PUBLICATIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
MEGALITHIC CULTURE OF INDONESIA
Published by the University of Manchester at
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W. H. R. RIVERS
A TOKEN OF AFFECTION AND REGARD
IN 1911 the stream of ethnological research was directed by Dr.
Rivers into new channels. In his Presidential Address to the
Anthropological Section of the British Association at Portsmouth
he expounded some of the effects of the contact of diverse cul-
tures in Oceania in producing new, and modifying pre-existent
institutions, and thereby opened up novel and hitherto unknown
fields of research, and brought into prominence once again those
investigations into movements of culture which had so long been
A student who wishes to study problems of culture mixture
and transmission is faced with a variety of choice of themes
and of regions to investigate. He can set out to examine topics
of greater or less scope in circumscribed areas, or he can under-
take world-wide investigations which embrace peoples of all ages
and civilisations. These two modes of research are complement-
ary : for extended inquiries give clues to difficulties encountered
in limited regions ; and detailed investigations in one area often
suggest others of the widest scope. In this book I have con-
fined myself to the region which has been my special object of
study for some years, and in the Introduction I have stated the
reasons why the subject treated is that of the Megalithic Culture.
I have tried to approach the study of the evidence without
bias. But, in confining my attention to the data collected from
the region I am investigating, and excluding the considera-
tion of information derived from other regions, such as India on
the west or Melanesia on the east, I have also striven to
guard against the tendency of assuming, either consciously
or unconsciously, that these alien cultural influences, the origin
of which I deliberately refrain from discussing here, did not
play a part in the history of Indonesian Society. As a matter
of fact, it became evident at an early stage in the inquiry that
the obtrusive factor in the problem was the determination of
the nature of such alien influences, which were mainly respons-
ible for shaping the cultures of Indonesian peoples. I have
resisted the strong temptation to search abroad for the sources
of these immigrant practices, ideas, and beliefs, and have tried
to analyse the evidence provided by Indonesia itself, and, from
scattered fragments, to reconstruct the history of certain Indo-
nesian customs and beliefs in places apparently free from the
more obtrusive disturbing influences of the Indian, Chinese, and
This necessarily involves the elimination of some of the most
attractive aspects of the problem of the Megalithic Culture.
But this gradual building-up of the history of Indonesia from the
local data alone, even though tedious, has revealed a great many
factors in the history of the civilisation of the world at large
which might have escaped notice if some such laborious analysis
as I have attempted here had not been undertaken.
I have discussed the burial customs but briefly in these pages,
a fuller examination of the evidence being left to another book,
upon which I am at present engaged.
Little cognition is taken also of the recent wide develop-
ments in the study of the distribution and spread of Megalithic
Culture, generally. To have done so would have upset the
scheme of the book, which is to provide mainly a foundation
upon which future workers can build up wider arguments, and
further develop the whole story of the migrations of early cul-
ture. If the book fulfils this function satisfactorily, I shall have
succeeded in my aim.
Careful students of the evidence put forward will observe
how many gaps exist in our knowledge of the cultures of In-
donesian peoples. These lacunae have seriously impeded the
work of constructing the scheme ; and it is my hope that the
realisation of the imperfection of the evidence will stimulate field
workers to record the necessary facts. The knowledge of the
paucity of the requisite data, and the hope that further informa-
tion may soon be collected by the many able Dutch ethno-
graphers, have decided me to limit the distribution tables to as
few elements as are absolutely necessary for the elucidation of
the argument. When I first began the inquiry my intention was
to base the argument mainly upon the facts of distribution, and
to construct for that end elaborate tables. But, as the scheme
gradually took shape, it became apparent that deep-seated
relationships, which could not be expressed by means of tables,
exist between the various groups of facts, and in the latter part of
the book more attention is paid to those matters than merely
to distributions. At the same time I look forward to the day
when it will be possible to construct complete distribution maps
for many cultural elements of Indonesia, and thereby to make
the exposition of the ethnology of that region so much the easier.
It would be ungracious on my part were I to fail to acknow-
ledge the great debt that I owe to Dr. Rivers. Not only did he
entirely remould my ideas, when I first became acquainted with
him in 1910, and introduce me to the great and fertile concep-
tion of culture-mixture ; but ever since he has always been ready
to help me with advice and criticism. He suggested the thesis
of this book and advised me regarding the method of investiga-
tion, and he has helped to clear away many obscurities in my
presentation of the case. I can only hope that the results ob-
tained constitute some slight return for all his kindness. I hope
also that I may have contributed something towards the develop-
ment of the thesis of culture-mixture with which his name will
ever be associated.
It is owing to the advocacy of Prof. Elliot Smith that this
book appears under the auspices of the Manchester University
Press. He has read the book more than once in MS., and has
helped to see it through the press. For this, and for many other
kindnesses, my best thanks are due to him.
Any student of ethnology working far away from libraries,
and unable to buy the necessary literature, would be seriously
handicapped were it not for the existence of an institution such
as the London Library. Were it not that Dr. Hagberg Wright,
the Secretary and Librarian, agreed to advise the Committee to
buy for me, an unknown young man, several expensive Dutch
works, it would have been impossible to have begun the work,
the first considerable instalment of which is now presented to
the reader. For this, and for many subsequent kindnesses on
the part of Dr. Hagberg Wright, and his able assistant, Mr. C. J.
Purnell, I cannot ever be too grateful. Nor can I omit to thank
Miss Hughes, the Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, and
her assistant, the late Mr. H. A. Good, for all the trouble that
they have taken on my behalf. The possession by the Royal
Asiatic Society of the two chief Dutch periodicals dealing with
the ethnography of the East Indian Archipelago has been a
circumstance of vital importance for me, and without the aid of
that Society I should have been seriously handicapped in my
My thanks are also due to Dr. A. C. Haddon for his kindness
in reading the proofs, and for the loan of literature; to Mr.
A. M. Hocart for reading the MS., and for offering me many
valuable suggestions ; to Heer Kruijt for information regarding
central Celebes; to Mr. J. A. Robertson and the American
Bureau of Insular Affairs for the loan of photographs ; and last,
but not least, to my sister, Miss K. M. Perry, for the excellent
line drawings and maps that appear in this book.
W. J. PERRY.
POCKLINGTON, zSth November, 1917.
PREFACE . vii
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xiii
I. INTRODUCTION i
II. MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 10
III. STONE GRAVES 20
IV. STONE OFFERING-PLACES 27
V. STONE SEATS 33
VI. THE USE OF STONE 40
VII. THE SECULAR USE OF STONE 50
VIII. SACRED STONES 57
IX. STONES AND TRADITION 66
X. STONE ORIGIN MYTHS 77
XI. BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 86
XII. INCESTUOUS UNIONS .96
XIII. FERTILITY 105
XIV. THE LAND OF THE DEAD 113
XV. HALF-MEN 120
XVI. PUNISHMENT TALES 124
XVII. TERRACED CULTIVATION 135
XVIII. THE PRIESTHOOD 141
XIX. "SOUL SUBSTANCE" 149
XX. RELATIONS WITH ANIMALS 155
XXI. THE SKY-WORLD 161
XXII. THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH 170
XXIII. CONCLUSION 180
DISTRIBUTION TABLES 192
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. GRAVE AT P^R^MADITA, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . . .12
2. DOLMENS AT WAINBIDI, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . . .15
3. DOLMEN AT WAIJELU, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . . .15
4. DOLMEN AT LANDUWITU-RATIMBERA, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . 18
5. STONE SEAT, NIAS (after Modigliani) 33
6. STONE SEAT, NIAS (after Modigliani) 35
7. STONE SEAT, NIAS (after Modigliani) 38
8. GRAVE OF CHIEF AT LAURA, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . . 40
9. GRAVE AT LAMBANAPU, SUMBA (after ten Kate) . . .45
I. IGOROT COUNCIL HOUSE ...... Facing 54
II. IGOROT TERRACED CULTIVATION .... 136
III. IGOROT TERRACED CULTIVATION .... ,,140
IV. STONE DAM MADE BY IGOROT .... 144
1. SKETCH MAP OF THE EAST INDIAN ARCHIPELAGO . Frontispiece
2. THE TORADJA OF CENTRAL CELEBES 6
3. THE BURMA-ASSAM REGION 7
4. DISTRIBUTION OF PEARL FISHERIES . . . . . .175
IT is the aim of this book to institute an inquiry into certain
problems connected with the cultures of the less advanced peoples
of Indonesia. The term Indonesia will be taken to include not
merely the East Indian Archipelago, to which it is usually
applied, but also Assam, Burma, the Malay Peninsula, the
Philippine Islands, and Formosa, which are inseparably linked
with it by racial and cultural bonds. The nature and scope of
the inquiry can best be set forth by means of an account of the
events which led to its inception.
In the course of an examination of the cultures of Mel-
anesian peoples, Dr. Rivers (in 1910) came to the conclusion that
the only way to account for the existence of certain customs
among the people of Melanesia was to adopt the hypothesis of
culture-mixture. He assumed that there had swept into that
region at least one wave of migration of people possessing cus-
toms and beliefs foreign to those of the indigenous population,
and that from the interaction of these two systems had resulted
the cultures which he was examining. An investigation into
groups of social phenomena, such as those connected with the
secret societies of the Banks Islands and elsewhere, conducted in
the light of the hypothesis of a cultural intrusion, led him to
momentous results, some of which were announced in his Presi-
dential Address to the Anthropological Section of the British
Association at Portsmouth in 1911.
This statement had an important consequence. In the
year 1908 Prof. Elliot Smith identified an alien racial element
of well-defined type that had intruded into the northern end
of Egypt before the Pyramid age. When he came to Eng-
land in 1909 and examined the human remains in various
2 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
museums, he found that similar aliens could be recognised in
many other places in the Mediterranean and Western Asiatic
areas. 1 In studying the literature relating to the finding of these
significant remains he discovered that, although in the Mediter-
ranean area they were invariably associated with megalithic
monuments, this association did not always obtain in Asia, es-
pecially in those places where these alien people were found in
greatest number and purity. The examination of these data,
and of the distribution of megalithic monuments, led him to
conclude that these aliens had migrated into the Mediterranean
area and had adopted, directly or indirectly, from Egyptian
sources, the custom of building megalithic monuments.
These views were communicated to the Royal Anthropological
Institute informally in the course of a discussion on 9th May,
1911, having already been set forth in the MSS. of the "Ancient
Egyptians," which was then ready for printing. But the chance
discovery of unmistakable representatives of the same Armenoid
racial type in the Chatham Islands started a world-wide search
for further evidence. He came to the conclusion that these
Armenoid traits afforded definite evidence of a widespread move-
ment of people, who built megalithic structures wherever they
went Dr. Rivers' Presidential Address served to crystallise
Prof. Elliot Smith's ideas, for the two investigations were com-
plementary the one of the other. In his Presidential Address
to the same section of the British Association in the following
year, Prof. Elliot Smith emphasised his adhesion to the views
of Dr. Rivers, and opened a discussion in which he put forward
the view that megalithic monuments, in whatever part of the
world they may be found, showed such similarities of structure
and associations that they must have been the work of people
sharing a common culture. This thesis he has maintained with
further evidence in succeeding years.
In 1913 another link in the chain of evidence was forged
by Dr. Rivers, who showed that the megalithic monuments of
Oceania were probably the work of sun-worshipping immigrants. 2
This result constituted important support for the thesis of Prof.
Elliot Smith, for, in Europe and the western Mediterranean, there
is also a direct association between megalith-building and the
1 I am much indebted to Prof. Elliot Smith for this account.
worship of the sun. In this way the independent researches ol
Dr. Rivers and Prof. Elliot Smith were converging upon the
problem of accounting for the presence of megalithic structures in
various parts of the earth. Working on utterly different kinds
of material from opposite sides of the world, these two investi-
gators were arriving at the same general conclusions. In view
of the widespread interest in megalithic monuments, and their
bearing upon the early history of mankind, it became neces-
sary to endeavour to trace the course of this migration into
The work which Dr. Rivers was carrying on in Melanesia,
and the constant discussions which we had maintained during
four years concerning the relationships of Indonesian beliefs and
customs to those of Melanesia and Polynesia, had fully persuaded
both of us that deep-seated cultural connections exist between
Oceania and Indonesia, and further, that the presence or absence
of megalithic culture in Indonesia, once firmly established, would
go far towards confirming or disproving the arguments of Dr.
Rivers and Prof. Elliot Smith. Indonesia occupies a position
of peculiar importance in relation to the main argument as to
the origin and nature of megalithic monuments, for it forms
the sieve through which any extensive migration from the West
to Oceania must pass. Any migration into the Pacific of sun-
worshipping megalith-builders should have left traces of their
passage in Indonesia. Dr. Rivers suggested that the evidence
for the existence of megalithic monuments and the sun-cult in
Indonesia should be collected and examined, and this task was
begun by me in the autumn of 1913.
If the problem that Dr. Rivers had to solve in Oceania
was complicated, the conditions under which it had to be
attempted were simple compared with those obtaining in Indo-
nesia. For the latter region is in intimate relationship with the
Asiatic continent, and has been exposed to a great variety of
cultural influences, from the effects of which it has shielded
Melanesia. Moreover, it includes a number of islands, such as
Java, which have been the seats of a variety of relatively high
civilisations for many centuries. Thus the problems of
Indonesia are vastly more complicated than those of Melanesia.
Evidence points to the possibility of a connection between India
4 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
and Java as early as 700 B.C., 1 a regular commerce being main-
tained between the two countries. Other influences, such as
those of the Chinese and the Arabs, have been at work in later
centuries. Moreover, the great activities displayed by the
Malays of Menangkabau in Sumatra, who have spread over the
East Indian Archipelago, occupying the littoral of many of the
islands, in many places together with Chinese traders, have
added to the complexity of ethnological problems in Indonesia.
But, in spite of this, many parts of Indonesia are inhabited by
peoples possessing cultures which seem to be relatively simple
and untouched by the influence of the higher civilisations.
Whether this apparent simplicity and purity be real is another
matter, the consideration of which must be deferred : but a fore-
shadowing of the answer to this question will be forthcoming in
this book. These peoples, however, afford a more favourable
subject for examination than those of Java and elsewhere. I
propose therefore for the present to leave on one side all peoples
whose culture shows signs of the influence of such higher civilisa-
tions as are associated with Brahmanism, Buddhism or Islam,
and to confine my attention to those whose culture appears to be
relatively simple. The portions of Indonesia which for this
reason I shall omit, are Java and Madura, Bali and Lombok in
the Sunda group ; the Banda and Seranglao groups ; Ternate
and Tidore in the Moluccas ; the south-west portion and the
Mohammedan coastal peoples of Celebes ; the coastal states of
Borneo ; the whole of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula ; and
the more advanced parts of Assam and Burma. These regions
are left blank on sketch map number one.
Since the argument will be concerned with the examination
of groups of facts recorded in most parts of Indonesia, it will be
necessary to adopt some fixed plan of presentation of the evi-
dence. I propose to begin each chapter with a statement of the
facts to be examined therein. To facilitate the reader's task in
following the unavoidably tedious narrative describing the
collecting of apparently trifling and unimportant scraps of evi-
dence from a vastly complex area, the same itinerary will be taken
in every case. It is hoped that the reader who familiarises
himself with the map on the first "survey," will experience no
1 Oldham has summarised this evidence.
difficulty later on with the oft-repeated references to geographical
names. The survey will begin with Sumbawa, and then will
work due east to Timorlaut by way of Flores, Solor, Adunara,
Sumba, Savu, Roti, Timor, Wetar, Damar, Keisar, the Leti Moa
Lakor group, Luang-Sermata, Babar, and Timorlaut. For the
purposes of this book I shall call the region occupied by these
islands the " Timor region ".
After reaching Timorlaut the survey will swing northwards
by way of the Aru and Kei Islands, Watubela, Ambon, Seran and
Buru, the Seranglao Islands being left out on account of the
strong influence of Mohammedanism there. The survey will
then proceed by way of Halmahera to the Philippines and
Celebes will next be treated. The two regions of this island
which will be considered are Minahassa and central Celebes.
The survey will next include Borneo, Nias, and the islands west
of Sumatra. In Assam and Burma the peoples to be considered
are the Khasi, Garo, Naga, Kuki, Lushei, Mikir, Chin and Karen.
Sketch map number one shows the route followed and the
areas to be examined.
Central Celebes will play an important part in the discussions
of this book. It is inhabited by coastal peoples who will not be
considered, and the Toradja of the interior. Kruijt and Adriani,
in their joint work on the Toradja tribes, divide them into three
groups. One of these is the Sadang group, which consists of
peoples living in the basin of the Sadang River. The constitu-
tion of the other two is a matter of uncertainty. Kruijt calls
them the Posso-Todjo and the Parigi-Kaili groups, or the eastern
and western Toradja. 1 Adriani also groups them as eastern and
western Toradja. But, unfortunately, these two authorities do
not include the same peoples in these groups. Kruijt places
the peoples of Bada, Besoa, and Napu (see sketch map number
two) among the west Toradja, and Adriani places them in the
east group, but in a division different from that including the
Posso-Todjo group. The difficulty of classifying the To Bada,
To Besoa, and To Napu is shown by the fact that, while the To
Napu belong to the west Toradja group culturally, they belong
linguistically to the Posso-Todjo group.
MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
W < O *
^ %. M
The position of the To Leboni is also a matter of doubt.
Adriani includes them with the Bada-Besoa-Napu group, 1 but
Kruijt puts them with the To Rato and To Rampi in the Sadang
SKETCH MAP No. 3.
The Burma-Assam region.
I shall therefore divide the Toradja into three groups :
In group three I have followed Adriani's sketch map. When
necessary, any peoples whose affinities are doubtful will be
mentioned by name.
> Op. cit. 111,351. *I, 5 .
8 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Sketch map number three shows the habitat of those peoples
of the Burma-Assam region who will be treated in this book.
It is the common experience of those who take up the
detailed study of a group of ethnographical facts in a given
region to find that the terms and limits of the inquiry cannot
be settled beforehand. Complexities occur, side-issues are
raised, and ramifications are detected, so that what appears at
first sight to be a definite problem really opens a vast field of
research, whose boundaries recede as the investigation advances.
This has happened in the present case. The preliminary sur-
vey, which was intended to collect the evidence concerning the
distributions of megalithic monuments and of sun-cult in
Indonesia, soon proved inadequate. Stone structures exist in
certain places, which, although they cannot definitely be claimed
as megalithic, approximate sufficiently in form to such structures
as to make it imprudent to ignore them. Moreover, typical
megalithic monuments in some places are so intimately associ-
ated with other structures of small stones, that it is necessary
to inquire into the circumstances attending the use of the latter.
Thus the problem became so involved that it was at length
decided to collect and examine the whole of the evidence con-
cerning stone-work in Indonesia, irrespective of the purpose to
which the latter was put, stone implements alone excepted.
In like manner, circumstances made it necessary to examine
all the beliefs concerning stones which have been recorded by
writers on Indonesian peoples, and these were accordingly
collected, even though their bearing upon the problem seemed
at first remote.
The attempt to record only the facts concerning the sun-cult
proved abortive ; for it was difficult to discover any standard to
which facts could be referred. Some peoples performed cere-
monies in honour of, and made offerings to, the sun, and thus
could be said to practice a sun-cult. But others merely enter-
tained certain beliefs concerning the sun. In other cases, again,
only tales about the sun had been recorded. The difficulty of
deciding which facts to retain for examination, and which to
reject, was avoided by including in the survey all practices,
beliefs, and tales concerning the sun that it was possible to
The basis of inquiry thus became greatly widened. It might
be expected that in this way the original problem would be lost
sight of amid the crowd of subsidiary inquiries thereby rendered
necessary. But this is not the case. For, as the examination of
these masses of facts proceeded, it became clear that they all had
a bearing upon the original problem. The impracticability of
dissecting out facts concerning megalithic monuments was seen
to be due, not to lack of knowledge, but to the close relationship
existing between these structures and the other stone-work of
Indonesia : the problem of determining the reasons for the ex-
istence of megalithic monuments in Indonesia was part of the
wider problem of accounting for stone-work in general. And
the same was the case with beliefs and practices concerning the
The method adopted was recommended by Dr. Rivers. A
chapter is devoted to the examination of each type of stone
structure, to each group of beliefs concerning stones, and to
each group of beliefs and practices concerning the sun. In this
way the argument is developed gradually, and a consistent
scheme is elaborated. Such a scheme forms an organic whole,
built up by induction on the sole basis of the examination of
facts. This method of examination necessarily makes the first
few chapters somewhat dull and difficult, but it is hoped that
the argument will gain in interest and clarity as it proceeds.
At every stage in the presentment of the evidence customs
and beliefs will be revealed in Indonesia for which more or less
close parallels are found widespread throughout the world. As
the aim of this book is to set forth the Indonesian evidence
impartially and to extract the story it reveals, the wider issues
have been deliberately suppressed for the present.
MEGALITHIC monuments are usually defined as structures made
of large stones, usually rough and unhewn, which conform to
certain well-marked types. Unfortunately, students do not
always use the same names for these various types ; so, before
proceeding to a consideration of the presence of megalithic
monuments in Indonesia, it will be necessary to define terms
which are being used in widely different senses. I shall follow
Mr. Peet He includes among the typical megalithic monu-
The menhir, a tall rough pillar with the base fixed into the earth ;
the trilithon, a pair of tall stones set at a short distance apart support-
ing a third stone laid across the top ;
the dolmen, a single slab of stone supported by several others arranged
in such a way as to enclose a space or chamber beneath it ;
the corridor tomb, usually consisting of a chamber entered by a gallery
or corridor. In cases where the chamber is no wider than, and hence indis-
tinguishable from, the corridor, the tomb becomes a long rectangular gallery,
and answers to the French alike couverte in the strict sense ;
the alignment, a series of menhirs arranged in open line on some definite
the cromlech, consisting of a number of menhirs arranged to enclose a
space, circular, elliptical, or, in rare cases, rectangular ; and
the hunenbett, consisting of a rectangular (rarely oval or round) heap of
earth covering a megalithic tomb this is a simple elongated rectangle in
shape made of upright blocks and roofed with two or more cover-slabs.
Rock-cut tombs. It is also recognised that the practice of placing the
dead in tombs cut out of the living rock is definitely to be associated with the
presence of megalithic structures.
It has long been a matter of common knowledge that mega-
lithic monuments are to be found in Assam. Unfortunately,
Dutch ethnographers, in their desire to record the less material
elements of the cultures of their subject peoples, have often over-
MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 11
looked, among other things, the stone monuments which exist in
certain parts of the East Indian Archipelago. Consequently, it
is not generally known that stone structures, which conform to
the types enumerated, exist in certain places. These structures
are not always made of large stones, nor are these stones always
unworked, but they are unmistakably " megalithic monuments"
in size or form. The objection that, to be called " megalithic "
a structure must be made of large unworked stones, is quite just,
if one submits to the strict limitations of the meaning assigned
to the term by archaeologists and ethnologists ; but the adoption
of such a rigid interpretation would close the door upon all real
investigation. The principle adopted in this book is that of
examining the facts without any reservations : so the only cri-
terion that will be adopted with regard to stone monuments
will be that of form. Any structures which are not of the
types enumerated will be examined later.
In the Timor region the presence of megalithic monuments
is as yet only definitely established in Sumba, although they
are probably to be found in the neighbouring islands. And the
only account of these structures which is at all detailed is that of
Dr. ten Kate, who describes some which he saw in the course
of a rapid journey through the island.
At Samparengo he saw dolmens of rough stones, examples
of which were also seen by him at Laonatang, a village in the
Kanata district. In this latter place he reports a dolmen con-
sisting of a table-stone supported by four pillars. 1 He saw some
old megalithic monuments, most of them dolmens and " hunen-
better," in the bush about Lambanapu. 2 He reproduces, in one
of his articles, a drawing of a dolmen in front of the house of a
chief of Lewa who lived at Lambanapu. 3
Ten Kate saw a dolmen in front of one of the houses at
Watubela. He also reports dolmens at Kopa and " hunenbetter "
at Labai. On a hill near the shore close to Landuwitu-Ratim-
bera, and near Peremadita he saw a number of dolmens, one
of which was 5 feet high. He describes some trilithons at the
1 (i)> 556. 2 It is not possible to say if Peet and ten Kate mean the same
thing by ' hunenbett ". The latter has not given any drawing or photograph of a
" hunenbett " to enable us to decide the point, which must therefore be left open-
(ii), Plate XX, 4.
MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
latter place, and gives reproductions of dolmens at Wainbidi and
Waijelu. 1 Roos records dolmens at Kambera. 2 Ten Kate found
many dolmens on the island of Salura.
The villages of Sumba are often built in the form of a square,
round which are to be found dolmens made of great stones, 10
to 1 2 feet high, 4 feet broad, and 1 8 inches thick, resting upon
short piles. 2
In Keisar, Leti Moa and Lakor, and Timorlaut, there are
stone structures which may possibly be related to dolmens.
Each of these consists of a large flat stone which rests upon
Fio. i. Grave at Pe"remadita, Sumba (after ten Kate).
several smaller ones, the latter being of such a size that the large
stone is only a few inches from the ground. 3 The description
suggests that they are dolmens of a modified type, but it would
not be wise to assume that they are real dolmens. They will
be considered later.
In the Kei Islands cromlechs are to be found, but no informa-
tion is to hand as to the size of the stones of which they are
The offering-places, in the villages of West Seran, consist
either of a large stone resting upon three or four others, or of
1 ('). 57 8 - 579, 582 ct scq. ; 588, 600, 605, 609, 6n, 626. See Plate. 8 (i), 56
t sq., de Oosterling, II, 1835, 72; Alderewereldt, 581. * Riedel (iv), Plates
XXXVIII, XXXV, 283. Rosenberg (iii), 351 ; Hugo Merton, 190.
MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 13
a large stone half-buried in the ground, the descriptions therefore
suggesting, in the first case, a dolmen, and, in the second case,
a menhir. 1 Riedel also mentions a structure consisting of a
large flat stone surrounded by smaller stones, the description
suggesting a dolmen associated with a cromlech. 2
Cromlechs are reported by Bastian in Halmahera. 3 No
evidence is yet to hand of the presence of megalithic structures
in the Philippines, or in Formosa.
In the Minahassa district of North Celebes the dead are
sometimes placed in rock-cut tombs. The cousins Sarasin saw,
in a hill near Kema, some of these tombs, the openings of which
were closed with boards or hewn stones. 4 Menhirs are sometimes
erected in pairs near the large stone urns in which, in this district,
the dead are generally placed. 5 In each Minahassa village there
is a stone structure, which consists of two, three, or sometimes
still more stones. In the latter case a number of smaller stones
surround one or more large stones, the description suggesting a
cromlech associated with menhirs. 6 Menhirs are reported among
the Posso-Todjo Toradja of Central Celebes. 7 At Bulili among
the To Bada is a cromlech, and on the same hill are many large
blocks of stone which may at some time have formed part of a
stone structure. 8 Among the To Lage a menhir is reported at
Wawo Lage, 9 and not far from the village of Pakambia some
menhirs are to be found. 10
On the Paloppo river the Sarasin cousins saw the mausoleum
of a chief, which was pyramidal in form. On the top of it was
a porcelain pot. 11 Many rock-cut tombs similar to those found
in Minahassa are to be seen in the Simbuang-Mapak valley. 12
They are called Liang, and are hewn out of the steep face of
the rocky eminence on which is placed the village to which they
belong. In the Rantepao valley alignments are to be found
on some of the small hills. 13
The Dusun of British North Borneo erect cromlechs. 14 They
1 Riedel (iv), 106 ; Sachse, 71 ; Ludeking, 58. 2 (iv), 106, 107. 8 17. 4 II,
10, ii. 6 Buddingh, II, 52. 6 Schwarz, 186. 7 Kruijt (iii), 208-9. 8 Ibid.,
(vi), 359; Grubauer, 517; Schuut, 16 et seq. 9 Kruijt and Adriani, I, 38-9.
"The To Lage are the aristocrats among the otherwise democratic Toradja."
10 Ibid., I, 60. u II, 148. 12 Grubauer, 200, 201, 203, 204, 206, 214, 218.
13 Ibid., 257, 278. 14 Ling Roth, I, 150.
I 4 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
are the only people of Borneo, who, so far as it has been possible
to discover, erect stone structures of the megalithic type.
In South Nias menhirs are erected, 1 and in East Nias each
village has one such menhir.' 2 De Zwaan gives a photograph in
his book of a menhir on the bank of the river Masio. 3 A crom-
lech is reported by Modigliani on the island of Nacco to the west
of Nias. 4
The Khasi of 'Assam have an elaborate system of megalithic
structures, chiefly alignments and menhirs, dolmens being com-
paratively rare. 5
The Garo erect menhirs, which they call asong and kosi,
according as they are placed near the village or in the forest. 6
The Naga have several megalithic structures : there are two
1 Stonehenges," one at Maram, which consists of an avenue of
two alignments ; and another at Uilong, which consists of two
contiguous cromlechs, one oval and the other circular, with an
alignment running from the edge of the former. 7 Mr. Hodson
reproduces a photograph of a menhir at Maikel which is sur-
rounded by a cromlech ; another of a huge menhir at Maram ;
and a third of a dolmen near the latter place. 8 Each Marring
Naga village has a cromlech. The Tangkhul Naga are closely
associated with a menhir, and the Kabui Naga erect menhirs. 9
Several of the clans of the Old Kuki of Manipur erect mega-
lithic monuments : the Amol erect menhirs ; the Hrangchal have
a large menhir at Vanlaiphai ; a number of dolmens made of
three rough slabs placed on edge, with a fourth for a roof,
which are still to be seen on the Biate hill, are the work of the
Biate ; a menhir is erected on certain occasions by the Thado ;
and dolmen-shaped structures are reported among the Chawte. 10
Menhirs are erected by the Kohlen clan of the Lushei. Fac-
ing page 65 of his book Colonel Shakespear reproduces a
photograph of the posts which the Lushei erect to commemorate
the slaying of a buffalo on the occasion of a feast. In a corner
of this photograph is a dolmen, formed, apparently, of four
stones placed on edge with a slab covering them. 11
Of the Chin tribes, the Sokte erect menhirs, and the Welaung,
1 Rappard, 541 ; Modigliani, 308. 2 Kruijt (iii), 209. 3 I, 69-70. 4344.
'Gurdon, no, 112, 136. Playfair, 82, 96-7. 'Hodson, 186 et seq. 8 Ibid.,
12, 102, 126, 132. "Ibid., 112, 198; Shakespear (iii). 10 Ibid. (i), 165, 171,
185,205. "Ibid, (i), 159.
MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 15
Chinbok, and Yindu erect dolmens, of which numbers, some
made of enormous stones, are to be seen in the Chinbok and
Yindu country. 1
The Mikir erect menhirs, alignments, and dolmens. 2
FIG. 2. Dolmens at Wainbidi, Sumba (after ten Kate).
This survey demonstrates the widespread existence in Indon-
esia of unmistakable megalithic monuments. The accounts of
these structures which are given by ethnographers and travellers
FIG. 3. Dolmen at Waijelu, Sumba (after ten Kate).
are so meagre that no comparative study of their form and
structure can be attempted. Without doubt the future con-
sideration of these matters will enable students to draw therefrom
important conclusions. At present, however, I shall call atten-
tion only to one or two points.
1 Carey and Tuck, 193 ; Scott, I, 467. 2 Stack, 33 ; Gurdon, 148.
16 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Dissoliths. The Khasi erect many alignments, the menhirs
in which vary in number from three to eleven, and their height
ranges from 2 to 3 feet up to 1 2 to 1 4 feet : one at Nartiang in
the Jaintia hills is 27 feet high and 2\ feet thick. A structure
resembling a dolmen, which consists of a flat table-stone resting
upon smaller stones, the top of the table-stone being generally 2
to 2- feet from the ground, the stone itself sometimes being I foot
thick, is generally placed in front of the tallest menhir, which is
in the centre of the alignment. These people also place flat
table-stones, accompanied by a menhir, by the side of the road,
and in the market-places. The groups of this kind which are at
Nartiang are called ki-maw-jong-siem, and no separate designa-
tion is given to each stone. 1
It will be convenient to give these groups a name : I there-
fore propose to call them " dissoliths ". 2 These structures are
made by other people than the Khasi.
In his book Mr. Hodson reproduces a photograph of some
Kabui girls, one of whom is standing upon a table-stone. By
the side of the table-stone is a menhir, and the two apparently
form a dissolith. 3 The Vuite memorial, of which Colonel Shake-
spear gives a photograph, has the appearance of a dissolith. 4 The
dolmen shape of the table-stone portion is definite, but it is not
possible to be so certain as to the relationship of the menhir
standing by. They may form either an independent pair, or a
The Thado clan of the Old Kuki erect a memorial to a
woman who has performed the Buh Ai ceremony. 5 It consists
of a dissolith, surrounded by a rectangular enclosure of about
4 square yards, which is formed by lines of stones set on edge ;
the interior of the space so formed is filled with small stones set
The Mikir erect alignments with table-stones in front of the
In each village of Minahassa is a sacred stone structure called
tumatowa, which, as we have seen, may consist of one, two, or
1 Gurdon, 143 et seq. a I am indebted to my friend Mr. J. W. Kernick for
this term. ' (i), 32. (i). B A feast given by a wealthy person who has had
an exceptionally good harvest. Shakespear (i), 90. 6 Gurdon, 148.
MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 17
more stones. Generally, however, the tumatowa is a dissolith. 1
The presence of a tumatowa in each village is essential, and the
first care of those who wish to establish a new village is to
obtain a tumatowa and to find a spot on which to place it.
Large dissoliths are placed outside the houses of chiefs and
notables in Nias. In north Nias dissoliths are erected outside
the village in a place called the dela, of which the missionary
Thomas gives the following description : " Under shady trees
(at Siraheo) were placed, in a semicircle, two rows of stones
about 8 inches above the ground, and in front of each lay one of
about \ an inch with a broken dish upon it. A single stone at
one end was somewhat larger than the rest, as was also that
which lay at its foot." 2
Dissoliths thus play a noteworthy part in the lives of the
peoples of at least three widely separated parts of Indonesia:
Assam and Upper Burma, Minahassa, and Nias. In Assam they
are used in conjunction with the alignments, in the market-place
and elsewhere; in Minahassa they are found in most of the
villages; and in Nias the chiefs erect them in front of their
houses, and, presumably, the commoners place them in the dela.
The presence of dissoliths in Assam, Minahassa, and Nias, three
places where undoubted megalithic monuments exist, and their
intimate association in the first-named place with alignments,
suggest that they are to be included among the megalithic
monuments of Indonesia. It will be one of the tasks of this
book to account for the presence and functions of these struc-
Structures of Worked Stone. The megalithic monuments of
Indonesia are sometimes worked with tools. The alignments of
the Khasi are generally formed of menhirs of hewn granite or
sandstone. These menhirs are made to taper off at the top, and
the tallest menhir of the alignment, which is in the middle, is
sometimes surmounted by a small annular stone, which fits on
to the larger stone. Examples of such carved stones are to be
seen at Nongkrem, where the central stone of an alignment
is carved evidently to represent the head of a man ; and at
Umstow, two miles from Cherra-punji, where the central menhir
a Schwarz, 186, 201-2; tales, 60, 71, 73, 77, 78. 2 Rappard, 536, 571:,.
Modigliani, 295 307 ; Chatelin, 150.
i8 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
of an alignment of five menhirs is surrounded by a curved stone
covering, shaped like a hat with an indented rim. 1
The large dolmens in Sumba are often made of smooth and
well-worked stones. Ten Kate's drawings of some of these
structures are reproduced in this book so as to convey some idea
of the bizarre and fantastic nature of their ornament. Figure 9
is a reproduction of a dolmen consisting of a truncated pyramid
resting, so far as can be seen, upon four rectangular pillars.
Figure I shows a dolmen and a menhir at Permadita. The
FIG. 4. Dolmen at Landuwitu-Ratimbera, Sumba (after ten Kate).
dolmen consists of a flat stone (upon which representations of
fishes are carved) resting upon four rough corner-stones. At one
end stands a menhir with a carved headdress which resembles
that of a Hawaiian war-god : on it are carvings that appear to
represent the sun. Another menhir, also with apparent repre-
sentations of the sun carved on it, appears to be standing by the
side of the dolmen. Figure 3 is taken from ten Kate's sketch
of a monument near Waijelu. It consists of a rough table-stone
with a circular hole cut in it (but whether this be a cup-marking
1 Gurdon, 143-5.
MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS 19
or a perforation it is not possible to tell), which rests upon four
rough stones. On the ground is a circular piece of stone carved
with an apparent representation of the sun. At one end is a
small pyramidal menhir ; and at the other end is a large menhir
worked in a manner termed " a jour " by ten Kate. This form
of ornamentation is to be seen in Figure 3. Figure 2 is a re-
presentation of typical dolmens of rough stones. Figure 8 is
a reproduction of a structure, which, although not definitely
megalithic in type, is undoubtedly the work of the people who
made the megalithic monuments of Sumba. A truncated rec-
tangular pyramid rests upon a rectangular stonework platform
made of stones laid in courses, and a large flat stone is laid on
the top of the pyramid. Some* drawings are to be seen on the
Ten Kate describes, but does not give drawings of, other stone
structures. At the head and foot of a dolmen at Kopa, which
had two cup-shaped depressions in the table-stone, were single
menhirs (on which representations of ifishes, crabs, crocodiles,
and horses were carved), each in the form of a man. They stood
back to back, and ten Kate says that the faces resembled
slightly those of the images on Easter Island. Ten Kate also
found human figures carved upon the menhirs standing by the
side of a dolmen at Lawiri-Ladesa.
The megalithic monuments of Sumba are therefore diverse in
form, and their ornamentation is remarkable. They fall into two
groups: ordinary dolmens of rough stones, which seem to be
those of the commoners ; and other dolmen-like structures of
varied form which are said by ten Kate, in some cases, to be
connected with the chiefs. This distinction between chiefs and
commoners will occupy our attention continually in later chapters.
IT will be necessary to return in a later chapter to the considera-
tion of the functions and associations of megalithic monuments,
but it is essential first to examine those divisions of the stone-
work of Indonesia, which, although not megalithic in form, are
similar in function. The next three chapters will therefore be
devoted to this investigation, and then a comparison will be made
between the two groups of stone-work, megalithic monuments
and non-megalithic structures.
In this chapter I shall examine all forms of graves in the
construction of which stone is used. These will be called
"stone graves". The survey will even include cases where,
after an interment, a few pebbles are laid on the surface of the
grave. This course is adopted because it would be begging
the question to assume beforehand the meaning of the presence
of stone-work, to however small an extent, on graves. It is
better to cast the net too wide, and to reject later, than to miss
out what further investigation may prove to be of importance.
The Do Donggo of the Bima hill country of Sumbawa inter
their dead in a round hole, upon which they place a stone. 1 In
Flores, in the Endeh region, the dead are interred, and a heap
of stones is placed upon the grave : 2 the people of Manggarai
bury their dead in a round hole upon which they place a stone. 3
In the island of Solor a rectangular heap of stones is placed upon
the grave ; in the island of Adunara a stone structure is placed
upon the grave, 4 of which ten Kate gives a representation. 6
He mentions white-plastered graves in Savu. 6 A rectangular
structure of stones is placed on the graves of commoners in Roti,
^ollinger (i), 129, (ii) 691-2; Freijss, 5 o. s Ten Kate (i), 206. 8 Hoedt,
510. Ten Kate (i), 239, 241, 245. 8 (ii), PI. IV. 8 (i), 695.
STONE GRAVES 21
but chiefs are placed in white-plastered tombs. 1 On the graves
in south-west Timor either a heap of stones or a single stone
is placed, the latter being sometimes 6 feet in length. In the
Bakanasi district of Timor, the body of a chief is placed in a
stone house, and the door is closed up. 2 The grave structures
in Belu are of stone, and are elliptical or rectangular in shape :
those on the graves of chiefs may reach the height of 3 to 6
feet, but those on the graves of commoners are generally only a
few inches in height. A vertical stone generally stands at the
head of the grave, which is also sometimes surrounded by a stone
In Wetar the dead are interred, and each person who has
taken part in the funeral ceremony places a stone on the grave,
where they lie in rows. Stones about 3 feet high are placed
on the graves of chiefs and notables. 4 Jacobsen states that the
graves of chiefs and notables have heaps of stones on them. 5 In
Keisar the dead are interred at the side of the house, the grave
being afterwards filled up with stones to the height of 18
inches. Later on the graves of notables are built up. 6 The
people of Leti Moa and Lakor inter their dead, and a mound of
earth, surrounded by a ring of stones, is made on the grave. 7
The dead are sometimes interred in the Babar Islands, the grave
being covered with stones. 8 The graves in Kei Islands are
generally surrounded by a wall of rocks : one grave on Nuhu-
roa consists of a small house 8 feet by 4, made for the most
part of stone : 9 Langen describes an old grave on the shore
made out of coral rock. 10 The dead are sometimes interred in
Watubela. In such cases a stone is placed at the head and foot
of the grave. 11 In Ambon the dead are interred, and the graves
are covered with a structure of large stones. 12
Bastian gives the following account of a mode of disposal in
Seran. He says that the bodies of chiefs and priests among the
" Alfurus" of that island are exposed on platforms. The head
is taken from the half-decayed body and interred in the village
in a stone coffin called Jole-ului. lz This is not mentioned by any
!Ten Kate (i), 664, 688; Heymering, 354 et seq. 2 J.D.K., 27; Ten Kate
(i), 343; Reinwardt, 342 ; S. Muller, II, 261. 3 Gryzen, 71. 4 Riedel (iv), 453.
5 114. 6 Riedel (iv), 420-1. 7 Ibid., 394. 8 Ibid., 359. 9 Pleyte, 825;
Jacobsen, 196. 10 58. n Riedel (iv), 211. 12 van Schmid, 593. ls I, 142.
22 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
other writers, but, in view of the fact that platform-disposal
occurs in the north-west part of the island, it is probably
The dead are interred round Lake Wakollo in Buru, and a
stone is placed at the head and foot of the grave. 1
In the Philippines stone graves are found. The Mandaya of
Mindanao inter their dead, or else place them on the ground
with a heap of stones over them. 2 The Tinguinanen inter their
dead, and place a large stone on the grave. 3 The Benguet-
Lepanto Igorot put their dead in coffins, which are placed either
in caves or under a large stone. 4 Among the Bontoc, unmarried
people are interred, near the house, in a grave which is lined
with stone. After the interment, the body is covered with
rocks, and the grave is then filled up with earth. 5 The Bontoc
are head-hunters, and a man whose head has been taken is
placed in an excavation made in the side of a mountain, and
the mouth of this hole is then filled up with stones.
