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fgarbarli College l^ibrars 





Gift of $5000 from the children of Mrs. Denny, 
at her request, "for the purchase of books for the 
public library of the College.** 





s ^ ^ ■ 
















All rightt reserved 



MAR 15 1^07 





Birth-Customs and Beliefs . . . . i 

Maturity Customs and Beliefs .28 

Marriage Customs and Beliefs . • SS 

Burial Customs and Beliefs - ^9 

Music, Songs, and Feasts. 117 

Natural Religion and Folk-lore . 173 




Present State and Future Prospects 379 


Taboo and Other Special Forms of Speech 414 

Past History and Relation to Other Languages . 432 

APPENDIX ....... 473 



Supplementary List 

Grammatical Notes .... 

INDEXES ..... 




Hot Spring in the Selangor Jungle . . Frontispiece. 


Sketch by Baron Miklucho-Maclay of Semang Heads (by him 

called " Sakai "), the Central One showing Face-Paint 38 

Sakai of South Perak, showing Face-Paint and Nose-Quill 39 

Drawings by Wray showing Difference of Pattern between Sakai 

Man and Woman . •42 

De Morgan's Drawings, showing Types of Face Decoration (Sakai 

and "Semang") -43 

Sakai of South Perak, showing Face-Paint (two specimens) 44 

Sakai Child having Face- Paint applied . 45 

Engaged Sakai Children with Uncle .60 

•Young Sakai Girl .61 

Newly- married Couple, Woman with painted Head- Band and 

Nose-Quill, Ulu Itam, Perak . .64 

Dancing at Che Tupei^s (the Squirrel's) Wedding, Rantau Pan- 

jang, Selangor . . .65 

Party with Musical Instruments at the Squirrel's Wedding, Rantau 

Panjang, Selangor . -65 

Party of Aborigines dressed (in Malay Clothes) for a Wedding . 70 
Large Bell-shaped Mound of Clay used in the Mound-Marriage 

Ceremony . -71 

Marriage Decorations of plaited Leaf Strips -71 

Sakai Man's Grave (S. Perak) . .96 

Sakai Woman's Grave (S. Perak) -97 

Bcsisi Soul- Wallet . .108 

Jakim Graves at Kumbang .114 

Semang Jews'-harp .122 

Fan-shaped Palm-leaf Beaters used by Semang . .122 

Pangan Group in Dancing Dress, Kuala Sam, Ulu Kelantan 123 

Sakai Men playing Nose- Flutes . .136 

Sakai using various Musical Instruments 137 




Sakai Women and Child performing Dance-Music .138 

Sakai Women Dancing (S. Perak) .138 

Sakai Group at Lubo' Klubi, Ulu Langat 139 

A Jakun Orchestra, showing Flute, Fiddle, Bamboo Guitar, and 

Drums of Malay Pattern, Ulu Batu, Selangor 144 

Musical Instruments -MS 

Stringed Bamboo or "Guitar" of the Mantra .145 

^ Headdress of Besisi Man (on left), Woman (on right), worn to 

conceal the Face at Ceremonial Dances .146 

\ Strange Wooden Dance- Wand carried by Besisi Man at Cere- 
monial Dances . .146 
V Pa' Nanti, the late Batin of the Besisi, Kuala Langat, Selangor . 147 

• Model made by a Besisi Chief to illustrate the Songs . 1 70 
< Group of Aborigines with Fiddles, Chabau, Malacca 171 
' Group of Aborigines with Fiddles, Chabau, Malacca -171 

Pandak the Were-Tiger (on the Right) . .228 

Markings of Men representing Demons in the Tembeh Ceremony 

for exorcising the Cholera Demon . .288 

* Plot of Ground marked out for the Ceremony of exorcising the 

Cholera Demon .288 



E. Semang (or Pangan), Kuala Aring, Kelantan (two specimens) . 777 

Group of Semang or Pangan at Jarum, Kedah- Raman Border 778 


Semang of Siong, Kedah 778 

Skull of Semang Skeleton, as viewed from above -779 

Skull of Semang Skeleton — Side View . -779 


Semang of Grit (or Janing) 

Semang of Grit (or Janing) 

Two Semang of Grit, with European, N. Perak 

Semang of Grit, North Perak 

Sakai of Kerbu or Korbu, Perak 



Group of Sakai at G. Kerba or Korbu -784 

Sakai Family, Ulu Bikum, near Bidor - 7^S 

Ulu Berang, Perak. A very old Sakai . .786 

Group of Aborigines, Berang, Perak -787 


Sakai Group at Ulu Kali ..... 788 

Batin or Tribal Chief (on Left) with his Following, Bukit Prual . 789 
The Batin's eldest Son, Sungei Ledong, near Kuala Seleh, Ulu 

Klang ....... 790 

Group, Kuala Seleh, Ulu Klang -791 

Group, Kuala Seleh, Ulu Klang -792 

Group, Bukit Lanjan, Selangor . -793 

Group of Aborigines, Kuala Seleh, Ulu Klang, Selangor . - 794 

Group, Bukit Lanjan . . -795 

Group at Pra' Lantei, Klang ..... 796 

Women at Pra* Lantei, Klang . .796 

Group at Ayer I tarn on the Klang River above Damansara, half- 
way between Damansara and Kucheng -797 
Sakai, Lepoh, Ulu Langat, about Four Miles up the Langat from 

Klubi ....... 798 

Sakai at Lepoh, Ulu Langat . -799 

Sakai, Lepoh, Ulu Langat — Batin on Right 800 

Group at Ulu Lui in Ulu Langat, showing felled Trees in Front 

of Dwellings . . . . .801 

Group at Ulu Lui, in the Ulu of the Langat River 802 

Ulu Lui, Ulu Langat (taken at 6.15 p.m.) 803 

Group at Dusun Tua, Kajang, Selangor .... 804 

Group at Sungei Cheow, on the Langat (Ulu Langat District) . 805 
Aborigines drawn up in "War" Formation (!), at Jugra, Kuala 

Langat ....... 806 

Group of Blandas, Kuala Langat .... 807 


Group of Jakun, with Chief on extreme Right, Kuantan . 807 

Jakun of Kuantan, Pahang, sitting down, with Chief holding 

Blowpipe of the rare Kuantan Pattern .808 

Aboriginal Woman supposed to be Seventy Years Old, Kuantan, 

Pahang ....... 809 

Group of Ulu Jelai Sakai, Pahang, a Tribe of pure Sakai Type . 810 
Group of Aborigines, Ulu Klau, Pahang .811 




Man, Wife, and Child, Jakun Type, Hills north of Seremban, 

Sungei Ujong .812 

A Jukrah (Subordinate Chief), Hills north of Seremban, Sungei 

Ujong .812 

Jakun, Hills north of Seremban, Sungei Ujong . .813 

Jakun Women, Hills north of Seremban, Sungei Ujong ■ .813 

Jakun, Hills north of Seremban, Sungei Ujong . .814 

Group taken in Jungle, Jelebu . .814 

Jakun Boys, Hills north of Seremban, Sungei Ujong .815 

Jakun Women, Hills north of Seremban, Sungei Ujong . .815 

Jakim Group from the Langkap Pass .816 

Group of Jakun, Malacca District 



A Group of Jakun, Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor 
Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor . 
Three Jakun Women, Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor 
Jakun Children, Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor . 
Three Jakun Boys, Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor 
Yoimg Jakun, Ulu Batu Pahat, Johor 


Rubbings from Besisi and Blandas Blowpipes 



Sketch Map showing the Distribution of the Languages of the 

Aborigines of the Malay Peninsula. To face page 386 

Sketch Map of Principal Sakai Districts 

Sketch Map showing the Position of the Mon-Annam Dialects of 

Eastern Indo-China ..... 

Sketch Map showing the Position of the various Groups related 

to the Mon-Annam Family .... 

Sketch Map showing the Distribution of the (Aboriginal) Numeral 

Systems ....... 



Map of Southern Indo-China 

To face page 831 




Birth-Customs and Beliefs. 

By far the most important and interesting contribu- 
tion hitherto made to our knowledge of the birth- 
customs of the three wild races dealt with in these 
volumes, whether Negrito, Sakai, or Savage Malayans, 
is contained in the remarks of H. Vaughan- Stevens 
upon the means by which (according to the Semang) 
the body of the living but unborn child is provided 
with a soul. The word " living '* is used in order to 
distinguish between the ** spirit of life" (**jiwa") and 
the soul (** semangat "), which latter (it may be helpful 
to say at the outset) is used throughout this book (as 
throughout Malay Magic) in the cultural sense of 
Tylor's definition (which agrees far more closely with 
our own mediaeval ideas of the soul than with its 
modern conception as transfigured by the ideas of 
Christianity). Although Vaughan-Stevens' account 
still awaits corroboration from explorers among the 
Semang (and is therefore printed in small type), it 
is none the less eminently credible, for the idea of 
comparing the soul to a bird, or of identifying 
it in some way with a bird, is of world-wide dis- 
tribution,^ and is well known to the Malays, who 
call the soul the ** pingai " bird, and in their magical 

* For references, see Rev. de PHist. des Religions y xxxvii. 385. 


invocations address it with the word ** kur," used in 
calling chickens. The Semang woman is said to carry 
about with her a bamboo receptacle, in which she 
keeps the soul-bird of her expected progeny ; this bird 
is really the vehicle of her child's soul, and she is 
expected to eat it to enable the soul of her child to be 
developed. The whole of this part of the subject is 
fraught with great interest, and would reward the 
most careful investigation by future observers. 

Among the Sakai a professional sage-femme is to 
be found, who enjoys certain special privileges, and 
is the owner of a species of medicine-hut to which 
any of the expectant mothers of the tribe may retire 
when their full time has come. Another point about 
the birth-customs of the Sakai is that a special water- 
receptacle of bamboo called ** chit-nit," which is 
decorated with a special design, is employed in the 
purification of mother and child. 

Finally, among the Jakun, or aboriginal Malayans, 
we find the greatest development of the custom of 
** roasting " the new-made mother over a fire (an Indo- 
Chinese practice which is general among the Malays, 
by whom it is called ** salei-an "), as well as a system 
of birth-taboos which regulate the diet and the move- 
ments of both parents. 

I. — Semang. 

Among the Semang of Kedah the mother was 
usually placed at birth in a sitting posture, and 
was then preferably treated with a decoction made 
from the root of a creeper called **chenlai," which 
had to be sought upon the loftiest mountain ranges ; 
but in default of this, a potion was concocted from the 
leaves of the ** Igngkuas '* and Citronella or lemon 


grass. The afterbirth ('* uri ") and appurtenances were 
buried in the leaf-shelter close to the family hearth.^ 

I may add that at birth a measurement is taken 
from the infant's navel along the umbilical cord to 
its knee, at which point the cord is severed with a 
sharpened sliver of Eugeissona or ** bfirtam." 

Both on the east and west coast the great majority 
of the names given to the children were of Malayan 
origin, and were taken from natural objects, especially 
from trees and plants, though they occasionally took 
the form of attributes appropriate to the individual, 
e.g. " Panjang," i.e.'' Long."^ 

The following is the account given by Vaughan- 
Stevens of the Perak Semang : — 

Birth and the Name-tree.' 

Birth is usually an easy matter. An old and experienced woman assists the 
mother. A bamboo or young tree-stem is cut short at a height of about i^ or 
2 metres from the ground, and placed so as to lean diagonally either against the 
hut- roof or any other suitable object. A log of wood or thick segment of bamboo 
is then deposited at the foot of the sloping stem, so as to serve as a seat for the 
patient, who rests her back against the stem. There is no application of pressure 
or manipulation, only the sage-femme (** til-til-tapa-i ") presses the patient's hands 
a little behind her back flat on the ground. 

WTien the child is bom, it is received by the sage-femme, and a knife made 
from the blossom-stem of the bertam (* * chin-beg " = Eugeissona tristis) palm is em- 
ployed to sever the umbilical cord, at a distance of a *' span's-breadth " (** tSpa ") 
from the body. The child's name will have already been decided by the 
father, who takes it from some tree which stands near the prospective birth-place 
of the child. As soon as the child is born, this name is shouted aloud by the 
sage-femme, who then hands over the child to another woman, and buries the 
afterbirth, usually — and formerly always — underneath the birth-tree or name-tree ** 
of the child. As soon as this has been done, the father cuts a series of notches in 
the tree, starting from the ground and terminating at the height of the breast.* 

The mother generally rests for three days, but even after two days begins to 
move about again. No bandages, etc., are used. 

The posture of the mother is said to be ** imitated from that of Kari," and 
the sloping tree-stem is ** the tree against which he leans." The cutting of the 

* V. Appendix. — Anderson,/./.-^, vol. iv. p. 427. 

2 ** A more simple and natural mode ^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 112-113. 

of bestowing names cannot well be im- * The name-tree cannot l)e identical 

agined than that adopted by the Semang. with the birth-tree, which is different 

Theyarecalledafterparticulartrees; that for males and females {ib. 116), and 

is, if a child is bom under, or near a coco- contains the unbom souls ; whereas the 

nut or durian, or any particular tree, name is selected from any tree at will, 
in the forest, it is named accordingly." ' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 112. 


notches is intended to signalise the arrival on earth of a new human being, since 
it is thus that Kari registers the souls that he has sent forth, by notching 
the tree against which he leans. These notches are called << tangkor. " ^ 

Trees thus '* blazed " are never felled. Any species of tree may be a name- 
tree for a child of either sex. The Western Semang, who live in clearings 
where there are no big trees, take such names as " Pisang" (Banana), " K'ladi " 
{Caladium or yam), "Kuang" (an abbreviation of Mengkuang), ** Rambei," 
<< Rambutan," <*Durian," etc, for the most part Mala3ran fruit names, although 
they frequently also take the corresponding names in Semang. The Eastern 
Semang (Pangan) take only Semang (Menik) names, and in this respect have plenty 
of choice, as their dialect has a name for every species of tree in the forest.' 

The child must not, in later life, injure any tree which belongs to the species 
of his tree. For him all such trees are taboo, and he must not even eat of their 
fruit, the only exception being when an expectant mother revisits her birth-uee. 

Among the Eastern Semang (Pangan) it was an ancient custom for an 
expectant mother to visit the nearest tree belonging to the species of her own 
birth-tree, and hang it about with fragrant leaves and blossoms, if she hap- 
pened to be able to reach its branches, or deposit them at the tree's foot, if the 
tree was too big for them to be suspended. This, however, was mere custom, 
and in no sense compulsory. 

The Soul-bird.3 

In depositing the flowers at the foot of the tree, she takes care that they arc 
not laid upon the spot where the afterbirth had been buried. The reason for this 
(as given by the Eastern Semang or Pangan) is that the soul of the expected 
child, in the form of a bird, will recognise the tree by the aspect of this very 
spot, and will there wait until it is killed and eaten by the mother. 

Even though the real birth-tree itself may be many miles distant, 3^t every 
tree of its species is regarded as identical with it. The bird, in which the child's 
soul is conveyed, always inhabits a tree of the species to which the birth-tree 
belongs ; it flies from one tree (of the species) to another, following the as yet 
unborn body. The souls of first-bom children are always young birds newly 
hatched, the oflspring of the bird which contained the soul of the mother. These 
birds olDtain the souls from Kari. If the woman does not eat the soul-bird 
during her accouchement, her child will either be still-bom or will die shortly 
after birth. To explain bodily malformation the Semang declare that the bird 
•*chim-iui" or " til-til-tapa " must, when it was being killed, have fallen upon 
a kind of fungus called the *** tigress* -milk' fungus"* (Mai. " susu harimau*'), 
which is the young soul of a tiger which rests quietly in the earth until the 
tigress has cubs, when it springs up and is eaten by the tigress, who thus obtains 
the souls of her cubs.^ 

The souls in the *• tigress'-milk fungus " (*• susu harimau **) * are always a pair, 
male and female, so that one fungus suffices.'' If the bird ("chim-iui") falls 
upon one of these fungi the tiger-souls escape, and since they are in their 
natural state inimical to man, they remain so in the bird. Thus when the 
woman eats the soul-bird, the tiger-souls and the human soul battle together 
in the unborn body, which thus becomes crippled or dies outright. Yet even 

* ** Tangkor" is probably a cock- * Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 114. 
neyfied spelling of **tangkok" = Mal. • ** Susu harimau," in Malay= 
**takok" (notch). tigress' milk. In Semang=** napas- 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 113. taiyo" or tiger-soul (V.-St.). 

3 Ibid. 1 1 3- 1 17. ' According to the Sakai (Blandas) 

* According to Vaughan-Stevens it is as well as the Semang (Menik) the 
a <* mushroom," but it is in reality the tigress always produces a pair of cubs 
"sclerotium of a fungus," wrt5p Ridley, (V.-St.). The same notion is found 
J. v., which view is here followed. among the Malays. 


when the embryonic human body dies in consequence of a fight of this kind, 
the ▼ictory as between the souls nevertheless remains with the one that is human. 
The tiger-souls in these fimgi are not the souls of tigers already deceased, but 
newly-developed souls derived from a stock which Kari has created and scat- 
tered abroad upon the earth like seeds. ^ 

All creatures that are inimical to man obtain their souls from poisonous fungi, 
whereas harmless creatures obtain their souls from harmless fungi. 

When an adult man (or a woman who is not pregnant) partakes of a poison- 
fungus, containing the soul of a harmful beast, the beast-soul attacks the human 
individoal quite as violently as if the attack were made by a creature that was 
adult, but in the case of an expectant mother, the beast-soul attacks the soul of 
the un-bom child because it is the weaker. If the soul-bird falls upon a poison- 
fungus, which contains a beast — the soul of some beast or reptile, other than 
that of a tiger — such as, for instance, that of a snake — the latter bites the body 
of the unborn child, but it is not certain whether the child will necessarily die or 
not. Some slight protection is afforded by the appropriate design upon the birth- 
bamboo carried by the mother, this design being capable of repelling such 
attacks, although during the birth a tiger-soul thus repulsed may revenge itself 
upon die mother. Hence in cases of difficult birth the Puttos were always 
called in to assist, since they were able, by means of special charms, to avert 
these attacks as well as the others. 

Phosphorescent fungi, such as give light by night, contain the unborn souls 
of night-beasts, and give out Ught in order to show the female where to find the 
so»il she is looking for. Many kinds of beasts have many young at a time, 
and for these whole groves of fungi shoot up when required. 

The West Semang no longer believe in the soul-bird, and even employ the 
bird itself as food ; but the East Semang (Pangan) only kill the bird on behalf of 
their women-folk. In addition, they believe that the souls of Malays, Chinese, 
and Siamese were obtained from another kind of birds corresponding to the 
physical peculiarities of these several races. Before they leave the presence of 
Kiui the souls sit in the branches of a big tree behind his seat and there wait 
until he sends them away. What their shape is the Semang do not know ; they 
only know that it does not resemble the human form, and that this latter is only 
attained in the body. After the death of their human embodiment the souls 
which possess a human shape can no longer return to Kari to pass into new 
bodies, but have then to wait in a different place. Since the soul never dies, 
the soul-birds themselves do not die until they have fulfilled their mission ; nor 
can they be shot by mistake ; the arrow will miss them, until their predestined 
slayer should happen to shoot at them.* 

According to another tradition, the souls of fish are contained in riverside 
grasses and bushes, every species of fish having its corresponding species of plant. 
The same is the case with sea- beasts. Birds fly behind the mountains when the 
sun goes down and into the country of the Sen-oi ; there they eat certain 
unknown fruits, and in this way obtain souls for their eggs. The only excep- 
tions are the birds called "chim-iui*' and •' til-til-tapa." These need no souls, 
since they themselves are human souls in the visible shape of birds. When they 
require life for their eggs, i.e. when they are ready to fetch more human souls, 
they eat the fruit of the man's or woman's birth-tree, as the case may be. When 
one of these birds dies a natural death, it is because of the death of the child in 
the womb, but opinions are divided as to what may be the fate of such an 
undeveloped soul. Some, however, think it returns to Kari, and becomes re- 
embodied in another bird, the eating of whose flesh brings twins to another 
Semang woman, just as if she had eaten the soul -bird with an egg. 

Whenever an East Semang (Pangan) dies, his birth-tree dies soon after. If, 

* Vaughan- Stevens, iii. 114. '^ Ibid. p. 114. 


however, the tree dies first, this is a sign that the owner's death will follow. 
Hence big and strong trees are selected as birth-trees. And when one Semang 
kills another, except in war, he avoids the other's birth-tree, for fear it will fall 
on him. ' 

The Birth-bamboo.* 

The birth-bamboo (as has already been said), is an internode, or hollow shaft 
of bamboo (minus the knots or ** joints") which is covered with magical designs 
intended to serve as charms against sickness and nausea, and is carried by 
pregnant women, hidden under the girdle, in order to prevent any strange man 
from seeing it. The magical designs on it are incised by the husband, and an 
enceinte woman without a birth-bamboo is regarded in much the same way as a 
woman in Europe would be who lacked a wedding-ring. 

The patterns of the birth-bamboo represent the child in the mother's womb. 
They are described more fully in the chapter on ** Decoration." 

Within this receptacle (the birth-bamboo) the expectant mother keeps the 
bird, her eating which is believed to introduce the soul into her unborn child. 
The expression used by the Semang of Kelantan to describe a woman who has 
hope of ofifepring is ** machi kawau," i.^. **she has eaten the bird." ^ The flesh 
of the bird in question, however, is not eaten all at once, but piecemeal, being 
kept in the birth-bamboo and replaced when eaten by one or two bones, until 
the child is bom, when they are thrown away. 

