
every motion, and never took eyes off me till I had finished. 

On our way back in the heat of the day I had the good fortune 
to capture three specimens of a fine Ornithoptera, the largest, 
the most perfect^ and the most beautiful of butterflies. I 
trembled with excitement as I took the first 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 and satiny yellow. The body was 
marked with shaded spots of white, yellow, and fierv orange, 
while the head and thorax were intense black. On the under- 
side the lower winffs were satiny white, with the marginal spots 
half black and half yellow. I gazed upon my prize with ex- 
treme interest, as I at first thought it was quite a new species. 
It proved however to be a variety of Ornithoptera remus, one 
of the rarest and most remarkable si>ecies of this highly 
esteemed group. I also obtained several other new and pretty 
butterflies. When we arrived at our lodging-house, being 
particularly anxious about my insect treasures, 1 suspended the 
Dox from a bamboo on which 1 could 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 
half-hour would have seen my whole day's collection destroyed. 
As it was, I had to take every insect out. clean them thoroughly 
as well as the box, and then seek for a place of safety for them. 
As the only effectual one I begged a plate and a basin from my 
host, filled the former with water, and standing the latter in it 
placed my box on the top, and then felt secure for the night ; 
a few inches of clean water or oil being the only banker tnese 
terrible pests are not able to pass. 

On returning home to Mamiijam ^as my house was called) I 
had a slight return of intermittent zever, which kept me some 
days indoors. As soon as I was well, I a^in went to Goa, 
accompanied by Mr. Mesman, to beg the Rajah'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 housa 
This was large, well built, and loft^, with bamboo floor and 
fflass windows. The greater part of it seemed to be one large 
nail divided by the supix>rting 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 
sideand a sirili-box in front were ready to administer to her 
wants. The Rajah seated himself opposite to her in a similar 
chair, and a similar spittoon and sinh-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 daup^hters, others 
slaves, were standing about ; a few were working at frames 
making sarongs, but most of them were idle. 

And here 1 might (if I followed the example of most 
travellers) launch out into a glowing description oi the charms 
of these damsels, the elegant costumes they wore, and the gold 
and silver ornaments with which thev were adorned. Tlie 
jacket or body of purple gauze would, figure well in such a 
description, allowing the heavinp^ bosom to be seen beneath it. 
while "sparkling eyes," and "letty tresses,'* and "tiny feet' 
might be thrown in profusely. But, alas ! regard for truth will 
not permit me to expatiate too admiringly on such topics, 
determined as I am to ^ve as far as I can a true picture of the 
people and places I visit. The princesses were, it is true, suffi- 
ciently good-looking, yet neither their persons nor their 
garments had that appearance of freshness and cleanliness 
without which no otner charms can be contemplated with 
pleasure. Evervthing had a dingy and faded appearance, very 
disagreeable and unroyal to a European eye. The only thing 
that excited some degree of admiration was the quiet and 
dignified manner of the Rajah, and the great respect always 
paid to him. None can stand erect in his presence, and when 
ne sits on a chair, all present (Europeans of course excepted) 
squat upon the ground. The highest seat is literally, with these 
people, tlie place of honour and tlie sign of rank. So unbending 
are the rules in this respect, that when an English carriage 
which the Rajah of Lombock had sent for arrived, it was found 
impossible to use it because the dnver's seat was the highest, 
and it had to be kept as a show in its coach-house. On being 
told the object of my visit, the Rajah at once said that he would 
order a house to be emptied for me, which would be much better 
than building one, as that would take a good deal of time. Bad 
coffee and sweetmeats were given us as before. 

Two days afterwards I called on the Rajah, to ask him to send 
a guide with me to show me the house I was to occupy. He 
immediately ordered a man to be sent for, gave him 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 


hour we started again, and another hour's walk brought us to 
the villa^^e where I was to be lodged. We went to the residence 
of the viila^ chief, who conversed with my conductor for some 
time. Getting tired, I asked to be shown the house that was 
prepared for me, but the only reply I could get was, ** Wait a 
little," and the parties went on talking as before. So I told them 
I could not wait, as I wanted to see tne house and then to go 
shooting in the forest. This seemed to puzzle them, and at 
length, m answer to ouestion& very poorly explained by one or 
two bystanders who knew a little Malay, it came out that no 
house was ready, and no one seemed to have the least idea where 
to ffet one. As I did not want to trouble the Bajah any more, 
I thought it best to try to frighten them a little ; so I told 
them that if they did not immediately find me a house as the 
Rajah had ordered, I should go back and complain to him, but 
that if a house was found me I would pay tor the use of it. 
This had the desired efi'ect, 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 de- 
scription, which I at once rejected, saying, ** I must have a g^ood 
one, and near to the forest" The next he showed me suited 
veiy well, so I told him to see that it was emptied the next 
dav, for tnat the day after I should come and occupy it. 

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

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


see that I had made a 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 few specimens each of a small Helix, for which tliey 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 nrst visited, ana 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 (^nerally so productive) here produced 
scarcely anything. This convinced 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. Un- 
fortunately, after a few days I became ill with a low fever which 
firoduced excessive lassitude and disinclination to all exertion, 
n 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, whei*e some good insects were occasionally to be found ; 
and the rest of the day to wait quietly at home, and receive 
what beetles and shells my little corps of collectors brought me 
daily. I imputed my illness chiefly to the water, which was 
procured from shallow wells, around which there was almost 
always a stagnant puddle in which the buffaloes wallowed. 
Close to my house was an inclosed mud hole where three buffaloes 
were shut up every night, and the effluvia from which freely 
entered through the open bamboo floor. My Malay boy Ali 
was affected with the same illness, and as he was my chief bird- 
skinner I got on but slowly with my collections. 

The occupations and mode of life of the villagers differed but 
little from those of all other Malay races. The time of the 
women was almost wholly occupied in pounding and cleaning 
rice for daily use, in bringing home firewood and water, and in 
cleaning, clyeing, 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 ^ery slow and tedious process. 
To form the checked pattern in common use, each patch of 
coloured threads has to be pulled up separately by hand and the 
shuttle passed between tliem ; so that about an inch a day is 
the usual progress in stuff a yard and a half wide. The men 
cultivate a little sirih (the pungent pepper leaf used for chewing 
with betel-nut) and a tew 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 than a few 

XV.] CELEBES. 171 

words of Malay, and hardly any of the people appeared to have 
seen a European before. One most disagreeable result of this 
was, that I excited terror alike in man and beast. Wherever £ 
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 buf&loes, they could never be ap- 

froached bv me ; not for fear of mv own but of others' safety, 
hey would first stick out their necks and stare at me, and then 
on a nearer view break loose from their halters or tethey^, and 
rush away helter-skelter as if a demon were after them, without 
any regard for what might be in their way. Whenevel^ 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 mv- 
self 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 liouses ; and then Iliad to 
creep about like a thief by back ways, for no one could tell what 
mischief they might do to children and houses were I to walk 
among them. If I came suddenly upon a well where women 
were drawing water or children 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 determined to 
return to Mamdjam, and pack up my collections before the 
heavy rains commenced. The wind had already begun to blow 
from the west, and many signs indicated that the rainy season 
might set in earlier than usual ; and then e^'erything becomes 
very damp, and it is almost impossible to dry collections 
properly. My kind friend, Mr. Mesman, again lent me his pack- 
horses, and with the assistance of a few men to carrv my oiixls 
and insects, which I did not like to trust on horses backs, we 
got everything home safe. Few can imagine the luxurv it was 
to stretch myself on a sofa, and to take my supper comfortably 
at table seated in my easv bamboo chair, after having for five 
weeks taken all my meals uncomfortably 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. 

Mjr house, like all bamboo structures in this country, wa^ 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 up- 
right or horizontal, and fastened rudely together witli 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 discovered 
two ways of remedying tlie 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 inmuted 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 
le^, 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 I. " Oh," replied he. " they pi'efer some like that in 
a house, because then it won't fall/ evidently imputing the effect 
to some 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 pt*oduced by it. A true square 
changes its figure readily into a rhomboid or oblique figure, but 
when one or two of the uprights are bent or sloping, and placed 
so as to oppose each other, the effect of a strut is proauc^, 
though in a rude and clumsy manner. 

Just before I had left Mamdjam the people had sown a con- 
sidei*able 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 premature rains the ground was all 
flooded when I returned, and the plants just coming into ear 
were yellow and dead. Not a grain would l>e obtained by the 
whole village, but luckily it is only a luxury, not a necessary of 
life. The rain was the signal for ploughing to begin, in order to 
sow rice on all the flat lands between us and the town. The 
plough used is a rude wooden instrument, with a very short 
single handle, a tolerably well-shaped coulter, and the point 
formed of a piece of ham palm-wood fastened in with wedses. 
One or two buffaloes draw it at a very slow p^ice. The seed is 
sown broadcast, and a rude wooden harrow is used to smooth 
the surface. 

By the beginning of Deceml>er the regular wet season had set 
in. Westei'ly winds and driving rains sometimes continued for 
days together ; the fields for miles around were under water, and 
the ducks and buffaloes enioyed themselves amazingly. All 
along the road to Macassar ploughing was daily going on in the 
mud and water, through which the wooden plougii easily makes 
its way, the ploughman holding the plough handle with one hand 

XV.] CELEBES. 173 

while a long bamboo ia the other serves to guide the bufialoes. 
These animals require an immense deal of ariviog to get them 
on at all ; a continual shower of exclamations is kept up at them, 
and " Oh ! ah ! gee ! ugh !" are to be heard in vanous keys and 
in an uninterrupted succession all day long. At night we were 
favoured with a different kind of concert. The dry g^round 
around my house had become a marsh tenanted by irogs, who 
kept up a most incredible noise froni dusk to dawn. The)[ were 
somewnat musical too, having a deep vibrating note which at 
times closely resembles the tuning of two or three bass-viols in 
an orchestra. In Malacca and Borneo I had heard no such sounds 
as these, which indicates that the fro^ like most of the animals 
of Celebes, are of species peculiar to it. 

My kind friend and landlord, Mr. Mesman, was a good speci- 
men of the Macassar-bom Dutchman. He wa« about thirty-five 

years of age, had a larj^e famil;^i 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 depend- 
ants. He usually rose before the sun, and after a cup of CofTee 
looked after his servants, horses, and dogs, till seven, when a 
substantial 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 afloirs. His business was 
that of a coffee and opium merchant. Ho hod 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, havecoffeeand cake or fried plantain, 
first changing his dress for a coloured cotton shirt and trousers 
and bare fee^ 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 Mam^jam, to pay me a \isit and look 
after his farm. 

This consisted of a coffee plantation and an orchard of fruit 
trees, a dozen horses and a score of cattle, with a small village 
of Timorese slaves and Macassar servants. One family looked 
after the cattle and supplied the house with milk, bringing me 
also a large glassful every morning, one of my greatest luxuries. 
Others had charge of the horses, which were brought in every 
afternoon and fed with cut grass. Others had to cut grass for 
their master's horses at Macassar — not a very easv task in the 
dry season, when all the country looks like bakea 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 ^et it. One lame woman had 
charge of a flock of ducks. Twice a day she took them out to 
feed m 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 Gk>a, 
only two miles off, being notorious thieves, and norses 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 mv stay, 
and I suppose never does. Almost every Sunday Mr. M. maae 
a shooting excursion with his eldest son, a lad oi fifteen, and I 
generally accompanied him ; for though the Dutch are Pro- 
testants, 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 is the regular amusement. 

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

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




I REACHED Macassar again on the 11th of July, and estab- 
lished myself in my old quarters at Mamdjam, to sort, arrange, 
clean, and pack up my Aru collections. This occupied me a 
montli ; 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, 
seven months before, a flooded marsn, being ploughed up for the 
rice-sowing. The rains had continued for Ave 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 inquir;^ I determined to visit the district of 
Mdros, about thirty miles north of Macassar, where Mr. Jacob 
Mesman, a brother of my friend, resided, who had kindly oflered 
to find me house-room and give me assistance should I feel 
inclined to visit him. I accordingly obtained a pass from the 
Resident, and having hired a boat setoff one evenmgfor M4ros. 
My boy Ali wtf^ so ill with fever that I was obliged to leave him 
in the tiospital, under the care of my friend the German doctor, 
and I had to make shift with two new servants utterly ignorant 
of everything. We coasted along during the night, and at day- 
break enter the Mdros river, and by three in the afternoon 
reached the village. I immediately visited the Assistant 
Resident, and appfied for ten men to carry my baggage, and a 
horse for myself. These were promised to be ready that niffht, 
so that I 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 baggage fairly among them, as thev all wanted to shirk the 
heavy Doxes, and would seize hold of some light article and 
marcn off with it, till made to come back and wait till the 
whole had been fairly apportioned. At length about eieht 
o^clock all was arranged, and we started for our walk to Mr. 
M.'s farm. 

The country was at first a uniform plain of bumt-up rice- 
grounds, but at a few miles distance precipitous hills appeared, 
backed by the lofty central ran^e of the peninsula. Towards 
these our path lay, and after having gone six or eight miles the 
hills began to advance into the plain right and left of us, and 


the ground became pierced here and there with blocks and 
pillars of limestone rock, while a few abrupt conical hills and 
peaks rose like islands, rassing over an elevated tract forming 
the shoulder of one of the hills, a picturesque scene lay before 
us. We looked down into a little valley almost entirely 
surrounded by mountains, rising abruptly in huge precipices, 
and forminff a succession of knoUs and peaks and domes of the 
most varied and fantastic shapes. In the very centre of the 
valley was a large bamboo house, while scattered around were 
a dozen cottages of the same material. 

I was kindly i*eceived by Mr. Jacob Mesman in an airy 
saloon detached from the house, and entirel v 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 
ffiven up to me till I should decide where to have a cottage 
built for my own use. I soon found that this spot was too 
much exposed to the wind and dust, which rendered it very 
difficult U> work with papers or insects. It was also dreadfullv 
hot in the afternoon, and after a few days I got a sharp attack 
of fever, which determined me to move. I accordingly fixed on 
a place about a mile off, at the foot of a forest-covered hill, 
where in a few days Mr. M. built for me a nice little house, 
consisting of a gooa-sized enclosed verandah or open room, ana 
a small inner sleeping-room, with a little cook-house outside. 
As soon as it was miished I moved into it, and found the 
change most agreeable. 

The forest which surrounded me was open and free from 
underwood, consisting of large trees, widely scattered with a 
great quantity of palm-trees (Arenga saccharifera), from which 
palm wine and su^ar are made. There were also great numbers 
of a wild Jack-fruit tree (Artocarpus), which bore abundance of 
large reticulated fruit, serving as an excellent vegetable. ^ The 

f round was as thickly covered with dry leaves as it is in an 
Inglish wood in November ; the little rocky streams were all 
dry, and scarcely a drop of water or even a damp place was 
anywhere to be seen. About fifty yards below my house, at the 
foot of the hill, was a deep hole in a watercourse where good 
water was to be had, and where I went daily to bathe, by 
having buckets of water taken out and pouring it over my 

My host Mr. M. enjoyed a thoroughly country life, depending 
almost entirely on his gun and do^s to supply his table. Wild 
pigs of large size were very plentiful, ana he generally got one 
or two a week, besides deer occasionally, and abundance of 
jungle-fowl, horn bills, and g^reat fruit pigeons. His buffaloes 
supplied pjlenty of milk, from which he made his own butter ; 
he grew his own rice and coffee, and had ducks, fowls, and their 
eggs in profusion. His palm-trees supplied him all the vear 
round with **sagueir,' which takes the place of beer : and. the 
sugar made from them is an excellent sweetmeat. All the fine 

zvi.J CELEBES. 177 

toopical T^etables and fruits were abuiiilHiit iu their season, 
and his cigars were mtule from tobacco of his own raising;. He 
kindly sent me a bamboo of buffalo-milk every morning : it was 
as thick as cream, aad required diluting with water to Keep it 
fluid during the day. It mixes very well with tea and coffee, 
although it has a slight peculiar flavour, which after a time is 

. (Arnta (Htkar^ftr*.) 

not disagreeable. I also got aa 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 our- 
selves, and buffalo beef about once a fortnight, kept my larder 
sufficiently well supplied. 
Every bit of flat land was cleared and used aa 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 precipitous as to be quite inaocessible. These cir- 
cumstances, combined with the excessive drought, were very 
unfavourable for my pursuits. Birds were scarce, and I got 
but few new to me. Insects were tolerablv plentiful, but un- 
equal Beetles, usually so numerous and interesting, were 
exceedingly scarce, some of the families bein^ quite absent and 
others only represented by very minute species. The Flies and 
Beesj on the other hand, were abundant, and of these I daily 
obtained new and interesting species. ^ The rare and beautiful 
Butterflies of Celebes were the cliief object of my search, and I 
found man^ species altogether new to me, but they were gene- 
rally 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 ooula 
be founa. In these rocky forests dwell some of tlie finest butter- 
flies in the world. Three 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. mskcedon, ana 
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 coffee at six in the morning, rare 
birds would often be seen on some tree close by, w^hen I would 
hastily sally out in my slippers, and perhaps secure a prize I 
had been seeking after for weeks. The gre^t hombills of 
Celebes (Buceros cassidix^ would often come with loud-flapping, 
wings, and perch upon a lofty tree just in front of me ; ana the 
black baboon monkeys, Cynopithecus nigrescens. often stared 
down in astonishment at such an intrusion into tneir domains ; 
while at night herds of wild pigs roamed about the house, de- 
vouring 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 sun- 
set, would often produce me more beetles than I would meet 
with in a day's collecting, and odd moments could be made 
valuable which when living in villages or at a distance from 
the forest are inevitably wasted. Where the sugar-palms were 
dripping with sap, flies congi'egated in immense numbers, and 
it was by spending half an hour at these when I had the time 
to spare, that I obtained the finest and most remarkable 
collection of this group of insects that I have ever made. 

Then what delightful hours I passed wandering up and down 
the dry river-courses, full of water-holes and rocks and fallen 


trees, and overshadowed by magnificent vegetation! I soon 
got to know every hole and rock and stump, and came up to 
each with cautious step and bated breath to see what treasures 
it would produce. At one place I would find a little crowd of 
the rare butterfly Tachyris zarinda. which would rise up at my 
approach, and display their vivia orange and cinnabar-red 
wings, while amongthem would flutter a few of the fine blue- 
bana^ Papilios. W here leafy branches hung over the g^uUy, I 
might expect> to find a grand Ornithoptera at rest and an easy 
prev. At certain rotten trunks I was sure to get the curious 
little tiger beetle. Therates flavilabris. In the denser thickets 
I would capture the small metallic blue butterflies (Amblypodia) 
sitting on the leaves, as well as some rare and beautiful leaf- 
beetles of the families Hispidse and Chrysomelidse. 

I found that the rotten jack-fruits were very attractive to 
many beetles, and used to split them partly open and lay them 
about in the forest near my house to rot. A mornine^s search 
at these often produced me a score of species,— Staphylinidse, 
Nitidulidse, Onthophagi, and minute Carabidae being the most 
abundant. Now and then the " sa^ueir '' makers brought me a 
fine rosechafer (Sternoplus 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 celebensis), 
and a beautiful violet-crowned dove (Ptilonopus celebensis), 
both very similar to birds I had recently obtained at Aru, but 
of distinct species. 

About the latter part of September a heavy shower of rain 
fell, admonishing 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 Mdros river, 
situated at the point where it issuer from the mountains — a 
spot often visited by travellers and considered very beautiful. 
Mr. M. lent me a horse, and I obtained a guide from a neigh- 
bouring 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 pre- 
cipices on our left, we reached the river about half-way between 
Maros and the falls, and thence had a good bridle-road to our 
destination, which we reached in another hour. The hills had 
closed in round us as we advanced ; and when we reached a 
ruinous shed which had been erected for the accommodation of 
visitors, we found ourselves in a flat-bottomed valley about a 
quarter of a mile wide, bounded by precipitous and often over- 
hanging limestone rocks. So far the ground had been cultivated, 
but it now became covered with bushes and large scattered 

As soon as my scanty baggage had arrived and was duly 
dei>osited 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 from a chasm between two vertical 

N 2 


walls of liuiestone, oyer a rounded mass of basaltic rock about 
forty feet high, forming two curves separated by a slight ledge. 
The water spreads beautifully over this surface in a thin sheet 
of foam, which curls and eddies in a succession of concentric 
cones till it falls into a fine deep pool below. Close to the very 
edge of the fall a narrow and very rugged path leads to the 
river above, and tlience continues close unaer the precipice 
alonff the water's edge, or sometimes in the water, for a few 
hunofred yards, after wnich 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 pro- 
gress. 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 descending into the bowels 
of the mountain, and which, having visited several such, I had 
no great curiosity to explore. 

Crossing the stream a little below the upper fall, the path 
ascends a steep slope for about five hundred feet, and passing 
through a gap enters a narrow valley, shut in by walls of rock 
absolutely perpendicular and of great height. Half a mile 
further this valley turns abruptly to the right, and becomes a 
mere rift in the mountain. This extends another half mile, the 
walls gradually approaching till they are only two feet apart, 
and the bottom nsmg steeply to a juiss which leads probably . 
into another valley, but which I had no time to explore. Re- 
turninff 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 mountains, probably leaaing 
into the main river valley again. This was a most tempting 
region to explore, but there were several reasons why I could 
go no further. I had no guide, and no permission to enter the 
Bug^s 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 ground pigeon with yellow breast and crown, and purple 
neck. This rugged path is the highway from M^ros to the 
Bu^s country beyona 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 
mai^n of the upper pool, that I founa most insects. The large 
semi-transparent butterfly, Idea tondana, flew lazilv along by 
dozens, and it was here that I at length obtained an insect 
which I had hoped but hai'dly expected to meet with — ^the 
magnificent Papilio androcles, one of the largest and rarest 
known swallow-tailed butterflies. During my four days' stay 
at the falls I was so fortunate as to obtain six good specimens. 
Ajs this beautiful ci*eature flies, the long white tails flicker like 
streamers, 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 capture. When the sun 
shone hottest about noon, the moist beach of the pool below the 
upper fall presented a beautiful sight, being dotted with groups 
or gay butterflies, — orange, yellow, white, blue, and green, — 
which on being disturbed rose into the air by hundreds, forming 
clouds of variegated colours. 

Such gorges, chasms, and precipices as here abound, I have 
nowhere seen in the Archipelago. A sloping surface is scarcelv 
anywhere to l)e found, huge walls and rugged masses of rock 
terminating all the ;nountains 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, Pandanacese, shrubs, creepers, 
and even foi*est trees, are mingled in an evergreen network, 
through the interstices of whicli 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 tlieir peculiar structure. Their sui'faces are very 
irregular, broken into holes and fissures, with ledges overhang- 
ing 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 
admirable support to the roots of the shrubs, ti*ees, and creepers, 
which luxuriate in the warm pure atmosphere and the gentle 
moisture which constantly exudes from the rocks. In places 
where the precipice oflers smooth surfaces of solid rock, it 
remains quite bare, or only stained with lichens and dotted 
with clumps of ferns that grow on the small ledges and in the 
minutest crevices. 

The reader who is familiar with tropical nature onl^r through 
the medium of books and botanical gardens, will picture to 
himself in such a spot many other natural? beauties. He will 
think that I have unaccountably forgotten to mention the 
brilliant flowers, which, in gorgeous masses of crimson, gold, 
or azure, must spangle these verdant precipices, hang over the 
cascade, and adorn the margin of the mountain stream. But 


what is the reality ? In vain did I gaze over these vast walls of 
verdure, among the 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 ori^ht flowers and gorgeous 
masses of blossom^ so generally considered to be everywhere 
present in the tropics. I have here given an accurate sketch of 
a luxuriant tropical scene as noted down on the spot, and its 
general characteristics as regards 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 7 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 abundance in any one region. Many of them are vei^ 
rare, others extremely local, while a considerable number inhabit 
the more arid regions of Africa and India, in which tropical 
vegetation does not exhibit itself in its usual luxuriance. Fine 
and varied foliage, rather than gay flowers, is more character- 
istic of those parts where tropical vegetation attains its highest 
development, and in such districts each kind of flower seldom 
lasts in perfection more than a few weeks, or sometimes a few 
days. In every locality a lengthened residence will show an 
abundance of magnificent and gaily -blossomed plants, but they 
have to be sought for, and are rarely at any one time or place 
so abundant as to form a perceptible feature in the landscape. 
But it has been the custom of travellers to describe and group 
together all the fine plants they have met with during a long 
journey, and tlius produce the effect of a gay and flower-painted 
landscape. They have rarely studied and aescribed individual 
scenes where vegetation was most luxuriant and beautiful, and 
fairly stated what effect was produced in them by flowers. I 
have done so frequently, and the result of these examinations 
lias convinced me, that the bright colours of flowers have a much 
greater influence on the general aspect of nature in temperate 
uian 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 stre<ims basalt is almost 
always found, and it is a step in this rock which forms the 
cascade alreaay described. From it the limestone precipices rise 
abruptly ; and in ascending the little stairway along the side 
of the tall, you step two or three times from the one rock on to 
the other. — the limestone dry and rough, being worn by the 
water ana 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 mountains. They are all skittle-shaped, larger in the middle 
than at the base, the greatest diameter occurring at the height 
te which the countiy is flooded in the wet season, and thence 
decreasing regularly to the ground. Many of them overhang 
considerably, and some of the slenderer pillars appear te stand 
upon a point. When the rock is less solid it becomes curiously 
honeycombed bv 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 moun- 
tains to the sea extends a perfectly flat alluvial plain, with no 
indication that water would accumulate 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 witli it the insects which frequented them. 
Only one group remained unaffected 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 ornatus, and a rare black and white crow, Corvus 

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 hop^ now to get a ^ood 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 


accamulated on some rocks by the side of a forest stream, I 
found abundance of Carabidse, a family 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 thiixl had left me, and for some days 
they both lay groaning in the house. When they got a little 
better I was attacked myself, and as my stores were nearly 
finished and everything was setting very damp, I was obliged 
to pi*epare for my return to Macassar, es]>ecially 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 niillix)edes, as thick 
as one's finger and eight or ten inches long, crawled about every- 
where, 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. Brown snakes 
got into my net while beating among dead leaves for insects, 
and made me rather cautious about inserting my hand till I 
knew what kind of game I had captured. The fields and 
meadows which had been parched and sterile now became 
suddenly covered with fine long grass ; the river-bed where I 
had so many times walked over 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 insect^s, and if I had had a good, roomy, 
water-and-wind-proof house, I should perhaps have stayed 
during the wet season, as I feel sure many thin^ can then be 
obtained which are to be found at no other time. With my 
summer hut, however, this was impossible. During the heavy 
rains a fine drizzly mist penetrated into every part of it, and I 
began to have the g^reatest difi&culty in keeping my specimens 

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





It was after my residence at Timor-Coupang that I visited 
the north-eastern extremity of Celebes, touching on my way at 
Banda, Amboyna, and Ternate. I reached Menado on the 10th 
of June» 1869, and was very kindly received by Mr. Tower, an 
Englishman, but a very old resident in Menado, where he carries 
on a general business. He introduced me to Mr. L. Duivenboden 
(whose father had been my friend at Ternate), who had much 
taste for natural history ; and to Mr. Neys, a native of Menado, 
but who was educated at Calcutta, and to wliom Dutch, English, 
and Malay were equally mother-tongues. All these gentlemen 
showed me the greatest kindness, accompanied me in my earli4l|t 
walks about the country, and assisted me by every means in 
their power. I spent a week in the town very pleasantly, 
making explorations and inquiries after a good collecting 
station, which I had much difficulty in finding, owing to the 
wide cultivation of coffee and cacao, which has Jed to the clear- 
ing away of the forests for many miles round the town, and over 
extensive districts far into the interior. 

The little town of Menado is one of the prettiest in the East. 
It has the appearance of a large garden containing rows of 
rustic villas, with broad paths between, forming streets generally 
at right angles with each other. Good roads branch off in 
several directions towards the interior, with a succession of 
pretty cottages, neat gardens, and thriving plantations, inter- 
spersed 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 called) 
differ much from those of all the rest or the island, and in fact 
from any other people in the Archipelago. They are of a light- 
brown or yellow tint, often approaching the fairness of a 
European ; of a rather short stature, stout and well-made ; of 
an open and pleasing countenance, more or less disfigured as age 
increases by projecting cheek-bones ; and with the usual long, 
straight, jet-blacK hair of the Malayan races. In some of the 
inland villages where they may be supposed to be of the purest 
race, both men and women are remarkably 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 inhabitants of the surrounding 

In mental and moral characteristics they are also higlily 
peculiar. Thev are remarkably quiet and gentle in disposition, 
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 intellectual education. 

Up to a very recent period these people were thorough 
savages, and there are pei^ns now living m Menado who re- 
member a state of things identical with that described by the 
writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The in- 
habitants of the several villages were distinct tribes, each under 
its own chief, speaking languages unintelligible to each other, 
and almost always at war. They built their houses elevatea 
upon lofty posts to defend themselves from the attacks of their 
enemies. Ttiey were head hunters like the Dyaks of Borneo, and 
were said to oe sometimes cannibals. When a chief 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. 
Ehiman skulls were the great ornaments of the chiefs' houses. 
Strips of bark were their only dress. The country was a pathless 
wilderness, with small cultivated patches of rice and vegetables, 
or clumps of fruit-trees, diversitying the otherwise unbroken 
forest. Their religion was that naturally engendered in the un- 
developed human mind by the contemplation of grand natural 
phenomena and the luxuriance of tropical nature. The burning 
mountain, the torrent and the lake, were the abode of their 
deities: and certain trees and biras were supposed to have 
especial influence over men's actions and destiny. They held 
wud 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 
communities at war with all around them, subject to the wants, 
and miseries of such a condition, drawing a precarious existence 
from the luxuriant soil, and living on from generation to genera- 
tion, 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 expenments were made as 
to its cultivation. It was found to succeed admirably at from 
fifteen hundred up to four thousand feet above the sea. The 
chiefs of villages were induced to undertake its cultivation. 
Seed and native instructors were sent from Java ; food was 
supplied to the labourers engaged in clearing and planting ; a 
fixed price was established at which all conee brought to the 
government collectors was to be paid for, and the village chiefs 
who now received the title of " Majors " were to receive ^ve per 
cent, of the produce. After a time, roads were made from the 


port of Menado up to the plateau, and smaller paths were cleared 
from village to village ; missionaries settled in the more populous 
districts and opened schools, and Chinese traders penetrated to 
the interior ana supplied clothing and other luxuries in exchange 
for the money whicn the sale of the coffee had produced. At the 
same time, the countrv was divided into districts, and the system 
of '* Controlleurs," which had worked so well in Ja^a, was in- 
troduced. The " Controlleur " was a European, or a native of 
European blood, who was the general superintendent of the 
cultivation of the district, the adviser of the chiefs, the protector 
of the people, and the means of communication between both 
and the European Qovernment. His duties obliged him to visit 
every village m succession once a month, and to send in a report 
on their condition to tlie Resident. As disputes between adjacent 
villages were now settled by appeal to a superior authority, the 
old and inconvenient semi-fortified houses were disused, and 
under the direction of the " ControUeurs " 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 stai^ted at 8 a.m. on the 22nd of 
June. Mr. Tower drove me the first three miles in his chaise, 
and Mr. Neys accompanied mo on horseback three miles further 
to the village of Lotta. Here we met the Controlleur of the 
district of Tonddno, who was returning home from one of his 
monthly tours, and who had agreed to act as my guide and com- 
panion 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 ele^'ation 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 buffaloes, is always turned aside 
at the entrance of a village, so as to pass behind it, and thus 
allow the village street itself to be kept neat and clean. This 
is bordered by neat hedges often formed entirely of rose-trees, 
which are perpetuaUy in olossom. There is a broad central path 
and a border of fine turf, which is kept well swept and neatly 
cut. The houses are all of wood, raised about six feet on sub- 
stantial posts neatly painted blue, while the walls are white- 
washed. They all have a verandah enclosed with a neat balus- 
trade, and are generally surrounded by orange-trees and flower- 
ing shrubs. The surrounding scenery is verdant and picturesque. 
Coffee plantations of extreme luxuriance, noble palms and tree 
fem& wooded hills and volcanic peaks, everywhere meet the eye. 
I haa heard much of the beauty of this country, but the reality 
far surpassed mv expectations. 

About one o'clock we reached Tomohdn, the chief place of a 
district, having a native chief now called the " Major, at whose 
house we were to dine. Here was a fresh surprise for me. The 
house was large, airy, and verv substantially built of hard native 
timber, squared and put together in a most workmanlike manner. 

188 THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO. [oh. xvii. 

It was furnished in European style, with handsome chandelier 
lamps, and the chairs ana tables all well made by native work- 
men. As soon as we entered, madeira and bitters were offered 
ua Then two handsome boyb, neatly dressed in white and with 
smoothly brushed jet-black hair, handed us each a basin of water 
and a clean napkin on a salver. The dinner was excellent. Fowls 
cooked in various ways, wild pig roasted, stewed and fri^, a 
fricassee of bats, potatoes, rice, and other vegetables, all served 
on good china, with finger glasses and fine napkins, and abun- 
dance of good claret ana beer, seemed to me nitlier 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. He 
sat at the head of the table and did the honours well, though he 
did not talk much. Our conversation was entii<ely in Malay, as 
that is the official language here, and in fact the mother-tongue 
and only language of the Controlleur, 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 abundantly 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 m a handsome manner. 

After dinner and coffee, the Controlleur went on to Tond^no, 
and I strolled "about the village waiting for my baggage, which 
was coming in a bullock-cart and did not arrive till after mid- 
night. Supper was very similar to dinner, and on retiring I 
found an eiegant little room with a comfortable bed, pauze 
curtains with blue and red hangings, and every convenience. 
Next morning at sunrise 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 
sx)acious verandah, amid the odour of roses, jessamine, and other 
sweet-scented flowers, which filled the garden in front ; and 
about eight o'clock left Tomohon with a dozen men carrying 
my baggage. 

Our road lay over a mountain ridge about 4,000 feet above 
the sea, and then descended about 600 feet to the little village 
of Kuriikan, the highest in the district of Minahasa, and prob- 
ably in all Celebes. Here I had determined to stay for some 
time to see whether this elevation would produce any change 
in the zoology. The village had only been formed about ten 
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 TondAno, with volcanic mountains beyond. On one 
side is a ravine, and beyond it a fine mountainous and wooded 


Near the village are the coffee plantations. The trees are 

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

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 thermometer in 
the morning often stood at 62° and never rose so hi^h as 80°, so 
that with the thin clothing used in the tronical plains we were 
always cool and sometimes positively cold, while the spout of 
water where I went daily for my bath had quite an icy feel. 
Although I enjoyed myself very much among these fine moun- 
tains and forests, I was somewhat disappointed as to mv collec- 
tions. 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 dis- 
advantageous to me. There seemed to be nothing absolutely 
peculiar to this elevation. Birds and quadrupeds were less 

Plentiful, but of the same species. In insects there seemed to 
e more aifference. The curious beetles of the family Cleridae, 
which are found chiefly on bark and rotten wood, were finer 
than I have seen them elsewhere. The beautiful Longicoms 
were scarcer than usual, and the few butterflies were all of 
tropical species. One of these, Papilio blumei, of which I ob- 
tained a lew 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 Hunlkan. 

Even in the vegetation there is very little to indicate eleva- 
tion. The trees are more covered with lichens and mosses, and 
the ferns and tree-ferns are finer and more luxuriant than I 

xvii.] CELEBES. 191 

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 Compositae, have somewhat of a temperate aspect ; 
and minute ferns and Orchidese, with dwarf Begonias on the 
rocks, make some approach to a sub-alpine vegetation. The 
forest however is most luxuriant. Noble palms, Pandani, and 
tree-ferns are abundant in it, while the forest trees are com- 

Sletely festooned with Orchidefe, Bromeliae, Araceffi, Lycopo- 
iums, and mosses. The ordinary stemless ferns abound ; some 
with ^gantic 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 ana 
interest to the forest paths. The cocoa-nut palm still produces 
fruit abundantlv, but is said to be deficient in oil. Oranges 
thrive better than below, producing abundance of delicious 
fruit; but the shaddock or pumplemous (Citrus decumana) 
requires the full force of a tropical sun, for it will not thrive 
even at Tondino 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 glass. 

The mountains have an unusual quantity of earth or vege- 
table 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, ana delays 
the appearance of that sub-alpine vegetation which depends 
almost as much on the abundance of rocky and exposed surfaces 
as on difference of climate. At a much lower elevation on Mount 
Ophir in Malacca, Dacrydiums and Rhododendrons with abun- 
dance of Nepenthes, ferns, and terrestrial orchids suddenly took 
the place of the lofty forest ; bitt 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 
soil, and also of loose sands and clays, resting on steep slopes, 
hill-tops and the sides of ravines, is a curious and important 
phenomenon. It may be due in part to constant slieht earth- 
quake shocks, facilitating the disintegration of rock ; but would 
also seem to indicate that the country has been long exposed 
to gentle atmospheric action, and that its elevation has been 
exceedingly slow and continuous. 