A similar custom is found among the Ifugao of Luzon. A
man whose head has been taken is placed in an excavation in
the side of a mountain. The roof of the cave is supported by
pillars of stone or of earth, and the mouth is filled up with
The Paiwan of Formosa either inter their dead under the
house in a grave which they fill up with stones, or else they make
the grave in a thick wood, the grave in this case being lined with
stone. The south Ami also inter their dead, and place a stone
on the grave. The Tsou inter their dead near to the entrance
of the house in a grave 5 to 6 feet deep. Over the body, and
at some little distance from it, a large stone is placed, and earth
is put on this stone to fill up the grave. 7
The dead in Minahassa are generally placed in stone urns,
which formerly were kept near the houses. These urns vary in
size and shape, some being tall, and the others squat : the bottom
part is hollowed out from a block of sandstone ; while the top
part, which serves as a lid, is shaped like the roof of a house. 8
Graves with a stone superstructure, which are to be seen in
1 Martin, 326. 2 Cole, 193. 3 Blumentritt, 163. 4 Sawyer, 259.
' Jenks, 74 et seq. 6 Beyer (ii), 237. 7 Davidson, 575, 579. 8 Sarasin, II, u ;
Graafland, I, 481 ; Mangindaan, 364; Riedel (i), 259.
STONE GRAVES 23
the district of central Celebes now inhabited by the To Pebato,
are said to be those of To Pajapi chiefs. 1
At Salubalombo, the cousins Sarasin saw a house built on
a substructure of stones.^ Inside were two graves each with a
stone at the head and foot. Outside were a number of graves,
each with a stone on it. The custom of placing the dead in
clefts of the rocks is found among the people of the Simbuang-
Mapak valley. 3
The Kayan of Borneo place a cairn of stones on the grave
of a man who has been " murdered ". 4
The Khasi cremate their dead. The ashes are placed in the
family mausoleum, and are afterwards taken to the clan reposi-
tory. Both of these structures are of stone. 5 They also make
circular stone cineraria. The Tangkhul Naga inter their dead
outside the house in a circular grave, which is filled up with
stones. After the interment a stone wall is built around and
over the body. 6 The Kabui Naga inter their dead, and place a
stone at the head and foot of the grave. Sometimes they place
their dead in an excavation in the side of a hill, and close up the
opening with stones. 7 The Angami Naga inter their dead in a
coffin which has a stone lid. A stone tomb is made on the grave,
which, in the case of warriors, is 3 feet high, and has stone
or wooden pillars. 8 The Lushei sometimes place their dead on
a platform by the side of the road outside the village. The
platform is made of wood for a commoner, but in the case of a
chief it is of stone. 9 The Haka, Shunkla, and other southern
Chin tribes inter their dead in graves lined with stone. 10 The
Mikir cremate their dead and place the ashes in a grave, upon
which they place a stone. 11 The Karen-ni of southern Burma
inter their dead. 12 The grave is 6 to 7 feet deep in the case of a
commoner, and 20 feet for a chief. The grave is filled up with
Though the facts put forward in this chapter are not so
complete as could be wished, it is possible to derive from them
1 Kruijt and Adrian!, I, 43 ; the To Pajapi belong to the Posso-Todjo group.
2 II, 136-7. 3 Grubauer, 200 et seq. 4 Ling Roth, I, 358. 5 Gurdon, 140.
6 Pettigrew, 37 et seq. 7 Hodson, 14 ; Brown, 106; McCulloch, 52. 8 A.C.R.,
1891,240; Prain, 492; Hunter, II, 185. 9 Shakespear (i), 85. 10 Scott, 469;
Carey and Tuck, 179, 192. " A.C.R., 1891 ; Stack. 12 Macmahon, 417.
24 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
information which will help considerably towards the solution
of the general problem of this book, that of accounting for the
presence of stone-work in Indonesia, and of megalithic monu-
ments in particular. The main outlines of the argument of the
first part of this book will be adumbrated in this chapter, and
the discussions of succeeding chapters will, in addition to reveal-
ing new facts, contribute new results to confirm the conclusions
which are suggested by the study of the distribution, structure,
and function of stone graves.
The distribution of stone graves may be seen by consulting
the tables at the end of the book. They occur through the
Timor region as far as the Babar Islands. They are not found
in Timorlaut or the Aru Islands. They only occur in a sporadic
manner, if at all, in Seran, and they are not found in the northern
part of Buru. Another gap in the distribution occurs in central
Celebes, in the region of the Posso-Todjo Toradja. Borneo is
devoid of stone graves, except for the cairns of the Kayan, which
are only made for a certain category of people, and not for every-
body. Numerous gaps therefore occur in the distribution ; in
Timorlaut, Aru, Seran, Buru, central Celebes, and Borneo.
Stone graves vary in structure from stone houses to a few
pebbles on the surface of a grave. In the Timor region a certain
uniformity is observable in the shape, if not in the size, of tombs.
The general custom is to inter the dead and then to pile up a
heap of stones, either in courses or irregularly, on the surface of
the grave. This form of stone grave does not appear to be made
in other parts of Indonesia, nor is there any other general type
occurring over those parts of Indonesia outside the Timor region.
But attention must be called to similarities between certain
graves of the Philippine and Formosan peoples, on the one hand,
and the Naga tribes of Assam on the other. The Bontoc of
Luzon and the Formosan peoples sometimes dig graves which
they line with stone: this custom exists also among the Tang-
khul Naga. Also the Bontoc and Ifugao of Luzon, on the one
hand, and the Kabui Naga, on the other hand, make a singular
form of grave by excavating a hole in the side of a mountain,
and then, when the body has been placed therein, filling up the
entrance with stones.
Other examples of similar forms of tombs made by widely
STONE GRAVES 25
separated peoples are the stone houses of Roti, south-west Timor,
the Kei Islands, and the Sadang district of central Celebes ; the
stone urns of Minahassa and Seran ; and the rock-clefts of Luzon
and the Sadang district of central Celebes. But for the purposes
of this book, the cases to be noted are those of the graves of the
Timor region, and the excavations in the sides of mountains
made by the Bon toe, Ifugao, and Kabui Naga, the significance of
which will shortly be seen.
It is now necessary to turn to the study of the functions of
stone graves, whereby a distinction of fundamental importance
will be revealed. For, in the Timor region, the tombs which are
made for chiefs and notables differ, either in form or in size, from
those made for commoners. This distinction is shown in the
Adunara: Solid built-up structure. Heap.
Roti: House. Heap.
S. W. Timor: House. Stone on Stone on grave.
Belu: Solid built-up structure (3-6 Solid built-up structure (few inches).
Wetar: Heap. Large stones. Small stones.
Keisar: Filled with stones and built Filled with stones, but not built up.
In Roti and south-west Timor, the bodies of chiefs are put in
a stone house. This is nowhere reported in the case of com-
moners. When chiefs and commoners are interred, the size of
the grave structure diminishes, both in the case of chiefs and of
commoners, from west to east, until it disappears in places where
stone graves are not reported. But in all cases the tombs of
chiefs are larger than those of commoners. The chiefly class
therefore appears to be more closely connected with stone graves
than the commoners.
The evidence derived from other parts of Indonesia supports
this conclusion. The most striking is that afforded by the
Toradja of central Celebes. With the exception of the To Pa-
japi and perhaps the To Lage, the Posso-Todjo group lack
hereditary chiefs. And the only stone graves which are reported
in the lands of this group of the Toradja are those ascribed to
26 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
the chiefs of the To Pajapi. 1 Hereditary chiefs and stone graves
are therefore closely connected among the Posso-Todjo Toradja.
In other cases a direct association exists between chiefs and
stone graves. In the Sadang district of central Celebes the stone
house at Salubalombo, seen by the Sarasin cousins, contained the
grave of a chief; and the platforms made by the Lushei are of
stone in the case of chiefs. To these may be added the doubt-
ful case of the use of stone urns for chiefs in Seran.
The study of the associations of stone graves has therefore
revealed the existence in several places of a chiefly class the
members of which have more elaborate tombs than the com-
But such a distinction is not reported everywhere. In
some of these cases a special form of grave is associated with
warriors whose heads have been taken. This is so among the
Bontoc and Ifugao of Luzon, who place them in graves excavated
in the side of a mountain ; among the Kayan, who place cairns
of stone over them ; 2 and among the Angami Naga who con-
struct a specially elaborate tomb on the graves of their warriors.
It is remarkable that the special form of grave consisting
of an excavation in the side of a mountain, which the Bontoc
and Ifugao make, should be associated with warriors. The
fact would be still more striking if the Kabui Naga also reserved
their graves in the sides of mountains for the same class, but un-
fortunately no one has made a note of this point. But the
Kabui Naga are allied to the Angami, who, as we have just seen,
make a special form of grave for their warriors. So this distinc-
tion may also hold among the Kabui Naga.
1 Kruijt and Adriani, I, 38. 2 I think that, in the case of the Kayan, men
who have been " murdered " can be included in the class of warriors whose heads
have been taken.
THE peoples of Indonesia place offerings upon graves or on
sacred stones, or on altars specially made, either of stone or wood
for the purpose. It is the aim of this chapter to collect and
examine the accounts of stone structures made for the purpose of
In front of every house of the Do Donggo in the Bima dis-
trict of Sumbawa is a smooth table-stone. 1 Ten Kate describes
several offering-places in the villages of the Sicca district of
Flores : in the houses flat offering-stones are placed near the
hearth, and in the villages themselves are offering-places con-
sisting of pointed posts surrounded by heaps of stones regularly
piled up round them. Ten Kate saw, in a village of Lio in this
district, a wooden post with a hollow in the top, in which was a
stone. Opposite a chief's house in Sicca he also saw a stone
pillar roughly carved into a cylindrical shape, in the top of which
were nine cup-markings. 2 In the open space opposite the house
of the chief in every village of Manggarai (in Flores) is a large
stone structure made of colossal stones, flat on top, with room for
several people. 3
Offering-places of stone occur in the villages of Solor and
Adunara. 4 In Solor, at Namang, Tukang, and Lamakera are
structures which consist of four flat stones placed on edge so as
to form a square surrounding a wooden pole. 5 In front of one
of the houses at Watubela in Sumba, ten Kate saw a table-stone
with a wooden pole near it. Offering-stones are also found in
this island. 6
1 Zollinger (i), 129; Freijss, 510. 2 Ten Kate (i), 209, 215, 222, 224.
3 Meerburg, 449-50, 464. 4 Ten Kate (i), 239, 241, 245. 5 Ibid, (li), 14.
28 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Stones are used for offering-places in Savu. Some seen by
ten Kate were one metre or so in length, and shaped like up-
turned pots with a flattening at one end. 1 Donselaar mentions
large stones in this island : fifteen at Seba, seven at Musara, and
four at Timo, some of them round or oval in shape, 6 to 8 feet
in diameter, 3 or 4 feet high, and more or less flat on top. 2
Captain Cook says that each chief in Savu places a stone in the
principal village of his district : some of these stones are so large
that it is difficult to imagine how they could have been brought
to their present position, especially when they are placed on the
tops of high hills. 3 Each god also has a holy stone upon which
dogs are sacrificed during feasts. 4 The Savu people who are
resident in Timor worship at a holy stone in a stone building in
the middle of the town of Kupang. 5 Ten Kate describes an
offering-place, situated on a corner of the wall near the house of
a chief at Kota Nitu in the Dela district of Roti, which consists
of a wooden pole standing upon a circular structure of stones. 6
In this island offerings are made to the dead on heaps of stone
called hufaliana lipelaliha"
Ten Kate reports that at the corners of the chiefs house at
Atuli Helong, in south-west Timor, there are some great stones,
more or less oval in shape. 8
The people of Belu use stone offering-places, made of piled-
up stones, with a flat stone on top. 9 An offering-place seen by
ten Kate at Lahurua in Fialarang, in a thicket near Mt. Lekaan,
consisted of a circular built-up stone structure provided with a
roof. The horizontal stone was, he says, suggestive of a human
figure. 10 He describes another offering-place, consisting of a
wooden pole standing on a circular heap of stones near the
entrance to the village of Kewar, Lamakera, in central Timor,
and close to some platforms made of immense stones. The pole
was carved roughly in the form of a human figure, and a flat
stone was laid on its head. 11 The village of the chief of Sauo in
central Timor has a village-house where is kept the vatu luli, or
holy stone, on which offerings are made. 12 A flat stone, which is
to be seen on the top of Mt. Fatunarak in Saluki, is the most
1 (0.695- 8 3io. 'S.Muller, II, 282-3. 4 Bastian, 11,67. 8 S.Muller,
11,282. 6 (ii), 15; (iv), 44. 7 Bastian, II, 66. 8 (i), 356. 9 Gryzen, 75-6.
10 ('). 363, 364, 368, 377. " (ii), 12, and (iv), 36. ia Forbes, 444.
STONE OFFERING-PLACES 29
sacred altar in the kingdom. 1 In east Timor the people make
stone heaps, 2 and also have stone offering-places in their
Riedel gives a reproduction of what is apparently an offering-
place on an old grave in Keisar. It consists of a flat table-stone
resting upon several small stones. 4 Similar structures are found
in Leti Moa and Lakor, and in Timorlaut. 5 Offering-stones are
also found in Dama. 6 Two forms of stone offering-places are
found in the Leti Moa Lakor group: the first consists of a
wooden post, surrounded by a heap of stones ; the second con-
sists of a heap of flat stones, generally basalt or trachite. 7
The stone offering-places in the Luang-Sermata Islands con-
sist of a rectangular heaped-up stone structure, with a large flat
stone, called watuleari, at each corner. Another stone where
offerings may be made is the watuornoho, a large block 6 feet
in length, which is placed near the village drinking-place. 8 A
wooden pole surrounded by a rectangular heap of stones exists in
each village in the Babar Islands. 9 Certain stones are used as
offering-places on some of the uninhabited islands of Timorlaut, 10
but in each village, under the holy tree, is an offering-place
consisting of a heap of stones. 11 These heaps are also to be
found in the Kei Islands. Hugo Merton gives a photograph
of an offering-place in the village of Ohoinangan in the Kei
Islands which consists of a rectangular structure of flat stones.
He reports another on the island of Waor. 12
A stone, upon which offerings can be made, is to be found
in the middle of each village in Watubela. 13 Four varieties of
stone offering-place are known in Ambon : the haubawa is not
described ; the hau kamar warsela is the stone on which the
dammar torch must be burnt ; the hatu rest has already been
described in chapter ii. ; while the ureu is a rough masonry
structure with some dark stones on top. 14 Martin gives a repro-
duction of an offering-place in Hatalai, consisting of a granite
block of natural formation shaped like a huge bowl. Offering-
stones are found near the village-houses in the south part of
Forbes, 467. 2 Ibid., 436. 3 Ibid., 468. <(iv), Plate XXXVIII.
B Ibid., Plate XXXV ; (iv), 28 r, 283, 276. 6 Ibid., 463. 7 Ibid., 379 ; v. Hoevell
205; Jacobsen, 140; Kolff, 68. 8 Riedel (iv), 314. 9 v. Hoevell 205.
10 Riedel (iv), 280-1. al v. Doren (ii), 82. ia v. Hoevell, 152; Merton, 189.
11 Riedel (iv), 196. 14 Ibid., 56-7.
30 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Buru : they are not recorded in the north part. Blocks of stone
are scattered about in the grass on the banks of the river
Waemala in this island. One of them, a piece about 4 feet long,
is considered to be the property of the people of Lisela, and not
of those of Masarete, in which district it is situated. Near by is
an altar made of a flat rectangular piece of limestone 6 feet long,
3 feet broad, and 3 feet high. At each corner a stone sticks out
like a horn ; and around the whole, on the ground, flat stones are
laid in a ring. On top of the large stone is a flat hearth. 1
The Igorot of Luzon have an offering-stone under the sacred
tree outside each village. 2
In Assam, the Quoireng Naga and the Tangkhul Naga make
conical heaps of stones to which they exhibit the heads taken
on raids. 3 The priests of Mao and Maikel each keep a holy
stone : that at Maikel is a mass of conglomerate, which is always
kept hidden in the house of the priest. 4 The chiefs of the Tashon
branch of the Chin use a large rock as an altar. 5
The study of the distribution, structure, and associations of
stone offering-places yields results in harmony with those obtained
in the last chapter. The tables at the end of the book show that
stone offering-places are not found in the north part of Buru,
among the Posso-Todjo Toradja, and in Borneo, three places
where the general use of stone graves is not reported. 6 An
examination of the accounts shows that, in the islands of the
Timor region stone offering-places consist generally of a wooden
post surrounded by a circular or rectangular heap of stones, a
form of structure not reported elsewhere in Indonesia. This
agrees with the results obtained in the survey of the stone graves,
which disclosed the existence in the Timor region of the uniform
distribution of a certain form of tomb which was peculiar to that
region. The remaining stone offering-places of Indonesia do not
present any structural features which need be noted here.
In some places a relationship exists between chiefs and
offering-places : in Sicca a special offering-place is mentioned,
which is in front of the house of a chief: the chiefs of Savu and
'Martin, 287, 347. 2 Sawyer, 259. :; Hodson, 188. 4 Ibid., 189.
6 Carey and Tuck, 198. 6 Places such as Nias, where megalithic monuments are
present, are not considered.
STONE OFFERING-PLACES 31
Sauo in central Timor have an offering-place in their principal
villages. Ten Kate saw at Kota Nitu in Roti, and at Atuli
Helong in Timor, an offering-place near the house of a chief.
Formerly in Ambon only the village chiefs could use certain of
the offering-places : and the Tashon chiefs have special offering-
places. Thus the study of stone offering-places has brought to
light fresh examples of the association between chiefs and the
use of stone.
In Bima, Sicca, and east Timor offering-places are found in
or near the houses of commoners. But in the majority of cases
offering-places occur singly in a village. This is shown in the
in or near
in or near
S.W. Timor .
E. Timor .
Leti Moa Lakor
32 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The study of stone offering-places introduces another com-
plication into the problem of accounting for the existence of
stone-work in Indonesia. It is not only necessary to account for
the fact that the association between chiefs and stone is more
direct than that between commoners and stone : we now have to
account for the existence of single offering-places in each village
of so many islands.
CIVILISED peoples are so accustomed to sitting upon seats that
the use of such things by Indonesian peoples does not at first
seem strange. Yet the act of sitting upon a special structure of
any kind is foreign to many peoples of low civilisation. So far
as I can judge, from the examination of a large number of photo-
graphs, Indonesian peoples habitually sit on mats, or squat on
FIG. 5. Stone Seat, Nias (after Modigliani).
One prerogative of the chiefs of Nias is that of sitting upon
stone seats, which are generally carved in the most elaborate
and ornate manner. Modigliani saw such seats at Hili Simaetano
in south Nias : one, which was like an elaborate throne (Figure 7),,
had been left on a hillock just outside the village until a proper
site had been prepared inside for it ; and another, in the form of
a chair with arms, was inside the village. 1 At Bawo Mataluo-
1 308, 311, 312, 317 ; Rappard, 537.
34 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
the four principal chiefs sit, during ceremonies, on stone seats
placed under the four principal piles of the village-house, while
the other chiefs sit upon wooden seats ranged around the walls.
Sometimes, as at Hili Sindregeasi and Ono Gamofo in Irono
Lase, the chiefs sit during assemblies on flat cylindrical stones
which rest upon short vertical stones. 1
In the preceding chapters it was seen that chiefs are more
directly associated with the use of stone than commoners. It
will therefore be necessary to follow up the clue afforded by the
custom of providing stone seats for the exclusive use of chiefs.
Stone seats are reported in the Timor region. In tales col-
lected by Wielenga in Sumba, mention is made of "the great
seat " (groot zitplaats) : for example, it is said that a certain
I Mili Kami " stayed on the great seat with all the people ". 2
The people of Roti make stone structures, called tutu, which
are placed either under trees or by the side of the road. 3 In the
latter case passers-by sit on them and rest. They are of two
forms, consisting either of a heap of stones laid in courses or
roughly assembled, or else of flat stones placed on edge, with
others on them, to form a structure resembling a table. 4
The Savu people who are settled in Timor worship at a holy
stone, which is kept in a house at Kupang. When they worship
they sit on stone benches. 5
Riedel gives reproductions of a stone seat by the side of a
grave in Keisar, and of images seated upon heaps of stones.**
The chiefs in Leti Moa and Lakor have stone seats called watu-
The Bontoc of Luzon erect stone seats round the courtyard
of their men's house, the pabafunan* The Tangkhul Naga
make stone seats of flat stones. 9 They also construct stone
structures in the following way : round a mound of earth stones
are placed to the height of 2 feet or more ; on top of the mound
is placed a large flat stone which is considered to be the most
important part of the structure. These structures are about 20
feet long and 8 feet wide, and the stones on the sides are much
1 Rappard, 537. * 266-7. 3 Ten Kate (i), 664, 688; Heymering, 354 et seq.
Ten Kate (i), 684. 'S. Muller, II, 282. 6 (iv), Plate XXXVIII.
'Plate XXXV. 8 Jenks. 9 I am indebted to Mr. Hodson for this
STONE SEATS 35
used as resting-places. 1 The Kabui also erect platforms as
Thus far we have been concerned with actual structures which
are used as seats. Beliefs occur also in certain places concerning
the use of certain stone structures as seats, and it will be well to
consider these beliefs before drawing any conclusions from the
evidence already adduced.
Ten Kate saw some graves of chiefs in Solor and Roti which
FIG. 6. Stone Seat, Nias (after Modigliani).
had super-structures in the form of seats. 3 In Roti the tutu
structures are supposed to be used by the ghosts of chiefs after
their journey from the land of the dead. 4
Riedel says that formerly in Ambon only chiefs were allowed
to use certain of the stone offering-places. His information is
interesting in view of the fact that, in the case of the ureu, a
rough rectangular structure of stones laid in courses, which was
formerly placed in the bush as a " place of retirement " (afzonder-
^odson, 190. 2 Shakespear (ii). 3 (it), II, IV. 4 Ten Kate (i), 684.
36 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
ing), he who wished to make offerings had to sit upon the struc-
ture. 1 The fact that probably only chiefs were allowed to use
the ureu, and that they had to sit upon it, points to a relationship
between the chiefs and the structure. This relationship would
be all the more definite, if it should be that the ureu was the only
offering-place reserved for the chiefs.
The lids of the stone urns in which the dead are placed in
Minahassa are shaped like the roof of a house, and on them the
orang dulu, "the former men," are said to sit. 2 At the foot of
the hill Tonderukan in Minahassa is a stone called watu reru-
meran ne empung, " the seat of the empung" 3 or great and mighty
spirits ; or, as Schwarz says, more literally, " the stone upon
which the gods are accustomed to sit ". 4 A story connected with
the stone states that the ancestors of the Minahassa peoples col-
lected there to divide up the land. They assembled at the foot
of the hill, Kopero sat on the north side of the hill, and Mun-
tu'untu at the foot of the hill near to the stone, while round about
sat the chiefs on stones. 5
Some stone vats have been discovered in the districts of Napu
and Besoa in central Celebes. One found in Napu is oval in
shape, with a stone seat carved on the inside : it is called the
" bathing- place of the chief". Several of these vats were found
in Besoa. They are circular in shape, and only one has a stone
seat inside. 6
In Nias, coffins, when taken to the cemetery, are laid on stone
benches while the grave is dug. 7
The Khasi sometimes use circular cineraria of stone as seats
for ceremonial occasions. 8 The stone structures which are used
by the Tangkhul Naga as resting-places are memorials, and the
ghost of the person, in whose memory the structure is made,
comes from time to time to sit on the flat stone top during his
visits to his rice-fields. 9
The distribution of stone seats shows so many gaps that it is
not possible at present to draw conclusions therefrom. But the
study of their functions and associations leads to results which
1 Riedel (iv), 56-7. 2 Sarasin, I, n. 8 Riedel (vi), 189-90. 4 (ii), 45 et
seq. B Schwarz, loc. cit. Kruijt (iv), 549 et seq. 7 Rosenberg (i), 42.
8 FcTgusson, 463. "Hodson, 191.
STONE SEATS 37
add further support for the views set forth in the preceding
Sumba : Great seat in the middle of the village, which is probably in genera
Solor : Graves in form of seats.
Roti: Graves in form of seats. Of- Sit on offering-places in form of
fering-places in form of seats. seats.
Savu (people in Timor) : Stone benches in the house where stone is wor-
Keisar: Seat on grave of famous
stone-using immigrant (see
p. 1 08).
Leti Moa Lakor : +
Ambon : Offering-places.
Bontoc : In pabafunan.
Minahassa : Traditional use.
Toradja : Traditional use.
Nias : + (ceremonial). Coffins on benches.
Khasi : + (ceremonial). + (ceremonial).
Tangkhul Naga : + (memorial).
Kabul Naga: + (memorial).
The table shows that stone seats are more especially associ-
ated with chiefs than with commoners, this association extending
to the ghosts of chiefs. In addition to the use of stone seats by
chiefs, and to the belief that their ghosts rest upon seat-shaped
tombs or other stone structures, tradition associates chiefs with
stone seats in places where till now we have found no evidence
of the existence of a distinct chiefly class ; in Ambon, Minahassa,
and central Celebes. In Ambon and Minahassa the traditions
distinctly affirm the former existence of chiefs. In central
Celebes certain stone vats with seats are ascribed to chiefs.
This means either that the people of Besoa and Napu have, or
had, a chiefly class, the members of which used these vats, or
that the latter are the work of a vanished population ruled over
by a chiefly class.
The tradition of the Tontemboan, which states that the chiefs
sat on stones during the council on Tonderukan, is in harmony
with practice, for stone seats are used by the chiefs in Nias and,
presumably, among the Khasi for this purpose.
38 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
In Roti commoners and the ghosts of chiefs use the tutu as
resting-places. An analogous combination of belief and practice
exists among the Tangkhul Naga, who erect, in honour of an
important man, memorial structures which they use as resting-
places, believing at the same time that they share this use with
the ghost of the deceased. The Kabui Naga also make stone
structures to be used as resting-places, and the erection of such
structures is an act of merit.
FIG. 7. Stone Seat, Nias (after Modigliani).
So far as the data we possess enables us to say, the Naga
peoples have not a distinct chiefly class. The analogy between
their memorial structures and the tutu of Roti is therefore signifi-
cant, and suggests that, although they have no distinct chiefly
class, some class distinction exists ; but more information re-
garding the "important men" for whom the Naga erect their
memorials is essential before any strict comparison can be made
between the two cases.
STONE SEATS 39
Commoners sit upon stone seats in Rod, and among the
Bontoc of Luzon, the Tangkhul Naga, and the Kabui Naga.
The Bontoc and the Naga do not appear to have a class of chiefs
for whom a special form of grave is made. The Bontoc and the
Kabui Naga make a particular form of grave, which consists of
an excavation in the side of a mountain. Among the Bontoc
such graves are definitely reserved for warriors. Evidence is
still lacking as to their purpose among the Kabui, but it is prob-
able that there also such graves were made only for warriors.
The use of stone seats by commoners therefore constitutes an
additional link between the culture of the Bontoc and that of the
Naga. So far as we know at present, the Bontoc custom is not
exactly similar to that of the Naga ; the former apparently have
stone seats only in the courtyard of the men's house, while the
latter sit upon structures erected in memory of important men.
It is possible to trace a connection, among the Bontoc, be-
tween the use of stone seats and the custom of making a grave
in the side of a mountain. For the men's house, in the courtyard
of which the seats are found, is inhabited by warriors. And the
bodies of those warriors whose heads have been taken are placed
in graves made in the sides of mountains. The use of stone seats
is therefore associated, among the Bontoc, with a class of men
who are distinguished from the rest of the community by the use
of a special form of grave.
The evidence at our disposal goes to show that the use of
stone seats, and of stone structures as resting-places, is nowhere
habitual in Indonesia. It is either the prerogative of a class of
people on certain occasions, or else it is connected with certain
stone structures erected in memory of chiefs or important men.
THE USE OF STONE.
IT will now be possible to determine the relationships in dis-
tribution, function, and association between the megalithic
monuments of Indonesia and the stone graves, stone offering-
places, and stone seats which have been considered. Since the
non-megalithic structures have been considered in groups accord-
ing to their function, it will be necessary first of all to examine
the megalithic monuments from this point of view, and then
FIG. 8. -Grave of Chief at Laura, Sumba (after ten Kate).
afterwards to proceed to the comparison between the distribu-
tions and associations of the two main groups of stone-work.
Many of the megalithic monuments of Indonesia are graves.
The dolmens of Sumba are graves, and are often placed round
the village square. 1 Roos states that the villages sometimes
consist of one street with dolmen-graves between the houses:
" In the large village Laura are to be found one hundred graves,
of which some are covered with colossal stones, which are flat
and well worked". 2 Ten Kate mentions dolmen-graves at
1 De Oosterling, II, 72 ; Alderewereldt, 581. 2 (i), 18-19.
THE USE OF STONE 41
Samparengo, where he saw a colossal stone tomb behind the
chiefs house, plastered white and probably, he thinks, made by
people from Endeh in Flores. 1 At Laonatang the graves of the
commoners were dolmens, but the grave of the chief was the
structure already described (p. n). He saw in the bush
round Lambanapu ordinary dolmens of rough stones, and
elaborate tombs of chiefs. 2
The rock-cut tombs of Minahassa and central Celebes have
already been mentioned. The cromlechs of the Dusun of Brit-
ish North Borneo mark burial places. 3 In Nias the skull and
bones of a chief are often interred at the foot of the dissolith
outside his house.*
Some of the megalithic structures are also used as offering-
places. This is so in the case of the cromlech in the Kei Islands,
together with the menhir described by Hugo Merton ; 5 and the
stone structures described in Ambon and Seran. 6 During times
of scarcity the menhirs of the Toradja receive offerings (see p.
43) : and an offering-place is to be found in the cromlech of
Bulili in Bada. 7 Among the Khasi offerings were formerly
placed upon the table-stones of the alignments, and this is still
often done. 8 The menhirs, asong, erected by the Garo receive
Many of the megalithic structures of Indonesia are memorials.
The dissoliths of Nias are of this type. Probably the cromlech
made by the Naga at Uilong is a memorial, for the young men
dance and wrestle there once a year during a feast held in honour
of the dead. 10 The kosi stones, which are erected by the Garo to
mark the spots where men have been murdered or killed in war,
are old stones and are not the objects of any cult. The Garo
living at the foot of the hills on the Kamrup border erect
memorial stones in honour of the dead. 11 The Kohlen clan of
the Lushei erect memorial stones. A large stone at Vanlaiphai
is said to have been erected in honour of Chonluma, a famous
chief of the Hrangchal clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur. 12 The
Mikir erect dolmens in honour of deceased chiefs. 1 *
The Khasi erect memorials in honour of deceased ancestors, 14
1 554- 2 574- 3 Ling Roth, I, 150. 4 Rappard, 573. 5 Merton, 189.
6 See p. 13. 7 ,Kruijt (vi), 359; Grubauer, 517. 8 Gurdon, no. 9 Playfair,
96-7. 10 Hodson, 187. " Playfair, 96-7 ; Gurdon, 138. 12 Shakespear (i), 165.
13 E. Stack. 14 Gurdon, no et seq.
42 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IX INDONESIA
and the stones bear the names of these ancestors, e.g. ka iawbei,
the first grandmother, u suidna or u kni rangbah, the first ma-
ternal uncle. Most of the stones are erected in honour of ka
iawbei, and food was formerly placed on the table-stone for her.
A table-stone, mawkynthei, is erected in memory of a man who
has been killed by the sword, or murdered as a victim of the cult
of the snake thlen.
After cremation the Khasi take the ashes of their dead to the
clan cinerarium. When this ceremony is about to be performed
the bones are placed temporarily in the clan ghost-house, and
dancing goes on from one to nine days. Meanwhile the people
erect rows of three menhirs, each row having a table-stone. The
menhirs are called mawklat or mawlynti, and are generally
about 3 feet high. On the day on which the bones are placed
in the cinerarium, three menhirs (maw umkoi) are erected near
the cinerarium. Other kinds of memorials are the mawbynna or
mawnam, put up to commemorate a parent or near relative ; and
the maw-umkoi, put up to mark the tanks, the water of which is
supposed to cleanse the ashes and bones of those who have died
unnatural deaths. These memorials consist of menhirs erected
in alignments with table-stones in front of them. The menhirs
are erected in memory of men, and the table-stones in memory
The custom of erecting memorials is thus in a developed
state among the Khasi. One outstanding feature of the align-
ments which they erect is the association of the menhirs with
men and the table-stones with women. This is also character-
istic of the dissoliths of Nias and Minahassa. In Minahassa
the stones of the dissolith are sometimes given names. In a
Tontemboan tale the upright stone is called Pokalambene and
the table-stone is called Rewumbene, the first being the name of
a man and the second the name of a woman. In another tale
the tumatowa of the village Pintjep is the residence of Kelumbatu
("stone shield") and his wife Kara'anan. 1 The importance of
dissoliths is shown by the statement of Schmidtmuller, that it is
necessary to have a male and female stone in each village of the
district of Sonder in Minahassa. 1 In Nias, the upright stones of
the dissoliths, whether those in front of the chiefs houses or
THE USE OF STONE 43
those in the dela, are male, and the horizontal stones are female :
the ghost of a chief comes to live in the upright stone of his disso-
lith, and the ghost of his wife comes to live in the table-stone. 1
The ancestors of the Toradja erected seven memorial stones
when they left Pamona. 2 It is said that long ago people came
from Bone to fight the people of Wawu Lage (the village whence
the To Lage have spread), because at this village was a miracul-
ous tree in which two birds of the Bone people had come to live
and eat the fruit. After some fighting peace was made, on the
condition that the Bone people were allowed to take the tree
away with them. A menhir, which was erected to commemorate
the event, is still to be seen at the foot of the hill upon which
Wawu Lage stands. 3
Megalithic monuments are used as seats. When taking the
ashes of the dead to the cineraria, the Khasi erect dissoliths, called
mawlynti, upon the table-stones of which the ghosts of the dead
are supposed to rest. Travellers among the Khasi rest upon
dissoliths which are erected by the sides of the road and in the
market-place : these dissoliths are called ki maw Jong stem (the
seat of the chief), and formerly only the chiefs were permitted to
sit upon them. 4 The cromlechs in Halmahera are said to be the
seats of "spirits". 5 The ghosts of the dead in Nias are sup-
posed to rest upon the dissoliths in the dela*
The functions of megalithic monuments therefore resemble
closely those of other stone-work in Indonesia. No comment
need be made upon the fact that megalithic monuments are
erected as tombs or offering-places, for such uses are well known.
But the custom of sitting upon stone seats is so sporadic in
Indonesia, and so definitely associated with chiefs or warriors,
that the use of megalithic monuments as seats suggests that the
explanation of the presence of the latter form of stone-work will
suffice to account for the presence of stone seats, and therefore
of stone graves and offering-places. And the occurrence of
memorials among both groups of stone-work constitutes further
evidence in favour of the inter-relationship between megalithic
monuments and the other stone- work of Indonesia.
The associations of megalithic monuments are similar to
1 272. 2 Kruijt and Adrian!, I, 5 ; Kruijt (iii), 208-9. 3 Kruijt and Adriani,
I? 38-99. * Gurdon, 141, 149, 150, 152. 5 Bastian, I, 17. 6 Ibid., IV, 56.
44 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
those of stone graves, offering-places, and seats. For the ornate
dolmens of Sumba are those of chiefs in many, if not all, cases ;
formerly only Khasi chiefs could sit upon the dissoliths ; the
Mikir erect dolmens in memory of chiefs ; and the Hrangchal
clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur have erected a menhir in
memory of a famous chief. Moreover, the Khasi and Garo erect
menhirs in memory of men killed in war, and the cromlech of
the Dusun of British North Borneo is placed on the spot where
a chief and his followers were killed in battle; thus showing
that the distinction between warriors and ordinary people is also
made by people who erect megalithic monuments.
The tables at the end of this book show that the distributions
of the two groups of structures are similar. Both are absent in
large parts of Borneo, in north Buru, in the Mentawi Islands, in
Engano, and in parts of Assam and upper Burma. All the
stone-work as yet recorded in Borneo is confined to the cromlechs
of the Dusun of British North Borneo and the cairns of the
Kayan. Further research may reveal the presence of stone-work
in this island, but it is fairly certain that no large use of stone
will be recorded. It does not appear that stone is used in the
Mentawi Islands, in spite of their proximity to Nias where the
use of stone is elaborate. Stone-work is found in south Buru in
the form of stone graves and stone offering-places, but it is
absent in the north part of the island.
The megalithic monuments and the other stone-work of
Indonesia are so similar in function, distribution, and association
that it is not possible to consider them apart. Any explanation
of the presence of one should account for that of the other. The
abrupt discontinuities in the use of stone which have just been
adduced serve to show that it is riot possible to invoke local
circumstances to account for the presence or absence of stone-
work in any place. On the contrary, the presence or absence of
stone-work in any place seems to depend principally upon the
presence or absence of a chiefly class distinguished from the
commoners by a special use of stone. If this be so, it is reason-
able to suppose that the use of stone is an element of an immi-
grant culture associated with the presence of hereditary chiefs.
I propose to put forward evidence to show that this conclusion
is well founded.
THE USE OF STONE 45
Ten Kate says that some of the dolmens of Sumba are prob-
ably the work of people from Endeh in Flores. l The people of
Savu place their land of the dead on Sumba, in the same place as
the people of Sumba themselves. 2 Since the direction assigned
to the land of the dead is generally the same as that of the land
of origin, 3 it can be assumed that part of the population of Savu
came from Sumba. The fact that some of the people of Savu,
who have settled in Timor, worship at Kupang in a building
where a stone is kept, and during their worship sit inside the
FIG. 9. Grave at Lambanapu, Sumba (after ten Kate).
building on stone seats, shows that stone-using people have
migrated into Timor. The people of Roti place their land of the
dead in Savu. 4 In addition to this belief in the origin of a part
of their population from Savu, the people of Roti have a tradition
of the arrival of their ancestors in boats. The first party landed
at Okelisu in Loleh, where their boat petrified ; the second party
landed at Danohloon in Bilba, where their boat is also petrified. 5
Some villages in Wetar collectively worship a single stone, called
szruz\ which is kept in a special house. This stone is supposed
1 0). 554- 2 Donselaar, 309 ; Roos, 61. 3 Perry (i). 4 Ibid. 8 Gra-
afland (i), 363, 364.
46 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
to have been brought from Timor, and the people who worship
it are the descendants of immigrants from Timor. 1 The ghosts of
builders of houses in Leti Moa and Lakor are supposed to live in
small stones which are kept in small boxes of palm-leaves in the
lofts of their houses : these stones are preferably collected in Timor. 2
It is therefore possible to trace a movement of people right
across the Timor region, and the circumstances of this movement
into some islands suggest that the migrants were stone-using
It has long been known that, scattered through the islands
of the Moluccas, there are organisations of which we have but
little knowledge. In each island where they exist there are two
of these organisations, and they are called Ursiwa and Urlima,
or Ulusiwa and Ululima, or, in Seran, Patasiwa and Patalima.' 6
In Seran the Patasiwa are connected with a secret society, called
the Kakian, which holds its meetings in buildings situated in the
forest. The Patasiwa and Patalima live in separate villages,
and in each village is a stone offering-place called astana (p. 12).
A distinction exists between the customs of the Patasiwa and
those of the Patalima : the former sit on benches during the
ceremonies that they hold in their village-houses, while the latter
sit on the ground ; the stone offering-places of the Patasiwa are
situated on the seaward side of their village-houses, while those of
the Patalima are placed on the landward side : and the reason
assigned for this difference in situation is that the founders of
the Patasiwa were immigrants. The people themselves therefore
supply the explanation which would be suggested by the associa-
tion between the Patasiwa and seats and offering-places. The
evidence suggests no explanation of the distinction between the
Patasiwa and the Patalima.
The people of Serari have a custom in common with those of
Wetar and the Leti Moa Lakor group, that of taking stones
from one place to another to be used in connection with a cult.
A marked example of such a custom is afforded in the Kei
Islands. The island of Little Kei is of coral formation, and on
it is a large sacred stone of igneous formation, which must ob-
viously have been brought from elsewhere. It is possible that
the transporters of this stone were the founders of the Ursiwa
1 Riedel (iv), 436-7. 2 Ibid., 375. Ibid. ; Ekrijs.
THE USE OF STONE 47
or Urlima of these islands. These people place their land of the
dead over the sea, each on a separate island ; and thus, since the
land of the dead is usually, in Indonesia, the place of origin, or
in the direction of the place of origin, of the ancestors of the
people who hold the belief, it is legitimate to conclude that these
people are descended from immigrants.
The indigenous people of Minahassa formerly placed their
dead in the branches of trees ; but it is said that shortly before the
arrival of the Spaniards, strangers arrived and taught the natives
to place their dead in stone urns. 1 This affords good grounds
for the conclusion that the use of stone was brought into Mina-
hassa. That a relationship exists between some of the Minahassa
tribes and stones is shown by the fact that, during a boundary
dispute, the Tondano founded their claim upon their possession
of a stretch of land where there is a cave or stone, which has
given rise to their other name, Toulian. 2 When the different
tribes of Minahassa separated, they assembled at a stone on the
slope of Mt. Tonderukan to confer (see p. 36), and during the
proceedings the chiefs sat round on stones. This is evidence of
a movement of stone-using people into various parts of Mina-
hassa, which presumably took place after the arrival of the
Moreover, the Minahassa people formerly transported stones.
In one of the Tontemboan tales, a man named Makarende took a
piece of the holy stone of Kema and planted it in the ground at
Ka'kas. Later on he disappeared into a tree, and while there he
told his son to come and cultivate the land at Ka'kas. The
latter did so, but was not successful until he had obeyed the in-
structions of his parent : " You, my son, must go to the east
and fetch a piece of the stone which I have planted in the ground,
a heritage of your forefathers ". 3
The To Bada of central Celebes are supposed to have spread
from three villages, on the sites of which there are stone images
and pieces of stone of a kind which is not found in the hills on
which the villages stand, or in the neighbouring mountains.*
Thus, those who built these villages must have transported the
stone used in their construction.
1 Riedel (i), 379. 2 Graafland, I, 79. 3 Schwarz (i), 79, 275. 4 Kiliaan,
408 ; Kruijt (vi), 358.