** Til-til-tapa," the bird which brings male souls, is the smaller Argus-pheasant ; 
that which brings female souls is called ** chim-iui," [which probably stands for 
**chim yui," or the **bird that brings" (the soul)]. Twins arise from eating the 
soul -bird with an egg. In such a case there is only one birth-tree.^ 

The severance of the cord may be effected either by one of the women or by 
the child's father. It is performed upon a block of soft "jelotong" (" juletong") 
wood called "potong pusat."^ 

No implement of iron may be used for the purpose, a bamboo knife called 
"sembilu"^ being the instrument generally used, though knives called "tapa" 
("tappar")^ are also manufactured (for this purpose exclusively) from the leaf- 
stem of the bertam-palm. In former times a white (spiral) shell was employed. 

The East Semang (** Pangan "), like the Sakai, sling 
their children from the bough of a tree, when they 
are working close by, but not when they are working 
at any great distance.^ 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. Ii6, 117. place Vaughan- Stevens described these 
' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 115, 116. knives as being made from the stem of 

Cp. Griinwedel in V. B, G, A. xxiv. the bertam-palm, in another (as here) 

466, 467. from the Blatt-haut or leaf - stem 

' Literally, "eat bird." (midrib of the leaf). The latter is of 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 116. course correct, the bertam being, as 

* This is a Malay expression signify- Bartels rightly remarks, a stemless 
ing " cut navel " [i.e, cut navel-string), palm. He adds that the Semang call 
which of course is a name describ- this palm "chin-beg," that Vaughan- 
ing the action, not the implement. Stevens had sent five specimens of the 

* According to Vaughan - Stevens "tappar" {v. Fig. 6), and that they are 
"semilow" {sic) which is merely the narrow slivers sharp)ened at the point 
Malay "sembilu," a "sliver" or like a pen-knife, and measuring from 
"splinter," mis-spelt and slightly 16.2 cm. to 19 cm. They are all of 
modified in course of borrowing. Semang origin. Z.f, E. xxviii. 190. 

' Bartels here remarks that in one * Ibid, p. 201. 



The Tembch (Temia or Tummiyor) in the intervals between the times for 
feeding them leave their children by themselves on the floor of their airy 

Very often, however, they deposit them in a hammock consisting of a stretched- 
out '* sarong" (Malay = cloth skirt, or wrapper) and sling them up under a screen 
of leaves, which can be completely constructed in about twenty minutes. This 
is partly done to set the mother free for cooking and preparing meals, but more 
so because such a position makes it pleasanter and more comfortable for the 
child, who is besides much better protected from the attacks of land-leeches, 
ants, centipedes, and scorpions. It is therefore prompted by care for the child, 
and is not due to any carelessness or neglect. At night the child's swinging 
cradle is never (even among the Orang I^ut) suspended from a tree, for fear of 

According to Vaughan-Stevens (iii. 102) the average number of children bor 
to a Tembeh cannot be put higher than two per man. 

II. — Sakai. 

A Sakai (Blandas) sage-femme is, as might be 
anticipated, more reluctant to give information about 
her art than even the magician, although the latter is 
far more secretive than the ordinary tribesman, the 
getting of information from whom is in itself a suffi- 
ciently hard task. The following account is from 
Vaughan-Stevens : ^ — 

The sage-femme's house is easily recognisable, since it is invariably built on a 
level with the ground, whereas all the other houses of the tribe are raised from 4 
ft. to 6 ft. (1.2 m. to 1.8 m.) above the soil.^ If she has a husband still living 
(which very seldom happens), she has two huts, one of the ordinary type in which 
she and her husband live together, and the other which serves as her medicine- 
hut and which is invariably built upon the ground. No man may on any pretence 
enter her medicine-hut or even approach it too closely, and even in passing it he 
must do so at a little distance. Women, however, may enter it whenever they 
happen to be in\nted, but children again are forbidden to do so, for fear of their 
doing some mischief.* 

Nevertheless these huts are not intended solely for the sage-femmey since they 
also serve as a special retreat for women at child-birth, and the latter are allowed 
to remain there for fourteen days after delivery. In the days when the Sakai 
were more numerous, these medicine-huts were much larger. 

* Z.f. E. xxviii. 201. in order to distinguish it from other 

* Ibid. p. 164-197. houses and so protect it from trespass. 
3 Ibid.\>, 165. Various reasons were Vaughan-Stevens further remarks that 

pven to Vaughan-Stevens for this, e.g. the door (in this class of hut alone) 

( I ) that the sage-femme was old and was lower than the head of a grown- 

weak ; (2) that when the hut was built on up person, and that the walls and roof 

the ground, the demons ("hantu") could were contracted in size and thick, to 

not insinuate themselves under the floor. prevent men from seeing into it. 
More probably, however, it was so built ^ Z. f. E, xxviii. 165. 


The profession of the sage-fenwu was to some extent honoured by her being 
freed from taking any share in the work of the tribe, although she nevertheless 
obtained her full share of the produce. One of her duties consisted in taking care 
of children of the tribe in the absence of their mothers, for although none of the 
children might formerly venture to enter, their mothers would bring them into 
these huts whenever they had jungle-work before them and had a burden to 
carry upon their homeward journey. 

If the settlement did not possess a hut of this kind, the children were often 
slung up above the ground to keep them out of mischief.^ 

The sage-femme was a person of little importance as compared with the 
magician, except when performing her official duties. Nevertheless, she shared 
with the magician the privilege of being allowed to put on the white points in 
the face-painting, it being held that any unprivileged person who did so would be 
killed by lightning. 

Again, the midwives of the Sakai, Besisi, and Kenaboi tribes further had an 
identical fiice-painting which they were privileged to wear whilst discharging 
their functions, the pattern differing from the usual one which they wore in tifieir 
private capacity.* 

Up to the commencement of confinement, the Sakai women make no change 
in the routine of their daily life. An enceinte woman is treated as being in a 
respectable and enviable condition ; she mingles openly with the men, even when 
in a state of advanced gestation, and apparently lacks any sort of perception of 
the propriety of retirement, though at the same time this publicity does not imply 
any immodesty on her part, or the least intention of making her condition 
known to the bystanders.* 

When she has gone some months a Sakai woman girds herself with a band which 
is called *<anu," and which is carried round the waist and fastened at the back." ^ 

Among the Sakai women miscarriage in the third or fourth month was fairly 
general. Whenever this happened the remains were simply buried without 

When a Sakai woman feels the first pang (** t'ran "), she lies down, and does 
not get up again until her child is delivered.^ 

When her time has come, the sufferer lies upon her back with a cushion or 
bundle placed under the knees, so as to raise them slightly. A female friend (or 
the husband, when no other assistance is obtainable) squats down close beside 
her on the right. Another woman squats down at the sufferer's feet to receive 
the child, the latter resting her heels upon the floor and pressing them against 
the knees of this second assistant.^ 

There is no professional * sage-femme.^ 

At the instant the cord is severed the child is given its name. The child is 
then washed with " mdrian " water, wrapped in a cloth, and handed back to the 
mother, w 

* Z.f,E, xxviii. 1 66. "^ Bartels observes, that from the 
2 Ibid, xxvi. 1 54 seqq. For further description it is clear that the second of 

information regarding the face-painting the two assistants does not squat but 

of the midwife and her charges, see must kneel upon the ground. 

below, p. 48 (under " Body-painting "). ^ Bartels points out that this con- 

* Z,/. E. xxviii. 184. tradicts what we have already been 

* Ibid. p. 185. told, viz., that Vaughan - Stevens 

* Ibid, p. 186. obtained a good deal of his informa- 

* ** Delivery " is called, according to tion from professional sage-femmes^ and 
Vaughan-Stevens, *'anak kasihk'luar." that they possessed a special kind of 
This, however, is merely bad (ver- hut. 

nacular) Malay, meaning to "bring ^ Z.f.E, xxviii. 188. 

a child forth " (Z./. E, xxviii. 188). »<> Ibid, p. 192. 


The ioge-femme possesses a special receptacle called "chit-nAt,** which 
serves at one and the same time for the purification of the child and its 

This *'chit-nat'* is a segment of bamboo, which has had a piece amounting 
to aboat half its circumference cut away both at top and bottom. The remaining 
halves have in each case been left, forming projecting spouts, which are rounded 
off at their free ends, and have their straight edges " toothed " or indented. 
One edge of each of these projections has six, and the other seven such in- 
dentations. The body of the tube is so chosen that the two dividing cuts are 
made next to {i,e, above and below) two adjacent nodes, one of which serves as 
the bottom of the tube, whilst the other (at the top) has been excised. The 
tube has a circumference of 22 cm., and a length of 56.5 cm. excluding, and a 
length of 76 cm. including, the two projections. These latter are decorated with 
two rows of zigzag lines, whilst two double longitudinal stripes run from end to 
end of the body of the tube. One pair of these double stripes is distinguished 
by horizontal cross-lines ; the other pair is connected by a zigzag line. Be- 
tween the adjacent sides of two pairs of stripes further zigzag lines are intro- 
duced. The outlines are distinguished by black and white dots.'' 

A special kind of bamboo receptacle, which is equally decorated, is employed 
for filling the "chit-nAt" with water (Fig. 11). 

[Bartels remarks : **This bamboo is only 29 cm. in length by 13.3 cm. in 
circomference. At the top it is cut horizontally through the node (* between 
two adjacent intemodes \ at the bottom just below the next adjacent node, so 
that the node forms the bottom of the receptacle. For half its circumference at 
the top it is cleanly cut, for the other half it is cut in sharp scallops. The 
upper portion (of the tube) is plain, the lower covered all round with black 
and white dots as big as peas. Vaughan -Stevens gives a description of the 
pattern which he says he found on this *chit-n&t,' but which, in fact, is not 
to be found on it. He must have confused it with something else. His 
description, however, runs as follows: * The figures on this *• chit -nit" are the 
••riong*' and **b^tong"(?) rattans of the Tabong-story. Commencing at the 
open end, the triangular figures are Tuhan's finger-prints. The flat {lugenden) 
crosses with the line bisecting them are the thorns of the ** rotan b*tong " 
(**butong'*). This figure represents the "rotan belong," the spirals which run 
along it representing the thorns, and the cross -lines combine the idea of a 
quantity with that of a plant thus crossing itself. Above this in the middle is a 
row of "b^tong" thorns, and below that the "rotan riong." The latter*s 
prickles are naturally much shorter. Spirals of white and black (or red) dots 
were scattered throughout the entire pattern, according to custom, but no 
explanation was obtainable.' "] 

A very peculiar implement is employed by the Sakai (Sen-oi) for severing 
the umbilical cord. Three specimens in the Berlin Museum resemble what is 
called a ** fox-tailed " saw, only that they are much smaller, their length being 
8.4 cm., 9.3 cm., and 9.2 cm. respectively. They are cut out of wood, and 
have an elegant handle, which diminishes down to a small " talon "-like pro- 
jection, united to a wooden blade, which is furnished on one side with rough 
!»w-like teeth from 0.6 to 0.7 cm. deep. One of these knives has a double row 
of saw teeth. This implement is called "semika" ("smee-kar "), and is also 
used for decorating the **chit-n&t," as described above.^ 

The second of the two assistants now lays the patient upon a clean mat and 
then goes out. Her companion meanwhile takes the afterbirth, and (should the 
child prove to be a boy) ties it up in a cloth and suspends it upon a tree, where 
ii is left. If, however, the child happens to be a girl, the afterbirth is buried 
somewhere without further ceremony in the neighbourhood of the house. The 

J Z.f.E. xxviii. 193. 2 jii^^ p, igi. 


reason given for this difference of treatment is that the women are obliged to 
remain in the house, whereas the men lead an open-air life, and do not remain 
in one place like the women.' 

In order lo accelerate her recovery the patient has for ten successive days to 
take a warm infusion called *'m£rian s^jok." In some cases a bandage of 
beaten tree-bark is applied in the same manner as the ordinary bark loin-cloth. 
This, however, is not always the case.'* 

For ten days she is forbidden either to drink, or wash in, cold water. For 
her purification she uses another kind of " chit-n4t," though this too has to be 
filled from the bamboo receptacle described above. ^ 

[Bartels adds, that this **chit-n&t" is furnished, like the preceding one, with 
projections at each extremity which extend more than halfway round the 
circumference of the bamboo. The free edges are carved into elegant double 
curves. The bamboo is cut through, as before, in close proximity to the nodes, 
though in this case the receptacle is made from a piece of three intemodes 
instead of one. The upper node and the three central ones are excised right 
up to the circumference of the bamboo, the vessel thus forming a simple tube 
as before. The fourth node is retained and serves as the bottom of the vessel. 
It contains a small hole which is, however, probably unintentional. Its length, 
with the projections, amounts to 177 cm., without them to 153 cm., and its 
circumference is 193 cm. The projections in this case are plain, but from end 
to end of the body of the vessel run two longitudinal stripes, one of which is 
barred with horizontal lines, the other is crossed by zigzags. Both bars and 
zigzags each contain four parallel and longitudinal rows of dots, in the 
outer rows the dots being white, whereas in the two inner rows they are 

The extremity of the umbilical cord falls from the newly-born infant after a 
few days, and is then simply thrown away. 

For a whole lunar month, however, the child is washed every morning with 
water out of a special **chit-nAt" (Fig. 14), which is filled from the bamboo 
receptacle already mentioned* 

[Bartels adds: "This particular * chit -nit' differs from the rest in being 
furnished at the lower end with two long prongs. Each of these prongs 
measures 11.4 cm. in length by only 1.7 cm. in breadth, whilst the remainder 
of the vessel measures but 23 cm. in length, with a circumference of 13.8. This 
' chit-nit ' is cut exactly like those which are formed from a single intemode, 
except that it has no projection at the top, and in place of the projection at the 
bottom has the two aforesaid prongs. These latter are plain, but the remainder 
of the vessel is covered with vertical rows of black and pale red dots about as 
big as the tips of the fingers."] 

For the mother's purification a second ** chit-n&t " is filled (with water) from the 
bamboo filler, and the sufferer washed with a warm infusion of **merian."^ 

[Bartels adds: **This * chit-nit* is the longest of them all. Like the 
former, it is cleanly cut round half of its circumference only (at top and 
bottom), and hence it possesses similar projections to those already described. 
These two projections do not exactly correspond to the same two halves of the 
circumference respectively, and hence their long axes do not meet, but run 
parallel to each other. With these projections the receptacle is 185.5 <^™* ^° 
length, without them 157.5 cm., its circumference being 23.5 cm. The free 
edges of the projections are carefully carved and adorned with delicate indenta- 
tions. In other respects, except that of ornamentation, it exactly resembles the 
receptacle already described. As regards its ornamentation, the projections are 

1 Z.f, E, xxviii. 195. the Malays.— Ridley. 

2 Ibid, p. 196. "Mfirian" is Dis- * Z.f,E. xxviii. 196. 

sochata br<ute'**a^ and is also used by * Ibid, p. 197. * Ibid, p. 194. 


decorated with cross -lines, which have oblique lines running between them, 
whilst a longitudinal stripe, interrupted only by the cross-lines, runs from end to 
end of the body of the receptacle on either side. As in other cases, the 
outlines are distinguished by black and white dots."] 

Should the mother die during confinement, and the child be either still-born 
or die immediately afterwards, they are both wrapped in one shroud and laid in 
one grave together, the child being placed on the mother's breast, with its face 
downwards* * 

For the five or six days following her confinement the patient is only j)er- 
mitted to eat Caladiums or yams,' rice, and bananas. Chillies and hot highly- 
spiced broth are very strictly forbidden. 

The mother, after delivery, is usually able to move freely about the house 
again within five or six hours. After three days she is fit to go out again as usual. ^ 

The Sakai (Blandas) mothers often pluck out the wing and tail-feathers of 
young hombills which the men have procured, and give their infants the quill- 
ends to suck. This not only entertains and quiets the children, but in some 
undefined way is believed to bring them good luck.* 

For travelling short distances the children are carried astride the mother's 
hip.^ The Sakai sling up their small children on the hut-wall (in a basket or 
hammock made of bast •) for two or three hours together, so long as there is no 
fear of tigers.' 

For sleeping the mother lays her infant across her breast, taking care, how- 
ever, to make the position as comfortable as possible for the child. ^ 

Of the firuitfiilness of Sakai women, Vaughan- Stevens remarks that it appeared 
to be a general rule that out of about six children one would be still-bom, and 
two of the remainder would die within the first three years. 

Those women who have only one or two children, especially if one of the 
latter is bom after a long interval, are, however, as a rule, successful with them. 

The largest number of children (in one family), to take a single example, was 
sixteen, out of which twelve died before they reached maturity, and of these 
seven died before they were a year old. Five of them were boys and eleven girls. 

Child-bearing generally continues up to the age of about forty-two years, 

* Z. f. £. xxviii. 196. [It is not Sakai ceremony described by Vaughan- 

quite clear whether this refers to the Stevens as following birth is the 

Sakai or to some other tribe.] fumigation of the child by swinging it 

' V^aughan-Stevens here has ** kadi," through the smoke of a large fire. See 

a mbtake for ** k'ladi," a kind of Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 107. 

yam. ^ Z.f. E. xxviii. 200. 

^ Z. f. E. xxviii. 197. For a description of a Sakai ham- 

Bartels here adds that, as Vaughan- mock - cradle, see Vaughan - Stevens 
Stevenshasalreadytold us that the Sakai in Z. f. E. xxix. 190. Vaughan- 
women remain out of sight for fourteen Stevens attaches, however, a quite 
days after delivery, he may be speak- exaggerated importance to the fact 
ing here of some former custom. It that the pole from which the cradle 
may, however, I think, be safely said was slung was not made fast, but 
that there rarely is a fourteen days' oscillated to and fro on the top of the 
limit amongst any of these savage partition walls. This arrangement is 
tribes. The husband's difficulties are, found in many parts of the Peninsula, 
in his wife's absence, so much in- and, so far from being at all extra- 
creased, that he would certainly not ordinary, is simply due to the exercise 
permit so unnecessarily protracted a of common sense, there being no reason 
seclusion, even if the woman herself whatever why the pole should be made 
desired it, which she would certainly fast, 
not do. '^ Z.f. E. xxviii. 201. 
Z.f. E. xxviii. 201. Another * Ibid. p. 202. 


though there was one case in which a woman gave birth to a child at fifty.' 
Elsewhere we are informed that the average namber of children in a Sakai fiunily 
is four.* 


In writing of the '* tuang-tuang " (** tuntong ") ceremony as performed by the 
Sakai, Vaughan-Stevens says : ** The children received their names from their 
parents in accordance with dreams, in which there appeared, for instance, either the 
floor of a hut, the track of a tiger in the jungle, a tree, insect, river, or the like." 

According to the same authority, the name of each individual is represented 
by the pattern of the headband which he (or she) wears. His account, however, 
is neither altogether clear nor altogether consistent. He says : •• The patterns 
painted on the headband (worn by the Sakai) represent the name of the indi- 
vidual. They are worn by men and women alike, but not by those who are 
unmarried, and who are not yet therefore entered into the tribe." ' 


The magician exercised great power over the tribe through the fturt that he 
could deprive a recalcitrant member of the tribe of his (or her) "name.** In 
such a case the magician went in full state to the house of the offender, and there 
solemnly burned the headband of the person concerned, who by this means was 
completely excluded from the clan. Should, however, the rehabilitation of the 
offender be desired, the medicine-man, after first painting a new headband with 
the same pattern as before, went (accompanied by all his colleagues then living 
in the settlement) into the house of the penitent, who afterwards gave a feast 

Formerly there were many figures for the patterns, which followed, however, 
no fixed rule. The objects represented were those offered by the jungle, but the 
exact forms were very much left to fancy, and the colour of the patterns was 
fugitive. The bands thus painted were only worn for one particular festive occa- 
sion, and were then thrown away.* 

In speaking of some fifteen Sakai women, whom 
he saw at Kampong Langkor on S. Kerbu, De la 
Croix says that almost all of them carried a child 
astride of their hips/ 

^ Z./ E, xxviii. 202. because they very often accompany the 

2 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 102. men on the chase in order to bring 

3 Z.f, £, xxvi. 161, 162, where we home the booty or to seek roots on the 
read: **As the painted headbands way ; and whenever they stay at home 
might only be worn on special occa- they are recognised by the demons, 
sions, the black lines (or * demon *- who have previously seen them in 
lines) were not retained on the head- their husbands' company, as protected 
bands of the lay members of the com- by the patterns of the latter ** ( !). 
munity (of either sex), and only the red And yet again, on p. 162, we are 
pattern with black dots was aJlinved," told that the women wore headbands 

But, on the other hand, cp. p. 163, though only on occasion, 

where we are told that *'the women * Z.f.E, xxvi. 163. 

wear no figures on their headband Sy * De la Croix, p. 336. 


III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — Of the birth-customs of the Blandas no 
account is yet to hand. I have, however, at different 
times, when visiting their encampments, taken down 
some of the charms employed against Birth-demons, 
of which the following are specimens : — 

Charm against the Langsuir. 

Langfaui, Langhua ! 

Your beak is stumpy, 

Your feathers are cloth of silk, 

Your eye« are ** crab's-eye " beans, 

Your heart a young areca-nut, 

Your blood thread in water. 