During my stay at Ruriikan my curiositv 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 be^an shaking with a very gentle, but rapidly in- 
creasing motion. I sat still enjoying the novel sensation for 
some seconds ; but in less than half a minute it became strong 
enough to shake me in my chair, and to make the house visibly 


rock about, and creak and crack as if it would fall to pieces. 
Then be^an a crv throughout the village of " Tana goyang ! 
tana sovang ! " (Earthquake ! earthquake !} Everybody rushed 
out 01 their houses — women screamed and children cried — and 
I tliought it prudent to go out too. On getting up, I found my 
head giddy and my steps unsteady, and could hardly walk 
without fculing. The shock continued about a minute, during 
which time I felt as if I had been turned round and round, and 
was almost sea-sick. Going into the house again, 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 nearlv vertical rapid, vibra- 
tory, and jerking. It was sufficient, I have no aoubt, to have 
thrown down bnck chimneys and walls and church towers ; 
but as the houses here are all low, and strongly framed of 
timber, it is impossible for them to be much injured, except by 
a shock that would utterly destroy a European city. The 
people told me it was ten ^ears since they haa had a stronger 
shock than this, at which time many houses were thrown dawn 
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 miffht at any moment have a 
much stronger shock, which would bring down the house over 
us, or — what I feared more — cause a lanofslip. and send us down 
into the deep ravine on the very edge of wnich 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 convulseo, and we were 
utterly impotent to guard against the danger that might at 
any moment overwhelm us. On the other hand was the spec- 
tacle of a number of men, women, and children running in and 
out of their houses, on what each time proved a very unneces- 
sary alarm, as eacli shock ceased just as it became strong enough 
to frighten us. It seemed reallv very much like " playing at 
earthquakes," and made many of the people join me m a hearty 
laueh, even while reminding each other that it really might l>e 
no laughing matter. 

At length the evening got very cold, and I became very 
sleepy, and determined to turn in, leaving ordera to my boys, 
who slept nearer the door, to wake me in case the house was in 
danger of falling. But I miscalculated m^r apathv, for I could 
not sleep much. The shocks continued at intervals of half an 
hour or an hour all night, just strong enough to wake me 
thoroughly each time and keep me on.tne alert ready to jump 
up in case of danger. I was therefore very glad when morning 


came. Most of tlie inhabitants had not been to bed at all, and 
some had stayed out of doors all night. For the next two days 
and nights sliocks still continued at short intervals, and several 
times a day for a week, showing that there was some very exten- 
sive 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 enects, we look abroad over the wide 
expanse of hill and valley, plain and mountain, and thus realize 
in a slight degree the immense mass of matter heaved and shaken. 
The sensation produced by an earthquake is never to be forgot- 
ten. 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 eai*th- 
quake. A severe one is the most destructive and the most 
horrible catastrophe to which human beings can be exposed. 

A few days after the earth c|uake I took a walk to Tonddno, a 
larffe village of about 7,000 inhabitants, situated at the lower 
end of the lake of the same name. I dined with the Controlleur, 
Mr. Bensneider, who had been my guide to Tomohdn. 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 hedges which give such a charming appearance to the 
villages ; and to him is chiefly due the general neatness and 
good order that everywhere prevail. I consulted him about a 
fresh locality, as I found Buriikan too much in the clouds, 
dreadfully damp and gloomy, and with a general stagnation of 
bird and insect life. He recommended me a village some 
distance beyond the lake, near which was a large forest, where 
he thought I should find plenty of birds. As he was going 
himself in a few days I decided to accompany him. 

After dinner I asked him for a guide to the celebrated water- 
fall on the outlet stream of the lake. It is situated about a 
mile and a half below the village, wliere a slight rising ground 
closes in the Imsin, and evidently once formed the shore of the 
lake. Here tlie river enters a gorge, very narrow and tortuous, 
along which it rushes furiously for a short distance and then 
plunges into a great chasm, forniing the head of a lai^e valley. 
Just above the tall the channel is not more than ten ^t wide, 
and here a few planks are tlirown across, whence, half hid by 
luxuriant vegetation, tlie 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, a former (xovernor of the Moluccas 
committed suicide, by leaping into the torrent. This at least is 
the general opinion, as hesuflered from a painful disease which 



was supposed to have made him weary of his life. His body 
was found next day in the stream below. 

TJnf oi*tunately, no good view of the fall could now be obtained, 
owin^ to the quantitjr of wood and high grass that lined the 
margins of the precipices. There are two tails, the lower being 
the most lofty ; and it is possible, by a lonff circuit, to descend 
into the vallev 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 600 or 600 feet. 
Unfortunately I had no time to explore this valley, as I was 
anxious to devote every fine day to increasing my hitherto 
scanty collections. 

Just opposite my abode in Eurukan was the school- house. 
The schoolmaster was a native, educated by the Missionary at 
Tomohon. School was held e\ery 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 cliildren were all taught in ^lalay, and I often heard them 
repeating the multiplication- table up to twenty times twenty 
very glibly. They always wound up with singing, and it was 
very pleasing to hear many of our old -psalm -tunes in these 
remote mountains, sung witli Malay words. Singing is one of 
the real blessings which Missionaries introduce among savage 
nations, whose native chants are almost always monotonous and 

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 work for his 
auditors, however warming to himself \ and I am inclined to 
think that these native teachers, having acquired facility of 
sneaking and an endless supply of religious 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 tlie Glovernment 
in changing a siivage 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 beads. Now it is a garden, worthy of its 
sweet native name of " Minahasa." Good roads and paths 
traverse it in every direction ; some of the finest coffee plan- 
tations in the world surround the villages, intenspersed with 
extensive rice-fields more than suflicient for the support of the 

The people are now the most industrious, peaceable, and 
civilizea in the whole Archipelago. They are the best clothed, 
tiie 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 elsewhere of such striking results 
being produced in so short a time — results which are entirely 

zvii.] CELEBES. 195 

due to the system of government now adopted by the Dutch ia 
their Eastern possessions. The system is one which may be 
called a " paternal despotism." Now we Englishmen do not like 
despotism — we hate the name and the thing, and we would 
rather see people ignorant, lazy, and vicious, than use any but 
moral force to make them wise, industrious, and good. And we 
are right when we are dealing with men of our own race, and 
of similar ideas and equal capacities with ourselves. Example 
and precept, the force of public opinion^ and the slow, but sure 
spread of education, will do everything in time ; without 
engendering any of those bitter feelings, or producing any of 
that servilitv, hypocrisy, and dependence, whicli are the sure 
results of a aespotic government. But what should we think of 
a man who should advocate these principles of perfect freedom 
in a family or a school ? We should sav that he was applying a 
{^d general principle to a case in which the conditions rendered 
it inapplicable — the case in which the governed are in an 
admitt^ state of mental inferiority to those who govern them, 
and are unable to decide what is best for their permanent 
welfare. Children must be subjected to some degree of author- 
ity 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 iriorai and social if 
not physical pressure. Habits of order, of industry, of clean- 
liness, of respect and obedience, are inculcated by similar means. 
Children would never grow up into well-behaved and 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 tor 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 under less favourable conditions are its general results. 

Now, there is not mereljr an analogy,— there is in many 
respects an identity of relation, l)etween master and pupil or 
parent and child on the one hand, and an uncivilized race and 
Its civilized rulers on the other. We know (or think we know) 
that the education and industry, and the common usages of 
civilized man, are superior to those of savage life ; and, as he 
becomes acquainted with them, the savage himself admits this. 
He admires the superior acquirements of the civilized man, and 
it is with pride that he will adopt such usages as do not 
interfere too much with his sloth, his passions, or liis prejudices. 
But as the wilful child or the idle schoolboy, who was never 
taught obedience, and never made to do anything which of his 
own free will he was not inclined to do, would in most cases 
obtain neither education nor manners ; so it is niuch more 
unlikely that the savage, with all the coniirmed habits of man- 

o 2 


hood and the traditional prejudices of race, should ever do more 
than copy a few of the least b^^neiicial customs of civilization, 
without some stronger stimulus ^han precept, very imperfectly 
backed by example. 

If wo ai*e satisfied that we are right in assuming the govern- 
ment over a savage race, and occupving 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 )je 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 wluch 
we know to be an indispensable step in their moral and physical 
advancement. Tlie 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 
wnom the people nave been accustomed to render a voluntary 
obedience ; and by acting on the intelligence and self-interest 
of these chiefs, have brought about changes in the manners and 
customs of the people, which would have excited ill-feeling and 
perhaps revolt nad they been directly enforced by foreigners. 

In carrying out sucli a system, much depends upon* the 
character of the people ; and the system which succeeds admir- 
ably in one place could only be verjr jmrtially worked out in 
another. In Minahasa the natural docility and intelligence of 
the race have made their progress rapid ; and how important 
this is, is well illustrated by the fact, that in the immediate 
vicinity of the town of Menado are a tribe called Banteks, of a 
much less tractable disposition, who have hitherto resisted all 
efforts of the Dutch Government to induce "them to adopt any 
systematic cultivation. These remain in a ruder condition, 
but engage themselves willingly as occasional porters and 
labourers, for which their gi'eater strength and activity well 
adapt them. 

No doubt the system here sketched seems open to serious 
objection. It is to a certain extent despotic, and interferes 
with free trade, free labour, and free communication. A native 
cannot leave his \illage without a pass, and cannot engage 
himself to any merchant or captain without a Government 
permit. The coffee has all to he sold to Government, at less 
than half the price that the local merchant would give for it, 
and he consequently cries out loudly against "monoply" 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 of 
the Government, without whom the people would still be 
saA'ages. 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 plantations would not be kept up ; that 
the quality and quantity of the coffee would soon deteriorate ; 
that traders and merchants would get rich, but that the 
people would relapse into poverty and barbarism. That such 
IS invariably the result of free trade with any savage tribes who 
possess a valuable product, native or cultivated, is well known 
to those who have visited such people ; but wo might even an- 
ticipate from general principles that evil results would happen. 
If there is one thing rather than another to which the grand 
law of continuity or development will apply, it is to human pro- 
gress. There are certain stages through which society must 
pass in its onward march from barbarism to civilization. Now 
one of these stages has always been some form or other of 
despotism, such as feudalism or servitude, or a despotic paternal 
government ; and we have every reason to believe that it is not 
possible for humanity to leap over this transition epoch, and 

eass at once from pure savagery to free civilization. Tlie 
>utch system attempts to supply this missing link, and to 
bring the people on oy gradual steps to that higher civiliza- 
tion, which we (the English) try to force upon them at once. 
Our system has always failed. We demoralize and we extirpate, 
but we never really civilize. Whether the Dutch svstem 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 desei*ving 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 abun- 
dance of food and necessaries, the population does not increase 
as it ought to do. I can only impute this to one cause. Infant 
moi-tality, 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 j)roperly attended to, and great mortality is the 
i*esult, keeping down the increase of population far below tlio 
rate which the general prosperity of the country and tlie 
universality of marriage would lead us to expect. This is a 
matter in which the Government is directly interested, since it 

1 Dr. Gixill«tD%rd, who visited MinahMa twenty-five yean later, found the country 
in much the same condition as I describe— drunkenness and crime were almost un- 
known, and the people were contented and happy. (See The Orui9e 0/ the " Mareheea,' 
Vol. 11., p. 181.) 


is by the increase of the population alone that there can be any 
large and permanent increase in the pixxiuce of coffee. The 
Missionaries should take up the question, because, by inducing 
married women to confine themselves to domestic duties, they 
will decidedly promote a higlier civilization, and directW increase 
the heal til and happiness of the whole community. llie people 
are so docile, and so willing to adopt the manners and customs 
of Europeans, that the change mi^ht be easily effected, by merely 
showing them that it was a question of morality and ci^'llization, 
and an essential step in their progress towards an equality with 
their white rulers. 

After a fortnight's stay at Rurukan, I Wt that pretty and 
interesting vilhige in search of a locality and climate more pro- 
ductive of birds and insects. I passed the evening with the 
Controlleur of Tonddno, and tlie next morning at nine loft in a 
small boat for the head of the lake, a distance of about ten 
miles. The lower end of the lake is bordered by swamps and 
marshes of considerable extent, but a little further on the hills 
come down to the water's edge and give it very much the 
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 L*ing6wan, 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 myself 
comfortjible in the large house devoted to visitors. I obtained 
a man to shoot for me, and another to accompany me the next 
day to the forest, where I was in hopes of finding a good collecting 

In the morning after breakfast I started off, but 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 heavily, and did not cease till 
night. This distance to walk every day was too far for any 

frofitable work, especially when the weather was so uncertain, 
therefore decided at once that I must go further on, till I 
found some place close to or in a forest country. In tlie after- 
noon my friend Mr. Bensneider arrived, together with the 
Controlleur of the next district, called Belang, from whom I 
learnt that six miles further on there was a village called Panghu, 
which had been recently formed and had a good deal of forest 
close to it ; and he promised me tlie use of a small 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 
path, among 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. 

xvii.] CELEBES. 199 

It overflows at one point and forms a little stream of hot water, 
which at a hundrea yards distance is still too hot to hold the 
hand in. A little f urtlier on, in a piece of rough wood, were two 
other springs not so regular in outline, but appearing to be 
much liotter, as they were in a continual state of active ebulli- 
tion. 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 
sliffht hollow is a small lake of liquid mud, in patches of blue, 
i-ed, or white, and in many places boiling and bubbling most 
furiously. All around on the indurated clay are small wells 
and cniters full of boiling mud. These seem to be forming con- 
tinually, a small hole appearing first, which emits jets of steam 
and boiling mud, which on hardening forms a little cone with 
a crater in the middle. The ground for some distance is very 
unsafe, as it is evidently liquid at a small depth, and bends with 
pressure like thin ice. At one of the smaller marginal jets 
which I managed to approach, I held my hand to see if it was 
really as hot as it looker, when a little drop of mud that spurted 
on to my finger scalded like boiling water. A short distance 
off there was a flat bare surface of rock, as smooth and hot as 
an oven floor^ which was evidently an old mud-pool dried up 
and hardened. For hundreds of yards round there were banks 
of reddish and white clay used for whitewash, and these were 
so hot close to the surface that the hand could hardly bear to be 
held in cracks a few inches deep, from which arose a strong 
sulphureous vapour. I was informed that ?^meyeai's back a 
French gentleman who visited these springs ventured too near 
the liquid mud, when the crust gave way and he was engulfed 
in the honible cauldron. 

This evidence of intense heat so near the surface over a large 
tract of country was very impressive, and I could hardly divest 
myself of the notion that some terrible catastrophe might at 
any moment devastate the country. Yet it is 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 magnificent appear- 
ance and covering the surrounding country with showers of 
ashes. The plains around the lake formed by the intermin^liii{f 
and decomposition of volcanic products are of amazing fertility, 
and with a little management m the rotation of crops might be 
kept in continual cultivation. Rice is now grown on them for 
three or four years in succession, when they are left fallow for 
the same period, after which rice or maize can be again grown. 
Good rice produces thirty-fold, and coflee trees continue bearing 


abundantly for ten or fifteen years, witliout any manure and 
with scarcely any cultivation. 

I was delayed a day by incessant rain, and then proceeded to 
Panghu, which I reached just before the daily rain be^an at 
11 A.M. After leaving the summit level of the lake basin, the 
road is carried along the slope of a fine forest ravine. The 
descent is a long one, so that I estimated the village to be not 
more than 1,500 feet above the sea, yet I found tlie morning 
temperature often 69', the same as at Tondduo at least 600 or 
700 leet higher. I was pleased with the appearance of the place, 
which had a good deal of forest and wild country around it, ana 
found prepared for me a little house consisting only of a 
verandah 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 unfortunate, however, as to lose both my hunters lust at this 
time. One had been left at TondAno with fever ana diarrhosa^ 
and the other was attacked at Langowan 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 important for them to finish owing to the 
early rains, that I could get no one to shoot for me. 

Dunng the three weeks that I stayed at Panghu, it rained 
nearly every day, either in the afternoon only, or all day long ; 
but there were generally a few hours sunshine in the morning, 
and I took advantage of these to explore the roads and paths, 
the rocks and ravines, in search or insects. These were not 
very abundant, yet I saw enough to convince me tliat 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 tine Cetonias and stag-beetles. Two little boys were very 
expert with the blowpipe, and brought me a good many small 
birds, which they shot with pellets of clay. Among these was 
a pretty little flower-pecker of a new species (rrionochilus 
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 nad long been seeking after. 

I was myself very successful in one bSa-utif ul group of insects, 
the tiger-beetles, which seem more abundant and varied here 
than anywhere else in the Archipelago. I first met with them 
on a cutting in the road, where a liard 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 ^enus. About 


the roads in the forest, I found the lar^e and handsome 
Cicindela heros^ which I liad before obtained sparingly at 
Macassar ; but it was in the mountain torrent of the ravine 
itself that I got my finest things. On dead trunks overhanging 
the water, and on the banks and foliage, I obtained three very 
pretty species of Cicindela, Quite distinct in size, foim, and 
colour, but having an almost identical pattern of pjale spots. I 
also found a single specimen of a most curious species with very 
long antennae, hut my finest discovery here was the Cicindela 
gloriosa, which I found on mossy stones just rising aboy© the 
water. After obtaining my first specimen of this elegant insect, 
1 used to walk up the stream, watching carefully every moss- 
covered rock ancl stone. It was rather shy, and would often 
lead me a long cliase from stone to stone, becoming invisible 
every time it settled on the damp moss, owing to its rich 
velvety green colour. On some days I could only catch a few 
glimpses of it, on others I got a single specimen, and on a 
few occasions two, but never 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 illustration of the 
low state of civilization of these people till quite recently, is to 
lie found in the great diversity of their languages. Villages 
three or four miles apart have separate dialects, and each group 
of three or four such villages nas a distinct language quite 
unintelligible to all the rest ; so that, till the recent introduction 
of Malay by the Missionaries, there must have been a bar to all 
free communication. These languages offer many peculiarities. 
They contain a Celebes-Malay 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 physiognomy prevails. The 
plateau of Tonddno 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 
Bugis character show the extension northward of the superior 
Malay races. • 

As I was wasting valuable time at Panghu owing to the bad 
weather and the illness of my hunters, I returned to Menado 
after a stay of three weeks. Here I had a little touch of fever, 
and what with drying and packing away my collections and 
gettip^ fresh sevvants, it was a fortnight before I was again 


ready to start. I now went eastward over an undulating 
country skirting tlie great volcano of KUbat, to a village called 
Lempias, situated close to the extensive forest that covers the 
lower slopes of that mountain. My baggage was carried from 
village to village by relays of men, and as each change involved 
some delajr. 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 uncomfortable state till the first in.stalment of 
my baggage arrived, which luckily contained my clothes, while 
the rest did not come in till midnight. 

This being the district inhabited by that singular animal the 
Babiru»i (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 tiiis animal 
I had seen two li\ing specimens at Menado, and was surprised 
at their great reseniolance to snjall cattle, or still more to the 
Eland of South Africa. Their Malay name signifies ** forest ox," 
and they differ from very small high-bred oxen principally bv 
the low-hanging dewlap, and straight pointed horns which 
slope back over the neck. I did not find the forest here so rich in 
insects as I had expected, and my hunters got me very few birds, 
but what they did obtain were very interesting. Among these 
were the rare forest Kingfisher (Crittura cyanotis), a small new 
species of Megapodius, and one specimen of the large and in- 
teresting Maleo (Megacephalon ruoripes), to obtain which was 
one of my chief reasons for visiting this district. Getting no 
more, however, after ten days' searcli I removed to Licoupang, 
at the extremity of the peninsula, a place celebrat<?d for these 
birds, as well as for the fiabirusa and Sapi-utan. I found here 
Mr. Goldmann, the eldest son of the Governor of the Moluccas, 
who was superintending the establishment of some Govern- 
ment salt-works. This was a better locality, and I obtained 
some fine butterflies and very good birds, among which was one 
more specimen of the rare ground dove (Phlegienastristigmata), 
which I had first obtained near the MAros waterfall in South 

Hearing what I was particularly in search of, Mr. Goldmann 
kindly offered to make a hunting-party to the place where the 
"Maleos" are 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 
l^each a week, in order to secure a good number of specimens. 
We went partly by boat and partly through the forest, accom- 
panied by the Major or head-man of Licoupang, with a dozen 
natives and alx>ut twenty dogs. On the way they caught a 
young Sapi-utan and 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 adiacent 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 tlie throat. The lioms are very smooth and sharp 
when young, but become thicker and ridged at the bottom with 
a^e. Most naturalists consider this cuiious animal to be a 
small ox, but from the character of the horns, the fine coat of 
hair and the descending dewlap, it seemed closely to approach 
the antelopes. 

Arrived at our destination we built a hut and prepared for a 
stay of some days, I to shoot and skin " Maleos," Mr. Goldmann 
ana the Major to hunt wild pigs, Babirusa, and Sapi-utan. The 
place is situated in tlie large bay between the islands of Limb6 
and Banca, and consists of a steep beach moi*e 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 ex- 
tremity by a small river, with hilly ground beyond ; while the 
forest Dehind the beach itself is tolerably level and its growth 
stunted. We have here probably an ancient lava stream from 
the Klabat volcano, which has flowed down a valley into the sea, 
and the decomposition of which has formed the loose black sand. 
In confirmation of this view it may be mentioned, that the 
beaches beyond the small rivers in both directions are of white 

It is in this loose, hot black sand that those singular birds the 
"Maleos" deposit their eggs. In the months of August and 
September, wnen 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, iust above hi^h- 
watermark, 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 e^g, and each female bird is supposed 
to lay six or eignt eggs dunng the season. The male assists the 
female in making the hole, coming down and returning with her. 
The appearance of the bird when walking on the beach is very 
handsome. The glossy black and rosy white of the plumage, 
the helmeted he«'id and elevated tail, like that of the common 
fowl, give a striking character, which their stately and some- 
what sedate walk renders still more remarkable. There is 
hardly any difference 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 is so slight 
that it is not always possible to t-ell a male from a female with- 
out dissection. They run quickly, but when shot at or suddenly 
disturbed take wing with a heavy noisy flight to some neigh- 
bouring tree, where they settle on a low branch ; and they 
probably roost at night in a similar situation. Many birds lay 
m the same hole, for a dozen eggs are often found together ; and 
these are so large that it is not possible for the body of the bird 
to contain more than one fully-developed egg at the same time. 


In all the female birds which I shot, none of the eggs besides the 
one large one exceeded the size oi peas, and there were only 
eight or nine of these, which is probably the extreme number a 
bird can lay in one season. 

Every year the natives come for fifty miles round to obtain 
these eggs, which are esteemed a great cfelicacy, and when quite 
fresh are indeed delicious. They are richer than hens' eggs and 
of a finer flavour, and each one completely fills an ordinary tea- 
cup, and forms with bread or rice a very good meal. The 
colour of the shell is a pale brick red, or very rarely pure white. 
They are elongate ana very slightly smaller at one end, from 
four to four and a half inches long by two and a quarter or two 
and a half wide. 

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

In the structure of the feet of this bird, we may detect a 
cause for its departing from the habits of its nearest allies, the 
Megapodii and Talegalli, which heap up earth, leaves, stones, 
and sticks into a huge mound, in which they bury their eggs. 
The feet of the Maleo are not nejirly so large or strong in pro- 
portion as in these birds, while its claws are short ana 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 welladapted 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 miscellaneous rubbish, which the large 
grasping feet of the Megapodius bring together with ease. 

We may also, I think, see in the peculiar organization of the 
entire family of the Megapodidse or Brush Turkeys, a reason 
why they depart so widely from the usual habits of the Class of 
birds. Each egg being so large as entirely to fill up the ab- 
dominal cavity and with difficulty pass the walls of tiie pelvis, 


a considerable interval is required before the successive eggs 
can be matured (the natives say about thirteen days). £ach 
bird lays six or eight eggs, or even more each season, so that 
between the first and last there may be an interval of two or 
three months. Now, if these eggs were hatched in the ordinary 
way, either the parents must Keep sitting continually for this 
long period, or it they only began to sit after the last em was 
deposited, the first would be exposed to injury by the climate, 
or to destruction bv the large lizards, snakes, or other animals 
which al)ound in the distnct ; because such large birds must 
roam about a good deal in search of food. Here then we seem 
to have a case in which the habits of a bird may be directly 
traced to its exceptional organization ; for it will hardly h!e 
maintained that this abnormal structure and peculiar food were 
given to the Megapodidae in order that they might not exhibit 
that parental affection, or possess those domestic instincts so 
general in the Class of birds, and which so much excite our 

It has generally been the custom of writers on Natural History 
to take the habits and instincts of animals as fixed points, and 
to consider their structure and organization as specially adapted 
to be in accordance with these. This 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 
directly due to a "first cause," and therefore incomprehensible 
to us. I believe that a careful consideration of the structure of 
a species, and of the peculiar physical and organic conditions bv 
which it is surrounded, or has been surrounded in past ages, will 
often, as in this case, throw much light on the origin of its habits 
and instincts. These again, combined with changes in external 
conditions, react upon structure, and by means of "variation" 
and " natural selection " both are kept in hannony. 

My friends remained three days, and got plenty of wild pigs 
and two Anoas, but the latter were much injured by the dogs, 
and I could only pi^eserve 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, Babiriisas, and Anoas 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 witn abundance of good food. 

The Major sent a boat, as he had promised, to take home my 
baggage, while I walked through the forest with my two boys 
and a guide, about fourteen miles. For the first half of the 
distance there was no path, and we had often to cut our way 
through tangled rattans or thickets of bamboo. In some of our 
turnings to find the most practicable route I expressed my fear 
that we were losing our way, as the sun being vertical I could 


see no possible 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 
hunt and smoke wild pigs. My guide told me he had never 
before traversed the forest between these two points ; and this 
is what is considered by some travellers as one of the savage 
"instincts," whereas it is merely the result of wide general 
knowledge. The man knew tlie topography of the whole dis- 
trict: the slope of the land, the 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 
tlie hut. in the vicinity of which he had often hunted. In a 
forest oi 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 track- 
less forests to definite points. They may never have passed 
straight between the two particular points before, but they 
are well acquainted with the vicinity of both, and have such a 
general knowledge of the whole country, its water system, its 
soil and its vegetation, that as they approach the point they are 
to reach, many easily-recognized indications enable them to hit 
upon it with certainty. 

The chief feature of this forest was the abundance of rattan 
palms, hanging from the trees, and turning and twisting about 
on the ground, often in inextricable confusion. One wonders 
at first how they can get into such queer shapes ; but it is 
evidently caused by the decay and fall of the trees up which 
they have first climbed, after which they grow alone the ground 
till they meet with another trunk up which to ascena. 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 lightning-conductor. 

The otlier 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 ; while the fan-shaped leaves which compose its 
crown are almost complete circles of six or eight feet diameter, 
borne aloft on long and slender petioles, and beautifully toothed 
round the edge by tlie 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 ad- 


inirably for folding into water-buckets and impromptu baskets, 
OS well as for thatcinng and other purposes. 

A few days afterwards I returned to Menado on horseback, 
Rending my baggage round by sea ; and had just time to pack 
ap all my collections to go by the next mail steamer to Amboyna. 
I will now devote a few pages to an account of the chief pecu- 
liarities of the Zoology of Celebes, and its relation to that of the 
surrounding countries. 



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

As so often happens in nature, however, the fact turns out to 
be just the reverse of what we should have expected ; and an 
examination of its animal productions shows Celebes to be ivt 
once the poorest in the number of its species, and the most 
isolated in the character of its productions, of all the great 
islands in the Archipelago. With its attendant islets it spreads 
over an extent of seA hardly inferior in length and breadth to 
that occupied by Borneo, while its actual land area is nearly 
double that of Java ; yet its Mammalia are less than half and 
its land birds about two-thirds the numbers found in the last- 
named island. Its position is such that it could receive immi- 
grants from every side more readily than Java, yet in proportion 
to the species which inhabit it far fewer seem derived trom other 
islands, while far more are altogether peculiar to it ; and a con- 
siderable number of its animal forms are so remarkable, as to 
find no close allies in any other pai*t of the world. I now propose 
to examine 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 205 species have beendis- 


covered, and though no doubt many more wading and swimming 
birds have to be added, yet the list of land birds, 144 in number, 
and which for our present purpose are much the most important, 
must be very nearly complete. I myself assiduously collected 
birds in Celebes for nearly ten months, and mv assistant, Mr. 
Allen, spent two months in the Sula islanas. The Dutch 
naturalist Forsten spent two vears in Northern Celebes (twenty 
yeArs before my visit), and collections of birds had also been sent 
to Holland from Macassar. The French ship of discovery, 
L* Astrolabe, also touched at Menado and procured collections. 
Since my return home, the Dutch naturalists Rosenberg and 
Bernstein have made extensive collections both in North Celebes 
and in the Sula islands ; yet all their researches combined have 
only added eight species of land birds to those forming part of 
my own collection — a fact which renders it almost certain that 
there are verv few more to discover.^ 

Besides Safayer and Boutong on the south, with Peling and 
Bung[ay on the east, the three islands of the Sula (or Zula) 
Archipelago 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 from 
the Sula group, and if we reject from these five species which 
have a wide range over the Archipelago, the remainder are 
much more ciiaracteristic of Celebes tlian 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 grroup, 
that several purely Moluccan forms have migrated there, whicli 
are quite untnown to the island of Celebes itself ; the whole 
thirteen Moluccan species being in this category, thus adding to 
the productions of Celel^es a foreign element which does not 
really belong to it. In studying tlie peculiarities of the Celebe- 
sian fauna, it will therefore be well to consider only the produc- 
tions of tlie 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 numl^r, 
and leave 108 species which we may consider as more especially 
characteristic of the island. On accurately comparing these with 
the birds of all the surrounding countries, we find tliat only nine 
extend into the islands westward, and nineteen into the islands 
e-astward, while no less tlian 80 are entirely confined to the 
Celebesian fauna — a degree of individuality which, considering 

1 Dr B. Meyer and other naturalists have since explored the island and its sur- 
rounding islets, and have raised the toUil number of ite birds to nearly 40U, of which 
288 are laud birds. 


the situation of the island, is hardly to be equalled in any 
other part of the world. If we still more closely examine these 
80 species, wo shall be struck by the manjr 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 remark. 

Six species of tlie 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 tlius seem to be suddenly 
changed on entering Celebes. Another (Accipiter trinotatus), is 
a beautiful hawk, witli elegant rows of large round white spots 
on the tail, rendering it very conspicuous and quite different 
from any other known bird of the family. Three owls are also 
peculiar ; and one, a barn owl (Strix rosenber^i), is very much 
larger and stronger than its ally Strix javanica, which ranges 
from India through all the islands as far as Lombock. 

Of the ten Parrots found in Celebes, eight are peculiar. Among 
them are two species of the singular raquet-tailed parrots form- 
ing the genus Prioni turns, and whicli are characterized by 
possessing two long spoon-shaped feathers in the tail. Two 
allied species are founa 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 
(Triclio^lossus flavoviridis) seems to have its nearest ally in 

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

Among the three peculiar Cuckoos two are verv remarkable. 
Phcenicophaus callirhynchus is the largest ancl handsomest 
species of its genus, and is distinguished by the three colours 
of its beak, bright yellow, red, and black. Eudynamis melan- 
orynchus 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 Boiler (Coi*acias temmincki) is an interesting 
example of one species of a genus being cut off from the rest. 
There are species of Coracias in Europe, Asia, and Africa, but 
none in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Java, or Borneo. The 
present species seems therefore quite out of place ; and what is 
still more curious is the fact, that it is not at all like any of the 
Asiatic species, but seems more to resemble those of 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 Hornbills have no close allies in those which 
abound in the surrounding countries. The only Thrush, 
CJeocichla ervthronota, 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 Magpies (Streptocitta and Charitomis), 
but whose affinities are so doubtful that Professor Schlegel places 
them among the Starlings, are entirely confined to Celebes. Tliey 
are beautiful long-tailed birds, with black and white plumage, 
and with the feathers of the head somewhat ngid and scale-liice. 

Doubtfully allied to the Starlings are two otner very 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, Basilomis celebensis, is a blue- 
black bird with a white patch on each side of the breast, and 
the head ornamented witn a beautiful compressed scaly crest of 
feathers, resembling in form that of the well-known Cock-of- 
the-rock of South America. The only ally to this bird is found 
in Ceram, and has the feathers of the crest elongated upwards 
into quite a different form. 

A still more curious bird is the Scissirostrum pa^ei, which 
although it is at present classed in the Starling family, differs 
from ail 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 Prince 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 termi- 
nate in a rigid glossy pencil or tuft of a vivid crimson. These 
pretty little birds take the place .of the metallic-green starlings 
of the genus Calomis, which are found in most otlier islands 
of the Archipelago, but which are absent from Celebes.* 
They go in nocks, feeding upon grain and fruits, often fre- 
quenting dead trees, in holes of which they build their nests ; 
and they cling to the trunks as easily as woodpeckers or 

Out of eighteen Pigeons found in Celebes eleven are peculiar 
to it. Two of them, Ptilonopus g^laris and Turacfena mena- 
densis, have their neai*est allies in Timor. Two others, Carpo- 
phaga forsteni and Phlsegenas tristigmata, most resemble 
Philippine island species : and Carpophaga radiatA belongs to 
a New Guinea group. Lastly, in the Gallinaceous tribe, the 
curious helmeted Maleo (Megacephalon rubripes) is quite 
isolated, having its nearest (but still distant) allies in the Brush- 
turkeys of Australia and New Guinea. 

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

1 CalomiB negUeta^ flnt found ia the SoU Islands, bu now been disoovered in 
Celebes by Dr. Meyen. 


which surround Celebes, but are either quite isolated, or indicate 
relations with such distant regions as New Guinea, Australia, 
India, or Africa. Other cases of similar remote affinities 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 Mammalia of Celebes are very few in number, consisting 
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 nave been recently carried into other 
islands by man. Three species which have a tolerably wide 
range in the Archipelago, are — 1, The curious Lemur, Tarsi us 
spectrum, which is found in all the islands westward as far as 
Malacca, and also in the Philippine Islands ; 2, TJie common 
Malay Civet, Yiverra tangalunga, which has a still wider 
range ; and 3, a Deer, which seems to be the same as the Kusa 
hippelaphus of Java, and was probably introduced by man at 
an early period. 

The more characteristic species arc as follows : — 

Cynopithecus nigrescens, a curious baboon-like monkey, if 
not a true baboon, which abounds all over Celelies, and is found 
nowhere else but in 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 tlie 
Archipelago is there anything resembling 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, scarcely an inch long, and hardly visible. They go 
in large bands, living chiefly in the trees, but often descending 
on the ground and robbing gardens and orchards. 

Anoa depressicornis, 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 l^e classed as ox, buffalo^ or antelqpe. It 
is smaller than any other wild cattle, and m manv 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 are deer. It is somewhat smaller than a small 
Highland cow, and lias long straight horns, which are ringed at 
the base and slope backwards over the neck. 

The wild pig seems to be of a species peculiar to the island ; 
but a much more curious animal of this family is the Babirusa 
or Pig-deer, so named by the Malays from its long and slender 
legs, and curved tusks resembling horns. This extraordinary 
creature resembles a i)ig in general appearance, but it does not 
dig with its snout, as it feeds on fallen fruits. The tusks of the 
lower jaw are very long and sharp, but the upper ones instead 
of growing downwards in the usual way are completely reversed, 
growing upwards out of bony sockets ti trough the skin on each 


side of tlie Bnout, curving bn«kwards to near the eyes, and in 
old aniniuls often rencliing eight or ten inches in length. It is 
difficult to understand wlmt can be the use of these extra- 
ordinary honi-like t«ieth. Some of the old writers supposed 
that they served ns hooks, by which the creature could rest its 
head on a branch. But the way in which they usually diverge 
just over and in fi-ont of the eye lias suggested tlie more prob- 
able idea, that they serve to guard these organs from thorns 
and spines while hunting for fallen fruits among the tangled 

thicketaof rattans and other spiny plants. Even this, however, 
is not satisfactory, for the female, who must seek her food in 
the same way, does not possess them. I should 1^ inclined to 
believe rather, that the,se tusks were onee 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 monstious form, just as the incisors of the Beaver or 
Rabbit will go on growing, if t!ie opposite teeth do not wear 
them away. In old animals they reach an enormous size, and 
are generally broken off as if by fighting. 

xviil] natural history OF CELEBES. 213 

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 res}>ects there seems no affinity between 
these animals, and the Babirusa stands completely isolated, 
having no resemblance to the pigs of any otlier part of the 
world. It is found all over Celebes 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 
lietween them at some former perioa than now exists. 

The other terrestrial mammals of Celeljes are, five species of 
squirrels, which are all distinct from those of Java and Borneo, 
and mark the furthest eastward range of the genus in the tropics ; 
and two of Eastern opossums (Cuscus), which are different from 
those of the Moluccas, and mark the furthest westward ex- 
tension of this genus and of the Marsupial order. Thus we see 
that the Mammalia of Celebes are no less individual and remark- 
able than the birds, since three of the largest and most interest- 
ing species have no near allies in surrounding countries, but 
seem vaguely to indicate a relation to the African continent. 

Many groups of insects appear to be especially subiect 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 tlierefore 
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 eg^ may be carried on leaves either by i^rms of wind or 
by floating trees, and their larvae and pupae often buried in 
trunks of trees or enclosed in waterproof cocoons, may be floated 
for days or weeks uninjured over the ocean. These facilities of 
distribution tend to assimilate the productions of adjacent lands 
in two ways : first, by direct mutual interchange of species : 
and secondly, by repeated immigrations of fresh individuals or 
a species common to other islands, which by intercrossing tend 
to obliterate the changes of form and colour, which differences 
of conditions mieht otherwise produce. Bearing these facts 
in mind, we shall find that the individuality ot the insects 
of Celebes is even gpreater than we have any reason to expect. 