48 MEGAL1THIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Stones are transported in Nias. The largest dissolith of the
dela at Sirahu in the north of the island has been brought from
Ono Sitoli, the former site of the village. 1 Modigliani states that
when a village is moved, the stones of the dela are taken too,
together with the stones of honour erected in memory of the
There is good reason to believe that the use of stone was
brought to this island by immigrants. For in south Nias, to
which is confined the elaborate use of stone for seats and thrones,
there is a mode of disposing of the dead which is limited to the
chiefly class of this part of the island, the members of which are
more closely connected with the use of stone than the com-
moners. The bodies of chiefs are placed in a canoe-shaped
coffin ; and the inference to be derived from such a practice is
that the ancestors of such people were immigrants. 2
The Khasi have a tradition of migration into Assam from the
east, but this does not allow us to assume that the use of stone
was brought in by this movement. Certain evidence suggests,
however, that the ancestors of some of the chiefs of this people
were stone-using immigrants. For the chiefs of Nongstoin,
Langrin, and Nobospoh each year sacrifice a goat, at Rilang on
the Kopili river, in honour of the goddess of the river. And a
cavity in the rocks in the bed of the river Kenchiyang, a few
miles below Rilang, is called "the god's boat". The name of
this cavity recalls the petrified boat of the immigrants into
Roti, and suggests that the " god's boat " is evidence of an im-
migration of people connected with stones into the Khasi Hills.
The close connection between the Khasi chiefs and the river sug-
gests further that their ancestors were the immigrants.
When a Garo village is moved to a new site, the asong stones
are left, and the villagers return every year to perform a cere-
mony at the old site. 3
Certain tribes of Assam speak of stones met with on their
wanderings : these tales will be considered later.
The traditional accounts of migration just considered agree
in associating, in many places, the use of stone with immigrants
who, in some cases, were the ancestors of chiefly houses. These
accounts to some degree enable us to draw aside the veil which
1 Chatelin, 150. a Perry (ii). 8 Playfair, 82, 96-7.
THE USE OF STONE 49
conceals the past, and to watch vaguely the movements of un-
known people who not only settled in different places, but also
brought stones with them, sometimes, we are told, from their
former settlements. The support which these traditions afford
for the conclusion that the stone-work examined in this and
previous chapters is due to some cultural influence is so strong,
the traditions themselves agreeing so well with known facts, as
to justify the claim that the reality of a movement of stone-using
people into all parts of Indonesia has been established. This
does not mean that people of the same race brought the use of
stone to each island or people, but that the use of stone is an
element of a culture which has been spread to all parts of
Indonesia, to varying degrees, and in different ways, the intro-
ducers being strangers who often established themselves as chiefs.
The building of megalithic monuments, the use of stone seats,
the erection of memorials, and the use of stone for graves and
offering-places, are all due to this influence. In the following
chapters an endeavour will be made to discover other elements of
this culture, and to account for the wide variations in its effects
in different parts of Indonesia. For convenience of reference it
will be necessary to adopt some term to denote the introducers
of the use of stone to the different parts of Indonesia. The term
" stone-using immigrants" will probably be the most satisfactory,
for it avoids the necessity of discussing in any given case the
provenance, whether ultimate or proximate, of the aliens and
the culture that they bear with them.
THE SECULAR USE OF STONE.
THE argument of the preceding chapters was directed towards
the demonstration of the existence of similarities of distribution
and association between megalithic monuments and the other
stone-work of Indonesia which performs like functions. This
made it necessary to leave on one side all stone-work which was
put to what may be termed " secular uses," such as stone walls
round villages and houses, stone houses, pavings for villages, and
steps leading to villages. But, in pursuance of the plan of ex-
amining every form of stone-work, such secular uses of stone must
be considered, and it is proposed to proceed in this chapter to
The open spaces of the villages of Manggarai in Flores are
paved with enormous stones. 1 The village-house of Trong in
Solor is built on a platform of stones. 2 In Sumba and Roti the
villages are surrounded by stone walls : 3 in Roti stone walls are
sometimes made round the houses, 4 which are probably some-
times made of stone. 5
The villages of south-west Timor are on heights, and are
fortified, but no information is given concerning the nature of the
fortifications. 6 There are stone walls round the villages in north
Belu, but in the south part of this region the villages, although
situated in the valleys, are open.' Mr. Forbes mentions that
the village of the chief of Sauo in central Timor is surrounded
by a stone wall. He does not say whether the other villages
are so provided. 8
The villages in Dama, Keisar, Leti Moa and Lakor, Luang-
Sermata, Babar and Timorlaut, are surrounded by stone walls. 9
1 Meerburg, 449, 450, 464. 2 Ten Kate (i), 241. 3 Wielenga, 264-5. 4 Ten
Kate (i), 681, 683, 685, 686. s Jonker (ii), 23. 6 Graamberg, 180. 7 Gryzen,
43-4. 8 Forbes, 433, 444 . Riedel (iv), 460, 422, 379, 342, 317, 285.
THE SECULAR USE OF STONE 51
Stone walls surround not only the village of Ohoinangan in the
Kei Islands, but each house in it. Leading up to this village,
which appears to rise in a series of terraces, is a huge staircase
cut out of the solid rock. 1
The villages in the Aru Islands sometimes have stone
surrounding walls (afsluiting). 2 Stone walls are found round the
villages in Watubela, and the same was the case in Ambon be-
fore the Dutch Government compelled the people to come down
to the shore to live. 3 Martin gives a photograph of a village on
Letimoor, an island near Ambon, which is approached by a stone
staircase cut out of the rock.
The Ifugao of Luzon use stone for the retaining walls of
their rice-fields, and doubtless they use stone for their villages
too in some way or other. 4 The Bontoc make great use of
stone. A reference to the plates of Jenks's monograph will show
that houses are often partly made of stone and generally sur-
rounded by a stone courtyard. The Bontoc also use stone in
the construction of the retaining walls of their rice-terraces. 5
Much use is made of stone in Formosa. The Paiwan have a
stone wall round each house, the courtyards of which are paved
with stones. 6 The west group of the Atayal use stones for the
construction of their houses : their method is to erect posts of
stone or wood, and then to make the walls of bamboo. The
eastern group of the Atayal, when making their houses, first dig
a hole from 3 to 6 feet deep, and then make a wall round
the hole with the earth which has been excavated. The house
is paved with stones, and the roof, which is made of flat stones,
is supported by strong wood pillars and cross-beams. 7 When
the Voaum make a house, they dig a shallow pit i or 2 feet
deep, and over it make an erection of stone and wood. The
floor of the house is paved with slate, and the small yard in front
is paved with stones. 8 When the Tsalisen make a house, they
cut into the hill-side to the depth required, and then wall up the
mouth of the excavation. The walls and the front roof-supports
of the house are of slate. 9 The Yami of Botel Tobago make their
houses partly of stone, and surround each with a stone wall. 10
1 Merton, 187 et seq. 2 Riedel (iv), 255. 3 Ibid., 199, 62. 4 Beyer (i), 98.
*Jenks. See Plates 2 and 3. 6 Fischer, 244-5. 7 Davidson, 564. 3 Ibid.
568. 9 Ibid., 572. 10 Ibid., 587, 588.
52 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The only reference to the use of stone in the construction of
houses and villages in Minahassa which I have been able to dis-
cover is in the book of Schwarz, where it is said that the
village-houses of the Tontemboan are built on a platform of
In central Celebes stone was used in building those villages
where megalithic and other stone structures are found. On the
same hill as Bulili, where an image, a holy stone, and a cromlech
are reported, there are some large fragments of stone which point
to the presence, in the past, of stone structures. 2 At Watutau,
another place where a holy image is to be seen, many fragments
of stone are lying about on the hill. 3 Grubauer states that,
farther to the south, the village-houses have foundations of
I have not been able to discover any reference to the use of
stone for the construction of houses or of villages in Borneo.
In the island of Nias villages are paved with stones, and
they are sometimes approached by means of steps cut out of the
The houses of the Khasi of Assam have plank or stone walls,
and at least one wall must be made of wood. 6 Naga villages
are generally surrounded by stockades or by stone walls. The
Kabui probably used stone in the past, even if they do not do so
now, for Mr. Hodson speaks of stone troughs which he saw in
an old settlement in the jungle. The Tangkhul Naga use stone
in the construction of their houses. 7
The area of Indonesia is so vast, and the natural conditions
are so diverse, that it could be claimed that the variations in the
use of stone revealed by this survey are exactly what might be
expected. Admitting that the use of stone for graves, offering-
places and seats, may be due to a cultural influence, it might be
urged that the material of which a house is constructed would
depend upon local conditions. The lack of stone, coupled with
an abundance of wood, affords, it might be said, sufficient reason
to conclude that the use of wood in a given place is determined
by that circumstance alone ; and vice versa. But such a mode
1 (i). * Kruijt (vi), 359 ; Grubauer, 517. Kruijt (vi), 360 ; Grubauer, 487-8.
232, 234, 235. 5 Modigliani. 8 Gurdon, 30, 159. 7 Hodson, 42.
THE SECULAR USE OF STONE 53
of reasoning, which neglects previously to inquire why houses
are made at all in any given place, is apt to lead to wrong con-
clusions. Until such a problem is solved it is premature to talk
of the material of construction depending upon local conditions.
The tables at the end of the book show that the distributions
of the secular uses of stone correspond, roughly, to those tabulated
in the preceding columns ; megalithic monuments, stone graves,
offering-places, and seats. The gaps in the distribution occur in
Savu, Wetar, Seran, Buru, the region of the Posso-Todjo Toradjo
in central Celebes, and Borneo, places where, with the exception
of Savu and Wetar, little, if any, use is made of stone for any
Discontinuities occur in the distribution of the secular uses of
stone. The villages in the north part of Belu are on the moun-
tains and are surrounded by stone walls : those in the south part
of the same district are in the valleys and are open. If considera-
tions of convenience were the determining considerations, surely
the villages in the valleys should have stone walls for defence ?
Those perched up in the mountains would be more effectually
protected against attacks by their position than those in the
Villages in Seran are surrounded by stockades of bamboo,
and this is correlated with no great development of the use of
stone for other purposes, for only offering-places and stone urns
for " chiefs " have been recorded in this island. On the other
hand, an elaborate use of stone is recorded in Letimoor, an island
off the south coast of Seran.
According to Kruijt, the To Pajapi differ from the rest of the
Posso-Todjo group of the Toradja of central Celebes in having
stone walls round their villages. They differ also in having stone
graves for their chiefs. Thus, in this region, the practice of
making stone walls round villages can be assigned to the influence
of the stone-using immigrants.
This explanation will account for the general distribution
of the secular use of stone in Indonesia, for the gaps and dis-
continuities occur, as a rule, in the same places as the gaps and
discontinuities in the distribution of stone graves, stone offering-
places, and stone seats.
The study of the distribution of the secular uses of stone
54 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
shows that stone is most generally used for the construction of
village walls, while stone houses are only made by a few people.
A comparison with the association of stone offering-places dis-
closes an analogy, for village offering-places are the most wide-
spread in distribution, while in but few cases do individual
commoners possess stone offering-places. This similarity in
association suggests that the stone-using people have exerted a
widespread influence upon the village-life of Indonesian peoples,
since they have introduced both stone walls and offering-places ;
and that their influence upon the lives of individual commoners
has been comparatively weak.
Not only are stone village walls made by Indonesian peoples,
but sometimes houses are surrounded by stone walls, as in Roti,
Kei, among the Bontoc, and in Formosa. In Roti and in For-
mosa and among the Bontoc stone houses are made, and the
village in the Kei Islands which has stone courtyards has also a
stone stairway leading up to it. It would thus appear that stone
walls round houses exist in places where stone is used to a con-
The lack of information about stone pavings makes it im-
possible to draw any satisfactory conclusions from their distribu-
tion and associations.
The examination of the associations of stone houses is, how-
ever, more productive of results. For stone houses are made by
the Bontoc, the Formosa peoples, the Khasi, the Tangkhul Naga,
and, possibly, in Roti. Of these peoples the Bontoc, Khasi,
Tangkhul Naga, and the Roti people have in common the use of
stone seats, or of memorial structures as resting-places, by com-
moners. This suggests that a relationship exists between the
building of stone houses and the use of stone seats by commoners.
In order to determine the validity of this inference it will be
necessary to compare the distributions of stone seats and stone
houses. This may be done by means of a table. 1 I have omitted
from this table the case of the Savu people in Timor, who sit on
stone benches during their religious ceremonies.
1 The true significance of this and other tables in the text can only be grasped
when it is remembered that they are extracted from the tables at the end of the book
in order to facilitate discussion. The grouping together of different cultural ele-
ments among so few peoples as appear in this table, is, in itself, a sign of the close
relationship of these elements.
THE SECULAR USE OF STONE
Some of the elements of this table must be discussed before
the conclusion already arrived at can be tested. The Formosan
peoples must be left on one side, for no information concerning
the presence or absence of stone seats among them is yet to hand.
I have included in the table the use of seats by the members of
the Kakian club of the Patasiwa in Seran, for they are distin-
guished in this from the Patalima. They are, moreover, classed
as chiefs because they are said to form a kind of nobility in the
The cultural associations of the Kabui Naga are such as to
make it probable that they made stone houses in the past, even
if they do not do so now. They formerly made stone rice-mor-
tars, which shows that they worked stone. But it would not be
wise, in the present stage of our knowledge, to class them with
the Bontoc and Tangkhul Naga as people who make stone
If all these doubtful cases be left on one side, and the atten-
tion be confined to Roti, Ambon, the Bontoc, Minahassa, central
Celebes, Nias, the Khasi, and the Tangkhul Naga, it will be seen,
on examination of the table, that stone houses are made by those
people who have no chiefly class whose prerogative it is to sit
during council meetings on stone seats. In Nias, where only
chiefs may sit upon stone seats, the houses are made of wood.
And the evidence at our disposal from Ambon, Minahassa, central
Celebes, where stone seats are only associated with chiefs, and
the houses are made of wood, serves to confirm the conclusion
that where only the chiefs use stone seats, houses are not made
1 See p. 115.
56 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The peoples cited in the table can be divided into three
groups : in the first can be placed the Bontoc and the Tangkhul
Naga, who make stone houses, and among whom no distinct
chiefly class has been detected ; in the second group can be
placed the Khasi, who have a chiefly class, but whose commoners
sit upon stone seats ; and the third group includes the people of
Nias, who have a distinct chiefly class, and make wooden houses.
The Khasi occupy an intermediate position in their use of stone
between the Bontoc and the people of Nias. This intermediate
position is probably the result of an actual transition, for the
commoners among the Khasi sit upon dissoliths which were for-
merly reserved for the chiefs. The adoption of the use of stone
for the building of houses has probably accompanied this transi-
tion, for at least one wall of Khasi houses must be made of
wood. This suggests that formerly the Khasi, like the people of
Nias, made wooden houses, and had chiefs who alone were per-
mitted to sit upon stone seats ; that the breaking down of the
distinction between chiefs and commoners was accompanied by
the introduction of the use of stone for houses, but that the pre-
sence of chiefs prevented the entire adoption of the use of stone,
so that, as a compromise, at least one wall of a house is still made
THE argument has now reached the point where it is necessary
to turn to the consideration of the beliefs with regard to stones
which are held by Indonesian peoples. A beginning will be
made in this chapter by the discussion of cases where stones are
the objects of cults or of special beliefs.
Stones are erected in memory of chiefs in Savu. 1 In the
Belu district of Timor, in Wetar, Keisar, Leti Moa and Lakor,
the Babar group, Luang-Sermata and Timorlaut, there exists a
cult of small stones. In Belu small stones, called voho matan,
which have cylindrical or elliptical forms, or are shaped like the
human body, are supposed to be the residence of spiritual beings,
and their importance is revealed during dreams. When such a
stone has been obtained, the priest chooses a spot where it shall
be placed, and there is erected a rectangular structure of stones,
with a flat stone on top, on which the voho matan is placed. If
the latter be very small, it is put under some other stones. 2 In
Wetar the ghosts of ancestors and builders of houses are supposed
to live in small stones. An account of one of these small stones
shows who these ancestors were. This stone is called strut. It
is supposed to have come from Timor, and is worshipped in com-
mon by the people of several villages who are descended from
immigrants from that island.
In Keisar the ghosts of the dead are supposed to visit their
homes, and to live, in the lofts of their old houses, in small
stones, called wahkue or deran^ which are taken by an old woman
from their graves, eight days after their interment. In Woorluli,
Abusur, Purpura, and Labelau of this island small stones are kept
in the village temple, rumolili.
*S. Muller, II, 282-3 5 Bastian, II, 67. 2 Gryzen, 75-6.
58 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
In the Leti Moa Lakor group the ghost of a builder of a house
is supposed to live temporarily, in the loft of his house, in
small stones, which are preferably collected in Timor. 1 In these
islands, as well as in Belu, Luang-Sermata, and Timorlaut, travel-
lers take with them small pieces of stone in which the ghosts of
ancestors are supposed to live. 2
Bastian mentions an image, carved roughly out of stone, on
a hill in Keisar. 8 On Mt. Woluliawal, in the Babar Islands, there
are two holy stones, called Wahuieliawal and Tetieilol, which do
not receive offerings. In Timorlaut the ghosts of " heroes " are
venerated, and one lives in a stone outside the village of Mlutu.
A sacred stone stands at the head of the river Veterleli. 4
The people of the Aru Islands worship stone dishes of east
Asiatic origin. 5 Bastian says that the "Orang Kafir" and the
11 Orang Hindu " of these islands worship stones : the latter place
offerings in stones provided with depressions. 6 Holy stones are
numerous in the Kei Islands : some of them are mentioned by
name ; for example, Hiwur Bes at Gelanit, Watang Lawar at
Tamadan, and Revut Laes at Okitait ; and on the mountain at
Kalaui there is an image, associated with which is the stone
already mentioned as having come from another island.
Three stone images are placed at the entrance to the harbour
in Kei Tanembar. 7
Close to many villages in Seran, and generally situated on
a hill near by, are offering-places, called tampat pomali. Each
consists of a closed space of about four metres square in the
middle of which is a smooth stone, carved to represent a human
One holy stone in Buru has already been mentioned. 9
The people of Gamsungi, on the Galela lake in Halmahera,
worship a large stone shaped like a mill-stone. A piece of stone
is also the " tutelary genius" of Baratako in the same island. 10
The principal chiefs of the Monteses of Mindanao reckon
among their most precious heirlooms certain stone images, which
they only show to their relatives or intimate friends. 11
The ceremonies in honour of Mendej, the god of agriculture
1 Riedel (iv), 436-7, 421, 412, 411, 410. 2 v. Hoevell, 206. 3 II, 63.
4 Riedel (iv), 340, 283, 281, 276; v. Hoevell, 205 ; Bastian, II, 92. 5 Riedel (iv),
253- 6 H, 96. 'Rosenberg (iii), 351; Riedel (iv), 220; Jacobsen, 200.
* Ribbe, 182. 9 P. 30. 10 Kruijt (iii), 208. Sawyer, 343.
SACRED STONES 59
of the Tontemboan in Minahassa, can only be held under shady
trees, where sacred stones about I foot high are to be found. 1
A stone in south Minahassa is said to be the residence (zetel) of
the god Senget. 2 Riedel describes two stone images on the hill
Tonderukan, which represent a man and a woman. 3
A rock called Batu Ijan is to be seen between Bolaang
Mongondou and Bolaang Uki in north Celebes in a place near
the former village of Tondonga, the inhabitants of which were
punished by the gods by means of a flood. The only survivor
of this disaster was a man called Ijan, who escaped in a boat.
He clambered on to a stone which stuck up out of the water.
He then called upon the gods to allow him to sink into it, and
his request was granted. His descendants put offerings upon
this stone in times of epidemics. 4
Stone images have been discovered in the Bada district of
central Celebes : at Bulili an image in the form of a woman
half human size, and rough hewn out of a kind of limestone
that occurs in the neighbourhood, is placed near a menhir
inside the cromlech mentioned in the second chapter. Against
it rest three small rectangular stones about one quarter of a
metre long : 5 at Gintu, in Bada, there is, buried up to the neck
in the ground, an image carved in the form of a human figure : 6
another stone image, reported at Watutau, is in the form of a
squatting human figure with a small hemispherical projection on
each side of the head. 7 Kruijt found three stone images at
Pada which were about the same size as those at Bulili. 8 There
are two stones at Tandong Kasa, one of which has a head and
an arm. It is not known whether they are natural or artificial
in formation. 9 A stone called menganga, "the chiefs dog," on
which offerings are put for the spirits of the mountains, is found
on the top of the pass in the Takalla mountains. 10
The villages of the Kenyah of Sarawak have, as their per-
petual possession, large round stones. " Their history is un-
known : they are supposed to grow gradually larger, and to
move spontaneously when danger threatens the house. When a
1 Graafland, I, 216-17. 2 Schwarz, 235. '(vi), 189, xgo. *Wilken, III,
159. 6 Kruijt (vi), 359; Grubauer, 517; Schuut, 10 et seq. 6 Kruijt (vi), 358.
7 Ibid., 360 et seq. ; Grubauer, 487-8. 8 Kiliaan, 549. * Kruijt and Adriani, I, 33..
10 Grubauer, 339.
60 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
household removes and builds for itself a new house, the stones
are carried with some ceremony to the new site." l The rocks
on the banks of the river on which a Kenyah village lives
are regarded with superstitious reverence. 2 Perham states that
among the Iban of Sarawak, "spirits and magical virtues are
largely associated with stones. Any remarkable rock, especially
if isolated in position, is almost sure to be the object of some
kind of cult." 3 Molengraaf mentions a sacred rock on the banks
of the Kapuas river below Semitau. 4 On the Mendalam, a tribu-
tary of the Kapuas, evil spirits are supposed to live in peculiarly
shaped heaps of stones and rocks. 5 The Olo Ngadju of south-
east Borneo have, outside each village, a stone called pangantoho,
to which offerings are made. 6
In Nias there are many stones carved to represent human
figures ; these stones are generally in the form of menhirs with a
face carved on them. 7 An example exists in the island of Nacco
west of Nias, where a mass of stone in the middle of a cromlech
is in the form of a human face. 8 It is said that when the god
Daeli came to the earth on the island of Nias, he slipped on a
stone just south of Ono-Waen. 9
At Nonjri among the Khasi sacred stones are to be seen
under a fine rubber tree. Here the priest performs the village
The Kabui Naga have a holy meteoric stone in one of their
villages. Two of the best-known stones among the Mao Naga
are Lungpalung, close to Lungpa, and Changchang, close to
Dibua and Woromong. 11
The Garo have certain holy stones : they believe that a large
rock, shaped like a house, which is to be seen on the Kosai peak
in the hills north-east of the district in which they live, is the
abode of spirits ; another rock, called Mabit, which is situated
on the Balpakram plateau, is said to be the abode of Rokime,
the mother of rice. 1 "
The Thado clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur believe that
evil spirits, called shongbulanga, live in rocks and stones.
1 Hose and McDougall, II, 16. 2 Ling Roth, I, 353. 3 Ibid., 178. * 7.
5 Nieuwenhuis (ii), I, 141. * Kruijt (iii), 219. 7 Rappard, 537. 8 Modigliani,
344. 9 Chatelin, 117. 10 Gurdon, 34. u Hodson, 189; A.C.R. (1891), 224.
12 Playfair, 147-8.
SACRED STONES 61
Colonel Shakespear states that, above one of the hamlets of the
Chawte clan of the Old Kuki, is an open space surrounded by a
low wall. At the east end of the space is a small house in
which are two stones. This house is the abode of Pakbangha
(who is always called Pathian when the people are talking among
themselves), their supreme being. At one side of the space is
the house of a being called Nongchongba, the dolmen-like
structure already mentioned. 1
The Bghai branch of the Karen worship some stones on the
top of a hill. 2 The Pakoo branch of the Sgaw Karen worship
holy stones which are kept in their houses. 3
A reference to the tables at the end of the book will show
that the distribution of sacred stones is roughly that of the stone-
work of Indonesia. The chief exception is Borneo, where we
have to account for the presence of beliefs concerning stones
among peoples who have no kind of stone-work. This island
will therefore be examined before proceeding to the general con-
sideration of the evidence put forward in this chapter.
Some rocks on the banks of the Kapuas are sacred ; and on
the Mendalam, a tributary of this river, evil spirits are supposed
to live in rocks. The Kenyah regard rocks on the banks of
their rivers with reverence, and also possess sacred stones, the
origin of which is unknown. The Kenyah are supposed to have
come down the rivers from the basin of the Kapuas in the
centre of the island, 4 so it is important to learn that stones,
carved with figures, have been discovered on the Mahakam, a
tributary of the Kapuas, a river with which the Kenyah are
certainly acquainted, for it is in close proximity to their habitat.
According to tradition these stones were made by people who
lived in the centre of Borneo before the Kenyah and kindred
peoples arrived there. 5 The evidence therefore suggests that
the Kenyah owe their beliefs concerning stones in some way to
an unknown stone-using people who preceded them in central
The pangantoho stones, which belong to each Olo Ngadju
1 Shakespear (i), 207, 159. 2 Macmahon, 306-7. * " Burma Gazetteer "
( I 879), 241; Colquhoun, 77. 4 Hose and McDougall. 6 Nieuwenhuis (ii), I,
62 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
village in south-east Borneo, may be considered here. A tradi-
tion states that one day two bodies, man and woman, floated
down the river Kahajan. They were fished out of the water by
the people of Sepang, and, as it was too late to inter them, they
were tied to the bank. The next morning the people of the
village were surprised to find that these bodies had turned to
stone. The following night a man dreamed that the petrified
man and woman spoke to him, and said, " We are your ancestors
and we can help you ". The dreamer was appointed as priest.
The man and woman came down stream from central Borneo,
where stone-using people lived at some time in the past. It is
therefore possible that the Olo Ngadju have acquired their cult
of stones from up-stream. Additional reason for this surmise is
afforded by the fact that not only are the petrified ancestors of
the priest supposed to have come from central Borneo, but we
have definite information that some of the Olo Ngadju are the
descendants of immigrants who came from there. 1
The cult of stones in the Timor region possesses a feature
which is not found, so far as the evidence shows, in the cults of
other parts of Indonesia. In Belu, Keisar, Leti Moa and Lakor,
Babar, Luang Sermata and Timorlaut, importance is attached to
small stones, which are supposed to be the residence of spiritual
beings. These spiritual beings in Keisar are the ghosts of
recently deceased relatives ; but in Wetar, Belu, Luang Sermata,
and Timorlaut, they are the ghosts of remote ancestors, or of the
builders of houses or founders of villages. The stones which are
so used in Wetar and Leti Moa and Lakor are supposed to have
come from Timor.
The evidence therefore suggests that this cult owes its institu-
tion, in the islands where it is found, to stone-using people who
have migrated from one island to another and there founded
villages and built houses. The cult is an ancestor-cult, for only
the descendants of the immigrants worship the stones connected
with these immigrants : it apparently does not owe its existence
to any superstitious reverence which the people of Timor and
other islands have for stones in general.
The examination of the beliefs connected with sacred stones
in general confirms this last remark. For sanctity is usually
1 Kruijt (iii), 219, 344 et scq.
SACRED STONES 63
ascribed to particular stones: sacred stones are erected in
memory of chiefs in Savu : single stone images are mentioned
in Keisar : in the Babar and Kei Islands certain holy stones are
mentioned by name : the tampat pomali of Seran are connected
singly with villages : in Halmahera and Minahassa sacred stones
are connected with chiefs and "gods": the stone images in
central Celebes are few in number : and the sacred stones of the
Kenyah, the Olo Ngadju, of Nias, of the Mao and Maikel Naga,
are each attached singly to a village.
These sacred stones are the places of residence, temporary
or permanent, of certain spiritual beings, who are usually associ-
ated as " guardian spirits " with the village where the stone is
The accounts of the dissoliths of the villages of the Tontem-
boan of Minahassa show clearly that the Tontemboan are aware
of the nature of these structures. Each village must have a
sacred stone, which is generally a dissolith, and the first work of
those who wish to found a settlement is to select a place where
it shall be placed. When a dissolith has been erected, the priest
says to it, " You are really a stone, but we shall make offerings
to you, and we call you Rewumbene and Poklambene " . He
says again, " You are really a stone, but we consider you to be
the spokesman and protector of the village". The dissolith is
supposed to be the bearer of a personality ; offerings are made to
it, and its consent is asked for various purposes. 1
The pangantoho of the Olo Ngadju are the residences of
guardian spirits. Formerly they were bathed with the blood of
a human sacrifice before being set in place, and on setting out to
fight warriors broke an egg against them. On their return home,
the blood and the head of the slain enemy were brought to the
stone, and the heads were placed in a hut near by. 2 The holy
stones of the Kenyah are also the residences of guardian spirits. 3
The holy stones of the villages of east Nias are evidently the
abodes of guardian spirits, for they are placed there in order that
the inhabitants of the village may be at unity. 4 The offering-
stone upon which the priest of the Mao Naga pours beer when
he performs a rite, also appears to be of this nature. The Mao
1 Schwarz (i), 201 et seq. 2 Kruijt (iii), 219. 3 Hose and McDougall, II,
16. 4 Kruijt (iii), 209.
64 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
and Maikel Naga have stones to which heads taken on raids are
shown : 1 these stones resemble in this particular the pangantoho
of the Olo Ngadju of Borneo.
The asong menhirs of the Garo which are erected at the en-
trance to villages are sacred, for if the village be removed the
people return each year to the former site to perform a ceremony.
Playfair says that two asong stones near one village were re-
garded as brothers, Chokki and Dalmang, while smaller stones
round about represented their wives and children. 2 It would
therefore appear that these stones are regarded as the residences
of guardian spirits.
The images at Gintu, Bulili, and elsewhere in central Celebes
are apparently the abodes of guardian spirits. They occur
singly, associated in some cases with cromlechs in each village.
They may be similar in function to the tumatowa of Tontemboan
Images such as those erected at the entrance to the harbour
in Kei Tanembar are supposed to be the residences of guardian
The next step in the investigation is to determine who these
guardian spirits are. Since the distribution of sacred stones
agrees with that of the stone-work of Indonesia, it is legitimate to
conclude that the stone-using immigrants are responsible, directly
or indirectly, for the presence of these stones, and therefore that
the spiritual occupants of sacred stones bear some relationship to
the stone-using immigrants. This conclusion has already been
reached with regard to the small stones of Wetar and other
islands eastward of Timor. It is also to be presumed that, if the
Kenyah beliefs in sacred stones are due to the presence, in parts
of central Borneo, of stones carved by some other people, the
spiritual occupants of these stones must be related in some way
to the people who carved the stones. And the same reasoning
may be applied to support the contention that the spiritual oc-
cupants of the panganto of the Olo Ngadju of south-east Borneo
are stone-using immigrants. The guardian spirits who live in
the tumatowa in the villages of the Tontemboan of Minahassa
are also probably the ghosts of stone-using immigrants. For in
Nias the spiritual occupants of dissoliths are chiefs and their
1 Hodson, 187, 189. 2 Playfair, 82, 96-7.
SACRED STONES 65
wives, who are, according to the scheme of this book, the de-
scendants of stone-using immigrants.
The account of the stone images kept by the chiefs of the
Monteses of Mindanao suggests that these images are tenanted,
temporarily or permanently, by the ghosts of the ancestors of
these chiefs, who, according to the conclusions of chapter vi.,
are stone-using immigrants.
The manner of distribution, and the associations of sacred
stones in Indonesia, therefore suggest that the stone-using im-
migrants have, in addition to supplying villages with offering-
places and walls, also instituted a cult connected with their own
ghosts, which, in order to act as the guardian spirits of villages,
live, temporarily or permanently, in stone images or sacred stones
connected with these villages.
STONES AND TRADITION.
IN addition to believing that spiritual beings live in stones, cer-
tain Indonesian peoples possess traditions which are concerned
in various ways with stones.
The Bontoc have traditions of a being named Lumawig, who
came down from the sky, married one of their women, and lived
at Chao-wi in the centre of the Bontoc district. Certain large
flat stones, arranged in a circle, are looked upon as the founda-
tions of his house. It is said that when he was in the Ishil
mountains north-east of Bontoc with Fantanga, his brother-in-
law, the latter taunted him with not being able to procure any
water for them to drink. Lumawig promptly struck the side ol
the mountain with his spear, and out came water. Fantanga
began to drink, but Lumawig told him to wait until he himself
had satiated his thirst. When Fantanga at last stooped down to
drink, Lumawig put his hand upon him and pushed him into
the mountain. Fantanga became a rock and the water flowed
through him. It is said that Lumawig taught the Bontoc to
build the fawi and pabafunan, the council house and men's
The Ifugao tell a tale similar to that related about Lumawig.
Their greatest god is Wigan. His three sons were once catching
fish in the canal, called Amkidul, at the foot of Mt. Inude. When
they had got a supply of fish they went up the mountain. While
they were climbing, one of them, Ihik, became thirsty and per-
sistently asked for water ; so, when they had arrived at an enor-
mous rock, Balituk, another of the brothers, struck it with his
spear and brought out water. Ihik desired to drink first, but
was made to wait until his brothers had finished. When his turn
1 Jenks, 200, 202.
STONES AND TRADITION 67
came he stooped down, but Balituk took hold of his head and
pushed it into the rock, saying, " Satiate thyself once for all, and
serve as a tube for others to drink from ". So the water came
from his mouth. 1
A tale recorded among the Tontemboan in Minahassa will
now be quoted in detail, because much of it will be needed for
reference in future chapters.
The tale is of Tengker and Kawalusan. Kawalusan was poor
and Tengker was rich. One day Kawalusan borrowed Tengker's
fish-hook and lost it, for the line broke while he was fishing.
He went after the hook, and found himself in the land beneath
the sea. While there he met the sun, who, after giving him an
armband in a box, brought him back to earth and dropped him on
the hill where he lived. Three days after, Tengker and his wife
intended to perform the ceremony of bringing their child out of
the house for the first time. The child was taken, according to
custom, to a spring. When Kawalusan had calculated that the
wife of Tengker and her child were in the water, he said, " I am
not favoured, for, if I were, a downpour of rain would come ".
Down came the rain in torrents so that Tengker and his wife
and child were wet through. After some time Kawalusan said,
" I am not favoured, for otherwise the sun would shine ". Shortly
afterwards the sun came out and shone so much that the ground
One day Kawalusan went on a journey. After some days he
opened the box containing the armband which the sun had given
to him and found there a small child, named Kariso, who had
been produced from the sweat caused by the rubbing of the arm-
band against the side of the box. Kariso was brought up with
the other children of Kawalusan, seven sons and one daughter,
the eldest son being Maengkong.
These children set out one day from home, and during their
travels one of the brothers caused a flood by saying : " Either I
am not favoured, or else the sea will rise up instantly and the
houses will float upon the water". Afterwards the water retired
at his request.
On their way home the brothers came to the river Sariow,
where Maengkong picked up a stone with two faces carved on it.
1 Beyer (ii), 104.
68 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
When they reached the mouth of the river Rano Wangko, Maeng-
kong said to the stone, " I shall leave you behind to be an object
of worship for the people here ". The stone shook to express
its disapproval. Maengkong and his brothers then went south
in the direction of Amurang, naming the places from Sondaken
southwards. At Amurang, Maengkong again offered to leave
the stone, but it refused. When they had arrived at Tomba-
ra'an, which is situated on the boundary of Sonder and Ka-
wangkpan, they heard the favourable note of an omen bird, and
stayed there and built a house. The stone with the two faces
was placed with one face to the south and the other to the north.
The river from which they got their water while living there was
called Rano i Mokei. It derives its name from its origin, for
Maengkong made it spring out of the side of the hill by uttering
a word. When Maengkong left the settlement he caused the
stream to sink into the ground.
After a time Maengkong separated from his brothers, who
then went westward, naming places as they went. One day
they decided to build a house, but had only made two stone piles
when they moved on again. This place was called Ari'i on ac-
count of the two stones. They continued on their journey to the
west until they came to a place where they could see Nimaga
below them. They sought much for water with which to wash
their hands and faces, but only found large stones. They then
brought out the armband from its box, and, sticking thorns into
it, said to a certain rock, "Water must come out of you, stone".
Thereupon water gushed out of the rock, and continued until
they had all washed their hands and faces. After that they still
went to the west, and finally reached Mongondou, where they
founded villages. 1
In a tale from the Sangir Islands, which are situated to the
north of Minahassa, it is said that a chief one day heard voices
singing inside a stone. After a time some people came out of
the stone, but they fled when the chief showed himself. Another
tale states that a child was put on a large stone by the side of
the sea. The stone grew up to the sky with the child sitting
on it. 2
The Toradja have a tradition that, in the days gone by, before
'Schwarz (i), 352. 2 Adriani (i), 38-40, 156.
STONES AND TRADITION 69
the folk spread from Pamona, a place near Lake Posso, a youth
called Lasaeo, "the sun-lord," came riding upon a white buffalo.
He married a woman of the people named Rumongi. He taught
the people agriculture and rice-growing. He cut off the head
of a white buffalo and threw it into Napu and Bada, and from
this head sprang many buffaloes. The body he left on the
banks of Lake Posso, where it gave rise to many buffaloes.
Later on the trunk of the buffalo turned into a stone, which may
still be seen on the hill where Pura stands. Lasaeo returned to the
sky up a creeper. His wife tried to follow him, but Lasaeo cut
the creeper and both she and the creeper were turned to stone.
The son of Lasaeo and Rumongi was Tuwun Toljo, "the
vital power of sulphur". His son, OH nTambo, became the
mythical hero Guma ngKoana in Napu. Others say that the
son of Lasaeo was called iDori, and that he became the ancestor
of the chiefs of Waibunta, in Luwu. iDori was chief of Pamona.
One day, hearing that a niece of his father lived at the mouth
of a river, he decided to visit her. When he left Pamona the
people also departed and erected the memorial stones. On the
way to find his cousin he and his slave stopped for the night at
Wawu Endo, and, as iDori was badly clothed, the people of the
house mistook him for the slave. They gave water and palm-wine
to the slave, but nothing to iDori. He thereupon went below the
house and struck two rocks with his spear. Water came from
one and palm-wine from the other. When he had finished
drinking he closed the rock out of which he had got the palm-
wine, but left the other. He found his cousin and married her.
They did not die, but turned into two white stones which are
now kept in a special house and worshipped. 1
Another mythical hero, Tamangkapa, also turned to stone.
He descended into the underworld, and, when he wished to
return home, its inhabitants told him to go on until he came to
a forked path, when he was to take the branch leading to the
left. He did so, and came to a river over which was a tree-stem.
When he tried to cross by this log, it began to move violently,
and so he tried the other path, which led him to the constellation
Tamangkapa (Pleiades) in the sky. There he found life very
agreeable, and the inhabitants taught him agriculture. One day
1 1, 22 ** seq.
70 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
he climbed to the loft of the house where he lived and found
that he could see the earth. He jumped down and landed near
his own home. He called the people of the village together, and
told them all that he had learned about agriculture. He added
that in seven days he would turn into a stone, and this stone may
still be seen on the south side of Lake Posso. 1
Other tales connecting men with stones are present in central
Celebes. Two stones called naga are to be seen at the village of
Tando ngKasa. One has arms and a head. It is said that
while some Luwu men were storming this village, a piece of stone
detached itself from the cliff and killed some of the attackers.
They became petrified, and the fragment of cliff which killed
them is still to be seen on a rock to the east of Tando ngKasa. 2
It is said that a stone used to lie across the way to Bomba.
The wife of a chief, wishing to pass by, hit the stone with a
dracaena leaf, whereupon it turned round. One of her followers
hit it with his spear, and out of it came palm-wine. 3
Tales are related about certain stones at Pakambia. Once
the people of this place were at war with the To Lage, who, after
a time, were willing to acknowledge themselves beaten, but dared
not send a hostage to say so. At last a Pakambia woman, who
was married among the To Lage, offered to go, and set out at
night with a female slave. When they were some way from the
village, she cried out that the To Lage acknowledged themselves
beaten, and that they sent a slave to be sacrificed. The slave
was killed upon a stone, in which her ghost still lives. 4
Among the legends recorded in Nias is one which states that
Sirio, the race father, had nine sons, one of whom, Lahari, had a
stone navel. Two of these sons were sent to support the earth,
and one of them was turned to stone. 5 In some of the texts col-
lected by Sundermann, we are told of a chief whose house was
founded on a rock. The earth is supposed by the people of
Nias to be supported on a rock. 6
The Tangkhul Naga say that they are descended from im-
migrants who, after emerging from a stone in the Manipur
valley, migrated into the hills. They say that, after these an-
cestors got fire from a stone near Ukrul, they divided, some
1 Kruijt and Adriani, II, 237. 3 Ibid., I, 33. 3 Ibid., I, 35. 4 Ibid., I, 60.
Chatelin, 116; Modigliani, 617. 6 Sundermann (i), 400.
STONES AND TRADITION 71
going to Sirohi and others to Ukrul. The Tangkhul of Sirohi
also claim to have procured fire from a stone at Ukrul. 1
The discussion of these tales can perhaps best be opened by
a consideration of one related by the Bontoc of Luzon.
They say that a being, named Lumawig, came from the sky
and lived among them for a time before returning once again to
his home. He married a Bontoc woman, taught the Bontoc
agriculture, and gave them a code of morals. He was connected
with stone, for he is said by the Bontoc to have taught them to
make the men's house and the council house, both of which are
stone buildings : the stone foundations of his house are still
pointed out : and he is reported to have turned his brother into
In the discussions of previous chapters, it was concluded that
the use of stone had been introduced to Indonesia by certain
immigrants. These strangers settled down in some places and
founded lines of chiefs. But this was not so in the case of the
Bontoc. For among them warriors are distinguished from the
rest of the people by the use of a special form of grave and,
probably, by the use of stone seats, which are placed in the court-
yard of the men's house, the dwelling of the warriors. This
association between warriors and the use of stone was ascribed
to the influence of the stone-using immigrants. Bontoc tradition
claims that not only the men's house and other stone-work,
but also the institution of head-hunting were due to Lumawig.
Thus a building which was supposed to owe its existence to the
influence of the stone-using immigrants, and a custom which is
bound up with men who are distinguished from the rest of the
community by a special use of stone, are ascribed to an immigrant.
So, on the basis of the close agreement between traditional and
other evidence, we may conclude that the tale of Lumawig is an
account of the coming of stone-using immigrants among the
One difficulty must be removed before we can make this
assumption with confidence. The stone-using immigrants have,
according to the conclusions reached in this book, founded lines of
chiefs in various parts of Indonesia. Lumawig, who is supposed
1 Hodson, 10.
72 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
to be one of the stone-using immigrants, married one of the
Bontoc women. How is it then that his descendants do not
form a class of hereditary chiefs ?