Your veins the thread for binding on cock's-spurs, 

Your bones twigs of the giant bamboo, 

Your tail a &n from China. ^ 

Descend, O Venom,* ascend Neutraliser, 

Neutralise the Venom in the bones, neutralise it in the veins, 

Neutralise it in the joints, 

Neutralise it within the house, neutralise it within the jungle. 

Descend, O Venom, ascend Neutraliser, 

And lock up this Langsuir. 

Descend, O Venom, ascend Neutraliser. 

Whilst repeating this charm rub the sufferer 
(**sapu-kan orang sakit itu") with the leaves or the 
root (*' isi '') of the ** kelmoyang." ^ 

The Langhui is a birth-demon corresponding to 
the Malay Langsuir (there probably being a close 
philological connexion, if not identity, between the 
two names). The Malay Langsuir is believed to be 
a demon which has sprung from the ghost of a woman 
who has died in child-birth. The description appears 
to fit some kind of night-hawk or owl. 

Another charm which I obtained from the Blandas 
was indended to subdue not only the Langsuir, but 

* The idea is that a spirit may be ^ May be either Chamacladott ^ 
controlled if the elements of its (sup- Homalomena^ or Alpinia conchigera^ 
posed) origin are known. Griff. {Scitaminea:) ; probably the 

• I,e. pain. latter = Mai. **lengkuas ranting." 


the Bajang, a familiar spirit well known to the Malays 
and Blandas alike. 

Charm against the Bajang. 

CM, O Bajang Langsuir, 

Thou sprangest from a woman that died in childbirth ; 

O Bajang Langsuir, 

Thou betel-quid of Baginda AH. 

The reference to Baginda Ali is due to the super- 
ficial Mohammedan influences, which have reached 
the Blandas through the medium of the Malays. 

Yet another charm given me by the Blandas was 
intended for exorcising the Polong, a familiar demon 
which is classed with the Bajang and Pel^sit of 
the Malays. 

Charm against the Polong. 

As the chisel is broken, as the adze-helve is broken, 

Broken in chiselling this fallen tree- trunk, 

Even so break the bones of your jaws, the strings of your tongue, 

And [only] when I retire, may ye go forward. 

Ye who came from the sea, return to the sea, 

Ye who came from the crags, return to the crags, 

Ye who came from the soil, return to the soil. 

Thence is it that ye sprang, O Familiar Demons. 

The Pontianak is a birth -demon of a different 
kind, and this charm too I picked up from the 

Charm against the Pontianak. 

O Pontianak, still-bom one. 

Die and be crushed 'neath the banked-up roadway ! 

[Here are] bamboos,^ both long and short, 

For cooking the Pontianak, Jin, and Langsuir. 

Remain, Pontianak, among the Tree-shoots ! 

Remain, O Jin, among the Epiphytes ! 

And lodge not here, O Langsuir ! 

Lodge not here, O Jin ! 

Lodge not here, O Pontianak ! 

^ A comparison with Malay charms, a child who has died at or before birth, 

from which this is evidently borrowed, The two bamboo- vessels, the long and 

shows that **buloh*'( = bamboo) is prob- the short, are naturally required, the 

ably the correct reading. The Lang- long one for cooking the liver of the 

suir is, as has been said, the ghost of mother, the shorter for that of the 

a mother who has died in childbirth ; child, the "Jin" being probably inter- 

the Pontianak or Matianak, that of polated. Cp. Malay Magic, p. 320. 


Lodge not here, O Deep-forest Demon ! 

Lodge not here, O Jungle Demon ! 

O Jungle Demon, return to thy jungle, 

O Deep-forest Demon, return to thy Forest-depths.^ 

The last of these charms collected from the 
Blandas was employed for exorcising the ** Caul- 
demon/' when the caul was being removed. 

Charm against the Caul-demon.* 

Shoots of Salak-palm, shoots of Ranggam-palm ; 

Caul like a bridle, Caul like a casting-net ; 

Caul that art bound, now be thou loosened ; 

Caul that art tied up, be thou unloosened ; 

Caul that art noosed, be thou unloosened ; 

Caul that art anchored, be thou unloosened ; 

Caul- fiend that lodgest here, be thou unloosened ; 

O fiends and devils, be ye unloosened ; 

O fiends from the Forest-depths, be ye unloosened ; 

O fiends from the Per'pat Rock, be ye unloosened ; 

O fiends from the Banyan Hill, be ye unloosened ; 

O fiends from the Kempas-tree, be ye unloosened ; 

O Caul-spirit, Demon that cam'st from the ocean. 

From Levin and Lightning, from drizzling and mizzling Rain, 

Return to Malim Putih, to Malim Sidi,^ 

'Tis not by me that this caul is unloosened, 

But by Malim Putih, by Malim Sidi. 

Besisi. — Among the Besisi (of the Kuala Langat 
District) the traditional hire of the sage-femme was 
two dollars in money, '* or a white jacket." If no 
person of professional experience was obtainable, her 
place would be usually taken by the invalid's mother 
or even her husband. The mother's mosquito-curtain 
was decorated all round with the leaf-hangings used 
on all ceremonial occasions, and when the child was 
born the mother underwent a ceremonial bathing, and 
would then be brought out from time to time and 
seated with her back to the fire and kept extravagantly 
warm — ** roasted,'* as it is called, a practice which is 
found among the Malays. An infusion was also made 

* Cp. i. 153. ^ The Caul-demon was believed to lick up the sufferer's blood. 

' Both known to the Malays in connexion with To' Batara (or * * Petala ") 
Guru, the Malay name of Shiva (see Malay Ma^c^ p. 85), 


from the roots of a creeper called **akar mSrian,"^ 
and was administered to her as a potion, and this 
course was continued for about five or ten days, after 
which the woman would resume her ordinary avoca- 

Mantra. — Upon the birth-customs of the Mantra 
Borie remarks that their children are delivered and 
cared for in the usual manner ; a few days after birth 
the head of the child is shaved ; it is not the object 
of any superstition until it is old enough to be able to 
distinguish its father and mother. If the child is ill 
they rub it with lime and turmeric. As to the mother, 
she remains in the house several days after her con- 
finement. When she is strong enough to resume the 
ordinary occupations of the household, she must first 
purify herself by bathing, and by doing so she acquires 
the right to re-appear.^ 

In addition we are told by Logan that when a 
Mantra mother was in labour, a cup of water was 
charmed and administered to her. The juice of 
certain leaves (**pamanto" and **pamadam") was given 
to the child, while a charm was repeated.^ A name 
was given to the child at the moment the umbilical cord 
was cut, and this was retained until marriage, when a 
second name (*'gglar") was bestowed, which was 
ever afterwards used in lieu of the first. These 
customs, however, were not inflexible. The birth- 
name was sometimes superseded (as being unlucky) 
before marriage, when misfortunes happened to the 
child, and the second name of the parents frequently 
gave place to the name of the eldest child with the 

* Dissochata bracleata. which is in the Mantra dialect, is 

2 Borie (tr. Bourien), pp. 80, probably not quite accurate, and the 
81. sense is therefore uncertain, though a 

3 Logan's version pf this charm, good deal can be made out. 


prefix Pa' (Father) or Ma' (Mother). The latter 
was considered a peculiarly pleasing mode of address, 
parental feeling being no doubt found, in many cases, 
to be stronger than personal vanity. A similar 
custom prevailed amongst the Malays of Naning, 
Rembau, and the states of the interior, and had been 
probably imported from Sumatra, from whence this 
portion of the Peninsula was directly colonised. In 
this connexion Logan observes that the importance of 
proper names in carrying us back to remote times 
in a people's history, is well known to the antiquary 
in Europe. Amongst those aboriginal tribes of the 
Peninsula whose native language has nearly dis- 
appeared before the modern Malay, the inquirer often 
finds in the names of places and men the principal 
monuments of antiquity. It is probable that these 
names are really words of a language once spoken, 
although the significance of most of them has been 
lost.^ The examples of names which he collected 
(and which included the names of all the relatives and 
acquaintances of his informant) Logan regarded as 
an additional proof of the fact that neither Hinduism 
nor Islamism has impressed these tribes, save in some 
cases in a slight and superficial manner. No people 
ever zealously embraced these religions, without the 
names of the gods of the former and the prophet and 
apostles of the latter being largely appropriated by them. 
Lists of Malayan names exhibit many Mohammedan 
and a few Hindu ones, but the greater number are 
pure Malayan or ante-Malayan.^ 

Finally we have evidence of the Malayan practice 
of " roasting " the mother in the statement that the 

» /. /. A. vol. i. p. 323.* 8 Ilfid. pp. 323,* 324.* 



Mantra placed the wife near the fire in order to drive 
away the evil spirits who were believed to drink 
human blood whenever they could find it.^ 

Benua-Jakun. — Of the Benua we are informed that 
the wife's mother generally acted as midwife, but 
when absent the husband himself supplied her place. 
At birth a string to which pieces of turmeric, "bunglei," 
etc., were fastened, was bound round the neck of the 
infant as a charm. During the third month of preg- 
nancy the magician or ** Poyang " visited the mother, 
performed certain ceremonies, and bound a charm 
round her waist in order that all might go well with 
her and the child. On the occasion of the birth of 
the first-born child a feast was generally given by the 

By Vaughan-Stevens we are told that the magician attending at a birth 
crouches beside the reclining woman and massages her, repeating an incantatioB 
as he does so.' 

From the same authority we learn that a decoction believed to alleviate 
birth-pains was made from three roots the '* white'* and the *' black ramuymn," 
and the ** peranchu," which are boiled and administered as a potion. Vaughan- 
Stevens adds that the Benua women were, as a rule, three days in labour ; and that 
after delivery they were required to lie down for ten days, during which time they 
were attended by other married women. One child out of ten in the present genera- 
tion was said to die within three days ; and nearly half the remainder (especially the 
girls) before puberty. The supply of milk from the mother was very small indeed, 
and the child continued to suck until the mother's breasts were dry.^ 

The knife used by the Benua for severing the umbilical cord was made from the 
hard exterior of a segment of bamboo. It was a sliver measuring 36. 5 cm. in length 
by I cm. in breadth. At one end the sliver was indented and truncated just above 

^ J, /. A. vol. i. pp. 270, 271. This continuedat intervals until the accouche- 

practice is also found among the Besisi ment is over. In protracted cases, the 

{g,v, antCy p. 15). woman is laid upon her stomach, and a 

* J, /. A, vol. i. pp. 270, 271. Cp. fire kindled near her to excite the pains. 

Newbold, vol. ii. pp. 406-407: *'No In order to facilitate the expulsion of 

assistance is rendered, except occasion- the afterbirth, she is made to stand over 

ally by the husband, if present, during the fire. Seven days afterwards, the 

the act of parturition ; not even by one mother performs ablutions, and returns 

of the sex ; nor is any preparation made to her conjugal duties." <* Puar " is 

to alleviate the pangs. ... An extract the name of many wild gingers {Scita- 

only, procured from the root and leaves minca) : see p. 1 3, i». 3, ante. For "si- 

of a shrub called, by the Jakun, luseh" read '<salusoh,"cp. p. 25, f>|/^ 
's^useh,' or *puwar,' is given towards ' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 143. 

tb* <*nd of the peri'yJ '*'' gestation, and * V. B, G. A, xxiv. 468. 


as intemode ; at the other end it was cut through at right angles to its axis and 
sharpened at the edge. Vaughan-Stevens adds that the operation was performed 
by a woman of the tribe without any special ceremony. * 


Names are sometimes given at birth, but in such 
cases are changed at the age of puberty.* 

Treatment of Children. 

Benua mothers carry their children in a sling of 
bark-cloth, which is passed over the child's back, over 
one of the mother's shoulders, and under the other, 
the ends being knotted.' 

When the child is too small to hold on by embracing 
the mother's neck with its arms, it is carried behind 
her back, with its legs clasping her body. It is never 
carried on the hip, except in cases where the practice 
may have been learnt from the Malays.* 

The food (of the Benua children) was eked out with 
hog's grease from about the third or fourth day of 
their existence. This might be owing to the habit of 
not weaning children till they were two, three, or even 
sometimes four years of age. It was no uncommon 
spectacle to see an infant of a few weeks and a fat 
nursling of two years at the breast together. Indulged 
as the children were during their infancy, they had no 
sooner arrived at an age when their labour was of the 
least use, than they were made to assist their parents 

* Z,f.E. xxviii. 190. In the same * /. /. A. vol. i. p. 271. 

context a wooden knife, assigned ^ Z.f. E. xxviii. 201. 

to the •* Orang Utan," and used for the * Ibid, But this begs the question, 

same purpose, is described. It had the If the Benua -Jakun, as there seems 

general shape of a common kitchen every reason to believe, are mainly of 

knife, and measured 26. 5 cm. in length, Malayan origin, there seems no reason 

its blade was 1.6 cm. in breadth, and why the custom should not be in- 

the bock of the blade was 3 cm. thick. digenous among them. 


in different employments. The effect of this train- 
ing was that the young Benua men and women were 
highly robust and active compared with the Malays, 
and capable of enduring with cheerfulness an amount 
of labour from which the latter would shrink.^ 

Jakun. — We now come to the Jakun, properly so- 
called, of whose birth-customs. Captain Begbie, an 
old writer on the Peninsula, observed that when a 
woman was in labour, the Jakun took a round piece 
of wood, which they fastened at both ends in a shed 
The woman was laid upon this, face downwards and 
pressing upon the abdomen, until the child was bom. 
Meanwhile the husband kindled a fire before her, 
which was supposed to be of essential service, and 
performed the office of midwife ; and after the child 
was born, the woman was put close to the fire. To 
this account the same writer added that the Jakun 
named their children simply from the tree under which 
they happened to be brought forth.* 

On the other hand, Favre has recorded that no 
assistance was ordinarily given to lying-in Jakun 
women ; their physicians or Pawangs were not per- 
mitted to appear in such circumstances, and midwives 
were not known amongst them. It was reported that 
in several tribes, the children, as soon as born, were 
carried to the nearest rivulet, washed and brought 
back to the house, where a fire was kindled, upon 
which incense or benzoin was thrown, when the child 
was passed over it several times. Favre adds that 
we know from history that the practice of passing 
children over fire was in all times much practised 
among heathen nations ; and that it is still practised 
in China and other places. A few days after the birth 

1 /. /. A, vol. 1. p. 267. ' Begbie, pp. 13, 14. 


of the child, the father gave him a name, which was 
usually taken from the name of some tree, fruit, or 


A considerable number of food-taboos are found 
among the Jakun ; e.g. among the tribes dwelling on 
the Madek River in Johor, of whom D. F. A. Hervey 
has related a curious superstition that prevailed among 
them, which, so long as the children were unable to 
walk, prevented their parents from using as food 
certain fish and animals, but as soon as the little ones 
had acquired the use of their legs, this restriction was 
removed, and the parents were once more able to 
indulge in what had so long been forbidden ("pan- 
tang "). Should this superstition fail to be complied 
with, and should any parent eat of any of the forbidden 
creatures during this period of restriction, the children 
were supposed to be liable to an illness called "busong," 
which arises, according to the Malays, from ** swollen 
stomach " ('* prut kSmbong ").^ The following was the 
list of fish and animals which were forbidden under the 
above circumstances : — 

Fish.— The ** n5m,'' the **b6gahak,*' the **sgng- 
arat," the ** tOman," and the " sgbarau/' 

Animals. — Deer of all kinds, both the sambhur 
(''rusa") and roe-deer (** kijang ") ; chevrotins, e.g. 
the mouse -deer (**p'landok"), and the ** napoh '' ; 
the wild pig (the ** jokot " and the ** babi ") ; fowls and 
eggs ; the lace lizard ("biawak"), the large water-lizard 
(*• ggriang *') ; the land-tortoise (** kura-kura"), and a 
variety of the preceding called "baning," which is larger 

' /. I. A. voL ii. p. 264. dropsical inflammation of the stomach 

' Hervey describes this as a species (ascites), the symptoms being accurately 
of diarrhcHL It is, however, rather a described by the Malay phrase. 


and has a flatter shell ; the " biuku," resembling the 
" p6nyu tuntong '' (sic, ? the freshwater turtle), a small 
tortoise called " jahuk/' etc.^ 

The rest of this account of Jakun birth-customs is 
taken mainly from the German publications embody- 
ing the work of Vaughan-Stevens. 


Enceinte Jakun women, unlike the Sakai, withdraw when strangers (even if 
members of their own race) are present, and hence, though not perhaps in- 
tentionally, they attract much more attention than the Sakai women, who do not 
trouble themselves about their condition.^ 

A Jakun husband, if he can avoid it, never goes out of the sight of his wife, 
when she is in this condition. This circumstance often causes difficulties when 
men are wanted either as bearers or guides. Through the presence of the man the 
well-being of the child in the mother's body is believed to be somehow furthered. 

A Jakun woman during pregnancy occasionally carries with her a shell-shaped 
piece of wood to protect her unborn child. ^ 

Another Jakun custom was that a bundle of ijok (" ejoo") fibres were hung 
up in a public place, in order to warn passers-by that there was a woman in 
travail in close proximity. These ijok fibres consist of the black fibrous covering 
of the base of the leaf-stalk of the sugar-palm {Arenga), Bundles of these fibres, 
as big as a child's head, were always kept by the women in readiness for such a 
purpose. Any man who saw this sign would at once turn back again. ^ 

The treatment of the umbilical cord consisted in measuring it off from the 
child's navel to its knee, and there tying it fast with a string (preparatory to 
severing it).^ 

^ y. R, A, S.y S. B., No. 8, p. Bartels does not seem to have quite 

1 20. caught the point of Vaughan -Stevens's 

2 Z,/.£. xxviii. 185-198. remarks here. The meaning of the 

3 Vaughan • Stevens adds that the passage (as personal investigations have 
Jakun women during pregnancy are in shown) is that the exact point at which 
no way restricted as to diet. This the cord ought to be severed is deter- 
statement, however, is certainly in- mined by measuring off it a length 
correct, the fact that their diet is re- equal to the child's thigh-bone (hip to 
stricted having been observed by D. F. knee) — this standard of measurement 
A. Hervey and others. giving the point required. I may add 

Vaughan - Stevens seems to have that it is not at all clear from the con- 
considered this ** shell -shaped" piece of text of what tribe Vaughan-Stevens is 
wood as something imusual, but there here speaking. The remark has been 
can be little or no doubt that what he introduced with other matter concerning 
saw was the ordinary "waist ornament" the O. Laut, but evidently in error, 
(shaped like a fan-shell or a heart as as it contradicts the statement about the 
the case may be, made either of wood, O. Laut on page 191 (line 18). It 
coconut-shell, or silver, according to must, however, as it is identical with 
the parents' means) that is worn by the Malay custom, either refer to some 
female children up to the age of five Malayizing or Malayan tribe, probably 
or six, and which may easily have to the Jakun. I think, indeed, there 
been carried by the mother as a can be very little doubt that it refers to 
charm in anticipation. these latter, as it thus gives effect to 
^ Z,f,E. xxviii. 188. the otherwise pointless remark on 
^ Ihid, p. i8q page 191 of the same passage. 


If the child be a boy, the umbilical cord is then tied to one of his father's 
« throwing stones," preferably to one with which his father has already killed 
an enemy. It is then dipped in sea-water and washed, and hung up to dry in 
the smoke. When dry it is carefully guarded, together with the stone, until the 
boy is grown up. At hb marriage the stone is made over to him to be carefully 
kept, since such a stone never misses its mark. ' 

Sex Omens.^ 

In order to ascertain the probable sex of an expected child the Jakun women 
wait until they dream of a certain number, a circumstance which invariably 
occurs, since they retire to rest filled with expectation of it. 

For the (successive) number of nights thus dreamed of (commencing with the 
next night that follows that of the dream onwards), the woman sits up the whole 
mght (in company with as many female friends of riper years as she likes) until 
(between sunset and sunrise) she hears the cry or note of some particular bird or 
beast. The first cry plainly heard by the entire company decides whether the 
expected infant is to be a boy or a girl. If the cry is heard on the right side of 
the company, it will be a boy, if on the left, a girl. If, on the other hand, the cry 
clearly comes from the front and not from the sides, great tribulation prevails, 
since the child will not live to grow up. Since, however, the wish is father to 
the thought, this is seldom, if ever, reported as occurring. But worst of all is 
the cry heard from behind, which indicates that the child will either be still-bom 
or will die shortly after birth. In such a case an exclamation of pain from all 
present warns the husband to rise and drive away the unwelcome originator of 
the cry. When this has been done and the cry is heard again either on the right 
hand or the left, the danger is averted. ^ 

Since, however, according to the older rules, the houses of the women always 
had the sea behind them, the younger people would declare positively that it was 
the sea that had made the noise in question, and that the women had made 
a mistake. Or else the husband entered his boat and rowed in the direction of 
the cry, and since it could only have been that of a bird, he hunted it back for 
some distance towards the side, so that it might be heard from the side again, 
and the expectant mother might be calmed. The husband had the power of 
averting the evil, so long as he only drove it sidewards away from the front, 
should it happen that his wife would not accept the well-meant fictions of her 
female friends, to the effect that the cry came from the required direction.* 

If, as may be taken for certain, the Jakun once really believed in these 
omens, they have certainly outgrown them in most cases at the present day. 
It is quite possible that they may still trouble some of the women, but from the 
fact that these well-meant Hctions on the part of the woman's friends are admitted 
to be such, it may be inferred that the retention of the ceremony at present has little 
more than the strength of ancient custom. Moreover, its retention may perhaps 
be further favoured by the fact that on the following day there is given a small 
feast to which all the neighbours are invited. This feast is called the ** Little 
Forage," whilst the richer and more complete banquet which follows the birth of 
the child is called the ** Big Forage." The marriage feast again is called, inter 
aliay the ** Double Forage," and the funeral repast the " Last Forage."* 

Before leaving this subject it is interesting to record the Jakun belief that 
phosphorescent jelly-fishes in the sea were the wandering souls of men awaiting 
the impending birth of a child in order to try and enter its body.* 

The practice of abortion was well understood by the Jakun women. It was 
procured in order to avoid the labour which the bringing-up of the child would 
entaiL It was, however, very seldom practised, for if it was discovered by the 

» Z./. E, xxviii. 195. « Ibid. p. 185-187. ' Ibid. p. 185. 