For the purpose of insuring accuracy in comparisons with 
other islands, I shall confine myself to those graups which are 
b^t known, or which I have myself carefully stumed. Begin- 
ning with the Papilionidse or Swallow-tailed butterflies, Celebes 
possesses 24 species, of which the large number of 18 are not 
found in any other island. If we compare this with Borneo, 
which out of 29 species has only two not found 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 x)eculiar. The Danaid» are large, but weak-flying 
butterflies, which frequent forests and gardens, and are plainly 
but often very richlv coloured. Of tliese my own collection 
contains 16 species irom 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 Nymphalidse are a very 
extensive group, of generally strong-winged and very bright- 
coloured butterflies, very abundant in the tropics, and repre- 
sented in our own country by our Fritillaries, our Vanessas. 
and our Purple-emperor. Some months a^o I drew up a list ox 
the Eastern species of this group, including all the new ones 
discovered by myself, and arrived at the following comparative 
results : — 

Species of Nyniphalid«. Species peculiar to Percent^ 

D^^^iwi wi 1. jruii^ii^tiuK. g^^jj island. of peculiar Species. 

Java 70 23 83 

Borneo . '. . . 52 15 . . • .... 29 

Celebe^j .... 48 35 73 

The Coleoptera are so extensive that few of the groups have 
yet been carefully worked out. I will therefore refer to one 
only, which I have myself recently studied— the Cetoniadas or 
Rose-chafers, — a group of beetles which, owing to their exti*eme 
beauty, have been much sought after. From Java 37 species of 
these insects are known, ana from Celebes only 30 ; yet only 
13, or 35 per cent, are peculiar to the former island, and 19, or 
63 per cent., to the latter. 

^ The result of these comparisons is, that although Ceiel)es 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 j)eninsula). Taking those families ot 
insects and birds which are best known, the following table 
shows the comparison of Celebes with the otlier groups of 
islands : — 



Per cent of peculiar Per cent of peculiar 

Species. Species. 

Indo-Malay region 66 64 

Philippine group 66 73 

Celebes 69 60 

Moluccan group 52 . . . .' 62 

Timor group 42 47 

Papuan group 64 47 


These large and well-known families well represent the 
general character of the zoology of Celebes : and they show 
that this island is really one of the most isolated portions of 
the Archipelago, altliough situated in its very centre. 

But the insects of Celebes present us with other phenomena 
more curious and more difficult to explain than their specific 
individuality. The butterflies of that island are in many cases 
characterized by a peculiarity of outline, which distinguishes 
them at a glance from those of any other part of the world. 
It is most strongly manifested in the Papilios and the Pieridfle, 
and consists in the fore- wings being either strongly curved or 
abruptly bent near the base, or in the extremity being elongated 
and often somewhat hookea. Out of the 14 species of Papilio 
in Celebes, 13 exhibit this peculiarity in a greater or less degree, 
when compared with the most nearly allied species of the 
surrounding islands. Ten species of Pieridse have the same 
character, and in four or five of the Nymphalidse it is also very 
distinctly marked. In almost every case the species found in 
Celebes are much larger than those of the islands westward, 
and at least equal to those of the Moluccas, or even larger. 
The difference of form is however the most remarkable feature, 
as it is altogether a new thing for a whole set of species in one 
country to aiffer in exactly the same way from the corresponding 
sets in all the surrounding countries ; and it is so well marked, 
that without looking at the details of colouring, most Celebes 
Papilios and many rieridse can be at once distinguished from 
those of other islands by their form alone. 
^ The outside figure of each pair here given shows the exact 
size and form of the fore-wing in a butterfly of Celebes, while 
the inner one represents the most closely allied species from 
one of the adjacent islands. Figure 1 shows the strongly 
curved margin of the Celebes species, Papilio gigon, compared 
with the much straighter margin of rapilio demolion from 
Singapore and Java. Figure 2 shows the abrupt bend over 
the oase of the wing in rapilio miletus of Celebes compared 
with the slight curvature in the common Papilio sarpedon, 
which has almost exactly the same fonu from India to New 
Guinea and Australia. }* igure 3 shows the elongated wing of 
Tachyris zarinda. a native of Celebes, compared with the much 
shorter wing of Tachyris nero, a very closely allied species found 
in all the western islands. The difference of form is in each case 
sufficiently obvious, but when the insects themselves are com- 
pared it is much more striking than in these partial outlines. 

From the analogy of birds, we should suppose that the pointed 
wing gave increased rapidity of flighty since it is a character of 
terns, swallows, falcons, and of the swift-flying pigeons. A 
short and rounded wing, on the other hand, always accompanies 
a more feeble or more laborious flight, 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 insectiv- 
orous 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 tne 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 buttei*flies have elongated wings, nor is any modifica- 
tion perceptible in those strong- winged groups wliich already 
possess great strength and rapidity of fliglit. These were 
already sufficiently protected from their enemies, and did not 
require increased power of escaping from them. It is not at 


all clear what effect the peculiar curvature of the wings has 
in modifying flight. 

Another curious feature in the zoology of Celebes is also 
worthy of attention. I allude to the absence of several g^ups 
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 ana 
Laniadfe, which range over the whole Archipelago and into 
Australia, and which yet have no representative in Celebes. 
The genera Ceyx among Kingiishers, Ciiniger among Thrushes, 
Rhipidura among Flycatcliers, and Erythrura among Finches, 
are all found in tlie Moluccas as well as in Borneo and Java, — 
but not a single species belonging to any one of them is found 
in Celebes. Amonff insects, the large genus of Hose-chafers, 
Lomaptei*a, is found in every countrv and island between India 
and N(BW Guinea, except Celebes. This unexpected absence of 
many groups, from one limited district in the very centre of 
their area of distribution, is a phenomenon not altogether 
unique, but, I believe, nowhere so well marked as in this case ; 
and it certainly adds considerably to the strange character of 
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 
extinct animals teaches us that their distribution 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 productions of remote areas generally differ 
widely, so do the productions of the same area at remote epochs. 
We are therefore led irresistibly to the conclusion, that cnange 
of species, still more of generic and of family fonn, 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 individ- 
uality in the pix>ductions of a district, will be to some extent a 
measure of the time that district has been isolated from those 
that surround it. Judged by this standard, Celebes must be 
one of the oldest parts of the Archipelago. It probably dates 
from a period not only anterior te 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 antiquity is 
necessary to account for the number of animal forms it 

Possesses, which show no relation te those of India or Australia, 
ut rather with those of Africa ; and we are led to speculate 
on the possibility of there having once existed a continent in 
the Incuan 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 distribution 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 
peninsula of India,' and in the Malay Archipelago as far as 
Celebes, which is its furthest eastern limit. Dr. Sclatcr has 
proposed for the hypothetical continent connecting these 
distant points, and whose former existence is indicated by 
the Mascarene islands and the Maldive coral group, the name 
of Lemuria. Whether or no we believe in its existence in the 
exact form here indicated, the student of geographical distribu- 
tion must see in the extraordinary and isolated productions of 
Celebes proofs of the former existence of some continent from 
whence the ancestors of these creatures, and of many other 
intermediate forms, could have been derived.^ 

In this short sketch of the most striking peculiarities of the 
Natural History of Celebes, I have been obliged to enter mucli 
into details that I fear will have been uninteresting to the 
general reader, but unless I had done so my exposition would 
nave lost much of its force and value. It is bv these details 
alone that I have been able to prove the unusual features that 
Celebes presents to us. Situated in the very midst of an 
Archipelago, and closely hemmed in on every side by islands 
teeming with varied forms of life, its productions have yet .1 
surprising amount of individuality. While it is poor in the 
actual number of its species, it is yet wonderfully 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 i)henomenon of groups of insects changing 
their outline in a similar manner when compared with those of 
surrounding islands, suggesting some common cause which 
never seems to have acted elsewhere in exactly the same way. 
Celebes, therefore, presents us with a most striking example of 
the interest that attaches to the study of the geographical 
distribution of animals. We can see that their present distri- 
bution upon the globe is the result of all the moi*e recent 
changes tne earth's surface has undergone ; 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 distribution 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. lu 
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. 

1 I have since come to the conclusion that no such connecting land as Leniurla is 
required to explain the facts. {See my Jeland Li/e^ pages S95 and 427.) 

XIX.] BANDA. 219 


(DECEMBER 1857, HAY 1859, APRIL 1861.) 

The Dutch mail steamer in which I travelled from Macassar 
to Banda and Amboyna was a roomv a,nd comfortable vessel, 
although it would only go six miles an nour in the finest weather. 
As there were but three passengers besides myself, we had abun- 
dance of room, and I was able to enjoy a voyage more than I had 
ever done before. The arrangements are somewhat different 
from those on board English or Indian steamers. There are no 
cabin servants, as every cabin 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, il^c. At ten, Madeira, gin. and bittei*s are 
broueiit 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, <&(;, again at five ; a good dinner with beer and claret at 
half-past six, concluded by tea and coffee at eight. Between 
whiles, beer and soda water are supplied when called for, so there 
is no lack of little gastronomical excitements to while away the 
tedium of a sea voyage. 

Our first stopping place was Coupang, at the west end of the 
large island of Timor. We then coast^ along that island for 
several hundred miles, having always a view of hilly ranges 
covered with scanty vegetation, rising ridge behind ridge to the 
height of six or seven thousand feet. Turning off towards 
Banda we i)assed Pulo-Cambing, Wetter, and Roma, all of which 
are desolate and barren volcanic islands, almost as uninviting as 
Aden, and offering a strange contrast to the usual verdure and 
luxuriance of the Archipelago. In two days more we reached 
the volcanic group of Bandti, covered with an unusually dense 
and brilliant green vegetation, indicating that we had passed 
beyond the range of the hot dry winds from the plains of Cfentral 
Australia. Banda is a lovely little spot, its three islands en- 
closing 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 eiglit 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. 

Ooing 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 magnificent 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 ; while 
close opposite the town is the volcano, forniinjf 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 wav 
down, from which constantly issue two columns of Smoke, which 
also rises less abundantly 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 rises, and forms a dense cloud, 
which in calm damp weather spreads out into a wide canopy 
hiding the top of the mountain. At night and early morning it 
often rises up straight and leaves the whole outline clear. 

It is only when actually gazing on an active volcano that one 
can fully realize its awfulness and grandeur. Whence comes 
that inexhaustible fire whose dense and sulphureous smoke for 
ever issues from this bare and desolate pe<ik? 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 1 The Knowledge from childhood, 
of the fact that volcanoes and earthquakes exist, has taken away 
somewhat of the strange and exceptional character that really 
belongs to them. The inhabitant of most parts of northern 
Europe sees in the earth the emblem of stability and repose. 
His whole life-experience, and that of all his age and generation, 
teaches him that the earth is solid and firm, tiiat its massive 
rocks may contain water in abundance 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 a'W'ful a character that, 
if it were the rule instead of the exception, it would make the 
e^rth uninhabitable ; a fact so strange and unaccountable that 
we may be sure it would not be believed on any human testi- 
mony, if presented to us now for the first time, as a natural 
phenomenon happening in a distant country. 
^ The summit of the small island is composed of a highly crystal- 
line basalt ; lojrer down I found a hard stratified slaty sandstone, 
while on the beach ai-e 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 per- 
haps once connected with Ceram, but which was separated and 
broken up by the same forces which formed the volcanic cone. 
When I visited the larger island on another occasion, I saw a 

XIX.] BAND A. 221 

considerable tract covered with large forest trees, dead, but still 
standing. This was a record of the last great earthquake only 
two yeai's ago, when the sea broke in over tliis part of the island 
and so flooded 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 tlirow down liouses and 
carry ships out of the harbour bodily into tlie streets. 

Notwithstanding the losses incurred by tliese terrific visita- 
tions, and the small size and isolated position of these little 
islands, they have been and still are of considerable value to the 
Dutcli Government, as the chief nutineg-garden in the world. 
Almost the whole surface is planted with nutmegs, grown under 
the shade of lofty Kanary trees (Kanarium commune). 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 cultivation have ruined the 
nutmeg planters of Singapore and Penan^. 

Few cultivated plants are more beautitul than nutmeg-trees. 
They are handsomely shax>ed 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 consistence, but when ripe splits 
open, and shows the dark -brown nut within, covered with the 
crimson mace, and is then a most beautiful object. Within the 
thin hard shell of the nut is the seed, which is the nutmeg of com- 
merce. The nuts are eaten by the large pigeons of Banda, which 
digest the mace but cast up the nut with its seed uninjui*ed. 

The nutmeg trade has hitherto been a strict monopoly of the 
Dutch Government ; but since leaving the country I believe 
that this monopoly has been partially or wholly discontinued, a 
pix>C€Neding which appears exceedingly injudicious and quite un- 
necessary. 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 necesmry of life, can be obtained at little 
cost, it is almost the duty of the state to monopolise it. No 
injury is done thereby to any one, but a great benefit is conferred 
on the whole population of Holland ana its dep>endencies, since 
the produce of the state monopolies save them from the weight 
of a heavy taxation. Had the Government not kept the nutmeg 
trade of Banda in its own hands, it is probible tnat the wliole 
of the islands would long ago have become the property of one 
or more large capitalists. Tiie 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 illus- 


tration of lio>v a state monopoly may become a state duty, let 
us suppose tliat 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 plainlv become 
the duty of the State to keep and work the mines for the public 
Ijenefit, since by doing so, the gain would be fairly divided 
among the whole population by decrease of taxation ; whereas 
by leaving it open to free trade while merely keeping the govern- 
ment of the island, we should certainly produce enormous evils 
during the first struggle for the precious metal, which would 
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 l^elieve 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 monopolies we ourselves have till very recently 
maintained. Nutmegs and cloves are not necessaries of life ; 
they are not even used as spices by the natives of the Moluccas, 
and no one was materially or permanently injured by the 
destruction of the trees, since there are a hundred other ptx)- 
ducts 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 crowth of tobacco in 
England, for fiscal purposes, and is, morally and economically, 
neither better nor worse. The salt monopoly which we so long 
maintained in India was much worse. As long as we keep up 
a system of excise and customs on articles of daily use, wliich 
requires an elaborate array of officers and coastguards to carry 
into effect, and which ci'eates a number of purely le^al crimes, 
it is the height of absurdity for us to affect indignation at tlie 
conduct of the Dutch, who carried out a much more justifiable, 
less hurtful, and more profitable system in their Eastern 
possessions. I challenge objectors to point out any physical or 
moral evils that have actually resulted from the action of the 
Dutch Government in this matter ; whereas such evils are the 
admitted result<s of every one of our monopolies and restrictions.* 

1 In the Dally Kaeii pArliamentary report of March 2Sth, 1890, 1 read the following : — 
" Baron H. de Worui8 said it was true that in the Newara Eliya district of Ceylon land 
Bales, aflTecting 10,288 men, women, and children, had taken jdace for non-payment of 
the paddy-tax, and that 981 persons liad died of consequent want and disease, and 2,&S0 
had been left destitute." Here is a dry official statement of the result of our taxing the 
people's food ; and it was such a very ordinary matter to our legislators tliat no ftirther 
notice seems to have been taken of it. And we dare to abuse tlie Dutch of three cen- 
turies back for destroying spice trees ! — for which they paid a fair compensation, and 
the results of which were probably beneficial rather tlian hurtftil to the cultivators of 
the soil I (See Chap. ZXI.) 

XX.] AMBOYNA. 228 

The conditions of tlie 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 approximate mental and social unity of the society 
in which it is applied. I shall again refer to this subject in my 
chapter on Temat«, 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 tlie population are mongrels, in 
various degrees of Malay, Papuan, Arab, Portuguese, and Dutch. 
The first two foiin the basis of tlie larger portion, and the dark 
skins, pronounced features, and more or less frizzly hair of the 
Papuans preponderate. 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 tlie Portu- 
guese 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 intermixture. 

The animal productions of Banda, though verj[ few, are 
interesting. Tne 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 mav be truly in- 
digenous in the sense of not having been introduced by man. 
Of birds, during my three visits of one or two days each, I 
collected eight kinds, and the Dutch collectors have added a few 
others. The most remarkable is a fine and very handsome fruit- 
pigeon, Carpophaga concinna, which feeds upon the nutmegs, 
or rather on the mace, and whose loud booming note is to be 
continually heard. This bird is found in the Ke and Matabello 
islands as well as Banda, but not in Ceran 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. 


(DECEMBER 1857, OCTOBER 1859, FEBRUARY 1860.) 


Twenty hours from Banda brought us to Amboyna, the 
capital of the Moluccas, and one of the oldest European settle- 
ments in the East. Tlie 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 tine harbour, on 
the southern side of which is situated the town of Amboyna. 
I had a letter of introduction to Dr. Mohnike, the chief medical 
oiiicer of the Moluccas, a Grerman and a naturalist. I found 
that he could write and read English, but could not speak it, 
beinj^ like myself a bad linguist ; so we had to use French as a 
medium of communication. He kindly offered me a room 
during my stay in Amboyna, and introduced me to his junior, 
Dr. Doleschall, a Hungarian, and also an entomologist. He was 
an intelligent and most amiable young man, but I was shocked 
to find that he was dving of consumption, though still able to 
perform the duties of his office. In the evening my host took 
me to the residence of the Governor, Mr. Goldniann, who re- 
ceived me in a most kind and cordial manner, and offered me every 
assistance. The town of Amboyna consists of a few business 
streets, and a number of I'oads 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 occuri*ed 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 day.s, 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 sevei-al 
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 np 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 of these 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 inhabit- 
ants 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 enjoved myself much in 
the society of the two doctors, both amiable and well-educated 


men, and both enthusiastic entomologists, though oblig^ to 
increase their collections almost entirely by means of native col- 
lectors. Dr. Doleschall studied chiefly the flies and spiders, but 
also collected butterflies and moths, and in his boxes I saw grand 
specimens of the emerald Omithoptera priamus and the azure 
Papilio ulysses, with many more of the superb butterflies of this 
ricn island. Dr. Mohnike confined himselt chiefly to the beetles, 
and had formed a magnificent collection duiing 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 Bupres- 
tid» and Longicorns of the tropics. The doctor made the vovage 
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 com- 
prise an endless variety of sketches of Japanese scenery and 
manners. Though rude, they are very characteiistic, and often 
exhibit touches of great humour. He also possesses a large 
collection of coloured sket^jhes of the plants or Japan, made by 
a Japanese lady, which are the most masterly things I nave ever 
seen. Every stem, twig, and leaf is produced by single touches 
of the brush, the character and perspective of very complicated 
plants being admirably given, and the articulations of stem and 
leaves shown in a most scientific manner. 

Having made arrangements to stay for three weeks at a small 
l^ut, on a newly clearetl plantation in the interior of the northern 
half of the island, I with some di^culty 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 tlie water afforded me one of the most astonish- 
ing and beautiful sights I have ever beheld. The bottom was 
absolutely hidden by a continuous senes of corals, sponges, 
actiniae, and other marine productions, of magnificent dimen- 
sions, varied forms, and brilliant colours. The depth varied 
from about twenty to fifty feet, and the Iwttom was very un- 
even, rocks and chasms, and little hills and valleys, oflfeiing a 
variety of stations for the growth of these animal forests. In 
and out among tiiem moved numbers of blue and red and yellow 
fishes, spott^^a and banded and striped in the most stiiking 
manner, while great orange or rosjr transparent medusae floated 
along near the surface. It was a sight to gaze at for hours, and 
no description can do justice to its surpassing beauty and in- 
terest. For once, the reality exceeded the most glowing accounts 
I had ever read of the wonders of a coral sea. There is perhaps 
no spot in the world richer in marine productions, corals, shells 
and fishes, than the harbour of Amboyna. 

From the north side of the harbour, a good broad path passes 
through swamp, clearing and forest, over hill and valley, to the 

XX.] AMBOYNA. 227 

fai*ther side of the island ; the coralline rock constantly pro- 
truding 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 liere of the most luxuriant cliaracter ; 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 cottjige 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 lialf-burnt forest trees ; and on one side there was a tract 
where the trees had been recently felled and were not yet burnt. 
The path by which I had arrived continued along one side of 
this clearing, and then again entering the virgin forest passed 
over hill and dale to the nortiiern side of the island. 

My abode was merely a little thatched hut, consisting of an 
open verandah in front and a small dark sleeping-room behind. 
It was raised about five feet from the ground, and was readied 
by rude steps to the centre of the A^erandah. The walls and 
floor were of bt^mboo, and it contained a t^ible, 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 tine Curculionidse, Longicorns, and 
Buprestidte. 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 hot sunshine, among the branches and 
twigs and bark of the fallen trees, every few minutes securing 
insects which were at that time almost all rare or new to 
£uropean collections. 

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 
easy to obtain in fine condition, a large number of the specimens 
bein^ found when captured to have the wings torn or broken. 
It flies with a rather weak undulating motion, and from its 
large size, its tailed wings and brilliant colour, is one of the 
most tropical-looking insex;ts 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 allied 
to each other the species of Amboyna are of larger size and more 
brilliant colours, so that one might bo led to conclude that, in 
passing east and west into a less favourable soil and climate, 
they had degenercated 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 rustling 
overhead, as if some heavy animal were crawling slowly over 
the thatch. The noise soon ceased, and I thought no more 
about it and went to l)ed soon afterwai-ds. The next afternoon 
just befoi*e 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 overheiul which I had 
not noticed before. Looking more carefully I could see yellow 
and black marks, and thought it must l>e a tortoise-shell put up 
there out of the way between the ridge-pole and the root. 
Continuing to gaze, it suddenly resolved itself into a large snake, 
compactly coiled up in a kind of knot ; and I could detect his 
heacl and his bright eyes in the very centre of the folds. The 
noise of the eveninff before was now explained. A python had 
climbeci up one of the {>osts of the house, and had made his way 
under the thatch within a yard of my, and taken up a 
comfortable position in the roof — and I had slept soundly all 
night directly under him. 

1 called to my two boys who were skinning birds below and 
said, '' Plere's a big snake in the roof ; " but as soon as I had 
shown it to them they rushed out of the house and begged me 
to come out directly. Finding they were too much afraid to do 
anything, we callecl some of the labourers in the plantation, and 
soon had half a dozen men in consultatioii 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 ratta,n, and with a 
long pole in the other hand poked at the snake,, which then 
began slowly to uncoil itself. He then managed to slip the 
noose over its head, and getting it well on to the body, dragged 
the animal down. There was a great scuffle as the snake coiled 
round the chairs and ^sts to resist his enemy, but at length 
the man caught hold of its tail, rushed out of the house (runninflr 
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 under a dead trunk close by. It was 
again poked out, and again the Bouru man caught hold of its 
tail, and running away quickly dashed its head with a swing 
against a tree, and it was then easily killed with a hatchet. It 
was about twelve feet long and very thick, capable of doing 
much mischief and of swallowing a dog or a child. 

I did not get a great many birds here. The most remarkable 
were the fine crimson lory, Eos rubra — a brush-tongued parro- 
quet of a vivid crimson colour, which was very abundant. 
Large Hocks of them came about the plantation, and formed a 
magnificent object when they settled down upon some flowering 
tree, on the nectar of which lories feed. I also obtained one or 
two specimens of the fine racquet-tailed kingfisher of Amboyna, 
Tanysiptera nais, one of the most singular and beautiful of that 
beautiful family. These birds differ from all other kingfishers 

XX.] AMB( 

(which have usually 
short tftils) by having 
the two middle tail- 
feathera immensely 
lengthened and very 
narrowly webbed, but 
terminated by a epoon-shi 
enlargement, as in the i 
mota and some of the h 
ming-birds. Tliey betonj 
tliat division of the fai 
termed kinghuiitcra, It' 
chiefly on insects and si 
land-iiioUiiscs, which 1 
dart down upon and piel 
fi-om the ground, just i 
kingfisher picks a ^h ou 
the water. They are conf 
to a very limited area, c 

8 rising the Moluccas, ] 
uinea, and Northern j 
tralia. About ten spect( 
these birds are now kn( 
all much resembling i 
other, but yet sufficiently 
tingu ishable in every toca 
The Araboyneso species 
which a very accurate re 
sentation is here given, is 
of the largAtand handsoii 
It ia full aeveuteen in. 
long to the tips of the 
feathers ; the bill is coral 
the under-surface pure w 
the back and wings • 
purple, while the sliouk 
nood and nape, and s 
spots on the upper par 
the back and wings, are i 
azure blue. Thetail is w 
with the feathers nam 
blue-edged, but the nai 
part of the long feathei 
rich blue. This was an 
tirely new species, and 
been well named after 
ocean goddess, by Ur. C 

On Christmas eve I 
turned to Amboyna, where I 


stayed about ten days with my kind friend Dr. Mohnike. Con- 
sidering that I had been away only twenty days, and that on 
live or six of those I was prevented doing anything by wet 
weather and slight attacks of fever, I 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 Buprestidie I had 
about a dozen handsome species, yet in the doctor's collection I 
observed four or five more very fine ones, so that Amboyna is 
unusually rich in this elegant group. 

During my stay liere 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 Iiave 
done in our tropical possessions. Almost all business is trans- 
acted in the morning between the hours of seven and twelve, 
the afternoon being given up to repose, and the evening to 
visiting. When in the house during the heat of the day, and 
even at dinner, they use a loose cotton dress, only putting on a 
suit of thin European -made clothes for out of doors and evening 
wear. They often walk about after sunset bareheaded, reser vi n g 
the black hat for visits of ceremony. Life is thus made far 
more agreeable, and the fatigue and discomfort incident to the 
^climat-e greatly diminished. Christmas day is not made much 
* of, but on New Year's day official and complimentary visits are 
paid, and about sunset we went to the Govemor^s, where a 
large party of ladies and gentlemen were assembled. Tea and 
coffee were handed round, as is almost universal during a visit, 
as well as cigars, for on no occasion is smoking prohibited in 
Dutcli colonies, cigars being generally lighted before the cloth 
is withdrawn at dinner, even tliough half the company are 
ladies. I here saw for the first time the rare black lory from 
New Guinea, Chalcopsitta atra. The plumage is rather glossy, 
and slightly tinned with yellowish ana purple, the bill and feet 
being entirely black. 

The native Amboynese who reside in the city are a strange, 
half -civilized, half-savage, lazy people, who seem to be a 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 x)eculiar style of dress wliicli 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 accom- 
paniments, displaying all the absurdity of our European 
fashionable dress. Though now Protestants, tliey preserve at 
feasts and weddings tlie processions and music of the Catholic 
Church, curiously mixed up with the gongs and dances of the 

XX.] AMBOYNA. 231 

aborigines of the oountr^r. Their language has stiU much more 
Portuguese than Dutch in it, although tney have been in close 
communication with the latter nation for more than two 
hundred and fift^ years ; even many names of birds, trees and 
other natural objects, as well as many domestic terms, being 
plainly Portuguese.^ This people seems to have had a marvellous 
power of colonization, and a capacity for impressing their 
national characteristics on every country they conquered, or in 
which they effected a merely temporary settlement. In a 
suburb of Amboyna there is a village of aooriginal Malays who 
are Mahometans, and w])o speak a peculiar lan^age allied to 
those of Coram, as well as Malay. They are chiefly fishermen, 
and are said to be both more industrious and more nonest than 
the native Cliristians. 

I went on Sunday, by invitation, to see a collection of shells 
and fish made by a gentleman oi Amboyna. The fishes are 
perhaps unrivalled for variety and beauty by those of any one 
spot on the earth. The celebrated Dutch ichthyologist Dr. 
Hleeker, 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, beine marked with bands and 
spots of the purest yellows, reds, and blues ; while their forms 
present all that strange and endless variety so characteristic of 
the inhabitants of the ocean. The shells are also very numerous, 
and comprise a number of the finest species in the world. The 
Mactras and Ostreas in particular struck me by the variety and 
beauty of their colours. Shells have long been an object of 
traffic in Amboyna ; many of the natives get their living by 
collecting and cleaning them, and almost every visitor ^kes 
away a small collection. The result is that many of the com- 
moner sorts liave lost all value in the eyes of the amateur, 
numbers of the handsome but verv common cones, cowries, ana 
olives sold in the streets of London for a penny each, being 
natives of the distant isle of Amboyna, where they cannot be 
bought so cheaply. The fishes in the collection were all well 
preser\'ed in clear spirit in hundreds of glass jars, and the shells 
were arranged ix^ large sliallow pith boxes lined with paper, 
every specimen being fastened down with thread. I roughly 
estimated that there were nearly a thousand different kinds of 
shells, and perhaps ten thousand specimens, while the collection 
of Amboyna fishes was nearly perfect. 

On the 4th of January I left Amboyna for Temate ; but two 

1 The following are a few of the Foitugoese words in common nee by the MaUr- 
ipeaUng natlyes of Amboyna and the other Molucean ialaads : Fombo (pigeon) ; milo 
(maize) : teiita (forehead) ; horas (honn) ; alilnete (nin) ; cadeira (chair) ; leneo (handker- 
chief) ; fresco (cool) ; trlgo (flour) ; sono (sleep) ; Ikmilia (ftunily) ; histori (talk) ; Tosse 
(yoQ) ; mesmo (even) ; cunhado (brother- fn-law) ; senhor (sir) ; nyora for signora (madam) 
— None of them, however, have the least notion that these woids belong to a Eon^pean 


jjrears later, in October 1859, 1 a^ain visited it after my residence 
m Menado, and stayed a month m the town in a small house 
which I hired for the sake of assorting and jmcking up a large 
and varied collection which I had brought with me from North 
Celebes. Temat-e, and Gilolo. I was obliged to do this because 
the mail-steamer would have come tlie following month by way 
of Amboyna to Ternate, and I should have been delayed two 
months iJefore I could have reached the former place. I then 
paid my fii'st visit to Ceram, and on returning to prepare for 
my second more complete exploration of that island, i stayed 
(much against my will) two months at Paso, on the isthmus 
which connects tne two portions of the island of Amboyna. 
This village is situated on the eastern side of the isthmus, on 
sandy ground, with a very pleasant view over the sea to the 
island of Hariika. On the Amboyna side of the isthmus there 
is a small river which has been continued by a shallow canal to 
within thirty yards of high-water mark on the other side. 
Across this small space, which is sandy and but slightly elevated, 
all small boats ana praus can be easily dragged, and all the 
smaller traffic from Ceram and the islands of Saparua and 
Hiinika, passes through Paso. The 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 Ornithoptera 
priamus was plentiful here, as well as the racquet-tailed king- 
fisher 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, althougli 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 captu red except when 
it comes to drink the sap of the sugar palms, where it is found by 
the natives when they go early in the morning to take away the 
bamboos which have been filled during the night. For some 
time one or two were brought me every day, generally alive. 
They are sluggish insects, and pull themselves lazily along by 
means of their immense tore-legs. A figure of this and other 
Moluccan beetles is given in the 27th 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 eve, cheek, 
armpits, elbows, back, tiiighs, knees, and ankles, so that I was 
unable to sit or walk, and had great difliculty in finding a side 
to lie upon without pain. These continued for some weeks, 
fresh ones coming out as fast as others got well ; but good 
living and sea baths ultimately cured them. 

Alwut the end of January Charles Allen, who had been my 
assistant in Malacca and Borneo, again joined me on agreement 

] AMBOYNA. 288 

for three years ; and as soon as I got tolerably well, we had 
plenty tp 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 Am- 
boyna 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 ouiet and industrious 
lad named Cornelius, whom I had brought irom Menado. I had 
two Amboynese, named Petrus Rehatta, and Mesach Matakena, 
the latter of whom had two brothers, named respectively Shad- 
rach and Abedne^o, in accordance with the usual custom among 
these people of giving only Scripture names to tlieir children. 

During the time I resided in tnis place I enjoyed a luxury I 
have never met with either before or since — the true bread-fruit. 
A good deal of it has been planted about here and in the sur- 
rounding villages, and almost every day we had opportunities 
of purchasing some, as all the boats going to Amooyna were 
unloaded just opposite my door to be dragged across the isthmus. 
Though it grows in several other parts of the Archipelago, it is 
nowhere abundant, and tlie season for it only lasts a short time. 
It is baked entire in the hot embers, and the inside scooped out 
witli a spoon. I compared it to Yorkshire pudding ; Charles 
Allen said it was like mashed potatoes and milk. It is generally 
about tlie size of a melon, a little fibrous towards the centre, 
but everywhere else quite smooth and puddingy, something in 
consistence between yeast-dumplings and batter-pudding. We 
sometimes made curry or stew of it, or fried it in slices ; but it 
is no way so good as simply baked. It may be eaten sweet or 
savory. With meat and gravy it is a vegetable superior to any 
I know, either in tempemte or tropical countries. With sugar, 
milk, butter, or treacle, it is a delicious pudding, having a very 
slight and delicate but characteristic flavour, which, like that 
of good bread and potatoes, one never i^ets tired of. The reason 
why it is comparatively scarce is, that it is a fruit of wliich 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 tlie tropics, and tliough the seeds are very 
good eating, resembling chestnuts, the fruit is quite worthless as 
a vegetable. Now that steam and Ward's cases render the trans- 
port of young plants so easy, it is much to l^e wished that the 
oest varieties of this unequalled vegetable should be introduced 
into our West India islands, and larp^ely 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 Afarket.» 

Although the few months I at various times spent in Amboyna 
were not altogether very profitable to me in the way of collec- 
tions, yet it will always remain as a bright spot in the review 
of my Eastern travels, since it was there that I first made the 
acquaintance of those glorious birds and insects, which render 
the Moluccas classic ground in the eyes of the naturalist, aud 


characterize its fauna as one of the most remarkable and beau- 
tiful 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 Januar^r, 1858, I arrived at 
Temate, the fourth of a i*ow of fine conical volcanic islands 
which skirt the west coast of tlie large and almost unknown 
island of Gilolo. The largest and most perfectly conical moun- 
tain is Tidore, which is over five thousand feet high — Temato 
bein^ very nearly the same height, but witli a more rounded 
and irregular summit.^ The town of Ternate is concealed from 
view till we enter between the two islands, when it is discovered 
stretching along the shore at the very base of the mountain. 
Its situation is fine, and there are grand views on every side. 
Close opposite is the rugged promontory and beautiful volcanic 
cone of Tidore ; to the east is the long mountainous coast of 
Gilolo, terminated towards the north by a group of three lofty 
volcanic peaks, while immediately behind the town rises the 
huge mountain, sloping easily at first and covered with thick 
groves of fruit trees, but soon becoming steeper, and furrowed 
with deep gullies. Almost to the summit, whence issue perpet- 
ually faint wreaths of smoke, it is clothed with vegetation, and 
looks calm and l)eautifuL although beneath are hidden fires 
which occasionally burst lorth in lava-streams, but more fre- 
quently make their existence known by the earthquakes which 
have many times devastated the town. 

I brought letters of introduction to Mr. Duivenboden, a 
native of Ternate, of an ancient Dutch family, but who was 
educated in England and speaks our language perfectly. He 
was a very rich man, owned half the town, possessed manv 
ships, and above a hundred slaves. He was, moreover, well 
educated, and fond of literature and science — a phenomenon 
in these regions. He was generally known as the king of 
Ternate, from his large property and great influence with 
the native Rajahs and their subjects. Through his assistance 
I obtained a house, rather ruinou.s, but well adapted to my 
purpose, being close to the town, vet with a free outlet to 
the country and the mount-ain. A few needful repairs were 
soon made, some bamboo furniture and other necessaries 
obtained, and after a visit to the Resident and Police Magis- 
trate I found myself an inhabitant of the earthquake-tortured 

1 The offlcen of the Challenger found that Ternate wn8 5,000 feet high and Tidore 

5,900 feet. 




island of Ternate, and able to look about rae and lay down 
the plan of my campaign for the ensuing year. I retained 
this liouse for three years, as I found it very convenient to 
have a place to return to after my voyages to the various 
islands of tJie Moluccas and New Guinea, where I could pack 
my collections, recruit my health, and make preparations for 
future journeys. To avoid repetitions, I will in this chapter 
combine what notes I have about Ternate. 

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 


Back Vrrakoar. 


1 — ^ 

11 X so 

1 h 


20X 18 


^ ^ 

11 X 11 

Verandah 40 X 10. 







walls are of stone up to three feet high ; on this are strong 
squared posts supporting the roof, everywhere except in the 
verandah tilled iu with the leaf -stems of the sago- palm, fitted 
neatly in wootien framing. The floor is of stucco, and the ceil- 
ings are like the walls. The house is forty feet square, consists 
of four rooms, a hall, and two 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 this house I spent many 
happy days. Returning to it after a three or four months' 


absence in ttonie uncivilized region, I enjoyed the unwonted 
luxuries of milk and fresh bread, and regular supplies of fish and 
eggs, meat and vegetables, which were often sorely needed to 
restore my healtli and energy. I had ample space and con* 
venience for unpacking, sorting, and arranging my treasures, 
and I had delightful walks in the suburbs of the town, or up the 
lower slopes, of the mountain, when I desired a little exercise, 
or had time for collecting. 