Fortunately it is not necessary to have recourse to specula-
tion to account for this fact, for the Bontoc themselves supply
the answer to the question when they say that the children of
Lumawig were killed and buried outside Bontoc in a place
where a ceremony is held once a month. It may therefore be
claimed that the traditions of the Bontoc are in close agreement
with the evidence and with the conclusions already reached from
the consideration of the stone- work of Indonesia.
A being similar to Lumawig is said to have arrived among
the Posso-Todjo Toradja. He was Lasaeo, the " sun-lord," who
married a Toradja woman. He taught the Toradja agriculture
and rice-growing and gave them a supply of buffaloes. When
he returned to the sky, his descendants departed from Pamona,
one to found a line of chiefs at Waibunta in Luwu, the other to
become the great chief of the To Napu, a people who possess a
Lasaeo and his sons are connected with stone. The buffalo
upon which Lasaeo arrived and his wife, together with the
creeper up which she endeavoured to climb after him, were
petrified ; iDori, Lasaeo's son, caused water and palm-wine to
emerge from a rock ; and when iDori left Pamona, seven menhirs
The associations of Lasaeo and his descendants with stone
and with the custom of erecting memorial stones, together with
the agreement which exists between the tale and the cultural
conditions of central Celebes, suggest that the account of Lasaeo
is also a tradition of the arrival of stone-using immigrants, in
this case among the Posso-Todjo group of the Toradja.
Lasaeo and Lumawig bear some resemblance to each other in
that they both are connected with a world in the sky. They are
the only two such people as have as yet been mentioned in this
book. Some remarks upon the significance of the presence of
such beings on earth will be made at the end of this chapter.
Another tale, which recounts the wanderings of people
associated with stone, is that of Tengker and Kawalusan, which
is told by the Tontemboan of Minahassa. The Tontemboan are
STONES AND TRADITION 73
one of the four tribes of Minahassa. In chapter vi. it was said
that stone-using immigrants introduced the use of stone burial-
urns to Minahassa. It was also said that the various Minahassa
tribes held a council meeting before separating. No signs have
as yet been detected of the existence, among these tribes, of a
chiefly class, the members of which are distinguished from the
rest of the community by their use of stone. We have only
learned that chiefs sat on stones during the council on Tonderukan.
This evidence suggests that, so far as we know, the various tribes
of Minahassa were more or less democratic, with no distinct
chiefly class, when they moved from Tonderukan to the different
parts of Minahassa.
These circumstances fit the case of the tale of Tengker and
Kawalusan. Kawalusan's sons migrated from place to place,
carrying with them a stone image, founding and naming villages
and building houses on stone piles. This shows that they were
acquainted with the use of stone. But, although they brought
water out of rocks, they are not said to have been descended
from the people of the sky-world, nor do their descendants ap-
pear to have become chiefs. Their father was, according to the
tale, a man of the earth. The account of the movements of
Kawalusan's sons through Minahassa is therefore, according to
the evidence derived from the tale and from the examination of
the stone-work of the Tontemboan, that of people who have
migrated after acquiring the use of stone, not of stone-using
immigrants such as Lasaeo and Lumawig.
Other peoples of Indonesia have traditions similar in nature
to that of the Tontemboan. The Naga peoples of Assam have
no chiefly class, and they do not claim to have acquired the use
of stone from strangers. The Tangkhul say that they have
migrated, and, as mention is made of stones in connection with
their movements, it would seem that they have migrated after
acquiring the use of stone. Good reason also exists for con-
cluding that the Kabui have migrated after acquiring the use of
stone, for Hodson mentions stone-work in some of their old
settlements further south.
The traditions recorded in this chapter can be divided into two
groups. The first comprises those which tell of the arrival of
74 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
beings from the sky, who introduce agriculture and probably
other arts and crafts. The second includes those which tell of
the migrations of peoples who have acquired the use of stone.
As far as we know, none of the peoples discussed in this chapter
have a class of hereditary chiefs who are distinguished from the
commoners by the use of stone seats or stone graves of a special
sort or size. Neither Lumawig nor Lasaeo left descendants
among the people who tell of them. And the Minahassa and
Naga peoples have, so far as we have been able to discover,
no chiefs. The apparent lack, among people who have a class
of hereditary chiefs, of any tradition which accounts for the
manner in which the use of stone has been acquired in such
places can hardly be due to chance. It must rather be con-
cluded that for some reason or other, in places where the stone-
using immigrants have settled, traditions do not tell of their
In preceding chapters it was concluded that the stone-using
immigrants carried stones about with them, and that they were
responsible for the presence of sacred stones in which their ghosts
live as guardian spirits. In this chapter further evidence in sup-
port of this conclusion has been forthcoming. For, in the tale of
Tengker and Kawalusan, the sons of Kawalusan carried about
with them a stone image which was to be placed in a village as
an object of worship ; in the tale of Lasaeo it was said that iDori
and his wife turned into stone images which are worshipped ;
and offerings are put on the graves of the descendants of Luma-
The study of tradition has made it possible to understand in
some degree the manner in which the stone-using immigrants
have influenced the cultures of the indigenous peoples of Indo-
nesia. It has also made it necessary for us to consider a matter
which will be of fundamental importance in this book. The
traditions of Lumawig and Lasaeo, the strangers who brought
the culture associated with the use of stone among the Bontoc
and Toradja, agree so strictly with known facts that it is diffi-
cult to refuse to admit either that Lumawig and Lasaeo were
personages, or else that they are the traditional representatives of
STONES AND TRADITION 75
a group of stone-using immigrants. In either case they were
In the traditions quoted in this chapter Lasaeo is called the
" sun-lord"; both he and Lumawig are believed to have come
from the sky and to have returned thither ; and they are credited
with powers which are not possessed by men. They are there-
fore what are commonly called " divine beings " .
According to the scheme elaborated in this book, the stone-
using immigrants have left behind them descendants who are
chiefs. This would lead us to expect that the hereditary chiefs
of Indonesia who are thus descended claim to be of "divine
descent" . This is so among the Sadang group of the Toradja.
The chief of Makale is said to be descended from Puang Matowa,
the supreme being, who lives in the sky. Puang Matowa is said
to have come down to earth and to have married a princess of
the underground world. His three sons became chiefs of Goa
in south Celebes, of Luwu as far as Kolaka, and the third ac-
quired the Toradja lands. 1 Thus a hereditary chief, who, since
he rules over people who erect megalithic monuments, is prob-
ably the descendant of a stone-using immigrant, claims descent
from a being who is similar to Lasaeo and Lumawig, the latter
of whom is the supreme being of the Bontoc.
When the supreme being of one people is, so far as it is
possible to decide from the evidence, a historical personage, and
living chiefs of another people claim descent from their supreme
being, it becomes necessary to determine what shall be the at-
titude in this book towards such beings. The investigations of
the preceding chapters have been carried out with as few pre-
conceptions as possible. This attitude of mind was essential
when dealing with material objects which can be described in
language that admits of no doubt. It is doubly so in the ex-
amination of facts such as those just considered. I shall there-
fore consider the phenomena in question solely as facts. |I
shall assume at present that peoples such as the Toradja and
Bontoc have preserved traditions of stone-using immigrants.
These strangers are reputed to have had powers beyond those
possessed by ordinary mortals ; they are said to have come from
a world in the sky and to have returned there. The immigrants
1 Grubauer, 209.
76 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
have, in some cases, founded chiefly houses, the members of which
claim descent from denizens of the world in the sky. And the
ghosts of these immigrants are supposed to live, temporarily or
permanently, in stone images and to act as the " guardian spirits "
In what follows I shall sometimes, for convenience, retain the
word "god " when quoting from other writers. But when speak-
ing of beings such as Lasaeo or Puang Matowa, I shall use terms
such as " sky-people " to signify that they are associated with a
world in the sky, and shall leave the elucidation of the signifi-
cance of the term " god " to a later stage of the argument when
the facts themselves will have provided the means to enable us
to reconsider this matter. In this way it will be possible to
avoid any assumptions concerning the relationship between these
beings and the people who are reported to believe in them.
STONE ORIGIN MYTHS.
IN the last chapter it was found that the traditions of Indonesian
peoples agree closely with the results gained by the examination
of the different forms of stone-work that they make use of. Some
of these peoples, in addition to recording traditions which enable
us to understand to some degree the manner in which they ac-
quired their use of stone, also possess tales of their origin which
are connected with stones. These tales will be examined in this
The first ancestress of the race in the Luang-Sermata group
is supposed to have descended from the sky down a creeper, the
petrified roots of which are still to be seen on the island of No-
walna. 1 It is also said that a man of Luang-Sermata, while out
fishing, brought up in his net a stone which he threw back into
the sea. A second time he fished it up, and, warned not to throw
it away, took it home. At the end of nine months the stone
burst and out of it came a boy. He married his foster-sister,
and they were the ancestors of the Patumera (red-stones) clan. 2
The great kindness of Mr. Shinji Ishii enables me to publish
the following origin myths from Formosa :
The Taiyal, who dwell in the mountain region of north For-
mosa, have a tradition of the origin of their tribe which runs as
follows : A rock once stood on the top of Mt Papakuwake (Mt.
Taihasen in Mr. Ishii's work). One day this rock split, and out
of it came a man and a woman, the ancestors of the Taiyal. The
place where the rock existed is called Pinsabakan, "fissure" or
"crack". "This tradition," says Mr. Ishii, "is held throughout
most of the Taiyal villages."
A sub-tribe of the Paiwan called Pomomakka, who live in the
1 Riedel (iv), 312. 2 Bastian, II, 62.
78 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
southern part of Formosa, have a similar tradition. Their an-
cestors, a man and a woman, came out of the natural fissure
of a rock on the top of Mt. Diabu (10,660 feet high), the highest
mountain in southern Formosa. The rock in question was
lowered down from the sun, being born from that body.
The Yami of Botel Tobago say that their ancestors were born
out of the fissure of a rock.
Other variants of origin myths have been collected in For-
mosa. The Paiwan round Lilisha state that a stone burst, and
out of it came their ancestors, a man and a woman. 1 The Ami
believe that their ancestors were born from a stone on the moun-
tain near the Chipun river. 2 The ancestors of the Puyuma came
out of a stone at the foot of Mt. Aravanai. 3 The Tsalisen state
that their ancestors came out of the moon. In the house of a
chief of this people is a spherical stone which is said to represent
the moon. 4
Schwarz gives variants of the origin myths of the Tontemboan
of Minahassa. The first says that a stone once stuck out of the
ground somewhere in the east. When the sun rose the stone
became hot and sweated. The sweat became a lump which finally
burst, giving birth to Lumimu'ut, the ancestress of the Tontem-
boan. Another account states that there was once a stone as
large as a house in the middle of the sea. The waves played
over it, and after a time a crow emerged. The stone then sweated,
and out came Lumimu'ut. 5 According to a Toumpakewa version,
a sky-being made the earth and caused all things to grow. It
happened one day that the south wind was blowing, so that a
large mass of foam was carried by the waves and finally left high
and dry on the shore. Day after day the sun shone upon the
foam, till it began to move and work itself deeper into the sand.
Finally it gave birth to a youth. One day when walking this
youth came to the mouth of a river, where he heard the sound
of a child crying in a heap of stones. He listened and said, " Per-
haps it is some one who lives here ". He looked for the weeping
child, and saw that a small girl had sweated out of a stone, to
which her navel-string was still attached. He cut the navel-
string with a bamboo knife. He married the girl, whose name
was Lumimu'ut, for she had sweated out of the stone, or Kariso.
Fischer, 241. 2 Davidson, 579. * Ibid., 578. 4 Ibid., 574. 6 2Qi.
STONE ORIGIN MYTHS 79
The story goes that she had been produced by the friction of two
stones. 1 The Toumpakewa say that two stone images on the
hill Tonderukan are supposed to be Lumimu'ut and To'ar, the
ancestors of the Minahassa peoples.' 2
The Posso-Todjo Toradja have two variants of a myth of
origin in which the first ancestors were made in the form of stone
images. One version states that iLai, a being of the sky-world,
and iDai, a " goddess " of the underworld, ordered Kombungi to
make human beings. He did so, but while iLai and iNdara had
gone up to the sky to get the eternal breath, Kombungi allowed
the wind to blow on the images so that they became living
beings. According to the other variant, Pue mPalaburu, one of
the sky-people, made the first men out of stone. 3
I have not been able to trace, in the literature concerning the
peoples of Borneo, any definite myths which connect the first
men directly with stone, except the following tale recorded by
Bastian. "Besides the sun and moon, and stars, the Pari (in
Borneo) worship the creator Minjanni, who, with Sempulon,
made men and animals out of stone." 4
The ancestors of the Khasi chiefs of Nongkrem and Myllem
are said to have come out of a rock situated not far from the
Shillong peak in the Nongkrem direction. 5
A large stone at Maikel is said to be on the spot where the
first ancestors of the people came out of the underground world.
Another account says that the Maikel folk " originated " from
this stone. They are also supposed to have " originated" from
a stone between Longsa and Sangtam. The ancestors of the
Tangkhul Naga are said to have emerged from a stone in the
Manipur valley. 6
The ancestors of the Kabui are said to have come out of a
split stone at Aqui, at a spot called Lingding yong. 7 The
Lushei say that the auk once swallowed the sun, and thus
plunged the whole world into darkness. A number of large
rocks in the van-lai-phai represent the petrified remains of the
222-3. 2 Riedel (vi), 189-90. s Kruijt (iii), 468; Kruijt and
Adriani, I, 245 ; II, 82 ; Kruijt (i), 339. 4 IV, 9, 13. The term " pari " is a cor-
ruption of " padi," and denotes the rice-growing tribes, among whom the Kayan are
prominent. 5 Gurdon, 115. 6 Hodson, 10, 12, 13, 14, 187, 198 ; A.C.R. (1891),
224, 241. 7 Hodson, 127.
8o MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
buffaloes of the Chhura which were grazing there at the time.
The earth was re-peopled by men and women, who issued from
the ground by means of a hole covered with a stone. 1 The
Chawte clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur say that their ancestors
came out of a hole in the ground which was covered by a stone. 2
The ancestors of the Tashon branch of the Chin came out of
a large rock at Shunkla, and the ancestors of the Whenho came
out of the rocks at Sepi. 3
These tales vary much in content. They can, however, be
divided into two groups; one contains what may be termed
"creation myths," in which the first members of the race were
made by some personal agency ; the other contains those tales
which state that the first ancestors came out of stones without
the aid of any personal agency.
The creation myths are recorded among the Posso-Todjo
group of the Toradja and, in central Borneo, among peoples
allied to the Kayan and Kenyah. In both cases it is said that
beings of the sky-world made the first man and woman in the
form of stone images.
An analogous form of creation myth is recorded among the
Iban of Sarawak. They say that one of the sky-people, Petara,
commanded Salampandi, another sky-being, to make men. She
tried first to carve them out of stone, but the images could not
speak. She then tried iron, without success. Finally she tried
earth, and the two images spoke. The Sakarran branch of the
Iban have a variant of this tale in which the supreme being
created two birds, male and female. These birds in their turn
created the sky, then the earth, and finally the Batang Lupar
river. Finding that the earth spread out more than the sky,
they heaped it together and so caused the mountains. They
then tried to make men, experimenting in turn with trees, stone,
and earth, and succeeded with the last substance. 4
Neither the Posso-Todjo Toradja, with the exception of the
To Pajapi, who have chiefs, nor the Borneo tribes with the
exception of the Kayan, who place cairns over the bodies of
men who have been " murdered," use stone for graves or village
J Shakespear (i), 92-4. 2 Ibid., 151. a Scott, 458; Carey and Tuck, 143,
148, 198. 4 Ling Roth, I, 176, 299.
STONE ORIGIN MYTHS 81
walls. These peoples do not appear to possess a chiefly class,
the members of which are placed in a special form of grave.
But the Toradja and the Borneo peoples have had contact with
stone-using people. The case of the Toradja was discussed in
the last chapter. It was found in chapter viii. that the Kayan,
Kenyah, and kindred tribes of Borneo were preceded in the
centre of that island by people who made the stone images
which have been discovered on the banks of the Kapuas and its
tributaries. And the beliefs held by the Kenyah with regard to
sacred stones were referred in that chapter to the influence of
these stone-using people.
Although the Posso-Todjo Toradja and the Borneo peoples
have been in contact, more or less remote, with stone-using
people, they have not learned to carve stone.
The evidence therefore suggests that the form of creation
myth in which the first ancestors of the race are made by sky-
beings out of stone-images, is found among peoples who have
had contact with the stone-using immigrants of such a kind that
the latter have neither settled among them to form a chiefly
class nor taught them to work in stone. The effect of this
manner of contact is to lead peoples such as the Posso-Todjo
Toradja to remember the stone-using people as beings connected
with the sky and possessed of powers which they themselves
lack. One of these accomplishments is that of making stone
But the possession of such a craft would hardly of itself make
the indigenous peoples remember the strangers as beings who
could actually create men out of stone images. It is therefore
necessary to inquire further into this matter, and to endeavour
to divine some reason for the belief that the stone-using immi-
grants could animate images.
The Toradja account of the creation of their ancestors relates
that, when the images were carved, the sky-beings went up to
the sky to fetch thence the breath of life with which to animate
them. While they were gone, the images were animated by the
wind. 1 In the Borneo version the makers of the images en-
deavour to cause them to speak. And a tale from Halmahera,
recorded among people about whom I have no information,
1 Kruijt (Hi), 469.
82 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
states that the supreme being, who lives in the sky-world, made
a man of clay. When he had gone up to the sky to fetch down
the breath of life with which the image was to be inspired, an
evil spirit destroyed his handiwork. The supreme being there-
upon made man out of the excrement of the evil spirit. 1
The real point of the tale seems to lie in the process of
animation of the image by the sky-people, who alone appear to
have this power, for the breath of life is kept up in the sky. It
is to be noted that in the Toradja version the images are not
actually animated with the breath of life from the sky, but by the
wind. In this they present a contrast to the people of Nias, among
whom each child is animated at birth with breath drawn from a
store in the sky, to which it returns at death (see p. 152). The
evidence thus suggests that the stone-using immigrants brought
with them the idea that the life of human beings is maintained
by the presence in them of breath derived from the sky, and that
this idea forms part of the beliefs of the peoples among whom
they have settled as chiefs claiming descent from the sky-world.
On the other hand, people such as the Posso-Todjo Toradja,
among whom the stone-using immigrants have not settled, appear
to claim, in their tale of creation out of stone images, that they
do not possess the breath of life, and thus have no relationship
with the world in the sky.
The Bontoc have preserved a tradition of the arrival of the
stone-using immigrants which resembles in more than one detail
that of Lasaeo, the being who brought the use of stone among
the Toradja. Neither the Bontoc nor the Toradja have a class
of hereditary chiefs. These cultural similarities suggest that the
Bontoc ought to possess a creation myth similar to that of the
Posso-Todjo Toradja. But a marked difference exists between
the cultures of these two peoples. The Bontoc make consider-
able use of stone, and the Posso-Todjo, with the exception of the
To Pajapi, do not use it at all. This shows that the Bontoc
must have had much more prolonged and intimate intercourse
with the stone-using immigrants than the Posso-Todjo Toradja.
So it would appear that to this cause must be attributed the
absence among the Bontoc of a myth of origin from stone
1 Kruijt (iii), 471.
STONE ORIGIN MYTHS 83
The tale which recounts the origin of a people from ancestors
who emerged from a stone is reported in Luang-Sermata,
Formosa, among the Tontemboan of Minahassa, the Tangkhul,
Kabui and Maikel Naga of Assam, and the Chin tribes of Upper
Burma. The Tontemboan of Minahassa, and the Tangkhul and
Kabui Naga are peoples who, as was seen in the preceding
chapter, have apparently migrated after acquiring the use of
stone. The ancestors of the Patumera clan of the Luang-Sermata
Islands were probably immigrants acquainted with the use of
stone. For, according to Bastian, they are also present in the
Leti Moa Lakor group, and they place their land of the dead
over the sea, which suggests that they are of alien origin. 1
It is possible, too, that the Formosan tribes have also migrated
after acquiring the use of stone.
The form of origin myth in which the first ancestors are
said to have come out of a stone, therefore appears to be
recorded only among people who have migrated after acquiring
the use of stone.
This agrees with the Khasi tradition that the ancestors of
some of their chiefly houses emerged from stones. The chiefly
houses of Indonesia are supposed to be the descendants of stone-
using immigrants. But these ancestresses of Khasi chiefs seem
to differ from those stone-using immigrants who arrived in such
places as Nias ; for they emerged from stones, and therefore, if
we accept the conclusion just arrived at, were people who settled
among the Khasi after acquiring elsewhere the use of stone from
the stone-using immigrants. This marks a difference between
the culture of the Khasi and that of such places as Nias which will
become more apparent as the general argument proceeds.
The tribes of Assam and upper Burma who believe that their
ancestors came out of stones are the Tangkhul and Kabui Naga
and the Chin. With the possible exception of the Chin, 2 these
tribes erect stone memorials upon which travellers sit, and build
stone houses or work in stone. They therefore make more use
of stone than the other tribes of this region. Certain other
stone-using tribes of this region, the Maikel Naga, the Lushei,
1 II, 62. a Lack of definite information in reference to their use of stone
calls for this reservation.
84 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
and the Chawte clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur, say that their
ancestors came out of the underground world by means of a hole
in the ground which was covered by a stone.
In a paper on " Myths of Origin and the Home of the Dead in
Indonesia," I have quoted examples to show that those peoples
who inter their dead generally believe that their ghosts go into
the underground world, which is the supposed place of origin of
their race. The peoples in question inter their dead, and there-
fore would be expected to believe that their ancestors came out
of the underground world. The Maikel say that a monolith at
Maikel itself marks the spot where their ancestors emerged.
According to the conclusions already arrived at, the importance
attached to this stone would be due, directly or indirectly, to the
influence of the stone-using immigrants. Thus it would appear
that the form of origin myth in which the ancestors of the race
came out of the underground world by means of a hole covered
by a stone, is due to the adoption, by the same people, of the
culture associated with the use of stone, and of the practice of
I do not propose to pursue this matter any further at present,
but shall leave the consideration of the problem of accounting
for the different forms of origin myths in Assam and upper
Burma until fuller knowledge is available.
It would be interesting to endeavour to trace out the connec-
tion between the creation myths of the Toradja and the origin
myths of people such as the Tontemboan, which say that their
ancestors emerged from stones. It would not be a profitable
occupation in the present state of our knowledge, and the attempt
must be made when more evidence has been collected. It is
important to note, however, that the myths discussed in this
chapter have not been recorded among people who have heredi-
tary chiefs claiming to be descended from people of the sky-world,
and to enjoy the privilege of sitting on stone seats, and are other-
wise distinguished from the commoners. The peoples with which
we have been concerned are those such as the Posso-Todjo
Toradja, who have had slight contact with the stone-using immi-
grants, and others such as theTangkhul Naga, who have acquired
a considerable use of stone and then have migrated. In these
STONE ORIGIN MYTHS 85
cases the stone-using immigrants have so impressed themselves
upon tradition that the history of the tribe or people dates from
a time after they had had contact with the strangers. Both
creation and origin myths of such peoples are expressed in terms
of the use of stone.
This chapter concludes the first portion of the main argument
of this book. The evidence afforded by the consideration of
stone-work suggested that megalithic monuments, together with
the whole of the stone-work of Indonesia, owed their existence in
Indonesia to the influence of immigrants who have left their
descendants as chiefs in certain places, and in others have caused
warriors to be distinguished from the rest of the community.
These strangers are remembered as beings connected with a world
in the sky, and their chiefly descendants claim descent from
beings of the sky-world.
The investigation has disclosed a marked agreement between
the tales recorded among the peoples of Indonesia and the
various manners in which stone is used by these peoples. In no
case has any substantial disagreement become apparent. On the
contrary, each chapter has added new items of information which
agree with those already gained. If facts collected at random
enable us to see a certain distance into the mist that surrounds us,
how much more light may we hope for when ethnographers de-
liberately collect information that will throw light upon the many
dark places which have been brought into relief in the course of
the discussions of this book.
The second part of the main argument will be concerned
principally with the sky-world and the beings, celestial and ter-
restrial, who are connected with it. In the succeeding chapters
certain clues disclosed in the evidence already adduced will be
followed up, and the consequent developments will throw much
light upon the meaning of the knowledge which has already been
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN.
THE examination of the various forms of stone-work that Indon-
esian peoples make use of, and of the beliefs concerning stone
which have been recorded among these peoples, has shown that
the use of stone in Indonesia can best be accounted for by
ascribing it to the influence of an immigrant culture. It is now
necessary to proceed to the second part of the inquiry which has
been instituted in this book ; to examine the sun-cult which is
reported among certain Indonesian peoples, with a view to deter-
mining the relationship between this cult and the use of stone.
In accordance with the attitude which was adopted in chapter
ix., I shall not attempt to define the " sun-cult," but shall allow
that term the widest possible meaning. I shall also substitute
"sun-lord" for "sun-god," so as to avoid any assumptions con-
cerning the nature of such beings.
The sun-cult is reported among all the peoples of the Timor
region of which I have knowledge, with the exception of those
of Sumba, Savu, and the Belu district of Timor. The absence of
a sun-cult in these places may be capable of two interpretations.
It may be due to the disappearance of a former sun-cult, or it
may constitute evidence that the indigenous peoples of Indonesia
have not themselves come to regard the sun as a being who must
be propitiated and to whom offerings must be made. In that
case the absence of a sun-cult in certain places will be due to
the fact that it has not been introduced there.
In the Timor region a sun-cult is reported in Sumbawa
among the Do Donggo of the Bima hill district ; in the Sicca
district of Flores ; in Roti, where the sun is looked upon as a
mighty being ; in south-west Timor, where a being called Usi-
neno lives in the sun ; in east Timor ; in Wetar, where the people
worship Paibei wawaki, "the great lord of old," who lives in the
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 87
sun ; in Romang, Serua, Dama, Keisar, Leti Moa Lakor, Babar,,
and Luang-Sermata, in all of which islands the sun-lord is called
Upu-lero ; and in Timorlaut, where he is called Ublera. In each
village of the Leti Moa Lakor, Babar and Luang-Sermata groups,
an annual feast is held during which offerings are made to Upu-
lero, who is supposed to descend for that purpose into an image
which is placed on the top of the wooden pole which constitutes
part of the stone offering-places described in chapter iv. In
Timorlaut Ublera is supposed to descend, in order to receive
offerings, into an image which is placed in the middle of each
village: on uninhabited islands certain stones are used for the
This survey shows that the " sun-cult " practised by the people
of the Timor region is apparently not associated with the sun
itself, but rather with a being who is supposed to live therein
and to descend to the earth from time to time. This distinction
between the sun and the being who inhabits it is clearly brought
out in Wetar, where the "great lord of old" is said to live in
The sun-lord bears the same name in several islands of the
Timor region, and the similarity of nomenclature extends to the
words for the sun itself which are used by the peoples of these
islands. This is shown by the table.
Floras (Sicca) 2 lero.
Solor 3 lera.
Roti 4 leda.
South-west Timor (Kupang) .... laelo.
Central Timor loro.
Wetar r > lelo.
Keisar 6 leere, leri.
Leti Moa Lakor lero.
Luang-Sermata ....... lero.
Riedel (iv), 460,436,410, 372, 337, 312, 280; Zollinger (i), 128; ten Kate
(i), 224; Riedel (v), 278; Jacobsen, 56; S. Muller, II, 273; Forbes, 444. 2 In
those cases in this table where no reference is given the word has already appeared
in this book. 3 Leekmer. He says that this language is used in Flores east of
Sicca, Adunara, and in the west part of Lombok, as well as in Solor. 4 Kleian, 277.
5 Riedel (iv), 436. Ibid., 410 ; Earle, 695 et seq.
88 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Aru l lara, laor.
Kei 2 leera, lehr.
I have not been able to discover that any variants of the word
Uro t as terms denoting the sun, have been recorded in any places
in Indonesia other than those included in this table.
The close resemblance which exists between the various
expressions which are used for the sun and the sun-lord in the
Timor region suggests that these terms have been adopted as
the result of one cultural influence in all these places. And the
direct association between the sun-cult of the islands east of
Timor and the stone offering-places which exist in those islands,
suggests that these influences are those of stone-using immi-
The people of these islands assert that their sun-cult is alien
in nature, for they say that strangers from the west introduced
it to Luang-Sermata, 3 whence it spread to the neighbouring
islands. 4 This traditional support enables us to conclude that
the sun-cult of the Timor region is immigrant in origin. Other
traditional evidence confirms the conjecture that the strangers
were the stone-using immigrants. For the chiefs of south-west
Timor call themselves " children of the sun ". 5 In central Timor
chiefs are called, so Riedel tells us, "great sun" or "son of
the sun". 6 The chiefs of Sonabait, who once ruled Timor,
are " children of the sun," and their ancestors are said to have
been immigrants. 7 The chiefs of Amanubang owe their origin
to an immigrant who possibly brought the sun-cult. It is said
that a slave of Abineno, a chief of Hounieen in Amarassi (a dis-
trict of south-west Timor just to the west of Amanubang) one
night dreamed that he saw a flame on the head of a horse. He
concluded that this was a sign of good luck, and thereupon stole
the treasure and gold ornaments of his master and fled to the
east to Amanubang, where he lit a fire on a height. When the
inhabitants, who were very astonished to see the fire, came to
1 Riedel (iv), 252; Eijbergen, 56. 2 Riedel (iv), 220; Eijbergen, 568. s S.
Muller, op. cit. Comparative Table. Other words for the sun are used in this
island. 4 v. Hoevell, 196; Bastian, II, 60. "Graamberg, 185; Bastian, II, 8;
Cabaton, 356. Riedel (vii). ' Bastian, II, 9.
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 89
discover the cause of this phenomenon, they met the slave clothed
with the costly gold and silver ornaments of his master all glisten-
ing in the sun, and, thinking that he was sent from heaven by
Usi-neno, thereupon made him their chief. 1
In chapter vi. it was claimed that stone-using immigrants
have moved from west to east across the Timor region, and that
these strangers founded lines of chiefs who, especially in the
islands at the west end of the region, were placed after death in
elaborate graves or in graves differing in size from those used for
commoners. The evidence just quoted shows that the ancestors
of certain of these chiefs were immigrants. These immigrants
were, moreover, closely connected with the sun, for their descend-
ants claim to be " children of the sun ". The evidence therefore
agrees in associating the sun-cult of the Timor region with the
immigrants who introduced the use of stone.
We have already seen that the people of Sumba do not
appear to possess a sun-cult. Yet the presence of solar symbols
carved on stones that are associated with some of the dolmens
in this island constitutes evidence that the immigrants who
built the dolmens practised a sun-cult. Moreover, some of the
dolmens are said to be the work of people from Flores, an island
where the sun-cult exists. In Savu, another island where no
sun-cult is reported, the two chief deities are Pu-lodo-liru and
Pu-lodo-rae. Wilken says : " The surmise that the worship of
Pu-lodo-liru and Pu-lodo-rae has originated in a former sun-cult
is certainly not hazardous. There can be only one opinion as
to the names of these two deities. Pu means lord, liru means
* heaven ' or firmament, and rae means the earth. The expres-
sion Pu-lodo can be translated ' the sun-lord/ and must originally
have been used without the addition of the words liru and rae in
the time when men worshipped the visible heavenly bodies." :
But, although traces of the sun-cult exist in Sumba and Savu, no
evidence can be put forward to show that the sun-cult is, or ever
has been, present in the Belu district of Timor. These people
differ in another respect from the other peoples of the Timor
region, for they say that their ancestors came from the north, a
direction different from that of the main movement of stone-
using people in the Timor region. 3 So, although the evidence
1 Bastian, II, 10-11, 66. 3 III, 179. 3 Gryzen.
90 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
agrees in ascribing the existence of the sun-cult in the Timor
region to the influence of the stone-using immigrants, it will be
necessary to account for its apparent absence in three places
where much use is made of stone.
The accounts of the beliefs and practices associated with the
sun that have been recorded among the peoples of the rest of
Indonesia reveal no signs anywhere of a cult so definite and
important as that which exists in the Timor region.
A sun-cult is reported in the Aru, Kei, and Watubela groups,
v. Hoevell states that in the Aru group the cult differs from those
of the Timor region. 1 It is indefinite in nature, and Schmidt is
of the opinion that it has been introduced from elsewhere. In
the Watubela group the sun-lord is called Tata-lat y " grandfather
chief sun ".
In the Kei Islands, a man who wishes to take a very serious
oath says, "Lord of the sun and moon, the holy one of the
ursiwa and urlima, the sacred one of all who are dead, consider
my affair, if I am guilty let me die". 2 It was concluded earlier
that the founders of these brotherhoods introduced the use of
stone to certain islands in this region. The prayer just quoted
suggests that, since these brotherhoods are so closely associated
with a sun-lord, their founders brought with them a sun-cult.
No beliefs and practices connected with a being who lives in
the sun are reported in Ambon, Seran, or Buru, with the exception
of the belief which is held in Seran that Upu lanite, the " lord of
the sky," lives in the sun ; 3 so it would appear that the indigen-
ous peoples of these islands have not developed a cult of the sun.
The conclusion that the sun-cult of the region under considera-
tion was introduced by the founders of the brotherhoods would
account satisfactorily for the condition of things in Seran and
Buru, for the brotherhoods are not present in Buru, and their
influence is weak in Seran. It would not, however, account for
the absence of beliefs in a sun-lord in Ambon, an island where
much use is made of stone. This constitutes a difficulty similar
to those encountered in the cases of Sumba, Savu, and the Belu
district of Timor.
In Halmahera a being called Djou wongi is believed to live
^iedel (iv), 252, 220, 195; v. Hoevell, 125. 2 Riedel (iv), 225. 3 Riedel
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 91
in the sun. 1 Beyer, who states that the sun and moon are held
to be great beings, or the habitations of such, by the peoples
of the Philippines, mentions a sun-cult among the Manobo of
Mindanao and the Igorot of Luzon. 2
Several of the sky beings whose doings are recorded in the
Tontemboan tales are " sun-lords ". One of them, To'ar, married
his mother, Lumimu'ut, the "ancestress" of the Tontemboan,
who came out of a stone. Another sun-lord, Si Marendor, the
son of Lumimu'ut and To'ar, married their daughter Lintjam-
bene. Lintjambene also married her son Muntu'untu, who is a
Si Marendor, the son of Lumimu'ut and To'ar, who marries
his sister Lintjambene, is said to be half stone and half sky-born.
He is supposed to be the same person as Kerito, another sun-
lord, who is half human and half stone. This identification
suggests that the stone part of Kerito is equivalent to the sky-
born part of Marendor. The validity of this equation is con-
firmed by the tale of Lintjambene, who, wandering about the
earth, saw the head of the "god-man" Maror which was half
flesh and half stone. 4 Thus these people seem to believe that
there is a close relationship between stone and the sky-world.
The facts suggest that the sky-beings of the Tontemboan are
closely connected with the influence of the stone-using immi-
grants. For Lumimu'ut, who came out of a stone, married a
sun-lord, and their daughter married two husbands, one of whom
was a sun-lord and the other was half flesh and half stone.
The existence among the Tontemboan of the belief that
their ancestress came out of a stone was accounted for in chapter
x. as being the result of a migration after the use of stone
had been acquired from the immigrants. This conclusion is
supported by the assertion made by the Tontemboan, that
Lumimu'ut came to Minahassa from over the sea in a ship.
Lumimu'ut, as has already been stated, married a sun-lord, and
their daughter Lintjambene is also said to have reached Mina-
hassa in a ship. 5 This would make some of the stone-using
immigrants " children of the sun," and, as Lumimu'ut is said to
have been the "ancestress" of the Tontemboan, it would be
1 (Hi), 66. 2 (ii), 90 ; Cole (ii), 172, 193. 3 Schwarz (i), 240 ei seq. ', Kruijt
(iii), 470-1. Bastian. B Schwarz (i), II, 97.
92 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
expected that some of this people imagine themselves to be
descended from sun-lords, or at least from people of the sky-
world. But no evidence has yet been adduced to lead us to
conclude that such a class exists.
The sun-lords of the Tontemboan are the sons, real or
imaginary, of women who are said to have migrated into Mina-
hassa : To'ar is the son of Lumimu'ut ; Si Marendor is the son
of Lumimu'ut and To'ar, and Muntu'untu is the son of Lint-
jambene. It appears from this that the chief beings of the sky-
world of the Tontemboan are looked upon as immigrants to
Minahassa or their descendants.
It has already been stated that the stone-using immigrant
who came among the Posso-Todjo Toradja was Lasaeo " the sun-
lord ". A belief recorded among these people states that the sun
is the eye of Pue mPalaburu, who dwells in the places where it
rises and sets. 1
The Kayan of Sarawak say that "in the beginning there was
a rock. On this the rain fell and gave rise to moss, and the
worms aided by the dung beetles, made soil by their castings.
Then a sword-handle (haup malaf] came down from the sun and
became a large tree. From the moon came a creeper which
hanging from the tree became mated with it through the action
of the wind." From this union the first men were produced. 2
Bastian states that the people on the Sambas river in Borneo
worship the sun-lord Pangatu. 3
In Nias a being named Lature, who is supposed to live in the
sun, is believed to have the lives of all men in his hands. 4
No sun-cult is reported among the Khasi of Assam. The
Mao Naga consider the sun to be a benignant being, but the
Quoireng Naga look upon him as malevolent.
Certain tales concerning the sun are recorded in Assam.
The Kabui Naga say that a man named Neumu sent his
children into the jungle because they were leprous. These
children one day tried to catch a snake which, although it lost
its tail, escaped into a tree, whence it emerged with this organ
restored. They noticed this, and ate some of the bark themselves,
1 Kruijt and Adrian!, I, 269 et seq., 109. a Hose and McDougall, II, 137.
3 (iv). 4 Kramer, 478 ; Rappard, 575.
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 93
and were cured. They then went home with some of this bark
which they placed in a secret place in the house. The bark was
stolen one day by the sun while it was drying out of doors.
Neumu's dog tracked the thief and devoured him because he
would not surrender the booty. 1
In a variant of this tale which has been recorded among the
Kohlen clan of the Old Kuki of Manipur, seven brothers, who
were cutting firewood, shot a deer, which they placed in some
leaves at the bottom of a tree ready to be cooked by their
youngest brother. After cooking it he placed it under some
leaves. While he was away the leaves brought it to life again
and it ran away. The other brothers returned and were so angry
to find that the deer had disappeared that they killed their un-
fortunate brother. Some leaves fell on him and restored him to
life. The brothers thereupon took some of the leaves with them.
On their way home they put some of them on a dead dog which
they saw floating down the river, and thus restored it to life.
When they reached home they put the leaves in the sun to dry
and left the dog to watch them. The sun and moon, seeing that
they were useful, stole them, and were chased by the dog. This
chase is now proceeding. When the dog gets near to the sun
and moon they hide, and thus cause eclipses.
In another version the Kohlen say that a sky-being named
Rikimpu one day left his dog to watch his garden. When the
sun and moon came to steal things out of the garden the dog
The Anal clan of the Old Kuki say that once a very pious
man had a dog. The sun and moon, being envious of him,
wished to take away his " virtue ". They offered to exchange
and he did so, whereupon the dog chased them. 2
These tales have not, so far as I am aware, been recorded
elsewhere in Indonesia. Their similarities suggest borrow-
There is no definite evidence for the existence of practices and
beliefs concerning a sun-lord among the Garo, except that, in a
story of creation, the sun and moon were made by a female being
at the orders of the creator Tatara-rabuga : but in another
1 Hodson, 129, 138, 169, 170, 175. 2 Shakespear (i), 183-4.
94 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
account the sun and moon are brother and sister, the children of
A sima-dingsima. l
The Yahao branch of the Chin say that the ancestors were
hatched out of an egg laid by the sun on Webula hill. 2
The evidence at our disposal has shown that the immigrants
who introduced the use of stone to certain parts of Indonesia
brought with them a "sun-cult". This cult is apparently not
associated directly with the sun, but with a being who, in certain
islands of the Timor region and elsewhere, bears a name which,
as Wilken shows, may best be translated as " sun-lord " and not
" sun-god " . The stone-using immigrants to Timor, Minahassa,
and central Celebes (or some of them), were "sun-lords," and
their chiefly descendants in Timor call themselves " children of
the sun " .
The elevation to the rank of supreme beings of Lumawig of
the Bontoc (of Luzon) and the ancestor of the chiefs of Makale,
in the Sadang district of central Celebes, suggests that the sun-
lords of peoples ruled over by " children of the sun " are the
immigrant ancestors of these chiefs. The supreme being in
Wetar, " the great lord of old " who lives in the sun, seems to
be some such person. But certain facts make it probable that
so simple an explanation will not suffice. For sun-cults are
reported in the east end of the Timor region, where no " children
of the sun " are present, so far as we know : and the Posso-
Todjo Toradja of central Celebes also believe in a sun-lord with
whom a cult is associated, although this cult is very slightly
developed. It must be remembered, however, that Lasaeo, the
traditional stone-using immigrant among these people, was a sun-
lord. A sun-cult can therefore exist in places where no chiefly
class of "children of the sun " is reported to exist.
In places where the chiefs claim descent from the supreme
being who lives in a world in the sky, there exists a remarkable
state of affairs. For, although the sky-world may be a place
apart from the earth, and the inhabitants thereof may be remote
from the commoners, yet the chiefs believe that the closest ties
of relationship exist between them and the celestial beings. A
direct connection exists, as it were, between the earth and the
1 Playfair, 82, 83, 85. a Scott, 458.
BELIEFS CONCERNING THE SUN 95
sky. But among peoples such as the Bontoc and the Posso-
Todjo Toradja, who have no hereditary chiefs who claim descent
from beings of the sky-world, the connection between the earth
and the sky is apparently severed, leaving the two worlds
THE sky-beings of the Tontemboan of Minahassa contract in-
cestuous unions : To'ar is the son and husband of Lumimu'ut ;
Muntu'untu is the son and husband of Lintjambene, who also
married her brother Marendor. The frequency of such unions
suggests that the sky-people are supposed to practise them
regularly. I propose in this chapter to inquire why these beings
should be credited with this custom, and shall put together all
the evidence concerning incestuous unions that I have been able
In Savu it is said that the race sprang from the union of
a brother and sister. 1 The tale of the origin of the Patumera
clan of the Luang-Sermata group, in which a man is born from a
stone, states that this man married his foster-sister.