< Ibid. ^ Ibid. 6 Ibid. p. 187. 


husband, he had the right of giving his wife a sound drubbing with a club, and if 
in such a case he accidentally killed her, he was not brought to justice for doing 
so. In the case of a premature delivery, a sort of council of tagt-femwus or 
elderly women might be called to try whether the woman had procured abortion. 
If she were found guilty, she was delivered over to her husband for punishment. 
He was not, however, compelled to punish her, and if he forbore, she escaped 
without a penalty.' 

When an unmarried Jakun girl had recourse to procuring abortion, she 
entirely lost all position and status in the clan. She was despised by the other 
women, and scorned as a bride by the men ; and finally she exposed herself to 
the disgrace of being chastised by her parents.^ 

No cranial deformation is practised by the Jakun. *' The heads of the 
children are left in their natural shape and are not compressed in any way." ' 

The average number of children bom to a Jakun is three. ^ 

Treatment of Children.* 

The Jakun never leave their little children alone, as the other tribes do. 
Wherever the parents go, the mother carries the child, the £sither helping her 
when there are several children, and she has no female relation or friend at hand 
to a»ist. 

The Jakun women carry their children slung at their backs in a sling made 
either of cotton stuff or bark-cloth. The sling is passed round the lower part of 
the child's body and back and over the mother's breast, an additional strip being 
frequently passed round the mother's forehead. 

The child's legs are turned upwards towards the front, in line with the 
mother's hips. 

If the child wants to suck, it is pulled round to the breast, and not fed (as 
among the Sakai) by throwing the breast over the shoulder — except perhaps in a 
very few cases when the breasts of a Jakun mother who has given birth to a 
very numerous progeny have become abnormally developed. A Jakun child 
may also be seen sucking with its head pushed forward under the mother's arm. 

The Jakun women declare that in former times they never carried their 
children on their hips as the Sakai and Malay women do. Now, however, they 
have adopted the practice, which they have borrowed, as in so many other cases, 
from the tribes in their vicinity.' 

The Jakun seen by Vaughan-Stevens declared that they (like the O. Lant) 
had never seen twins. If twins were to be bom, they would be regarded as an 
advantage, since later on there would be two children to help with the work. 
The fiither, however, would feel an uncertainty, as to whether some other man 
had not helped him.^ 

Vaughan-Stevens describes another almost obsolete custom of the Jakun 
women, which is still, however (he says), occasionally practised. This is that 
whenever a Jakun woman loses her first-born, if the latter happens to be a boy, 
she pulls off the wrapper of cloth which she wears by way of undergarment and 
puts on a loin-cloth of tree-bark in its place. Over this bark girdle cotton-doth 
might be worn, but the bark-cloth must be worn immediately next the skin, and 
that until a full month had elapsed since the child's death, after which it might 
be discontinued.^ 

' Z./. E, xxviii. 1 86. mentioned, however. 

* Ibid, * Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 102. 

' IHcL xxix. 180. From the con- * Z.f,E, xxviii. 199-201. 

text this passage appears to apply to ' Ibid. p. 200. 

the Jakun. The name of the race ^ Ibid, 

referred to «n thi* ^"npA'^-ior is not ** Ibid, p. 199. 


Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

0. Laut, Sletar. — The solitary statement that we 
possess as to the birth customs of the Orang Laut, 
S'letar is to the effect that their children were only 
welcomed to the world by the mother's joy.^ 

0. Laut, Sablmba. — Logan informs us that among 
the Sabimba the husband alone assisted at births. 
To aid parturition a decoction of " salusoh " leaves 
was administered, and blowing out of the mouth 
(** s^mboran '') was also practised as among the Malays. 
A fire was kindled near the mother to scare away 
evil spirits. A decoction of the leaves of the 
" m^ngkuas " was also given to the mother. The 
umbilical cord was cut with a knife or sliver of rattan 
(" s2mbilu rotan "), and powdered turmeric applied. On 
the third day the mother was bathed in water mixed 
with a decoction of "kamaso" leaves, followed by an 
application of the juice of limes. She then resumed 
her wanderings in the jungle in search of food, her 
child being bound closely under her arm with its mouth 
to the breast. It did not receive a name till it was a 
few months old. The children of the Sabimba were 
never beaten.*- 

0. Laut, Muka Kunlng. — Of the Muka Kunings we 
are told that a midwife (**bidan*') assisted at births, and 
received four thousand rattans on the first occasion of 
the kind in the family, three thousand on the second, 
two thousand on the third, and a thousand for any 
subsequent birth. The only medicine employed was 
a decoction of the bark of ** kayu pangar," which was 
administered to the mother, and a decoction of the 
root which was given to the child.' 

» /. /. A. vol i. p. 344* « Ihid, p. 298. ^ find, p. 338* 


0. Laut, Beduanda Kallangr* — At child-birth among 
the Beduanda Kallang the mother drank a decoction 
of the leaves of mangrove trees (** bakau ") that had 
fallen from the trees and floated on the water, and 
the child was given a little of the expressed juice of 
the fruit of the ** k'luna." ^ 

Orangr Laut (no locality specified). — The rest of this 
account of the birth-customs of the Orang Laut in 
general is taken from Vaughan-Stevens, who gives no 
means of identifying the tribe. 

Each family group of the Orang Laut contains one or more old women who 
follow the profession of sage-femme. Their status varies, and they are paid by 
means of a present.^ 

When delivery took place on board a boat, the space available was naturally 
very restricted. Hence the patient was either supported in an upright position 
or laid face downwards upon one of the boat's transoms which had been tem- 
porarily broadened by the addition of cross-pieces. Behind the patient squatted 
a woman, who held her fast at the back, whilst a second, whose duty it was to 
receive the child, and also to wash it as soon as it was bom, sat in the bottom 
of the boat.' 

The Orang Laut cut off the umbilical cord shorter than the Jakun. Their 
standard of measurement is three ** breadths " of the bamboo knife used for the 
operation, the blade of the latter being required to be of the same breadth as the 
sage-femme' 5 middle finger.** 

Among the Orang Laut the mother half an hour after her confinement washes 
herself in the sea, and after a few days returns to her duties. In a case which 
they regard as being so natural, the Orang Laut apply no special treatment ; 
for about a month, however, the mother has the region of the abdomen bound 
round with a cloth skirt (** sarong") in place of the loin-cloth which up to that 
time she had been wearing. *» 

A considerable amount of noise is made by the O. Laut as soon as a child is 
bom to them. All present unite in shouting and in beating anything which will 
make a noise, the greater din that it makes the better. The hubbub lasts for about 
ten minutes at the shortest to half an hour at the longest, and is especially intended 
to scare away any evil spirits which might otherwise attack either mother or child. 
As soon, however, as the cord is cut, the demons are thought to have lost their 
opportunity. In the intervals of the din the old woman who has assisted at the 
delivery blows upon the child, but this, however, is no charm, or at least is not so 
regarded by the O. Laut.* 

According to the Orang Laut, the flying lizards of the Peninsula look out for 
births, and cause young newly-arrived souls to enter into the bodies of new-born 
children, by which means they at once obtain possession of their future 
embodiments. They regard these flying lizards as subordinate to the great blind 
Flying Lizard of their legends, which keeps watch over the [Life-] stone, for 

> /. /. A. vol. i. p. 300. * Ibid, p. 198. 

* Z, f, E, xxviii. 164, 165. ^ Ibid, p. 192. Sic, The practice of 

' Ibid. p. 189. blowing upon the child is, of course, 

^ ijkid. P* 191* St wide-spread magic ceremony. 


which express puqx)se the Creator made it. They have the power of flying from 
earth to the unknown Void in order to make arrangements with this Lizard-chief 
of theirs. No Orang Laut will kill these small reptiles, since its companions (he 
believes) would be sure to avenge its death, by refraining from pointing out the 
next bom child of the offender to the soul which had been appointed for it.* 

Moreover, these small fljring lizards have the power of turning themselves 
into crocodiles at will. The crocodile and the shark are regarded as brothers, 
and whenever a fljring lizard learns from its Chief that any person's stone (re- 
presenting his soul) is soiled and buried, the former is commissioned to convey 
the order for the death-penalty to the person concerned, and to execute it. This 
mission it accomplishes either in its own shape or in that of a snake (whose form 
it can assume at vrill when on land), in that of a crocodile (when it is in the water), 
or through any other agent whatsoever. Hence whenever an Orang Laut dies 
from the bite of a snake, or is seized by a crocodile or shark (the most probable 
forms of death according to their manner of living), or sucked down and drowned 
through some invisible agency, the Orang Laut all agree that it was the doing of 
the small flying lizard acting under the orders of the big blind lizard (that 
watches the life-stone).^ 

The Orang Laut women when suckling their children do not throw the breast 
over the shoulder, though they often pass it sideways under the mother's arm. 
Like the Jakun mothers, they do not wean their children until their breasts 
are dry. There is seldom too little milk at first. In such an event the child 
would be fed by one of the mother's friends or relations, though this would not 
be held to constitute a closer relationship between the foster-child and the 
children of its foster-mother. The women do not retire out of sight when the 
child is being suckled.' 

The birth of a child is signified by means of a split stick, in the cleft of which 
a leaf is jammed. If the child is a girl, the stick retains its bark, if a boy the 
stick is peeled.^ 

No steps were taken to procure abortion. Such an abomination would have 
been considered impossible.^ 

The Orang Laut deny that child-murder has ever been practised among or even 
been charged to them. They are amply supplied with food, and the children are 
early taught to forage for themselves, so that they were not subjected to any 
such temptation. As among the Jakuns, twins are almost unknown.* 

» Z.f. E. xxviii. 187. * Ibid, p. 198. 

« Ibid, p. 188. 5 7j,v/. p. 186. 

' Ibid. p. 201. ^ Ibid. p. 200. 


Maturity Customs and Beliefs. 

If we differentiate as we ought the practice of 
tattooing (i.e. of decorating the person with punctured 
designs filled with pigment) from the various forms of 
scarification and raised cicatrices or keloids, we shall 
feel a considerable measure of doubt as to the extent 
to which any form of tattooing, properly so called, 
exists among the tribes of the Malay Peninsula. It is 
true that several writers of some authority employ 
(loosely, as I think) the word "tattooing" in speaking 
of the face-decoration of some of the Semang and 
Sakai tribes of Perak ; and it is true that one of these 
writers (Miklucho-Maclay) even describes the opera- 
tion as being performed with a needle,^ but in none of 
these instances, not even in the latter, is the modus 
operandi described, and in default of evidence of this 
kind, we can only say that there is no adequate state- 
ment of tattooing as known to these tribes.* Of the 
practice of skin-scarification, on the other hand, as 
well as of face-painting, there is abundant evidence, 
and, unless the contrary fact can be proved, it is safest 
to suppose that most of the writers mentioned above 

» /. R, A, S.^ S, B,, No. 2, p. 214. effect that "among the Perak Sakai 
^ Since penning the above, Mr. tattooing is met with," though all 
L<^nard Wrav hp*' v-itf^r me *'> the details as to its form are still wanting. 


have carelessly used the word " tattooing " as the 
equivalent of skin-scarification, a confusion which it 
would be easy to parallel from the writings of travellers 
in other savage countries. If this explanation, which 
to me appears to be the one that will best fit all the 
facts, be accepted, the next question to be considered 
is whether such " tattooing " as exists should properly 
be classified as a custom of Negrito or Sakai origin. 
That it is not a custom of Jakun origin may be 
taken as certain, since none of the purer Jakun 
tribes, so far as our information goes, ever practise it. 
It therefore almost certainly originated either among 
the Semang or among the Sakai, and the balance of 
evidence seems to show that it is not indigenous 
among the Semang. Of all the Negritos that I saw 
in Kedah and Kelantan, only one (a woman who 
displayed some traces of Sakai admixture) showed any 
evidence of it. And if we go further afield, to the 
nearest spot whence collateral testimony as to the 
customs of the Negritos may be obtained, i,e. to 
the Andaman Islands, we find that none of the tribes 
there practised this method of decorating the skin of 
the face, and that the ** Jarawa" tribe apparently did 
not tattoo any part of the body/ On the other hand, 
the cultural focus of this practice appears to be in 
the valley of the Plus in Ulu Perak, a district mainly 
under the influence of the Sakai. 

To return to the former question, that of real 
tattooing, I may quote in support of a similar con- 
clusion the opinion expressed by Mr. L. Wray, who 
has recently written me that with regard to the place 
of its origin, he believes it (as I do) to be a Sakai, 

» Cp. Man's Andamamu^ p. 113, note to p. Ill, "the Jarawa do not 
" the £ace is never Uttooed " ; and also tattoo." 


and not a Semang custom — firstly, because he has 
never seen it on a Semang, and secondly, because 
tattooing would not show on the nearly black skin 
of the Negrito.^ 

Of the prevalence of some form of tattooing or 
scarification in Pahang I have not yet been able to 
get corroborative evidence, but one or other of these 
practices was certainly found among the Sakai tribes 
of Ulu Langat in Selangor, who were not long since 
described as a ** tattooed " race.^ 

On the whole, therefore, it seems best to conclude 
that both these customs, whether tattooing or scarify- 
ing are of Sakai origin, and that even where we find 
them established among the Semang, they are really 

It may, I think, be very reasonably suggested that 
most forms of body-paint employed by these tribes 
may have originated in the application of (i) magical 
designs to the body; and that out of the most commonly 
used forms developed, on the one hand, (2) the so- 
called ** tribal marks " (where indeed these can be pro- 
perly established), and (3), on the other, merely deco- 
rative designs.* The bulk of our information on the 
subject comes from Vaughan - Stevens, but it is 
admittedly an eclectic account, and it would certainly 
be the height of rashness to attempt to build upon this 
flimsy foundation until the necessary material comes 
to hand for checking it. Quite apart from any ques- 
tion of his methods, Vaughan-Stevens himself declares 

> This second reason is not by itself, above, but class (3) is not wide 

of course, conclusive. enough, some of the designs employed 

* J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. being undoubtedly love -charms in- 

s Vaughan-Stevens classifies these tended to make the person of the 

designs as follows : — (a) Tribal marks, wearer attractive; it is also probable that 

(^) charms against spirits, {c) mere magical designs (V.-St's class (^) ) pre- 

decoration. This classification is very ceded tribal marks (his class {a) ), which 

much on the same lines as that given were probably developed out of them. 


(p. 150) that it is now a very rare thing to meet 
with the old and correct designs. Here and there in 
remote tribes the women are still in the habit of 
painting their faces, but the patterns are very often 
employed solely for ornament, and are either a mere 
improvisation of the individual, or incorrect or 
abridged imitations of the old original design, while 
frequently the private totem {sic) of the family has 
replaced the original pattern of the tribe.^ 

This custom (of body-paint) is of much wider 
distribution than that of scarification. This may per- 
haps be due to the fact that the marks of the latter 
are indelible, whereas the painted designs can be re- 
moved at a moment's notice should there be any 
apprehension (always a lively one in the hearts of 
these timid aboriginal races) of ridicule on the part of 
strangers who do not practise it.^ 

Accordingly we find that there are very few, if any, 
wild people of the Peninsula who do not, on special 
occasions at least, indulge in the practice, many of 
them being tribes which no doubt formerly practised 
scarification or tattooing. 

It is to be seen among Semang, Sakai, and Jakun, 
but more especially among the Sakai. The colours 
used are black, white, red, and occasionally yellow, 
which last two appear to be of equivalent value from 
a magical point of view. 

By the same method of weighing the evidence, I 
should be led to classify the custom of perforating 
the nose-cartilage (with the wearing of the nose-bar 
or nose-quill) as a Sakai practice, for in this case too 
the Andamanese evidence is of a negative character,* 

' Cp. Z./,E, xxvi. p. 150. ' "In this [non-pcrforation of the 

s Ibid, nose-cartilage] the Andamanese differ 


whereas this identical custom is certainly found almost 
everywhere among the purer Sakai tribes, even in the 
east coast states {e,g. Pahang, where a nose-ring is 
sometimes substituted for the quill), and as far south 
as Ulu Langat in Selangor, where the Orang Bukit 
were described by Campbell, in the passage referred 
to above, as a race that ** put skewers through their 
noses," ^ and probably yet further south as far as N^^ 
Sembilan. On the other hand, the practices of filing 
and blackening the teeth are widely -spread customs 
which are found (generally speaking) throughout the 
whole of the Malayan region, and the custom of ear- 
boring is practically universal. 

Shaving the head, with the exception of a top- 
knot, which is often temporarily removed at puberty, 
may be seen among the Semang, but so rarely that 
it may be regarded as borrowed from the Malays, 
amongst whom it is common enough. With regard 
to the Sakai and the Jakun there is very little 
evidence, though, if we may judge from phot(^raphs, 
the latter certainly practise it to some extent. The 
apparent system of totemism reported by Vaughan- 
Stevens, which is given below (p. 62), rests on most 
unsatisfactory evidence, which can only have come, I 
think, from the use of ** leading questions."* 

I. — Semang. 


Kedah Semang. — The boring of the nose-cartilage 
is, as already explained, most probably a Sakai custom 

greatly from their neighbours the Nico- enable them by the time they are full- 

barese, who not only flatten the occi- grown to insert a wooden cylindrical 

puts of their children in infancy, but instrument three-quarters of an inch 

from the period of puberty, blacken thick." — MsLn*s Afufamanese, p. 115. 
their teeth, and perforate the lobes of ^ J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. 

their ears to such an extent as to ^ Cp. pp. 258-260, if^a. 


which has been borrowed by the few Semang who are 
now found practising it.^ It was not practised at all by 
the Semang of Kedah, nor did we see any examples of 
it among the Pangan of Kelantan. I was told, how- 
ever, that some of the Belimbing tribes (Pangan) were 
in the habit of passing pieces of stick or stems of 
grasses through a perforation in the cartilage. None 
of the Negritos, however, that I saw, either on the 
east or west coast, showed the slightest trace of it. 

Perak Semang. — It is also said to occur among the 
Semang of Perak. 


Kedah Semang. — This is a custom of both sexes. 
It is said to be performed in the case of girl-children as 
soon after birth as possible, the lobe being bored with a 
porcupine's quill, or some such article, and the hole en- 
larged by inserting a rolled-up strip of cloth or banana- 
leaf on ordinary, and of licuala (*' palas ") leaf on festive 
occasions." Boys also occasionally have a hole bored in 
one lobe only, in which they carry the native cigarette, 
as is the practice, I believe, in Burma and elsewhere. 
I did not see any of the Kedah Semang actually wear- 
ing an ear-quill, though it has been recorded in Perak. 


Kedah Semang. — In Kedah the teeth were fre- 
quently filed, the six front teeth of the upper jaw being 
thus treated, as among the neighbouring Malay tribes. 
This filing is performed by means of a smooth piece 
of sandstone from the nearest brook, and is said to be 

* Vide p. 1 50, ante. this custom, the roll of * * palas " is called 

* In the Belimbing district of Ulu **gerinching.'* The Pangan of Jelei(Pa- 
Kclantan, where the Pangan practise hang) wear incised bamboo ear- plugs. 



performed at the age of puberty irrespective of sex, 
probably not long before marriage, as is the practice of 
the Inland Malays, from whom they learnt it. 

The six front teeth of the upper jaw of a Semang 
skull brought home by the writer were filed, the filing 
being of the ** concave " kind (in which the front part of 
the teeth is filed away, so that the teeth thus treated 
become concave instead of convex). 

In the Ulu Kelantan district the various Pangan 
tribes are also alleged to practise tooth-filing,^ and some 
of them are even said to blacken the teeth. I think, 
however, that with very little doubt, both this Pangan 
practice of tooth-filing and that of blackening the teeth 
(especially the latter) must have been of Malay origin. 
This last practice, at all events, is exceedingly rare 
among the wild tribes, though it is common enough 
with the Malays. Most of the Semang that we 
measured had had their teeth filed as described, but 
not one had them blackened. 

Other Forms of Initiation. 

All the Semang without exception deny that they 
ever circumcise or incise, except of course when they 
become converts to Mohammedanism. 

Scarification or ** Tattooing'' 

Kedah Semang, — The actual practice of tattooing 
properly so called {i.e. skin-puncturation) is, so far as 
I was able to ascertain, unknown to the Negritos 
of Kedah, and even with regard to scarification the 
evidence is of the scantiest character, and it would 

* V.-St mentions that he saw filed Pangan or Eastern Semang" — Z./ E. 
teeth among some " very black people, xxix. p. 1 80. The filing is performed in 
who lived on the boundary of the Kelantan, as in Kedah, with sandstone. 



perhaps be nearest the truth to surmise that such 
af the Perak Semang as practise it, have adopted it 
from neighbouring tribes of Sakai. At Belimbing 
in Ulu Kelantan, however, I was told that among the 
Pangan of those parts certain " marks " (scarifications) 
wrere worn on the face, the design being scratched in 
3n the skin by means of a thorn (" duri "). The 
marks on the forehead were more or less vertical, and 
those on the cheek horizontal ; but sometimes the 
design is only temporarily marked out with charcoal. 
I did not, however, see any Semang who were so 
marked, though I saw a large number who were not. 