The lower part of the mountain, behind the town of Temate, 
is almost entirely covered with a forest of fruit trees, and 
during the season hundreds of men and women, boys and girls, 
go up every day to bring down the ripe fruit. Durians and 
Mangoes, two of the very finest tropical fruits, are in greater 
abundance at Ternate than I have ever seen them, and some of 
the latter are of a quality not inferior to any in the world. 
Lansats and Mangustans are also abundant, but tliese do not 
ripen till a little later. Above the fruit trees there is a belt of 
clearings and cultivated grounds, which creep up the mountain 
to a height of between two and three thousand feet, above 
which is virgin forest, reaching nearly to the summit, which on 
the side next the town is covered with a high reedy g^ss. On 
the further side it is more elevated, of a bare and desolate 
aspect, with a slight depression marking the position of the 
crater. From this part descends a black scoriaceous tract, very 
rugged, and covered .with a scanty vegetation of scattered bushes 
as fur down as the sea. This is the lava of the great eruption, 
near a century ago, and is called by the natives " batu-angas " 
(burnt rock). 

Just below my house is the fort, built by the Portugese, 
below which is an open space to the bejich, and beyond this the 
native town extends for about a mile to the north-east. About 
the centre of it is the palace of the Sultan, now a large, untidy, 
Imlf-ruinous building of stone. This chief is pensionea by the 
Dutch Government, but retains the sovereignty over the native 
population of the island, and of the northern part of Gilolo. 
The sultans of Ternate and Tidore were once celebrated through 
the East for their power and regal magnificence. When Drake 
visited Ternate in 1579, the Portuguese had been driven out of 
the island, although they still had a settlement at Tidore. He 
gives a glowing account of the Sulta,n : " The King had a very 
rich canopy with embossings of gold borne over him, and was 
guarded with twelve lances. From the waist to the ground was 
all cloth of gold, and that very rich ; in the attire of his head 
were finely wreathed in diverse rings of plaited gold, of an inch 
or more in bi'eadth, which made a fair and princely show, some- 
what 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 hana was a diamond, an emerald, a ruby and a 
turky ; on his ri^ht hand in one ring a big and perfect turky, 
and m another ring many diamonds of a smaller size." 


All this glitter of barbaric gold was the produce of the spice 
tradeu of which the Sultans kept the monopolar, and by which 
they became wealthy. Ternate, with the small islands in a line 
south of it, as far as Batchian, constitute the ancient Moluccas, 
the native country of the clove, as well as the only part in 
which it was cultivated. Nutmegs and mace were procured 
from the natives of New Guinea and tiie adjacent islands, 
where they gi*ew wild ; and the profits on spice cargoes were so 
enormous, that the European tnvders were glad to give gold and 
jewels, and the finest manufactures of Euroi>e 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 product in those spots only of which 
they could have complete control To do thisefiectually 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 possessions 
destroyed. They gave up large though fluctuating revenues, 
but they gained in return a fixed subsidy, freedom from the 
constant attacks and harsh oppressions of the Portuguese, and 
a continuance of their regal power and exclusive authority 
over their own subjects, which is maintained in all the islanos 
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 vag^'e horror, 
as something utterly unprincipled and barbarous, that the native 
population suffered grievousljr by tliis destruction of such valu- 
able property. But it is certain that this was not the case. The 
Sultans kept tliis lucrative trade entirely in their own hands as 
a rigid monopoly, and they would take care not to give their 
subjects more than would amount to their usual wages, while 
they would surely exact as large* a quantity of spice as they 
could possibly obtain. Drake and other early voyagers always 
seem to have purchased their spice-cargoes from theBultansand 
Rajahs, and not from the cultivators. Now the absorption of so 
much labour in the cultivation of this one product must neces- 
sarily have raised the price of food and other necessaries ; and 
when it was abolishea, 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 forests 
would he obtained. I believe, therefore, that this abolition of 
the spice trade in the Moluccas was actually beneficial to the 
inhabitants, 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 cultiva- 

1 8e0 ante, p. 222, and footnote. 


tion, 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 cultivation ; but the soil and climate, 
although apparently very similar to those of its native islands, 
are not favourable, and for some years the Government have 
actually been paving to the cultivators a higher rate than they 
could purchase cloves for 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 

In walking alx)ut the suburbs of Ternate, we find everywhere 
the ruins of massive stone and brick buildings, gateways and 
arches, showing at once the superior wealth of the ancient town 
and tlie destructive effects of 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 armv of cats were 
galloping over it, and immediatelv afterwards my bed shook too, 
so that for an instant I imagined myself back m 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 ; but 
none came, and this was the only earthquake I ever felt in 

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 wliicTi time every one stays 
up nearly all night feasting at the Chinamen's houses and seeing 
the processions. This prevented any lives being lost, as every 
one ran out of doors at tlie first shock, which was not very severe. 
The second, a few minutes afterwards, threw down a great many 
houses, and others, which continued all night and part of the 
next day, completed the devastation. The line of disturbance 
was very narrow, so that the native town a mile to the east 
scarcely suffered at all. The wave passed from north to south, 
through the islands of Tidore and Makian, and terminated in 
Batchian, v/here it was not felt till four the following afternoon, 
thus taking no less than sixteen hours to travel a hundred 
miles, or about six miles an hour. It is singular that on this 
occasion there was no rushing up of the tide, or other commotion 
of the sea, as is usually the case during great earthquakes. 

The people of Ternate are of three well-marked races : the 
Ternate Malays, the Orang Sirani, and the Dutch. The first 


are an intrusive Malay race somewhat allied to the Macassar 
people, who settled in the country at a very early epoch, drove 
out the indigenes, who were no doubt the same as those of the 
adjacent mainland of Gilolo, and established a monarchy. Tliev 
X>erhaps obtained many of their wives from the natives, whicn 
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 points to a Malayan origin. To 
most of those people the Malay language is quite unintelli^blej 
although such as are engaged in trade are obliged to acquire it. 
" Orang Sirani," or Nazarenes, is the name given by the Malays 
to the Christian descendants of the Portuguese, who resemble 
those of Amboyna, and, like them, speak only Malay. There 
are also a number of Chinese merchants, 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 otlier islands settled here, 
making up a motley and very puzzling population, till inquiry 
and observation have shown the distinct origin of its component 

Soon after my first arrival in Temate I went to the island of 
Gilolo, accompanied by two sons of Mr. Duivenboden, and by a 
young Chinaman, a brother of my landlord, who lent us the 
boat and crew. These latter were all slaves, mostly Papuans, 
and at starting I saw something of the relation of master and 
slave in this part of the world. The crew had been ordered to 
be ready at three in the morning, instead of which none ap- 
peared till 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 bantering manner, and 
laughed and joked with him in reply. Then, just as we were 
starting, one of the strongest men refused to go at all, and his 
master nad 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 
dnnk and little to do, the black gentleman was induced to 
favour us with his company and assistance. In three hour^ 
rowing and sailing we reached our destination, Sedingole, where 
there is a house belonging to the Sultan of Tidore, who some- 
times goes there hunting. It was a dirty ruinous shed, with no 
furniture but a few bamboo bedsteads. On taking a walk into 
the country, I saw at once that it was no place for me. For 
many miles extends a plain covered with coarse high grass, 
thickly dotted here and there with trees, the forest country 
only commencing at the hills a good way in the interior. Such 
a place would produce few birds and no insects, and we there- 
fore 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 oursehes shooting 
parrots, lories, and pigeons, and trying to slioot deer, of which 


we saw plenty, but could not get one ; and our crew went out 
fishing with a net^ so we did not want for provisions. When 
the time came for us to continue our journey, a fresh difficulty 
presented itself, for our gentlemen slaves refused in a body to 

fo with us, saying very determinedly that they would return to 
'emate. So their masters were obliged to submit, and I was 
left beliind to get to Dodinga as I could. Luckily I succeeded 
in hiring a small boat, which took me there the same night, with 
my two men and my baggage. 

Two or three years aiter 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 amicable relations which had always 
existed between them and their masters, due no doubt m part 
to the Grovernment 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 of placing 
every emancipated slave under the surveillance of the police- 
magistrate. Tliey were obliged to show that they were working 
for a living, and nad some honestly-acquired means of existence. 
All who could not do so were placed upon public works at low 
wages, and thus were kept from the temptation to peculation or 
other crimes, which the excitement of newly-acquired freedom, 
and disinclijiation to labour, might have led them into. 


(march and SEPTEMBER 1858.) 

I MADE but few and comparatively short visits to this large 
and little known island, but obtainecl a considerable knowledge 
of its natural history by sending first my boy AH, and then my 
assistant, Charles Allen, who stayed two or three months each 
in the northern peninsula, and brought me back large collections 
of birds and insects. In this chapter I propose to give a sketch 
of the parts which I myself visited. My first stay was at 
Dodinga, situated at the head of a deep bay 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 completely 
shut in by low hills. 

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 there was 
much difficulty in finding one. In the meantime I unloaded 
my baggage on the beach and made some tea, and afterwards 


discovered a sipall 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 
agi*eed 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 at 
me ; and when I each time insisted upon his immediately 
mending the roof according to contract, ail the answer I could 
get 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, ana a guilder extra if any of my things 
were wetted, he condescended to work for half an hour, which 
did all that was absolutely necessary. 

On the top of a bank, of about a hundred feet ascent from 
the water, stands the very small but substantial fort erected by 
the Portuguese. Its battlements and turrets have long since 
been overthrown by earthquakes, by which its massive 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 under 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 soldiers, the sole repre- 
sentatives of the Netherlands Government in the island. The 
village is occupied entirely by Ternate men. The true indigenes 
of Giiolo, *' Aliuros" 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 |)lace 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 angular 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 large scarlet Ixoras in flower, which made it 
exceptionally gay. I eot some very nice insects here, though, 
owing to illness most oi 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 larjo^e ground- thrush, whose 
plumage of velvety black above is relieved by a breast of pure 
white, shoulders of azure blue, and belly of >4vid crimson. It 
has verjr long and strong legs, and hops about with such 
activity in the dense tangled forest, bristling with rocks, as to 
make it very difficult to shoot. 

In September 1868, 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 obtained a house 
through the kindness of the Resident 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 find a most beautiful little long- tailed bird, orna- 
mented 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 orush-tonguea 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 

Tlie village of Djilolo was formerly tlie chief residence of the 
Sultans of Ternate, till al>out eighty years ago, when at tlie 
request of the Dutch they removed to their present abode. 
Tlie place was thpn no doubt much more populous, as is 
indicated by the wide extent of cleared land in the neighbour- 
hood, now covered with coarse high grass, very disagreeable to 
walk through, and utterly bjirren to the naturalist. A few 
days' exploring showed me that only some small patches of 
forest remained for mil&s round, and the insult was a scarcity 
of insects and a very limited variety of birds, which obliged me 
to change my locality. There was another village call^ 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 ana 
Alfuros, which latter race I much wished to see. I set oft* one 
morning to examine this place myself, expecting to pass through 
some extent, of forest on my way. In this however I was much 
disappointed, as the whole road lies through grass and scrubby 
thicKets, and it was only after reaching the village of Sahoe 
that some high forest land was perceived stretching towards the 
mountains to the north of it. Alwut half-way we had to pass 
a deep river on a bamboo raft, which almost sunk beneath us. 
This stream was said to rise a long way off* to the northward. 

Although Sahoe did not at all appear what I expected, I 
determined to give it a trial, and a few days afterwards obtained 
a boat to carry my things by sea while 1 walked overland. A 
large house on the beach belonging to the Sultan was given me. 
It stood alone, and was quite open on every side, so that little 
privacy could be had, but as 1 only intended to stay a short 
time I made it do. A very few days dispelled all hopes I might 
have entertained of making good collections in this place. 
Nothing was to be found in every direction but intermmable 
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 I was in 
search of, existed only on the summits and on the steep rocky 
sides of the mountains a long way off, and in inaccessible 
situations. In the suburbs of the village I found a fair number 

XX1I.1 GILOLO. 248 

of bees and wasps, and some small but interesting beetles. 
Two or three new birds were obtained by my hunters, and by 
incessant inquiries and promises I succeeded in getting the 
natives to bnng me some land shells, among which was a very 
iine and handsome one, Helix pyrostoma. I was, however, 
completely wasting my time here compared with what I might 
be doing in ^ good locality, and after a week returned to 
Ternate, quite disappointed with my first attempts at collecting 
in Gilolo. 

In the country round about Sahoe, and in the interior, there 
is a large j>opulation 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 Mala)r races. There stature and 
their features, as well as their disposition and habits, are almost 
the same as those of the Papuans ; their hair is semi-Papuan — 
neither straight, smooth, and glossy, like all true Malays^ nor 
so frizzly and woolly as the perfect Papuan type, but always 
crisp, waved, and rough, such as often occurs among the true 
Papuans, but never among the Malays. Their colour alone is 
often exactly that of the Malav, or even lighter. Of course 
there has been intermixture, and there occur occasionally indi- 
viduals 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 bearded face, and hairy body, as 
well as the less reserved manner and louder voice, unmistakably 
proclaim the Papuan type. Here then I had discovered the 
exact boundary line between the Malay and Papuan races, and 
at a spot where no other writer had 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 mv return from Waigiou in 1860, 1 stayed some days on 
the soutnern extremity of Qilolo, 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 indigenes, the whole of the rest of the island, 
with Batchian and the other islands westward, being exclusively 
inhabited by Malay tribes, allied to those of Ternate and Tidore. 
This would seem to indicate that tlie Alfuros were a compara- 
tively recent immigration, and that they had come from the 
north or east, perhaps from some of the islands of tlie Pacific. 
It is otherwise difficult to understand how so many fertile 
districts should possess no true indigenes. 

Gilolo, or Halmaheira as it is called by the Malays and Dutch, 
seems to have been recently modified by upheaval and subsi- 
dence. In 1673, a mountain is said to have been upheaved at 
Oamokonora on the nortliem peninsula. All the parts that I 

& 2 


have seen have either been volcanic or coralline, and along the 
coast there are fringing coral reefs Aery dangerous to navigation. 
At the same time, tlie character of its natural history proves it 
to be a leather ancient land, since it possesses a number of 
animals peculiar to itself or common to the small islands around 
it, but almost always distinct from those of New Guinea on the 
east, of Ceram on the south, and of Celebes and the Sula islands 
on the west. 

The island of Morty, close to the north-eastern extremity of 
Gilolo, was visited by my assistant Charles Allen, as well as by 
Dr. Bernstein ; and the collections obtained there present some 
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 honeysucker 
(Tropidorhynchus f uscicapillus), and a large crow-like starling 
(Lycocorax morotensis), are quit« distinct from allied species 
tound in Gilolo. The island is coralline and sandy, and we 
must therefore believe it to have been separated from Gilolo at 
a somewhat remote epoch ; while we learn from its natural 
liistory that an arm or the sea twenty -five miles wide serves to 
limit the range even of birds of considerable powers of flight. 



(OCTOBER 1858.) 

On returning to Temate from Sahoe, I at once began roakine 
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 
sliould have to hire a lx)at, as no opportunity of obtaining a 
passage presented itself. I accordingly went into the native 
town, and could only find two boats for hire, one much larger 
than I required, and the other far smaller than I wished. I 
chose the smaller one. chiefly because it would not cost me one- 
third as much as the larger one, and also because in a 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 fioniean lad Ali, who was now 
very useful to me ; Lahagi, a native of Temate, a veiy good 
steady man, and a fair shooter, who had been with me to New- 
Guinea ; Lain, a native of Gilolo, who could speak Malay, as 
woodcutter and general assistant ; and Garo, a t)oy 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 

rxiii.] VOYAGE TO BATCHIAN. 245 

slave, a tall, strong black fellow, but very civil and careful. The 
boat 1 had hired iix)m a Chinaman named Lau Keng Tong, for 
five guilders a month. 

We started on the morning of October 9th, but had not got a 
hundred yards from land, when a strong head wind sprung up, 
against which we could not rOw, so we crept along shore to below 
the town, and waited till the turn of the tide should enable us 
to cross over to the coast of Tidore. About three in the after- 
noon we got off, and found that our boat sailed well, and would 
keep pretty close to the wind. We got on a good way before 
the wind fell and we had to take to our oars again. We landed 
on a nice sandy beach to cook our suppers, just as the sun set 
behind the rugged volcanic hills, to the south of the ^reat cone 
of Tidore, and soon after beheld the planet Venus shining in the 
twilight with the brilliancy of a new moon, and casting a very 
distinct shadow. We left again a little before seven, and as we 
got out from the shadow of the mountain I observed a bright 
light over one part of the ridge, and soon after, what seemed a 
lire of remarkable whiteness on tlie very summit of the hill. I 
called the attention of my men to it, and they too thought it 
merely a fire ; but a few minutes afterwards, as we got farther 
offshore, the light rose clear up above the ridge of the hill, and 
some faint clouds clearing away from it, discovered the magni- 
ficent comet which wjis at the same time astonishing all Europe. 
The nucleus presented to the naked eye a distinct disc of brilliant 
white light, from wliich the tail rose at an angle of about 30° or 
35° with tlie horizon, curving slightly downwards, and ter- 
minating in a broad brush of faint light, the curvature of which 
diminished till it was nearly straight at the end. The portion 
of the tail next the comet appeared three or four times as bright 
as the most luminous portion of the milky way, and what struck 
me as a singular feature was that its upper margin, from the 
nucleus to very near the extremity, was clearly and almost 
sharply defined, while the lower side gradually shaded off into 
obscurity. Directly it rose above the ridge of the hill, I said to 
my men, " See, it's not a fire, it's a bintan^ ber-ekor," (" tailed- 
star," the Malay idiom for a comet). " So it is," said they ; and 
all aeclared that they had often heard tell of such, but had never 
seen one till now. 1 had no telescope with me, nor any instru- 
ment at hand, but I estimated the length of the tail at about 20°, 
and the width, towards the extremity, about 4^ or 5''. 

The whole of the next day we were obliged to stop near the 
village of Tidore, owing to a strong wind right in our teeth. The 
countiy was all cultivated, and I in vain searched for any in- 
sects 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, March, 
where we stayed till morning. The comet was again visible, but 
not nearly so brilliant, being partly obscured oy clouds, and 
dimmed by the light of the new moon. Wo then rowed across 


to the island of Motir, which is bo surrounded with ooral-reefs 
that it is dangerous to approach. These are pei«fectly flat, and 
are only covered at high water, ending in craggy vertical walls 
of coral in very deep water. When there is a little wind, it is 
dangerous to come near these rocks ; but luckily it was quite 
smooth, BO we moored to their edge, while the men crawled over 
the reef to the land, to make a fire and cook our dinner — the 
boat having no accommodation for more than heating water for 
my morning and evening coffee. We then ix>wed along the edge 
of the reef to the end of the island, and were ^lad to get a nice 
westerly breeze, which carried us over the strait to the island of 
Makian, where we arrived about 8 p.m. The sky was quite clear, 
and though the moon shone brightly, the comet appeared with 
quite as much splendour as when we first saw it. 

The coasts of these small islands are very different 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, 
occurring only in small patches in quiet bays, and rarely or 
never forming reefs. Teruate, Tidore, and Siakian belong to 
this class. Islands of volcanic origin, not themselves volcanoes, 
but which have been probably recently upraised, are generallv 
more or less completely surrounded by fringing reefs of coral, 
and have beaches of shining Mfhite coral sand. Their coasts 
present volcanic conglomerates, basalt, and in some places a 
loundation of stratified rocks, with patches of upraised coraL 
Mareh and Motir are of this character, the outline of the latter 
giving it the appearance of having been a true volcano, and it is 
said by Forrest to have thrown out stones in 1778. The next 
day (Oct. 12th), we coasted along the island of Makian, which 
consists of a single grand volcano. It was now quiescent, but 
about two centuries ago (in 1646) there was a terrible eruption, 
which blew up the whole top of the mountain, leaving the 
truncated jagged summit and vast gloomy crater valley whicli 
at this time distinguished it. It was said to have been as lofty 
as Tidore before this catastrophe.* 

I stayed some time at a place where I saw a new clearing on 
a very steep part of the mountain, and obtained a few interest- 
ing insects. In the evening we went on to the extreme southern 
point, to be ready to nass across the fifteen-mile strait to the 
island of Kaida. At nve the next morning we started, but the 
wind, which had hitherto been westerly, now got to tlie south 
and south-west, and we had to row almost all the way with a 
burning sun overhead. As we approached land a fine breeze 
sprang up, and we went along at a great pace ; yet after an 

1 Boon after I left the Archipelago, on the 29th of Dercmber, 1862, another emptlon 
of thia mountain suddenly took place, which caused great devastation in the island. 
All the Tillages and crops were destroyed, and numbers of tlie inhabitants killed. The 
sand and ashes fell so thick that the crops were partially destroyed fifty miles off, at 
Ternate, where it was so dark the following day that lamps had to be lighted at noon. 
For the position of thia and the adjacent islands, see the map in Chapter XXXVII. 

xxiii.] VOYAGE TO BATCHIAN. 247 

hour we were no nearer, and found we were in a violent current 
carrying us out to sea. At length we overcame it, and got on 
shore just as the sun set, having been exactly thirteen hours 
coming fifteen miles. We landed on a beach of hard coraUine 
rock, with rugged cliffs of the same, resembling those of the K^ 
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 comet, still 
apiMirently as brilliant as at first, but the tail had now risen to 
a higher angle. 

Chkober \Aih. — All this day we coasted along the Kai6a Islands, 
which have much the appearance and outline of K^ on a small 
scale, with the addition of flat swampy tracts along shore, and 
outlying coral reefs. Contrary winds and currents had pre- 
vented 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 throu^li 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 tlie sun as to 
be disagreeably warm, and drag our vessel a considerable dis- 
tance 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 b^t we could find at our last stopping-place. There was a 
house close to the shore, built for the use of the Resident of 
Temate when he made his ofiicial visits, but now occupied by 
several native travelling merchants, among whom I lound a 
place to sleep. 

The next morning early I went to the village to find the 
" Kapala," or head man. 1 informed him that I wanted to stay 
a few days in the house at the landing, and be^ed 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 hui'dles to keep out 
dogs and other animals. The land hera 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 
ffuides. It was exceedingly hot and dry. no rain having fallen 
for two months. When we reached an elevation of about two 
hundred feet, the coralline rock which fringes the shore was 
succeeded by a hard crystalline rock, a kind of metamorphic 
sandstone. This would indicate that there had been a recent 
elevation of more than two hundred feet^ which had still more 


recently changed into a movement of subsidence. Tlie hill was 
very rugged, but among dry sticks and fallen trees I found some 
good insects, mostly of forms and species I was already ac- 

?uainted with from Ternate and Gilolo. Finding no good paths 
returned, and exploi-ed the lower ground eastward of the 
village, passing through a long range of plantain and tobacco 
grounds, encumbered with fefled and burnt logs, on which I 
found quantities of beetles of the family Buprestidae of six 
different species, one of which was new to me. I then reached 
a path in the swampy forest where I hoped to find some butter- 
flies, 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, ana children, lost in 
amazement at my unaccountable proceeaings ; 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 
tlie old Kapala, the Mahometan priest, and some Malay traders 
could not repress signs of astonisliment. 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 mv operations as worthy 
of all respect, although utterly beyond their comprehension. 

The next day (October 16th) I went beyond tne swamp, and 
found a place where a new clearing was being made in the 
virgin forest. It was a long and hot walk, and the search 
among the fallen trunks and branches was very fatiguing, but I 
was rewarded by obtaining about seventy distinct species of 
beetles, of which at least a dozen w^ere 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 Buprestidae, green rose-chafers 
(fx)maptera), and long-homed weevils (Antliribidfie), were so 
abundant that they rose up in swarms as I walked along, filling 
the air with a loud buzzing hum. Along with these, several fine 
Longicorns were almost equally common, forming such an as- 
semblage as for once to realize tnat idea of tropical luxuriance 
which one obtains by looking over'.the drawers of a well-filled 
cabinet. On the under sides of the trunks clung numbers of 
smaller or more slug^sh Longicorns, while on the branches at 
the edge of the clearing others could be detected sitting with 
outstretched antennse ready to take flight at the legist alarm. 
It was a glorious spot, and one which will always live in my 
memoiy as exhibiting the insect-life of the tropics in unex- 
ampled 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 
entomologpists. October 15th, 33 species of beetles ; 16th, 70 
species ; 17th, 47 species ; 18th, 40 species ; 19th, 66 species — in 


all about a hundred species, of which forty were new to me. 
There were forty-four species of Longicorns among them, and 
on the last day I took ,twenty-eight species of Longicorns, of 
which five were new to me. 

My boys were less fortunate in shooting. The only birds at 
all common were tlie great red parrot (Eclectus grandis), found 
in most of tlie Moluccas, a crow, and a Megapooius, or mound- 
maker. A few of the pretty racquet- tailed kingfishers were 
also obtained, but in very poor plumage. They proved, how- 
ever, to be of a different species irom tliose found in the other 
islands, and come nearast to the bird originall]^ described by 
Linnaeus under tlie name of Alcedo dea, and which came from 
Temate. This would indicate that the small chain of islands 
parallel to Gilolo have a few peculiar species in common, a fact 
which certainly occurs in insects. 

The people of Kaioa interested me much. They are evidently 
a mixed race, having Malay and Papuan affinities, and are 
allied to the peoples of Ternate and oi Qilolo. They possess a 
peculiar language, somewhat resembling those of the surround- 
ing islands, but quite distinct. Thev are now Mahometans, 
and are subject to Temate. Tlie only fruits seen here were 
papaws and pine-apples, the rocky soil and dry climate being 
unfavourable. Bice, maize, and plantains flourish well, except 
that they suffer from occasional dry seasons like the present 
one. There is a little cotton gown, from which the women 
weave sarongs (Malay petticoats). There is only one well of 
good water on the islands, situated close to the landing-place, 
to which all the inliabitants come for drinking water. The 
men are good boat-buiiders, and they make a regular trade of 
it and seem to be very well off. 

After five days at Kaioa we continued our journey, and soon 
got among the narrow straits and islands which lead down to 
the town of Batchian. In the evening we stayed at a settlement 
of Gallia men. These are natives of a district in the extreme 
north of Gilolo, and are great wanderers over this part of the 
Archipelago. They build large and roomy praus with out- 
riggers, and settle on any coast or island they take a fancy for. 
Thev hunt deer and wild pig, drying the meat ; they catcli 
turtle and tripang ; they cut down the forest and plant rice or 
maize, and are altogether remarkably energetic and industrious. 
They are very fine people, of light complexion, tall, and with 
Papuan features, coming nearer to the drawings and descriptions 
of the true Polynesians of Tahiti and Owyhee than any I have 

Dunng this voyage I had several times had an opportunity 
of seeing^ my men get fire by friction. A sharp-c^ged piece of 
bamboo is rubbed across the convex surface of another piece, 
on which a small notch is first cut. The rubbing is slow at first 
and gradually quicker, till it becomes very rapid, and the fine 
powder rubbed off ignites and falls through the hole which the 


rubbing has cut in the bamboo. This is done with great quick- 
ness and certainty. The Ternate people use bamboo in another 
way. They strike its flinty surface with a bit of broken china, 
ana produce a spark, which they catch in some kind of tinder. 

On the evening of October 21st we reached our destination, 
having been twelve days on tlie voyage. It had been fine 
weather all the time, and, although very hot, I liad enjoyed 
myself exceedingly, and had besides obtained some experience 
in boat work among islands and coral reefs, which enaoled me 
afterwards to undertake much longer voyages of the same kind. 
The village or town of Batchian is situated at the head of a wide 
and deep bay, where a low isthmus connects the northern and 
southern mountainous parts of tlie 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 either sandstone in thin layers, dipping south, or a 
pebbly conglomerate. Sometimes there was a little coralline 
limestone, but no volcanic rocks. The forest had a dense 
luxuriance and loftiness seldom found on the dry and porous 
lavas and raised coral reefs of Ternate and Gilolo ; and hoping 
for a corresponding richness in the birds and insects, it was 
with much satisfaction and with considerable expectation tliat 
I began my explorations in the hitherto unknown island of 



(OCTOBER 1858 TO APRIL 1859.) 

I LANDED opposite the house kept for the use of the Resident 
of Ternate, and was met by a respectable middle-aged Malay, 
who told me he was Secretary to the Sultiin, and would receive 
the official letter with which I had been provided. On giving 
it him, he at once informed me I might have the use of the 
official residence which was empty. 1 soon got my things on 
shore, but on looking about me found that the house would 
never do to stay long in. There was no water except at a 
considerable distance, and one of my men would be almost 
entirely occupied getting water and firewood, and I should 
myself have to walk all through the village every day to the 
forest, and live almost in public, a thing I much dislike. The 
rooms were all boarded, and had ceilings, which are a great 
nuisance, as there are no means of hanging anything up except 
by driving nails, and not half the conveniences of a native 
bamboo and thatch cottage. I accordingly inquired for a house 

xxiv.] BATCHIAJ^. 251 

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 liad to pass one large river, by a rude but substantial 
bridge, and to wade through another tine pebbly stream of clear 
water, just 1)eyond which the little hut was situated. It was 
very small, not raised on posts, but with the earth for a floor, 
ana was built almost entirely of the leaf -stems of the sago-X)ahn, 
called here ** gaba-gal)a." Across the river behind rose a forest- 
clad bank, and a good road close in front of the hoase led 
through cultivated grounds to the forest about half a mile on, 
and tiience to the coal mines four miles further. These ad- 
vantages at once decided me, and I told the Secretary I would 
be very glad to occupy the house. I therefore sent my two 
men immediately to buv "'ataps" (palm-leaf thatch) to repair 
the roof, and the next aay, with the assistance of eight of the 
Sultan's men, got all my stores and furniture carried up and 
pretty comfortably arranged. A rough bamlxx) bedstead was 
soon constructed, and a table made of boards which I had 
brought with me, fixed under the window. Two bamboo chairs, 
an easy cane chair, and hanging shelves suspended with insu- 
lating oil cups, so as to be safe from ants, completed my 
furnishing arrangements. 

In the afternoon succeeding my arrival, the Secretary accom- 
panied me to visit the Sultan. We were kept waiting a few 
minutes in an outer ffate-house, and then ushered to the door of 
a rude, half-fortifieo, whitewashed house. A small table and 
three cnairs were placed in a lai^e 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, 
snook 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 gre&t interest, tea and cakes — of rather better 
Quality than usual on such occasions — were braught in. I 
uianked him for the house, and offered to sliow him my col- 
lections, which he promised to come and look at. He then 
asked me to teach him to take views — to make maps— to get 
him a small gun from England, and a milch-goat from Bengal ; 
all of which requests I evaded as 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, whicli 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 tlie great rush of population on the 
discovery of tlie 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 I had got into my new house, I sent my 


boys out to shoot, and went myself to explore the road to the 
coal Tnines. In less than half a mile it entered the virgin forest, 
at a place where some magnificent trees formed a kind oi 
natural avenue. The first part was fiat and swampy, but it 
soon rose a little, and ran alongside the fine stream which 
passed behind my house, and which here rushed and gargled 
over a rocky or pebbly bed, sometimes le^iving wide sandbanks 
on its mar^ns, and at other places flowing between high banks 
crowned with a varied and magnificent forest vegetation. After 
about two miles, the valley narrowed, and tlie road was carried 
along the steep hill side which rose abruptly from the water's 
edge. In some places tlie 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 gi^eat mass of 
rock in the middle offered an excellent support for it, and two 
miles more of most picturesque and interesting road brought 
me to the mining establishment. 

This is situated in a large open space, at a spot where two 
tributaries fall into the main stream. Several forest- patiis 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 liad been discovered hei-e some years before, and the road 
was made in order to bring down a sufficient quantity for a fair 
trial on the Dutch steamers. The quality, however, was not 
thought sufficiently good, and the mines were abandoned. 
Quite recently, works liad been commenced in another spot, in 
hopes of fi ndinff 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 tlie mere 
keeping a few miles of road in repair requires the constant 
work of several men. If coal of sufficiently good quality should 
be found, a tram road would be made, and would be very easily 
worked, owing to the regular descent of the valley. 

Just as I got home I overtook Ali returning from shooting 
with some birds hanging from his belt. He seemed much 
pleased, and said, " Look here, sir, what a curious bird," holding 
out what at first completely pjuzzled me. I saw a bird with a 
mass of splendid green fe^ithers on its breast, elongated into 
two glittering tufts ; but what I could not unders^nd was a 
pair of long white feathers, which stuck straight out from each 
shoulder. Ali assured me that the bird stuck them out tl^is 
way itself, when fluttering its wings, and that they had re- 
mained 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 Paradise, differing most remarkably from every other 


known bird. The general plumage is very sober, being a pure 
ashy olive, with a purplish tin^e 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 metal- 
lic 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 wav as the side plumes of most of the birds of 
paradise. The four long white i)lumes which give the bird its 
^altofi^ether 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, or 
laid along the body at the pleasure of the bircl. The bill is horn 
colour, the lees yellow, and the iris pale olive. This striking 
novelty has been named bjr Mr. G. R. Gray of the British 
Museum, Semioptera Wallacei, or " Wallace*s Standard wing." ^ 
A few days later I obtained an exceedingly l)eautiful newi 
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 margin of the lower wings. 
This ttood bc^nning was, however, rather deceptive, and I soon' 
found that insects, and espex^ially butterflies, were somewhat 
scarce, and birds in far less variety than I had anticipated 
Several of the fine Moluccan species were however obtainecT 
The handsome red lory with green wings and a yellow spot in 
the back (Lorius garrulus) was not uncommon. When the 
Jambu, or rose apple (Eugenia sp.), was in flower in the village, 
flocks of the little lorikeet (Charmosyna placentis), already met 
with in Gilolo, came to feed upon the nectar, and I obtained 
as many specimens as I desired. Another beautiful bird of the 
parrot tribe was the Qeoffroyus cyanicollis, a green parrot with 
a red bill and head, which colour shaded on the crown into 
azure blue, and thence into verditer blue and the green of the 
back. Two large and handsome fruit pigeons, with metallic 
green, ashy, and rufous plumage, were not uncommon ; and I 
was rewarded by finding a splendid deep blue roller (Eurystomus 
azureus), a lovely golden-capped sunbird (Nectarinea auriceps), 
and a fine racquet-tailed Kingfisher (Tanysiptera isis), all of 
which were entirely new to omitholgists. Of insects I obtained 
a considerable number of interesting beetles, including many 
fine longioorns, among which was the largest and handsomest 
species of the genus Ulenea yet discovered. Among butterflies 
the beautiful little Danis sebse was abundant, making the forests 
gay with its delicate wings of white and the richest metallic 
blue ; while showy Papilios, and pretty Pieridse, and dark, rich 
Eupleeas, many of them new, furnished a constant source of 
interest and pleasing occupation. 


The island of Batchian possesses no really indigenous in- 
habitants, the interior being altogether uninhabited, and there 
are only a few small villages on various parts of the coast ; yet 
I founa 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 settle- 
ment is one of stragglers of various races, although now suffi- 
ciently homogeneous. Then there are tlie " Orang Sirani," as 
at Ternate and Amlx>yna. Many of these have the Portuguese 
physiognomy strikingly preserved, but combined with a skin 
generally darker than the Malays. Some national customs are 
retained, and the Malay, which is their onl^ 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 Tomdr^, in the eastern peninsula of Celebes. These 
people were brought here at their own request a few years ago, 
to avoid extermination by another tril)e. They have a very 
light complexion, open Tartar physiognomy, low stature, and a 
language of the Bugis type. They are an industrious agri- 
cultural people, and supplv the town with vegetables. They 
make a good deal of l)arK cloth, similar to the tapa of the Poly- 
nesians, by cutting down the proper trees and taking off large 
cylinders of bark, which is beaten with mallets till it separates 
from the wood. It is then soaked, and so continuously and 
regularly beaten out that it becomes as thin and as tough as 
parchment. In this form it is much used for wrappers for 
clothes ^ and they also make jackets of it, sewn neatly together 
and stained with the juice of another kind of bark, which gives 
it a dark red 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. Now if we 
suppose a traveller ignorant of Malay, picking up a word or two 
here and there of the '* Batchian language," and noting down the 
*^ physical and moral peculiarities, manners, and customs of the 
Batchian people" — (for there are travellers who do all this in 
four-and-twenty hours) — what an accurate and instructive 
chapter we should have ! what transitions would be pointed 
out, what theories of the origin of races would be develop^ ! 
while the next traveller mi^ht flatly contradict every statement 
and arrive at exactly opposite conclusions. 

Soon after I arrived here the Dutch Government introduced 
a new copper coinage of cents instead of doits (the 100th instead 
of the 120tn 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 

xxn.] BATCHIAN. 265 

a written order ; so I waited to send again the next dav, and it 
was lucky I did so, for that night my house was entered, all my 
boxes carried out and ransacked, and the various articles left on 
the road about twenty yards oft', where we found them at five in 
the morning, when^ on getting up and finding the house emptv^ 
we rushed out to discover tracks of the thieves. Not being able 
to find the copper money which they thought I had just re- 
ceived, they decamped, taking nothing but a tew yards ot 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 who were the thieves. Convicts are employed 
to guard the Government stores when the boat arrives from 
Temate. Two of them watch all night, and often take the 
opportunity to roam about and commit robberies. 