In a tale recorded among the Bontoc of Luzon it is said that
the land about Bontoc was once covered with water. Lumawig
saw two young people, Fatanga and his sister Fukan, the
survivors of the flood, who were left upon the top of a mountain.
They were without fire, so Lumawig told them to wait while he
went to Mt. Kalowitan to get some. When he returned Fukan
was pregnant. Soon after a child had been born, Fatanga and
Fukan went to Bontoc and became the ancestors of the people
Another version given by Beyer is more explicit. Lumawig,
seeing a man and a woman on the top of Mt. Pokis, got fire with
which to warm them. He said to them, " You must marry, you
brother and sister". The man said that it was possible but
abominable, because they were brother and sister. However,
1 Wilken, I, 459. 2 Jenks, 201.
INCESTUOUS UNIONS 97
they did as Lumawig told them, and became the ancestors of the
The Igorot have another version. A flood once occurred,
and a brother and sister were the only people left, the man in a
cave on a mountain, and the woman on the top of the same
mountain. One night, when the waters had subsided a little,
the man came out of the cave and saw a fire on the top of the
mountain. He was too terrified to go to the fire during the
night, but in the morning he hurried up there and found his
sister, who received him with open arms. They were the
ancestors of the Igorot.
The Ifugao have an origin myth of a similar kind. Kagabit,
the first son of Wigan, came from the sky-world to live on the
earth. He built himself a house, and after a time Wigan sent
Kagabit's sister, Bugan, to live with him. She accordingly
came down and lodged in the top part of the house. Kagabit,
seeing that the fowls procreated their kind, resolved to have
intercourse with his sister, and did so in the night. After some
time Bugan perceived that she was pregnant, which made her so
melancholy that she ran away. She intended to take her life ;
but, seeing her brother following her, cast herself into the sea.
Instead of going to the bottom of the sea, Bugan stopped at the
rice granary of Ngilin Mangongol. Kagabit, following after,
found her there and tried to soothe her. They decided to ask
the opinion of Ngilin, who comforted her and told her to ask
the opinion of his elder brother Ambumabbakai. When the
latter was asked, he laughed loudly, and said, " Peradventure
have ye not done well and (righteously, there not being in exist-
ence any others but yourselves to procreate". However, Bugan
and Kagabit asked the opinion of Muntalog, Ngilin's father, who
approved of their conduct. Kagabit stayed three days with
Muntalog, and at the end of this time he wished to return to the
earth. Muntalog said, " Wait one day more until I go to see my
father". Muntalog set out, and when he arrived he found his.
father and mother sitting facing each other. Muntalog said that
he had come to ask for fire for the/ Ifugao. " My son," his father
replied, "those Ifugao of yours could not reach Mumbonang
without danger of being burned to cinders." Bugan and Kagabit
journeyed to Othobon, where they had two children, a boy and a.
98 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
girl. When the latter grew up they married and were the
ancestors of the Silipanes.
The Ifugao have another myth of a flood, the only two sur-
vivors of which were Wigan and Bugan, brother and sister, who
were stranded, Wigan upon Mt. Amuyao and Bugan on Mt.
Kalautian. Wigan had no fire, but Bugan lit one ; which showed
Wigan that some one else was alive upon the earth. When the
flood subsided, Wigan went to Mt. Kalautian and found Bugan.
The two went to the valley in which the Banausoai clan live now
and made a house, in the top part of which Bugan lived. Wigan
found that they were the only people left alive on the earth, and
that it must be repeopled by them. When Bugan found that she
was pregnant she ran away. After she had gone a long way she
lay down by the side of a river, but was surprised, on looking up,
to see an old man with a long white beard sitting upon a rock.
He said that he was Maknongan, and that she was not to worry.
While they were talking Wigan arrived, and Maknongan gave
the young people his blessing, saying that they had done right and
that the world would be repeopled through them.
One version of the Toradja myth of origin states that the
first pair of human beings descended from the sky at Wotu, a
place on the Gulf of Boni. After a daughter had been born the
couple quarrelled and separated. The woman later on wanted the
man, and after some searching, found him. They then lived to-
gether and had a son. When the two children grew up the
parents thought of marrying them, but dared not, since they were
brother and sister. However, a messenger arrived from Pue
mPalaburu, the sun-lord, to say that they might wed, and that two
animals, a pig and a fowl, were to be sacrificed on account of the
incest. Another version of the myth of origin states that a flood
took place, and afterwards only a pregnant woman was left.
She bore a son who became her husband. 1
The people of south Nias derive their origin from the incestu-
ous union either of a brother and sister or of a mother and
The Naga of Maram say that once a great flood destroyed
all mankind except a couple called Medungasi and Simoting.
Finding themselves alone they did not know if they might marry ;
1 Beyer (ii), 94 et seq. ; Kruijt and Adrian!, I, 3. 2 Wilken, I, 459.
INCESTUOUS UNIONS 99
so they went into the jungle, and something befell them there
which showed that they might not do so, for their union would
be incestuous. However, they dreamed during the night that
the " gods " said that they might marry provided they and their
descendants did not eat pork. 1
The Thado version of the origin of the Vuite clan of the
Lushai is that Dongal, Thado's elder brother, had intercourse
with his sister. A child was born, and the sister was so ashamed
that she put it in a hollow tree, thinking that it would die. But
when she saw after several days that it was still alive, she pro-
duced it. She said in explanation that she had discovered two
eggs, and on tasting one had found it bitter ; the other she had
put into the rice-bin, where the sun's rays had hatched it out.
Hence the child was called Gwite, from ni-gwi, the Thado word
for a ray of sunshine, 2
This survey has shown that several stone-using peoples claim
to have originated from an incestuous union.
In the tenth chapter it was said that the stone-using peoples
of Indonesia can be divided into three groups. In the first were
placed people such as the Posso-Todjo Toradja, who have had
slight intercourse with the stone-using immigrants, but have not
a class of hereditary chiefs. These people say that their ances-
tors were made by the sky-people in the form of stone images.
The second group comprises peoples, such as the Tangkhul Naga,
who use stone to a considerable extent, have no hereditary chiefs,
and claim to have migrated after acquiring the use of stone.
The ancestors of these people are said to have emerged from
split stones. The third class includes people, such as the Bontoc,
who have acquired a considerable use of stone, but among whom
the immigrants have not left a class of chiefs. These peoples do
not claim to have migrated after acquiring the use of stone, and
they have no myth of origin from stones. This myth of origin
is also lacking among peoples such as those of south Nias who
have a class of chiefs.
1 Hodson, 13. 2 Shakespear (i), 142.
ioo MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Burst Stone Incestuous Incestuous
Stone. Image. Union. Union after
Savu .... +
Luang-Sermata -f +
Ifugao ... -f
Igorot ... +
Bontoc ... +
Tontemboan + +
Posso-Todjo Toiadja . + +
Nias .... -f
Khasi Chiefs originated
from a rock
Maram ... +
Vuite .... +
The table shows that the myth of origin from an incestuous
union is found among peoples belonging to all three classes.
But it is not reported among the Khasi and the Tangkhul and
Kabui Naga. The Tangkhul and Kabui Naga differ from the
other Naga tribes in that they claim that their ancestors came
out of a split stone. The evidence cited in the tenth chapter
suggests that such a form of origin myth is possessed by peoples
who have migrated after acquiring the use of stone. Another
of the Naga tribes, the Mao, who have no tradition that they
migrated after acquiring the use of stone, say that their ancestors
contracted an incestuous union. It is highly probable that all
the Naga tribes have acquired the use of stone from similar
sources. If we assume that the myth of origin from an incestu-
ous union is due to the influence of the stone-using immigrants,
the difference between the origin myths of the Tangkhul and
Kabui Naga on the one hand, and the Mao on the other, would
perhaps be due to the fact that the two former tribes have, as an
effect of migration, replaced the myth of origin from an incestu-
ous union, which they would formerly have possessed, by that
from a split stone. Such an explanation would account also for
the lack of such a claim on the part of the Khasi. For the
ancestresses of some of the chiefs of that people are said to have
come out of a rock, which suggests that they migrated among
the Khasi after acquiring the use of stone.
INCESTUOUS UNIONS 101
But such an explanation is not satisfactory, for the Patumera
clan of the Luang-Sermata group claim to have sprung from the
incestuous union between a man who came out of a stone and
his foster-sister. And Lumimu'ut, the ancestress of the Tontem-
boan of Minahassa, who came out of a split stone, contracted an
incestuous union with To'ar her soa In both these cases there
is reason for supposing that the use of stone was introduced by
people who had migrated after acquiring it. It is therefore
evident that the myth of origin is not always dropped as the
result of the migrations of peoples who have acquired the use of
stone from the immigrants.
There is a difference between the cultures of the Khasi and
the Tangkhul and Kabui Naga, on the one hand, and those of
the Patumera and Tontemboan on the other. No sun-cult is
reported among the former peoples. On the other hand, it is
present in Luang-Sermata and among the Tontemboan. This
suggests that the myth of origin from an incestuous union is
intimately bound up with the sun-cult.
The peoples who claim to have originated from an incestuous
union may be divided into two groups : those who state that
their ancestors were brother and sister, or mother and son, who
married ; and those who state that their ancestors were the
survivors of a flood who were permitted by sky-beings to con-
tract an incestuous union in order to perpetuate the race.
These two groups are constituted as follows :
South Nias Bontoc
In the second group of tales some of the beings who give
permission for the survivors to marry are already known to us.
Lumawig is the traditional introducer of the use of stone among
the Bontoc. The tale which the Bontoc recount concerning their
origin is so similar in its main details to those of the Igorot and
Ifugao that it is legitimate to conclude that these tales have
originated in similar circumstances. If that be so, the sky-beings
102 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
who give permission for the unions will also probably stand to
the Igorot and Ifugao in a relationship similar to that which
exists between the Bontoc and Lumawig. That is to say, they
will be connected in some way with the stone-using immigrants
among these peoples.
Pue mPalaburu, the sky-being who gives permission for the
ancestors of the Posso-Todjo Toradja to marry, is also said to
have made the first man out of stone. He is therefore, according
to the conclusions arrived at in chapter x., closely connected
with the stone-using immigrants.
The importance which is attached in all these tales to the
permission which is given by the sky-beings for the ancestors to
marry suggests that an intimate relationship exists between the
sky-people and such unions. And since the sky-beings who
give permission for such unions are, in some cases, associated
with the stone-using immigrants, it would follow that the stone-
using immigrants are in some way responsible for the introduction
of such tales.
The other group of peoples, those who claim to have origin-
ated from incestuous unions which did not require the permission
of sky-beings, are those who have hereditary chiefs. That is to
say, they are people who are supposed to be directly associated
with the influence of the stone-using immigrants. Since such
communities consist of two classes at least, chiefs and com-
moners, it is a matter of some importance to determine which
class claims to be descended from incestuous unions. Two facts
suggest that this form of origin is that of the chiefs. In the
case of the Vuite this claim is made explicitly. And the myth
of origin from an incestuous union is found only in south Nias,
where the influence of the stone-using immigrants has been
Why should chiefs say that they are descended from incestu-
ous unions? The evidence afforded by the Tontemboan tales
provides an answer. Lumimu'ut, the ancestress of the Tontem-
boan, and her daughter, Lintjambene, are both said to have come
to Minahassa in a ship. Lintjambene is the daughter of To'ar
the sun, and is thus a " child of the sun ". Lintjambene herself
contracts incestuous unions. So, if we accept the tradition that
Lintjambene was a historical personage who migrated into Mina-
INCESTUOUS UNIONS , 103
hassa, it would follow that some of the stone-using immigrants
among the Tontemboan were "children of the sun" who con-
tracted incestuous unions. This suggests that such unions were
entered upon by the stone-using immigrants, and, consequently,
that the claim to have originated from such a form of marriage
is based upon fact.
The results obtained from the consideration of the data
adduced in this chapter form a consistent whole. It would seem
that the stone-using immigrants, who are remembered in the
form of sky-beings and sun-lords, practised incestuous marriages.
Those classes the members of which are, it has been concluded,
descended from these immigrants, say that their ancestors con-
tracted incestuous unions ; and if they are so descended, this
claim would seem to be literally true. Those stone-using people
who, so far as has been determined, have no chiefly class, but
who possess a sun-cult, also claim an origin from an incestuous
union. But their stories differ from those just mentioned in
that it is said that permission to marry is given to the survivors
of a flood who are blood relatives.
The claim to have originated from an incestuous union is
apparently put forward only by people who have a sky-descended
class of chiefs, or who possess a sun-cult. Other peoples, stone-
using or otherwise, do not make such a claim. The circum-
stances in which this claim occurs are therefore such as to enable
us to ascribe it to the influence of the stone-using immigrants.
The two groups of tales examined in this chapter present the
stone-using immigrants under two different aspects. Among
people with hereditary chiefs these immigrants are ancestors who
contracted incestuous unions. As these immigrants are remem-
bered as beings connected with the world in the sky, it thus
follows that an intimate relationship between the earth and the
sky exists in such places. The sky-beings apparently stand in a
different relationship to those people who have no hereditary
chiefs. No longer are they ancestors of chiefs who contracted
incestuous unions, but they are sky-beings who give permission
for the survivors of a flood to perpetuate their race by such an
union. In these cases the connecting-link between the earth and
the sky which is provided by a sky-born chieftainship is severed,
leaving the two worlds apparently distinct.
104 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The evidence put forward in this chapter combines with that
adduced in the chapter on stone origin myths to show that, what-
ever the manner in which the stone-using immigrants have in-
fluenced the cultures of the indigenous peoples of Indonesia who
have adopted the use of stone, these peoples date their origin
or creation from times subsequent to the arrival of the strangers
among them. . In addition the stone-using immigrants have sup-
plied, in certain cases, supreme beings who live in the sky-world.
The arrival of the stone-using immigrants seems therefore to
have marked the beginning of a new era in Indonesian his-
THE accounts which the Tontemboan give of their origin agree
with those of the Tangkhul and Kabui Naga in stating that their
ancestors came out of a stone, but they differ from those of the
latter in assigning a cause for the emergence. In one tale of the
Tontemboan a youth, who is produced by the action of the sun
upon foam, discovers his future wife as a small girl who has just
emerged from a stone to which she is attached by her navel-string.
This girl is said to have been born as the result either of the
action of the sun's rays upon the stone, or from the rubbing
together of two stones. In this story the sun is looked upon
as a fertilising agency. The Tangkhul and Kabui Naga, on the
other hand, simply state that their ancestors came out of a stone.
These latter peoples differ from the Tontemboan in that they do
not possess a "sun-cult". It is therefore possible that the belief
that the sun is a fertilising agent forms part of the sun-cult which
the stone-using immigrants have introduced to Indonesia. I
propose to follow up this clue and to inquire whether this func-
tion is ascribed to the sun elsewhere.
The following accounts of the relationship between the sun
and the earth have been recorded in the Timor region.
The sun is male in south-west Timor and is called Usi-neno.
The earth is Usi-afu. The sun fertilises everything, and from
its conjunction with the earth all things living have come.
The moon, funan, is also a wife of Usi-neno?- In Wetar,
Paibei wawaki or wawahaki, the "great lord" or "great elder,"
lives in the sun. He is the "male principle," 2 and Rae or Raa
the earth, is the "female principle". The supreme being in
1 S. Mullet, II, 261 ; Graamberg, 206-7. 2 1 am quoting the expressions used
by other writers.
106 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Keisar is Makarom-Manuwe, who lives in the sun. He is the
"male principle," and the "female principle" is Makarom-
Mawaku (= stone) who is identified with Noho Makarom, the
guardian spirit of the island, Wor Makarom, the guardian spirit
of the mountain, and Nunu Makarom, the guardian spirit of the
banyan tree. By means of the banyan tree, Makarom-Manuwe y
who is also called Opo-lere, fertilises Makarom-Mawaku at the end
of the east monsoon. In Leti Moa and Lakor Upu-lero, the sun,
is the " male," and Upu-nusu, the earth, is the " female principle ".
In the east monsoon Upu-lero descends into the banyan tree and
fructifies Upu-nusu. Formerly at this time the men and women
of the islands had promiscuous sexual intercourse for a month.
In the Luang-Sermata group Upu-lero, the " male principle,"
fructifies Lea, the earth, descending into the image, aiterhe, for the
purpose. The same happens in the Babar Islands, where Upu-
lero is the sun-lord, and Raiawa or Upu lero wate is the earth.
In Roma, Dama, and neighbouring islands, the sun-lord is Upu-
lero : he comes to the earth periodically to fructify it. The sun-
lord comes to fructify the earth in the Timorlaut Islands.
The people of the Aru Islands worship Dyabu, the sun, as
the " male principle/' and Dyabu fafa, the earth, as the " female
principle," the former fructifying the latter at the beginning of
the west monsoon. Dyabu fulan, the moon, is also male. In the
Kei Islands Duadleera wuan or Duang leerwuan is the supreme
being who lives in the sun or in the sky. The sun, as the " male
principle," fructifies the moon at the first quarter and the earth
at the monsoon. In the Watubela Islands Tata-lat, " grand-
father chief sun," is worshipped as the male principle, and Latu
hila la balaa or Latu bumu, "chieftess earth," as the "female
The people of Ambon believe in Upu lanito, the sky-lord, and
Ina ume, mother earth. In Seran Upu lanite, the sky-lord, is
the male element, while Rapie or Upu tapene, the female element,
lives in the earth. In Buru a being Opo langi is supposed to live
in the sky and a female being Ubun sanane to live in the earth,
but no abstract conceptions concerning these beings appear to
exist in this island. 1
1 Riedel (iv), 436, 410, 372, 337, 314, 280, 252, 220, 195, 106, 54, 7.
This survey shows that in the Timor region, from Timor to
Timorlaut, the sun-lord is supposed to fructify the earth. The
beliefs which the peoples hold concerning the fertilising function
are so similar in the various islands that to record them in de-
tail involves a repetition of the same phrases with different names.
The conception that the sun is the cause of fertility on the earth
thus appears to be an integral part of the sun-cult, occurring as it
does with such regularity throughout a region where the influence
of the stone-using immigrants has been so similar in nature. The
apparent absence of any such idea in Buru where no sun-cult is
recorded, constitutes negative evidence in favour of this con-
clusion, for it tends to show that the indigenous peoples have not
of themselves elaborated any such conception. Moreover, the
fertilising agent is not the sun, but the sun-lord, who fructifies,
not the earth, but a being who is called the earth-mother or some
such name. The conception is therefore attached to beings, real
or imaginary, of immigrant origin.
The statement that the sun is the " male principle " and the
earth is the " female principle " is difficult to understand. If
we accept the conclusion that the sun-lords of places such as
south-west Timor are not speculative beings, but are the
ancestors, real or supposed, of the reigning chiefs, the designation
of " male principle " sounds strange. It seems as if a philo-
sophical conception has become applied to beings who are the
personifications of the sun. The available evidence is not, how-
ever, sufficient to enable us to discuss this matter.
The idea that the sun or its personification fructifies the earth
or its personification, is not recorded elsewhere in Indonesia, so
far as I have been able to discover, except among the Mao Naga,
who state that the conjugal embrace of the sun and earth causes
all the fertility of the latter. 1
In the chapter on the beliefs concerning the sun, it was found
that a definite cult was associated with the sun-lord throughout
the Timor region only, and not in other parts of Indonesia.
The similar distribution of the belief that the fertility of the
earth is caused by the union of the sun and earth therefore con-
stitutes evidence that this belief is part of the sun-cult introduced
by the stone-using immigrants.
1 Hodson, 127.
io8 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Other evidence suggests that the stone-using immigrants
have introduced sexual symbolism to Indonesia.
In Sumba human figures, male and female, with huge
genitalia, are carved upon the menhirs at the head and foot of
dolmen graves which ten Kate says are those of the chiefs of
Mendjeli. Two horses, of fantastic shape, with large genitalia,
are carved on a dolmen at Landuwitu-Ratimbera. Two human
figures carved on the vertical stone of the largest grave at Lawiri-
Ladesa have outstretched limbs and the " never-failing very
conspicuous genitalia of both sexes". 1
The image into which Upu-lero descends, in the Leti Moa
Lakor and Babar groups, to receive offerings, consists of a head
placed upon a wooden post. Beneath the image is a wooden
representation of a phallus. 2 Riedel gives a representation of an
offering-place on Dawaloor, which consists of two phalli standing
up from a rectangular stone structure. The representation which
he gives of the grave of Kikilailai, a former stone-using immi-
grant, in Keisar, shows an image sitting at the foot of a post, and
on either side of the image is a wooden phallus. Some wooden
posts, apparently reproductions of phalli, stick out of the
rectangular stone structure on the grave of Maukai, one of the
followers of Kikilailai in Keisar. Riedel has published pictures
of images in Timorlaut that are provided with large genitalia.*
Van Schmidt states that every village in Ambon keeps a sacred
image, either in the forest or in a cave. He mentions one called
Butu-ulisiwa (the phallus of the Ulisiwa), which is especially
worshipped by the Ulisiwa. 4
I have not been able to find any mention of phallic orna-
mentation in Minahassa. 5
The Toradja peoples make use of phallic ornamentation.
Two figures, male and female, with huge genitalia, are carved
upon the chief post of the temple of the Posso-Todjo village of
Tando mBeaga. In the temples of villages of any importance
female breasts and genital organs are carved upon the central
posts. Part of the ornamentation in the temple of Langga-dopi
1 Ten Kate (i), 583, 609. 2 Riedel (iv), Plates 33, 35. 3 (i) (iv), Plates 32,
38, 27. 4 Horst, 93. 5 Except that, on the cover of the first part of the 1898
edition of Graafland's Minahassa, a stone urn is reproduced on which are carved
human and animal figures with well-marked genitalia.
consists of genital organs in the position of coitus. Among the
mountain groups ten Kate saw mammae and genital organs
carved upon the temples at Bomba, and Bariri in Besoa. 1
Grubauer states that the temples of the To Leboni have mammae
carved upon the side walls. In the temple at Leboni there are
two figures to the right and left of the centre post. These life-
size figures, which represent Tangilando and Bambawalo, two
" ancestors " (but of whom we are not told), are provided with
huge genital organs. Grubauer saw two human figures with large
genital organs at the entrance to the village temple at Tedeboi
in Rampi. 2 Phallic ornamentation is also found in the Sadang
The Bahau of Borneo, to whom belong the Kayan, have
phallic ornamentation. Nieuwenhuis states that they make
representations of human figures with large genitalia, which
latter are also carved upon planks and elsewhere to frighten
away evil spirits. In another place he tells us that the Bahau
and Kenyah assign particular importance to the use of the genital
organs for ornamentation, this being partly due to the fact that a
great degree of safety is thereby thought to be procured. The
Bahau on the Mahakam often carve figures, human and gro-
tesque, with immense genitalia, especially upon the planks lead-
ing from the landing-stage to the house. 4
Phallic ornamentation exists in Nias. 5 The houses of chiefs
in the east part of the island are ornamented with mammae and
phalli. In this district the possession of large dishes shaped like
mammae, in which women dance, is a mark of nobility. Many
of the images made in the north, south, and east parts of this
island have large genitalia. In a special house made for the
purpose at Onolumba, a small village in the Lahomi district of
west Nias, there are two wooden figures which represent a man
and woman in the act of coitus. Images are provided with
genitalia only in two parts of west Nias.
The results of this survey of the phallic ornamentation of
Indonesia are shown in the following table :
1 Kruijt and Adriani, I, 289; II, 467. *37o, 388. 'Grubauer, 220. 4 (i),
I, 166, 448 ; II, 251. 5 de Zwaan, 62 et seq.
I io MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
..... Chiefs Village Entrance
age House or Offering- to '' nar
Temple. Qrave pfal Vil , age
Sumba .... + +
Keisar .... +
Leti Moa Lakor . . +
Babar .... +
Ambon .... (sacred phallic image associated with village).
Minahassa . . . (phallic ornamentation on stone urn).
Posso-Todjo Toradja . +
Bada Toradja . . +
Leboni ,, +
Bahau (Borneo) . . +
Nias .... +
This table shows that phallic ornamentation is found on village
offering-places and temples, and at the entrance to villages. It
is not generally associated with the houses of commoners.
The examination of the different forms of stone-work in Indon-
esia showed that the chief signs of the influence of the stone-using
immigrants consisted of village offering-places, sacred stones at-
tached to villages as the places of residence of the guardian spirits
of the village, stone village walls, and stone substructures for
village temples ; that is to say, stone-work connected with the
village rather than with ordinary houses. These associations are,
generally speaking, similar to those of phallic ornamentation.
Moreover, phallic ornamentation is applied to the ornamented
graves of Sumba, which, as far as we know, are those of chiefs,
the descendants, it has been concluded, of stone-using immigrants.
Phallic ornamentation also occurs on the graves of stone-using
immigrants into Keisar; and in Nias it is associated directly with
chiefs, the descendants, it is supposed, of stone-using immigrants.
The associations of phallic ornamentation are therefore such as
to suggest that this form of decoration owes its presence in In-
donesia to the stone-using immigrants.
In two places phallic ornamentation is used in the decoration
of ordinary houses, but in both cases it is conventionalised. The
Bahau of Borneo use it in connection with their long houses,
which are really villages ; but " in the houses these rough imita-
tions are not to be seen ; here the Dyak's innate sense of beauty
has caused the original form to become conventionalised into
pleasing designs "- 1 Fischer is of the opinion that some of the
ornamentation of ordinary houses in Nias consists of conventional-
ised genitalia. Therefore indigenous peoples only appear to adopt
phallic ornamentation in a conventionalised form.
There is also good reason to believe that along with this
conventionalisation goes an indefiniteness with regard to its
meaning and use. The people of Nias make images with geni-
talia. In the north part of the island the genital organs are
supposed to frighten away evil spirits : in south and east Nias
they are looked upon as a subject for mirth, the male organ
being sometimes bent so as to cause laughter; in west Nias
images with genital organs are only made in two districts, and no
significance is attached to the genitalia even when they are
made. 2 From this we gather that the people of Nias have no
definite and uniform ideas with regard to the meaning of phallic
ornamentation. The Toradja also regard it as a subject for
Phallic ornamentation is used so generally in connection with
village temples and offering-places, and on images placed at the
entrance to villages, that some precise meaning must have been
attached to it by the stone-using immigrants. The association of
phallic emblems in the Timor region with stone offering-places
which are connected with a cult, part of which is concerned with
fertility, suggests that they are symbols of fertility. Additional
evidence in favour of this view is forthcoming from Ambon, where
the images connected with the Ulisiwa are worshipped by women
in order that they may be fertile. 4
With this knowledge at our disposal it is now possible to
consider one feature ofthedissoliths of Nias and Minahassa which
has been left unexplained their sexual nature. The upright
stone is said to be male and the horizontal stone female. Some-
times the upright stones of the dissoliths in Nias, which are erected
in honour of chiefs, are shaped like a phallus. The Tontemboan
of Minahassa hold a ceremony during which a priest makes three
boys sit by the side of the dissolith. They place their hands on
the stone and their heads flat against it, and call out a formula
1 Nieuwenhuis (i), II, 251. a de Zwaan, loc. cit. He quotes Fischer's remark
3 Kruijt and Adriani, I, 289. 4 Horst, loc. cit.
ii2 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
which they have learned, ending up with the terms for the male
and female sexual organs. 1
Dissoliths therefore appear to owe their sexual nature to the
fact that the stone-using immigrants have brought a phallic cult
with them to Indonesia.
1 Schwarz (i), 187,
THE LAND OF THE DEAD.
CERTAIN evidence adduced in previous chapters has revealed the
belief in the existence of a world in the sky with which the stone-
using immigrants are supposed to be intimately connected. In
some cases the stone-using immigrants are said to have come
from the sky and to have returned there ; in others again, chiefs
claim descent from beings of the sky-world. In a paper on
" Myths of Origin and the Home of the Dead " I have put forward
evidence to show that some Indonesian peoples believe that their
ghosts go at death to certain places ; for example, underground,
or to the mountains : and that these people claim generally that
their ancestors came from the same places ; those who believe
that their ancestors came out of the underground world imagine
that their ghosts go there at death, and so on. If the thesis of this
paper be true, it will follow that people, such as members of
chiefly classes, who claim descent from denizens of the sky-world,
will also look upon that place as their home after death. I pro-
pose to put this matter to the test, and to collect all the evidence
concerning beliefs in the existence of a land of the dead in the
sky which I have been able to find in the literature dealing with
Indonesian peoples, so as to determine, as far as is possible, the
exact relationship between the sky-world and those classes which
have been supposed to owe their origin to the stone-using immi-
In south-west Timor commoners are interred, lying on their
sides, facing the east, in which direction lies their land of origin.
Their land of the dead is underground. The chiefs are interred
lying on their backs so as to face towards the sun, which is their
land of the dead and place of origin. 1
1 Bastian, II, 6, 8; S. Muller, II, 231, 259. I shall not discuss here all cases in
which the thesis of the paper on " Myths of Origin " appears to be contradicted. I
114 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The ghosts of the dead in Watubela are supposed usually to
go to Teri, a mountain in east Seran, but the ghosts of warriors
go to the moon. 1
In Seran the patasiwa talu waini, the ghosts of members of
the Kakian club of the Patasiwa, live temporarily in their club-
house, and then, after a time, disappear into the sky. The
ghosts of ordinary people live on Mt. Patujawanea and other
The ghosts of chiefs in the Loda district of Halmahera are
supposed to go to the sky after death. 3
The Bontoc believe that the ghosts of a warrior whose head
has been taken goes to the sky, and there has a head of flames.
The ghosts of other people go to the mountains. 4
In Minahassa the ghosts of notables and rich people are be-
lieved to go to Kasendukan, the sky-world, while the ghosts of
the poor go to the forests. 5
The chiefs in the Sadang district of the Toradja are said to
go to the sky after death. 6
De Zwaan states that the ghosts of chiefs in Nias go, accord-
ing to belief, to the sky after death, while those of commoners go
to the underground world. 7
The Mao Naga at Jessami say that the "good" go to the
sky at death and the "bad" go to the underground world. 8
I propose to discuss these cases in turn. The chiefs of south-
west Timor are, according to the available evidence, the de-
scendants of stone-using immigrants. As " children of the sun,"
who claim descent from the sun-lord of the people over whom
they rule, they form a class closely connected with the sky. We
see now that they suppose that their ghosts return there at death.
The commoners, on the other hand, who do not claim such a
mode of descent, believe that their ghosts go into the under-
In Watubela the ghosts of warriors are believed to go to the
moon, while those of commoners go to Seran. In several places
in Indonesia warriors are distinguished from the rest of the corn-
reserve the consideration of such apparent exceptions until the time when I shall be
able to discuss the problem at length. 1 Riedel (iv), 211, 212. a lbid., 144.
Kruijt (iii). 4 Jenks. 5 Wilken, III, 51. 6 Grubauer, 209, 232, 269. Pos-
sibly the ghosts of commoners go there also. 7 237. 8 Hodson, 161.
THE LAND OF THE DEAD 115
munity by the use of a special form of stone grave, or by the
erection of a stone memorial in their honour. 1 These marks of
distinction owe their origin, it has been concluded, to the influence
of the stone-using immigrants. We now find that warriors are
further distinguished by being connected with a place with which
the immigrants are intimately associated.
The Patasiwa of Seran have been discussed more than once.
The situation of their offering-places was ascribed by the people
of Seran to the fact that the founders of the brotherhood were
immigrants. The Patasiwa use seats in their club-houses, while
the Patalima sit on the ground. Both of these brotherhoods are
connected with the sun-cult. The Ulusiwa of Ambon, who cor-
respond to the Patasiwa of Seran, possess a phallic image. These
facts all agree in indicating the founders of the Patasiwa as the
introducers of the use of stone to Seran. The Patasiwa form a
sort of nobility in the island. 2 We now learn that their ghosts
are supposed to go to the sky, the place which is especially con-
nected with the stone-using immigrants.
The chiefs of Loda in Halmahera are presumably the de-
scendants of stone-using immigrants. It is therefore important
to find that their ghosts are supposed to go to the sky after death.
Bontoc warriors whose heads have been taken are placed in
a grave excavated in the side of a mountain. Warriors are also
distinguished from the rest of the people in that they are associ-
ated with the pabafunan, the men's house, the origin of which is
ascribed by the Bontoc to Lumawig, who is said to have intro-
duced the custom of head-hunting. The fact that the ghosts of
warriors go after death to the sky, the place whence Lumawig is
supposed to have come, constitutes a further connecting-link be-
tween warriors and the stone-using immigrants. The ascription
of a head of flames to the ghosts of slain warriors is remarkable,
and it is still more noteworthy in view of the fact that the first
head which was taken among the Bontoc is said to have been
taken by the "children of the sun ". This is further evidence of
the close connection between head-hunting and the stone-using
In Minahassa the Tontemboan state that the ghosts of
notables and rich people are supposed to go to the sky-world,
1 p. 44. 2 Horst ; see also Riedel (iv).
ii6 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
while those of commoners are believed to go to the forest. This
distinction verifies a conjecture made in chapter xi., where it was
assumed that, since the Tontemboan claimed descent from Lumi-
mu'ut, who married a sun-lord, part of this people would be de-
scended from sky-people. No facts have warranted the conclusion
that the Tontemboan possess a class of hereditary chiefs descended
from stone-using immigrants ; but we now see that these immi-
grants have, in all probability, given rise to an upper class, the
members of which go to their ancestral home^ the sky-world,
whence the stone-using immigrants are supposed to have come.
The distinction between the upper and lower classes of the
Tontemboan has probably arisen in the following manner. As
already stated, the people of Minahassa are said to have placed
their dead in trees in the times before the arrival of the stone-
using immigrants. The latter have, we conclude, formed the
upper class of the community, and their ghosts are supposed to
join their ancestors in the sky-world. But the former, although
they might adopt a different mode of disposal, would probably
still consider that their ghosts go to join those of their ancestors,
which would be in the forest, the ancient place of disposal.
The culture of the Toradja of the Sadang group who live be-
tween the Rantepao and Simbuang Mapak valleys shows definite
signs of the influence of the stone-using immigrants ; they place
their dead in rock-cut tombs, they erect alignments, and they are
ruled over by chiefs who claim descent from the sky-people, in
one case from the supreme being. These sky-descended chiefs
are supposed to go to the sky at death. It is not quite clear,
however, from the statements of Grubauer, whether this privilege
is confined to the chiefs, or whether it is shared by the commoners
too. It will be necessary to await further information before this
matter can be cleared up.
The Sadang group differ from the Posso-Todjo group, for the
latter say that their land of the dead is underground, and that
the entrance is in the west where the sun sets. 1 The stone-using
immigrants have not founded a chiefly class among these people,
and, correspondingly, no ghosts are supposed to go to the sky-
world. The localisation of the land of the dead of these people
presents a peculiar problem. For, although they claim that their
1 Adriani (iii), 8, 9 ; (ii), 228.
THE LAND OF THE DEAD 117
ancestors came from the north, their ghosts are supposed to go
to the west, thus forming an exception to the rule in Indonesia,
which is that the direction of the land of the dead is that of the
place of origin. 1 The Posso-Todjo group differ in this respect
from the To Bada, among whom the orientation of houses and
images is northward, in the direction of the land of origin.
It is possible to suggest an explanation of this exception.
In the paper on " Myths of Origin " it was stated that, in general,
the ghosts of the dead go back whence they came. The Posso-
Todjo group is remarkable in that these people claim that the
sky-beings created their first ancestors. In one version of their
myth of origin, Pue mPalaburu, the sun-lord, is responsible for
the act of creation. It is therefore possible that, in placing the
land of the dead in the west, the Posso-Todjo Toradja believe
that their ghosts return to their maker, who is supposed to live
where the sun rises and sets.
The chiefs of Nias, who are distinguished from the com-
moners by their use of stone seats for ceremonial purposes,
constitute a class the members of which are, according to the
evidence already put forward, the descendants of stone-using
immigrants. Their ghosts, we now find, are supposed to go at
death to the sky, while the ghosts of commoners are supposed to
go to the underground world.
The Mao are distinguished from the other Naga tribes, for
they possess a sun-cult ; they claim to be descended from an
incestuous' union, and they ascribe the fertility of the earth to
the union of the sun and earth. These three cultural elements,
which have been ascribed to the direct influence of the stone-
using immigrants, are not reported among the other Naga tribes.
The Mao also differ from the others in that they claim that the
ghosts of the "good" go to the sky, while those of the "bad"
go to the underground world, but they are unable to say what
they mean by "good" and "bad". This indefiniteness is well
in keeping with the vague nature of the influence which the
stone-using immigrants have had upon the culture of this people.
The beliefs recorded in this chapter afford strong support for
the conclusions already arrived at concerning the manner in
which the stone-using immigrants have influenced the cultures
1 Perry (i).
ii8 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
of the indigenous peoples of Indonesia. Those classes which
were supposed in earlier chapters to have been marked off, as
the result of the influence of the stone-using immigrants, from
the rest of the community, are now seen to be intimately con-
nected with the sky-world, whence the immigrants are supposed
to have come. In each place where the strangers have founded
a line of chiefs or a nobility, there is therefore a bisection of
the community of a fundamental character. Two classes with
entirely distinct associations are living together, and their sever-
ance at death is complete. After death chiefs do not rule over
their subjects, but join their ancestors in the sky ; while the
commoners go to their ancestral home, which is supposed to be
underground, or in the forest, or on the mountains.
The sky-world is evidently a place with which the indigenous
populations have nothing whatever to do, for in no case do they
claim that they go there at death or that they are descended
from its denizens. It is peopled, so far as it is possible to tell,
by beings such as Lasaeo and his chiefly descendants, the supreme
being of the Toradja of Makale and his chiefly descendants,
Lumawig, sun-lords who are the supposed ancestors of lines of
chiefs, the immigrant children of the sun into Minahassa, and
the ghosts of upper classes and of warriors. It is possible that,
in certain places such as Minahassa, some of the beings who in-
habit this world are entirely fictitious, the product of speculation.
Some of the sun-lords of the Tontemboan are said to be "per-
sonifications" of various phases of the sun. But the fact that
these sun-lords are looked upon as the descendants of Lumimu'ut,
who is regarded as a historical personage, goes to show that such
beings are not placed by the people themselves in a category
different from that which includes the classes of sky-beings
A distinction between chiefs and commoners is apparent in
the case of the Kayan of central Borneo. The chief, Akam Ijan,
is said to be descended from the people of Apu Lagan, the sky-
world, which is presided over by a female being who was once a
woman on the earth. 1 One day the house of Uma Aging was
celebrating the seed-time feast. The chief, Ledjo Aging, return-
1 This, therefore, constitutes another case in which the "supreme being" is
some one who once lived on the earth.
THE LAND OF THE DEAD 119
ing to the place where the ceremony had been held to seek a
knife which he had forgotten, was astonished to see a crowd of
light-coloured women sky-beings dancing round the "altar".
When they saw him they fled, but the hair of one got entangled
in the framework of the altar, and Ledjo Aging captured her and
took her home to be his wife. Beneath Apu Lagan there is
another world called Apu Kesio, but it is not said whether the
ghosts of chiefs and commoners are assigned to separate places
after death. 1
The stone-using immigrants have caused warriors to be dis-
tinguished from the rest of the community in several places.
To the evidence already collected the following can be added :
The Kayan of Sarawak place their land of the dead under-
ground, Apu Lagan being that part which is reserved for those
who have died a natural death. No mention is made of Apu
Kesio, but it is stated that the ghosts of women who die in child-
birth and the ghosts of warriors go to a specially desirable part of
the land of the dead and there become rich without working. 2
The Kabui Naga who, like the Bontoc, make a special form
of grave in the sides of mountains, also resemble them in dis-
tinguishing between warriors and ordinary people ; for they say
that the ghosts of warriors and hunters, together with those of
people who erect a stone memorial, are specially favoured in the
land of the dead.
The warfare of Indonesian peoples will not be discussed in
this book. There is good reason to believe that the stone-using
immigrants are responsible for the introduction of the practice
of warfare among the indigenous peoples, who, prior to their
arrival, were peaceful. 3 The evidence further suggests that head-
hunting, which is the most prevalent form of warlike activity in
Indonesia, is a modification of the custom of human sacrifice,
which appears to be so intimately associated with the stone-using
The distinction between warriors and the rest of the com-
munity will therefore, if the above thesis be established, be
another manifestation of the influence of the stone-using immi-
grants upon the peoples of Indonesia.
1 Nieuwenhuis. 2 Furness, 15 et seq.\ Hose and McDougall, II, 40 et seq
3 Perry (v),
A LARGE number of tales concerning the doings of men and
sky-beings have been recorded in Indonesia. It is not proposed
to attempt any comprehensive examination of them here, but
one remarkable group cannot be ignored.
The Ifugao say that Bugan, the daughter of the sky-being
Hinumbian, came down to the earth and married an Ifugao man
named Kinggauan. After a time the pesterings of the people
drove her to return to the sky. She took her son with her, and
tried to draw up her husband by means of a rope. But the rope
broke, and it was not until she reached the sky that Bugan
noticed that Kinggauan was still on the earth. She then came
down to consult him about the boy, and they decided to cut him
in two across the waist, so that each could have a part. When
Bugan arrived in the sky she gave her half the breath of life and
made it into a sky-being. The half which was left on the earth
decayed, for Kinggauan did not know how to re-animate it.
Bugan then descended and reprimanded her husband. She took
away all that she could of the corrupted part of the body and
with it made all sorts of creatures, most of them being pests and
things of evil omen.
The Benguet Igorot say that a sky-being named Dumagid,
who is said to have taught them many things, came down to the
earth from one of the lower regions of the sky and married one
of the Igorot women. They had a son named Ovug. After a
time, when Dumagid said that he had to return to the sky, the
people said that he could take his wife with him, but that he
must leave the child as a security for his return. Dumagid told
his wife that the way to his home would be so hot that she
would probably perish on account of the heat. She persisted in
going with him, and was killed by the heat. Dumagid returned
her body to the earth, and then went to his home in the sky.