At Siong (in Kedah) the wife of the tribal chief 
(who, however, came from the Plus district in Perak and 
had Sakai blood in her) had four distinct scarifications 
upon the left cheek, with similar faint marks on the 
right cheek also. These marks, which were not quite 
borizontal but slightly divergent, started from the nose 
and were carried across the cheek, each of them form- 
ing a dark-red (almost black) stripe across the skin, 
looking like the cut of a whip-lash. She told me 
that these marks on her face were made when she was 
quite young and living in the valley of Ulu Plus. The 
finely serrated edge of a sugar-cane leaf was drawn 
lightly across the skin excoriating it, after which soot 
or powdered charcoal was rubbed into the incision. 
She assured me at the time that it was a tribal mark, 
the object of which was that any member of the tribe 
who bore it might be known to their friends whenever 
they met in a distant part of the country. 

Although, however, marks of this kind may often 
merely be (as is indeed indicated by my informant's 
reply), of the nature of local ** fashions,*' such as serve 
to distinguish the people of one district from the 


people of another, not only in Asia, but in most parts 
of the world, not even excepting the continent of 
Europe, this need not preclude their use as magic. 

Perak Semang. — The foregoing information, which 
was given me by the Kedah tribes, tallies closely with 
De Morgan's account of what he calls " tattooing," 
which from the importance of the subject is worth 
quoting verbatim : " The Semang and Sakai tattoo 
themselves differently " ^ (for a fuller account see 
twelve illustrations in L' Homme, ii. 555). ** Some 
draw (parallel or divergent) black lines upon their 
faces, starting from the nose and continuing across the 
cheeks or the forehead. These designs are frequently 
unsymmetrical : frequently too they are only found on 
one side of the face. These adornments are as frequent 
among men as among women, and are indelible. They 
are produced by lightly raising the skin and intro- 
ducing beneath it colouring matter such as soot or 
powdered charcoal.*'^ 


Kedah Semang. — The custom of painting the body 
is indulged in rather for purposes of magic than for 
those of mere adornment, as it so often is among the 
Sakai. The facts are as follows. Among the Semang 
of the east coast in Ulu Kelantan I was told that the 
Pangan of Belimbing had the habit of tattooing or 
scarifying both their cheeks and their foreheads, but 
that occasionally, in lieu of this, they merely marked 
out the design with charcoal. 

^ Elsewhere this same writer (viii. ire "), and do not necessarily imply any 

296) states that the Semang women identity of design, 
tattoo and paint themselves "in the ^ De M. vii. 412; Z'/f^ww^, ii. 581; 

same manner" as the Sakai. The words, ajid/. /^, A. S., S. B., No. 2, p. 214 

however, are very vague (**elles se (of the Pangan, whom M.-Maclay mis- 

tatoaent et peig^ent de la tnhne mani- calls Sakai). 



Further, in Kedah one of the women of the tribe 
n explaining to me that the decorative designs of the 
>amboo combs worn by Semang women were intended 
"or repelling various evil influences, volunteered the 
nformation that similar patterns were sometimes 
tainted on the women's bodies, for a similar (i.e. 
fuigicatj object, these latter being not therefore solely 
Jie outcome of local whims or fashions. 

I saw, besides, among these Kedah Semang, a 
;pecies of yellow unguent (said by the wearer to be 
)ure coconut-oil) applied to the cheeks, the tip of 
he nose, etc., by the men, who informed me at the time 
hat they only wore it by way of decoration. At the 
ame time, in describing the love-charm called 
* chindwai," they explained that the application of oil 
o the face and breast was for purposes of magic, and 
his I believe to have been the original motive of all 
Kxly-paint practised by the Semang. 

In substitution for the yellow colour when coco- 
lut-oil is unprocurable, the Semang obtain a similar 
)igment from the wild ** saffron " or turmeric. Among 
he Pangan of Ulu Kelantan this latter is converted 
by mixing with lime) into a sort of burnt-red ochre. 

Hence we see that at least three colours, black, 
ellow, and red, are certainly used by the Negritos, 
nd to these white (obtained by slaking a little shell- 
ime) should be added. 

On the other hand, it is not clear, from our 
xisting information, whether any kind of red ochre 
5 obtained among the Semang (as among the 
>akai), by the grinding down of lumps of iron ore 
•r hematite. 

Perak Semang. — In the account of Semang traditions 
here is perhaps an allusion to the supposed origin of 


body -paint in the story of the charred stick which 
Kamoj, the ruler of the damned, is said to have 
adopted as his emblem, in place of the burning brand 
which he received from Kari.^ 

So too Vaughan- Stevens records that the Semai^ 
were in the habit of marking their bodies with charooal 
for medicinal, {i.e. magical) purposes, wherever any 
pain might be felt.* 

With reference to the Negritos of Perak, Dc 
Morgan mentions the fact (referred to above), that they 
both ** paint and tattoo themselves in the same manner** 
as the Sakai, but his phrase is extremely vague, and 
he gives no further details. Vaughan -Stevens, on 
the other hand, declares that " to the Negritos, both 
painting and tattooing are unknown."* 

II. — Sakai. 

Perak Sakai. — Colonel Low has informed us that the 
perforation of the cartilage of the nose (through which 
porcupine's quills are worn) is the distinguishing 
characteristic of the Orang Alas (i.e. the Sakai) of Ulu 
Kinta* in Perak.^ 

From other sources we learn that the Sakai of 
Perak are in the habit of perforating the septum of 
the nose, through which they insert the quill of a 
porcupine or a bar of some other material (wood or 
bone) which is not unfrequently decorated with in- 
cised rings. 

It appears further that they occasionally wear in 
the same way a rolled-up piece of banana-leaf. This 

* V^iighan-Stevens, iii. 131. ♦In original ** Ulu Kantu." 

^ Ihid^ * /. /. A, vol. iv. p. 429 ; q). 

3 Ibid. J. R, A. 5.. 5. B., No. 4, p. 3a 


Sakai of South Pkkak. showinc; Kace-Paint and Nose-Quill, 

; 'ol. II. p. 39. 



latter, however, is not worn for ornamental purposes, 
but is intended, as in the case of the ear-hole, to 
enlarge the perforation of the cartilage.^ 


Parak SakaL — The women sometimes wear a porcu- 
pine's quill passed through the perforation in the lobe 
of the ear. Wooden arid other ear-studs or plugs and 
ear-rings are, however, not uncommonly substituted.* 

The foregoing account is corroborated by Colonel 
Low, in the passage quoted above, and Hale, who 
states that they also "wear the same things" {i.e. 
pwcupine's quills, etc.) in their ears, and there appears 
to be a tendency to enlarge the perforations. Mr. 
Hale observed two women wearing rolls of cloth as 
large as his little finger, and he found great difficulty in 
abstracting one of these rolls, which fitted very tightly.* 

So, too, in a recent letter to me, Mr. L. Wray 
observes that ear-studs or plugs made of decorated 
bamboo, and with a diameter of i^ in. (31 mm.), are 
worn by the Sakai of Perak, who occasionally insert in 
them both leaves and flowers. 


Perak SakaL — There is some doubt as to whether 
the practice of filing the teeth obtains among the 
Perak Sakai. De Morgan says that the teeth (of 
the Perak Sakai) were magnificent and were never 
filed, and that he frequently inquired of Sakai chiefs 
whether this practice existed, but that they as often 
denied it.* 

* Vide vol. i. p. 156. ' Hale, p. 293; cp. Rev, (TEthn. 

' De Morgan, vii. 414 ; V Homme ^ i. 44. 

u. 586; and for the kind of earrings, * De Morgan, vii. 412; VHommey 

etc., which are worn, vtde\o\. i. p. 156. ii. 582. 


In spite of this evidence it would, of course, be 
strange if the Sakai had in no case picked up what is so 
common a custom of the Malays. But I have not so 
far found any mention of it by other authors. 

Mr. L. Wray, however, writes me that he has seen 
at least one Sakai woman whose teeth were filed after 
the manner of the Malays. She was living with a 
tribe of Sakai near Chenderiang, but as she had once 
been a slave in a Malay house, it might have been 
done by Malays. In the same district he saw a woman 
whose teeth had been blackened. 

Other Forms of Initiation. 

There is no record either of circumcision or any 
kindred rite among the unconverted Sakai. 

Scarification and Tattooing. 

Perak SakaL — There appears to be very little 
evidence of the practice of tattooing proper among the 
Sakai, beyond Mr. L. Wray's statement already quoted, 
but De Morgan's account almost certainly holds 
good at least of the methods adopted for scarification. 
The same author goes on to explain that the face- 
marks to which he refers are found among the wilder 
tribes only, their more civilised kinsmen (who are in 
closer touch with the Malays), having long dis- 
continued the practice. De Morgan himself observed 
it (in Perak) among the hill-Sakai of Changkat 
Kerbu, and also among those of Changkat Gochan,^ 
as well as in other places. Baron Miklucho-Maclay, 
on the other hand, remarks (though in reality he 
only saw Pangan), that while he saw no ** Sakai " or 

1 Pc M. viii. 225. 


Semang man tattooed, he found most of the '* Sakai " 
women so adorned, and always in the same style. 
Figure 2, Plate III. [of M.-Maclay's article] shows 
the arrangement of the simple design with which in 
childhood they embellish their cheeks and temples. 
The operation is performed with a needle, and the 
design is first marked out with resin.^ Maclay's 
account certainly describes a method which may refer 
to regular ** tattooing," though we must not be led too 
hastily to conclude (from the mere fact of a needle 
being employed) that puncturation, and not scarifica- 
tion, was the method actually practised. 

Vaughan - Stevens, again, though he must have 
had ample opportunities of studying the question, is 
far too uncertain as an observer for us to feel sure to 
which process he actually refers. All the information 
that he gives is contained in the meagre statement that 
in the case of the Sakai (Senoi), Besisi, and Kenaboi 
the chiefs had the same pattern as the ordinary man, 
and that the chiefs of the Tembeh had, when their 
clan - mark (.'^) was tattooed, a further special tattoo- 
pattern denoting their rank ** tattooed " upon the breast 
or the arm. They alone were tattooed, whilst to the 
Negritos {i,e. Semang and Pangan) both tattooing 
and body-paint were unknown.^ 

Of other authorities upon the Sakai of Perak, (i) 
Hale, though he could hardly have failed to see it, if 
it was there, unfortunately in his paper makes no 
reference whatever to the subject. 

(2) De la Croix relates that, of some fifteen 
Sakai women belonging to Kampong Chabang whom 
he met at Kampong Langkor (S. Kerbu), some of 

' M.-Maclay \n/./^.A.S., S.B., No. Batang Padang Sakai did not tattoo or 
2, p. 214. Ace to Fasc, Mai, 37, the scarify. * Z./ E, xxvi. 157. 


them had lines tattooed ^ upon their cheeks, which he 
thought might be tribal marks. Two of these lines 
were parallel, and were drawn from the top of the ear 
to the nostrils ; two more started from the bottom of 
the ear, and terminated at the corners of the mouth ; 
and besides these there was a small vertical tattoo 
design between the eyebrows.* Some Sakai men 
from another Sakai village close to Kampong Chabang, 
had the same tattoo-marks on the face that he had 
noticed among the women.^ 

(3) To these may be added the statement of De 
Morgan, viz., that at Changkat Riam (in the interior 
of Perak) he ** first saw people who were actually 
tattooed." The tattoo-patterns **of the men were 
less elegant than those of the women, who were 
sometimes entirely covered with indelible black lines 
and red paintings." * 

On the other hand, we have the first clear and 
decisive account from Colonel Low, who remarks that 
the Malays of Perak divided the Sakai into three 
classes— the ** Tame Sakai," the '* Hill Sakai" of Ulu 
Bertang, and the Alas (**Allas ") of Ulu Kinta.^ This 
last tribe differed from the other two in having adopted 
the custom of . . . tattooing the face and breast by 
means of a sharp piece of wood, and filling the 
punctures with the juice of a tree.® 

The next really reliable statement upon the 
subject comes from Mr. L. Wray, who in writing to 
me recently remarked as follows : — ** The Sakai of 
Perak practise tattooing, the lines being made by 

^ By "tattooed" may be meant « Colonel Low,/./. /^. vol. iv. p. 429. 

"scarified." Mr. Cerruti has also since written me 

2 De la Croix, p. 336. ^ lb. p. 338. that the skin is " pricked " with a 

* De Morgan, viii. 211. "b^rtam" thorn, and p>owdercd char- 

* In original **Kantu." coal rubbed in. 


// '^ 

%if^' \ 







e < 



I. Vouiig Sakai man of " Lolx)u Kcia" (S. Kinla). 2. Young Sakai man of Changkat Korba 
(S. Korbu). 3. Young Sakni man of Changkat Kiam (S. Korbu). 


4 5 « 

4. Young Sakai man of Changkat Chano (S. Korlui). 5. Young Sakai man of Changkat Gochang 
(S. Korbu). 6. Young man (S.lmafi) of Changkat Pongflra (S. Piah). 

7 8 9 

7. Young Sakai woman of Changkat Kiam. 8. Young Sakai woman of Changkat Chabang 

(S. Kaya). 9. Young " Semang " girl of " Changkat POngSr.^ " (S. PiahX 

10 II 12 De Jlfitrg'ttK. 

10. Young "Semang" woman of Changkat Pongora. it. Sakai woman of Changkat Korbu. 
12. " Semang " woman of " Changkat POngdrS." 

De Morgan's Drawings, showing Types of Face Decoration (Sakai and "Skma 
W. //. /. 43- 


pricking the skin with a thorn, and then rubbing in 
powdered charcoal. I was told by a Malay that a 
tribe at Sungei Raya in Kinta employed red lines as 
well as the bluish ones produced by the charcoal, but 
he did not know what pigment was used. The lines 
are mostly to be seen on the face, but sometimes 
rings are tattooed round the fingers. The marks are 
usually confined, however, to a few lines on the 
forehead. A favourite device is a diamond -shaped 
pattern in the centre, with one or two vertical lines 
on each side, though often there is only one line, 
running from the roots of the hair down to the tip of 
the nose. I enclose some sketches I made in Batang 
Padang. All were on the forehead where not other- 
wise shown. The marks do not appear to be tribal, 
since members of the same family have different 
designs. I have certainly never seen scarification on 
a Perak Sakai. Raised cicatrices on the bodies of 
some of them I have seen, but there was nothing to 
lead one to suppose they were not the result of 

In spite of this apparently strong consensus of 
evidence, I must still repeat the warning that 
(although there clearly is some form of real tattoo- 
ing, i.e. skin-puncturation, practised in the Peninsula), 
yet what many of the observers from whom I have 
quoted are wont to call tattooing, is certainly no 
more than scarification, or even perhaps nothing 
but mere face-paint after all. 


With regard to body-paint, the information to 
hand is more satisfactory. Its existence among the 


Sakai of Perak is noted by Hale, Swettenham, De 
Morgan, Vaughan-Stevens, and others;^ and among 
the Senoi of Pahang by Clifford and Martin. The 
pigments used agree pretty well, as to the colours 
used, with those employed by the Semang, but are 
made of varying materials. 

De Moi^an states that the Sakai of Changkat 
Gochan and S. " Krou" (in Perak) used to manu- 
facture their white pigment from lime obtained from 
the shells of the Melania, and that they usually ap- 
plied the product thus obtained in a circular stripe on 
the right cheek.^ When black, the pigment is ob- 
tained from charcoal, when red, from the fruit of the 
anatto or Bixa orellana, which is cultivated for the 

The anatto (Mai. **kasumba"), however, being 
of modern introduction, cannot have been the original 
object from which the red pigment was obtained, and 
there is accordingly some question as to what sub- 
stance may have preceded it. Vaughan - Stevens 
describes it, somewhat vaguely and from tradition 
only, as a species of red earth, but in his Cave-dwellers 
of Perak Wray refers to the apparent use of hematite 
in this way, and there can I think be very little doubt 
that this conjecture* is correct, and that a species of 
red ochre, obtained from some of the numerous forms 
of iron-ore so widely distributed in the Peninsula, 
originally formed the red pigment of the Sakai. 
Hematite does in fact to this day form a very popular 

* De Morgan, viii. 211; Swett. p. charcoal, a vegetable red, and white 

228 ; Hale, p. 243. china clay. These are mixed with oil, 

2 De Morgan, viii. 225. and the feces and sometimes the breasts 

' Cp. Wray's Cave-dwellers, p. 43, of women, and occasionally the men, 

for an almost identical statement : are painted with patterns with lines and 

"The three colours used by the modem dots. This is only done on occasions 

Sakai for painting their persons are when they wish to add to their charms.** 


? t 



Vol. II. /. 45. 


red body-paint with the Peninsular Malays, who give 
it the name of " Batu Kawi." ^ 

On the other hand, there is yet one other (un- 
recorded) means of manufacturing red pigment, by 
treating wild turmeric with lime — a process which 
has already been mentioned in dealing with the 

A general description of the designs is given by 
Dc Morgan, who observes that the Sakai of Changkat 
Riam» more especially the women, were sometimes 
entirely covered with indelible black " tattoo "-marks 
and red paint. This paint would dissolve in water, 
and was only applied on feast days. Some of the 
women had their bosoms covered with concentric red 
circles, whilst others painted their bosoms all over and 
applied simple designs, consisting of straight or broken 
lines, to their cheeks, arms, and thighs.^ 

The remainder of this account of body-paint is 
taken from Vaughan-Stevens : * — 

The Sakai, Besisi, Kenaboi, and Tembeh declare that they are descended 
from one and the same stock, but that their separate tribes had each inhabited an 
island before the joint migration to the Peninsula, under the *' Chief with the 
Iron Finger-nails " (*• Berchanggei Besi "), took place. From this joint migration 
must, however, be excepted the Tembeh, who had long l)efore migrated separately 
to the Peninsula. 

^ In corroboration of this view, This statement is correct, with the 

cp. Z. f. E. xxvi. 152: ** As re- exception of the statement — assuming 

g^tfds the materials with which the the identification made above to be 

painting was effected, the Sakai are correct — that the material for the 

unanimous in saying that the red pig- original red pigment was not obtain - 

ment now in use is of recent intro- able in the Peninsula. I myself have 

duction, and that they formerly used a more than once met Selangor Malays 

red earth, which was not, however, who imagined, from the name of this ore 

obtainable in the Peninsula. The (** Batu Kawi" or '*Kawi stone"), that 

anatto has long been in use, but is it was imported from the '*Langkawi" 

described as an inferior substitute for Islands, north of Penang, and some 

this earth- pigment, the colouring pro- similar belief may easily lie at the 

duced by the anatto being alleged to root of this reported statement of the 

fade in alx>ut the course of an hour. Sakai. 

The black (pigment) is prepared from '•* De Morgan, viii. 211; cp. 

charcoal, the while from lime, both L^ Homme ^ ii. 555 (for illustrations), 

being mixed with the sap of plants." ^ Z. /. E. xxvi. 150-157. 


The tradition of this tribe is very vague, yet it is agreed that they lived for a 
long time separated from the other branches of the tribe. It appears that during 
this interval they learnt ** tattooing " fix>m another race, and afterwards substi- 
tuted face-paint for "tattooing."' 

For each of the three tribes (Sen-oi, Besisi, and Kenaboi) there existed a par- 
ticular pattern, which was identical as regards the design and the mateiiils 
employed, but which varied in form. In each of the three tribes one and the 
same tribe-sign served for all the members of the tribe, from the chief downwards 
Only among the Sen-oi there was a special breast-pattern both for men and 
women. Moreover, among the Sen-oi, too, the magician, the midwife, and 
their patients were excepted from the rule. Thus the following rules became 
established : — 

( 1 ) The magician or medicine-man in each of the three tribes wore, during 
an exorcism, paint suitable for the occasion ; at other times he wore his ordinary 
paint, each of the three tribes having a special one for the purpose. 

(2) So, too, the midwives wore a special face-paint whilst in discharge of 
their office, but at other times the usual one of their tribe. 

On the other hand, the midwives of all three tribes wore, whilst in discharge 
of their office, one and the same pattern. 

(3) The young mother and her new-bom child each wore, according to die 
day and the condition of their health, a series of face-paint, which in the cue 
of all three races was the same.^ 

The three curves on the cheeks of the Besisi are only variants of the ancient 
tribal mark of the Besisi and Sen-oi, which consisted of three stripes. 

The magicians constructed variants from the old pattern of the Besisi wfatdi 
corresponds to the present Sen-oi pattern (No. 9), only the Sakai (Sen-oi) patten 
lacked the stripe which goes from the under lip to the chin. 

The Sen-oi magicians afterwards added this stripe to the old pattern (Nob 9). 
The Besisi then went further aHeld and chose the tiger pattern (No. 5), whilst 
the Kenaboi took the three curves worn by the laymen of the mother tribe 
(No. I ), and applied two of them in front and over the third, which remained in 
the old position that it had among the Sakai (No. 8). 

The patterns of the medicine-men (sorcerers) were only put on when they 
were in office ; on every other occasion they wore the painting of the lay members. 