The next day I received my monev, and secured it well in a 
strong box fastened under my bed. I took out five or six 
liundred cents for daily expenses, and put them in a small 
japanned box, which always stood upon my table. In the 
afternoon I went for a short walk, ana on my return this box 
and my keys, which I had carelessly left on the table, were gona 
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 Commandant at the fort, and 
got for answer, that if I caught the thief in the act I might 
shoot him. By inquirv in the village, we afterwards found that 
one of the convicts who was on duty at the Government rice- 
ctore in the village had quitted his guard, was seen to pass over 
the bridffe towaras 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 
poing 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 havinff 
gone to the river close to my house to bathe ; but said he had 
gone no further, having climbed up a cocoa-nut tree and brought 
home two nuts, which he had covered over, because he toas ashamed 
to be seen carrying them ! ^ This explanation was thought satis- 
factory, and he was acquitted. I lost my cash and my box, a 
seal I much valued, witti 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 immediatelv. 
There was, however, 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 tlie forest 


became flooded, the roads filled with mud, and insects and birds 
were scarcer than ever. On December 13th, in the afternoon, we 
had a sharp earthquake shock, which made the house and furni- 
ture 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 ex- 

flore the district to the west of it, and to be near the sea when 
wished to return to Ternate. 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 gun- 
firing, drum-l>eating, and fiddling of the inhabitants. 

These people are very fond of music and dancing, and it would 
astonish a European to visit one of their assemblies. We enter 
a gloomy palm -leaf hut in which two or three very dim lamps 
barely ]*ender darkness visible. The floor is of black sandy 
earth, the roof hid in a smoky, impenetrable blackness ; two or 
three benches stand against the walls, and the orchestra consists 
of a fiddle, a fife, a drum, and a triangle. There is plenty of 
company, consisting of young men and women, all very neatly 
dressed in white and black — a true Portuguese habit. (Quadrilles, 
waltzes, polkas, and mazurkas are danced with great vigour and 
much skill. The refreshments are muddy coffee and a few 
sweetmeats. Dancing is kept up for hours, and all is conducted 
with much decorum and propriety. A party of tliis kind meets 
about once a week, the principal inhabitants taking it by turns, 
and all who please come in without much ceremony. 

It is astonishing how little these people have altered in three 
hundred years, although in that time they have changed their 
language and lost all knowledge of their own 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 regards 
their house and furniture, but preserve 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 fisli and fowls, enables them to live well. 
They are almost the only people in the Archipelago who eat the 
great fruit-eating bats called oy 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 large 
flocks to eat fruit, and congregate during the day on some small 
islands in the bay, hanging by thousands on the trees, especially 
on dead ones. They can then be easily caught or knocked down 
with sticks, and are brought home by basketfuls. They require 
to be caretully prepared, 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 
ealing, 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 fruit. 

It is a curious fact that everywhere in the East where the 
Portuguese have mixed with the native i*aces they have become 
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 Portugpiese of Malacca. The reverse is the case in 
South America, where the mixture of the Portuguese or Bra- 
zilian 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 beautv to the mixed Dutch-Malay girls, or even to many 
pure Malays. 

The part of the village in which I resided was a grove of 
cocoa-nut trees, and at night, when the dead leaves were some- 
times collected together and burnt, the effect was most mag- 
nificent—the tall stems, the fine crowns of foliage, and the 
immense fruit-clusters, bein|f brilliantly illuminated against a 
dark sky, and appearing like a fairy palace supported 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. z^ 

During my very first walk into the forest at Batchian, I had (' 
seen sitting on a leaf put of reach, an immense butterfiv of a 
dark colour marked with white and yellow spots. I could not 
capture it as it flew awav high up into the 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 East.em 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 onl^ 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 be^nning of January, I 
found a beautiful shrub with large white leafy bracts and 
yellow flowers, a species of Musscenda, and saw one of these 
noble insects hovering over it, but it was too quick for me, and 
flew away. The next day I went again to the same shrub and 
succeeded in catching a female, and the day after a fine male. 
I found it to be as I had expected, a perfectly new and most mag- 
nificent species, and one of the most gorgeously coloured butter- 
flies 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 green of the allied species. 
The oeauty 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 

I like fainting than I have done when in apprehension of imm&- 

idiate death. I had a headache the rest of the day, so great was 

the excitement pi*oduced by what will appear to most people a 

K'ery inadequate cause. 

I had decided to return to Temate in a week or two mor& 
but this grand capture determined me to stay on till x 
obtained a ^ood series of the new butterfly, which I have since 
named Omithoptera croesus. The Musssenda bush was an 
admirable place, which I could visit every dav on my way to 
the forest ; and as it was situated in a dense thicket of shrubs 
and creepers, I set my man Lahi to clear a space all round it, so 
that 1 could easily get at any insect that might visit it. After- 
wards, finding that it was often necessary to wait some time 
there, I had a little seat put up under a tree by the side of it, 
where I came every day to eat my lunch, and thus had half an 
hour's watching about noon, besides a chance as I passed it in 
the morning. In this way I obtained on an average one speci- 
men 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 th&t I should not have obtained many perfect 
males had I not found another station for them. 

As soon as I had seen them come to flowers, I sent my man 
Lahi with a net on purpose to search for them, as they had also 
been seen at some flowering trees on the beach, and I promised 
him half a day's wages extra for every good specimen ne could 
catch. After a day or two he brought me two very fair 
specimens, and told me he had caught them in the bed of a 
large rocky stream that descends from the mountains to the sea 
about a mile below the village. Thev flew down this river, 
settling occasionally on stones and rocks in the wat-er, and he 
was obliged to wade up it or jump from rock to rock to get at 
them, r went with him one day, but found that the stream was 
far too rapid and the stones too slippery for me to do anything, 
so I left it entirely to him, and all the rest of the time we stayed 
in Batchian he used to be out all day, generally bringing me 
one. and on good days two or three specimens. I was thus able 
to Dring away with me more than a hundred of both sexes, 
including perhaps twenty very fine males, though not more 
than five or six that were absolutely perfect. 

My daily walk now led me, first about half a mile along the 
sandy beach, then through a saffo swamp over a causeway of 
very shaky poles to the village of tlie TomOr6 people. Beyond 
this was the forest with patches of new clearing, shady paths, 
and a considerable quantity of felled timber. I found this a 
very fair collecting ground, especially for luetics. The fallen 
trunks in the cle^arings abounded with golden Buprestidse and 
curious Brenthidffi and longicoms, while in the forest I found 
abundance of the smaller CurculionidBe, many longicoms, and 
some fine green Carabidae. 


Butterflies were not abundant, but I obtained a few more of 
the fine blue Papilio, and a number of beautiful little Lycsenidae, 
as well as a single specimen of the very rare Papilio Wallacei, 
of which I had taken the hitherto unique specimen in the Am 

The most interesting birds I obtained here were the beautiful 
blue kingfisher, Todiramphus diops ; the fine green and purple 
doves, Ptilonopus superbus and P. iogaster, and several new 
birds of small size. My shooters still brought me in specimens 
of the Semioptera Wallacei, and I was greatly excited by the 
positive statements of several of the native hunters that another 
species of this bird existed, much handsomer and more i*emark- 
able. They declared that the plumage was glossy black, with 
metallic green breast as in my species, but that the white 
shoulder plumes were twice as long, and hung down far below 
the body of the bird. They declared that when hunting pigs or 
deer far in the forest they occasionally saw this bird, out that 
it was rare. I immediately ofiered twelve guilders (a pound) 
for a specimen ; but all in vain, and I am to this day uncertain 
whether such a bird exists. Since I left, the German naturalist^ 
Dr. Bernstein, stayed many months in the island with a large 
staff of hunters collecting for the Leyden Museum ; and as he 
was not more successful than myself, 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 
babcNon-roonkey (Cynopithecus niffrescens) is abundant 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 IB found all over the forests of Celebes, and as none of the 
other Mammalia of that island extend into Batchian I am 
inclined to suppose that this species has been accidentally 
introduced by the roaming Malays, who often carry about with 
them tame monkeys and other animals. This is rendered more 
probable bv the tact that the animal is not found in Gilolo, 
which is only separated from Batchian by a very narrow strait. 
The introduction may have been very recent, as in a fertile and 
unoccupied island such an animal would multiply rapidly. The 
only other mammals obtained were an Eastern opossum, which 
Dr. Oray has described as Cuscus omatus ; the little flying 
opossum, Belideus ariel : a Civet cat, Viverra zebetha ; and nine 
species of bats, most ox the smaller ones being caught in the 
d!usk witli my butterfly net as they flew about wjfore the house. 

After much delay, owing to Imd weather and the illness of 
one of my men, I determined to visit Kasserota (formerly the 
chief village), situated up a small stream, on an island close to 
the north coast of Batchian, where I was told that many rare 
birds were found. After my boat was loaded and everything 
ready, three days of heavy squalls prevented our starting, and 

s 2 


it was not till the 21st of March that we got away. Early next 
morning we entered the little river, ana in about an hour we 
reached the Sultan's house, which I nad obtained permission to 
use. It was situated on the bank of the river, ana 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 aU that day, and I could do little but unload 
and unpack. Towards the afternoon it cleared up, and I at- 
temptea 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 darx as to promise little in the way of insects. I 
found too on inquiry tnat the people here made no clearings, 
living entirely on sago, fruit, fish, and game ; and the path only 
led to a steep rocky mountain equally impracticable and un- 
productive. The next day I sent my men to this hill, hoping it 
might produce some gooa 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 determined 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 conspicuous. In temperate climates there is a 
tolerable uniformitjr in the distribution of insects over those 
parts of a country in which there is a similarity in the vege- 
tation, any deficiency being easily accounted for by the absence 
of wood or uniformity of surface. The traveller hastily passing 
through such a country can at once pick out a collecting ground 
which will afford him a fair notion of its entomology. Here the 
case is different. There are certain requisites of a good collect- 
ing ground which can only be ascertained to exist by some days' 
search in the vicinity of each yillaga In some places there is no 
\'irgin forest, as at Djilolo and Sahoe ; in others there are no 
open pathways or clearings, as here. At Batchian there are 
onlv two tolerable collecting places. — the road to the coal mines, 
and the new clearings made by tne 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 bo 
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 fungoid growths upon it, together 
with the flowers tiiat appear in much greater abundance where 
the light is admitted, are so many attractions to the insects for 
miles around, and cause a wonderful accumulation of species and 


individuals. When the entomologist can discover such a spot, 
he does more in a month than he could possibly do by a year's 
searcli 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 con- 
sidered to be mountain plants, and rarely to occur on the equator 
at an elevation of less than one or two thousand feet. In Borneo, 
in the Aru Islands, and on the banks of the Amazon, I have ob- 
served them at the level of the sea, and think it probable that 
the altitude supposed to be requisite for them may have been 
deduced from facts observed in countries where the plains and 
lowlands are largely cultivated, and most of the indigenous 
vegetation destroyed. Such is the case in most parts of Java, 
India, Jamaica, and Brazil, where the vegetation of the tropics 
has been most lully explored. 

Coming out to sea we turned northwards, and in about two 
houra' sail reached a few huts, called Langundi, where some 
Qalela men had established themselves as collectors of gum- 
dammar, with which they made torches for the supply of the 
Temate market. About a hundred yards back rises a rather 
steep hill, and a short walk having shown me that there was a 
tolerable path up it, I determined to stay here for a few days. 
Opposite us, ana all along this coast of Batchian, stretches a 
row of fine islands completely uninhabited. Whenever I asked 
the reason why no one Roes 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 carry- 
ing devastation to all the small settlements arouna ; robbing, 
destroying, killing, or taking captive all they meet with. Their 
long well-manned praus escape irom the pursuit of any sailing 
vessel by pulling away right m the wind's eye, and the warning 
smoke of a steamer generally enables them to hide in some 
shcJlow 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 strongnolds 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 o* 
half their enemies. 

All along the beach here, and in the adjacent strip of sandy 
lowland, is a remarkable display of Pandaiiacees 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 unbranched 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 have 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 ornamented with 
coloured patterns. Higher up on the hill is a forest of immense 
trees, among which those pitxiucing 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 pounding it and filling 
it into tubes of palm leaves about a yard long, which are the 
only lights used by many of the natives. Sometimes the 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 descend- 
ing 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 out a photograph could do justice (see illustration 
at pa^e 64). The Kanary is also abundant in tiiis 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 perspi- 
cillata), and their hoarse cooings and heavy flutterings among 
the branches can be almost continually heard. 

After ten days at Lan^ndi, 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 islana of Biitchian, (Lan- 
Rundi, like Kasserota, being on a distinct island), where some 
Malays and Galela men have a small village, and liave made ex- 
tensive rice-fields and plantain grounds. Here we found a good 
house near the river bank, where the water was fresh and clear, 
and the owner, a respectable Batchian Malay, oflered me sleep- 
ing room and tlie use of the verandah if I liked to stav. Seeing 
forest all round within a short distance, I accepted, his offer, 
and the next morning before breakfast walked out to explore, 
and on the skirts of the forest captured a few interesting 

Afterwards, I found a path which led for a mile or more 
through a veiy fine forest, richer in palms than any I had seen 


in the Moluccas. One of these especially attracted my atten- 
tion from its elegance. The stem was not thicker than my wrist, 
yet it was very lofty, and bore clusters of bright red fruit. It 
was apparentlv 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 used 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 LangunaL There were also some very fine climb- 
ing ferns and true wild Plantains (Musa), bearing an edible fruit 
not so large as one's thumb, and consisting of a mass of seeds 
iust covered with pulp and skin. The people assured me they 
nad tried the experiment of sowing and cultivating this species, 
but could not improve it They probably did not grow it in 
sufficient quantity, and did not persevere sufficiently long. 

Batchian is an island that would perhaps repay the researches 
of a botanist better than anv other in tiie wnole Archipelago. 
It contains a great variety of surface and of soil, abundance of 
large and smiSl streams, many of which are naWgable 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 sprinns and geysers, sedimentary and volcanic 
rocks and coralline limestone, alluvial plains, abrupt hills and 
lofty mountains, a moist climate, and a grand and luxuriant 
forest vegetation. 

The few days I stayed here produced me several new insects, 
but scarcely any birds. Butterflies and birds are in fact remark- 
ably scarce in these forests. One msLj walk a whole day and 
not see more than two or three species of either. In every- 
thing but beetles these eastern islands are very deficient 
compared with t]ie western (Java, Borneo, &c,), and much more 
so if compared with the forests of South America, where twenty 
or thirty species of butterflies may be caught everv day, and on 
very good days a hundred—a number we can hardier reach here 
in months of unremitting search. In birds there is the same 
diflerence. In most parts of tropical America we may always 
find some species of woodpecker tanager, bushshrike, chatterer, 
tro^on, toucan, cuckoo,and tyrant-fljr-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 sur- 
rounded by a crowd of wondering spectators, I showed one of 
them how to look at a small insect with a hand-lens, which 
caused such evident wonder that all the rest wanted to see it 
too. I therefore fixed the glass firmly to a piece of soft wood at 


the proper focus, and put under it a little spiny beetle of the 
genus Hispa, and then passed it round for examination. The 
excitement was immense. Some declared it was a yard long ; 
others were frightened, and instantly dropped it, and all were 
as much astonisned, and made as much shouting and |;esticula- 
tion as children at a pantomime, or at a Christmas exhibition of 
the oxyhydrogen microscope. And all this excitement was 
produced oy 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 hundredfold. 

On t)ie last day of my stay here^ one of my hunters succeeded 
in finding and shooting the beautiful Nicobar fjigeon, of which 
I had been so long in search. None of the residents had ever 
seen it, which shows that it is rare and shy. My specimen was 
a female in beautiful condition, and the glossy coppery and 
green of its plumage, the snow-white tail and beautiful pendent 
feathers of the nect, were greatly admired. I subsequently 
obtained a specimen in New Guinea, and once saw it in the 
Kaioa islands. It is found also in some small islands near 
Macassar, in others near Borneo, and in the Nicobar islands, 
whence it receives its name. It is a ground-feeder, onlv going 
upon trees to roost, and is a very heavy, fleshy bird. This may 
account for the fact of its being found chiefly on very small 
islands, while in the western half of the Archipelago it seems 
entirely absent from the larger ones. Being a ground feeder it 
is subject to the attacks of carnivorous quadrupeds, which are 
not found in the veiy small islands. Its wide distribution over 
the whole length of the Archipelago, from extreme west to east, 
is, however, very extraordinary, since, with the exception of a 
few of the birds of prey, not a single land bird has so wide a 
range. Ground-feeding birds are generally deficient in power 
of extended flight, and this species is so bulk;^ and heavy that 
it appears at first sight quite unable to fly a mile. A closer ex* 
amination shows, however, that its wings are remarkably large, 
perhaps in proportion to its size larg[er than those of any other 
pigeon, and its pectoral muscles are immense. A fact communi- 
cated to me by the son of my friend Mr. Duivenboden of Ternata 
would show that, in accordance with these peculiarities oi 
structure, it possesses the power of flying long distances. Mr. D. 
established an oil factory on a small coral island, a hundred 
miles north of New Guinea, with no intervening land. After 
the island had been settled a year, and traversed in every direc- 
tion, his son paid it a visit ; and just as the schooner was coming 
to an anchor, a bird was seen flying from seaward which feu 
into the water exhausted before it could reach the shore. A 
boat was sent to pick it up, and it was found to be a Nicobar 
pigeon, which must have come from New Guinea, and flown a 
hundred miles, since no such bird previously inhabited the 

This is certainly a very curious case of adaptation to an un- 


usual and exceptional necessity. The bird does not ordinarily 
require great powers of flight, since it lives in the forest^ feeds 
on fallen fruits, and roosts in low trees like other gfround 
pigeons. The majority of the individuals, therefore, can never 
make full use of their enormously powerful wings, till the ex- 
ceptional case occurs of an individual being blown out to sea, 
or driven to emigrate by the incursion of some carnivorous 
animal, or the pressure of scarcity of food. A modification 
exactly opposite to that which produced the wingless birds (the 
Apteryx, Cassowar^r, 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 prob- 
ably 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 flying was 
worse than not nyin^ at all. So, while in such islands as New 
Zealand and Mauritius, far from all land, it was safer for a 
ground-feeding bird not to fly at all, and the sliort- winged in- 
dividuals continually surviving, prepat*ed the way for a wing- 
less group of birds ; in a vast Archipelaeo thickly strewn with 
islands and islets it was advantageous to oe able occasionally to 
migrate, and thus the long and strong- winged varieties main- 
tained their existence longest, and ultimately supplanted all 
others, and spread the race over the wliole ArchipeUgo. 

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 
antennfe--pernaps the very flnest butterfly of the genus ; and a 
large black wasp-like insect, with immense jaws like a stag- 
beetle, which has been named Megachile pluto by Mr. F. Smith. 
I collected about a hundred si)ecies of beetles quite new to me, 
but mostly very minute, and also many rare and handsome ones 
which I nad already found in Batchian. Pn 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 islana. I had hired a roomj 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 my- 
self, and work and eat at ease. When I could not find accom- 
moaation on shore I slept in the boat, which was always drawn 
up on the beach if we staved for a few days at one spot. 

On my return to Batchian I packed up my collections, and 
prepared for my return to Ternate. When I first came I had • 
sent back my boat by the pilot, with two or three other men 


li^ho hod been glad of the opportunity. I now took advantage 
of a Government boat whicli had just arrived with rice for the 
troops, and obtained permission to return in her, and accordingly 
started on the 13tli 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," (juite open, very low, and about 
four tons burthen. It had outriggers of bamboo about five feet 
off each side, which supported a bamlxx) platform extendinp^ the 
whole length of the vessel. On the extreme outside of this sat 
the twenty rowers, while within was a convenient passage fore 
and aft. The middle portion of the boat was covered with a 
thatch- house, in which oaggage 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 lost 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-box 
and keys), the schoolmaster's wife and a servant going on a visit 
to Tematk 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 mattress, and we 
got on very well together. There was a little cook-house in the 
bows, where we could boil our rice and make our coffee, eveiry 
one of course bringing his own provisions, and arranging his 
meal-times as he found most convenient. The passage would 
have been agreeable enough but for the di*eadful ^' 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 vovage. The rowers are men 
sent by the Sultan of Temate. They get about threepence a 
day, and find their own provisions. Each man had a strong 
wooden " betel '' box, on wliich he generally sat, a sleeping-ma£ 
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 ke^ps out the rain pretty well. They chew betel or smoke 
cigarettes incessantly ; eat dry sago and a little salt fish ; seldom 
sing while rowing, except when excited and wanting to reach a 
stopping-place, and do not talk a great deal. They are 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 I saw it on a 
box which formed one side of my bed, and put out my hand to 
take it. I quickly drew back on feeling something cool and 
very smooth, which moved as I touched it. " Bring the light, 
quick,'' I cried ; *' here's a snake." And tliere he was, sure enough, 
nicely coiled up, with his head just raised to inquire who had 
disturbed him. It was now necessary to catch or kill liim neatly, 
or he would escape among the piles of miscellaneous 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 ana 
would let the thing go, so I would not allow him to make the 
attempt. I then ^ot a cliopping-knife, and carefully movinff 
my insect nets, which hung just over the snake and prevented 
me petting a free 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 snakes had got on board 
at the same time, I turned in and went to sleep ; but having all 
the time a vague, dreamy idea that I might put my hand on 
another one, I lay wonderfully still, not turning over once all 
night, quite the reverse of my usual habits. The next day we 
reached Ternate, and I ensconced myself in my comfortable 
house, to examine all my treasures, and pack them securely for 
the voyage home. 


(OCTOBER 1859 TO JUNK 1860.) 

I LEFT Amboyna for my first visit to Ceram at three o'clock 
in the morning of October 29t]i, 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 Day, 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 Hatosua, 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 
larffe shed for tobacco drying, a corner of which was offered me : 
ana thinking from the look of the place that I should find gooa 
collecting ground here, I fitted up temporary tables, benches, 
and beds, and made all preparations 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 AnthribidsB and pretty Longicoms, but they were 
mostly the same species as I had found during my first short 
visit to Amboyna. There were very few paths in the forest, 
which seemed poor in birds and butterflies, and day after day 
my men brought me nothing worth notice. I was therefore soon 
obliged to think about changing my locality, as I could evidently 
obtean no proper notion of the productions of the almost entirely 
unexplored island of Ceram by staying in this place. 

I rather regretted leaving, because my host was one of the 
most remarkable men and most entertaining companions I had 
ever met with. He was a Fleming bv birth, and. like so many 
of his countrymen, had a wonderful talent tor 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 nad acquired the colloquial language of 
every place they stayed a few weeks at. He had afterwards 
made voyages to St. retersburg, 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. French, Malay, 
and Javanese, all equally well ; English witli a very slight 
accent^ but with perfect fluency, ana a most complete know- 
ledge of idiom, in which I often tried to puzde him in vain. 
(German and Italian were also quite familiar to him, and his 
acquaintance with European languages included Modem Qreek, 
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 con- 
siderable 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 con- 
versation ; and he 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 con'* 


verted to Christianity. In the larger villages there are European 
missionaries ; but there is little or no external difference between 
the Christian and Alfuro 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 rapuan hair ; their features also are 
harsh and prominent, and the women in particular are far less 
engaging tnan 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 incor- 
rigibly lazy. In the city of Amboyna my friends Doctors 
Mohnike and Doleschall, as well as most of the European resi- 
dents and traders, made exactly the same complaint, and would 
rather have Mahometans for servants, even if convicts, than 
any of the native Christians. One great cause of this is the fact 
that with the Mahometans temperance is a part of their religion, 
and has become so much a habit that practically the rule is 
never transgressed. One fertile source of want, and one great 
incentive to idleness and crime, is thus present with the one 
class, but absent in the other ; but besides this the Christians 
look upon themselves as nearly the equals of the Europeans, 
who profess the same religion, and as far superior to the 
followers of Islam, and are therefore prone to despise work, and 
to endeavour to live by trade, or by cultivating their own land. 
It need hardly be said that witli 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 tar as my own experience 
goes, 1 have found the better class of " Orang Sirani" as civil, 
obliging, and industrious as the Malays, and only inferior to 
them from their tendency to get intoxicated. 

Having written to the Assistant Resident of Saparua (who 
has jurisdiction over the opposite part of the coast of Coram) 
for a boat to pursue my journey, i received one rather larger 
than necessary with a crew of twenty men. I therefore bade 
adieu to my kind friend Captain Van der Beck, and left on the 
evening after its arrival for the village of Elpiputi, which we 
reached in two days. I had intended 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 in- 
habited by indigenes from the interior, and where some ex- 
tensive 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 manager 
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 very nearly in a state of nature, and 


^ing almost naked. The men wear their f rizzlv hair gathered 
into a flat circular knot over the left temple, which has a very 
knowing look, and in their ears cylinders of wood as thick as 
one's finger, and coloured red at the ends. Armlets and anklets 
of woven g^ass or of silver, with necklaces of beads or of small 
fruits, complete their attire. The women wear similar orna- 
ments, but have their hair loosa All are tall, with a dark 
brown skin, and well marked Papuan physiognomy. There is 
an Amboyna schoolmaster in the village, and a gooa number of 
children attend school every morning. Duch 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 \dllages having been recently formed by inducing 
natives to leave the inaccessible interior. In all the central part 
of Ceram there now 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 districts 
they are mostly Mahometans, while on the south-west coast, 
nearest Amboyna, the^ are nominal Christians. 
In all this part of the Archipelago, the Dutch make very 

Eraiseworth]^ efforts to improve the condition of the aborigines 
y establishing schoolmasters in every village (who are mostly 
natives of Ampoyna or Saparua, who have been instructed by 
the resident missionaries), and by employing native vaccinators 
to prevent the ravages of smallpox. 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 condi- 
tion 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 m jr 
former station, except that butterflies were a little more plenti- 
ful, 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 handsome species which I had so often heard 
were found in Ceram must be entirely confined to the eastern 
extremity of the island. 

A few miles further north, at the head of the Bay of 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. Rosenberg, whose 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 


interior. He indicated a spot about the centre of the island 
where he thought I might advantageously stay a few days. I 
accordingly visited Makariki with him the next day, and he 
instructed the chief of the village to furnish me with men to 
carry my baggage, and accompany me on my excursion. As 
the people of the village wanted to be at home on Christmas- 
day, it was necessary to start as soon as possible : so we agreed 
that the men should be ready in two days, ana I returned to 
make my arrangements. 

I put up the smallest quantitv of baggage possible for a six 
dajrs' trip, and on the morning of December 18th we left Maka- 
riki, witn six men carrying my baggage and their own pro- 
visions, and a lad from Awaiva, who was accustomed to catch 
buttemies for me. My 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 
tnrough a dense tangled undergrowth, dripping wet from a 
storm of the previous night, and full of mud holes. After 
crossing several small streams we reached one of the largest 
rivers in Ceram, called Buatan, which it was necessary to cross. 
It was both deep and rapid. The baggage wets 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. 
Tne 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 now the men 
could give me any assistance, since I found the greatest ditfi- 
culty in getting m v 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, chokea 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 nour to 
breakfast, and then went on, continually crossing the stream, 
or walking on its stony and gravellv banks, till about noon, 
when it became rocky and enclosea by low hills. A little 
fut*ther we entered a regular mountain-gorge, and had to 
clamber over rocks, and every moment cross and recross the 
water, or take short cuts through the forest. This was fatiguing 
work ; and about three in the afternoon, the sky being over- 
cast, 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. llosenberg's old ones. The skeleton of his 
little sleeping-hut remained, and my men cut leaves and made 
a hasty roof jusi; 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 
some 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 generally knee-deep. 
This brought us to a place where the road left the stream, and 
here we stopped to breakfast. We then had a long walk over 
the mountain, by a tolerable path, which reached an elevation 
of about fifteen hundred feet above the sea. Here I noticed 
one of the smallest and most elegant tree ferns I had ever seen, 
the stem being scarcely thicker than my thumb, yet reaching a 
height of fift^n or twenty feet. I also caught a new butterfly 
of the genus Pieris, and a magnificent female specimen of 
Papilio gambrisius, of which I had hitherto only found the 
miues, which are smaller and very different in colour. Descend- 
ing the other side of the ridffe, by a very steep path, we reached 
another river at a spot which is about the centre oi the island, 
and which was to oe our resting-place for two or three days. 

In a couple of hours my men haa built a little sleeping-shed 
for me, about eight feet by four, with a bench of split poles, 
they themselves occupying two or three smaller ones, which had 
been put up by former passengers. 

The river here was about twentv yards wide, running over a 
pebbly and sometimes a rocky bea, and bordered by steep hills 
with occasionally flat swampy spots between their base and the 
stream. The whole country was one dense, unbroken, and very 
damp and gloomy virgin forest. Just at our resting-place there 
was a little bush-covered island in the middle of the channel, so 
that the opening in the forest made by the river was wider than 
usual, ana 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 never saw it again during i 
my stav. In the two days ana 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 wherej 
I could stay a month. In the early part of each morning I went 
out with mv gun in search of birds, and two of my men were out 
almost all day aftei* deer ; but we were all equally unsuccessful, 
getting absolutely nothing the whole time we were in the forest. 
The only good bird seen was the fine Amboyna lory, but these 
were always too high to shoot ; besides this, the great Moluccan 
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 foresfc 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 

The constant walking in water, and over rocks and pebbles, 
quite destroyed the two pair of shoes I brought with me, so thatw 
on my return, they actually fell to nieces, and the last day I haa 
to walk in my stockings very painfully, and reached home quite 
lame. On our way back from Makariki, as on our wa^ tnere, 
we had storm and rain at sea, and we arrived at Awaiya late 
in the evening, with all our baggage drenched, and ourselves 
thoroughlv uncomfortable. All the time I had been in Ceram 
I had sunered^ much from the irritating bites of an invisible 
acarus, which is worse than mosquitoes, ants, and everv other 
pest, because it is impossible to guard against them. This last 
journey in the forest left me covered from head to foot with in- 
flamed 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 1869. 

It was not till the 24th of February, 1860, that I started again, 
intending to pass from village to village along the coast, stajring 
where I found a suitable locality. 1 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 orderea out the 
boat which was to carrv me on. put my baggage on board, set 
up mast and sails after aark, ana nad the men r^uly that night ; 
so that we were actuallv on our way at five the next morning — 
a display of energy and activity^ I scarcely ever saw before in a 
native chief on such an occasion. We touched at Cepa, and 
stayed for the night at Tamilan, the first two Mahometan 
villages on the south coast of Ceram. The next day, about 
noon, we reached Hoya, which was as far as my present boat 
and crew were going to take me. The anchorage is about a 
mile east of the village, which is faced by coral reefs, and we 
had to wait for the evening tide to move up and unload the boat 
into the strange rotten wooden pavilion kept for visitors. 

There was no boat here large enough to take my ba^ga^e ; 
and although two would have done very welL the Rajah in- 
sisted upon sending four. The reason of this I found was, that 
there were four small villages under his rule, and by sending a 
boat from each he would avoid the difficult task of choosing two 
and letting off the others. I was told that at the next village of 


Teluti there were plenty of Alfuros, and that I could eet abun- 
dance of lories ana other birds. The Rajah declared that black 
and yellow lories and black cockatoos were found there ; but I 
am inclined to think he knew very well he was telling me lies, 
and that it was onlv a scheme to satisfy me with his plan ot 
taking me to that village, instead of a day's journey further on, 
as I (&ired. Here, as at most of the villages, I was asked for 
spirits, the people being mere nominal Mahometans, who confine 
their relig[ion 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 Teluti, with a view of the grand central 
mountain-range of Coram. 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 ex- 
hilarating. On landing, the Orang-kaya and several of the 
chief men, in gorgeous silk jackets, were waiting to receive us, 
and conductedme to a house prepared for my reception, where 
I determined to stay a few days, and see if the country round 
produced an3rthing 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 Amboyna. Black lories and cockatoos were quite 
unknown. The Alfuros resided in the mountains five or six 
days' loumey away^ and there were only one or two live birds 
to be found in the village, and these were worthless. My hunters 
could get nothing but a few common birds ; and notwithstanding 
fine mountains, luxuriant forests, 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 Coram. 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 g^w in swampy patches, which have formed 
among the loose rocks that cover the ground, and which are 
kept constantly full of moisture by the rains, and by the 
abundance of nils which trickle down among them. This sago 
forms almost the whole subsistence of the inhabitants, who 
appear to cultivate nothing but a few small patches of maize 
and sweetpotatoes. Hence, as before explained, the scarcity of 
insects. Tlie Orang-kaya has fine clothBs, 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 barren place I left on the morning of 
March 6th, in two boats of the same size as those which nad 
brought me to Teluti. With some difficulty I had obtained 

T 2 


permission to take these boats on to Tobo, where I intended to 
stay a while, and therefore ffot on pretty auickly, changing men 
at the village of Laiemu, ana arriving in a neavy 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 oi the language of the Alfuros, 
who live in the mountains inland, I returned to sleep in the 
boat. Next morning we proceeded, changing men at Warenaina, 
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 Rajah 
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 touched ground our men all 
jumped out, and, assisted bv those on shore, attempted to haul 
up the boat high and dry, but not having sufficient hands, the 
surf repeatedly broke into the stem. 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 

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 Bajah 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 
Amboyna I had been promised at this sea^n a calm sea and the 
wind off shore, but in this case, as in every otiier, I had been 
unable to obtain any reliable information as to the winds and 
seasons of places distant two or three days' joumev. It appears, 
however, tnat owing to the general direction of the island of 
Ceram (E.S.E. and W.N.W.), there is a heavy surf and scarcely 
any shelter on the south coast during the west monsoon, when 
alone a journey to the eastward can be safely made ; while 
during the east monsoon, when I proposed to return along the 
north coast to Wahai, I should probably find that equally 
exposed and dangerous. But although the general direction of 
the west monsoon in the Banda sea causes a heavy swell, with 
bad surf on the coast, yet we had little advantage of the wind ; 


for. owing I suppose to the numerous bays and headlands, we 
haa contrary south-east or even due east winds all the way, and 
had to make almost the whole distance from Amboyna by force 
of rowing. We had therefore all the disadvantages, and none 
of the advantages, of this west monsoon, which I was told would 
insure me a quick and pleasant journey. 

I was delayed at Kissa-Iaut just four weeks, although after 
the first three days I saw that it would be quite useless for me 
to stay, and begged the Bajah to give me a prau and men to 
carrv me on to Goram. But insteM%d of getting one close at 
hand, he insisted on sending several miles off ; and when after 
many delays it at length arrived, it was altogether 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 and none appeared, and we were 
obliged at length to get one at the adjoining village, where it 
might have beiBn so much more easily obtained at first. Then 
came caulking and covering over, and quarrels between the 
owner and the Rajah's men, which occupied more than another 
ten days, during all which time I was Retting absolutely nothinflr, 
finding this part of Ceram a perfect desert m zoology, althougn 
a most beautiful country, and with a very luxuriant vegetation. 
It was a complete puzzle, which to this dav I have not been able 
to understand ; t)ie 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 mv numerous 
boxes were with difficulty x)acked so as to leave sleeping and 
cooking room. The craft could not boast an ounce of iron or a 
foot of rope in an)r part of its construction, nor a morsel of 
pitch or paint in its decoration. The planks were fastened 
together m the usual ingenious way with pegs and rattans. 
The mast was a bamboo triangle, requiring no shrouds, and 
carrying a long mat sail ; two rudders were hung on the quarters 
by rattans, the anchor was of wood, and a long and 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 tiiemselves upon 
for a change. We had nearly a hundred miles to go, fully 
exposed to tne swell of the Banda sea, which is sometimes very 
considerable : but we luckily had it calm and smooth, so that 
we made the vovage in comparative comfort. 

On the second day we passed tlie eastern extremity of Ceram, 
formed of a group of hummocky limestone hills ; ana, sailing bv 
the islands of Kwammer and Xeffing, both thickly inhabited, 
came in sight of the little town of Kilwaru, which appears to 
rise out of the sea like a rustic Venice. This place has really a 
most extraordinary appearance, as not a particle of land or 
vegetation can be seen, but a long way out at sea a large village 
seems to float upon the water. There is of course a small island 

278 THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO. [chap. xxv. 

of several acres in extent ; but the houses are built so closely all 
round it upon piles in the water, that it is completely hioden. 
It is a place of great traffic, being the emporium tor much of the 

S reduce of these Eastern seas, and is the residence of many 
lugis 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 oordering 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 dangler of our voyage was iust 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 unable to 
return for many days, and we had not a day's water on board. 
At the critical moment I served out some strong spirits to my 
men, which put fresh 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 Raiah was at the 
opposite island of Goram : but he was immediately sent for, and 
in the meantime a large sned was given for our accommodation. 
At night the Bajah 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 oef ore at Aru. He was very friendly, 
and we had a long talk ; but when I begged for a boat and men 
to take me on to K^, he made a host of difficulties. There were 
no praus, as all had 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 raised, and I had time 
to make an examination of the island and the x>eople. 

Manowolko is about fifteen miles long, and is a mere upraised 
coral-reef. Two or three hundred yards inland rise cliffs of 
coral rock, in many parts perpendicular, and one or two 
hundred feet high ; and this, I was informed, is 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 which the chief vegetable grounds of the inhabitants are 

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 Alf uros of Papuan race are the predominant type, 
the Malay physiognomy \jeing seldom well marked j whereas 
here the reverse is the case, and a slight infusion of rapuan on 
a mixture of Malay and Bugis has produced a very good-looking 
set of peopla The lower class of the population consists almost 
entirely of the indigenes of the adjacent islands. Thev are a 
fine race, with strongly-marked Papuan features, frizzly hair, 
and brown complexions. The Goram language is spoken also 
at the east end of Ceram. and in the adiacent islands. It has a 
general resemblance to tne languages ot Ceram, but possesses a 
peculiar element which I have not met with in other languages 
of the Archipelago. 