Later on he came back and told the people that he must take
his son with him. This they refused, and thereupon he cut the
boy in two down the middle. He took one part with him to
the sky and re-animated it ; the other he left on the earth. But
when he looked down, he saw that it had been allowed to rot
because the people had not given it new life. So he descended
and made another beautiful boy out of the half which had
become decayed. Then, making the two boys stand in front
of the people, he asked the boy whom he had taken to the sky
to talk. The boy spoke in a voice which sounded like sharp
thunder, and the people were very frightened. Then Dumagid
asked the other boy to talk, and he spoke with a sound like
rolling thunder. Then the first boy went up to the sky whirling
like fire and thundered there. It is believed that this is the
origin of the lightning and the sharp thunder which comes after
it, and it is believed that the low thunder is the voice of the boy
who was made on the earth. 1
In a Sangir tale a woman, as a punishment for scolding
evil-speaking, and swearing, had a half-son. 2
The Tobelo people of Halmahera have a tale of a woman
whose child was a half. He was betrothed to the daughter of a
king, but, being sad because of his deformity, went away across
the sea. While he was on his journey some one saw him and
told him to come to the shore. When he had arrived there he
was told to go into a house, and there his body was joined to
the other half, and one half of him was of gold and the other of
precious stones. Another tale tells of a man who was half gold
and half silver.
In a Loda tale the supreme being made the first human
beings of earth. Their second child was a half, who wishing to
be like his elder brother, went to the supreme being to ask him
to make him whole. The supreme being, after telling him that
he was born as a half because his mother had cursed and brought
on floods, made him into a beautiful youth. 3
In one tale recorded in Roti a half-boy set out to find the
rest of him. After a time he met a woman and told her what
he was seeking. She told him to go on until he came to two
1 Beyer (ii), 105. 2 Adriani (i). 8 van Baarda (ii), 445, 274.
122 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
rocks which butted together like goats, and that, after passing
between them, he would be in the sky-world. He then was to
seek for the house of the chief of the sky. This he did, and the
chief said to him, "What are you doing here?" The half-boy
said that he had come to seek his other half. The chief then
ordered his men to kill the half and put the pieces in a shell.
When the shell was opened on the following evening, a well-
shaped youth came out.
Another Roti tale is about a man who had four daughters,
the three eldest of whom were married and had committed
adultery. When the youngest grew up she refused to marry.
She said, " I will marry myself and have children for myself and
love myself". She then went into the bush, and, while the
thunder and lightning came to the right and left of her, she
was split into a man and a woman who married so that they
should not commit adultery. They lived in a hollow tree.
While the man was away one day a youth committed adultery
with his wife.
In another tale from Roti it is said that a man had two sons.
One of them married and his wife committed adultery. The
other would not marry, so he went into the bush and induced
a slave to cut him into two parts. After three days the slave
came back and found that the youth had become two persons,
a white youth and a white maiden. They married, and the
man tried to prevent the woman from committing adultery, but
A tale of a half is recorded in Nias. A woman named Touti,
the daughter of Touha, became pregnant. Her father asked her
who was the father of the child. She replied that the child had
no father because she had prayed to a sky-being to give it
" How will you know," said her father, " that the child has
come from the sky ?"
"The proof," she said, "is that the child will be within me
for nine years and that it will be a half. The other half is on
high." And so when the nine years were passed the child was
born as a half. After a time the boy went to the sky to find his
other half. 2
1 Jonker (ii), 40 et seq. 2 d'Estrey, 293.
These tales can be divided into three groups. In one the
children of sky-beings and people on the earth are halves, or are
divided into halves, so that one half of the child can be on the
earth while the other half is in the sky. In the second group
a half child is born as a punishment for offences committed by
the mother, these offences consisting of evil-speaking, scolding,
and bringing on rain. In the third group a man or woman is
divided into two people of different sexes who marry in order to
In the first group of tales, which, are reminiscent of those of
Lasaeo and Lumawig in that they tell of sky-beings who settle
on the earth and marry women of the people among whom they
live, mention is made of the power which the sky-people possess
of re-animating the dead by breathing the breath of life into
them. This power of animation was found to be an element of
those tales in which the first men are created in the form of
images, and the importance which was therein attached to this
power suggested that it was possessed only by sky-people. This
conjecture is confirmed in the tales recorded in this chapter, for
it is expressly stated that only sky-beings have the power of re-
animating the dead. The other incidents of the tales are obscure
as far as the results obtained are concerned.
The tales as a whole show that no fundamental difference
appears to exist, in the minds of those who tell them, between
the earth and the sky-world. Sky-beings live on the earth for a
time, and take their earthly spouses or children to live with them
in the sky-world. The way to this place is, in one case, between
two butting rocks, and the supreme being is the "chief" of the
sky. In another case the sky- world is reached across the sea.
AN important group of tales and beliefs must now be considered.
The Manabo of Mindanao in the Philippines say that once
the occupants of a boat passing the promontory of Kagbubutang,
near the town of Placer, saw a cat and a monkey fighting upon
the cliff. This amused them so much that they began to laugh
and to pass remarks, whereupon they and the boat were turned
into stone. 1
Beyer says that it is dangerous to imitate frogs, for it might
be followed by thunderbolts and petrifaction. One day a man
named Ango, who lived on a mountain with his wife and children,
went with his dog to the forest in search of game. He killed a
fine boar, but broke his spear in the process. Upon arriving at
a stream he began to mend the weapon. The croaking of the
frogs attracting his notice, he, imitating them, told them that it
would be better if they would stop their no i "se and help him.
His task ended, he continued his course up the torrent, but
noticed that a multitude of little stones began to follow him.
Surprised, he began to quicken his steps, and, looking back, he
saw bigger stones joining in the pursuit. He then seized his dog
and began to run, but the stones followed hot in his track, bigger
and bigger ones joining the party. Upon arriving at his sweet-
potato patch he had to slacken his pace on account of exhaustion,
whereupon the stones overtook him and became attached to his
finger. He could not go on, and called to his wife, who with her
children tried to stop the petrifaction by placing the magic limes
round him. All was of no avail, for his feet turned to stone,
together with those of his wife and children. The following day
they were stone up to the knees, and during the next three days
the petrifaction continued from the knees to the hips and then to
1 Beyer (ii), 90.
PUNISHMENT TALES 125
the chest and head. Thus it is that to this day the petrified
forms of Ango and his wife and children are to be seen on the
peak of Binaci. 1
The Galela people of Halmahera say that, if it rains too
much, incest has been committed by some one, and the rain only
ceases when the offenders have confessed. 2
A Tontemboan tale states that a child who refused to obey
its parents was made to sink into a stone, and during the
process of petrifaction it rained heavily. A sky-being of the
Tontemboan, Rampolili, shot his nephew because he committed
adultery with his wife. In another tale he shoots some one, and
it thunders at the same time. 3
Tales of petrifaction are recorded in central Celebes. Some
stones on the west bank of the river Tretcher near lake Posso
are the petrified remains of the village Duwangko : the great
stone is the temple, the smaller stones are the dwelling-houses,
and the smallest stones are the rice granaries. When the
village was there, a needle was dropped one day through the
floor of a house, and the cat was sent to fetch it. When the
animal returned the people laughed at it. The whole village
immediately turned to stone, and was covered by the waters of
the lake. A similar tale is told of a village on the east shore of
lake Posso which was overwhelmed with water and turned into
stone. A large stone on the west shore of lake Posso is said to
be the temple of Bantjea, which was swallowed by the sea. A
large stone in lake Posso, near cape Ta ngKandau on the east
shore, was once a village. One day while the chief was sitting in
the temple, the whole village was covered with waves and turned
into stone. The place where another village disappeared is
called " molten land". 4
The female image at Bulili, which has already been mentioned,
is supposed to be that of a woman who was detected in adultery
with her husband's brother, and beaten. During the punishment
she turned into stone. 5
The Iban of Borneo believe that certain rocks called batu
kudi, " stones caused by the wrath of god," are the petrified remains
of human beings who have been turned to stone as a punishment
1 Beyer (ii), 90. 2 van Dijken, 514. Schwarz, 228, 277, 284-5. * Kruij
and Adriani, I, 14, 15, 16. 6 Kiliaan, 408.
126 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
for laughing at animals, breaches of hospitality, and incest. The
" gods " turn the offenders to stone to the accompaniment of a
great thunderstorm. Ling Roth recounts the tale of a man of
Sembang who arrived with his young son one night at the village
of Si Lebor. The chief of the village gave food to the man, but
refused to give anything to his son. After a time a terrific storm
came on and the whole house began to melt away until it and
the people became molten lava, so that, when the storm ceased,
nothing remained but huge masses of rock. A hill with preci-
pices marks the spot. The hill is supposed to be the village, and
traces of the house are still pointed out. The child, who was
saved, became the ancestor of the Sadong chiefs. 1
A "supernatural being" called Abang Gandei once lived in
the Pinoh district of Borneo on Mt. Susur. After a time he
moved down stream and lived on Mt. Siau near Modang. One
day he caught an ape and clothed it with a waistband and a
head-dress. The consequent amusement of his followers made
the " gods " angry, and they caused a thunderstorm during which
the houses and some of the men of Abang Gandei were turned
into stones which can still be seen on the mountains. The other
men were made into evil spirits. 2
Messrs. Hose and McDougall tell us that " a limestone cliff
whose foot is washed by the Baram river and which contains a
number of caves (known as Batu Gadang or the ivory rock), is
said by a Kayan legend to have been formed by a Kayan house
being turned into stone owing to incestuous conduct within it". 3
The Chinbok, one of the Chin tribes, state that a certain rock
is one of their ancestors who was turned into stone for quarrel-
ling when they were emerging from the ground. 4
These tales tell of punishments for certain offences and by
certain means. The table shows the nature of the offences and
the accompanying punishments.
1 Ling Roth, I, 205-7, 3<>6. 2 Barth, 614. 8 II, 198. 4 Scott, 460.
Manobo of Mindanao.
Galela of Halmahera.
Tontemboan of Mina-
To Bada (Bulili).
I ban of Borneo.
Pinoh district of Borneo.
Kayan of Borneo.
Laughing at animals.
Laughing at animals.
Laughing at animals.
Laughing at animals.
Breaches of hospi-
Laughing at animals.
Laughing at animals.
Thunderstorms and petri-
Petrifaction and rain.
Shot with arrow to accom-
paniment of thunder and
Floods and petrifaction.
Petrifaction and thunder-
Petrifaction and thunder-
Petrifaction and lightning.
The modes of punishment are petrifaction, floods, thunder-
storms, and the offences are laughing at animals, incest, and
breaches of hospitality.
The first punishment to be considered is the extraordinary
one of petrifaction. In addition to the incidents recounted
in this chapter, other cases of petrifaction have already been
mentioned, and it will be convenient to collect them in tabular
form. But, before so doing, a tale from Roti must be recorded.
Once upon a time, it is said, the Portuguese, on a slave-raid-
ing expedition, managed to entice on board their ships all of the
population except the wife of a chief, who, fearing danger, ran
away and hid herself in a cave. She saw the ship sail away,
and when her people did not return, she said, " Why should I live
any longer when my husband and children are gone and none of
my relatives are left ? The best thing is that I should die also."
Thereupon she threw herself from the top of a rock ; but her hair
caught in a projection, and she remained suspended there until
she died and turned into stone. 1
The cases of petrifaction which are not mentioned in the
punishment tales are collected here in tabular form :
Roti : wife of chief throws herself from rock and petrifies.
Luang-Sermata : First ancestress came down rattan which turned to stone.
Bontoc : Lumawig turns his brother into stone.
1 Jonker (ii), 23.
128 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Ifugao : Son of sky-being turned into stone.
Bolaang-Mongondou : Batu Ijan. Ijan turned to stone after a flood.
Posso-Todjo Toradja : Wife of Lasaeo and creeper turned into stone. iDori
and his wife turn into stone images. Tamangkapa turns into stone.
Tando ngKasa : Enemies turned into stone by guardian spirits of village.
Nias : Son of Sirio turns into stone.
Among the Bontoc, Ifugao, and Posso-Todjo Toradja, the
stone-using immigrants are reputed to have been able to turn
people into stone. The sky-beings of the Tontemboan petrify a
small girl as a punishment for disobedience. The tale of Tengker
and Kawalusan shows that in Minahassa the founders of villages
were possessed of powers over water and rocks, but, although
the capacity to petrify is not mentioned, it is probable that such
a power was, in fact, ascribed to them. Ijan is turned by the
sky-beings into a stone. In the Borneo tales the " gods " are
said to petrify.
The sky-beings and the stone-using immigrants are therefore
credited with the power to turn people into stone.
In a similar way they are supposed to have been able to con-
trol rain and water. iDori the son of Lasaeo, in central Celebes,
Lumawig of the Bontoc of Luzon, the sky-beings of the Ifugao,
and the sons of Kawalusan in Minahassa, brought water from
rocks. Kawalusan brings on rain by asking for it, and his sons
cause floods and bring water from rocks and the ground. A
Toumpakewa tale from Minahassa recounts how the sky-being
Wuriangan married a woman of the earth. After a time he and
his wife went to the sky to live and left their son and his wife
behind them. The son and his wife decided one day to go to
the sky to visit Wuriangan and his wife. Their journey, which
lay over the sea, was made to the accompaniment of much mist
and thunder. When his son complained about this, Wuriangan
told him |iow to control the elements, and this knowledge was
handed on to the latter's descendants. 1
The association between rain and the stone-using immigrants
is further shown by the fact that in Timorlaut, Aru, and Kei offer-
ings are made to the sun-lord when rain is needed. In Savu
Pu-lodo-lirU) the sky-lord, has under him Uli-hia or Uli-sia and
Hai-hajo, to whom the wind and rain are entrusted : also Latia,
1 Juynboll, 321.
PUNISHMENT TALES 129
who has charge of the i lightning. Offerings are made to these
beings during droughts. 1
The power to control rain and floods is therefore vested in
the stone-using immigrants, the people of the sky- world, and their
descendants on the earth.
Thunder and lightning must now be considered. Various
ideas as to the cause and nature of these phenomena are held in
It has already been said that a sky-being is supposed, in Savu,
to have control of lightning. In south-west Timor, Usi-neno,
the sun-lord, sends thunderstorms. 2 In Wetar the people are un-
able to explain the nature of thunder and lightning. On the
other hand, thunder and lightning are supposed in Keisar to be
caused by the fighting of the supreme being against the evil
spirits. The people of Leti Moa and Lakor and of the Babar
Islands are unable to explain the nature of thunder and lightning.
In the Aru Islands thunder is said to be due to the strife between
the rain and the wind, but the 'people of these islands are unable
to explain the nature and origin of lightning. In Seran and
Watubela no cause can be assigned for thunder and lightning, but
the people of Ambon say that these phenomena are caused by
Upu Lanito, the sky-lord, waging war against the evil spirits,
"thunder teeth" being scattered about during the. fighting.
The nature of thunder* and i lightning cannot be explained in
The most definite conceptions of the cause of thunder and
lightning are those recorded in the west part of the Timor region,
where the influence of the stone-using immigrants has apparently
been strongest. The explanations 'given further to the east, in
Keisar, Aru, and Ambon, are more vague. The distribution of
places where no explanation is recorded, Wetar, Leti Moa and
Lakor, Watubela, Seran, and Buru, is of interest. Wetar, Seran,
and Buru have no stone village walls, so far as I know, and the
stone-work of Seran and Buru is confined to offering-places in
Seran and offering-places and graves in the south part of Buru.
The stone-work of these islands is therefore such as to suggest a
weak influence on the part of the stone-using immigrants. So,
1 Wilken, III, 174, 179. 2 Bastian, II, 2. 3 Riedel (iv), 458, 428, 398, 364,
330, 309, 270, 213, 145, 85, 28.
130 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
in places where the influence of the stone-using immigrants has
been weak, ideas about the cause of thunder and lightning are
vague or absent altogether.
The manner and distribution of the explanations of the causes
of thunder and lightning are such as to suggest that they are due
to the influence of the stone-using immigrants.
Among the Bontoc, thunder is said to be the voice of the wild
boar calling for rain, and lightning is the voice of the sow which
accompanies him. 1 In one of the tales of half-men an account
is given of the origin of thunder and lightning. The child of a
sky-being and an Igorot woman is divided into two boys. The
sharp thunder is the voice of the boy who was taken up to the
sky ; when he went up whirling like fire the lightning originated :
the voice of the other boy is the rolling thunder. In Mina-
hassa the evidence concerning the relation between the sky-people
and thunder and lightning is definite, for a sky-being gave his
son the means of controlling these things. Rampolili, "the
holy face," who is one of the sun-lords of the Tontemboan,
shot his nephew with an arrow, and when he shot thunder and
lightning accompanied the action. When Muntu'untu, another
of the Tontemboan sun-lords, comes to the earth, he is accom-
panied by thunder and lightning. A Tontemboan tale states
that while a man named Mailensum was trying to cut a bamboo,
thunder and lightning came, and he was surrounded by a mist,
out of which appeared two girls who asked him if he wished to
be made into a sky-being. He agreed, and was taken by them
to the river Malaku and bathed, and during the process the
thunder rolled and the lightning played around. 2
The Tangkhul Naga state that thunder and lightning are
caused by a sky-being who stamps on the ground and brandishes
his sword. 3
The evidence therefore agrees in associating thunder and
lightning with the sky-people, and in ascribing to these people
and to their descendants on the earth the power to control these
The modes of punishment which occur in the tales have now
been examined, and the result has been to show that only the
sky-people and their earthly descendants are credited with the
* Schwarz (i), 316. J Hodson, 138.
PUNISHMENT TALES 131
powers of petrifaction, of bringing on rain and floods, and of
causing thunder and lightning.
It will now be necessary to consider the offences for which
these punishments are meted out.
The only suggestion which I am able at present to make con-
cerning the offence of laughing at animals is that the stone-using
immigrants had certain ideas concerning animals which were
not possessed by the indigenous peoples, and that the laughter
of the latter caused them to become angry. The prohibition
apparently only extends to a limited number of animals, which
suggests that some definite reason must lead the sky-people to
wreak their vengeance on those who offend in a manner which is
apparently so inoffensive.
Lack of hospitality causes the wrath of the sky-people. No
information is to hand with regard to this cause of offence.
Incest is an offence in the eyes of the sky-people. This is
shown by the custom of the Posso-Todjo Toradja, who perform
a ceremony in honour of Pue mPalaburu, the sun-lord, each year
before the rice is planted. An offering is made to him in case
incest has been committed during the course of the year. Pue
mPalaburu shows his displeasure by causing droughts, earth-
quakes, rain, and so forth. Kruijt and Adriani say that " Before
the rice is planted, generally before the fields are prepared, a
ceremony takes place which the Toradja call maandu sala, ' the
cleansing from sin '. By sin they mean more especially ' incest '.
This offence has as a consequence, so the Toradja think, that
a drought comes or heavy rain falls; in either case the crop
fails. ' Incest ' here means marriages between parents and
children, between uncles (aunts) and nieces (nephews), and be-
tween brothers and sisters. . . . The Toradja believe that incest
can happen in secret places without being discovered. People
can even offend unwittingly on account of the very complicated
relationships between two persons who marry, as is evident in a
small community where endogamous marriages are the rule." J
Thus the sun-lord is directly connected with incest, which he
punishes by rain, drought, and earthquakes. The offence and the
punishment are therefore connected with the stone-using immi-
grants to central Celebes.
1 II, 246 et seq.
132 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
The question of incest is complicated. For, although the
sky-people appear to view it with displeasure, they not only
themselves seem to contract such unions, but they also give per-
mission for the survivors of floods to do so (p. 102).
The evidence at our disposal points to the sky-people as the
authors of the various punishments. It also associates these
people with the offence of incest, but at present it does not enable
us to understand why laughing at certain animals and lack of
hospitality should cause their wrath. An examination of the
table on p. 1 27 shows that incest is punished by rain, lightning,
petrifaction, and by drought (this last mode of punishment is
mentioned in the account of the Toradja rice-growing ceremonies).
Petrifaction, on the other hand, is the punishment for adultery,
incest, laughing at animals, and breaches of hospitality. It may
indeed be shown that all the offences and punishments are so
intertwined that it is impossible to disentangle them. Petrifac-
tion, thunder and lightning, floods and drought are only a few ot
the many ways in which punishment could be inflicted. On the
other hand, the offences are few and bizarre. It is therefore pos-
sible to claim with confidence that these tales are to be ascribed
to certain circumstances in the interaction between the stone-
using immigrants and the indigenous peoples of Indonesia.
The knowledge gained in this chapter enables us to under-
stand the point of the following tale from Nias.
A woman of Nias, Iwolache by name, was pregnant. She
told her husband that she wanted something piquant to eat. He
could find nothing that would please her, and in desperation
asked her to say what she wanted. She said that she would like
some lightning, and that the way to get it was to put a loin-cloth
round the dog and to make the cat dance on the roof. Thus he
procured what she wanted. The point of the tale is that the
woman evidently knew that the act of making the two animals
ridiculous would anger the sky-people and make them send
In the tales from Borneo cited in this chapter it was said
that the "gods" punish the offences of laughing at animals,
incest, and breaches of hospitality with thunder and lightning
and petrifaction. It would seem that these beings are the to
PUNISHMENT TALES 133
belare of the Kayan of central Borneo or toh of the Kayan of
Sarawak. The to belare, "thunder gods," are said to punish
misdeeds such as laughing at animals. Lightning is their glance
and thunder their voice, and they are believed to be able to show
themselves as thunder and lightning, wind and rain. The toh
of the Kayan of Sarawak are "the powers that bring misfortunes
upon a whole house or village when any member of it ignores
tabus or otherwise breaks customs without performing the pro-
pitiatory rites demanded by the occasion 'V
The information which is given about these beings suggests
strongly that they are akin to the sky-beings of other peoples of
Indonesia, or, what is the same thing, to the stone-using immi-
grants. That they probably are the traditional representatives
of the immigrants is shown by the belief of the Kayan that they
live in caves in the mountains in communities similar to their
Thunder stones. In Indonesia there is a widespread belief that
stone implements are connected with thunder. The description of
the stone strut which is supposed by the people of certain villages
in Wetar to be connected with Sirui, suggests that it is an arti-
fact. Stone implements which are kept in a house near to that
which contains the strut stone are associated with Malihi, the
wife of Sirui. These stones are called thunderstones. 2 The
people of Leti Moa and Lakor call stone implements thunder-
stones, but in the Babar Islands no explanation can be given of
the origin of such stones. 3 van Hoevell procured in Timorlaut
some stone implements which were called thunderteeth : the
warriors use them as amulets. Ribbe states that stone adzes are
regarded in the Aru Islands as thunderteeth. In Seran and
Ambon stone implements are regarded as thunderstones. Riedel
was told in Bum that thunderstones are never found, but he says,
"this is not to be believed, for the language of this island con-
tains a name for them (tela vaga)". 4 The people of Galela and
Tobelo in Halmahera believe that stone implements are the
teeth of a dragon which lives in the clouds. 5 The people of
Minahassa call stone implements "thunder teeth" or "lightning
1 Nieuwenhuis (ii), I, 97, 98, 319, 312; Hose and McDougall, II, 19 et seq., 26.
2 Riedel (iv), 436. 3 Ibid., 398, 364. 4 Ibid., 145, 85, 28. 5 Ibid. (iii), 89.
134 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
stones". 1 Grubauer found among the To Lampu of central
Celebes a stone implement which was regarded as a thunder-
stone. 2 In Borneo there is a widespread belief that stone im-
plements are the teeth of the sky-being who controls the thunder.
Stone implements are used in Nias to procure rain. 3
Only stone implements are supposed to be thunderstones.
In some places they are said to be the teeth of a dragon or of a
sky-being who controls thunder. The belief that a dragon lives
in the sky is certainly not indigenous to Indonesia ; it has been
introduced from elsewhere. It is therefore probable that the
belief that stone implements are the teeth of such a beast has
been introduced along with the belief in the creature itself. The
fact that stone implements are said to be thunderstones in places,
Wetar and Seran, where no explanation of the nature and origin
of thunder and lightning is not forthcoming, is again suggestive of
the introduced nature of the belief. Thunderstones are in Wetar
associated with people who appear to be stone-using immigrants
to that island. This association, together with the general con-
nection supposed to exist between such stones and thunder,
suggest that the stone-using immigrants are the introducers of
the idea. In order to make this matter certain it will be neces-
sary to show that the stone-using immigrants have introduced
the belief in dragons, but this task cannot be attempted here.
iWilken, III, 156. 2442. swilken, III, 158.
LUMAWIG is said to have taught the Bontoc the craft of agri-
culture. A glance at the plates in Jenk's monograph will show
that these people cultivate their land, which is mountainous, by
means of irrigated terraces. They practise this form of culti-
vation on an immense scale by means of terraces which, extend-
ing up the sides of mountains for thousands of feet, produce the
effect of gigantic staircases and amphitheatres. These terraces
generally have stone retaining walls, and stone dams are made to
regulate the water supply. Plates 2 and 3, which show the
terraces made by the kindred Igorot, give an idea of the
magnitude of such works.
The fact that the Bontoc claim to have learned their agri-
culture from Lumawig suggests that the stone-using immigrants
introduced terraced irrigation to Indonesia. I propose to follow
up this clue, and to collect the evidence concerning the exist-
ence of terraced irrigation and kindred forms of cultivation in
Elaborate irrigation is carried on in Sumbawa. 1 Ten Kate
mentions that canals lead water to the rice-fields in Sumba. 2
Jenks says that terraced irrigation is practised in Formosa as
well as in Luzon in the Philippines. 3
Terraced irrigation probably exists in Minahassa, for Wilken
mentions wet rice-fields. 4
In central Celebes a distinction exists between the agricul-
ture of the Bada-Besoa-Napu group and the other mountain
peoples on the one hand, and the Posso-Todjo group on the
other hand. Kruijt and Adriani say that " the Toradja of the
Posso-Todjo group formerly only had dry rice-fields on the sides
i Perry (iv). a ()63i. '88,91. (")
1 36 MEGALITH 1C CULTURE IN INDONESIA
of the mountains. . . . The people of the Parigi-Kaili group (i.e.
the Bada-Besoa-Napu group, the To Kulawi and others) have
for a long time grown their rice almost entirely in wet fields,
which are irrigated by canals that bring the water from the
rivers." * Much terraced irrigation is carried on in the Sadang
district. Grubauer reproduces photographs of terraces at Kam-
butu, in the Simbuang-Mapak valley, at Tondong, Awang,
Bamba, and in the Molu valley.
Some of the coastal peoples of Sarawak and British North
Borneo practise irrigation. Hose and McDougall mention the
Dusun of British North Borneo and the Kalabit of Sarawak in
Irrigation is practised in Nias, but no mention is made of
The Khasi have irrigated terraces. "The bottoms of the
valleys are divided up into little compartments by means of fairly
high banks corresponding to the Assamese alis and the water is
let in at will into these compartments by means of skilfully
contrived irrigation channels, sometimes a mile or more in
Mr. Hodson says of the Naga tribes : " We have in this area
tribes who migrate periodically and practise only the jhum
system of cultivation. We have tribes such as the Kabuis (and
possibly the Marrings), who keep to their village sites with
tenacity, but are compelled to change the area of their cultivation
year by year in set rotation. They preserve the memory of
other days by taking omens annually to decide the direction
in which the cultivation is to be. We have large villages (e.g.
Mao, Maram, Mayang, Khong) with extensive terraced fields
magnificently irrigated with water brought from considerable
distances in channels so well aligned that every advantage is taken
of any natural slope encountered, and awkward corners avoided
or turned with admirable ingenuity. But this method of cultiva-
tion is not practicable everywhere, and fortunate are the tribes
who occupy hills whose declivity is not too steep for such fields.
By means of long and assiduous labour, a field may be built
up and provided with water so that the large terraces represent
1 II, 231. a Ling Roth, I, 406; Hose and McDougall, II, 253. * Rappard,
549. 4 Gurdon, p. 40.
PLATE II. Igorot Terraced Cultivation.
TERRACED IRRIGATION 137
the expenditure of a vast amount of energy and farming ability,
as well as much practical engineering skill. . . . The fields are
embanked, wherever possible, with small stones. In many vil-
lages, especially in the Tangkhul area, may be seen abandoned
fields, which, according to tradition, were cultivated when the
village was larger and more prosperous than it now is. But in
crowded villages, as in the Mao group, patches of jhum cultiva-
tion exist which are semi-permanent, as they are cropped one
year and left fallow for two years, which is not really long
enough for any heavy jungle to grow.
"Nearly every tribe has some terraced fields, but among
the Kabuis, Quoireng, Marrings, and Chirus, jhum cultivation
provides the bulk of their sustenance." l
The Karen have terraces provided with stone retaining walls
about 6 feet high. 2
The accounts sometimes only state that irrigation is carried on
and make no mention of terraces. But terraces are so essential
to irrigation systems where the ground is not quite flat, and the
country in Indonesia is generally so hilly, that there need not be
any hesitation in including all the irrigation systems of Indonesia
under the heading of terraced irrigation.
In central Celebes terraced irrigation is practised by the
Bada-Besoa-Napu group, by neighbouring peoples such as the
To Kulawi, and in the Sadang region ; that is to say, in places
where megalithic monuments exist. 3 It is not practised by the
Posso-Todjo group. This distribution is such as to make it
probable that those who introduced the custom of building
megalithic monuments also practised terraced irrigation. The
To Napu seem to be aware of this fact, for they state that the
sky-people have irrigated terraces. 4
A comparison between the distributions recorded in the table
at the end of the book and that of terraced irrigation discloses a
remarkable similarity between this latter distribution and that of
megalithic monuments. This is shown by the table.
1 Hodson, pp. 50-1. 2 Colquhoun, "Amongst the Shans," 65. s Heer
Kruijt writes to say that the distribution of stone-work in central Celebes coincides
with that of terraced irrigation. I am much obliged to him for this verification of
the above conclusion. * Kruijt and Adrian!, II, 260.
138 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Dusun (B.N.B.) .
The similarity between the two distributions is really closer
than the table appears to show. For, in the Kei Islands and
Seran, megalithic monuments are, so far as I know, confined to
offering-places which are associated with brotherhoods, the
founders of which do not appear to have been some of the
original stone-using immigrants to Indonesia. Megalithic monu-
ments are not habitually erected in these places in the same way
as, for example, in the Sadang district. I have no information
regarding the existence of megalithic monuments in Roti and in
Formosa, but suspect that they are to be found in the former
place. I have practically no information about Halmahera.
The only place where the correspondence does not appear to
hold is Luzon, and exception should prove to be of great interest
when the necessary facts are available. The circumstances in
which the use of stone was introduced among the Bontoc are
such as to suggest that the absence of megalithic monuments
is perhaps to be associated with the fact that Lumawig did not
found a line of chiefs.
The megalithic monuments of Indonesia, we have concluded,
are the work of stone-using immigrants. The fact that these
forms of stone-work exist in places where terraced irrigation is
carried on is illuminating. For the photographs of terraced
irrigation which have been reproduced in Plates 2 and 3 make it
abundantly clear that an immense amount of labour and time is
TERRACED IRRIGATION 139
required in order to construct and maintain such systems, and
a high state of organisation and co-operation must exist in
communities which are capable of such great and sustained
efforts. The association between terraced irrigation and mega-
lithic monuments, that is, between a peculiar and complicated
mode of cultivation and stone-work of distinctive types, for which,
according to conclusions reached in this book, the stone-using
immigrants are responsible, taken in conjunction with the tradition
of the Bontoc and the belief of the To Napu, suggests strongly
that the stone-using immigrants introduced terraced irrigation to
Indonesia. The stone-using immigrants must have possessed a
culture far in advance of that of any of the peoples among whom
they settled. They have only succeeded, it must be noted, in
introducing terraced irrigation in places where the presence of
megalithic monuments suggests that they have influenced the
indigenous culture to a considerable extent.
The correlation between megalithic monuments and terraced
irrigation suggests that all the original stone-using immigrants
to Indonesia were people who built megalithic monuments and
practised terraced irrigation, and that they settled in certain
places, whence spread the influence of their culture. But the
circumstances in which the culture associated with the use of
stone was introduced to various parts of Indonesia differ so pro-
foundly that much caution must be exercised in this matter. In
some places, as in south-west Timor, the immigrants were " chil-
dren of the sun," but they did not, so far as I know, introduce ter-
raced irrigation. On the other hand, the introducers of terraced
irrigation to Sumba do not seem to have left behind them chiefs
who claim descent from a sun-lord. Such difficulties, and more
which could be adduced, show that it is only possible to claim
that, in general, the stone-using immigrants were people who
possessed the custom of building megalithic monuments and the
practice of terraced irrigation, that some of them were children
of the sun, and so forth. The reasons for the many variations
in the manner of introduction can only be seen when the
provenance of the immigrants has been determined for each
Terraced irrigation is used for the growing of rice. The
Posso-Todjo state that Lasaeo taught them to grow this cereal,
1 40 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
and other peoples of Indonesia claim to have learned their rice-
growing from the sky-world.
The people of Wetar and Keisar state that the cultivation of
rice was brought by their ancestors from the west, the direction
whence the stone-using immigrants into these islands came. 1
In Minahassa it is said that the knowledge of rice and of the
method of growing it was derived from the sky- world. 2 A
similar claim is made by the Toradja. The Posso-Todjo group
say that a man went to the underground world to pay a visit.
When he was returning the people told him to go on until his
path divided, and then to take the left-hand branch. He did so
and came to a river across which a log was placed. He dared
not attempt to cross thereby, and, turning back, retraced his steps
and took the other branch. This took him to the Pleiades, the
people of which taught him all about agriculture. He got back
to the earth by jumping. 3
The Olo Ngajdu of south-east Borneo say that the son of the
supreme being taught them to grow rice. 4
There is thus a certain amount of evidence that the stone-
using immigrants have taught the people of Indonesia to grow
1 Riedel (iv), 409, 456. 9 Schwarz (i). * Kruijt and Adriani, I, 230,237.
4 Hardeland (i), langit.
A TRADITION recounted in the eleventh chapter states that the
sun-cult was brought to Luang-Sermata by strangers from the
west. It is said too that the priests of the neighbouring islands
have to visit Luang-Sermata at least three times during their
lives, because it is the place of origin of their religion. I pro-
pose in this chapter to inquire who these priests are, and to de-
termine their position in the scheme which is being elaborated.
In Dama the priests belong to the chiefly class. The priests
of Wetar keep the sacred stones which are found in the villages
of this island. Riedel mentions the strut stone, already described
(p. 56), which came from Timor. It was brought thence by a
man named Mauiak, whose descendant looks after it.
The priests of Keisar, together with the chiefs, form the upper
In each village of the Leti Moa Lakor group a priest and
priestess serve the guardian spirits, who live in two images in
the middle of the village. The priest and priestess, who are the
direct descendants of the man and woman whose ghosts are the
guardian spirits, belong to the nobility, which, as a class, is said
by Riedel probably to be of foreign origin.
Each village in the Babar Islands has two guardian spirits,
male and female, to whom offerings are made through the priest,
one of the chiefly class, who is descended from the first builders
of the village. In Letwurang of these islands prayers for rain
are made to two images in which live two spirits, Rupiai and
Upurepre, who have come to Babar from elsewhere. These
images are kept near the house of the direct descendant of the
man who brought them to the island. This man set out on a
journey to Timorlaut, but lost his way and arrived at the land of
142 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
the sky-people. They gave him the two images, upon which
they said that, in order to procure rain, water must be poured
by a woman.
The priests in the Luang-Sermata group are the descen-
dants of the first possessors of the land and belong to the no-
bility. Each lives in the village temple, where are the images
in which live the ghosts of his ancestors, the founders of the
According to Riedel no definite priesthood exists in Timor-
laut, but certain people, called itrana and itwata, who belong to
the nobility, seem to be in closer contact with the " spirits " than
The priests in these islands belong to the nobility, a class
which, according to the conclusions arrived at, is of immigrant
origin. They are descended, in some places, from those whose
ghosts are the guardian spirits of villages, that is to say, if we
accept the conclusions of chapter viii., from stone-using immi-
grants. In certain cases information is given which supports
these conclusions : the priest who looks after the strut stone in
Wetar is said to be the direct descendant of a stone-using immi-
grant ; the nobility of the Leti Moa Lakor group is said by
Riedel probably to be of immigrant origin ; and the two images
in Letwurang of the Babar Islands came from the sky-world.
The evidence therefore agrees in identifying the priests of these
islands as the lineal descendants of stone-using immigrants,
who are claimed as the founders of villages and the guardian
The priests are concerned with two different cults : one is
that of their ancestors ; and the other, which is connected with
the sky-world, was brought by these ancestors and handed on to
their priestly descendants. In some cases these guardian spirits
are said to be those of the founders of villages. I shall reserve
the discussion of this tradition for some future time. The avail-
able evidence suggests that the stone-using immigrants introduced
to Indonesia the custom of living in villages.
The facts which we possess about the cults of Timorlaut are
indefinite. No hereditary priesthood is reported, and the sun-cult
is said not to include such periodic ceremonies as are performed
1 Riedel (iv), 463, 437, 406, 384, 375, 373, 339, 320, 293, 281-2.
THE PRIESTHOOD 143
in the islands to the west. Riedel says that everybody can
approach the sun-lord without any intermediary, a state of affairs
which contrasts with that in the other islands of the Timor region.
The presence in Timorlaut of people who stand in a closer re-
lationship to the " spirits " than the rest of the community sug-
gests that there is really some kind of priesthood in these islands.
But the information relating to Timorlaut is so scanty that it is
necessary to await more facts before forming any opinion about
this apparent exception.
In each village of the Kei Islands there is an image in which
lives the ghost of the founder of the village. Offerings can only
be made to this being by a direct descendant.
The Watubela people have a class of hereditary priests who
act as intermediaries between the earth and the sky-world.
In Seran chiefs and priests are chosen from the members of
the Kakian club of the Patasiwa.
In Buru no priesthood exists and no cult is attached to the
sky-lord, of whom the people have but a vague conception. 1
The evidence derived from the consideration of the priest-
hoods of Kei, Watubela, Seran, and Buru supports the conclusion
already formed. The priesthood is hereditary and its members
are nobles, and, consequently, we suppose, of immigrant origin :
in Seran the priesthood is formed of members of the Patasiwa,
an organisation which, according to the available evidence, owes
its existence, directly or indirectly, to the stone-using immigrants.
Conversely, no priesthood exists in Buru, an island where the
influence of the stone-using immigrants appears to have been
Hereditary priesthoods exist elsewhere in Indonesia. The
Bontoc have hereditary village priests. 2 Among the Olo Ngadju
of Borneo the descendants of the two persons whose bodies
floated down the river and petrified are priests in charge of the
remains of their ancestors. 3
In south Nias there are hereditary priests who are the head
chiefs of their villages. They claim descent from Boronadu, the
son of a sky-being named Lamonia. Boronadu is said to have
been the first of the images, adu t which are used by the priests
in Nias ; and the knowledge of the use of these images is said to
1 Riedel (iv), 220, 194-5, 101, 99, 88, 16, 17. 2 Jenks, 305. 3 See p. 62.
144 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
have been derived from the sky-world. The Boronadu have
charge of the sacred trees of the villages and of the great images
beneath them. Some of these trees are said to have been
planted by sky-beings ; one, indeed, by Lowalangi, the supreme
being himself. 1
The Khasi have hereditary priests, called Lyngdoh, who are
always chosen from the Lyngdoh clan. There is usually more
than one Lyngdoh in each Khasi state. Sometimes there are
many, as in Nongkrem, where each division of the state has one.
In some Khasi states the Lyngdoh is the ruling chief. 2
The Naga tribes have hereditary priests, who, in some cases,
have charge of the sacred stones. 3
The evidence forthcoming from Borneo, Nias, and Assam
adds further support for the conclusion that the members of the
hereditary priesthoods of Indonesia are the descendants of immi-
grants who introduced the culture associated with the use of
stone. These hereditary priests are, as in the Timor region and
elsewhere, the keepers of sacred stones and images in which live
the ghosts of their ancestors, the guardian spirits of the village.
The functions of the hereditary priests of Nias are similar to
those of the priests of the islands at the east end of the Timor
region, for they are in charge of images and of the banyan-trees,
one of which is found in every village of the islands of the Timor
region which have been mentioned in this chapter, as well as in
those of south Nias.
The claim of the hereditary priests of Nias to be descended
from the "first image," a being of the sky-world, whence the
knowledge of the use of such images came, suggests that the
stone-using immigrants introduced to Indonesia the practice of
making images. I propose to defer the consideration of this
The priesthoods of Indonesia are not always hereditary.
Among certain peoples, the Posso-Todjo Toradja for example,
the members of the priesthood are initiated to their craft. The
initiated priesthoods of the Toradja, the Olo Ngadju, Olo Dusun
and Kayan of Borneo consist mainly of women. 4 In this they
1 Modigliani, 619, 499. This is another case in which the supreme being is
said to have lived on the earth. a Gurdon, 109. :! Hodson, 140. * Kruijt
(iii), 99 et seq.
THE PRIESTHOOD 145
differ from the hereditary priesthoods, the members of which are
usually men. The initiated priesthood differs in another way from
the hereditary priesthood, for its members are not drawn from the
chiefly class, but sometimes, as among the Olo Ngadju, are slaves.
Although a profound difference appears to exist between the
hereditary and initiated priesthoods of Indonesian peoples, yet
both derive their craft from the sky-world. The Toradja say
that their first priestess was a woman who was taken when ill
to the sky and there taught the craft of the priesthood; 1 the
Tontemboan of Minahassa say that their priestcraft was learned
from the sky-world; 2 and the initiated priesthood of Nias was
founded by sky-beings called beta, who are descended from Bela,
son of Balugu Luo Mewona, a sky-lord. 3
The crafts of the initiated priesthoods of the Posso-Todjo
Toradja, Olo Ngadju, Olo Dusun, Kayan, and of south Nias are
similar. Each priestess I shall use the feminine term, for the
majority of the members of the initiated priesthood are women
works with the aid of a friendly sky-spirit whom she calls by
name. 4 The Toradja call these spirits wurake, the Olo Ngadju
sangiang, and the people of Nias beta. It is the duty of the
priestess to chant a sort of litany which describes the manner in
which her sky-spirit aids her to do what is needed. Different
parts of the litany 5 are used according to the object of the priest-
ess, but all the ceremonies performed by the priestesses are
founded on a common plan.
Since the knowledge of the craft of the initiated priesthood
is supposed to have come from the sky, it follows that the stone-
using immigrants must have taught the priestesses the litanies
which they use, for this constitutes their craft.
One feature of these litanies makes it fairly certain they
could not have been elaborated by the people whose priestesses
chant them. They are composed in a language which is mostly
unintelligible. Hardeland 6 says that the language used in the
litanies of the Olo Ngadju is called the sangiang speech, that is,
the speech of the sky-spirits who assist the priestesses. This
speech includes :
1 Kruijt and Adrian!, I, 374. 2 Schwarz, 379-80. 3 Rappard, 579 ; Chatelin,
132. 4 Kruijt and Adriani, I, chap. xii. ; Hardeland (i), sangiang. 5 1 follow
Kruijt in the use of this term. 6 (ii), 4, 210.