In the case of the Sen-oi, Besisi, and Kenaboi the chiefis wore the same 
pattern as the ordinary man, but the chiefs of the Tembeh wore, since their clan- 
mark was '* tattooed," a special tattoo-design in addition, to denote their rank, 
punctured on the breast or the arm. They alone were " tattooed." 

The Sen-oi magicians wore no breast-pattern, neither did the midwife nor the 
new-made mother.' 

In addition to the above information, Vaughan- 
Stevens procured drawings of the following pat- 
terns : — 

( 1 ) Pattern of a Kenaboi man — three narrow black stripes on white ground — 
a variant of the three red stripes of the Sakai man-pattern {q.v,) 

(2) Pattern of a Besisi man and woman. 

(3) Pattern of a Kenaboi magician (as well as that of a Sen-oi). 

(4) Face-patterns of children of all three tribes, etc, etc.* 

1 Z. f. E. XX vi. 150. 3 Ibid, p. 157. 

2 Ibid, p. 151. * Ibid ; cp. also VHomrne^ ii. 555. 


Elsewhere ^ we read that : — 

The red colour is always laid on with the finger, and the breadth of the stripe 
therefore always less in the case of a woman than in that of a man. 

The black and white stripes are produced by dipping into the paint the little 
icks which serve as brushes. 

The longer sticks (**chin-karr"), which are 4 J cm. long, are used for 
tinting on the black lines, two or three of which are applied in close proximity 
' means of two or three sticks which are held in the fingers simultaneously. The 
laller stick ("ching-al"), which b 5^ cm. long, and has four teeth, is used to 
It on the white points ; it is held vertically between the fingers. The black 
gment (charcoal) and the white (lime or earth) are mixed with the sap of a 
eeper, which makes the colours stiff and sticky so that they do not run. 

The implement with which the magicians and midwives apply the white points 
called ^'smi-kar.** When anyone but the magician or the midwife uses this 
stniment, he will be struck by lightning. One of these instruments obtained by 
aughan- Stevens was made of tortoise-shell, and was 4 cm. in breadth ; the other, 
hich was long and saw-shaped, was of wood, and measured 6 cm. in length.^ 

With this implement the points are more regularly produced than is possible 
ith the brush, but the alternate black and white dots which are sometimes met 
ith are applied so carelessly and irregularly, that without exact information as to 
hat the pattern should be the design which is intended can hardly be recognised, 
his arrangement does not appear in face-paints, at least not in the old tribal 
ittems, although many &imilies have adopted them for their patterns. The 
floured stripe which, running along the bridge of the nose, forms the centre of 
le pattern, is carried dovm on to the upper lip, if there is no moustache to hinder 
, bat otherwise it ends at the tip of the nose, leaving the septum free. 

The beard indeed seldom interferes with the carrying out of the design, as the 
akai have very little, and frequently pluck out the few hairs they possess, but 
here the hair of the beard does hinder, the red pigment only is applied, and the 
hite and black are filled in in imagination. 

When the occasion for which the pattern was applied is past it is perhaps 
'ashed off, but more often what part of it has not already disappeared is rubbed 
ff. The red disappears completely in a single night, the white dots fall off, and 
ie black streaks only make the face, which is dirty without them, a little darker. 
Tie face-paint of the child is only washed off by the midwife so long as her 
elp is required ; whether it is afterwards washed off or not depends on the 

The dead should never have any paint left on the face. In the case of 
nyone who had died whilst the face was painted, the colour had to be washed 
ff before burial could take place ; the mourners at funerals did not paint their 

Face- and Breast-paint of a Sakai^ Man. 

The paint applied to the breast of the Sakai men represented a fern (a sort 
f polypodium). During the marriage ceremony (whether of the Sakai, Besisi, 
r Kenaboi) the fronds of this fern were bruised in water and squirted over the 
fide and bridegroom, and this assured the pair many children. The fact that, 
Ithough the marriage ceremony among all three of these tribes was the same, the 
•akai alone adopted this painting of the breast as their tribal sign, might lead us 
3 infer that the Sakai face- paint was really the ancient paint of the Sakai race. 

The dots and line of the face-paint represent another fern, with the juice 
f which the youths were sprinkled before they entered the ranks of men and 
light many. 

* Z,/, E. xxvL 152-158. 3 "Senoi" (i>. Central Sakai) in 

' find. p. 153. original, throughout this passage. 


Facb-paint of a Sakai^ Woman. 

With regard to the five streaks which the £Eu:e-paint of the Sakai 
shows in contradistinction to the three streaks of the men, there is a traditioo 
explaining this difference.' 

The breast -paint of a Sakai woman may be applied by the mother, bat 
only after the midlife has given up her charge ; generally spei^ng, the duldren, 
whether boys or girls, often wear till marriage the red stripes with whidi thqr 
paint themselves, often with the help of a mirror obtained by barter, thoog^i 
they may not apply the black streaks and white dots themselves. 

As regards the breast -paint of the Sakai women, it should be mentioned 
that the streak running downwards is generally carried yet further do¥m, so as to 
follow the natural development of the breast. The pattern represents the same 
fern as the pattern of the men.' 

Old women, who are past child-bearing, omit the lower stripe running firom 
the under lip to the cheek, as well as the breast-paint, since these designs re- 
present hope of children. 

The differentiated pattern of the midwife — who is always an old woman — was 
invented because, ** although she is old, she is always seeing to duldren." 

Face-paint of a Young Mother. 

A Sakai woman who has just brought forth a child paints her fiice every day, 
commencing from the child's birthday, until one lunar month be past If the 
moon is invisible, the days are counted approximately. Whenever a Sakai 
mother applies the particular pattern designated for this purpose, the breast* 
paint appropriate to a Sakai woman is omitted. 

Face-paint of a Midwife. 

A Sakai midwife paints her face when she awakes from sleep, just as does the 
new-made mother whom she is tending, the time during which her services are 
required being usually three or five days. On every other occasion a midwife 
bears the face-paint of her tribe ; only that she omits the breast-paint as soon 
as she enters on her functions as midwife. 

When another woman, not a midwife by profession, helps during a confine- 
ment, she too puts on the face-paint of a midwife, so long as she is discharging 
a midwife's functions, but as soon as her help is no longer required, she again 
takes on the full paint of the woman. 

The Sakai women are the only ones that paint the breast.^ 

Face-paint of Children. 

The patterns of the children — which were stripes carried from the eyebrows 
to the tip of the nose, black in the case of girls, red in that of boys ; in the latter 
case there were also two slanting red streaks from the under lip to the chin — were 
applied by the midwife only as soon as the child was bom ; so long as the midwife 
was in attendance the painting was renewed every morning, but it ceased as soon 
as she went away. The mother could then, if she wished, apply the ordinary 
tribe pattern, with the addition of the black nose-line in the case of a girl.^ 

The children may not wear the narrow black lines till they are married — 
through marriage, according to ancient custom, the youth becomes a man — for the 
children might become unlucky should they pluck up the ferns along with other 

* " Senoi " in original. * Z./. E, xxvi. 154. 

3 Ibi(L p. 155. * Ibid, 6 Ibid, p. 158. 


plants in plajring, and as they would thus break the peace which the magicians 
in ancient times had made with the spirits of the fern. 

This account was obtained from the lay members of the tribe, but the 
magicians only affirmed that the custom had been introduced to make a dis- 
tinction between the unmarried and the married. In the councils of the race in 
old times an unmarried male might not take part, as he was not " man " ; but in 
days when it became a more difficult matter to obtain a wife, the contempt of the 
bachelor was forgotten, as well as the original intention of the face-paint In 
Older to impress upon the children, however, that they might not pluck up the 
•aid fern, they were told, according to the version of the magicians, the story 
given above.' 

Elsewhere ^ (in his description of the " tuang- 
tuang " or **tuntong" ceremony) Vaughan- Stevens 
writes of the Sakai (Blandas) as follows : — 

Whenever the bamboo "stampers" ar$ to be used for an exorcism the whole 
dan collects together. The men sit upon'tbe ground around the magician, who 
stands in the centre facing towards the rising sun or moon. For, very frequently, 
although not always, these assemblies are held at night-time and by firelight. 
The women and children sit behind the men. The men have their faces painted 
and their hair pushed back from their faces, so that the demons may see the face- 
patterns, and in consequence retire. 

Before leaving the Sakai, it should be remarked that the Sakai women keep 
themselves very much apart during their monthly purification, and all of them 
remain at home on such occasions, or at least as near home as possible ; many of 
them even close the house-door. This is not, however, for shame, since the 
husband is always admitted. They themselves do not know why they do so, and 
the custom is probably derived from some forgotten superstition.' 

To this it may be added that they employ a special kind of bamboo receptacle 
called **chit-ndt" (" chit-nort ") for their purification upon such occasions.* 

Of the pattern of the bamboo receptacle just described we are told that 
its decoration represents a plant, which, according to the sage-femmc, does 
not grow in the district now inhabited by the tribe. In former times it was laid 
in the water employed for purification. At the present day the pattern of this 
flower is only used to "destroy" {t,e. to neutralise) **the blood." If the blood 
be not thus ** neutralised," the Blood Demon (" Hantu Darah") would spring 
from it and creep forthwith to the woman's body and stop her courses, and so 
prevent her from bringing healthy children into the world.* 

* Z.f.E. xxvi. 157-174. receptacle (or cup). The whole area 

* IHd. p. 148. of its outer surface is painted with an 
' Ibid, xxviii. 170. ornamental design, consisting of two 

* Ibid. p. 171. Bartels adds narrow stripes with right - angled 
that the receptacle figured in the interior counter - projections, between 
illustration is only 38.5 cm. in length which are inserted irregular five-rayed 
and 18.3 cm. in circumference. It is stars. The outlines of the pattern 
a circular segment of bamboo, which are formed by alternative black and 
has been cut short just below a node white dots. Vaughan - Stevens has 
at the top (so that the upper end of copied the *• orthodox" pattern on a 
the vessel b left open), and again just piece of bamboo with the aid of a 
below the next node at the bottom (so medicine -man, but the pattern is not 
that the lower end is closed). Hence quite identical with that produced. 

it is well suited for use as a water * Z. f, E, xxviii. 172. 




The men have nothing to do with the Hantu Danh,^ and say, *< We know 
nothing about it, ask the sage-femmey Even the magicians, who are responsible 
for all other medicines which the latter employs against the demons, would not 
acknowledge this antidote against the Blood Demon. No Sakax man vrill touch 
this receptacle (**chit-n&t"), which is usually kept planted in the ground by the 
waterside. It can be made very quickly when required, and the pattern is voy 
quickly washed off by the rain. They have no great objection to the "chit-nit" 
being seen by strangers.' 

Unmarried Sakai girls employ for their purification a water-vessel called 
•* ka-pet " (" karpet"). Since these vessels, in order to be fully efficadoos, sbonki 
have been incised by a magician of the old school, they are only found amoi^ 
the wild Sakai tribes who do not speak Malay.' 

III. — Jakun. 

BesisL — I never once heard of a single case of 
tattooing, scarification, nose-boring, circumcision, or 
even of incision, being practised by the Besisi, 
although I made the fullest inquiries among them. 

They related to me, on the other hand, a tradition 
explaining their reason for not adopting the practice 

1 Literally, ' * Blood Demon" = Malay 
" Hantu Darah." 

* Z,f. E, xxviii. 172. Bartels adds 
that the painting is performed with 
the instruments used for severing the 
umbilical cord. The ornamentation of 
the other **chit-n4ts," of which more 
will be said later, is the exclusive 
privilege of the magicians, who em- 
ploy in making them a special kind 
of instrument, closely resembling a 
curry-comb. They are cut out of a 
flat piece of horn (Fig. 2), and have a 
hole at the top for suspending them 
when they are being carried. They 
broaden out towards the bottom, and 
their lower edge is furnished with 
rough, tooth -like projections. The 
greatest width of the larger one is 5.3 
cm., and its height is 5 cm. ; the 
smaller one being 3.5 cm. by 4.6 

' Z.f. E. xxviii. 173, 174. Bartels 
adds here that Vaughan - Stevens has 
sent two specimens of this vessel, one of 
them (Fig. 3) being obtained from the 
Senoi (pure Sakai tribes), and the 
other (Fig. 4) from the Kenaboi. The 

former is a short segment of the stem 
of a bamboo cut short just bdow 
a particular intemode (at the top), 
and again just below the next, so that 
the vessel dius formed Ls open at the 
top and closed at the bottom. It 
measures 28 cm. in length, and 13 
in circumference, and its surface is 
decorated by three narrow parallel 
stripes formed by a kind of leaf- 
pattern. The second is like the first, 
a simple segment of bamboo measur- 
i'^g 39-5 cm. in length by 17.1 cm. in 
circumference. It is also decorated 
with three stripes, of which only two, 
however, are formed by the leaf- 
pattern, the third apparently represent- 
ing a downy leaf- stalk. The design 
represents a plant whose root- end is 
shown near the mouth-opening of the 
vessel. The discrepancy in the designs 
shows that a design does not lose its 
efficacy through slight mistakes of the 
operator, such as may be caused by 
hurry, even though the identification 
and explanation of the pattern may be 
made much harder through such slips, 
if not absolutely imposidble. 


of Circumcision, which they ascribed to the invulner- 
ability of one of their tribal ancestors. 

Ear-boring, on the other hand was, as among the 
Malays, freely practised, the stalk of a flower, such as 
the fragrant "champaka," being not infrequently 
inserted in the perforation. 

Face-paint, however, was very generally employed 
by them, and the pigments used for it appeared to be in 
the main identical with those adopted by the Semang 
and Sakai, i.e. white, obtained from lime ; yellow, 
obtained from turmeric ; and red, obtained from the 
juice of the anatto. 

The only form of paint that I have myself seen 
among the Besisi consisted in daubing the face with 
the aforesaid pigments (white, yellow, or red), these 
being manufactured, in addition to the usual materials, 
from such others {e.g. "bSdak*' or rice-powder) as the 
growing familiarity of the Besisi with Malay civilisation 
might suggest. No special pattern was employed by 
them, and I never saw any distinct traces of the elaborate 
system of body-paint described by Vaughan-Stevens. 
The latter, however, as usual, gives no localities or 
any other facilities for checking his statements, and I 
can only suggest that he probably got his ideas about 
the Besisi from some other tribe in their neighbour- 
hood with whom there had been more Sakai admixture. 

I give his account, nevertheless, for what it may be 
worth, in the hope that it may assist some future 
investigator to work out the subject more completely 
in the future. 

It runs as follows : ^ — 

The Besisi magician puts on a pattern borrowed from the leaf of the 
"chindweh rimau," or ** tiger chindweh," which is a small, juicy, robust plant 

J Z.f. E. xxvi. 156. 


not yet fully identified. When nibbed to a pulp and smeared on the body, 
especially the breast, it b believed to give a man the power to overcome a 

The fresh leaf with its peculiar markings gives an exact replica of the fiice- 
paint of a Besisi magician. The veining on the upper side of the leaf is of 
such a pale yellowish-green that it almost has the effect of white, and thus forms 
a sharp contrast to the very dark greenish-gold stripes of the leaf. 

No one leaf is marked exactly like another. The patterns are manifold ; in 
some cases stripes traverse the entire leaf. In a good light the ground colour of 
the leaf appears, as has been said, of a greenish-gold, but on the under side of 
the leaf the corresponding parts appear a dark reddish-brown ; held up to the 
light the green of the upper side merges into the reddish-brown. 

The under side of the leaf is very soft and smooth, but the upper side is 
plentifully covered with very fine hairs. 

The dark reddish-brown lines which glimmer through from the under ade 
correspond in fact to tlie red and black of the fiice-paint designed for the tiger 
in conjuration ceremonies, and at the same time to the recognised &ce-paint 
of the BesisL 

These stripes are said to correspond to the stripes on the sldn of the tiger, 
the red colour not being distinguished from yellow.* 

Mantra, — There is very little information on the 
subject of maturity customs available with regard to 
the Mantra of Malacca. Logan, however, records 
the fact that the teeth of the bride and bridegroom 
were filed with a stone before the day of marriage.* 

Montano states that the Mantra (Sakai) usually 
file the lower edge of the upper canine teeth, but 
does not connect it with any ceremony.' 

Jakun of Johor. — D. F. A. Hervey, in writing of 
the Jakun on the Madek, says that one chief 
characteristic which distinguished the Madek tribe 
from other Jakun tribes was the absence of any 
rite resembling circumcision ; whilst the Sembrong 
tribe practised incision, but did not circumcise.* The 
Madek people, however, relate that they used once 
to observe the custom, but it was given up owing to 
certain untoward circumstances, which befell the tribe 
two or three hundred years ago, as follows : on one 
occasion when the rite was observed, several of the 

* Z.f,E, xxvi. 156. -* A. D. Machado tells me that in- 

2 Logan in J. I. A, vol. L p. 323*. cision is still practised among the Jakun 

3 Rev, cTEtkn. i. 44. of Ulu Batu Pahat, in Johor. 


tribe died of the effects. It was ascertained that the 
knives used for the purpose had been accidentally 
placed in a vessel containing upas poison (** ipoh "), 
the poison with which their blowpipe arrows are 
habitually tipped ; and from that time forward the 
observance of the rite was discontinued.^ 

Corroboration of the foregoing account may be 
obtained from the statement of Logan, who in 
writing of the Benua (or Jakun) of Johor, remarks 
that circumcision was not practised by them. A 
single incision or slit was made by the Benua, but 
not by the Berembun tribes.* 

Names were sometimes given at birth, but these 
were changed at the age of puberty. The teeth 
were filed like those of the Malays and the Berembun 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Orang* Laut, Sletar. — Of the Orang Sletar we are 
informed by Thomson that they did not practise circum- 
cision, nor any other Mohammedan customs. It was, 
moreover, related to Thomson that many years ago 
when they had a Malay as their great chief or Batin, 
all the men now of the tribe were induced to undergo 
the rite of circumcision, though such a practice was 
no longer conformed with/ This is probably a refer- 
ence to some such story as that related above by 

Orang Laut, Sabimba. — Of this Orang Laut tribe 
we are told that they were not in the habit of filing 

* Hervey m J. R. A. S.^ No. 8, pp. but this was probably a borrowed 
118, 119; cp. p. 544, a»iie. custom. Ear - boring was rarely 

* Lo^u in y. /. A. vol. i. p. practised by the men, and the lips and 
271. nose were never pierced (Z. f. E. 

' According to Vaughan - Stevens, xxix. 180). 
ihe Jakun used to blacken their teeth, * /. /. A, vol. i. p. 344*. 


their teeth, and that the practice of perforating the 
lobe of the ear was equally unknown to them.* 

In addition, we are informed (of the same tribe) 
that they did not practise the rites either of circum- 
cision or incision.* 

Orang Laut (no locality specified). — To the fore- 
going may be added an account given by Vaughan- 
Stevens* of certain Orang Laut customs which he 
does not attribute to any particular tribe : — 

Among the Orang Laut a woman during menstruation was, theoretically 
at all events, treated as unclean, though in practice it made no appreciable 

The women alleged a belief on the port of the men that if they were to toudi 
a woman in such a condition, their virility would suffer. The men themselves, 
however, would make no admissions, and in practice, as I have said, little notice 
of it was taken. 

Nevertheless, a woman in the condition referred to would avoid touching 
anything that a man might eat afterwards ; it was, however, considered a sa£Bcient 
purification to peel any roots which were supposed to have been thus defiled. 
On such occasions the wife would avoid cohabitation and sleep as far away from 
her husband as possible. 

She would, moreover, avoid dipping her drinking bamboo in the common 
water-pot, but would dip it into a drinking-shell of her own, which she would 
keep separately, or else into a vessel made of a short segment of bamboo. 

* /. /. A. vol. i. p. 298. * Ibid. p. 344*. 

» Z./.E. xxviii. 171. 


Marriage Customs and Beliefs. 

Among all the wild tribes of the Peninsula, as indeed 
among the Malays, an important ingredient of the 
marriage rite is a form of ritual purchase, commonly 
followed by a repast which is shared between bride 
and bridegroom, with their relatives and the chief of 
the tribe as witnesses. 

Among the Negritos these two ingredients appear 
to constitute the entire ceremony, though even the 
act of purchase alone is said to be regarded as 
sufficiently binding, so long as it is performed before 
proper witnesses. It must not, however, be supposed 
from the meagreness of the ceremony that the marriage 
tie is not regarded by the Semang as in the highest 
degree binding, the reverse being the case. The 
Semang are, as far as I could learn, habitually mono- 
gamists, and I failed to obtain any sort of evidence 
in support of the statement that has been more than 
once advanced, viz., that their women were in common 
like their other property.^ This idea of the laxity of 
the marriage-tie among the Negritos may possibly 

* Similarly erroneous notions as to indeed, in all Mohammedan countries, 

pol3randry among the Andamanese were tell us that a lord of the harem can only 

combated in Man's ^/M&jwaw/j^, p. 71. exist in cases where there is wealth 

As regards polygamy, on the other to maintain such an establishment ; 

hand, the teachings of actual expert- jungle races and the races who live the 

ence, supported by what we see in simplest lives are commonly, from the 

India, Elgypt, the Malay Peninsula, and, exigencies of the case, monogamists. 



arise from the great antenuptial freedom which 
appears to be allowed, but there is every reason to 
believe that when once married the Semang of both 
sexes are in the highest degree faithful to each other 
and that cases of unfaithfulness are exceedingly rare. 
That conjugal infidelity is strongly discountenanced 
is shown by the penalty assigned to it. 