After great delay, considering the importance of every day at 
this time of jrear, a miserable boat and tive men were found, and 
with some difficulty I stowed away in it such baggage as it was 
absolutely necessary for me to take, leaving scarcely sitting or 
sleeping room. The sailing qualities of the boat were highly 
vaunted, and I was assured^ that at this season a small one was 
much more Ukelv to succeed in making the journey. We first 
ooa-sted along the island, reaching its eastern extremity the 
following morning (April 11th), and found a strong W.S.W. wihd 
blowing, which just allowed us to lay across to the Matabello 
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 
pitehing and jerking of our little boat soon reduced me to a state 
of miserable helplessness, and I lay down, resigned to whatever 
might happen. After three or four hours, I was told we were 
nearly over ; but when I got up, two hours later, just as the sun 
was setting, I found we were still a good distance from the 
point, owing to a strong current which had been for some time 
against us. Ni^ht closed in, and the wind drew more ahead, so 
we had to take in sail. Then came a calm, and we rowed and 
sailed as occasion offered ; and it was four in the morning when 
we reached the village of Kissiwoi, not having made more than 
three miles in the last twelve hours. 


At daylight I found we were in a beautiful little harbour, 
formed by a coral reef about two hundred yards from shore, and 
perfectly secure in every wind. Having eaten nothing since the 
previous morning, we cooked our breakfast 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 
ridce of dead coral above the water, which is here and there 
high enough to 8upi>ort a few low bushes. This was the first 
example I had met with of a true barrier reef due to subsidences 
as has been so clearly shown by Mr. Darwin. In a shelterea 
archipelago they will seldom be distinguishable, from the a-bsence 
of those nuge rolling waves and breakers which in the wide 
ocean throw up a barrier of broken coral far above the usual 
high-water mark, while here they rarely rise to the surface. 

On reaching the end of the southern island, called Uta, we 
were kept waiting two days for a wind that would enable us to 
pass over to the next island, Teor, and I b^;an 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 hoi)es that this was the 
commencement of a few days' favourable weather. We sailed 
on very well in the direction of Teor for about an hour, after 
which the wind shifted to W.S.W., and we were driven much 
out of our course, and at nightfall found ourselves in the open 
sea, and full ten miles to leeward of our destination. My men 
were now all very much frightened, for if we went on we might 
be a week at sea in our little open boat, laden almost to the 
water's edge ; or we might drift on to the coast of New Guinea^ 
in which case we should most likely all be murdered. I coula 
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 ereat 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 Ut^ 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 reg^t that I gave up my trip to K6 and the 
intervening islands, which I had lookea forward to as likely to 
make up for my disappointment in Ceram, since my short visit 
on m^ voyage to Am 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 Gbram 
traders, who carry it to Banda and Amboyna. The rugged 
ooral rock seems very favourable to the growth of the cocoa-nut 
palm, which abounds over the wliole island to the ver^^ highest 
points, and produces fruit all the year round. Along with it are 
great numbers of the areca or betel-nut palm, the nuts of which 
are sliced, dried, and ground into a paste, which is much used by 
the betel-chewing Malays and Papuans. All the little children 
here, even such as can just run alone, carried between their lips 
a mass of the nasty-looking red paste, which is even more dis- 
gusting than to see them at the same age smoking cigars, wliich 


is very common even before they are weaned. Cbcoa-nuts, 
sweet potatoes, an occasional sa^ cak& and the refuse nut after 
the oil has been extracted by boiling, form the chief sustenance 
of these people ; and the effect of this ]x>or and unwholesome 
diet is seen in the frequency of eruptions and scurvy skin 
diseases, and the numerous sores that disfigure the faces of the 

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 pieople are wretched, ugly, dirty savages, clothed in un- 
changed ragSj a.nd living in tlie most miserable manner ; and as 
ever j; drop or fresh water has to be brought up f rom^ the beach, 
washing is never thought of ; yet they are actually wealthy, ana 
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 ui)on 
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/. apiece. The chief men of 
each village came to visit me, clothed in robes of silk and 
flowered satin, though their houses and their daily fare are no 
better than those of tlie 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 
persons and their houses, with abundance of wholesome food, 
and exhibiting its effect in healthy skins and beauty of form 
and feature ! There is in fact almost as much difference between 
the various races of savage as of civilized peoples, and we may 
safely affirm that the better specimens of the former arek 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 like cider than beer, though 
quite as intoxicating as the latter. Young cocoa-nuts are also 
very abundant, so that anywhere in the island it is only neces- 
sary to go a few yards to find a delicious beverap^e by climbing 
up a tree for it. It is the water of the young fruit that is drunk 
before the pulp has hardened ; it is then more abundant, clear, 
and refreshing, 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 tlie 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 fruits 


of delicious flavour abound in the tropical forests, and they wiR 
no doubt be surprised to learn that the truly wild fruits of this 
grand and luxuriant archipelago, the vegetation of which will 
vie with that of any part of the world, are in almost every 
island inferior in abundance and quality to those of Britain. 
Wild strawberries and raspberries are found in some places, but 
they are such poor tasteless things as to be hardly worth eating, 
and there is nothing to compare with our blackberries and 
whortleberries. The kanary-nut may be considered equal to a 
hazel-nut, but I have met with nothing else superior to our crabs, 
our haws, beech-nuts, wild plums, and acorns ; fruits which 
would be highly^ esteemed by the 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, 
I)eaches, 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 or East Ceram and Goram, amused me much by their 
strange ideas concerning the Russian war. They believe that 
the Kussians were not only most thoroughly beaten by the 
Turks^ but were absolutely conquered, and all converted to 
Islamism I And they can hardly be convinced that such is not 
the case, and that had it not been for the assistance of France 
and England, the poor Sultan would have fared ill. Another of 
their notions is, that the Turks are the largest and strongest 
people in the world — in fact a race of giants ; that they eat 
enonnous q^uantities of meat, and are a most ferocious and irre- 
sistible nation. Whence such strangely incorrect opinions could 
have arisen it is difficult to understand, unless they are derived 
from Arab priests, or had j is returned from Mecca, who may have 
heard of the ancient prowess of the Turkish armies when they 
made all Europe tremble, and suppose that their character and 
warlike capacity must be the same at the present time. 


A steady south-east wind having set in, we returned to 
Manowolko on the 25th of 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 from the shore, 
visible as a stripe of pale green water, but only at very lowest 
ebb-tides showing any rock above the surface. There are 
several deep entrances through this reef, and inside it there is 
good anchorage in all weathers. The land nses gradually 
to a moderate height, and numerous small streams descend on 
all sides. ^ The mere existence of these streams would prove 
that the island was not entirely coralline, as in that case all 
the water would sink through the porous rock as it does at 
Manowolko and Matabello ; but we have more positive proof in 


the pebbles and stones of their beds, which exliibit a Tariety of 
stratified crystalline rocks. About a hundred vatds from the 
beach rises a wall of coral rock, ten or twenty feet high, above 
which is an undulating surface of rugged coraL which slopes 
daimward towards the interior, and then after a slight ascent is 
bounded by a second wall of coral. Similar waUs occur higher 
up, and coral is found on the highest part of the island. 

This neculiar structure teaches us that before the coral was 
formed land existed in this si)ot ; that this land sunk graduallv 
beneath the waters, but with intervals of rest, during which 
encircling reefs were formed around it at diderent elevations ; 
that it then rose to above its present elevation, and is now 
again sinking:. We infer this, because encircling reefs are a 
proof of subsidence ; and if the island were again elevated 
about a hundred feet, what is now the reef and the shallow sea 
within it would form a wall of coral rock, and an undulating 
oomlline plain, exactly similar to those that still exist at various 
altitudes up to tlie summit of the island. We learn also that 
these changes have taken place at a comparatively recent epoch, 
for the sunace 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 surface 
of the island to near its summit. 

Whether tlie (loram group formed originally part of New 
Guinea or of Ceram it is scarcely possible to determine, and ite 
productions will throw little light upon the question, if, as I 
suppose, the islands have been entirel^r submerged within the 
epoch 01 existing species of animals, as in that case it must owe 
its present fauna and Hora to recent immigration from surround- 
ing lands ; and witli this view its poverty in species verv well 
agrees. It possesses much in common with East Ceram, but at 
the same time has a good deal of sesemblance to the K^ Islands 
and Banda. The fine pigeon, Carpophaga concinna, inhabits K^ 
Banda, Matabello, and Goram, and is replaced by a distinct 
species. C. neglocta, in Ceram. The insects of these four islands 
have also a common fades — facts which seem to indicate that 
some more extensive land has recentlv disappeared from the 
area they now occupy, and has supplied them with a few of its 
peculiar productions. 

The Goram people (among whom I stayed a month) are a race 
of tradora. Every year they visit the Tonimbei\ Ke, and Aru 
Islands, the whole north-west coast of New Guinea trom Oetanata 
to Salwatty, and the islands of Waigiou and Mysol. They also 
extend their voyages to Tidore and Temate, as well as to Banda 
and Amboyna. Tiieir praus are all made by that wonderful race 
of bofit-builders, the Re islanders, who annually turn out some 
hundreds of boats, large and small, which can hardly be sur- 
passed for beauty of form and goodness of workmanship. They 
trade chiefly in tripang, the medicinal mussoi bark, wild nut- 


megs, and tortoise-shell, which thesr sell to the Bu^ traders at 
Ceram-laut or Ani, few of them caring to take their products to 
any other market. In other respects they are a lazy race, living 
very poorly, and much given to opium smoking. The only native 
manufactures are saifmatting, coarse cotton cloth, and pan- 
danus-leaf boxes, prettily stained and ornamented with shell- 

In the island of Qoram, onlv eight or ten miles long, there are 
about a dozen Rajahs, scarcely better *off than the rest of the 
inhabitants, and exercising a mere nominal sway, except when 
any order is received from the Dutch Government, when, being 
backed by a higher power, they show a little more strict 
anthoritv. My iriend the Bajah of Ammer (commonly called 
Rajah of Goram) told me that a few years ago. before the Dutch 
haa interfered m the affairs of the island, tne 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 
village. Now such a thing is never thoup^ht of — one of the good 
effects of the superintendence of a civilized government. Dis- 
putes between villages are still, however, sometimes settled by 
fighting, and I one dav saw about fifty men, carrying long guns 
and heavy cartridge-belts, march through the villaga They 
had come from the other side of the island on some question of 
trespass or boundary, and were prepared for war if peaceable 
nc^tiations should fail. 

While at Manowolko I had purchased for 100 florins (QL) a 
small prau, which was brought over the next day, as I was in- 
formed it was more easy to have the necessary alterations made 
in Goram, where several E^ 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 oh 
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, ana was obliged to do all the inside work my^self , 
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. Luckilv I had a few tools of my own, including a small 
saw and some chisels, and these were now severely trieo, cutting 
and fitting heavy iron-wood planks for the flooring and the 
posts that support the triangpilar mast. Being ot 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 K4 work- 
man to put in new ribs, for which I bought nails of a Bugis 
trader, at 8(2. 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 en£[aged to work at the prau till finished, and 
then go with me to Mysol, Waigiou, and Temate. Their ideas 


of work were, however, very different from mine, and I had 
immense difficulty with them ; seldom more than two or three 
coming together, and a hundred excuses being given for working 
only half a day when they did come. Yet they were constantly 
begginfi^ advances of money, saying they had nothing to eat. 
When 1 gave it them they were sure to stay away the next day. 
and when I refused any further advances some of them declinea 
working any more. As the boat approached completion my 
difficulties with the men increased. The uncle of one had 
commenced a war, or sort of faction fight, and wanted Iub 
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 i*eceived a month's wages in 
advance ; and though the amount was not large, it was neces- 
sary 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 ma 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 Quinea trading. Six men arrived at the village in a small 
boat almost starvea, having escaped one of two praus, the re- 
mainder of whose crews (fourteen in number) had bKsen murdered 
by the natives of New Guinea. The praus had left this village 
a few months before, and among the murdered men were the 
Bajah's son, and the relations or slaves of many of the inhabit- 
ants. The cry of lamentation that arose when the news arrived 
was most distressing. A score of women, who had lost husbands, 
brothers, sons, or more distant relatives, set up at once the most 
dismal shrieks, and groans, and wailing which continued at 
intervals till late at night ; and as the chiei houses in the village 
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 pt*aus being 
in a small river close by, and tliey were attacked and murdered 
in the day-time while bargaining with the Papuans. The six 
men who survived were on board the praus, and escaped by at 
once getting into the small boat and rowing out to sea. 

This south-west part of New Guinea, known to the native 
traders as "Papua Kowiyee" and "Papua Onen," is inhabited 
by the most treacherous and bloodthirsty tribes. It is in these 
districts that the commanders and portions of the crews of many 
of the early discovery ships were murdered, and scarcely a year 
now passes but some lives are lost. The (jk>ram 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 unposition. They are accustomed to visit the same places 
every vear, and the natives can have no fear of them, as may be 
alle^ea in excuse for their attacks on Europeans. In other ex- 
tensive districts inhabited by the same Papuan races, such as 
Mysol, Salwatty, Waigiou, and some parts oi the adjacent coast, 
the people have taken the first step in civilization, owing prob- 
ablv to the settlement of traders of mixed breed among them, 
and for many years no such attacks have taken place. On the 
south-west coast, and in the large island of Jobie, however, the 
natives are in a very barbarous condition, and take e^'ery oppor- 
tunity of robbery and murder — a habit which is confirmed by 
the impunity they experience, owing to the vast extent of wild 
mountain and forest country forbidding all pursuit or attempt 
at punishment. In the very same village, four years before, 
more than fifty Goram men were murdered ; and as these 
savages obtain an immense bootv in the praus and all their 
appurtenances^ it is to be feared that such attacks will continue 
to be made at intei*vals 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 obtain- 
ing possession of some of the chiefs by stratagem, and rendering 
them responsible for the capture of the murderers at the penl 
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 (AJay 27th), 
much to the astonishment of the Goram people, to whom such 
punctuality was a novelty. I had a crew of three men and a 
bov^ besides my two Amboyna lads, which was sufficient for 
sailing, though rather too few if obliged to row much. The next 
day was very wet, with squalls, calms, and contrary winds, and 
with some difficulty we reached Kilwaru, the metropolis of the 
Bugis traders in the far £ast. As I wanted to make some pur- 
chases, I stayed here two days, and sent two of my boxes of 
specimens by a Macassar prau to be forwarded to Temate, 
tnus relieving myself of a considerable incumbrance. I bought 
knives, basins, and handkerchiefs for barter, which with the 
choppers, cloth, and beads I had brought with me, made a 
pretty good assortment I also bought two tower muskets to 
satisfy my crew, who insisted on the necessity of being armed 
affaiiist attacks of pirates ; and with spices and a few articles 
ox food for the voyage nearly m;^ last doit was expended. 

The little island of Kilwaru is a mere sandbank, just large 
enough to contain a small viUage, and situated between the 


islands of Ceram-laui^ and Eissa — straits about a third of a 
mile wide sieparating it from each of them. It is surrounded 
by coral reeis, and offers good in both monsoons. 
Though not more than fifty yards across, and not elevated more 
than three or four feet above tlie highest tides, it has wells of 
excellent drinking water — a singular phenomenon, which would 
seem to imi)ly deep-seated subterranean channels connecting it 
with other islands. These advantages, with its situation in the 
centre of the Papuan trading district, lead to its being so much 
frequented by the Bugis traders. Here the Goram men bring 
the produce of their little voyages, which they exchange for 
cloth, sago cakes, and opium ; and the inhabitants of all the 
surrounding islands visit it with the 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 niussoi bark are the most bulky articles of 
produce brought here, with wild nutmegjs, tortoise-shell, pearls, 
and birds of paradise, in smaller quantities. The villagers oz 
the mainland of Ceram bring their sa^o, which is thus dis- 
tributed to the islands farther east, while rice from Bali and 
Macassar can also be purchased at a moderate price. The Qoram 
men come here for their supplies of opiuin, both for their own 
consumption and for barter in Mysol and Waigiou, where they 
have introduced it, and where the chiefs and wealthy men are 
passionately fond of it. Schooners from Bali come to buy 
Papuan slaves, while the sea-wandering Bugis arrive from 
distant Singapore, in their lumbering praus, bringing thence 
the produce oi 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 eissistant, Charles Allen, 
with whom he was well acquainted, and who, he assured me, 
was making large collections of birds and insects, although he 
had not obtained any birds of paradise, Silinta, where he was 
staying, not being a good place for them. This was on the 
whole satisfactory, and I was anxious to reach him as soon 
as possible. 

Leaving Kilwaru early in the morning of June 1st, with a 
strong east wind we doubled the point of Ceram about noon, 
the heavy sea causing my prau to roll about a good deal^ to the 
damage of our crockerv. As bad weather seemed coming on, 
we got inside the reefs and anchored opposite the village of 
Warus-warus to wait for a change. The niglit was very squally, 
and though in a good harbour we rolled and jerked uneasilv; 
but in the morning I had greater cause for uneasiness in the 
discovery that our entire Goram crew had decamped, taking 
with them all they possessed and a little more, and leaving us 
without any small boat in which to land. I immediately told 
my Amboyna men to load and fire the muskets as a signal of 
distress, which was soon answered by the village chief sending 


off a boat, which took me on shore. I req^uested that messengers 
should be immediately sent to the neighbouring villages in 
quest of the fugitives, which was promptly 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 ciiief 
difficulties. As I had treated my men with the greatest kind- 
ness, and had given them almost everything they had asked for, 
I can impute their running away only to their being totally 
unaccustomed to the restraint oi a European roaster, and to 
some undefined dread of my ultimate intentions regarding 
them. The oldest man was an opium smoker, and a reputea 
thief, but I had been obliged to take him at the last moment as 
a substitute for another. I feel sure it was he who induced 
the others to run away, and as they knew the country well, and 
had several hours' start of us, there was little chance of catching 

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 opportunity of seeing the 
whole process of making it, and obtaining some interesting 
statistics. The sago tree is a palm, thicker and larger than the 
cocoa-nut tree, although rarely so tall, 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. Tiie midribs of tne immense 
leaves form one of tliemost useful articles in these lands, supply- 
ing the place of bamboo, to whicli for many purposes they are 
superior. Tliey are twelve or fifteen feet long, and, when very 
fine, as tiiick in the lower part as a man's leg. They are very 
liglit, consisting entirely of a firm pith covered with a hard thin 
rind or bark. Entire houses are built of these ; they form 
admirable roofing-poles for thatch ; split and 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 wooaen 
houses, they have a very neat appearance, 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 
boards with pegs of the bark itself, and are the foundation of 
the leaf-coverecf boxes of Qoram. AH the insect-boxes I used 
in the Moluccas were thus made at Amboyna, and when covered 
with stout paper inside and out, are strong, light, and secure 
the insect-pins remarkably well. The leaflets of the sago folded 
and tied side by side on the smaller midribs form the "atap" 



or thatch in universnl use, while the product of the trunk is the. 
titaple food of some hundred thouBands of men. 

When sago is to be mode, a full-grown tree is selected just 
before it is going to flower. It is cut down close to the ground, 
the leaves and Teaf-Btalks cleared away, and a broad strip of 

the bark taken off the upper side of the trunk. This exposes 
the pithy niattfir, which is of a rusty colour near the bottom of 
the ti-ee, but higher up pure white, about as Iiard as a dry 
Apple, but with woody fibres running through it about a quarter 
oi an inch apart This pitli is cut or broken down into a coarse 

powder by ni^ans of a tool constructed for the purpose— a club 
of hard and heavy wood, having a piece of sharp quartz rock 
firmly embedded into its blunt end, and projecting about half 
an inch. By successive blows of this, narrow strips of the pith 
are cut away, and fall down into the cylinder formed by the 
bark. Proceeding steadily on, the whole trunk is cleared out 


leaving a skia uot more than half an inch in thickness. This 
niatenal is carried away (in baskets made of tlie sheathing 
bases of the leaves) to the nearest water, where a washing- 
machine is put up, which is composed almost entirely of the 
sago tree itself. The large sheathing bases of the leaves form 
the troughs, and the fibrous covering fiom the leaf-stalks of the 
young cocoa-nut the strainer. Water is poured on tlie 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 chained with sago starch passes on to a trough, with 
a depression in the centre, where the sediment is deposited, the 
surplus water trickling off by a shallow outlet. When the 
trough ia nearly full, the mass of starch, which has a slight 
reddish tinge, is made into cylinders of about thirty pounds' 
weight, ana neatly covered with sago leaves, and in this stote 
is sold as raw sago. 

Boiled with water this forms a thick glutinous mass, with a 
rather astringent taste, and is eaten with salt, limes, and chillies. 
Sago-bread is made in large quantities, by baking it into cakes 
in a small clay oven containing 
six or eight slits side by side, 
each about three-quarters of 
an inch wide, and six or eight 
inches square. The raw sago is 
broken up, dried in the sun, 
powdered, and finely sifted. 
The oven is heated over a clear 
tire of embers, and is lightly 
filled with the sago-powder. 
The openings are then covered '*'«' ■>"». 

with a flat piece of sago hark, 

and in altout five minutes the cakes arc turned out sufficiently 
baked. The hot cakes are very nice witli butter, and when 
made with the addition of a little sugar and grated cocoa-nut 
are quite a delicacy. They are soft, and something like corn- 
flour cakes, but have a slight characteristic flavour wliich is lost 
in the refined sago we use in this country. When not wanted 
for immediate use, they are dried for several days in the sun, 
and tied up in bundles of twenty. They will then keep for 
years ; they are \ery 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 tijen toasted, they become 
almost as good as when fresh baked ; and tlius tre-ated they were 
my daily substitute for bread with my coHee. ISoakeil and 
boiled they make a ver;^ good pudding or vegetable, and served 
well to economize our rice, which is sometimes difiicult to get so 
far east. 

It is truly an extraordinary sight to witness a whole tree- 
U 2 


trunk, perhaps twenty feet long and four or five in circum- 
ference, converted into food witli 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 allow- 
ance ; so that, reckoning a tree to produce 1,600 cakes, weighing 
600 pounds, it will supply a man with food for a whole year. 
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 tlie 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 ye^r. 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 nve- 
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 barbarous tril^es of the Archipelago. 

The countiy round Warus-warus is low and swampy, and 
owing to the absence of cultivation there were scarcely any 
paths leading into the forest. I was therefore unable to collect 
much during my enforced stay, and found no rare birds or insects 
to improve my opinion of Ceram as a collecting ground. Find- 
ing it quite impossible to get men here to accompany me on the 
whole voyage, 1 was obliged to be content with a crew to take 
me as far as Wahai, on the middle of the north coast of Ceram, 
and the chief Dutch station in the island. The journey took us 
five days, owing to calms and light winds, and no incident of 
any interest occurred on it, nor did I obtain at our stopping 
T^laces a single addition to my collections worth naming. At 
Wahai, which I reached on the 15th of June, I was hospitably 
received by the Commandant and my old friend Herr Rosenberg, 
who was now on an official visit here. He lent me some money 
to pay my men, and I was lucky enough to obtain three others 
willing to make the voyage with me to Temate, and one more 
who was to return from Mysol. One of my Amboyna lads, 
nowever, left me, so that I was still rather short of hands. 

I found here a letter from Charles Allen, who was at Silinta 
in Mysol, anxiously expecting me, as he was out of rice and other 
necessaries, and was snort of insect-pins. He was also ill, and 
if I did not soon come would return to Wahai. 

As my voyage from this pla<?e to Waigiou was among islands 

XXVI.] BOURU. 293 

inhabited by the Papuan race, and was an eventful and dis> 
astrous one, l will narrate its chief incidents in a separate chapter 
in that division of my work devoted to the Papuan Islands. I 
now have to pass over a year spent in Waigiou and Timor, in 
order to describe my visit to tlie island of Bouru, which con- 
cluded my explorations of the Moluccas. 




(MAY AND JUNE 1861. Map, p. 279.) 

I HAD long wished to visit the large island of Bouru, which 
lies due west of Ceram, and of which scarcely an)r thing appeared 
to be known to naturalists, except that it contained a baoirusa 
very like that of Celebes. I therefore made arrangements for 
staying there two months after leaving Timor Delli in 1861. 
This I could conveniently do by means of the Dutch mail- 
steamers, which make a monthly round of the Moluccas. 

We arrived at the harbour of Cajeli on the 4tli of Ma^ : a gun 
was fired, the Commandant of the fort came alongsiae in a 
native boat to receive the post-packet, and took me and my 
baggage on shore, tlie steamer going off again without coming 
to an anchor. We went to .the house of the Opzeiner, or over- 
seer, a native of Amboyna — Bouru being too poor a place to 
deserve even an Assistant Resident ; yet the appearance of the 
village was very far superior to that of Delli, which possesses 
" His Excellency the Governor," and the little fort, in perfect 
order, surrounded by neat grass-plots and straight walks, 
although manned by only a dozen Javanese soldiers with an 
Adjutant for commander, was a very Sebastopol in comparison 
with the miserable mud enclosure at Delli, with its numerous 
staff of Lieutenants, Captain, and Major. Yet this, as well as 
most of the forts in the Moluccas, was originally built by the 
Portuguese themselves. Oh ! Lusitania, how art thou fallen ! 

Whue the Opzeiner was reading his letters, -L took a walk 
round the village with a guide in search of a house. The whole 
place was dreadfully damp and muddy, bein^ built in a swamp 
with not a spot of ground raised a foot above it, and surrounded 
by swamps on every side. The houses were mostly well built, 
of wooden framework tilled 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 with the floor raised about a foot, and succeeded in making 
a bargain with the owner to turn out immediately, so that by 
night I had installed myself comfortably. The chairs and tables 


were left for me ; and as the whole of the remaining furniture 
in the house consisted of a little crockery and a few clothes- 
boxes, it was not much trouble for the owners to move into the 
house of some relatives, and thus obtain a few silver rupees very 
easily. Every foot of ground between the houses throughout the 
village is crammed with fruit trees, so that the sun and air have 
no chance of penetrating. This must be very cool and pleasant 
in the dry season, but makes it damp and unhealthy at other 
times of the year. Unfortunately I had come two months too 
soon, for the rains were not yet over, and mud and water were 
the prominent features of tlie country. About a mile behind 
and to the east of the village the hills commence, but they are 
very barren, being covered with scanty coarse grass and scat- 
tered trees of the Melaleuca cajuputi, from the leaves of which 
the celebrated cajeput oil is made. Such districts are absolutely 
destitute of interest for the zoologist. A few miles further on 
rose higher mountains, apparently well covered with forest, but 
they were entirely uninhabited and trackless, and practically in- 
accessible to a traveller with limited time ana means. It became 
evident, therefore, that I must leave Cajeli for some better col- 
lecting ground, and finding a man who was going a few miles 
eastward to a village on tlie coast where lie 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 
go myself on a little excursion up a river which flows into the 
bay about five miles north of the town, to a village of the Alf uros, 
or indigenes, where I thought I might perhaps find a good 
collecting p^round. 

The Kajah of Cajeli, a good-tempered old man, offered to 
accompany me, as the village was under his government ; and 
we started one morning early, in a long narrow boat w^ith eight 
rowers. In about two hours we entered the river and com- 
menced our inland journey against a very powerful current. 
The stream was about a hundred yards wide, and was generally 
bordered with high grass, and occasionally bushes and palm- 
trees. The country round was flat and more or less swampy, 
with scattered trees and shrubs. At every bend we crossed the 
river to avoid the strength of the current, and arrived at our 
landing-place about four o'clock, in a torrent of rain. Here we 
waited for an hour, crouching under a leaky mat till the Alf uros 
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 l^efore starting. 

I turned up my trousers as high as possible, grasped a stout 
stick to prevent awkward falls, and tlien boldly plunged into 
the first mud-hole, which was immediately succeeded by another 
and another. The mud or mud and water was knee-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 l)enten track, and we 
were obliged to go floundering on, never knowing whore our 
feet would rest, as tlie mud was now a few inches, now two feet, 
deep, and the l)ottom 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 dislo- 
cating tne ankle, while the next would plunge into soft mud 
above the knee. It rained all the way, and the long grass, six 
feet liigh, 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 l)edding, 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 lormed, and consisted of a single straight street of 
very miserable huts totally deficient in every comfort, and as 
bare and cheerless inside as out. It was situated on a little 
elevated patcli of coarse gi^avelly soil, covered with the usual 
high rigia g^mss, which came up close to the backs of the houses. 
At a short distance in several directions were patches of foi'est, 
but all on low and swampy ground. I made one attempt along 
the only path I could fina, out 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 breakfiist. I then went 
on into the jungle and found patches of sago-palms and a low 
forest vegetation, but the paths were every wliere 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 tlie 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 tnrough 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 p^rass and 
cajuputi trees — my dread and abhorrence. On inquiring who 


could c^ve me trustworthy information, I was referred to the 
Lieutenant of the Barghers, who had travelled all round the 
inland, and was a very intelligent fellow. I asked him to tell 
me if he knew of any part of noam where there was no ^^knsu- 
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 necessary to 
walk. I immediately went to the Opzeiner, and he called the 
Kajah. 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 Alf uros 
to carry my baggage. 

The journey was made as arranged, and on May 19th we 
arrived at Waypoti, having walked alx)ut ten miles along the 
Ijeach, and through stony forest bordering the sea, with occasional 
plunges of a mile or two into the interior. We found no village, 
out scattered houses and plantations, with hilly country pretty 
well covered with forest, and looking rather promising. A low 
hut with a very rotten roof, showing the sky through in several 
places, was the only one I could obtain. Luckily it did not rain 
that nij^ht, and the next day we pulled down some of the walls 
to repair the roof, which was of immediate importance, esj^ecially 
over our beds and table. 

About half a mile from the house was a fine mountain stream, 
running swiftly over a bed of rocks and pebbles, and beyond 
this was a hill covered with line forest. Ky carefully picking 
my way I could wade across this river without getting much 
alx>ve my knees, although I would sometimes slip off 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 foi-est. Unfortunately thei-e 
were no paths here of any extent, and it did not prove very 

1)roductive either in insects or birds. To add to my difficulties, 
'. 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 plan- 
tains, t-nere 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 en- 
gaged two men to clear a patch of forest, from which I hoped to 
obtain many fine beetles before I left. 

During the whole of my stay, however, insects never became 

Slontiful. My clearing produced me a few tine Longicorns and 
•uprestidae, different trom any I had before seen, together with 

XXVI.] BOURU. 297 

several of the Amboyna species, but by no means so numeroas 
or so beautiful as I had found in that small island. For example, 
I collected only 210 different kinds of beetles during my two 
months' stay at Bouru, while in three weeks at Amoo^rna, in 
1857, 1 found more than 300 species. One of the finest insects 
found at Bouru was a large Cerambyx, of a deep shining chest- 
nut colour, and with very long antenna. It varied greatly in 
size, the largest specimens being three inches long, while the 
smallest were only an inch, the antennte varying from one and 
a half to five inches. 

One day m^ boy Ali came home with a story of a big snake. 
He was walking through some high grass, and stepped on some- 
thing which he took for a small lallen tree, but it felt cold and 
yielding to his feet, and far to the right and left there was a 
waving and rustling of the herbage. He jumped back in affright 
and prepared to shoot, but could not get a good view of the 
creature, and it passed away, he said, like a tree being dragged 
along through the grass. As he had several times already shot 
large snakes, which he 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 thigti the marks where he liad 
been seized by one close to his house. It was big enough to take 
the man's thigh in its mouth, and he would prooably liave been 
killed and devoured by it had not his cries brought out his 
neighbours, who destroyed it w^ith 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 comfort- 
able 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 moscjuito 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 liad my comfortable 
rattan-chair for a sefit. A line across one corner carried my 
daily-washed cotton clothing, and on a bamboo shelf was ar- 
ranged my small stock of crockery and hardware. Boxes were 
ranged against the thatch walls, and han^ng shelves, to pre- 
serve my collections from ants while drying, were suspended 
both without and within the house. On my table lay books, 
penknives, scissors, pliers, and pins, with 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 more ignorant com- 
panions the peculiarities and uses of that strange European 
production — a needle with a head, but no eye! Even paper, 
which we throw away hourly as rubbish, was to them a curiosity ; 
and I often saw them picking up little scraps which had been 


swept out of the house, and carefully putting them away in 
their betel-poueh. Then when I took my morninff coffee and 
evening tea, how many were the strange things displayed to 
them ! Teapot, teacups, teaspoons, were all more or less curious 
in their eyes ; tea, sugar, biscuit, and butter, were articles of 
human consumption seen by many of them for the first time. 
One asks if that whitish powder is " gula passir " (sand-sugar), 
Ro called to distinguish it from the coarse lump palm-su^ar or 
molasses of native manufacture ; and the biscuit is considered 
a sort of European sago-cake, which the inhabitants of those 
remote regions are obliged to use in the absence of the genuine 
article. My pursuits were of course utterly beyond their com- 
prehension. Tliey continually asked me what white people did 
with the birds and insects I took so much care to preserve. If 
I only kept what was beautiful, they might perhaps comprehend 
it ; but to see ants, and flies, and small, ugly insects put away 
so carefully was a groat puzzle to them, and they were convinced 
that there must be some medical or magical use for them which 
I kept a profound secret. These neoplc were in fact as com- 
pletely unacquainted with civilizea life as the Indians of the 
Rocky Mountains, or the savages of Central Africa — yet a 
steamship, that highest triumph of human ingenuity, with its 
little floating epitome of European civilization, touches monthly 
at Cajeli, twenty miles off ; while at Amlx)yna, only sixty miles 
distant, a European population and government have been 
established for more tlian three hundred ^ears. 

Having seen a good many of the natives of Bouru from 
different villages, and from distant parts of the island, I feel 
convinced that they consist of two distinct races now partially 
amalgamated. The larger portion are Malays of the Celebes 
type, often exactly similar to the Tomore people of East Celebes, 
whom I found settled in Batchian ; while otners altogether re- 
semble the Alfuros of Ceram. The influx of two races can easily 
be accounted for. The Sula Islands, which are closely connected 
with East Celebes, approach to within forty miles of the north 
coast of Bouru, while the island of Manipa offers an easy point 
of departure for the people of Ceram. 1 was confirmed in this 
view by finding that the languages of Bouru possessed distinct 
resemblances to that of Sula, as well as to those of Ceram. 

Soon after we had arrived at Waypoti, Ali had seen a beau- 
tiful 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 si>ecimen, 
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 diflScult to avoid blowing the 
bird to pieces. Ali was very much annoyed that he could not 
get a specimen of this bird, in going after which he had already 


severely wounded his feet with thorns ; and when we had only 
two days more to stay, he went of his own accord one evening 
to sleep at a little hut in tlie 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 specimens, one with the head 
blown completely off, and otherwise too much injured to pre- 
serve, the other in very Rood 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 Unallv quitted tlie Moluccas, among whose luxuriant and 
beautiful islands I had wandered for more than tliree years. 

My collections in Bouru, though not extensive, were of con- 
siderable interest ; for out of sixty-six species of birds which I 
collected there, no less than seventeen were new, or had not been 
previously found in any island of the Moluccas. Among these 
were two kiu^shers, Tanysiptera acis and Ceyx Cajeli ; a 
beautiful sunbird, Nectariuea proserpina ; a handsome little 
black and white flycatcher, Monarcha loricata, whose swelling 
throat was beautifully scaled with metallic blue ; and several 
of less interest. I also obtained a skull of the babirusa, one 
specimen of which was killed by native hunters during my 
residence at Cajeli. 



The Moluccas consists of three large islands, Gilolo, Ceram, 
and Bouru, the two former being each about two hundred miles 
long ; and a great number of smaller isles and islets, the most 
important of which are Batchian, Morty, Obi, K6, Timor-laut, 
and Amboyna ; and among the smaller ones, Ternate, Tidore, 
Kaida, and Bauda. These occupy a space of ten degrees of 
latitude by eight of longitude, and they ai'e connected by 
groups of small islets to New Guinea on the east, the Philip- 
pines 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 quad- 
rupeds, 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 beinff already known. But even this exceeding poverty 
of terrestrial mammals does not at 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 quadrumanous animal in the group is the curious 
baboon-monkey, Cynopithecus nigrescens, already described as 
being one of the characteristic animals of Celebes. This is found 
only in the island of Batchian ; and it seems so much out of 
place there — as it is 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 
individuals which had escaped from confinement, these and 
similar animals being often kept as pets by the Malays, and 
carried about in their praus. 