146 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
1 . Many ordinary or slightly altered Olo Ngadju words.
2. Malay words which are not in general use among the Olo
Ngadju, these words being usually much altered.
3. Many words of which Hardeland knew nothing at all.
He says " the priests are quite ignorant of the real meaning of
many of the words of this last class ".
The priestesses of the Kayan use a strange language in their
Adriani says that the Posso-Todjo Toradja have a special
language called zuurafce-speech, which is used in the litanies of
the priestesses. Some of the words of this language are used
in poetical writings : others are used in ordinary language as
synonyms, or in riddles ; and the meaning of others, again, is
unknown to the priestesses. These litanies are entirely incom-
prehensible to the laity; indeed "many who can declaim them
do not understand them ". Very few priestesses can chant the
whole of a litany. Most of them have learned fragments from
the more experienced members of their profession, and while a
litany is being chanted they sit round and join in when they can. 2
Why does this apparently meaningless ritual survive among
people such as the Posso-Todjo Toradja who have no descend-
ants of stone-using immigrants among them who might ensure
its persistence ? For what purposes are members of the initiated
priesthood required ?
The Tontemboan priestcraft is concerned for the most part
with ceremonies connected with rice-growing. Schwarz says
that " the old Minahassa religion had its centre in the various
ceremonies which were concerned with the getting of crops. The
tone! as im panguman or ' garden-priest,' and the walian im uma
or ' garden-priestess,' were foremost of all those who were leaders
and councillors in religious matters". 3 The Minahassa people
say that formerly they grew no rice because they did not know
the necessary ceremonies. The knowledge of growing rice is
said to have come from the sky-world. So, since crops are only
procured by the performance of ceremonies which were instituted
by the sky-people, practical reasons would ensure the persistence
of these rites and, consequently, that of the priesthood which
possesses the necessary knowledge.
1 Kruijt (iii), 106. > Kruijt and Adriani, III, 37-8. s 159.
THE PRIESTHOOD 147
Another important function of the priesthood is that of curing
disease. Only the members of the priesthood, hereditary or initi-
ated, possess the necessary knowledge : or rather, in the case of the
latter, they only can summon the sky-spirits who can effect a cure.
In Nias the bela spirits tell the priests the kind of wood of which
an image must be made in order to cure the illness. Once leech-
craft x has, for any reason, become a profession, the members of
which alone have the necessary knowledge for the exercise of
this profession, the normal recurrence of disease will ensure its
Priestesses also conduct the ghosts of the dead, especially
those of chiefs, to the land of the dead. And they perform cere-
monies connected with house-building. 2
The craft of the initiated priesthood differs much from that
of the hereditary priesthood. The members of the latter are in
direct communication with the beings of the sky-world, and act
as intermediaries between the earth and the sky. They also
carry on a cult of their ancestral ghosts, the guardian spirits of
villages. But when this hereditary priesthood is lacking, all
direct connection between the earth and the sky is at an end,
and no cult of guardian spirits appears to exist. The duties of
the initiated priesthood are concerned with leechcraft, rice-grow-
ing, funerals, and house-building, but especially with the first
two, and the members of the initiated priesthood can only act
with the aid of a sky-spirit.
Who are these friendly spirits ? The wurake, sangiang, and
bela are said once to have been on the earth in friendly inter-
course with men, but now they live in a region between the earth
and the sky in communities similar to those on the earth. It is
therefore possible that these spirits were hereditary priests who
acted as intermediaries between the earth and the sky. That
this is possible is shown by the fact that the hereditary priests of
the Khasi are associated with priestesses for whom they perform
ceremonies as intermediaries.
Another important feature of the initiated priesthood will
have to be taken into account when the attempt is made to
determine the origin of the priesthoods of Indonesia. The
1 1 follow Dr. Rivers in adopting the use of this term. See his Fitzpatrick
Lecture, " Lancet," Jan. 8, 15, 1916. a Kruijt (iii), 339 et scq.
148 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Posso-Todjo Toradja, the Olo Ngadju, Olo Dusun, and Kayan
have initiated priests. These priests invariably dress as women,
and sometimes even marry men. The priestesses of Borneo act
as public prostitutes, and, so far as I know, form the only class
of prostitutes in that island. The initiated priests also act as
1 Hardeland, balian, basir.
ALTHOUGH it is possible that the absence of a hereditary priest-
hood serves to explain the lack among the indigenous peoples of
cults associated with the sky-beings, it does not, however, ac-
count for the persistence of the craft of the initiated priesthood.
Some definite reason must exist for the existence of a profession
the members of which chant litanies that they do not understand.
It was said in the last chapter that, once such a profession is
established in the possession of exclusive knowledge of practical
importance, its persistence is assured. But it is necessary to
know why it ever became established, to discover what is the
knowledge which is of so great importance.
It is to Heer Kruijt that we are indebted for the information
necessary for the understanding of this question, and all ethno-
logists owe him a debt of gratitude for this contribution to science.
It will be seen that the greater part of the evidence used in this
chapter has been collected by him. He gives an account of the
Toradja theory of leechcraft. 1 According to this people human
beings live because they are animated by a " soul-substance," 2 to
the presence of which all the manifestations of life and health are
due. It is loosely connected with the body, which it may leave,
as the result, for example, of a sudden fright. If one person has
an intense longing for another, his soul-substance will sometimes
leave the body and travel to the vicinity of the desired one.
Deaths from home-sickness are caused by the continued absence
of the soul-substance.
It leaves the body during sleep and wanders about, going
sometimes to the land of the dead to visit deceased relatives.
1 Kruijt and Adriani, I, chapters x. and xii. 2 This is the term used by Kruijt.
I adopt it without any discussion as to its suitability. Perhaps " vital essence "
would convey the idea more exactly.
1 50 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
On occasion a man will sleep in a spot where his soul-substance
will meet with the ghost of some person who will advise him
with regard to the future. Great importance is therefore at-
tached to dreams as being the real experiences of the soul-sub-
stance. The possible absence of the soul-substance during sleep
makes it necessary to be careful to wake a sleeper gently ; for, if
he should be disturbed while the soul-substance is still away, he
would die. No one may step over a sleeping person. 1
The Toradja have confused ideas about the actual nature of
the soul-substance. It is called tanoana, which means "little
man " : in this form it is a minute copy of its owner. It is also
called wajo or limbajo, and then is supposed to be the shadow. 2
The favourite mode of exit and entry is by the fontanelle on
the top of the head. It can also enter and leave by the mouth,
nose, ears, and joints. If a patient sneezes in the morning, it
is a sign that the soul-substance has returned, so that he will
The soul-substance can assume various shapes when it leaves
the body. Sometimes it returns to the patient in the form of a
butterfly. 4 Kruijt once showed a worm which he found in a
water-butt to some Toradja folk, who expressed great alarm, for
it was, according to them, some one's soul-substance. If a Tor-
adja man sees a worm on the path in front of him, he places his
head-cloth on the ground near to it. If the worm crawls on to
the cloth, he then knows that it is his own soul-substance. He
puts the worm into the head-cloth which he replaces upon his
head, so that the soul-substance can re-enter his body.
The soul-substance can assume the form of a snake. If a
snake crosses the path in front of anyone, it must be killed at
once, for it may be the soul-substance of an enemy. 5
The soul-substance can assume the form of a mouse. A tale
is told of two Toradja men who were passing the night in the
same hut. One was asleep and the other saw a mouse come out
of his nose. He ran after the animal and killed it, and then,
turning round, found that his companion was dead. 6
The Toradja believe that the soul-substances of certain persons
can leave their bodies in the shape of animals which devour the
1 Kruijt, 251-3. 2 Ibid., I, 248. "249. 4 250. 6 250. fl 250-1.
" SOUL-SUBSTANCE " 151
soul-substances of other persons. The forms assumed are deer,
crocodiles, pigs, apes, buffaloes, and cats. 1
The beliefs which the Toradja hold concerning the soul-sub-
stance therefore present an apparently confused medley. The
soul-substance is a minute replica of its owner, or it is the shadow :
it comes and goes by the crown of the head, the ears, nose, mouth,
or joints. It assumes animal forms when out of the body ;
butterflies, worms, mice, snakes, pigs, cats, crocodiles, apes, and
The Toradja are indefinite about the fate of the soul-substance
after death : " ' it goes back to the lord up above,' says one, ' it
becomes a bird, ' says another, but generally no answer can be
given " . But although vague about the soul-substance the Tor-
adja are definite in their distinction between the soul-substance
and the ghost, which comes into existence at death and goes to
the land of the dead. The soul-substance does not go after death
to the land of the dead, and if the ghost of some dead person,
through motives of affection, jealousy, or revenge, endeavours to
carry off to the land of the dead the soul-substance of a living
relative, it is the duty of the priestess to return it to its owner. 2
The continued absence of the soul-substance from the body
causes sickness : if it be too prolonged death ensues. The three
chief agencies which produce disease by abstracting the soul-
substance are :
(2) evil spirits ;
(3) the ghosts of the dead.
It is the business of the priestess to procure the return of the
soul-substance and so to restore health. To do this she calls in
the aid of her friendly wurake spirit. When the illness has been
caused by an evil spirit or by a ghost, the wurake spirit gets back
the soul-substance. Such illnesses are therefore curable. But
the great majority of illnesses, especially serious ones, and, pre-
sumably, all fatal ones, are caused by the sky-beings. In such
cases the soul-substance of the priestess goes with her wurake
spirit to Pue mSongi, who lives at the top of the sky in a house
surrounded by crotons, to ask for the soul-substance of the patient,
which has, in some way not revealed to us, got up there. If he
1 Kruijt, 254. 2247,376; II, 84.
1 5 2 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
returns the soul-substance, the patient recovers : if he refuses,
the patient dies and the soul-substance apparently remains on
In his description of the interview with Pue mSongi, Kruijt
remarks that some say that the soul-substance is the breath. 1
This is a conception of the nature of the soul-substance which has
not been mentioned before in the account of the Toradja ideas.
This conception of the breath as the vitalising agency is present
in a definite form in Nias, for Baliu, a sky-being and a son of
the supreme being Lowalangi, is said to have in the sky a store
of breath with which he animates each human being at birth. 2
At the death of each person the breath returns to the sky to be
re-issued to some one else.
Although the Toradja have confused ideas concerning the
nature of the soul-substance, yet they possess a tale in which the
breath is the animating principle. For, in the story about the
creation of their first ancestors out of stone images, the sky-
beings went up to the sky to get the " breath of life " . The
sky-people of the Toradja tales therefore had a store of breath
in the sky, in the same way as the sky-beings of the people of
The soul-substance is supposed by other peoples to go at
death to the sky. This is so in Halmahera. In a case of ill-
ness the soul-substance of the priest, accompanied by a sky-spirit,
goes to the supreme being and demands the soul-substance of the
patient. The shadow of the patient, " the spurious soul-substance,"
is thrice offered and refused. At the fourth request the soul-
substance is returned if the patient is to recover.
The priestesses of the Olo Ngadju and Olo Dusun of Borneo
perform a similar ritual. 3
The soul-substance is thus connected with the sky and with
the sky-beings. So, in a place such as Nias, the ghost of a
commoner goes to the underground world, while his soul-sub-
stance goes to the sky, the land of the dead of the chiefs. The
importance which the chiefs attach to the soul-substance is shown
by the fact that when an eminent chief in Nias is about to die,
his son, who succeeds him, has to inhale his last breath.
1 Kruijt, Chapters 12, 13. 2 Ibid, (iii), 10. Each human being is also sup-
posed to be given a shadow at birth. 3 Ibid, (iii), 70, 87, 105, 107, 168.
" SOUL-SUBSTANCE " 1 53
The leechcraft of the initiated priesthoods of Indonesia, which,
according to tradition, has been learned from the sky-world, is
therefore concerned with the soul-substance of human beings.
This soul-substance is associated in a definite manner with the
sky-world, and thus with the stone-using immigrants. This
close connection is also evident from the fact that the chiefly suc-
cession in Nias depends upon a form of direct inspiration.
The available evidence therefore agrees in ascribing the con-
ception of soul-substance to the influence of the stone-using im-
It must be noted that the knowledge that the soul-substance
returns at death to the sky is not common property in Indonesia.
The Posso-Todjo Toradja are, according to Kruijt, generally un-
aware of this ; for, although some of them know that the soul-
substance goes to the sky after death, most of them have no idea
at all concerning its destination. It has only been possible to
determine the relationship between the soul-substance and the
sky by an examination of the sky-derived craft of the priesthood
of the Toradja, which is unknown to the laity among this people,
as well as to some of the priestesses themselves. The knowledge
concerning the soul-substance which is possessed by the average
Toradja man is therefore vague and indefinite. It seems to be
confined to the fact that man possesses a vitalising essence of
an indefinite nature. This vagueness of ideas is the result, ap-
parently, of the introduction by the stone-using immigrants of
certain theories about the spiritual nature of man which have
only imperfectly been absorbed by the indigenous peoples.
The necessary control over this soul-substance is maintained
by the priestesses with the aid of the sky-spirits. The help of
these latter beings is so important that if, by any chance, the
knowledge of the means of procuring it were to be lost, the
priestesses would be powerless, and all illnesses would end fatally.
It is thus highly essential from the point of view of the indigen-
ous peoples that the institution of the initiated priesthood should
Both the associations of soul-substance and the lack of means
of control over it which is displayed by the indigenous peoples,
show how strange the idea is in Indonesia.
The priestcraft of Indonesia is also concerned with rice-
154 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
growing. 1 The function of the priest is to ensure the health of
Evidence has been put forward which goes to show that the
growing of rice has been introduced by the stone-using immi-
grants. It is therefore significant that this cereal should be
supposed to possess a soul-substance, and that the priestcraft
should be concerned with the control of this soul-substance.
1 Kruijt (iii), 145 et seq., and his article "de Rijstmoeder in den Indischen
Archipel" (Verslagen en Meded. der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen).
RELATIONS WITH ANIMALS.
AN important matter has been left on one side during this
discussion. We have not yet inquired why soul-substance can
assume the form of an animal. In the account of the Toradja,
and in Kruijt's work on Animism, it is said that the soul-sub-
stance can change into deer, pigs, crocodiles, apes, buffaloes,
cats, mice, lizards, birds (certain sorts), snakes, grasshoppers,
worms, butterflies, and fireflies. So we may conclude that this
list represents fairly well the various forms which soul-substance
can assume, according to the beliefs of Indonesian peoples.
Other beliefs are centred round these animals. The Toradja
say that the soul-substance of a man can change after death into
a bird. The Kayan of central Borneo say that it can change
into deer, grey apes, snakes, and the rhinoceros bird. 1 The
people of south Nias believe that a blacksmith turns into a frog,
that a man who dies without sons becomes a moth, and that
a man who is murdered becomes a grasshopper. 2
Not only can human beings thus be incarnated as animals,
but they are sometimes descended from animals, and vice versa.
The Posso-Todjo Toradja have a tale of a woman who gave
birth to two crocodiles. Kruijt remarks: "Sometimes one
would be inclined to say that the Toradja consider crocodiles
to be the incarnations of their ancestors ". Crocodiles are carved
upon their temples. The Toradja also consider that birds and
dogs were once men. 3 The people of Nias say that cats and
monkeys were once human. 4 Among the Loda people of Halma-
hera a dog which has a white ring round its neck is supposed to
be descended from a man. 5 The belief that apes were once men,
or that they are the incarnations of ancestors, is widespread in
1 Kruijt (iii), 167. 2 Ibid., 184. 3 Kruijt and Adriani, I, 264, 266 ; II, 178.
4 de Zwaan, 213. 5 Kruijt, 122.
156 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Indonesia. Speaking generally of the relationship between men
and animals, Kruijt says, " the descent of animals from men and
of men from animals (whereby it is clear that no essential
difference between the two is felt) is a theme which recurs
incessantly in the tales of Indonesian peoples ". 1
Certain animals are prohibited as food. The deer, grey
apes, snakes and rhinoceros birds, which the Kayan look upon
as the incarnations of ancestors, may not be eaten. 2 The cat
and dog are not eaten by the Kayan of the Mahakam river. 3
Some Toradja families may not eat the flesh of certain animals,
white buffaloes, eels, and sharks being mentioned. To Lage
women may not eat deer's flesh. 4 No reason is given for this
belief. Mr. Hodson has given a detailed account of the food
prohibitions of the Naga peoples. 5 The village-priests of the
Tangkhul are not allowed to eat dogs, which are also prohibited
to some individuals or sections of villages. No Tangkhul may
eat goats. In some villages, especially those where cloth is
woven, unmarried girls may not eat dog or the flesh of any male
animal. Pregnant women may not eat bear's flesh. or that! of any
animal that has died a natural death. This prohibition is also
found among the Quoireng, Marring, Kabui, Mao, and Maram.
A father cannot eat the cock which he has sacrificed at the
birth of a child.
The Quoireng Naga have no general prohibition. A young
unmarried girl may not eat male goats. Those whose parents
have died from snake bites may not touch the flesh of a snake.
Those who have killed a dog or goat as sacrifice cannot eat it
The Marring do not eat cats and dogs. Members of the
clan of the priest may not eat goats.
Among the Chiru no women may eat dog, which is also
forbidden to the priests when killed for a sacrifice.
The Maram do not eat pork. Kabui women may not eat
goat, and unmarried girls may not eat dog. Old people may,
but young people may not, eat the flesh of a cat.
No special animal is forbidden as food to the whole Mao
tribe. Pigs cannot be eaten at the first crop festival. Dogs and
salt fish are forbidden when rice is being transplanted, and dogs
1 Kruijt, 121. 2 Loc. cit. 3 Nieuwenhuis (ii), 127. 4 Kruijt and Adriani,
I, 413, 414. 8 i82 et seq.
RELATIONS WITH ANIMALS 157
are forbidden during rice-harvest and epidemics. "Thegenna-
bura or khullakpa (priests) of the Mao and Maram groups and
their wives are under many disabilities in regard to their food.
So too are persons who have erected a stone. Warriors, both
before and after a raid, are not permitted food cooked by women."
Hodson further reports that in a Kom village pregnant women
may not eat wild pig, deer, buffalo, and mountain goat. Speak-
ing generally of the Naga he says : " All domestic animals are
eaten with the exception of the cat, which is treated with respect
and buried with some semblance of funeral rites by the old
women in one or two villages ". The Tangkhul say that a man
who kills a cat becomes dumb. 1
Certain facts connected with the prohibition of food among
the Naga are important. Leaving on one side the cases of
pregnant women, the persons who have most food restrictions
are the priests. These priests are hereditary, and therefore, ac-
cording to the conclusion reached in chapter xviii. , p. 114, are
the representatives of the stone-using immigrants. The other
two classes of persons among the Mao and Maram who have
food restrictions are those who have erected memorial stones and
warriors, both being categories which are especially connected
with the culture of the stone-using immigrants.
The restrictions on food in one case are expressly stated to
have been imposed by the " gods ". The ancestors of the Mao
were brother and sister, the survivors of a flood. They were
allowed by the " gods " to marry on condition that their descend-
ants never ate pork. Mr. Hodson says : " Finding themselves
alone they did not know if they might properly marry and there-
fore went out into the jungle together. There what befell them
showed that there was some hindrance to their union, and they
dreamed that night, and in their dream a 'god' came to the
man and told him that they might marry, but on the condition
that henceforth none of their descendants should eat the flesh
of the pig. Thus it was that to this day the pig is forbidden to
the men of Maram and to all the villages that follow Maram."
Mr. Hodson has also brought into prominence another matter
of importance. He says that in the forbidding of pork as an
article of food " we have the almost totemistic connection of an
158 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
animal ancestor with the prohibition against the flesh of that
animal ".* He goes on to say that it is " instructive to observe
that the prohibition rests on the physical peculiarity of the
ancestress of the village. I was solemnly assured that the bones
of the lady, an examination of which would have proved the
existence of this very remarkable malformation, had been
preserved in the village for centuries, and were only destroyed
when the village was burnt as a punitive measure soon after the
occupation of the Manipur State in 1891." 2 The words of Mr.
Hodson are not precise, but they seem to imply that the an-
cestress of the Maram Naga was a sow.
The Khasi have certain food restrictions. They do not as a
people eat dogs or ordinary frogs. Some of the restrictions are
said to apply to certain of the exogamous groups of which this
people is composed : the Siem-lih clan may not eat a certain
kind of fish ; the clan Khar-um-nuid in Khyrim may not eat
pork ; and the 'dkhar clan may not eat the flesh of the sow.
In addition we are told that the chiefly family of Sierra may not
eat dried fish, and the chiefs of Mylliem may not eat gourds. 8
In the account given by Kruijt, it was said that the soul-
substance of human beings is able to show itself in the shape
of cats, pigs, apes, crocodiles, lizards, deer, buffaloes, mice, snakes,
grasshoppers, worms, butterflies, and fireflies. Inquiry has shown
that cats, dogs, pigs, apes, crocodiles, deer, buffaloes, snakes,
frogs, rhinoceros, birds, sharks, goats, and bears are the objects
of one or more of a group of beliefs : they are believed to be the
incarnations of the dead ; or to be descended from men, or vice
versa ; or they may not be eaten. Each animal is not mentioned
as the object of each particular belief or prohibition. Inquiry
will perhaps fill up many of the gaps, but it is not possible to
say that each particular creature is associated everywhere with
all the beliefs. The two lists which have been compiled are
remarkably alike, for they agree in several instances. This
similarity suggests that these beliefs rest on a common basis, and
the fact that human soul-substance can assume animal forms
points to the existence of a belief in a spiritual relationship
between men and certain animals.
Nieuwenhuis gives information which shows that this relation-
1 13. Hodson. Gurdon.
RELATIONS WITH ANIMALS 159
ship is supposed to exist The Kayan of the Kapuas region, he
says, believe that domestic animals such as dogs, pigs, fowls,
together with deer, wild pigs, and grey apes, resemble men in
that they have two souls, while all other animals and material
objects have only one. 1 This statement probably means that
these animals are peculiar in that they have a soul-substance like
that of man. This supposition is supported by the Toradja be-
lief that their buffaloes, the introduction of which is ascribed
to Lasaeo, differ from other animals in that they possess a soul-
The ascription to these animals of a soul-substance provides
a logical basis for the beliefs held about them. The existence
in the sky of a common store of soul-substance which can be
doled out to men and to these animals impartially, makes them
spiritually akin ; and once the idea has arisen of descent from
certain animals, their prohibition as food would follow.
Unfortunately we have no information which will help us to
understand how these beliefs came to be associated with certain
animals. But several facts go to show that the whole group of
notions concerning the relationship between men and animals were
introduced by the stone-using immigrants. For they appear to be
more closely connected with animals than the indigenous peoples.
The chiefs of Kupang in Timor are said to be descended from
crocodiles ; and the carved crocodiles on the backs of the stone
seats of chiefs in Nias (Figure 5) suggest a close relationship
between these creatures and the chiefs. Food restrictions among
the Naga and Khasi in Assam fall more especially upon chiefs,
priests, those who have erected memorials, and warriors, all of
them persons who are more closely associated with the influence
of the stone-using immigrants than the rest of the people.
The available evidence thus points to the stone-using im-
migrants as the introducers of certain notions concerning the
relations between men and some animals. These notions are
based, it seems, upon the assumption that men and these animals
differ from other organic beings in possessing a " soul-substance "
which is derived from the sky-world. In such circumstances
it is to be expected that the attitude of the immigrants to-
wards animals which are connected to them by such close ties of
* Kruijt (iii), II.
160 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
kinship will differ profoundly from that of the indigenous peoples,
who, so far as can be told, before their coming possessed no
ideas concerning the nature of soul-substance and the relations
between men and animals. Strong evidence of the existence of
such a difference of attitude has already been discovered. For
in the punishment tales which were discussed in chapter xvi. it
was found that the sky-people were enraged when certain ani-
mals were laughed at. The animals mentioned in the tales
were cats, dogs, frogs, apes, fowls, and pigs. This list is very like
the other two already compiled (p. 158), and it would probably
be more like if a greater number of tales had been collected
by workers in the field. The anger of the sky-people is thus
aroused when animals which, according to the evidence, are
related to them by the closest ties of kinship are laughed at by
people who have no suspicion of the existence of such a relation-
It is usual to group these notions of the relations between
men and animals under the heading of " Totemism ". So the con-
clusion just arrived at is thus tantamount to ascribing the intro-
duction of " Totemism " to the stone-using immigrants. The
data examined in this chapter are not enough to enable us to
understand to what extent these totemic ideas have influenced
the social organisation and the beliefs of the indigenous peoples.
Certain remarks made by Kruijt and others suggest that such
an influence has really been profound, and it will be necessary
in the future for workers in the field to examine into such im-
portant matters far more closely than they have in the past.
THE SKY- WORLD,
THE initiated priesthoods of Indonesia consist mainly of priestesses
who carry out rites relating to leechcraft, rice-growing, funerals,
and house-building. It is the duty of the priestess to try to re-
store the soul-substance when it has left its human or vegetable
embodiment. This can only be done with the aid of sky-spirits.
To obtain this help the priestesses chant litanies which are said
to have been derived from the sky. These litanies are not wholly
understood even by the priestesses themselves, and the ordinary
people are quite ignorant of their meaning. So, whatever cults
and beliefs the stone-using immigrants may have brought with
them, they have left those indigenous peoples who have only
initiated priesthoods with ideas about the soul- substance, and
priestesses who control it with the help of sky-spirits.
The craft of the initiated priesthood does not reveal much
about the stone-using immigrants themselves, or about the sky-
world with which they are said to be connected. The folk-tales
of Indonesian peoples also apparently are barren of real know-
ledge of the, culture of these strangers. For Hose and McDougall
say that, " Among all the peoples of Borneo a number of myths
are handed on from generation to generation by word of mouth.
These are related again and again by those who make themselves
reputations as story-tellers, especially the old men and women ;
and the people are never tired of hearing them repeated, as they
sit in groups about their hearths between supper and bedtime,,
and especially when camping in the jungle.
" The myths vary considerably in the mouths of different;
story-tellers, especially of those that live in widely-separated dis-
tricts ; for the myths commonly have a certain amount of local
colouring. Few or none of the myths are common to all the
162 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
peoples ; but those of any one people are generally known in
more or less authentic form to their neighbours.
" Although many of the myths deal with such subjects as the
creation of the world, of man, of animals and plants, the dis-
covery of fire and agriculture, subjects of which the mythology
has been incorporated in the religious teachings of the Classical
and Christian worlds, the mythology of these peoples has little
relation to their religion. The gods figure but little in the myths,
and the myths are related with little or no religious feeling, no
sense of awe, and very little sense of obligation to hand them
on unchanged. They are related in much the same spirit and
on the same occasions as the animal stories, of which also the
people are fond, and they may be said to be sustained by the
purely aesthetic or literary motive, rather than the religious or
scientific motives." 1
According to Hose and McDougall, the sky-people figure
but little in folk-tales, except in connection with accounts of
creation and the discovery of agriculture and fire. The examina-
tion of the stories of creation and the discovery of agriculture has
shown good reason for the conclusion that they rest upon a
basis of tradition. The story in which the first men are made out
of stone is probably the result of a certain kind of intercourse
between the indigenous peoples and the stone-using immigrants.
And the claims to be descended from people who emerged from
stone or contracted incestuous unions are apparently founded
upon a traditional basis. The tales of the introduction of agri-
culture are also traditional.
The sky-beings only figure in such tales in relationship to
the indigenous peoples ; as the makers of images, and as beings
who gave permission for ancestors to contract incestuous unions,
and as the introducers of agriculture. No real information is
given about them. Such as it has been possible to gain has
been got rather by inference than from the direct assertions of
the tales. It is not possible, for instance, to discover from their
contents whence the strangers came or why they should have
wandered about Indonesia. Once they step on the scene among
any people a curtain seems to shut down behind them, and they
are only known in terms of their relationships to the indigenous
1 H, 136-7.
THE SKY- WORLD 163
peoples, as the bringers of culture, as supreme beings, or as the
founders of chiefly houses. It is possible that, had they not in-
troduced certain crafts and ideas about soul-substance and founded
certain classes, they would long since have been forgotten by
such peoples as the Posso-Todjo Toradja, as later strangers must
have come and gone unremembered.
Further evidence of the ignorance of Indonesian peoples
about the doings and the culture of the stone-using immigrants
is adduced by Heer Adriani. He says that, among the Toradja,
tales are told about the sky-world, and others about the under-
ground world, the land of the dead. The latter are far better
known than the former. " The tales of visits to the sky-world
depend very little upon common beliefs : they are for the most
part literary. The superstition of the ordinary people troubles
itself very little with the sky-world. What they know of the
higher realms belongs to the region of theology and litera-
Indonesian peoples are not only ignorant about the sky-world,
but they are also apparently indifferent towards natural pheno-
mena, such as thunder and lightning. Heer van Ardenne de-
scribes the behaviour of the To Lampu, one of the group of the
He says : "Accustomed to live out of doors, the To Lampu
is not afraid of most natural phenomena, such as storms and
tempests. During the loudest thunderclaps and the most dazz-
ling flashes of lightning he sits quite unconcerned and does not
move. He is not frightened. . . . Sometimes an earthquake
happens in these parts, but only very slight shocks are felt, but
the To Lampu bothers himself little if at all on that account.
When he feels the shock he may look round wondering and then
go on with his occupation. What he would do if he felt severe
shocks which caused his house to fall, is not doubtful. He would
run away, frightened out of his life, and seek shelter.
" Eclipses of the sun and moon and comets have no noticeable
influence upon him ; he appears to find them quite natural and
does not pay attention to them. Here there is not banging on
tong-tongs and making of other noises to drive away the evil
spirits. People do not appear to think any more about these
1 Kruijt and Adriani, III.
1 64 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
things, and when I told them a few months before about the
forthcoming arrival of Halley's comet, so that the people should
not be afraid when they saw it, the only comment after the
comet came was, ' The gentleman is very clever, for the star has
really come'. Also when I tried to explain to them about
some natural phenomena or other, and they did not understand
it, and indeed doubted my explanation, some there were who
actually said, ' Yes, that may be so, for the gentleman also knew
all about the star with the tail '." 1
The To Lampu may be taken as typical of the indigenous
peoples of Indonesia. Their attitude shows that natural phe-
nomena have not roused in them any emotions which have led
them to speculate about the cause of these phenomena. The
To Lampu say that thunder and lightning are caused by lamoa,
sky-beings, and are evidently quite satisfied with the explana-
tion. Their attitude is one of indifference and lack of curi-
The attitude of the To Lampu towards natural phenomena
suggests that the ignorance of the indigenous peoples of Indon-
esia concerning the sky-world and the cults which the strangers
brought with them is due, partly at least, to indifference. The
strangeness of the language of the litanies chanted by the
priestesses suggests that the stone-using immigrants kept their
cults secret from the laity. But the apparent absence of any
attempt on the part of indigenous peoples who have only
initiated priesthoods to develop a cult of the beings in the sky,
and the ignorance which they display concerning the tales about
the sky-world, can best be explained by assuming that the
sky-world and its inhabitants have no interest for them. The
initiated priesthood is only kept on as a practical necessity, and
all cults which do not conform to the standard of utility dis-
appear with their introducers.
The discussion of the evidence cited in the chapter on the
land of the dead showed that those stone-using people of Indon-
esia who possess social classes owe their upper class, directly or
indirectly, to the influence of the stone-using immigrants. The
upper classes claim to be closely associated with a world in the
sky, to which they believe that their ghosts go at death. They
1 Kruijt and Adriani, II, 420.
THE SKY-WORLD 165
claim descent from the beings of the sky-world, sometimes from
the supreme being. The supreme beings of the Bontoc, the
Toradja of Makale, the Kayan, and of the people of south Nias,
are said to have lived on the earth. The beings of the sky-world
and their earthly descendants are credited with powers over
thunder and lightning, rain, wind, floods, and stones. Many
stories are told about the denizens of the sky-world, and cere-
monies are performed in honour of some of these beings. All
this lore and practice is in the hands of the priesthood. When
the priesthood is hereditary, the members belong to the upper
class, and, by means of their help, the sky-beings and the
guardian spirits of the villages can be approached. In those
communities in which the priesthood is initiated, this direct
intercourse with the sky-world is broken off, and access to the
sky-beings is only to be had by means of intermediaries.
On the other hand, the indigenous elements of the stone-using
peoples of Indonesia are not connected in any way with the sky-
world : they do not claim to go there at death, and they do not
suppose that they are descended from its inhabitants. They do
not pretend to powers over natural phenomena, to which they are
indifferent, and they are ignorant of the lore of the sky-world.
The social division which the stone-using immigrants have
produced is therefore fundamental in character. Each part of
the community is, in general, occupied with its own affairs, and
the only overlapping is that which has been produced by the
introduction by the stone-using immigrants of ideas concerning
the spiritual nature of human beings, animals, and plants, which
has caused the indigenous peoples to maintain an institution
which otherwise seems to be a matter of indifference to them.
The inquiry which has been instituted in the last part of this
book has shown that the cults of Indonesian peoples can be divided
into three groups. Those which the descendants of stone-using
immigrants maintain are connected with sky-beings and the
guardian spirits of villages. These latter spirits are said expressly
to be the ghosts of the ancestors of the village priests. And in
certain cases the sky-beings to whom prayers and offerings are
made are claimed as ancestors by the chiefly class, to which
belong the hereditary priests. It is significant that both these
1 66 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
classes of beings can only be approached through those who
claim to be their descendants.
In the second place, the indigenous elements of the stone-
using peoples do not appear to perform any ceremonies in
honour of these beings, but leave that to the members of the
priesthood. Their attention is occupied, it seems, with the
ghosts of their relatives, especially of those recently deceased,
and the head of each household performs the necessary cere-
monies in connection with this ancestor-cult.
Both the immigrant and indigenous elements of Indonesian
peoples therefore possess cults connected with spiritual beings
who are the recipients of prayers and offerings.
There is also a third group of ceremonies which do not bear
any near resemblance to the other two. The craft of the initiated
priesthood differs from that of the hereditary priesthood or from
the ordinary ancestor-cult, for the priestesses are only able to
communicate with the sky-beings through intermediaries. And
the purpose of the priestess is not to carry on a cult of the sky-
beings to make prayers or offerings to them, but to control,
through her helper, the spiritual part of man, plants, and animals.
It is usual to call the objects of the first group of rites
" gods ". According to the discussion which has preceded,
the knowledge of these rites is the exclusive possession of the
priesthood, and the ordinary people are entirely ignorant of
them. That this fact is a matter of common knowledge among
those who have had an intimate acquaintance with the peoples
of Indonesia is shown by the following quotations. Heer
Kruijt says: "Where the belief in and the worship of gods is
an integral part of the life of primitive man, he has no more
than a suspicion of his gods, and that suspicion has but little
influence upon his daily life". Again, he says that a Tor-
adja man is " quite conscious of the relationship between man
and the ghosts of his ancestors. But when anyone asks him
about his gods and spirits, then perhaps he may have something
to tell which he has learned by chance, but generally he refers
the questioner to the priests". In Nias, where the religion
is well developed, " the Nias people do not worship their gods,
they only expect good from them " . Heer Westenberg says
of the Karo Batak of Sumatra that "the tales about the gods
THE SKY-WORLD 167
are preserved by the priests, for the< ordinary people know
practically nothing about them ; they only know what they have
picked up here and there ", l
The proposition just considered is only a particular case of a
general theorem, for the indigenous peoples are not only ignorant
of their "gods," they are apparently also ignorant about the
sky-world as a whole, and they have no direct communication
whatever with it.
The ignorance which the indigenous peoples display concern-
ing the sky-world suggests that, prior to the coming of the stone-
using immigrants, no beliefs in such a place existed in Indonesia.
The indigenous peoples, as we have seen, do not appear to pay
any more attention to thunder and lightning than the ignorant
of our own countries, and the inference is that they never im-
agined the existence of a world above the sky. Certain tales
recorded in Indonesia seem to be traditions of the days when
the sky-world came into existence for the first time.
Jonker records a tale in Roti. 2 " In former times the sky
was very close to the earth, not as at present when it is so high
that if one were to place a dozen trees one on top of the other it
could not be reached. In that time men went to and fro from the
earth to the sky and from the sky to the earth, so that, if there
was no fire on the earth, they went up to the sky to get it, and
if there was no fire above they went down below to get some.
"At that time lived a man of very great height, called Laih-
amak, who reached to the sky with his head. He could not
walk upright, but only stooping. Laihamak said to the sky,
'Just push up a little higher, you sky, so that I can walk
" The sky became very angry and receded, so that Laihamak
could stand upright, and the birds could not reach the end of the
"When the sky was high up Laihamak could walk properly,
and he went round the earth. He began at the west and came
to Lailete to the west of Dengka : there he set one foot upon a
flat stone and the other upon a large stone in Baa. He then
raised his back foot and placed it upon a stone in Keka : he then
placed the other foot in Landu : stepped over Pukafu (the strait
1 Kruijt (iii), 461 et seq. 2 (i) 426.
i68 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
between Roti and Timor) to Sonabai (in Timor) and went
further eastwards ... he never returned to Roti."
The Manobo of Mindanao say that in the early days of crea-
tion the sky was low, but an old woman hit it one day with her
rice-pestle and up it went. A similar notion is common in
northern Luzon. 1 The Ifugao say that the sky region belonging
to Manahaut, their most dreaded evil "deity," was once very
near to the earth. This region was raised up by one of the
sitting Ifugao deities, who suddenly arose and pushed the sky
to its present position. 2 The Tagolog say that the sky was
once very near to the earth : men threw stones at it and thus
made the deity very angry, so that he drew the sky up to its
present position. 3
The Minahassa people say that Mt. Lokon was the old way
to the sky-world, but that a man named Warere cut it in two
and thus severed the connection. 4
The Olo Ngadju of Borneo state that the son of Mahatara,
their supreme being in the sky, taught them to plant rice. This
made Mahatara so angry that he withdrew the sky from the
The sky was formerly near the earth in Nias, so that the
priests could get there up a ladder. People used to scrape off
the fat from the under side of the sky and eat it. One day a
man sent his wife to get some of the fat. She was angry and
hit the sky, which thereupon was drawn up. 6
The direction in which Laihamak moved from Roti is that
which the stone-using immigrants are supposed to have taken.
Laihamak is said to have stepped on stones. This fact, together
with the knowledge that his destination was Sonabait, the chiefs
of which, who once ruled Timor, are "children of the sun,"
suggest that Laihamak is the traditional representative of the
movement of stone-using peoples from Roti to Timor. If that
be so, the sky-world was separated from the earth at the time of
the movement of the stone-using immigrants from Roti to the
None of the other tales give any clue, except that of the Olo
Ngadju. In this tale the separation of earth and sky takes
1 Beyer (ii), 89. a Ibid., 105. Ibid., 105. * Kruijt (iii), 494. Harde-
and (i), Langit. 6 Kruijt (iii), 494.
THE SKY-WORLD 169
place after the Olo Ngadju had been taught to plant rice by the
son of the supreme being, that is, after the arrival of the stone-
using immigrants. This evidence is in agreement with that re-
lating to the sky-world which has been forthcoming in previous
chapters. The sky-beings figure in the tales of origin of several
peoples, and the supreme beings are sometimes supposed to have
lived on the earth. The whole of the associations of the sky-
world, from the point of view of the indigenous peoples, there-
fore date from a time subsequent to the arrival of the strangers
in Indonesia. No signs exist of any beliefs in a world in the
sky or in beings connected with it previous to the arrival of the
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH.
ALTHOUGH the examination of different kinds of data has made
it more and more probable that stone-using people have come
into the parts of Indonesia with which we are concerned and
have influenced the cultures of the indigenous peoples, yet no
indication has been forthcoming which will help us to understand
the reason why these strangers wandered about the region,
settling here permanently, there temporarily, and avoiding other
places altogether. The behaviour of the immigrants is often
apparently mysterious. Why should they found lines of chiefs
in Nias and avoid the neighbouring Mentawi group : why did
they disappear from central Borneo, leaving only a few carved
stones on the banks of the rivers : why did they settle for a time
in the Bada-Besoa-Napu region of central Celebes and not in
the Posso-Todjo region, and why did they move southward?
Such questions as these could be put with regard to their be-
haviour in every place that they visited.
It is evidently useless to search for the reason among the
folklore of Indonesian peoples, for these peoples seem to know
nothing about the immigrants except in so far as they have
come into contact with themselves or their ancestors. The most
hopeful procedure to adopt is to examine those places where the
stone-using immigrants have apparently influenced the culture of
the indigenous peoples to the greatest extent, so as to discover,
if possible, why such places were more desirable in their eyes
Caution must be exercised in ascribing the practices of ter-
raced irrigation and the building of megalithic monuments to
the whole of the stone-using immigrants to Indonesia. But
there can be no hesitation in assuming that those places where
these cultural elements are found, especially when they exist
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH 171
together, have been more profoundly influenced by the culture
associated with the use of stone than places where such elements
do not occur. For, speaking generally, the most typical elements
of the culture of the stone-using immigrants occur in association
with terraced irrigation and megalithic monuments, as may be
seen from an examination of the tables at the end of the book.
I propose, therefore, to examine those places where terraced
irrigation and megalithic monuments are found.
Sumba is that island of the Timor region which is specially
distinguished by its megalithic monuments. With the possible
exception of Flores, in no other island of this region do mega-
lithic monuments appear to be so plentiful. Sumba is further
remarkable in that it was formerly an " island of gold" and
much sought after by adventurous voyagers. 1 We do not know
for how long it has been so distinguished, but the great attraction
which gold has had for mankind ever since historical times
suggests the possibility that the builders of megalithic monu-
ments in Sumba were those who first came in search of its
stores of gold. 2
Gold mines or washings exist in other places where terraced
irrigation or megalithic monuments, or both of these cultural
elements, are recorded.
The people of Luzon with whom we have been concerned,
the Ifugao, Bontoc, and Igorot, who practise terraced irrigation,
work extensive gold and copper mines. The Igorot have famous
gold mines which have been worked for centuries. Mr. Robert-
son says: "As early as 1624 the workings of the Igorots appear
to be very old, and many of them were already abandoned ".
Quiranta in 1624 said that Igorot men, women, and children
washed for gold in the small mountain streams. They also had
extensive workings in the gold-bearing quartz. " Their tools,"
he says, fi were certain stakes of heavy wood fashioned like pick-
axes, with the knot of the said stake larger at the end of it,
where, having pierced it, they fit into it a small narrow bit of iron
one palm long. Then seated in the passages or works, as the
1 Ten Kate (i), 542, quoting E. T. Hamy, " Le Descobridor Godinho de Eredia "
(" Bulletin Socie'te' de Geographic," Paris, 1878, p. 511). a As far as I can tell, no
gold is now found in Sumba. As happens so often in the case of alluvial gold, the
supply has doubtless been exhausted.