With regard to the Sakai, there seems to be a 
certain amount of evidence in favour of their being 
to a limited extent polygamists, though here again 
our information is too scanty to enable us to form an 
opinion as to how far the custom is general. On the 
other hand, with regard to the actual ceremony, the 
most important elements, according to one authority,* 
are the painting of the man's face and the squirting 
of fern-seed over the bride and bridegroom, as a 
means of ensuring them a numerous progeny. 

I may add that among the Sakai marriage is 
preceded by a form of initiation, at which the man's 
face-paint is applied for the first time. 

Miklucho-Maclay heard from Malays and members 
of the Catholic Mission at Malacca that communal 
marriage existed among the Sakai {sic, ? Mantra). 
Some days or weeks after marriage the girl was said to 
leave her husband with his consent and take up with 
the men of his family in turn. She then came back to 
her husband, but kept up these irregular liaisons, 
which were regulated by chance and her own wishes.* 

The Jakun or Malayan tribes again (including the 
Blandas and Besisi of Selangor), are as a rule fairly 
strict monogamists, and their post-matrimonial fidelity, 


1 See p. 64, infra, such a custom, and resting as it does on 

' J, R, A. S.y S. B.J No. 2, p. 215. second-hand evidence or worse, cannot 

Hiis is, however, the only notice o^ be accepted without due corroboration. 


while it varies in degree apparently from tribe to 
tribe, is certainly remarkable, although in their case, 
too, it appears to be considered compatible with con- 
siderable freedom before marriage. 

Of the Jakun ceremonies, that of eating together from 
the same dish is one which is found throughout South- 
eastern Asia. But the most remarkable part of all 
these customs are the Jakun {ji.e. Malayan) '* marriage 
carnival" and the unique race round the mound or 
"ant hill," for which, among some branches of the 
Sea Tribes, a race in canoes is sometimes substituted. 

The peculiar shape of the mound, which has come 
down from an entirely unknown origin, may perhaps 
be held to show that the mound ceremony is the 
older form of this peculiar rite, but in any case we 
have here a custom which will assuredly repay any 
student of ethnography who decides to work out the 
entire question for himself. 

The effect of intermarriage between Malays and 
aboriginal women is one which at first would hardly 
be expected, viz., that it is the higher race — the 
Malay — that is chiefly affected by it. This fact, 
however strange it may seem, is clearly brought out 
by Logan, who, in writing of the Benua, observes that 
many of the Malays had Benua wives, who of course 
became converts to Islam. The Benua on their part 
were debarred from seeking wives amongst the Malays, 
and this must always have had considerable influence 
in checking the natural growth of population. The 
first Malay adventurers were probably more numerous 
in males than females. In many places the Chinese 
tend to absorb the Malays in their turn. The more 
civilised and wealthy races thin those below them of 
their women, and necessity drives the latter to make 


up the loss wherever it is possible to do so, in some 
measure at the expense of those still lower. This is 
one of those fundamental facts of ethnography which 
should be borne in mind in speculating on the 
gradual extinction of aboriginal races, when com- 
paratively civilised colonies come into contact with 
them. A considerable proportion of the Malays in 
the Peninsula behind Malacca are descendants of 
women of the aboriginal tribes, and the Malays in 
their turn gave wives to the immigrants from China, 
so that the greater portion of the Chinese of Malacca 
have Malayan blood in their veins.^ 

I. — Semang. 

Pangan. — I have never met with any published 
account of a Semang wedding, but while in Kelantan 
I acquired some information about the marriage rites 
of the Eastern Semang in the Belimbing district. 

The ** marriage settlements," according to my 
informants, consisted of the blade of a jungle-knife or 
chopper, which had to be presented by the bride- 
groom to the bride's parents, and a coiled girdle of 
great length called ** salek,*' that was said to be manu- 
factured from the fibres of the sugar-palm (" urat 
hijok '*), but that doubtless more or less closely re- 
sembled the girdle of rock-vein fungus, which has been 
described in an earlier chapter. This girdle had to be 
presented by the bridegroom to the bride, who would 
never, it was said, consent to part with it for fear of its 
being used to her prejudice in some magic ceremony. 

There was also a good deal of chaunting (** siwang " 
or ** bgr-siwang " = invocation of spirits) at these 

* Logan in /. /. A, vol. L p. 291. 


Pangan marriages, but beyond this no further infor- 
mation was obtainable. 

Kedah Semang. — Later on I was informed by the 
Semang of Kedah that adultery was punishable by 
death (although in practice it might be commuted for 
the usual blood-fine of forty dollars). This fine, how- 
ever, was payable in kind, and would doubtless in 
practice be adjusted to the means of the culprit. 

The only information I have met with in regard 
to the married life of the Semang, is Newbold's 
observation to the effect that the Semang women 
were in common like their other property.^ 

What truth there may be in this sweeping state- 
ment it is very hard to say, though from what I saw 
and heard of their domestic life I find it most difficult 
to believe (with regard to the Semang of Kedah at all 
events), that the charge was well founded.^ Certainly, 
as has been remarked above, it appears quite incom- 
patible with so severe a punishment for adultery as 
was exacted by the customs of this very tribe. 

Perak Semang. — To the foregoing may be added 
the following notes of Vaughan-Stevens on the Semang 
of Perak : — 

When a Semang commits adultery with the wife of another (which very rarely 
happens), and the fact remains concealed until the death of the injured husband, 
the latter's soul acquires knowledge of the offence, and seeks to revenge itself 
upon the children of the transgressor, by sending a Disease upon them. In such 
cases the Disease (the same that had killed the man) attacks the children 
independently of Kari's commands.^ 

In order to avert this danger, the trangressor, as soon as he hears of the 
husband's death, takes the children by the arms and swings them through the 
fire, at the same time "jumping" them up and down upon the charred wodd so 
as to blacken the soles of their feet, by way of protecting them. If the Disease 
oomes afterwards when the child has l:)een replaced upon the ground, the child 
remains unharmed. Even if the child were somewhat affected before being 
swung through the fire, the Disease is yet forced to retire in order to escape 

^ Newbold, ii. pp. 379-381. Cp., xxviii. 166, observes that in their 

however, I^H. ii. 558, where the men (good) treatment of their women, the 

are credited with polygamy. Semang ranked next to the Sakai. 

- Vaughan - Stevens in Z, f. E. ^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 132. 


being burnt, and as long as the soles of the child's feet remain so blackened, 
the Disease is prevented from returning. Moreover, the Disease cannot in any 
case kill the child without Karih's command ; nor can it, in any case, make a 
long stay, since it has to be back with the Death-messenger beside the oorpte, «t 
soon as ever the *< Pfoit&h " is cut The children are only attacked as a mem of 
bringing the transgressor to justice, by attracting the superior chieTs (the PMIo^ 
attention, either from the children's getting the same Disease as the fansbMid or 
from the transgressor's betraying himself by swinging them throng^ the fite. 
The superior chief, in such cases, pronounces the penalty.^ 

By the same writer we are told that — 

The Semang have an aphrodisiac called **chin-weh" or '*diindfich" 
( = *< chinduai '*).< This name is probably borrowed from the Sakai, but M the 
plant used in this case is altogether a difierent one and is not employed fay other 
magicians, it may be regarded as a discovery of their own.' 

II. — Sakai. 
Perak Sakai. — De Morgan, in his account of Sakai 
marriage customs,* remarks that the conditions required 
for marriage were few. In the first place, there was 
no fixed limit of age. The consent of the woman was 
required, together with that of her father (if living), but 
if otherwise, that of the eldest surviving member of 
the family. The future husband made the application 
in person with the consent of the father. The wife 
brought no dowry to her bridegroom, but the latter 
made a present to his prospective father-in-law of 
certain specified articles, e.g. a knife or hatchet or 
yams, ** according to his means.*' * Commenting on 
the foregoing, De Morgan remarks that it might be 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 132. band generally paid ten dollars (" ring- 

^ Cp. Z/ E, xxviii. 183. git") = 50 francs to the Neither ; a chief 

' KB.G.A, xxiv. 468. paid up to thirty dollars ; but M. Uas 

* De Morgan, vii. 422. adds that " this was the highest price, 

* According to Maxwell {J.R.A.S,, and that it appeared to him the biggest 
S,B.t No. I, p. 112) the price paid for sum of money that the Sakai, even 
a wife included a ''piece of iron, some those educated by contact with the 
roots, and some flowers." According Malays, could conceive." The sums 
to Hale (p. 291) the presents consisted mentioned were doubtless paid in kind, 
of"sarongs,"orbill.hooks(" parangs"), but even then there is, I think, little 
purchased from Malays, or the bride- doubt that this last figure (as M. Lias 
groom might clear one or two acres of himself seems to have inferred) was 
jungle, plant them with tapioca, sugar- exaggerated, perhaps for " swagger," 
cane, etc., and present them to the owing to the presence of the Malays 
parents of the bride. According to Brau that he had brought with him. The 
de St. Pol Lias (pp. 279, 280) the hus- nominal price of a Sakai wife, among 


Kn(;a<.ki» Sakai Cim dki n wmi Un( lk. 



Cet^ut • 

Yui.Nc; Sak.M (IikI.. 

Kngaged lo be inarri«:(l at the next I*rah fruit sea.M»i\— the Usual marryin)? time of the Sakai, 
V\\\ sh'm, Perak. 

Vol. 11. p. 6i. 


Jled an example of marriage by purchase, but that 
le fact of purchase is to some extent modified by 
le smallness of the price paid, and that all that 
tually remains is a purely formal substitute for 
arriage by purchase, which was once a wide-spread 
istom in Southern Asia. Continuing, De Morgan 
Ids that the form of marriage was extremely 
mple. The bride and bridegroom repaired, accom- 
inied by their relatives, to the house of their tribal 
lief, where the latter in converse with the two 
milies inquired into the prospects of the joint 
/nag-e, after which, if no obstacle presented itself, he 
irmally declared them married, and all was over.* 
he newly married pair were required to build a hut 
id form a clearing, and in the interval that must elapse 
sfore it could bring them in a return, they lived at 
le charge of their families, who provided them with 
uns and maize, and everything else that they might 
^uire for their maintenance. 

An account of the Perak Sakai by Colonel Low, 
I the Journal of the Indian Archipelago, gives the 
etails of the religious ceremony, which are omitted 
1 De Morgan's description : — 

A young Sakai man pays his addresses in 
erson. If the girl approves, he makes a present to 
er family of spears, knives, and household utensils, 
nd a time being fixed, the relations of both sides 
ssemble at the bride's house. The betrothed 
arties eat rice together out of the same dish, and the 
ittle finger of the right hand of the man is joined 

le Sakai themselves, cannot be greater Z,f, E. xxviii. 177. 
lan about the value of ten dollars paid * De Morgan adds {ioc, cit.) that 

\ kind, for the simple reason that there was **no religious ceremony"; 

o ordinary Sakai bridegroom would but as will appear from the next ac- 

ave more property than this to pay count, this statement of his is certainly 

fith. Cp. also Vaughan- Stevens in mistaken. 


to that of the left hand of the woman. These two 
last observances are found with some slight modi- 
fications amongst the Malays on like occasions. The 
eating together is also a Burmese and Peguan custom. 

The parents on both sides then pronounce 
them married persons, and give them good advice 
for their future conduct. As an example of the 
actual words used, Col. Low gives the expression 
•* Mano klamin che dada," an admonition or wish that 
they might be fruitful.^ 

It would appear from some accounts that the 
Sakai men occasionally take more than one wife. 
Thus De la Croix says that a Sakai married, or rather 
bought, a wife, or even two, if he were rich enough.* 

Marriage and [alleged] Totemism. 

According to Vaaghan-Stevens, the Sakai (whom he calls "Senoi"), Besisi, 
and Kenaboi, were sub-tribes of one single people, which also included at a more 
remote date the Tembeh and Jakun. Each of these three sub-tribes was 
divided into clans,' distinguished by the pattern of the &ce-paint (tenned by 
Vaughan-Stevens " totems.") * The Thorn, Tiger, Snake, Fish, and Leaf totems 
were the primary ones. In the course of time, the components of the tribes 
becoming widely scattered, new settlements s(>rang up in various parts of the 
Peninsula, and it became the practice for each local group to adopt some variant 
of the totem-mark and house. Thus, among the sub-clans of the Snake totem, 
were Pythons, Cobras, Hamadryads, etc.^ 

In the olden days intermarriage between the clans was forbidden. The 
penalty for disobedience was expulsion from the clan. The people thus 
expelled formed new clans (Musang or Civet-cat, Crocodile, Scorpion). A member 
of the primary clans who married into one of these secondary clans lost his status 
in his old clan, and became a member of his spouse's clan. With the rise of sub- 
clans these quasi-endogamic rules do not seem to have been changed ; choice was 
not restricted to the members of the sub-clan. No definite information is given 

^ y. /. A, vol. iv. pp. 430, 431. Thomas, who has made totemism his 

According to Cerruti, the Sakai marriage special study. — W. S. ] The account is 

season was at the ripening of the confused, the editor has not distinguished 

" prah "-fruit tribe from clan, and speaks in one place 

' Rev, (TEthn, vol. i. No. 4, p. of the totem mark as a tribal pattern. 

339. Cp. Brau de St. P. Lias, pp. It is stated that the clan patterns went 

279, 280: *'a Sakai marries two out of use owing to the scattering of 

wives." the members of the tribe, and were 

' Apparently forming local groups. replaced by the sub-clan patterns. Of 

Z.f, E, xxvi. 160. the origin of the clans nothing is said. — 

* Z./. E, xxvi 150, 151. [I owe N. W. T. Sedv. anU^ p. 32, et iu/ra, 

this summary of Sakai marriage and 258 ; and cp. Martin, 863. 

totemism to my friend, Mr. N. W. * Z.f, E, xxvi. 150, 151. 


by Vaughan-Stevens as to the rules of descent as regards sub-clan names, but 
paternal descent appears to be the general rule. From the fact that the sub- 
dans were local in their character, we may also infer that in respect of the sub- 
totems the rule was to take them from the &ther. The children of a Batin 
formed an exception to the ordinary rule. Only the elder took his father's 
totem ; the next four belonged each to one of the remaining primary totem -clans. > 

The rule of descent as regards the sub-tribes was as follows. If a Besisi man 
married a Sakai woman, she and her children became Besisi. In the case of the 
Batin, however, an exception was again made. For three generations the sub- 
tribe ' of the Batin was prepotent, and the man who married into it lost his own 
tribal name, and took that of his wife.' 

We have no information as to whether members of the same clan or sub-clan 
are regarded as akin, or whether the sub-tribe is by the Sakai regarded as the 
kinship group. Nor is it clear how £sir kinship is a bar to marriage. Vaughan- 
Stevens remarks that the customs of the Sakai and Pangan are very similar to 
those of the Jakun and Orang Laut, who were compelled to take a wife from 
another community.* In the same passage, however, he expressly says that the 
Pangan are not restricted as regards their choice of wives, thus contradicting 
the assertion that local exogamy is in force among them. The evidence is there- 
fore worthless. 

As regards the Sakai, however. Hale says that the Kinta Sakai generally 
went a considerable distance to seek their wives — to a tribe who spoke quite a 
different dialect. Elsewhere Vaughan-Stevens says,^ the Sakai usage was for the 
soo-in-law to build his house on his fiither-in-law's land, but this of course does 
not exclude the possibility that he belonged to the same local group.^ We may 
perhaps infer that the same custom prevailed among the Tembeh. Vaughan- 
Stevens tells us that although no definite rule appeared to exist, the son-in-law 
and mother-in-law avoided one another in practice as much as possible.^ This 
may of course mean that the son-in-law and mother-in-law belonged to the same 
local group ; we cannot infer a custom of exogamy from it, but it points to the 
two families being in close proximity. 

In estimating the value of the account given by Vaughan-Stevens, we must 
bear in mind that he is inclined to group his facts from the standpoint of a 
hypothesis for the adoption of which he can give no sufficient reason." We are 
expressly told • that it was only after lengthy observation that he arrived at the 
results given above, and that the system here displayed is his theory, based on 
many single observations, and not a connected traditional account handed down 
by the Sakai. Such a traditional account would probably not be entirely 
reliable ; an observer like Vaughan-Stevens, with no knowledge of scientific 
terminology, and not much critical sense, *° would have done better to give us his 
data rather than his conclusions. In his account, summarised alx)ve, traditional 

' Z. /. E. xxvi. 1 60. 7 Z.f. E, xxviii. 1 80. ; cp. p. 203, infra, 

* Here again the word totem is used • C/*. his treatment of the question of 
by Grlinwedel (or Vaughan-Stevens) to patterns. • Z.f. E, xxvi. 150. 
mean sub-tribe. As both husband and *^ Vaughan - Stevens explains else- 
wife were of one clan, he could not where {Z.f E. xxviii. 175) that he 
change his clan ; a change of sub-clan means by exogamy, marriage outside 
would be possible, but seems to be the family, not marriage outside the 
excluded by the context. tribe. He suggests (Z./ E. xxvi. 160), 

' It does not appear whether this that all three sub-tribes, Sakai or Senoi, 

was accompanied by the removal of the Kenaboi, and Besisi, were a sub-group 

husband to his wife's group, and his of the Leaf clan. Against this may be 

incorporation in it. set the statement that the original 

* Z.f E. xxviii. 174. purpose of the totem marks was to 

* P. 291. distinguish articles of property {loc. cit. 

• Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 90. p. 151). 


narrative, present-day focts, and inferences, seem hopelessly and indistingniAaHy 

Elsewhere Vaughan-Stevens gives the story of twins who married tlK ttme 
woman. Their "totems" were **miisang" and *'palm.lea^" and tbflir cUd 
should have followed the fathei's " totem," but this being nnoeitniip h W|jhci 
a new *< musang ** totem. It is not clear that the twins were chikhm «f A BUh.' 

Again, the breast-point of a Sakai (Sen-oi) man represented a fan fa.Mrt 
of polypodium). The fronds of this fern being bruised in water and afdhtil «iv 
the bride and bridegroom at marriage assured the pair many duldran. nt^llli 
and lines of the face -paint represented another fern, wiUi the jsloB off'1 ~ 
the youth was sprinkled before he became man and might many. 

The face-paint of the Sakai man consisted of three lines or iliiiw^ ^ 
that of the woman consisted of five.* 

The tiger and " musang " patterns represented these anhnalt, bol «m mm 
only used as blowpipe marks. Formerly they were patterns for fiitT fintri* 

Yet in Z,f. E, xxvi. 1 50, the face patterns are spoken of fay VaagliHl-SlBMB 
as being all of one type. 

With regard to the age of the contracting parses, 
M. Brau de St. P. Lias states that the women #ere 
often married when mere children.* 

In the account by Colonel Low, from which I have 
already quoted, we are further told that polygamy 
was permitted among the Sakai, but was not common, 
and that the men seemed to care little about their 
wives leaving them. 

The men appeared, nevertheless, to treat them 
well. But should a man choose to resent the 
infidelity of his wife, he might kill her and her 
paramour without any fear of the result, further than 
the possibility of their relatives avenging the deed.* 

To this we may add the fuller account given by 
De Morgan, who tells us that the husband acquired 
absolute power over his wife, and would not shrink 
from beating her if the provocation were great 

1 EtknoL Notizblatt, i. 4-6. angia, as these latter woald not only be 

2 Z.f.E. xxvi. 154. Mr. H. N. rather brown than black, bat would be of 
Ridley (of Singapore) suggests that these a uniform colour. ' NoHsbiatt^ i. 4-6. 
alleged fern-spores (as represented in the * Cp. Vaughan-Stevens in Z. f. R, 
face-paint of the Sakai) are more prob- xxviiL 174, where we are told that 
ably copied from the black and white the age among the Sakai was fourteen 
fruit-seeds which are found in the Sakai for the girl and from fifteen to sixteen 
necklaces and armlets. They are prob- for the man. 

ably not meant for fern-seeds or spor- * J, /. A, voL iv. pp. 430, 43 1 . 

Malay jjMiiijs. «Iiiiiii», tam1>ouriiit-s. ami tulillr^. (See p, 70.) 
I'o/. //./. 65- 


enough. A form of divorce was allowed among the 

Sakaiy the reasons for which it was permitted being, 

in the case of the husband, grave misconduct, such 

cases being settled by a fine, or separation, the 

jk voman keeping the children. In the case of the 

H^tlrife, a refusal to take her proper share in house- 

^' Iseeping, planting, hunting, and other tasks necessarily 

^tjpicidental to her position, was regarded as a reason. 

''Splflie aggrieved husband, in the latter case, lodged a 

^-^'jcmnplaint with the tribal chief, who communicated it 

the woman's family ; if no good results followed, he 

risted on separation, sending the woman back to 

ber own family, but always, however, retaining the 

custody of the children — a point of great importance 

among these tribes where children were regarded as 

a source of profit, the possession of children actually 

making his re-marriage easier.^ The paternal authority 

ordinarily lasted during the father's lifetime, but 

otherwise ceased as soon as a married child left its 

father's roof. The adoption of orphan children by 

childless people was also occasionally practised.^ 

We are told by Maxwell (in his account of the 
Perak tribes) that the punishment for adultery 
was death, and that it was usually carried out by a 
relative, who invited his victim to a hunting excursion, 
and after tiring him out, beat his brains out with a 
club while he was asleep, and left him to rot upon the 
earth, denying to his remains even the rough sepulture 
given to those who died in an honourable way.^ 

1 " Divorce was permitted by the amounted to thirty dollars each, the 

Sakai, but was extremely rare among woman's fine being paid by her father 

them. Adultery was regarded as a or brothers." — Brau de St. P. Lias, 

great crime (* salah bdsar '), To' Lil4 pp. 279, 280. - De Morgan, vii. 422. 
told me, and often gave rise to a fight. ^ Maxwell in J.R.A.S.^ S.B.^ No. 