Of all the carnivorous animals of the Archipelago the only 
one found in the Moluccas is the Yiverra tangalunga, which 
inhabits both Batchian and Bouru, and probably some of the 
other islands. I am inclined to think that this also may have 
been introduced accidentally, for it is often made captive by the 
Malays, who procure civet from it^ and it is an animal ver^ 
restless and untamable, and theretore likely to escape. 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 civet-cats in cages, 
and sell them in the islands : and they take the civet from them, 
and let them go again.'' The same species is common in the 
Philippines and in all the lai*ge islands of the ludo-Malay 

The only Moluccan ruminant is a deer, w^hich was once sup- 
posed to be a distinct species, but is now generally considered to 
be a slight variety of the Rusa hippelaphus of Java. Deer are 
often tamed and petted, and their flesh is so much esteemed by 
all Malays, that it is very natural thej[ should endeavour to 
introduce them into the remote islands in which they settled, 
and whose luxuiiant forests seem so well adapted for their 

The strange babirusa of Celebes is also found in Bouru, but in 
no other Moluccan island, and it is somewhat difficult to imagine 
how it got there. It is true that there is some approximation 
between the birds of the Sula Islands (where the babirusa is also 
found) and those of Bouru, which seems to indicate that these 
islands have recently been closer together, or that some inter- 
vening land has disappeared. At this time the babirusa may 
have entered Bouru, since it probably swims as well as its allies 
the pigs. These are spread all over the Archipelago, even to 


several of the smaller islands, and in many cases the species are 
peculiar. It is evident, therefore, that they have some natural 
means of 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 Geology (10th edit. vol. ii. p. 365) 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 myself 
seen a wild pig swimming across tlie arm of the sea that 
separates Singapore from the Peninsula of Malacca, and we thus 
have explained the curious fact, that of all the large mammals 
of the Indian region, pigs alone extend beyond the Moluccas and 
as far as New Guinea, although it is somewhat curious that they 
have not found their way to Australia. 

The little shrew, Sorex mvosurus, which is common in Su- 
matra, 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 tlie placental mammals which are 
so characteristic of the Indian region ; and we see that, with 
the single exception of the pig, all may very; probably have 
been introduced by man, since all except the pig are of species 
identical with those now abounding in the great Malay islands, 
or in Celebes. 

The four remaining mammals are Marsupials, an order of the 
class Mammalia, which is very characteristic of the Australian 
fauna; and these are probably true natives of the Moluccas, 
since they are either or 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 oitier. 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 covering of woolly fur, which 
is often pure white with irregular black spots or blotches, or 
sometimes ashy brown with or without white spots. They live 
in trees, feeding upon the leaves, of which they devour large 
quantities. They move about slowly, and are difficult to kill, 
owing to the thickness of their fur. and their tenacity of Ufe. 
A heavy charge of shot will often loage in the skin and do them 
no harm, and even breaking the spine or piercing the brain will 
not kill them for some hours. The natives everywhere eat their 
fle^h, and as their motions are so slow, easily catch them by 
climbing; so that it is wonderful they have not been exter- 
minated. It may be, however, that their dense woolly fur 
l^rotects them from birds of prey, and the islands they live in 
are too thinly inhabited for man to be able to exterminate them. 
The figure represents Cuscus omatus, a new species discovered 
by me in Batchian, and which also inhabits Temate. It is 


jMTulUr to the M'llriixa*. whik the two 'Aber spccifv which 
inhftMt Oram are fnurxl in Sew ftuinui and Waigion, 

In pUfV! ()f tlie c-Kiv^iivt! povert}' of mainmals which char- 
tuA^rixKK the MoluiM-.-L*, w»! fiaie a very rich display of the 
fKathemd trilie*. Ttie iiumlter <A itpecies of birds at present 
known fnttn the vnrioU'. i>;UtidH of (he Moluccan group is 265, 
Imt of tbnte only 70 Iwlong to the usually abundant tribes of 
the wadew and swiimuern, indicating that these are very im- 

pHrfontly known. Ak they are also pre-eminently wanderers, 
and ariitliuitlittlo fitted for illustrating the geographical dis- 
tribution of life in a limited area, we will here leave them out 
of consideration ami confine our attention only to tlie 195 land- 

When we connider that all Europe, with its varied climate and 
vegetJition, with every mile of its surface explored, and with 
the ininienKe extent of temperate Aitia and Africa, which serve 
aa storehouueH, from which it is continually recruited, only 


supports 257 species of land-birds as residents or regular immi- 
grants, we must look upon the numbers already procured in the 
small and comparatively unknown islands of the Moluccas as 
indicating a fauna of fully average richness in this department. 
But when we come to examine tlie family g[roups which go to 
make up this number, we find the most curious deficiencies in 
some, balanced by equally striking redundancy in othei^s. 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- 
ttoenUeth in the latter country. On the other hand, sucli wide- 
spread groups as the thrushes, warblers, and finches, which in 
India form nearly one-third of all the land-birds, dwindle down 
in the Moluccas to one-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 seventy-eight 
genera in which the Moluccan land-birds may be classed, 
no less than seventy are characteristic of New Guinea, while 
only six belong specially to the Indo-Malay islands. But 
this close resemblance to New Guinea genera does not extend to 
the species, for no less than 140 out of the 195 land -birds are 
peculiar to the Moluccan islands, while 32 are found also in New 
Guinea, and 15 in the Indo-Malay islands.^ These facts teacli 
us, that though the birds of this group have evidently been de- 
rived mainly from New Guinea, yet the immigration has not 
been a recent one, since there has been time for the greater 
portion of the species to have become changed. We find, also, 
that many verv characteristic New Guinea forms have not 
entered the Moluccas at all, while others found in Ceram and 
Gilolo do not extend so far west as Bouru. Considering, further, 
the absence of most of the New Guinea mammals from the 
Moluccas, we are led to the conclusion that these islands are not 
fragments which have been separated from New Guinea, but 
form a distinct insular region, which has been upheaved inde- 
pendently at a rather remote epoch, and during all the muta- 
tions it has undergone has been constantly receiving immigrants 
from that great and productive island. The considerable length 
of time the Moluccas have remained isolated is further indicated 
by the occurrence of two peculiar genera of birds, Semioptera 
and Lycocorax, which are found nowhere else. 

We are able to divide this small archipelago into two well- 
marked groups — that of Ceram, including also Bouru, Amboyna, 
Banda^ and K^ ; and that of Gilolo, including Morty, Batchian, 

1 A few species hitve been added in Bourn, Obl, Batchian, and oilier of the less 
known iaiancte, by Mr. H. O. Forbes, Dr. Ouillemard, and the Dutch and German 
BatniaUsta, bat uiey only slightly alter the figures, and do not at all affect the 
conclusions here dntwu. 


Obi, Ternate, and other small islands. These divisions have 
each a considerable number of peculiar sx)ecies, no less than 
fifty-five being found in the Ceram group only ; and besides 
this, most of the separate islands have some species peculiar to 
themselves. Thus Morty Island has a peculiar Kingfisher, 
honey-sucker, and starling ; Ternate has a ground-thrush (Pitta) 
and a flycatcner ; Banda nas a pigeon, a shrike, and a Pitta: 
K^ has two flycatchers, a Zosterops, a shrike, a king-crow, ana 
a cuckoo ; and the remote Timor-laut, which should probably 
come into the Moluccan group, has a cockatoo and lory as its 
only known birds, and both are of peculiar species.* 

The Moluccas are especially rich m the parrot tribe, no less 
than twenty-two species, belonging to ten genera, inhabiting 
them. Amon^ these is the large red-crested cockatoo, so com- 
monly seen alive in Europe, two handsome red parrots of the 
genus Eclectus, and five of the beautiful crimson lories, which 
are almost exclusively confined to these islands and the New 
Guinea group. The pigeons are hardly less abundant or beauti- 
ful, twenty-one species being known, including twelve of the 
beautiful green fruit pigeons, the smaller kinds of which are 
ornamented with the most brilliant patches of colour on the 
head and the under-surface. Next to tnese come the kingfishers, 
including sixteen species, almost all of which are beautiful, ana 
many are among the most brilliantly-coloured birds that exist. 

One of the most curious groups of birds, the Megapodii, or 
mound-makers, is very abundant in the Moluccas. They are 
gallinaceous birds, about the size of a small fowl, and c^enerally 
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 Celel^es, 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 sancTy, and there 
IS a considerable quantity of debris, consisting of sticks, shells, 
seaweed, leaves. <fec. Of this rubbish the Megapodius fonns 
immense mounds, often six or eight feet high and twenty or 
thirtjr feet in diameter, which they are enabled to do with com- 
parative ease by means of their large feet, with which they can 
grasp and throw 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 vegetable matter of the mound. When 
I first saw these mounds in the island of Lombock, I could 
hardly believe that they were made by such small birds, but I 

1 Mr. II. O. Forbes visited these islands in 1882, and obtained a fine collection of 
birds which now amount to eighty species. Of tliese sixty-two are land-birds, and 
twenty-six of these are peculiar to the island. Their affinities are chiefly with the 
Moluccas and New Guinea, but to some extent also with Timor and Australia. (See 
Forbes' NaturalUt'a Wanderinga in the EcuUm Archipelago, p. S55.) The butteiflies 
collected bv Mr. Forbes show similar affinities, but tending more towards Timor and 
Australia, due probably to the more immediate dependence of butterflies on vegetation. 


afterwards met witli them frec^uently, and have once or twice 
come upon the birds engaged in making them. They run a few 
steps backwards, grasping a quantity oi loose material in one 
foot, and throw it a long way behind them. When once properly 
buried the e^gs seem to be no more cared for, the young biras 
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 developed. 

I was so fortunate as to discover a new species (Megapodius 
wallacei), which inhabits Gilolo, Temate, ana Bouru. ft 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 fi'equents 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 
downwards, and deix)sits its eggs at the ))ottom. It then loosely 
covers up the mouth of the hole, and is said by the natives to 
obliterate and dis^ise 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 
bira was caught early one morning as it was coming out of its 
hole, in which several egg^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 morn- 
ing. Tlie eggs are all of a rusty red colour, and very large for 
the size of the bird, being generally three or three and a quarter 
inches long, by two or two and a quarter wide. They are very 
good eating, and are much sought after by the natives. 

Another Targe and extraordinary bird is the Cassowarv, which 
inhabits the island of Ceram only. It is a stout and strong 
bird, standing five or six feet high, and covered with long coarse 
black hair-like feathers. The hesid is Ornamented with a large 
homy casque or helmet, and the bare skin of the neck is con- 
spicuous with bright blue and red colours. The wings are quite 
aosent, and are replaced by a group of horny black spines like 
blunt i>orcupine quills. These birds wander about the vast 
mountainous forests tiiat cover the island of .Ceram, feeding 
chiefly on fallen fruits, 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 heimeted 
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 Australia. 

It was in the Moluccas that I first discovered undoubted 
cases of mimicry " among birds, and these are so curious that I 
must briefly describe them. It will be as well, however, first to 
explain what is meant by mimicry in natural history. At page 



lOO, I have described a butterfly which, when at rest, so closely 
resembles a dead leaf, that it thereby escapes the attacks of its 
enemies. This is termed a " protective resemblance/' If how- 
ever 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 pro- 
tected as if it resembled a leaf ; and this is what has been liappily 
termed " mimicry " by Mr. Bates, who first discovered the object 
of these curious external imitations of one insect by another 
belonging to a distinct genus or family, and sometimes even to a 
distinct order. The clear- winged motiis which resemble wasps 
and hornets are the best examples of "mimicry" in our own 

For a long time all the known cases of exact resemblance of 
one creature to quite a diflerent one were confined 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 distinct and some- 
what distant families. One of these is a honeysucker named 
Tropidorhvnchus bouruensis, and the other a kind of oriole, 
which has oeen called Mimeta bouruensis. The oriole resembles 
the honeysucker in the following particulars : the upper and 
under 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 nead of the Tropidorhyn- 
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 Tropidorhynchus 
has a pale ruft' 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 biU of the Tropidorhynchus is raised into 
a protuberant keel at tne 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 otlier 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 Tropidorhyn- 
chus subcomutus is of an earthy brown colour, washed with 
ochreish yellow, with bare orbits, dusky cheeks, and the usual 
recurved nape-ruff. The Mimeta forsteni which accompanies it, 
is absolutely identical in the tints of every part of the body, and 
the details are copied just as minutely as in the former species. 

We have two kinds of evidence to tell us which bird m this 
case is the model, and which the copy. The lioney 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 conclude that it is the latter who mimic the 
former. If so, however, they must derive some advantage from 
the imitation, and as they are certain] v weak birds, with small 
feet and claws, they may require it. Now the Tropidorhynchi 
are very strong and active birds, having powerful grasping 
claws, and long, curved, sharp beaks. They assemble together 
in groups and small flocks, and they^ have a very loud bawling 
note which can be heard at a great distance, and serves to collect 
a number together in time of danger. They are very plentiful 
and very pugnacious, frequently driving away crows and even 
hawks, which perch on a tree where a few of them are assembled. 
It is very probable, therefore, that the smaller birds of prey have 
learnt to respect tnese birds and leave them alone, and it may 
thus be a great advantage for the weaker and less courageous 
Mimetas to be mistaken for them. This being the case, the 
laws of Variation and Survival of the Fittest, will suffice to 
explain liow the resemblance has been brought about, without 
supposing any voluntary action on the part of the birds them- 
selves ; and those who have read lAr. Darwin's Origin of 
Species will have no difficulty in comprehending the whole 

The insects of the Moluccas are pre-eminently beautiful, even 
when compared with the varied and beautiful productions of 
other parts of the Archipelago. The grand bird- winged butter- 
flies (Omithoptera) here reach their maximum of size and 
beauty, and many of the Papilios, Pieridee, Danaidae, and 
Nymphalidad 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 
Omithopterse— priamus, helena, and rem us ; three of the hand- 
somest and largest Papilios — ulysses, deiphobus, and gambrisius : 
one of the handsomest Pieridse, Iphias teucippe ; the largest oi 
the DanaidiB, Hestia idea ; and two unusually large and hand- 
some N^rmphalidte — Diadema pandarus, and Charaxes euryalus. 
Among its beetles are the extraordinary Euchirus longimanus, 
whose enormous legs spread over a space of eight inches, and an 
unusual number of large and handsome Longicoms, Anthribidse, 
and Buprestidae. 

The beetles figured on the plate as characteiistic of the 
Moluccas are : 1. A small specimen of the Euchirus longimanus, 
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 Eupholus.) of rich blue and emerald 
sreen colours^ banded with black. It is a native of Cerara and 
Uoram, and is found on foliage. 3. A female of Xenocerus 
semiluctuosus, one of the Anthnbidse of delicate silky white and 
black colours. It is abundant on fallen trunks and stumps in 
Ceram and Amboyna. 4. An undescribed species of Xenocerus ; 

X 2 


a m<alc, with very long and curious antennae, and elegant black 
and white markings. It is found on fallen trunks in Batchian. 
5. An undescribed species of Arachnobas, a curious genus of 
weevils peculiar to the Moluccas and New Guinea, and remark- 
able for their lon^ 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 repre- 
sented of the natural size. 

Like the birds, the insects of the Moluccas show a decided 
afiSnity with those of New Guinea rather than with the pro- 
ductions of the great western islands of the Archipela^, but 
the difference in form and structure between the productions of 
the east and west is not nearly so marked here as in birds. 
This is probably due to the more immediate dependence of 
insects on climate and vegetation, and the greater tacilities 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 general uni- 
formity 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 man^ cases given a consider- 
able 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 offer to the naturalist a very striking example of the 
luxuriance and beauty of animal life in the tropics. Yet the 
almost entire absence of Mammalia, and of such widespread 
groups of birds as woodpeckers, thrushes, jays, tits, and 
pheasants, must convince him tliat he is in a part of the world 
which has in reality but little in common with the great 
Asiatic continent, although an unbroken chain of islands seem 
to link them to it. 



(decembeb 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 liad 


gathered over the whole heavens, and seemed to have ren- 
ered him permanently invisible. The strong east winds, warm 
and dry and dust-laden, which had hitherto blown as cer- 
tainly 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 d,ry weather had extended in every direc- 
tion 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 

Five months of this kind of weather mi^ht 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 em- 
poriums of the native trade of the Archipelago. Eattans from 
^meo, sandal-wood and bees'-wax from Flores and Timor, 
tripang from the Gulf of Carpentaria, cajuputi-oil from Bouru, 
wild nutmegs and mussoi-l)ark from New Guinea, are all to be 
found 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. These 
islands are quite out of the track of all European trade, and are 
inhabited om;^ by black mop-headed sava^s, who yet contribute 
to the luxurious tastes of the most civilized races. Pearls, 
mother-of-pearl, and tortoise-shell, find their way to Europe, 
while edible birds' nests and " tripang " or sea-slug are obtained 
by shiploads for the gastronomic enjoyment of the Chinese. 

The trade to tliese islands has existed from very efirly times, 
and it is from them that Birds of Paradise, of the two kinds 
known to Linnseus, were first brought. The native vessels can 
only make the voyage once a year, owing to the monsoons. They 
leave Macassar in December or January, at the beginning of 
the west monsoon, and return in July or August with the full 
strength of the east monsoon. Even by the 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 found that 
I really could do so now, had I but courage to trust myself for 
a thousand miles' voyage in a Bugis prau, and for six or seven 
months amone 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 in strange and new and wondetful to yoang imaginations 
- Ixmdon ! 

Hy the help of nome kind friends I was introduced to the 
owner (sf one of the larve prans which was to sail in a few days. 
He waK a Javaniffte half-caste, intelligent, mild, and gentlemanly 
in hi^ manners, and had a young and pretty Dutch wife, whom 
he was going to leave behind during his absence. When we 
talkerl about paMMage money he would fix no sum, but insisted 
on leaving it entirely to me to pav on my return exactly what 
I Hkcxl, And then/' said he, '* whether you irive me one dollar 

or a liumire^l, i snail tie satiHUeu, ana Khali ask no more." 

The remainder of my stay was fully occupied in laying in 
stores, engaging sf^rvants, and making every other preparation 
for an al^enr^ of seven months from even the outskirts of 
civilization. On the moniing of December 13th, when we went 
on Yxianl at daybreak, it was raining hard. We set sail and it 
came on to blow. Our Ixiat was lost astern, our sails damaged, 
and the ev('ning found us back again in Macassar harbour. We 
remained there four da^s longer, owing to its raining all the 
time, thus rendering it impossible to dry and repair the huge 
mat sails. AH these dreary days I remained on board, and 
during the rare intervals when it didn't rain, made myself 
acquainted with our outlandisli craft, some of the peculiarities 
of whicli 1 will now endeavour to describe. 

It was a vessel of alx)ut seventy tons burthen, and shaped 
something like a Chinese junk. The deck sloped consideraoly 
downward to the bows, which are thus the lowest part of the 
ship. There were two large rudders, but instead of being placed 
astern tho^y were hung on the quarters from strong cross beams, 
which projected out two or three feet on each side, and to which 
extent the dock overhung the sides of tlie vessel amidships. The 
rudders were not hinged but hung with slings of rattan, the 
friction of which keeps thein 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 squai*e openings 
into a lower or half deck al)0Ut three feet high, in which sit the 
two st(»ersmen. In the after part of the vessel was a low poop, 
about three and a half feet high, which forms the captains 
eabin, its furniture consisting of boxes, mats, and pillows. In 
front of the poop and mainmast was a little thatched house on 
deck, al)out 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 mysolf, and it was the snuggest and most 
tH>nifortal>le little place 1 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. Tiie floor was of split bamlxx), pleasantly 
elastic, raised six inches alx)ve the deck, so as to be quite dry. 
It was ooveixnl with line cane mats, for the manufacture of which 
Macassar is et^lebrat^Hi ; against the further wall were arranged 
my gun-C4iso, insect-boxes, clothes, and books; my mattress 


occupied the middle, and next the door were my canteen, lamp, 
and little store of luxuries for the vovage ; while g^ns, revolver, 
and hunting knife hung conveniently from the roof. During 
these four miserable days I was quite jolly in this little snuggery 
— more so than I shoula have been if confined the same time to 
the gilded and unconifortable saloon of a first-class steamer. 
Then, how comparatively sweet was evervthing on board — no 
paint, no tar, no new rope, (vilest of smells to the qualmish !) 
no grease, or oil, or varnish ; but instead of tliese, bamboo and 
rattan, and coir rope and palm thatcli ; pure vegetable fibres, 
which smell pleasantly if thev smell at all, and recall quiet 
scenes in the green and shad^ n)rest. 

Our ship had two masts, if masts they can be called, which 
were great movable triangles. If in an ordinary ship you re- 
place the shrouds and backstay by strong timbers, and take 
away the mast altogether, you have the arrangement adopted 
on board a prau. Above my cabin, and resting on cross-b^ms 
attached to the masts, was a wilderness of yards and spars, 
mostly formed of bamboo. The mainyard, an immense affair 
nearly a hundred feet long, was formed of many pieces of wood 
and bamboo bound 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 mounted high in the air, making up for the 
lowness of the mast itself. The foresail was of the same shape, 
but smaller. Both these were of matting, and with two jibs ana 
a fore and aft sail astern of cotton canvas, completed our rig. 

The crew consisted of about thirty men, natives of Macassar 
and the adjacent coasts and islands. They were mostly young, 
and were shorty broad-faced, good-humoured-looking fellows. 
Their dress consisted generally of a pair of trousers only when 
at work, and a handkerchief twistea 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 wlio was really what we should call the first mate ; 
he occupied 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 liis meals with them, and spoke to them always with 

Serfect politeness ; yet they were most of them a kind of slave 
ebtors, Dound 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 tradei*s, 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 debaucnery. The lower classes are 
almost all in a chronic state of debt. The merchant trusts them 


again and again, till the amount is something serious, when he 
brings them to court and has their sei'vices sillotted 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 traae a little on their own aecount, and both parties seem 
to get on very well together. The plan seems a more sensible 
one than that which we adopt, of effectually preventing a man 
from earning anything towards paying his debts by shutting 
him up in a jail. 

My own servants were three in number. AH. 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. He was a good shot, 
and fond of shooting, and I had taught him to skin birds very 
well. The second, named Baderoon, was a Macassar lad, also a 

Eretty good boy. but a desperate rambler. Under pretence of 
uying a house tor his motner, ana clothes for himself, he had 
received four months' wages about a week before we sailed, and 
in a day or two gambled away every dollar of it. He had come 
on board with no clothes, no betel, or tobacco, or salt fish, all 
which necessary articles I was obliged to send Ali to buy for 
liim. 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 cook tolerably. 
He was to fulfil the important office of cook and housekeeper, 
for I could not get any regular servants to go to such a terribly 
remote country ; one might as well ask a clUfd^ cuisine to go to 

On the fifth day that I had spent on board (Dec. 15th) the rain 
ceased, and final preparations were made for starting. Sails 
were dried and furled, boats were constantly coming and going, 
and stoi'es for the voyage, fruit, vegetables, fisli, and palm-sugar, 
were taken on board. In the atternoon two women arrived with 
a large party of friends and relations, and at parting there was 
a general nose-rubbing (the Malay kiss), and some tears shed. 
These were promising symptoms for our getting off the next 
day ; and accordingly, at three in the morning, the owner came 
on board, the anchor was immediately weighed, and by four we 
set sail. Just as we were fairly off and clear of the other praus, 
the old juragan repeated some prayers, all around responding 
with *' Allah il Allah," and a few strokes on a gong as an accom- 
paniment, concluding with all wishing each other *' Salaainat 
jalan" (a safe and happy journey). We had 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 Aru Islands. 

The wind continued light and variable all day, with a calm in 
the evening before the land breeze sprang up. We were then 
passing the island of '' Tanakaki " (foot of the land), at the ex- 
treme south of this part of Qelebes. There are some dan^erou^ 


rocks here, and as I was standing by the bulwarks, I happened 
to spit over the side ; one of the men begged I would not do so 
just now, but spit on deck, as they were mucli afraid of this 
place. Not quite comprehending I made him repeat his request, 
when, seeing he was in earnest, I said, " Very well, I 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 whicli I promised to be very 
careful. At sunset the good Mohammedans on board al 1 repeated 
a few words of prayer with a general chorus, reminding me of 
the pleasing and impressive Ave Maria of Catholic countries. 

Dec 20th. — At sunrise we were opposite the Bontyne mountain, 
said to be one of the highest in Celebes. In the afternoon, 
we passed the Salayer Straits and had a little squall, which 
obliged us to lower our huge mast, sails, and heavy yards. The 
I'est 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. 

Dec, 2Ut. — 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. 22nd.'— 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 tlie island 
of Goram overtook us. The nakoda (captain) was known to our 
owner. They had been two years aWay, but were full of people, 
with several black Papuans on board. At 6 p.m. we passed 
Wang^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 with whirling 
sparks of fire. It resembled (more nearly than anything else to 
which I can compare it^ one of the large irregular nebulous 
star-clusters«een through a good telescope, with the additional 
attraction of ever-changing form and dancing motion. 

Dec. 23rd — Fine red sunrise ; the island we left last evening 
barely visible behind us. The (jbram 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 tliey do it by the 
swell of the sea, the direction of which they notice at sunset, 
and sail by it during the night. In these seas they are never 
(in fine weather) more than two days without seeing land. Of 
course adverse winds or currents sometimes carry them away, 
but they soon fall in with some island, and there are always some 
old sailors on board who know it, and thence take a new course. 
Last night a shark about five feet long was caught, and this 
morning it was cut un 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 ; ana 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 700 instead of one of 
70 tons, have it very much their own way, and there seems to be 
seldom more than a dozen at work at a time. When anything 
important is to be done, however, all start up willingly enough, 
but then all think themselves at liberty to give their opinion, 
and half a 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 tiiem 
feeling any of the restraints of morality or education, we get on 
wonderfully well. There is no fighting or quarrelling, as there 
would certainly be among the same number of Europeans with 
as little restraint upon their actions, and there is scarcely any 
of that noise and excitement which might be expected. In fine 
weather the greater part of them are quietly enjoying them- 
selves—some are sleeping under the shadow of the sails ; others, 
in little groups of three or four, are talking or chewing betel ; 
one is msiking a new handle to his chopping- knife, another is 
stitciiing 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 thi'ee take it by turns to watch in the 
liows and see after the braces and halyards of the great sails ; 
the two steersmen are below in the steerage ; our captain, or 
the juragan, gives the course, guided partly by the compass and 
partly by the direction of the wind, and a watch oLtwo or three 
on the poop look after the trimming of the sails and call out the 
hours by the water-clock. This is a verv ingenious contrivance, 
which measures time well in both rough weather and fine. It 
is simply a bucket half filled with water, in which floats the 
half of a well-scraped cocoa-nut shell. In the bottom of this 
shell is a very small hole, so that when placed to float in the 
bucket a fine thread of water squirts up into it. This gradually 
fills the shell, and the size of the hole is so adjust^ to the 
capacity of the vessel that, exactly at the end of an hour, plump 
it goes to the lx)ttom. 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 found that it hardly varied a minute from one hour to 
another, nor did the motion of the vessel have any effect upon it, 
as the water in the bucket of course kept level. It has a great 
advantage for a rude people in being easily understood, in being 


rather bulky and easy to see, and in the final submergence being 
accompanied with a uttle bubbling and commotion ot 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 aU about him. "When 
at sea he drinks no wine or spirits, but indulges only in cofiee 
and cakes, morning and afternoon, in company with his super- 
cargo and assistants. He is a man of some little education, can 
read and write well both Dutch and Malay, uses a compass, and 
has a chart. He has been a trader to Aru for many years, and 
is well known to both Europeans and natives in this part of the 

Dec. 24^. — Fine, and little wind. No land in sight for tlie 
first time since we left Macassar. At noon calm, with heavy 
showers, in which our crew wash their clothes, and in the after- 
noon 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, or openings, through which 
the tillers enter from the lateral rudders are not more than three 
or four feet above the surface of the water, which thus has a 
free entrance into the vessel. I of course liad 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 further side, and do no more harm 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 vessel 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 are so ; and though he 
acknowledges the danger, *' he does not know how to alter it — 
the people are used to it ; he does not understand praus so well 
as they do. and if such a great alteration were made, he should 
be sure to nave 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. 25/A. — Christmas-day dawned upon us with gusts of 
wind, driving rain, thunder and lightning, added to which a short 
confused sea made our queer vessel pitch and roll very uncom- 
fortably. About nine o'clock^ however, it cleared up, and we 
then saw ahead of us the fine island of Bouru, perhaps forty or 
fifty miles distant, its mountains wreathed with clouds, while 
its lower lands were still invisible. The af ternoon'was fine, and 
the wind got round again to the west ; but although this is 
really the 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 Protest- 


ant^ 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. 26th, — Fine view of the mountains of Bouru, which we 
have now approached considerably. Our crew seem rather a 
clumsy lot. They do not walk tlie deck with tlie easy swing of 
English sailors, but hesitate and stagger like landsmen. In the 
night the lower boom of our mainsail broke, and they were all 
the morning repairing it It consisted of two bamboos lashed 
together thick end to thin, and was about seventy feet long. 
The rigging and arrangement of these praus contrasts strangely 
with that of European vessels, in which the various ropes and 
spars, though much more numerous, are placed so as not to 
interiere with each other's action. Here tlie case is quite dif- 
ferent ; for though there are no shrouds or stays to complicate 
the matter, yet scarcely anything can be done without iirst 
clearing something else out of the way. The large saib cannot 
be shifted round to go on the other tack without first hauling 
down the jibs, and the booms of tlie fore and aft sails have 
to be lowered and completely detached to perform the same 
operation. Then there are always a lot of ropes foul of each 
other, and all the sails can never be set (though they are so few) 
without a good part of their surface having the wind kept 
out of them by 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 all repairs can be done 
by the crew, and very tew European stores are required. 

Dec. 28/A.---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 panoramas have so impressed such things on 
one's mind, that when we at length behold them they seem 
nothing extraordinary. 

Dec. 20th. — Passed the island of Teor, and a group near it, 
which are very incorrectly markwi 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 tlieir 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 bo vs. 

Dec. 31«t — At daybreak the Ke Islands (pronounced kay) 
were in sight^ where we are to stay a few days. About noon 


we rounded the northern point, and endeavoured to coast along 
to the ancliorage ; but being now on the leeward side of the 
isbind, the wind came in violent irregular gusts, and then 
leaving us altogether, we were carried back by a strong current. 
Just u\en 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 verv dangerous place on a 
rocky bottom, and we were engaged till nearly dark getting 
hawsers secured to some rocks under water. The coast of K^ 
along which we had passed was verv picturesque. Light- 
coloured limestone rocks rose abruptly from the water to the 
height of several hundred feet, everywhere broken into jutting 
peaks and pinnacles, weather-worn into sharp points and honey- 
combed surfaces, and clothed throughout witn a most varied and 
luxuriant vegetation. The cliifs above the sea offered to our 
view screw-pmes and arborescent Liliaceae of strange forms, 
mingled with shioibs and creepers ; while the higher slopes sup- 
ported 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 tinged the rock-strewn slope 
which plunged steeply into its unfathomable depths with colours 
vaiying 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 pro- 
ductions hid in those rockv 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 speculating 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 stem rising up into a peak six or ei^ht 
feet high, decorated with shells and waving j)lumes of cassowanes' 
hair. 1 now had my first view of Papuans in their own country, 
and in less than five minutes was convinced that the opinion 
already arrived at by the examination of a few Timor ana New 
Guinea slaves was substantially corrects 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, unim- 
pulsive, unanimated Mala^r. These Ke men came up sing^ne 
and shouting, dipping their paddles deep in the water and 
throwing up clouds of spray j as they approaclied nearer they 
stood up in their canoes and increased their noise and gesticu- 
lations; and on coming alon^ide, 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 oz a captured vessel. Then commenced a scene of 
indescribable confusion. These forty black, naked, mop-headed 
savages seemed intoxicated witli joy and excitement. Not one 
of them could remain still for a moment. Every 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 presents of 
tobacco made their eyes glisten ; they would express their 
satisfaction by grins and shouts, bv rolling on deck, or by 
a headlong leap overboard. School- boys on an unexpect-ed 
holiday, Iiishmen at a fair, or midshipmen on shore, would 
give but faint idea of the exuberant animal enjoyment of these 

Under similar circumstances Malays covld not behave as these 
Papuans did. If they came on board a vessel (after asking 
permission), not a word would be at fii-st 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 he by (quietly refusing all your offers, 
or even going away without saying another word about the 
matter, unless you advanced your price to what they were 
willing to accept. Our crew, many of whom had not made the 
voyage before, seemed quite scandalized at such unprecedented 
bad manners, and only very gradually made any approach to 
fraternization with the black fellows. They reminded me of a 
jxarty 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 conclusive 
of absolute diversity than even the physical contrast presented 
by the two races, though that is sufficiently remarkable. The 
sooty blackness of the skin, the mop-like head of frizzly hair, 
and, most important of all, the marked form of countenance oi 
quite a different type from that of the Malay, are what we can- 
not believe to result from mere climatal or other modifying 
influences on one and the same race. The Malay face is of the 


Mongolian type, broad and somewhat flat. The brows are 
depressed, the roouth wide, but not projecting, and the nose 
small and well formed but for the great dilatation of the nostrils. 
The face is smooth, and rarely develops the trace of a beard ; the 
hair black, coarse, and perfectly straight. The Papuan, on the 
other hana, has a face which we may say is compressed and 
projecting. The brows are protuberant and overhanging, the 
mouth large and prominent, while the nose is very large, the 
apex elongated downwards, the ridge thick, and the nostrils 
large. It is an obtrusive and remarkable feature in the 
countenance, the very reverse of what obtains in the Malay 
face. The twisted beard and frizzly hair complete this remark- 
able 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 liad now entered, we may farly say that there is as 
much difference, both moral and physical, as between the red 
Indians of Soutli America and the negroes of Guinea on the 
opposite side of the Atlantic. 

Jan, \st^ 1867. — This has been a day of thorough enjoyment. 
I have wandered in the forests of ah island rarely seen by 
Europeans. Before daybreak we left our ancliorage, and in an 
hour reached the village of Har, where we were to stay three or 
four days. The ranee of hills here receded so as to form a small 
bay, and they were oroken up into peaks and hummocks with 
intervening flats and hollows. A broad beach of the whitest 
sand lined the inner part of the bay, backed by a mass of cocoa- 
nut palms, among which the huts were concealed, and surmounted 
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. 

Wlien we went on shore the first thing that atti*acted us was 
a large and well-constructed shed, under which a long boat was 
being built, while others in various stages of completion were 
placed at intervals along the beach. Our captain, who wanted 
two of moderate size for the trade among the islands at Aru, 
immediately began bargaining for them, and in a short time had 
arranged the number of brass guns, gongs, sarongs, handker- 
chiefs, 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 tlie beach on an irregular rocky 
piece of ground overshadowed with cocoa-nuts, palms, bananas, 
and other fruit trees. The houses were very rude, black and 
half rotten, raised a few feet on posts with low sides of bamboo 
or planks and high thatched roofs. Tliey had small doors and 
no windows, an opening under the projecting gables letting the 
smoke out and a little light in. The floors were of strips of 
bamboo, tliin, slippery, and elastic, and so weak, that my feet 


were in danger of plungine tbrough at every step. Native boxes 
of pandan US-leaves and slabs of palm pith, very neatly con- 
structed, mats of the same, jars and cooking pots of native 
pottery, and a few Europjean plates and basins, were the whole 
furniture, and the interior was throughout dark and smoke- 
blackened, and dismal in the extreme. 

Accompanied by Ali and Baderoon, I now attempted to make 
some explorations, and we were followed by a train of boys 
eager to see what we were going to do. Tlie most trodden path 
from the beach led us into a shady hollow, where the trees were 
of immense height and the undergrowth scanty. From the 
summits of these trees came at intervals a deep booming sound, 
which at first puzzled us, but which we soon found to proceed 
from some large pigeons. My boys shot at them, and after one 
or two misses, brought one down. It was a magnificent bird 
twenty inches long, of a bluish white 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, ^hicli I have named Carpophaga concinna, 
and is found only in a few small islands, where, however, it 
abounds. It is the same species which in the island of Banda is 
called the nutmeg-pigeon, from its habit of devouring the fruits, 
the seed or nutmeg being thrown up entire and uninjured. 
Though these pigeons have a narrow beak, vet their jaws and 
throat are so extensible that they can swallow fruits of very 
large size. I had before shot a species much smaller than this 
one, which had a number of hardgobular 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 therefore 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 one. Where there was earth, it was a deposit of 
reddish clav overlying the rock, and was worn so smooth bv the 
attrition of naked feet that my shoes could obtain no hold on 
the sloping surfaca A little farther we came to the bare rock, 
and this was worse, for it was so rugged and broken, and so 
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 pro- 
tection, 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 effeminacy 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 

.] THE K* ISLANDS. • 821 

little soil had accumulated and the rock had been less exposed 
to atmospheric action. 

The island of K^ (pronounced exactly as the letter E, but 
erroneously spelt in our maps Key or Ki) is long and narrow', 
running in a north and south direction, and consists almost 
entirely of rock and mountain. It is everywhere covered with 
luxuriant forests, and in its bays and inlets the sand is of dazzling 
whiteness, resulting from the decomposition of the coralline 
limestone of which it is entirely composed. In all the little 
swamp jr inlets and valleys sago trees abound, and these supply 
the main subsistence of the natives, who grow no rice, and nave 
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 Aru traders, who all touch here to lay in their 
stock of this article, as well as to purchase boats and native 
crockery. Wooden bowls, pans, and trays, are also largely made 
here, hewn out of solid blocks of wood with knife and adze ; and 
these are carried to all parts of the Moluccas. But the art in 
which the natives of K^ pre-eminently excel is that of boat- 
building. Their forests supply abundance of fine timber though 
probably not more so than many other islands, and from some 
unknown causes these remote savages have come to excel in 
what seems a verv 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 beaks 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 knife-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, aaze, 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 free as word< 
painting travellers love to represent them. 