I 7 2 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
veins prove, they pick out and remove the ore, which, having
been crushed by a stout rock in certain large receptacles fixed
firmly in the ground, and with other smaller stones by hand,
and having reduced the ore to powder, they carry it to the
The Igorot of Lepanto work copper.
Mr. Robertson tells me that, so far as he knows, the distri-
bution of gold and copper mines in Luzon is the same as that
of the influence of the culture of the stone-using immigrants.
Unfortunately I have no information concerning Formosa or
Gold exists in central Celebes. No mention is made of gold-
washing in the Posso-Todjo region. But in Bada, where the
stone-villages in which the stone-using immigrants lived are most
common, " gold washing is one of the most profitable occupations
of the people ". 2 I possess no information concerning the pre-
sence of gold in the Sadang district, but it is significant that
formerly, when the people of Luwu, which includes the Sadang
district, visited Pamona, they strewed gold-dust, rice, and beads
upon the seven menhirs which were erected there on the departure
of the Toradja tribes. 3 The evidence in central Celebes points
to a definite relationship between the presence of gold and that
of the culture of the stone-using immigrants. That this is so is
made certain by a letter from Heer Kruijt, in which he says that
the distribution of metal-workings in central Celebes coincides
with that of stonework.
Nias, like Sumba, was much sought after formerly on account
of its reputed richness in gold, and many old atlases mark it as
the " golden island ". 4 Like Sumba, no gold is found there now,
but that is no reason why it should not have been worked ex-
tensively in former times, for the exhaustion of gold deposits has
taken place in all parts of the earth.
In addition to these gold-workings in places where terraced
irrigation and megalithic monuments are reported, there are
others in those parts of Indonesia with which we are concerned.
In south-west Borneo traces are present of very extensive
ancient washings of alluvial gravels for gold and diamonds.
1 Robertson. * Grubauer, 506-7. Kruijt and Adriani, I, 5. 4 Modigliani,
6. 9. 10.
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH 173
There are also old washings for gold and diamonds on the banks
of the Barito river, down which came the ancestors of the priests
of the Olo Ngadju. 1
It was noted in earlier chapters that stones on the banks ot
rivers in central Borneo are regarded with reverence, and that
certain people who are said to have lived there before the ar-
rival of the Bahau group 2 left behind them carved stones on the
banks of the rivers. These departed people have apparently in-
fluenced the tribes of Borneo in such a manner as to lead us to
conclude that they possessed a culture similar to that of the
stone-using immigrants to other parts of Indonesia. The pre-
sence of old gold- washings on the banks of rivers, especially in
south-west Borneo, whence the Kayan say that they have mi-
grated, 3 suggests forcibly that these strangers washed the alluvial
gravels of Borneo for gold and diamonds, and that the localisa-
tion of their occupation on the banks of rivers has caused the in-
digenous peoples to associate such places more especially with
Gold is also washed for in Timor, the chief place being Sona-
bait, and especially there in the rivers Nono Baun, Noi Noni,
Nipo Kain, Noa Penoh, and Lalaeh Asu. The prominence of
Sonabait is significant, for the chiefs of that district, who once
ruled Timor, are the descendants of immigrant "children of the
sun". Gold is said to be " sacred" in Sonabait, which appar-
ently means that it is definitely associated with the chiefs and
the sky-world. 4
The relationship between gold and the sky-world also exists
in central Timor, where gold is washed for. Mr. Forbes gives
a description of the process. " Before deciding on a day to com-
mence the gold-washing, some of the children ... are sent to
report whether the river is sufficiently low, and in favourable
condition. On their return the people are assembled, and public
proclamation is made * Oh, ho, ho, four days hence we go
to gather gold'. On that day the Datu-luli (the priest chief),
dressed in all the vestments of his office, proceeds (in the district
of Saluki) to the top of the curious peak of Fatunarak, where a
flat stone exists which is supposed to be the most sacred altar
1 Hose and McDougall, I, 17; Kruijt (iii), 346. 2 To whom belong the
Kayan. 3 Hose and McDougall. 4 Graamberg, 208.
174 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
in the kingdom. Behind him follow all the people men, women,
and children. The elder men seat themselves on the ground near
the Datu-luli, the women, children, and younger men keeping at
a respectful distance. The Datu-luli, then in front of the great
stone, invokes the spirits of their dead, Maromak of the Heaven,
and Him of the earth. All then return to their homes, where
each acting as his own 'house-priest,' kills a fowl or a small pig,
and offers on the lull stone in his own house, which he then
carries to the river to wash the auriferous sand over. It is
affirmed that every one finds gold on the first day more or less,
all some. The ritual to be followed by one who is to search for
the first time differs somewhat from that observed by those who
have searched before." 1 The associations of gold in Timor are
therefore such as to connect it with the stone-using immigrants.
The examination of the gold-workings of Indonesia thus gives
us reason to conclude with confidence that the stone-using
immigrants were seekers after gold, who settled in places where
they found it, and usually built megalithic monuments and caused
terraced irrigation to be adopted. In Borneo they evidently did
not stay permanently. On the other hand, although no terraced
irrigation or megalithic monuments have been, so far as I know,
reported in Timor, the great prominence there of the " chil-
dren of the sun " suggests that, when fuller accounts are to
hand, it will be found that the strangers have had a more definite
effect upon the culture of the indigenous peoples than is at present
apparent. The description by ten Kate of structures made of
enormous stones in this island is significant and suggestive of a
more profound influence than we yet know of.
One exception to the generalisation must be noted. The
Khasi have elaborate megalithic monuments and terraced irriga-
tion, but they do not mine or wash for gold. I shall examine
this case shortly.
It is evident that people who are searching for gold will seek
for other forms of wealth, and will influence the cultures of those
places where they find it. I propose to consider from this point
of view the problem of the Ursiwa and Urlima of the eastern part
of the archipelago.
What could have induced the founders of these brotherhoods
1 Forbes, 467.
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH
to settle in certain islands and not in others ? The sketch-map
suggests the answer.
It shows that the pearl-fisheries of that part of Indonesia in
question are coincident with the area of influence of the brother-
.' o|K' *
SKETCH MAP No. 4.
Distribution of pearl-fisheries with eastern part of the East Indian Archipelago.
hoods. Evidence exists to show that the brotherhoods are con-
nected in some way with Ternate and Tidore in Halmahera. 1
The existence of a chain of pearl-fisheries running southward from
Halmahera suggests that the founders of the brotherhoods spread
thence in search of pearls and pearl-shell. But as the question
1 1 shall put forward this evidence when I discuss the general problem of In-
1 76 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
involves a discussion of the origin of the Sultanates of Ternate
and Tidore, I shall not enter into it more fully now.
One feature of the distribution of pearl-fisheries in this part
of the East Indian Archipelago cannot be allowed to pass un-
noticed. The Geelvink Bay district of New Guinea is a note-
worthy centre of pearl-fishing. I propose in the near future to
put forward evidence to show that the stone-using immigrants
have influenced the culture of this region very profoundly, and
that the distribution of pearl-shells serves to account for the ex-
tent of their influence in this part of the world.
The stone-using immigrants were evidently accustomed to
work in metals, for not only did they know the use of gold, but
they have apparently taught the Philippine tribes to mine for
copper. I propose to examine the peoples of Indonesia other
than those already considered, with a view to determining what
sort of influence the strangers have had upon the metal-working
crafts of the indigenous peoples.
Men of Roti go to an uninhabited island to smelt and work
gold, and they sell their wares to the people of the neighbouring
islands. 1 No metal-working is carried on in Wetar. Most
villages of Keisar have goldsmiths. Iron- and goldsmiths are
found in Leti Moa and Lakor, and there are a few in the Babar
Islands. Luang-Sermata has a large number of iron- and gold-
smiths. In Timorlaut a few people have learned from strangers
the crafts of working in gold, iron, and copper. There are iron-,
gold-, and silversmiths in the Aru and Kei Islands. No smiths
are present in Watubela. In almost every village of Ambon
there is an ironsmith. Goldsmiths live in Kaibolo and Kubur of
this island and journey about for work. In some of the coast
villages of Seran there are metal-workers who have learned their
craft from men from Tidore. No metal-working is reported in
Metal-working, therefore, is not carried on in all the islands
of the East Indian Archipelago. None is reported in Wetar, an
island where the existence of stone village- walls is not recorded,
and where no explanation is given of the cause of thunder and
lightning or of thunderstones. The absence of metal-working in
1 Bastian, II, 66-7. * Riedel, 455, 425, 381, 344, 319, 287, 255, 226, 203, 126,
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH 177
such an island is, in these circumstances, significant. The sun-cult
is said to have spread from Luang-Sermata to the neighbouring
islands. Metal-working is also carried on to a greater extent in
this island than in those near to it. The distribution of metal-
working is thus what would be expected if it had been introduced
by those who brought the sun-cult with them. The absence of
the craft in Timorlaut is especially indicative of the identity of
its introducers, for the influence of the stone-using immigrants
has apparently been weak there.
Metal-working is absent in Watubela, an island where the
influence of the stone-using immigrants seems to have been so
slight that they have not founded a class of chiefs differing from
the commoners by the use of a special form of stone grave.
In the islands of Ambon, Seran, and Buru the presence and
absence of metal-working corresponds to the variations in the
cultural influence of the stone-using immigrants. The well-
defined use of stone in Ambon is accompanied by the presence
of many iron- and goldsmiths. In Seran and Buru, where the
culture of the stone-using immigrants has been introduced to but
a slight extent, metal-working is unknown, except in some
The correspondence between the distribution of metal-work-
ing and the various degrees of influence of the culture associated
with the use of stone, enables us to credit the stone-using immi-
grants with the introduction of this craft.
The Toradja of central Celebes work in iron. Most of their
iron-workings were discovered by ancestors, and offerings are
made by anyone who digs iron for the first time. Thus, in a
place formerly visited by gold-seekers, only the craft of iron-
working has survived. 1
The Kayan excel the Kenyah and Klemantan peoples of
Borneo in the craft of iron- working. Messrs. Hose and
McDougall are of the opinion that they have introduced this
craft among these other peoples. Such an opinion is entirely in
accordance with the conclusion arrived at, for the Kayan have
had, according to the scheme of this book, closer contact with
the stone-using immigrants than the others. The fact that they
1 Kruijt and Adriani, II, 344 et seq.
1 7 8 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
get their iron from river-beds suggests another reason for the
sanctity attached to such places. 1
The stone-using immigrants appear to have been people well
acquainted with the working of gold, copper, and iron, who were
so attracted by the first substance that they settled in those
places where they found it, and left, among other things, terraced
irrigation and megalithic monuments as signs of their presence.
To what extent have these strangers succeeded in teaching the
indigenous peoples the craft of metal-working ? The data at our
disposal show that they have only taught them to work gold in
some cases. Goldsmiths are found in islands at the east end of
the Timor region, and the persistence of this craft in this region
is probably to be accounted for by the continuity in the in-
fluence of the stone-using immigrants. But the existence of
iron-working only in central Celebes, Borneo, and Asasm
suggests that the indigenous peoples have only adopted the craft
that was really useful to them, a selective attitude similar to
that which has caused them only to retain those parts of the
priestcraft that are needed for practical purposes. The fact that
indigenous peoples who have not been in intimate contact with
the gold-seekers have not adopted the use of gold goes to show-
that this substance has for them neither use nor value.
The movements of such peoples as the Kayan, who have not
adopted gold-working from the strangers, nor terraced irrigation,
nor the custom of erecting megalithic monuments, but who have
simply learned iron-working, a slight use of stone, and the
method of growing rice in clearings on the hill-sides, are probably
determined by the necessity for acquiring new patches of jungle
for their rice-fields. We are told that the Kayan are continually
moving onwards in search of new land for cultivation, and push-
ing the other tribes before them. I propose to follow up this
matter in the future, and to show that it helps to throw light
upon the question of population and kindred problems.
It is now possible with the information at our disposal to
examine the case of the Khasi, who, although they make mega-
lithic monuments and practise terraced irrigation, do not search
They once had an important iron industry. 2 This, according
1 It 193. 194, 197. "Gurdon, 57.
THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH 179
to the conclusions just reached, would suggest that the stone-
using immigrants had not settled among them. It would seem
rather, that those who introduced the use of stone among them
had moved out from a centre where the strangers had settled in
their search for gold. This is what other considerations would
suggest as the origin of some of the culture of the Khasi.
Their chiefs are probably the descendants of people who in-
troduced the use of stone, and the claim of one line of these
chiefs to have originated from a rock is evidence that their
ancestors migrated among the Khasi after acquiring the use of
stone. Assam was formerly the scene of much gold-washing, 1
and that metal, if the conclusion arrived at in this chapter be
sound, was, as it were, the foundation upon which the civilisation
of the valleys was based. It is therefore probable that the
culture of the Khasi, as well as of the Naga tribes, all of whom
live in the hills, owes its origin to migrants from the valley,
who attracted by the large quantities of iron ore which existed
in the Khasi hills, settled down there and started to work the
metal. The migrants would perhaps not be the original stone-
using immigrants, which would account for the absence of the
claim on the part of Khasi chiefs to be descended from a sun-
lord, and of a sun-cult among this people.
a Ball, 218.
IN the course of the development of the argument it has become
evident that it would be possible to extend indefinitely the in-
vestigation into the effects produced by the stone-using immi-
grants upon the cultures of Indonesian peoples. For, in addition
to such topics as have been discussed, others, such as head-hunt-
ing, warfare, image-making, the building of villages and houses,
have obtruded themselves, but have been left on one side for
future consideration. And there are yet other important topics
which must be examined in the future. But, as the discus-
sion has served to establish with more or less definiteness the
relationship between the stone-using immigrants and the indigen-
ous peoples, and to determine the reason which led the former
to Indonesia, it is convenient to bring the inquiry to an end at
this point for the time being, and to sum up briefly the con-
clusions to which the available evidence has led us.
The facts at our disposal agree in supporting the conclusion
that people have migrated into those parts of Indonesia with
which we are concerned in search of gold and probably of other
forms of wealth. The study of the stone-work first suggested
that a migration had taken place, and this circumstance has caused
the use of stone to play a part in the general discussion which
is probably altogether disproportionate to the significance of this
cultural element The examination of stone graves, stone seats,
and memorial stones, as well as of the use of stone for secular
purposes, coupled with the traditional evidence derived from
various peoples in Indonesia, led us to infer that the use of stone
is not indigenous, but has been introduced to various parts of
The strangers who brought in the use of stone also intro-
duced terraced irrigation, metal-working, and rice-growing. They
founded lines of chiefs in some places, upper classes in others,
and in others they have caused warriors to be distinguished from
the rest of the community, the reason suggested being that they
have introduced warfare to Indonesia.
The immigrants appear to have brought with them the belief
in a world in the sky, a belief which, so far as can be told, was
not held by the indigenous peoples before their arrival. The
members of those classes which were shown to have been founded
by the strangers imagine that they go to the sky-world after
death. In certain cases the hereditary chiefs claim descent from
inhabitants of the sky-world, and the supreme being is sometimes
a stone-using immigrant, or some one who is said once to have
lived on the earth. The indigenous peoples appear to have no
connection with this world in the sky.
The stone-using immigrants have founded priesthoods which
are of two kinds, hereditary and initiated. The members of the
hereditary priesthood are the descendants of stone-using immi-
grants or of beings of the sky-world, and they carry on cults
associated with the beings of the sky and with their ancestral
ghosts, which latter beings are the guardian spirits of villages.
The initiated priesthoods, the members of which are usually
women, are concerned with leechcraft, rice-growing, funerals, and
house-building. Their craft was derived from the sky-world, but
the priestesses can only act each with the help of her friendly
sky-spirit. These priestesses chant litanies which are partly in
unknown languages. The meaning of these litanies is often
foreign to the priestesses themselves, and almost invariably so
to the ordinary people. The basis of the craft of the initiated
priesthood is the belief introduced by the stone-using immigrants,
that each human being has a soul-substance. This soul-substance,
it appears, is closely connected with the sky-world and with the
chiefly class in Nias. Rice plants also possess it, and the priestess
has to ensure by the performance of ceremonies the safety of the
The stone-using immigrants brought with them a sun-cult,
a whole group of beliefs and tales concerning the sky-world and
ideas about fertility and the use of phallic symbols. Some of
their descendants claim to be "children of the sun". They
probably practised incestuous unions, which custom has caused
i82 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
certain peoples to claim that they are descended from ancestors
who were blood relatives. They have also apparently brought
with them ideas concerning the relationship between man and
certain animals, which are based upon the conception of the
common possession of soul-substance ; and the tales of punish-
ments for laughing at animals probably owe their origin to this
The influence that these strangers have had upon the indi-
genous peoples has apparently not been profound. They have,
in general, only led to the adoption of terraced irrigation, gold-
working, the carving of stone, and the making of megalithic
monuments in places where they have founded chiefly or upper
classes. In other places rice is grown by the dry method, if at all,
and only iron- working is carried on. Among peoples who pos-
sess hereditary priesthoods, the ghosts of stone-using immigrants
are the guardian spirits of villages, but this is apparently not so
when the priesthood is only initiated. The cults introduced by
the strangers have, in such cases, disappeared, and the priesthood
is only concerned with matters of practical importance.
The indigenous peoples are ignorant of the sky-world and of
the lore concerning it, for the latter is only known to the members
of the priesthood, who preserve and hand on the tales, beliefs, and
ceremonies which form their professional stock-in-trade.
The beings of the sky-world only appear to enter the folk-
tales of Indonesian peoples in relationship with themselves or their
ancestors, as creators, culture-bringers, and as the founders of
The task which the study of the culture of the stone-using
immigrants imposes upon students is threefold. In the first
place it is necessary to extend the inquiry to topics which were
left on one side during the present investigation, and to other
matters which have not been mentioned, so as to determine more
fully the extent of the influence that the strangers have had
upon the cultures of the indigenous peoples. In the second
place it is necessary to extend the area of the inquiry to the
parts of Indonesia which have been ignored, and thus to de-
termine the relationship between the cultures of the peoples
living there and those with whom we have been concerned.
This will entail the examination of the problem of external
influence upon the region.
Finally, it must be remembered that the existence ot mega-
lithic monuments, terraced irrigation, mining sites, the sun-cult,
" children of the sun," and other elements of the culture introduced
by the stone-using immigrants has been recorded in all inhabited
regions of the earth. The investigation undertaken in this book
is therefore only a part of the wider inquiry into the distributions
and associations of these and other cultural elements, and into
their mode of dispersal. It will be necessary in the future, in
order to carry through this wider inquiry to a satisfactory con-
clusion, to examine all the regions of the earth in detail, as well
as to synthesize the results obtained. All these processes are
now at work, and it is becoming possible to understand the com-
plicated phenomena of limited regions as well as to grasp the re-
lationship of these local manifestations to the wider movements
and developments of the culture associated with the use of stone.
The study of the cultures of Indonesian peoples has already pro-
vided clues which promise to lead to the solution of problems
which involve the greater part of the inhabited globe, 1 and there
is good reason to believe that, by travelling on the road opened
up anew by the genius of Dr. Rivers and Prof. Elliot Smith, we
shall finally succeed in understanding, with a clearness hitherto
unthought of, the development of civilisation.
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Robertson, J. A. The Igorots of Lepanto, Phil. Journ. Sci. IX, 1914.
Roos, S. (i) Het eiland Sumba, Verh. Bat. Gen. XXXVI.
(ii) lets over Endeh, TTLV, XXIV, 1877.
Rosenberg, C. B. H. von. (i) Verslag omtrent het eiland Nias, Verh.
Bat. Gen. XXX, 1863.
(iii) Der Malayische Archipel. Leipzig,
Sachse, F. J. P. Het eiland Seran, 1907.
Sarasin, P. and F. Reisen in Celebes. Weisbaden, 1905.
Sawyer, F. H. The Inhabitants of the Philippines. London, 1900.
Schmid, W. J. M. van. Aanteekeningen omtrent de zeden en gewoon-
ten van Saparua, Haruku en Nusalaut, Tijd. van Ned. Indie,
Schmidt, P. W. Grundlinien einer Vergleichung der Religionen und
Mythologien der Austronesischen Volker, Denkschriften der
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Schmidtmuller. Ausland, 1849.
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Schwarz, J. A. T. (i) Tontemboansche Teksten. Leiden, 1907.
(ii) Ethnographica uit de Minahassa, Intern. Archiv.
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Smith, G. Elliot, (i) The Ancient Egyptians. London, 1911.
(ii) The Influence of Egypt under the Ancient Em-
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Wielenga, D. K. Sumbaneesche Verhalen, BTLV, LXVIII, 1913.
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(ii) Handleiding voor de vergelijkende Volkenkunde
van Ned. Indie. Leiden, 1893.
Worcester, Dean C. The Non-Christian Tribes of Northern Luzon,
Phil. Journ. of Sci. I, 8, 1906.
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Bat. Gen. XXIII, 1850.
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of the Indian Archipelago, II.
Zwaan, J. P. K. de. Die Heilkunde der Niasser, Den Haag, 1913.
I 9 2 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
1 Creation from Stone
Origin from Stone.
Leti Moa Lakor
f Bontoc .
L Negrito .
f Posso-Todjo Toradja
Bada Napu Besoa .
1 Sadang Toradja
Kabui Naga .
ADRIANI, N., 5, 7, 163.
Adultery, 122, 125, 127.
Adunara, 5, 20, 27.
Agricultural ceremonies, 118, 131, 146,
Agriculture, chapter xvii., 69, 131, 135,
146, 154, 162.
god of, 58.
A jour, 19.
Alignments, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,41, 42.
Ambon, 5, 21, 29, 35, 41, 51, go, 106,
108, in, 129, 133, 176.
Amol. See Old Kuki.
Ancestors, 41, 42, 48, 57, 58, 62, 77, 78,
79, 80, 89, 109, 117, 126, 141, 142,
143, 144, 149, 155, 165-6.
cult of, 62, 142, 143, 147.
Animals, descent from, 156.
laughing at, 124, 125, 126, 127, 131,
prohibited as food, 156-8.
relations with, chapter xx.
representations of, 19, 155.
Animation. See Images, animation of,
120, 121, 123, 152.
Ape, 124, 126, 151, 155, 156, 159.
Ardenne, Th. van, 163.
Armenoid people, 2.
Aru Islands, 5, 51, 58, 90, 106, 128, 129,
Asia, 2, 58.
Assam, 4, 5, 10, 44, 92, 179.
Atayal. See Formosa.
BABAR, 5, 21, 29, 50, 57, 58, 87, 106, 108,
129, 133, 141, 176.
Bamboo knife, 78.
Banyan tree, 106.
Bastian, A., 13, 21, 58, 79, 92.
Batak, Karo, 166.
Bela t 145, 174.
Belu. See Timor.
Beyer, H. O., gi, g6, 124.
Biate. See Old Kuki.
Bird, 43, 80, 151, 155.
rhinoceros, 155, 156.
Boat, petrified, 45, 48, 124.
Bontoc. See Luzon.
Borneo, 4, 5, 30, 52, 61, 7g, 134, 135,
161, 162, 172-3.
Bahau, 7g, 81, log, no.
Dusun of British North Borneo, 13, 41,
Iban, 60, 80, 125.
Kayan, 23, 92, 118, ng, 126, 133, 144,
145, 146, 148, 155, 156, 159, 177, 178.
Kenyah, 59, 60, 63, 109, 177.
Olo Dusun, 144, 148.
Olo Ngadju, 60, 61, 63, 140, 143, 144,
145, 146, 148, 152, 168.
Botel Tobago. See Formosa.
Breath, 7g, 82, 120, 152.
Buffaloes, 6g, 80, 151, 156, i^g.
Bulili. See Toradja, To Bada.
Burma, 4, 5, 44.
Buru, 5, 22, 30, 90, 106, 129, 133, 143,
CANAL, 66, 135, 136.
Cat, 124, 125 132, 151, 155, 156.
disposal of the dead in, 22.
Celebes, 4, 5.
central, 5, 36, 52, 59, 64, 70, 125, 131,
135, 137, I7 2 -
194 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Chatham Islands, 2.
Chawte. See Old Kuki.
Chiefs, 17, ig, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30,
33, 34. 35, 36, 37, 39. 4 1 , 4 2 > 43, 44,
48, 50, 55, 57, 5 8 , 59, 68, 70, 74, 75,
78, 88, 89, 94, 102, 103, 108, 109,
in, 113, 114, 118, ng, 125, 126,
127, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 147,
152-5, 159, 173.
absence of, 72, 74, 96.
" Children of the sun," 88, gi, g4, 115,
Chinbok, 15, 126.
Tashon, 30, 80.
Chinbok. See Chin.
Clan, 77, 158.
Coffin, 21, 22, 23, 36.
stone. See Stone coffin.
Commoners, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25, 31, 34, 37,
41, 54, 113, 114, 118, ng.
Conventionalisation of ornament, log.
Copper, 171, 172, 176.
Creation, 78, 80, g3, 121, 162.
from stone image, 7g.
Creeper, 6g, 77, g2.
Cremation of dead, 23.
Crocodile, ig, 33, 151, 155.
Cromlech, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 41, 43.
Culture, immigrant, 44, 4g.
Cup-marking, 18, ig, 27, 58.
DAMA, 5, 2g, 50, 87, 106, 141.
Dammar torch, 2g.
Dead, cremation of, 23.
disposal of, in trees, 47.
- interment of, 20, 21, 22, 23, 84, 113.
- land of the, chapter xiv., 45, 47, 83,
114, 117, 149, 151, 163.
Death, cause of, 149.
Deer, 151, 156, 159.
Diamonds, 172, 173.
Discontinuities in distribution, 24, 30, 44,
Dissoliths, 16 et seq., 41, 42, 48, 63, in.
Do Donggo. See Sumbawa.
Dog, 59, 93, 132, 155, 156, 158, 159.
Dolmen, 10, n, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19,
40, 41, 45, 60.
Dracaena, 70. See Croton.
Dragon, 133, 134.
Dreams, 57, 62, 150.
EARTH, 80, 105 et seq., 121.
Earthquakes, 131, 163.
Easter Island, 19.
Egg, 63, 94, 99-
Egypt, i, 2.
Endeh. See Flores.
FAWI. See House, council.
Fertility, chapter xiii.
Fire, 88, 96, 97, 98.
Fischer, A., no.
Fish, 19, 156, 158.
Flood, 59, 96, 97, 121, 129.
Flores, 5, 20, 89.
Endeh, 20, 41, 45.
Manggarai, 20, 27, 50.
Sicca, 27, 86.
Folk-tales, 161, 162.
Food prohibitions, 156-8.
Forbes, H. O., 173.
Formosa, 5, 13, 22, 51, 77, 135.
Paiwan, 22, 51, 77, 78.
Taiyal, 51, 77.
Yami of Botel Tobago, 51, 78.
Fortifications, 50. See Stockades, Stone
Fowl, 98, 156, 159, 174.
Frog, 124, 155, 158.
GARO, 5, 14, 41, 48, 60, 64, 93.
host (of dead), 46, 151.
in loft of house, 57, 58.
in stones, 57, 58, 70.
of women dead in childbirth, 119.
on stone seats, 35, 43,
-house. See Temple.
Goat, 48, 156.
God, 28, sg, 60, 75, 125, 126, 157, 162,
Gold, 121, 171-4, 176-7, 178.
Grave, 20, 21, 22, 23, 84, 113.
excavated in mountain side, 22, 23,
-house, 20, 21.
rock-cut tomb, 10, 13.
stone, chapter iii., 20, 35, 40, 41.
Grubauer, A., 50, log, 134, 136.
Guardian spirits, 63, 64, 106, 141-2, 147.
HAKA. See Chin.
Half-men, chapter xv., gi.
Halmahera, 5, 13, 43, 58, 81, go, 114,
115, 121, 133, 152, 155.
Hat, carving of, 18.
Head-hunting, 22, 26, 30, 63, 64, ng,
Hodson, T. C., 73, 136, 156, 157, 158.
Hoevell, C. von, go, 133.
Horses, 19, 108.
Hose, C., and McDougall, W., 126, 136,
161, 162, 177.
Hospitality, breaches of, 126, 127, 131.
Houses, 46, 60, 61, 147.
builders of, 57, 58.
grave. See Grave-house.
men's, 34, 66.
stone. See Stone-house.
Hrangchal. See Old Kuki.
Human figures, 17, 19, 28, 57, 58, 59,
60, 108, 109, 125.
sacrifice, 63, 70, 119.
IFUGAO. See Luzon.
Igorot. See Luzon.
Illness, 150, 151, 152.
Images, 17, 19, 87, 106, 108, 109, 117,
125, 141, 142, 143, 144.
animation of, 79, 80, 81, 82.
stone, 19, 125.
Immigrants, 45, 46, 47, 48, 57, 62, 70, 88,
89, 91, 92, 107.
stone-using, chapter xxi., 46, 48, 49,
53, 54, 64, 65, 71-3, 83, 88, 89, 91,
92, 102-3, IQ 8, no, in, 112, 118,
128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134,
135, 139, 14, 144, 153. *57i *59,
172, 173, 174, 178, 179.
Incarnation, 155, 156.
Incest, 125, 126, 127, 131, 132.
Incestuous union, chapter xii., 77, 91.
Indigenous people, chapter xxi., 86, go,
107, ng, 131, 132, 153, 160.
Indigenous people and natural pheno-
ignorance of, concerning sky
world, chapter xxi.
Interment, 20, 21, 22, 23, 84, 113.
Iron, 80, 176-9.
Irrigation, terraced, chapter xvii.
Ishii, S., 77.
Islam, 4) 5.
Java, 3, 4.
Jenks, A. E., 51, 135.
Jonker, J. C. G., 167.
KAHAJAN, R., 62.
Kakian club of Patasiwa, 46, 53, 114,
Kapuas, R., 60, 61.
Karen, 5, 137.
Pakoo branch of Sgaw, 61.
Kariso, 67, 78, 91.
Kate, H. ten, n, 12, 18, 20, 27, 28, 31,
35, 40, 45, 108, 109, 135, 174.
Kei Islands, 5, 12, 21, 2g, 41, 46, 51, 58,
64, go, 106, 128, 143, 176.
Keisar, 5, 12, 21, 2g, 34, 50, 57, 58, 87,
106, 108, 129, 140, 141, 176.
Kerito. See Kariso.
Khasi, 5, 14, 16, 17, 23, 36, 41, 43, 48,
52, 56, 60, 79, 92, 136, 144, 147, 158,
159, 174, 178-9.
Kohlen. See Lushei.
Kruijt, A., 5, 53, 5g, 149, 150, 152, 153,
154, 158, 166, 172 ; and Adriani, 131,
Kuki, Old, 5, 14.
Chawte, 14, 61, 80.
Hrangchal, 14, 41.
Thado, 14, 16, 60, 99.
LAND of dead. See Dead.
origin. See Origin.
Lasaeo, 69, 139.
Laughing at animals. See Animals.
Leechcraft, 147, 151 et seq.
Leti Moa Lakor Islands, 5, 12, 21, 29, 34,
46, 50, 57> 58. 87, 106, loS, 129, 133,
Lightning, 121, 122, 129, 130, 132, 133.
196 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Lio See Flores.
Litany, 145 et seq.
ignorance of meaning of, 146.
Log, 69, 140.
Luang-Sermata Islands, 5, 29, 50, 57, 58,
77, 87, 88, 106, 141, 142, 176.
Lumawig, 66, 72, 96, 135.
Lumimu'nt, 78, 79, 91.
Lushai. See Lushei.
Lushei, 5, 79.
Kohlen, 14, 41.
Vuite, 16, 99.
Luwu, 69, 70, 74, 172.
Bontoc, 22, 26, 34, 39, 51, 66, 96, 114,
115, 130, 135, 143, 171.
Ifugao, 22, 26, 51, 66, 98, 99, 120, 171.
Igorot, 22, 30, 91, 97, 120, 171, 172.
Silipanes, origin of, 98.
Malay Peninsula, 4.
Male and female, 105, 106, 107 et seq., in.
Mandaya. See Mindanao.
Manggarai. See Flores.
Maram. See Naga, Mao.
Martin, K., 29, 51.
McDougall, W. See Hose.
Mediterranean Sea, i.
Megalithic monuments, chapters ii., vi.,
definitions, 10, u.
and terraced irrigation, 137-9.
Memorials, 36, 41-3, 48, 69, 119, 157, 159,
Men, representations of, 17, 19.
Menhir, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 41,
43, 59, 60, 172.
Mentawi Islands, 44.
Merton, H., 29, 41.
Method, 4, 9.
Migrations, i, 61, 69, 74, 83, 100, 101.
Mikir, 15, 16, 23, 41.
Minahassa, 5, 13, 16, 22, 36, 42, 47, 52,
108, 114, 130, 133, 135, 140, 168.
Tontemboan, 36, 37, 42, 52, 59, 63, 67,
78,91, 96, 105, in, 115, 125, 130,
Toumpakewa, 78, 79, 128.
Manobo, 91, 124, 168.
Modigliani, E., 33, 48.
Molengraaf, G. A. F., 60.
Monkey. See Ape.
Monteses. See Mindanao.
Moon, 78, 91, 92, 93, 94, 106, 114.
Muntu'nntu, 36, 130.
Murder, 23, 41, 42, 155.
Naga, 5, 14, 41, 52, 136, 144, 156, 157,
i5 8 . 159-
Chiru, 137, 156.
Kabui, 14, 16, 23, 35, 52, 60, 79, 92,
105, 119, 136, 137, 156.
Maikel, 14, 30, 63, 79.
Mao, 14, 30, 60, 63, 92, 98, 107, 114,
117, 136, 137, 156, 157, 158.
Marring, 14, 136, 137, 156.
uoireng, 30, 92, 137, 156.
angkhul, 14, 23, 30, 34, 52, 70, 71, 79,
105, 130, 137, !56, 157.
Natural phenomena, attitude of indigen
ous people towards, 163.
New Guinea, Geelvink Bay, 176.
Nias, 5, 14, 17, 33, 34, 36, 41, 42, 48, 52,
60, 70, 82, 92, 98, 109, in, 114, 117,
122, I 3 2, 134, I 3 6, I 43 , I 4 5, I 47 , 152,
155, 166, 168, 172.
Nieuwenhuis, 109, 158.
Offering-places. See Stone offering-
Offerings, 28, 41, 42, 58, 59, 63, 143, 146.
Orientation, 68, 113, 116, 117.
from burst-stone, 70, 77, 78, 79, 80,
hole covered by stone, 80, 84.
incestuous union, chapter xii.
stone image, 79, 81.
land of, chapter xiv., 44, 47.
PABAFUNAN. See Men's house.
Paiwan. See Formosa.
Palm-wine, 69, 70.
Pamona, 43, 69, 172.
Pangantoho, 61, 63.
Patasiwa, 46, 114, 115, 143.
Path, forked, 69, 140.
Patumera clan, 77.
Peet, T. E., 10, n.
Periodic ceremonies, 87.
Periodic fructification of earth, 106.
Petrifaction, chapter xvi., 62, 66, 67, 69,
7.0, 77, 79-
Phallic ornamentation, 108-12.
Philippine Islands, 5, 13, 22.
Pig, 98, 99, 130, 151, 156, 157, 158, 159,
Platform disposal, 21, 23.
Pleiades, 69, 140.
Posso Lake, 69, 70, 125.
Precious stones, 121.
Priest, chapter xviii., 21, 30, 57, 60, 62,
63, in, 152, 156, 157, 159.
Priestess, chapters xviii., xix., 144 et seq.
Pue mPalabunt, 79, 92, 98, 131.
Punishment, chapter xvi., 59, 123, 160.
Pyramid, 18, 19.
RAIN, 125, 127, 128, 131, 133, 134, 141,
production of, 67, 128, 129.
Resting-place, 34, 35, 36, 38, 43.
Ribbe, C., 133.
Rice, 60, 131, 139, 140, 154, 168, 172.
fields, 36, 51.
-growing, 69, 135, 139, 140, 146.
Riedel, J. G. F., 13, 29, 34, 35, 59, 83,
108, 133, 141, 142, 143.
Rivers, W. H. R., i, 2, 3, 183.
Robertson, J. A., 171, 172.
Rock-cut tomb, 10, 13.
Rocks, butting, 122.
Romang, 87, 106.
Roos, S., 12, 40.
Roth, H. Ling, 126.
Rod, 5, 20, 28, 34, 35, 45, 50, 86, 121,
127, 167, 176.
SANGLANG, 145, 147.
Sangir Islands, 68.
Sarasin, P. and F., 13, 23.
Savu, 5, 20, 28, 34, 45, 57, 86, 89, 128,
Schmid, W. J. M. van, 108.
Schmidt, P. W., 90.
Schwarz, J. A. T., 52, 78, 146.
Seran, 5, 12, 21, 41, 46, 53, 58, 90, 106,
114, 115, 129, 133, 143, 176.
Serpent cult, 42.
Sexual intercourse, 106, 109.
nature of stones, 42, 111-12.
Shadow, 150, 152.
Shakespear, J., 6r.
Shunkla. See Chin.
Sirui, 45, 57, 133, 141.
Sky-being, 72, 74 et seq., 78, 79, 80, 91,
92, 93, 96, 102, 103, 106, n8, 119,
120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 128, I2g, 130,
131, 132, 143, 151.
-spirit, 145 et seq., 151, 152.
-world, chapter xxi., 89, 91, 92, 94,
98, 103, 114, 117, 118, 120, 121, 122,
123, 137, 140, 142, 144, 145, 146,
147, 151, 152.
Slave, 69, 70.
Smith, G. E., i, 2, 3, 183.
Snake, 150, 156.
Sokte. See Chin.
Solor, 5, 20, 27, 35, 50, 87.
Sonabait, 88, 168, 173.
Soul-substance, chapters xix., xx., 159.
Spirits, evil, 60, 61, 82, 92, 109, in, 126,
guardian. See Guardian spirits.
Stockade, 52, 53.
Stone, 98, 167, 168.
and sky, 91.
carving, 17, 18, 19, 61, 67, 80, 81, 173.
cult of small 57.
fire from, 71.
graves. See Graves.
houses, 21, 23, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56,
images, 47, 58, 59, 60, 67, 79, Si.
offering-places, chapter iv., 41, 46, in,
origin myths, chapter x.
pavings, 50, 51, 52.
platforms for houses, 50, 52.
seats, chapter v., 43.
transportation of, 46, 47, 48.
um, 22, 36, 47.
wall, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54.
Sumatra, 4, 5.
Sumba, 5, 10, n, 12, 18, 19, 27, 34, 40,
45, 50, 86, 89, 108, 135, 171.
Sumbawa, 5, 135.
Do Donggo of Bima, 20, 27, 86.
Sun, chapters xi., xii., 18, 19, 67, 78, 79,
cult, chapter xi., 101, 105.
-lord, chapters xi., xiii., 69, 128, 139,
130, 131, 143.
198 MEGALITHIC CULTURE IN INDONESIA
Sunda Islands, 4.
Supreme being, 75, 82, 94, 105, 106, 118,
121, 122, 144, 152.
Sword handle, 92.
TABLES, distribution, 192.
stone graves, 25.
houses and stone seats, 55.
incestuous unions, 100, 101.
offering- places, 31.
terraced irrigation and megalithic
Table-stone, 16, 17, 29, 41, 42.
Tashon. See Chin.
Temple, 42, 46, 57, 108, in, 125, 142.
Ternate, 4, 175-6.
Terraces, irrigated, chapter xvii., 51.
Thado. See Old Kuki.
Thunder, 121, 122, 125, 126, 127, 129,
130, 132, 163.
- -stones, 133-4.
- -teeth, 129, 133, 134.
Tidore, 4, 175-6.
Timor, 5, 21, 28, 29, 34, 45, 46, 50, 57,
58, 86, 88, 105, 113, 114, 129, 141,
159; 168, 173-4.
Belu, 21, 50, 57, 58, 86, 8g.
Timorlaut, 5, 12, 2g, 50, 57, 58, 87, 106,
108, 128, 133, 141, 142, 143, 176.
Timor region, 5, n, 30, 34, 46, 86, 105.
Tinguianes. See Philippines.
Toradja, 5, 13, 41, 43, 68, g8, 108, in,
137, I4g et seq., 155, isg, 163, 166,
Bada-Besoa-Napu, 5, 7, 135, 136.
To Bada, 5, 7, 13, 41, 47, 52, sg, 64,
69, 117, 125, 172.
Besoa, 5, 36, 109.
Lage, 13, 43, 70, 156.
Lampu, 134, 163.
- Napu, 5, 36, 69, 137.
Pajapi, 23, 53.
- Pebato, 23.
Posso-Todjo, 5, 7, 13, 79, 81, 108, 116,
J 35, 139, 14, *44. 145-7, 148, 149
ft seq., 155, 159, 163-4, J 72.
To Rampi, 7, 109.
Sadang, 5, 7, 13, 23, 75, iog, 114, 116,
Tree, 43, 60, 80, 92, 144, 147.
cures illness, 92-3.
disposal of dead in. See Dead.
Trilithon, 10, n.
Tsalisen. See Formosa.
Tumatowa, 16, 17. See Dissolith.
Ulusiwa, 46, 108.
Umbilical cord, 78.
Upu-lero, 87, 106.
Urlima, 46, go, 174-6.
Urn. See Stone.
Ursiwa, 46, 90, 174-6.
Usi-neno, 86, 105, 129.
VILLAGE, founders of, 57, 68, 141, 142,
guardian spirits, 62 et seq.
priests, chapter xviii., 62.
Village-house, 46, 50, 52.
WARFARE, 41, 63, 119.
Warriors, 23, 26, 39, 44, 114, 117, 119,
Water, 42, 142.
control of, 67, 68, 6g.
from stones, 66, 69, 70.
Watubela, 5, 21, 29, 51, go, 106, 114, 129,
Welaung. See Chin.
Wetar, 5, 21, 45, 46, 57, 86, 105, 129, 133,
140, 141, 176.
Wielenga, D. K., 34.
Wigan (Ifugao), 66, 97, 98.
Wilken, G. A., 8g, 135.
Wind, 7g, 133.
Women, 156, 157. See Priestesses.
World, sky-, 66, 6g, 82, 113, 114.
underground, 67, 69, 7g, 84, 113, 116,
Wurake, 145, 146, 147, 151.
YAMI. See Formosa.
Yindu. See Chin.
ZWAAN, J. P. K. de, 114.
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