The forests of K^ produce magnificent timber, tall, straight, 
and durable, of various (lualities, some of which are said to be 
superior to the best Indian teak. To make each pair of planks 
used in the constmction of the larger boats an entire tree is 
consumed. It is felled, often miles away from the shore, cut 
across to the proper length, and then hewn longitudinally into 
two equal i)ortions. Each of these forms a pl^nk by cutting 
down with the axe to a uniform thickness of three or four inches, 
leaving at first a solid block at each end to prevent splitting. 
Along the centre of each plank a series of projecting pieces are 


left, standing up three or four inches, about the same width, and 
a foot long : these are of great importance in the construction 
of the vessel. When a sufficient number of planks have been 
made, they are laboriously dragged througli ttie forest by three 
or four men each to the beach, where the boat is to be built. 
A foundation piece, broad in the middle and rising considerably 
at each end^ is first laid on blocks and properly shored up. The 
edges of this are worked true and^ smooth with the adze, and a 
plank, properly curved and tapering at each end, is held firmly 
up against it, while a line is struck along it which allows it to 
be cut so as to fit exactly. A series of auger holes, about as 
larse as one's finger, are then bored along the opposite edges, 
ana pins of verv hard wood are fitted to these, so that the two 
planks are held firmly, and can be driven into the closest con- 
tact; and difficult as this seems to do without any other aid 
than rude practical skill in fonning 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 obtain^. 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. Rira 
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 
Dound to them by rattans passed thi*ough a hole in each pro- 
jecting piece close to the surface of the plank. The ends are 
closed against the vertical prow and stem 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 carefully 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 
ana lories, earthen pans, sirih leatj wooden bowls, and trays, &c 
<kc., which every one of the fifty inhabitants of our prau seemed 
to be buying on his own account, till all available and most un- 
available space of our vessel was occupied with these mis- 
cellaneous articles : for every man on board a prau considers 

zxix.] THE KA islands. S2S 

himself at liberty to trade, and to carry with him whatever he 
can afford to buv. 

Money is unknown and valueless here — knives, cloth, and 
arrack forming the only medium of exchange, with tobacco for 
small coin. Everv transaction is the subject of a special bargain, 
and the cause of much talking. It is absolutely necessarv to 
offer very little, as the natives are never satisfied till ^ou add a 
little more. They are then far better pleased than if you liad 
given them twice the amount at first and refused to increase it. 

I, too, was doin^ 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 gn:'een 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 dav'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 Buprestidee, and has been named 
Cyphogastra calepyga. 

Each morning after an early breakfast I wandered by myself 
into the forest, where I found delightful occupation in capturing 
the large and handsome butterflies, which were tolerably abun- 
dant, and most of them new to me ; for I was now upon the 
confines of the Moluccas and New Guinea— a i*e^on the pro- 
ductions of which were then among the most precious and I'are 
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 of beetles, and of course 
torn to pieces. The principal drawbac:k of the place for a col- 
lector is the want of good paths, and the dreadfully rugged 
character of the surface, requiring the attention to be so con- 
tinually directed to securing a footing, as to make it verv 
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 ininning streams, the rock being of so porous 
a nature that the surface-water everv where penetrates 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 Kd, arboreal Liliacese and PandanaceiB 
abound, and give a character to the vegetation in the more 
exposed rockv places. Flowers were scarce, and there were 
not many orchids, but I noticed the fine white butterfly-orchis, 

Y 2 


PhalaenopBis grandiflora, or a species closely allied to it. The 
freshness an(f vigour of the vegetation was very pleasing, and 
on such an arid, rocky surface was a sure indication of a iier^ 
petually humid climate. Tall clean trunks, many of them 
Duttressed, and immense trees of the fig family, with aerial 
roots stretching out and interlacing and matted together for 
fifty or a hundred feet above the ground, were the characteristic 
features ; and there was an absence of thornv shrubs and prickly 
rattans, which would have made these wilds very pleasant to 
roam in, had it not been for the sharp honeycombed rocks 
already alluded to. In damp places a fine undergrowth of 
broad -leaved herbaceous plante was found, about which swarmed 
little green lizards, with tails of the most ^^ heavenly blue,'' 
twisting in and out among the stalks and foliage so actively 
that I often caught glimpses of their tails only, when they 
startled me by tlieir resemblance to small snakes. Almost the 
only sounds in these primaeval woods proceeded from two birds, 
the red lories, who utter shrill screams like most of the parrot 
tribe, and the large green nutmeg-pigeon, whose voice is either 
a loud and deep boom, like two notes struck upon a very large 
gong, or sometimes a narsh toad-like croak, altogether peculiar 
and remarkable. Only two quadrupeds are said by the natives 
to inhabit the island — a wild pig and a Cuscus, or Eastern 
opossum, of neither of which could I obtain sx)ecimens. 

The insects were more abundant, and very interesting. Of 
butterflies I caught thirty-five species, most of them new to me, 
and many quite unknown in European collections. Amonff 
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-flving 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 littles 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 ofiT like a small 
swarm of bees. I got one of our crew to climb up the tree, and 
he brought me a good number in his hand ; and seeing they 
were valuable, I sent him up again with my net to shake the 
flowers into, and thus secured a large Quantity. Mv best 
capture, however, was the superb insect of tne Buprestis family, 
already mentioned as havinjg^ been obtained from the natives, 
who. told me they found it in rotten trees in the mountains. 

In the forest itself the only common and conspicuous coleop- 
tera were two tiger beetles. One, Therates labiata, was much 
larger than our ^reen tiger beetle, of a purple black colour, 
with green, metallic glosses, and the oroad upper lip of a bright 
yellow. It was always found upon foliage, generally of brctfui- 

zxix.] THE Kfi ISLANDS. 825 

leaved lierbaceous 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 prejr. Its 
vicinity could be immediately ascertained, often before it was 
seen, by a very pleasant odour, like otto of roses, which it seems 
to emit continufiilly. and which mayprobably 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 CHcindelidflB, 
and is almost exclusively confined to the Mala^ Islands. In 
shape it resembles a very lar^ ant, more than an inch long, and 
of a purple black colour. Lake an ant also it is wingless, and is 
generally' fou*!nd ascending trees, passing around the trunks in a 
spiral direction when approached, to avoid capture, so that it 
re(^uires a sudden run and active Angers to secure a specimen. 
This species emits the usual fetid odour of the ground beetles. 
My collections during our four days' stay at K6 were as 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 
onlv 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 descendants here exhibit great varia- 
tions of colour, liair, and features, graduating between the 
Malay and Papuan ^pes. It is interesting to observe the 
influence of the early Portuguese trade with these countries in 
the words of their language, which still remain in use even 
anion ^ these remote and savage islanders. ^ Lenco " for hand- 
kerchief, 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 efiected 
more rapid changes in the countries they conquered than any 
other nations of modem times, resembling the Konians in their 
power of impressing their own language, religion, and manners 
on rude and oarbarous tribes. 

The striking contrast of character between these people and 
the Malays is exemplified in many little traits. One day when 
1 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 him- 
self no longer, \)ut bent almost double, and enjoyed a hearty roar 
of laughter. Every one will recognize this as a true negro trait. 
A Maiav would have stared^ and asked with a tone of bewilder- 
ment what I was doin^, for it is but little in his nature to laugh, 
never heartily, and still less at or in the presence of a stranger, 
to whom, however, his disdainful 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 Ri*in," while the noisy confusion of tongues among 
the men, and their excitement on very ordinary occasions, are 
altogether removed from the general taciturnity and reserve of 
the Malay. 

The language of the Ke people consists of words of one, two, 
or three syllables in about equal proportions, and has many 
aspirated and a few guttural sounds. The different villages 
have slight differences of dialect, but the^ are mutually in- 
telligible, and, except in words that liave evidently been intro- 
duced during a long-continued commercial intercourse, seem to 
have no affinity whatever with the Malav languages. 

Jan. 6tk, — The small boats being finished, we sailed for Aru 
at 4 P.M., and as we left the shores of Ke had a fine view of its 
rugged and mountainous character ; ranges of hills, three or 
four thousand feet high, stretching southwards as far as the eye 
could reach, eveiy where covered with a lofty, dense, and un- 
broken forest. We had very light winds, and it therefore took 
us thirty hours to make the passage of sixty mUes to the low, or 
flat, but equally forest-covered Aru Islands, where we anchored 
in the harbour of Dobbo at nine in the evening of tlie next day. 

My first voyage in a prau being thus satisfactorily terminated, 
I must, liefore taking leave of it for some months, bear testimonv 
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, eitlicr before 
or since, made a twenty days' voyage so pleasantly, or perhaps, 
more correctly speaking, with so little discomfort. This I at- 
tribute chiefly to having my small cabin on deck, and entirely 
to myself, to having my own servants to wait upon me, and to 
the absence of all those marine-store smells of paint, pitch, tallow, 
and new cordage, which are to me insupportable. Something is 
also to be put down to freedom from all restraint of dress, hours 
of meals, d^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 haa 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 everything went on smoothly, and the 
vessel was kept very clean and in pi-etty good order, so that on 
the whole I was much delighted with the trip, and was inclined 
to rate the luxuries of tlie semi-barbarous prau as surpassing 
those of the most magnificent screw-steamer, that highest 
product of our civilization. 




On the 8th of January, 1857, 1 landed at Dobbo, the trading 
settlement of the Bugis and Chinese, who annually visit the 
Aru Islands. It is situated on the small island of Wamma, upon 
a spit of sand which projects out to the north, and is just wide 
enough to contain three rows of houses. Though at nrst 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 mionsoons. Being f ull v exposed 
to the sea-breezes in three directions it is healthy, and the soft 
sandy beach offers great facilities for hauling up the praus, in 
order to secure them from sea- worms and prepare them for the 
homeward voyage. At its southern extremity the sand-bank 
merges in the beach of the island, and is backed by a luxuriant 
growth of lofty forest. The houses are of various sizes, but are 
all built after one pattern, being merely large thatched sheds, a 
small portion of which, next the entrance, is used as a dwelling, 
while the rest is parted off, and often divided by one or two 
floors, in order better to stow away merchandise and native 

As we had arrived early in tlie 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, out unfore- 
seen difficulties presented themselves. One which was to let 
had no roof, 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 of which I might therefore 
take undisputed possession as the first comer, wanted consider- 
able repairs, and no one could be found to do the work, although 
about tour times its value was offered. The captain, therefore, 
recommended me to take possession of a pretty good house near 
his own, whose owner was not exp<K)ted tor 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 well-furnished mansion, and looked forward to a 
month's residence in it with unmixed satisfaction. 

The next morning, after an early breakfast, I set off to explore 
the virgin forests of Am. anxious to set my mind at rest as to 
the treasures they were likely to yield, and the probable success 
of ray long-meditated expedition. A little native imp was our 
guide, seduced by the gift of a (German knife, value three- 
halfpence, and m;^ Macassar boy Baderoon brought his chopper 
to clear the path if nccessarv. 

We had to walk about half a mile along the beach, the ground 
behind the village being mostly swampy, and then turned into 
the forest al6ng a path which leads to the native villaffe of 
Wamma, about three miles off on tlie 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 altc^ther. our guide having turned back, and we were 
obliged to follow nis 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 buttemies, 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, hitnerto 
onlv known by a few specimens from New Guinea. The l&rae 
and. handsome spectre-butterfly, Hestia durvillei ; the pale- 
winged peacock butterfly, Drusillacatops * and the most brilliant 
and wonderful of the clear- winged motns, Cocytia d'Urvillei. 
were especially interesting, as well as several little "blues, 
equalling in brilliancy and beauty anything the butterfly world 
can proouce. In the other groups of insects I was not so suc- 
cessful, 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 magni- 
ficent insects the world contains, the great bird-winged butter- 
fly, 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 is true I had seen similar insects 
in cabinets at home, but it is quite another thing to capture 
such one's self — to feel it struggling between one's fingers, 
and to gaze upon its fresh and living beauty, a briglit gem slun- 


ing out amid the silent gloom of a dark and tangled forest. The 
village of Dobbo held that evening at least one contented man. 

Jan, 2Q1h. — Having now been here a fortnight, I began to 
understand a little of the place and its peculiarities. Praus 
continually^ arrived, and the merchant population increased 
almost dailv. Every two or three davs a fresh house was 
opened, ana the necessary repairs maa& In every direction 
men were bnnging in poles, bamboos^ rattans, and the leaves of 
the nipa palm to construct or rex)air 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 Qoram, at the east end of Geram, 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 prod- 
uce thev have collected durins the preceding six months, and 
wliich they now sell to the traders, to some of whom they are 
most likely in debt. Almost all, or I may safely say all, the new 
arrivals pay me a visit, to see with their own eyes the unheard- 
of phenomenon of a person come to stay at Dobbo who does not 
trade 1 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 |)ick up by hundreds 
on the beach, and seem quite puzzled and distressed when I de- 
cline them. If, however, there are any snail shells among the 
lot, I take them, and ask for more — a principle of selection so 
utterly unintelligible to them, that they give it up in despair, 
or solve the problem by imputing hidden medical virtue to tliose 
which they see me preserve so carefully. 

These traders are all of the Mala^ race, or a mixture of which 
Malay is the chief ingredient, with the exception of a few 
Cliinese. The natives of Aru, on the other hand, are Papuans, 
with black or sooty brown skins, woollv or frizzly hair, thick- 
ridged prominent noses, and rather slender limbs. Most of 
them wear nothing but a waist-cloth, and a few of them may 
be seen all day long wandering about the half-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 smok^ tripang, or htche de 
mer^ looking like sausages which have been rolled in mud and 
then thrown up the chimney ; dried sharks' tins, mother-of-pearl 
shells, as well as Birds of Paradise, which, however, are so dirty 
and so badly preserved that I have as yet found no specimens 
worth purchasing. When I hardly look at the articles, and make 
no offer for them, they seem incredulous, and, as if fearing they 
have misunderstood me, again offer them, and declare what they 
want in return— knives, or 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 speculate in 
tortoiseshell, but that anything eatable I will buv — fish, or 
turtle, or vegetables of any sort. Almost the only food, how- 
ever, that we can obtain with any regularity, are fisti and 
cockles of very good quality, and to supply our daily wants it 
is absolutely necessary to be always provided with four articles 
— tobacco, knives, 8ago-oake& and Dutch copper doits — because 
when the particular thing asKed for is not forthcoming, the fish 

Sass on ,to the next house, and we may go tliat day without a 
inner. It is curious to see the baskets and buckets used here. 
The cockles are brought in large volute shells, proluibly the 
Cymbium ducale, while gigantic helmet-shells, a species of 
Cassis, suspended by a rattan handle, form the vessels in which 
fresh water is daily earned past rov door. It is painful to a 
naturalist to see these splenaid shells with their inner whorls 
ruthlesslv broken away to fit them for their ignoble usa 

My collections, however, got on but slowly, owing to the un- 
expectedly bad weather, violent winds with heavy showers 
having been so continuous as only to give me four good col- 
lecting days out of the first sixteen I spent here. Yet enough 
had been collected to show me that with time and fine weather 
I might expect to do something good. From the natives I 
obtained some very fine insects and a few pretty land-shells ; 
and of the small number of birds yet shot more than half were 
known 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 anticipated 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 m 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 dis- 
tinguished 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 abundant than I had 
generally found them in the East^ more generally mingled with 
the other vegetation, more varied in form and aspect, and 
presenting some of those lofty and majestic smooth-stemmed, 
pinnate-leaved species which recall the Uauassu (Attalea speciosa) 
of the Amazon, but which I had hitherto rarely met with in the 
Malayan islanas. 

In animal life the immense number and variety of spiders 


and of lizards were circumstanoes that recalled the prolific 
regions of South America^ more especially the abundance 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 face ; and the 
threads composing these are so strong and glutinous as to require 
much trouble to free one's self from them. Then their inhabitants, 
great yellow-spotted monsters with bodies two inches long, and 
legs in proportion, are not pleasant things to run one's nose 
against while pursuing some gorgeous butterfly, or gazing aloft 
in search of some strange-voiced bird. I soon found it necessary 
not only to brush away the web, but also to destroy the 
spinner ; for at first, having cleared the path one day, I found 
the next morning that the industrious insects had spread tlieir 
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 oeautiful 
blue-tailed species so abundant in K6 was not seen here. The 
Aru lizards are more varied but more sombre in their colours — 
shades of green, grey, brown, and even black, being very fre^ 
quentlv 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, destrov manv gems of the insect 
world, which would feast the e^es and delight the hearts of our 
more discriminating entomologists. Another curious feature of 
the jungle here was the multitude of sea-shells everv where met 
with on the ground and high up on the branches and foliage, all 
inhabited by hermit-crabs, who forsake the beach to wauoer in 
the forest. I have actually seen a spider carrying away a good- 
sized shell and devouring its (probably juvenile) tenant. On 
the beach, which I had to walk along every morning to reach 
the forest^ these creatures swarmed by thousands. Every dead 
shell, from the largest to the most minute, was appropriated by 
them. Thev 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 
Cfhinese debcacy the sea-slug was sometimes thrown up on tlie 
beach, which was at such times thickly strewn with some of the 
most beautiful shells that adorn our cabinets, along with frag- 
ments 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 
tnem that they can be distinguished. Quantities of seaweed, 
too, are thrown up ; but strange as it mav seem, these are far 
less beautiful and less varied than may be found on any favour- 
able part of our own coasts. 

The natives here, even those who seem to be of pure Papuan 


race, were much more reserved and taciturn than those of K^ 
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 cheerf uliv as thejr walk 
along, or talk aloud to themselves (quite a negro charactenstic) ; 
and, try 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 ex- 
travagant 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 lar^e handful to 
his companions, he grinned and twisted and gave silent chuckles 
in a most expressive ))antomiraa I had often before made the 
same mistake in paying a Malay for some trifle. In no caseu 
however, was his pleasure visibte 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 token in connexion with phjrsical featut*e8. They do not 
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 rapidl V from country to country, and thus have few 
opportunities of becoming acquainted with peculiarities of 
national character, or even of ascertaining what is really the 
average physical conformation of the people. Such are exceed- 
ingly apt to be deceived in places where two races have long 
intermingled, by looking on inteimediate 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 readil v led into this error if, as in the 
present case, writers on the subject should have been in the 
nabit of classing these races as mere varieties of one stock, as 
closely related in physical conformation as from their geo- 
grapliical proximity one might suppose they ought to be. So 
far as I have yet seen, the Malay and Papuan appear to be as 
widely separated as any two human races that exist, being dis- 
tinguished by physical, mental, and moral characteristics, all of 
the most marked and striking kind. 

Feb. ^th.—\ took advantage of a very fine calm day to pay a 
visit to the island of Wokan, which is alx)ut a mile from us, and 
forms part of the " tanna busar," or mainland of Aru. This is a 
large island, extending from north to south about a hundred 
miles, but so low in many parts as to l>e intersected by several 
creeks, wliich run completely through it, ofiering a passage for 
good-sized vessels. On the west side, where we are, there are 
only a few outlying islands, of which ours ( Wamma) is the prin- 
cipal ; but on the east coast are a great number of islands, 


extending some miles bevond the mainland, and forming the 
" blakanff tana,*' or " back country,'* of the tmders, being the 
principal seat of the pearl, tri^ang, and tortoiseshell fisheries. 
To the mainland many of the birds and animals of the country 
are altogether confined ; the Birds of Paradise, the black cocka- 
too, the great brush- turkey, and the cassowarjjr, are none of them 
found on Wamma, or any of the detached islands. I did not^ 
liowever, expect in this excursion to see any decided difference 
in the forest or its productions, and was therefore agreeably 
surprised. Tlie beach was overhung with the drooping branches 
of mrge trees, loaded with Orchidese, ferns, and other epiphytal 

Slants. In the forest there was more variety, some parts being 
ry, and with ti'ees 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 hundred 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 hithert/> met with were 
slender species, not more than twelve feet high, and they gave 
not the least idea of the supreme l^eauty of trees bearing their 
elegant heads of fronds more than thirty feet in the air, like 
those which were plentifully scattered about this forest. There 
is nothing in tropical vegetation so perfectly beautiful. 

My* boys shot five sorts of biras, none of which we had 
obtained during a month's shooting in Wamma. Two were 
very pretty flycat^shers, already known from New Guinea ; one 
of them (Monarcha chrysomela), of brilliant black and bright 
orange colours, is by some authors considered to be the most 
beautiful of all flycatchers ; the other is pure white and velvety 
black, with a broad fiesliy ring round the eye of an azure blue 
colour; it is named the "spectacled flycatcher" (Monarcha 
telescopthalma), and was first found in New Guinea, along with 
the other, b^r the French naturalists during the voyage of the 
discovery-ship Coquille, 

Feb. 18^A. — Before leaving Macassar, I had written to the 
Governor of Amboyna requesting him to assist me with the 
native cliiefs 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 
reauire ; 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 
Doats, 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 coui*se areadfully alarmed, as these marauders 
attack their villages, bum and murder, and carry away women 


and children for slaves. Not a man will stir from his village for 
some time, and I must remain still a prisoner in Dobbo. The 
Governor of Araboyna, out of pure kindness, has told the chiefs 
that thev are to be responsible for my safety, so that they have 
an excellent excuse for refusing to stir. 

Several praus went out in search of the pirates, sentinels were 
appointed, and watch-fires lighted on the beach to guard against 
the possibility of a night attack, though it was hardlv thouj?ht 
they would be bold enough to attempt to plunder Doobo. The 
next day the pi*aus returned, and we had positive information 
that these scourges of the Eiaistem seas were really among us. 
One of Herr Warzbergen's small praus also arrived in a sad 
plight. It had been attacked six days before, just as it was re- 
turning from the ** blakang tana.'' The crew escaped in their 
small boat and hid in the jungle, while the pirates came up and 
plundered the vessels Thev took away everything but the cargo 
of mother-of-pearl shell, which was too bulsy 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 thev came up. and sent off their small 
boats to the attack. After they had lert, 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 
plundering, one brave fellow swam off armed only with his 
parang, or chopping-knife, and coming on them unawares made 
a desperate attack, l^illing one and wounding the other two, re- 
ceiving himself numbers of slight wounds, and then swimming 
off again when almost exhausted. Two other praus were also 

Plundered, and the crew of one of them murdered to a man. 
hey are said to be Sooloo pirates, but have Bugis amon^ them. 
On their way here they have devastated one of the small islands 
east of Cerara. It is now eleven years since they have visited 
Aru, and bv thus making their attacks at long and uncertain 
intervals the alarm dies away, and they find a population for 
the most part unarmed and unsuspicious of danger. None of the 
small traaing vessels now carry arms, though they did so for a 
year or two after the last attack, whicli 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 continual gale 
of wind, with occasional gusts of great fury, which seem as if 
they would send Dobbo into the sea. Bain accompanies it 
almost every alternate hour, so that it is not a pleasant tim& 
During such weather I can do little, but am busy getting ready 


a boat I have purchased, for an excursion into the interior. 
There is immense difficulty about men, but I believe the 
'' Orang-kaya," or head man of Wamma, will acoom|)any me to 
see that I 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 iirst arrived. Everv house is a store, where the 
natives barter their produce for wfiat they are most in need of. 
Knives, chojmers, swords, guns, tobacco, gambler, plates, basins, 
handkerchiefs, sarongs, calicoes, and arrack, are the principal 
articles wanted by the natives ; but some of the stores contain 
also tea, coffee, sugar, wine, biscuits, <bc., for tlie 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 tfie 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 ^et 
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 carrying his sirili and betel boxes. 

In every vacant space new houses are being built, and all 
sorts of odd little cooking-sheds are erected a^inst the old 
ones, while in some out-of-the-way comers, massive 1(^ pigsties 
are tenanted by gp:x>wing porkers ; for how could the Chinamen 
exist six months without one feast of pig ? Here and there are 
stalls where bananas are sold, and everv morning two little lx>ys 
go about with tra^s of sweet rice ana grated cocoa-nut, fried 
iish, or fried plantains ; and whichever it may be, they have but 
one cry, and that is — "Chocolat — t — t!" This must be a 
Spanish or Portuguese cry, handed down for centuries^ while 
its meaning has b^n lost. The Bugis sailors, while hoisting the 
mainsail, cry out, " V6la k v^la, — v^la, v^la, v^la ! " repeated in 
an everlasting chorus. As 'S'^la''^ is Portuguese for a sail, I 
supposed I had discovered the origin of this, out I found after- 
wanls they used tlie same cry when heavinja^ anchor, and often 
change it to *' hela," which is so much an universal expression of 
exertion and hard breathing that it is most probably a mere 
interjectional 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 evenr other form of 
morality — Chinese, Bugis, Ceramese, and hali-caste Javanese, 


with a sprinkling of half-wild Papuans from Timor, Babber, and 
other islands — yet all goes on as yet very quietly. This motley, 
ignorant, bloodthirsty, thievish population live here without the 
shadow of a government, with no police, no courts, and no 
lawyers ; yet they do not cut each other's throats ; do not 
plunder each other day and night ; do not fall into the anarchy 
such a state of things might be supposed to lead to. It is very 
extraordinary ! It puts strange thoughts into one's head about 
the mountain-load of government under wliich people exist in 
Europe, and suggests the idea that we may be overgoverned. 
Think of the hundred Acts of Parliament annually enacted to 
prevent us, the people of England, from cutting each other's 
throats, or from doing to our neighbours as we would iwt be 
done by. Tliink of the thousands of lawyers and barristers 
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 Com- 
merce at the work of Civilization. Trade is the magic that keeps 
all at peace, and unites these discordant elements into a well- 
behaved community. All are traders, and all know that peace 
and order are essential to successful trade, and thus a public 
opinion is created which puts down all lawlessness. Often in 
former years, when strolling along the Campong Glam in 
Singapore, I have thought how wild and ferocious the Bugis * 
sailors looked, and how little I sliould like to trust myself among 
them. But now I find them to be very decent, well-behaved 
fellows ; I walk daily unarmed in the jungle, where I meet them 
continually ; I sleep in a palm-leaf hut, which any one may 
enter, with as little tear and as little danger of thieves or murder 
as if I were under the protection of the Metropolitan police. 
It is true the Dutch influence is felt here. The islanas are 
nominally under 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 offender. 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 chief traders 
of the place, Bugis and Chinese, assembled, the offender was 
tried and found guilty, and sentenced to receive twenty lashes 
on the spot. They were given with a small rattan in the middle 
of the street, not very severely, as the executioner appeared to 
sympathize a little with the culprit. The disgrace seemed to be 
thought as much of as the pain ; for though any amount of clever 
cheating is thought rather meritorious than otherwise, open 
robbery and housebreaking meet with universal reprobation. 




(mabch to may 1857.) 

My boat was at length ready, and having obtained two men 
besides my own servants, after an enormous amount of talk and 
trouble, we left Dobbo on the morning of March 13th for the 
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 I'eached a house, or rather small shed, of the most 
miserable description, which our steersman, the " Orang-kaya" 
of Wamma, said was the place we were to stay at, and where he 
had assured me we could get every kind of bird and beast to be 
found in Aru. The shed was occupied by about a dozen men, 
women, and children ; two cooking fires were burning in it, and 
there seemed little prospect of my obtaining any accommoda- 
tion. I however deterred inquiry till I had seen the neighbour- 
ing forest, and immediately started off with two men, net, and 
funs, along a path at the nack of the house. In an hour's walk 
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 anything, I entered into negotiations 
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 tlie boat, hung up a shelf for my 
bird-skins and insects, and got all ready for work next morning. 
My own boys slept in the boat to guard the remainder of my 
property ; a cooking place sheltered by a few mats was arranged 
under a tree close by. and I felt that degree of satisfaction and 
enjoyment which I always experience when, after much trouble 
and delay, I am on the point of beginning work in a new 

One of my first objects was to inquire for the people who are 
accustomed to shoot the x)aradise birds. They lived at some 
distance in the jungle, and a man was sent to call them. When 
they arrived, we had a talk by means of the " Orang-kaya '* as 
interpreter, and they said they thought they could get some. 
They explained that they shoot the birds with a bow and arrow, 
the arrow having a conical wooden cap fitted to the end as large 
as a teacup, so as to kill the bird by the violence of the blow 
without making any wound or shedding any blood. The trees 
frequented 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 they are 
almost sure of securing it. (See Illustration.) They returned 
to their homes the same evening, and I never saw anything 
more of them, owing, as I afterwards found, to its being too 
earlv 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 




'i Ham. 






J4^ WaUfteif'a JR«7//»«. — ...- 






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 downwards, was pure white, with the softness and 
gloss of silk, and across the breast a band of deep metallic 
green separated this colour from the red of the throat. Alx)ve 
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 blue, 
strikingly contrasting with all the other parts of the body. 
Merelv 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 from each side of the 
breast, and ordinarily lying 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 elecant fans 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 beautiful double curve. About half an inch 
of the end of this wire is webbed on the outer side onlv, and 
coloured of a fine metallic green, and being curled spirally in- 
wards form a pair of elegant glittering buttons, hanging ^\g 
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 diiiei*ent birds that are known to exist upon the 
earth ; and, combined with the most exquisite beauty of plum- 
age, render this one of the most perfectly lovely of the many 
lovelv productions of nature. My transports of admiration 
and delight quite amused my Am hosts, who saw nothiiiR more 
in the " Burong raja " than we do in the robin or the golofiuch.^ 
Thus one of my objects in coming to the far East was accom- 
plished. I had obtained a specimen of the King Bird of para- 
dise (Pajftdisea regia), whicn had been described 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 gazed upon, and how very imperfectly it was 
stui known in Europe. (The emotions excited in the mind of a 
naturalist, who has long desired to see the actual thing which 
lie has hitherto known only by description, drawing, or badly- 
preserved external covering — especially when that thing is of 
surpassing rarity and beauty—require the poetic faculty fully to 
express them.^ The remote island in which I found myself 
situated, in an almost un visited sea, far from the tracks of 
merchant fleets and navies ; the wild, luxuriant tropical forests 
which stretched far away on every side } the rude, unculturca 

I See the upper figure on Plate at commencement of Clupter XXXVIII. 

Z 2 


savages wno gathered round me — all had their influence in 
determining the emotions with which I gazed upon this '* thing 
of beauty." I tliought of the long ages of the past, during 
which the successive generations of this little creature had run 
their course — year by year being born, and living and dying 
amid these dark and ffloomy woods, with no intelligent eye to 
gaze upon their loveliness ; to all appearance such a wanton 
waste of beauty. Such ideas excite a feeling of melancholy. 
It seems sad that on the one hand such exquisite creatures 
should live out their lives and exhibit their charms only in these 
wild, inhospitable regions, doomed for ages yet to come to hope- 
less 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 
DO sure that he will so disturb the nicely-balanced relations of 
organic and inorganic nature as to cause the disappearance, and 
Anally the extinction, of these very l)eings whose wonderful 
structure and beauty he alone is fitted to appreciate and enjoy. 
This consideration must surely tell us that all living things were 
not made for man. Many of them have no relation to him. The 
cycle of their existence has gone on independently of his, and 
is disturbed or broken by every advance in man's intellectual 
development ; and their happiness and enjoyments, their loves 
and hates, their struggles for existence, tiieir vigorous life and 
early death, would seem to be immediately related to their own 
well-being and perpetuation alone, limited only by the ecjual 
well-being and perpetuation of the numberless other organisms 
with which each is more or less intimately connected. 

After the fii'st 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 tne larger species. It frequents the lower 
trees of the less dense forests, and is very active, flying strongly 
with a wliirring sound, and continually hoppinip^ or flying from 
branch to branch. It eats hard stone-beanng iruits as large as 
a gooseberry, and often flutters its wings aiter 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 " Groby-goby." 

One day I got under a tree where a number of the Great 
Paradise birds were assembled, but they were high up in the 
thickest of the foliage, and flying and jumping about so con- 
tinually that I could get no good view of them. At length I 
shot one, but it was a young specimexi, and was entirely of a 
rich chocolate-brown colour, without either the metallic green 
throat or yellow plumes of the full-grown bird. All that I had 
yet seen resembled this, and the natives told me that it would be 
about two months before any would be found in full plumage. 
I still hoped, therefore, to get some. Their voice is most extra- 
ordinary. At early mom, before the sun has risen, we hear a 


loud cry of "Wawk — wawk — wawk, w6k— w(Jk — ^w6k," which 
resounds through the forest, chan^n^ its direction continually. 
This is the Great Bird of Paradise going to seek his breakfast. 
Others soon follow bis 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 £urox>ean who has ever lived for months together in 
the Aru Islands, a place which I had hoped rather than exi)ected 
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 g[uns and ammunition, and little Baso has his fire 
lighted and is boiling my coffee, and I remember that I had a 
black cockatoo brought m late last night, which I must skin 
immediately, and so I jump up and begin my day's work very 

This cockatoo is the first I have ever seen, and is a great prize. 
It has a rather small and weak bodv, long weak legs, large 
wings, and an enonnously 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 whistle. The tongue is a 
curious organ, being a slender fleshy cylinder of a deep red 
colour, terminated by a horny black plate, furrowed across and 
somewhat prehensila The whole tongue has a considerable 
extensile power. I will here relate something of the habits of 
this bird, with which I have since become acquainted. It 
frequents the lower parts of the forest, and is seen singly, or at 
most two or three together. It flies slowly and noiselessly, and 
m&Y 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 forest tree 
^Canarium commune), abundant in the islands where this bird 
IS found ; and the -manner in which it gets at these seeds shows 
a correlation of structure and habits, which would point out the 
" kanary " as its special food. The shell of this nut is so excess- 
ively hard that only a heavy hammer will crack it : it is some- 
what 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 ot 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 rft^ins it in 
the deep notch of the upper mandible, and again seizing the 
nut, which is prevented irom slipping by the elastic tissue of 


tlie leaf, fiiMw tlie edge of the lower mandible in the notch, and 
by a powerful nip breaks off a piece of the shell. Again taking 
the nut in it* claws, it inserts the very long and sharp point of 
the bill and picks out the kernel, which is seiEed hold ot, morsel 

by morsel, by the extensible tongua Thus every detail of form 
and structure in the extraordinary bill of this bird seems to 
have its use, and we may easily conceive that the black cocka- 
toos have maintained themselves in competition with theirmore 


active and more numerous white allies^ by their power of exist- 
ing on a kind of food which no other bircf is able to extract from 
its stony shell. The species is the Microglossujn aterrimuiQ of 

During the two weeks which I spjent in this little settlement, 
I had gc^ opportunities of observing the natives at their own 
home, and living in their usual manner. There is a great monot- 
ony and uniformity in every -day savage life, and it seemed to 
me a more miserable existence than when it had the charm of 
novelty. To begin with the most important fact in the existence 
of uncivilized peoples — their food — the Aru men have no regular 
supply, no staff 01 life, such as bread, rice, mandiocca, maize, or 
sago, which are the daily food of a large proportion of mankind. 
They have, however, many sorts of vegetables, plantains, yams, 
sweet potatoes, and raw sago ; and they chew up vast quanti- 
ties of sugar-cane, as well as betel-nuts, gambir, and tobacco. 
Those who live on tlie coast have plenty of fish ; but when in- 
land, 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 too rarely to 
form anything like a regular part of their diet, which is essen- 
tially vegetable ; and what is of more importance, as affecting 
their health, green, watery vegetables, impjsrfectly cooked, ana 
even these in varying and often insufficient quantities. To 
this diet may be attributed the prevalence of skin diseases, and 
ulcers on the legs and joints. The scurfy skin disease so 
common among savages has a close connexion with the poorness 
and irregularity of their living. The Malays, who are never 
without their daily rice, are generally free from it ; the hill- 
Dyaks of Borneo, who grow rice and live well, are clean skinned, 
while the less industrious and less cleanly tribes, who live for a 
portion of the year on fruits and vegetables only, are very 
subject to this malady. It seems clear that in this, as in other 
respects, man is not able to make a beast of himself with 
impunity, feeding like the cattle on the herbs and fruits of the 
earth, and taking no thought of the morrow. To maintain his 
healtli and beauty he must labour to prepare some farinaceous 
product capable of being stored and accumulated, so^ as to give 
nim a reguUir supply of wholesome food. When this is obtained, 
he may add vegetables, fruits, and meat with advantage. 

The chief luxury or the Aru 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 pur- 
chase at least a half -gallon h^ttle ; 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 them- 
selves 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 aad fui*niture are on a par with the food. A rude 
shed supported on rough and slender sticks rather than posts, 
no walls, but the floor raised to within a foot of the eaves, is the 
style of architecture they usually adopt. Inside there are 
partitioned walls of thatch, forming little boxes or sleeping 
places, to accommodate the two or tnree 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 brinp^ng in the vegetables or 
sago which form their food. Sometimes they hunt or fisli a 
little, or work at their houses or canoes, but they seem to enjoy 
pure idleness, and work as little as they can. They have little 
to vary the monotony of life, little that can be called pleasure, 
except idleness and conversation. And they certainly do talk ! 
Every evening there is a little Babel around me : but as I 
understand not a word of it, I go 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 asleep. 

At this place I obtained some light on the complicated 
mixture of races in Aru, which would utterly confound an 
ethnologist. Many of the natives, though equally dark with 
the others, have little of the Papuan pliysiognoray, 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.