The guilty parties were made to pay a i, pp. in, 112. It should be noted 

fine to the husband, which generally that Maxwell in his account, which is 



A different account of the method adopted by the 
outraged husband for the punishment of the guilty 
parties is given by Vaughan-Stevens as follows : — 

The punishment prescribed by the Sakai for the adultery of a wife was very 
seldom really carried out. The husband, however, if he wished to enforce it, 
would bind his guilty wife hand and foot and lay her down upon the ground at a 
short distance from his hut He then armed himself with three wooden spears 
of bamboo or palm- wood ('* nibong "), and took up his station among the brush- 
wood in the vicinity. The woman was allowed neither food nor wsdter, but was 
kept there perforce until she died either from the bites of ants or from ex- 
haustion. Meanwhile, however, her paramour was expected to wait for an op- 
portunity to cut through her bonds and take her back to her husband's house. 
The husband, on the other hand, was allowed from his concealment to laundi 
each of his three spears once at his rival. If he succeeded in killing him, he 
might if he pleased let his wife lie there till she died, or else if he were now more 
inclined to mercy, he might release her and send her away. If, on the other 
hand, her paramour's attempt succeeded, the husband could take no further steps, 
though he could if he desired send away his wife when her paramour had 
brought her back to the hut. If, on the other hand, the paramour refused to 
make the attempt, the husband might bring him up before the chief for punish- 
ment, in which case the husband himself was allowed to name the penalty. He 
applied in such cases to one of the subordinate chiefs, who could apply to the 
Batin for confirmation of the sentence, if he considered it just He need not, 
however, do so if four of the older men advised him that the punishment was 

The Batin had the power of delaying the proceedings by postponing the 
sentence for an indefinite period. Nevertheless private quarrels, ending in 
wounds or death, frequently arose from cases which had been postponed on 
account of some mitigating circumstance, which limited the penalty to be paid to 
public discussion of the case.^ 

A wife could not bring her offending husband to the Batin for punish- 
ment, since he need only announce that conjugal rights had been intentionaUy 
withheld from him, to obtain condonation of his infidelity, and a separation 
could then be obtained at his own instance. In former days, before the present 
intercourse with the Malays, divorce was not regarded with such indifference as 
nowadays, but was highly disapproved of and very seldom actually occurred. 
Moreover, a man would not put away his wife when he was sure both of losing 
his children and of havnng much trouble to come by another wife. But when a 
woman absconded from her husband, and after the lapse of a month, he did not 
think it proper to take her back, whether on account of her laziness, or her 
clumsiness, or her evil temper, both parties in that case were regarded as free, 
and were allowed to remarry at will. The husband, however, in this case had 
the right of retaining the children, and of making them work for him.' 

otherwise sufHciently accurate, confuses follow her paramour, when the latter 
the Sakai with the Semang — a con- has to pay $25, or unless the woman 
fusion of which, however, he is by no is a chiefs wife, when $25 may be the 
means alone guilty. minimum. Children may follow either 
> Z./. E, xxviii. 1 79. • Ibid. parent by choice, but usually prefer to 
' Ibid. p. 180. In a letter just follow the father. Misconduct of a 
received, Dr. Luering says : " Among man with his brother's wife would 
the Sakai of Bertang, in Perak, the producea quarrel, but not necessarily en- 
punishment for adultery is a fine of tail a fine. Wives are generally chosen 
$6.50, unless the woman wishes to within the tribe." 


Before leaving this subject, mention should be 
made of the account given by Vaughan-Stevens of 
Sakai love-philtres, which runs as follows : — 

Among the Sakai love-philtres were employed by both sexes, one of them 
being called '* mong dar " (?). It consisted of the blossom of a creeper which 
grew upon the hills. If a little of the dried blossom were steeped in water and 
drunk, it was alleged that it would produce stimulation in the men, but would 
have no effect upon women. ^ 

Another love-philtre, called ** chin-weh " ( = ** chindwai ") was only used by 
women, and that in the same way as the one just described ; the only difference 
being Oiat the entire plant was taken, as must necessarily be the case since the 
plant was of a fungoid character. It was very difficult to obtain.^ 

Under the name **chinweh kasih"^ various plants were used as aphro- 
disiacs by the Sakai women. The Sakai magicians, moreover, knew of a certain 
plant, which they kept secret, and which procured them especial deference. 

Even at the present day only the magicians of the old school have any know- 
ledge of this plant, which was besides of great rarity. From one such magician 
Vaughan-Stevens obtained his specimen. In order to conceal its identity from 
the lay members of the tribe, the plant was crushed into water, which was 
purchased at a high price by Sakai and Malay women, who employed it as a 
love- potion.* 

The Sakai women also employed an expedient which was believed to impair 
the virility of the men. For this purpose they took the "scnggulong" ("sengu- 
long "), a kind of wood-louse \sic ? millipede], and burnt it in the fire until it was 
charred. At the same time they burnt a small piece of cloth which had been 
used for washing a dead man's body. The ashes of the two were mixed together, 
and whenever a woman succeeded in introducing these ashes into the food of her 
intended victim, the latter was believed to have lost his virility for ever.* 

Selangor Sakai. — The late Mr. J. A. G. Campbell 
of Selangor, in writing of the wedding customs of the 
Ulu Langat Sakai, describes a peculiar ceremony, 
which must be very trying to a nervous bridegroom. 

Their marriage ceremonies (he says) were very 
simple; one custom was for the relations on both sides to 
sit on the ground round an ant-heap, and for the bride 
or her father to question the bridegroom as follows : ^ — 

* Z.f.E, xxviii. 183. report. A thick fleshy calyx divided 

Bartels (loc. at.) remarks that "this into several sections or * flower-leaves ' 

• mong dar ' is not, as Vaughan-Stevens then appears ; its colour being black 

formerly supposed, the Rafflesia, but a varied with spots of i:)eculiar shades, 

smaller though similar blossom. It is from dark brown to purple." 2 /^^^ 

a parasitical climber, which possesses ' fdui. The specimens sent could not 

no leaves, but only big claviform buds be identified. " Kasih "= ** love." 

which appear to be either thrown out * Z.f.E. xxviii. 183. 

at intervals from the stem itself, or to '^ Ibid. This is also a Malay belief 

grow on a very short stem. These (C.O.B.). 

buds open suddenly with a distinct ® J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. 


** Are you clever with the blowpipe ? " 

** Can you fell trees cleverly ? " 

** Are you a good climber ? " and 

** Do you smoke cigarettes ? " 

If these questions were answered in the affirma- 
tive, the bridegroom then gave a cigarette to the 
bride and lighted one himself; they then ran round 
the mound three times ; if the man succeeded in 
catching the woman the ceremony was completed, 
and they were declared married, but if the man failed 
to catch the woman he tried again another day.* 

Of the same Sakai tribe, Campbell adds that their 
marriage settlements consisted of saucepans, frying- 
pans, jungle -knives, hatchets, beads, and blowpipes. 
The woman, however, gave nothing in return. A 
man could not have more than one wife. 

Sakai (Orang Tai\jong) of Selangor. — Writing of 
another tribe in Ulu Langat, the same author tells 
us that the women of the ** Cape Tribe '' (** Orang 
Tanjong") were allowed to have more than one 
husband, and that one woman who lived at Bandar 
Ranching formerly had four. These women (he adds) 
used to seek their own husbands.^ 

III. — Jakun. 

Blandas. — The qualifications required of the 
Blandas (Kuala Langat) women, at their wedding 
ceremony, which was similar to that described above, 
were their ability to hammer tree-bark ("mSnitek 
t'rap ") ; to roast or ** burn " (** bakar ") bananas, sweet 
potatoes, and yams ; and to make betel-leaf wallets 
(** bujam '*). It may also be worth noting that both 

* J. A. G. Campbell, p. 241. Al- Sakai, this particular ceremony is un- 
though this tribe must be classed as doubtedly of Malayan origin. ' Ibid. 


parties change their names after the birth of their 
first-born child, whose name they take. Thus Pa' 
Bijan, Ma' Bijan, or '* Father of Bijan," ** Mother of 
Bijan," were the actual names of a married Blandas 
couple whose eldest-born child was called Bijan. 

BesisL — Upon one occasion when I inquired of the 
Besisi in Kuala Langat how a man would address 
a woman whom he wished to marry, and who was not 
unwilling to accept him, one of them repeated as a 
specimen, the following address.^ It took the form 
of an imaginary dialogue, which ran as follows : — 

Man. Are you willing to take me, say ? 

Woman, \Vhat mean you ? I merely follow you. How can I refuse ? 
Man. I wish that too. 

Womcm. How can I refuse ? It b the man with whom it rests. I merely 
follow you, since I am but a woman. As I am a woman, I merely follow you. 

Man. If that is truth, so be it. I will be father and mother to you, rest 

Woman. What mean you ? I follow you for a single day, but not for long. 
Man. That is also my desire. 

Woman, If you are savage, overbearing, harsh-spoken, if you are like that, if 
you are like a hornet, I shall be unable to endure it beyond to-morrow. 

Here the man, after pushing the betel-stand to- 
wards her, says : 

** I desire to seek somewhat of yours, a stand for betel ; 

I am looking for a filly, yearning greatly to obtain her ; 

I am looking for a sea-canoe, 

If it have no mast, I will supply a mast for it. 

If it have no sail, I v^nll supply a sail for it, 

I have sought it by sea till now, but have not found it. 

I have now reached your land, I have scented a blossom, 

I have scented it thus far oversea. 

Weary am I indeed with roaming so far. 

But here verily is such a blossom, and such scent has reached me, that I 

follow it. 
Pick it up? I will indeed pick it. 
Is it still to seek ? I will indeed seek it. 
Desired I not its fragrance, I had not sought it; 
Bui my craving for its scent is very great, I ask but to own ii. 
Should I find it not, I will seek — yea, until I find it. 

Great is my yearning — yea, even if in a month I find it not, I will not return 
Until you grant me my Heart's Desire." 

* In ordinary cases the man's request as among the Malays themselves. Cp. 
would be addressed to the girl's parents, Malay Magic, pp. 364-365. 


As regards marriage itself, the existence of a dis- 
tinctive law is perhaps more than might be expected 
of this unsophisticated race, yet it not only exists but 
is recognised as binding, and is, moreover, pretty 
strictly observed, and it is noticeable that there are in 
the Besisi dialect special terms for both "husband" 
and " wife." 

A remarkable fact is that the Besisi commonly 
have a regular carnival (at the end of the padi or rice 
harvest) when (as they say) they are "allowed to 
exchange " their wives, a practice which recalls the 
wedding law of ancient Peru, by which there was 
established one universal wedding-day annually 
throughout the land. 

The marriage settlements brought by the man 
consist of such objects as are best calculated to con- 
tribute to the satisfaction of the bride and her parents, 
as, for instance, a string of beads, four cubits 
(" hasta ") of white cloth, a plate and a drinking- 
cup, and in some cases a ring ; but at the same time 
the husband is expected to provide a hut, cooking* ;, 
pots, and other necessary articles such as will suffioef|| 
to enable house-keeping to be started with reasonablei 
comfort. ^ 

The usual ceremony (as now practised by the 
Besisi) is of a very simple description, and is usually 
performed by the Batin, who is a priestly chief, and, 
as a Besisi man once put it, " who takes the place of 
an Imam " (the Malay Mohammedan priest).^ 

^ **The marriage ceremony is per- exchange of "sirih'* (betel -leaf chewed 

formed either by the Batin or the with areca-nut) they are pronounced 

Jinang. The contracting parties stand man and wife. A feast is afterwards 

on each side of him, the girl on his held, to which all the members of the 

left and the man on his right. He tribe are invited." — Bellamy, p. 227. 

then joins their hands, and after an Cp. J. /. A. iii. 490. 


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This simpler form of wedding (as practised by the 
Besisi of Sepang in Selangor) was celebrated in the 
following manner : — In the first place, the bridegroom 
would bring to the house of the bride's parents the 
presents required by custom — say five cubits of white 
cloth, five quids of betel-leaf, five cigarettes, and a 
copper ring. 

On the bridegroom's arrival all present partook of 
food, and the bride and bridegroom then ate rice off 
the same plate. After this meal the gifts were 
presented to the bride's parents, and the Batin or 
one of the minor chiefs of the tribe {e^. the 
" Penghulu Balei ") then inquired : " What about 
these children of ours? Are we to make them 
one ? " To this the parents replied in the affirmative, 
and the head of the tribe then gave both bride and 
bridegroom a new name. 

The parties might then disperse at leisure. 

The really remarkable rite called the " ant-heap " 
(properly the ** hillock*' or "mound") ceremony, re- 
ferred to above by Mr. J. A. G. Campbell as a custom 
of the Ulu Langat Sakai, appears to be now very nearly 
obsolete among the Besisi, so far as I could ascertain. 

I once had the good fortune, however, to witness 
it when it was being performed at Ayer I tarn (in the 
Kuala Langat district of Selangor) by some Besisi 
who had just returned from Batu Pahat (in Johor, 
where they told me that the old custom was still kept 
up). I will therefore describe the ceremony that I 
saw as carefully as possible. I attended the wedding 
at the invitation of the Besisi themselves, with whom 
I was on very good terms. Shortly after my arrival 
at the village a small pit was dug by Penghulu Lempar 
(of Batu Pahat) in front of the door of a special palm- 


leaf building (a Balei or Tribal Hall, built on the plan 
of the letter T) which had been erected for the 
occasion. With the earth, or rather clay, thrown up 
from the pit Penghulu Lempar constructed a mound * 
about the height of a man's waist and in the shape of a 
truncated cone, surmounted by a small globe and knob, 
so that it was not unlike a gigantic bell and bell-handle. 
In the morning, just before the ceremony, I saw 
Penghulu Lempar decorating it with flowers, and when 
I asked him where he learnt how to make the mound, 
he replied that he was quite used to doing so in Johor.* 
The flowers were arranged as follows : — First, round 
about the mound were planted half a dozen long stems 
of what Lempar called the ** Owl-flower " ; ' to these 
were added several blossoming stems of the wild red 
** Singapore " rhododendron,* and to these were again 
added some young shoots of fan-palms and other kinds 
of palms.^ Into the mound itself Lempar stuck some 
stems of a common blossoming reed.* 

To these, the natural products of the jungle, he 
added a bunch of the following artificial ** flowers" 
manufactured from strips of fan-palm^ leaf. These 
were intended to represent the sun ; ® coconuts,* 
nooses or ** earrings ";^^ the blossom of the wild ** seal- 

* The Besisi told me that the mound ever, that the custom is more widely 
was always artificial and always of the spread. Cp. Maxwell,y. R, A, S.^ S. B.^ 
same remarkable shape. The reason of No. i, p. 112. 

its being called an ant-hill is merely that ^ »« Bunga ponggoh," called by the 

the Malay word (**busut") means a Langat Malay who accompanied me 

*' mound " of any kind (whether natural, **satawar hutan," or "wild sata- 

e.^. an ant-heap, or artificial), so that war." 

the confusion arose easily enough. * Mai. " kedudok *' ; Bes. ** kodok.'* 

The shape of the mound is not ^ I.e. **nibong"and "kepau." 

necessarily phallic ; I have not been ^ " Sendayan," or " senderayan." 

able to discover any parallel ceremony. ^ " Kepau." 

* I mention this because the Batin ® Bes. "met are'," or "tongkat 
afterwards told me that the custom was langit." 

only kept up among the tribes of Ulu ^ Bes. ** niyu." 

Batu Pahat. It seems certain, how- ^® Bes. "subang." 


ing-wax " palm/ and the blossom and fruit of a re- 
markable wild tree-nut with boat-shaped sail, called by 
the Malays the " sail-fruit '* or " fill-cup," the latter title 
being due to an extraordinary property on the part 
of its seeds, any one of which, if placed in a cup of 
water, will fill the entire cup with a substance resem- 
bling a brown jelly, which is eaten with avidity by the 

I may add that each representation of the " sun " 
was crowned with a little spike, on which was spitted 
a blossom stripped from a newly-plucked spray of the 
wild (" Singapore ") rhododendron. This bunch was 
inserted into the knob-like summit of the mound, and 
a plait or festoon of the same material, decorated with 
long streamers, encircled the mound just below the 
upper rim of the truncated portion. 

The preparations were completed by depositing 
on the flat top of the truncated portion a dish contain- 
ing two portions of rice and wild betel-leaf® and a dish 
of water, which were to be shared later on between 
the bride and bridegroom. 

About half-past nine the beating of drums at a 
distance announced the approach of the bridegroom's 
party. On its arrival the bride (who was staying in 
the house of the tribal chief or Batin, whose guest I 
was) was carried outside (on the shoulders of a matron, 
if I remember rightly), and stationed close to the 
mound, so as just to leave room for the bridegroom 
and his supporters to pass. A lengthy catechising of 
the man (who was coached by the Batin) followed, the 
questioning being undertaken by the Penghulu Balei 
(one of the inferior chiefs) on the part of the woman. 

* Bes. " chongoi meri " = Mai. ** pinang raja." 
2 Mai. "salayer," or "kembangsamangkok." ' '^Chambai." 



Penghulu BaUi (for the bride). Have 
you bought plates and cups ? 

Batin (on behalf of the man). I have. 

P. Have you bought pots and pans ? 

B. I have. 

P, Have you bought clothing ? 

B. I have. 

P. Have you bought a jungle -knife 
(chopper) ? 

B, I have. 

P. Have you bought a hatchet ? 

/?. I have. 

P, Have you built a hut ? 

B. I have. 

P. Have you made steps for it ? 

B, I have. 

P. Have you forme<l a clearing ? 

B. I have. 

P, Have you made a rice-spoon ? ^ 

B. I have. 

P, Have you made a water-bucket ? 

B. I have. 

P. Have you planted yams ? * 

y?. I have. 

P, Have you planted sugar-cane ? 

B. I have. 

P, Have you planted rice ? 

B, I have. 

P. Have you planted bananas ? 

B, I have. 

P, Do you know how to fell trees ? 
B. I do. 

P, Do you know how to climb for 
fruit ? 
I do. 

Do you know how to use the btow- 
I do. 

Do you know how to smoke agar- 
I do. 
P, Do you know how to find tuitk- 


I do. 

Is all this true ? 

It is true. 

I could purchase a hill at Singa- 
pore, Malacca, or Penang, 

I could purchase a hill in Selangor 
or Peraik ; 

How much more then sonuh^dtft 
P, Is this true, so a tree fall on yoa?^ 
B. Speak not of somebody's daughter ! 

Monkeys of all kinds ^ do I seardi 
for and capture ; 

How much more then samtbodfi 





P, " Pun ! " Sweet potato, " Pun ! " 

Thus we Jakun plant sweet potatoes ! 

** Ratified," ^ says the Batin, say the chiefs of the tribe !* 

** Ratified " [say] both young and old ! 

Round the mound and round again ! 

At this stage of the proceedings the bridegroom 
(who was dressed, like the bride, in Malay apparel) 
was conducted seven times and the bride once round 
the mound, and they were then stationed side by side, 
when they were together given rice to eat from the 

* /.<?. a rice-spoon of wood or coco- 
nut shell. 

2 I.e. ** have you got a yam-patch ? " 
etc. etc. 

^ The phrase used may also mean, 
" Can you make " or •* have you made 
cigarettes ? " 

* Lit. a daughter of people (perhaps 
the wild people or the tribe). But it 
may equally well mean the daughter of 
a person, or ** somebody's daughter." 

'^ The phrase here used '"tempa* 

kret ") lit. means ** fall upon (your) 
body," i.e. ** so may (a tree) fall upon 
you," which is the strongest form of 
asseveration used by these forest-tribes, 
among whom the terror of falling trees 
is very real and present, and perhaps 
more feared than any other danger. 

« Lit. "chikahs" and "lotongs" 
(two kinds of monkey). 

7 Lit. "true"(Bes. "hoi"). 

* Lit. Batin, Jinang, Jukrah (titles 
of chiefs). 


plate and water from the dish. All parties then 
adjourned to the ** Balei " or tribal ** Hall," where a 
feast was in course of preparation, and where the bride 
and bridegroom were made to eat and drink from the 
same dish, and shortly afterwards time compelled me 
to leave. 

I may add, however, that during the entire night 
before the wedding from dark to dawn the Besisi 
never ceased beating their drums and playing on 
their rude bamboo flutes and stringed bamboos 
(" banjeng "). 

I may add also that the bride and bridegroom 
looked little more than children, and that there is no 
apparent limit of age for marriage among these people. 

Before we departed one of the Batins remarked to 
me that the mound by which we were at the time 
standing was the emblem of his religion, or (as he 
put it) the " priest of his tribe." ^ There can, I think, 
be little doubt as to the meaning of this statement, 
and given some such sacred emblem, the procession 
around it would be natural enough. Whether the 
race or the walk round it was the older institution 
must remain a moot point, until further evidence on 
the point is obtainable ; most probably the walk is the 

With regard to the age at which the Besisi women 
are married, we are told by Logan that among the 
Besisi a child of a few years old was not un frequently 
betrothed to her intended husband, who took her to 
his house and brought her up.^ 

* The expression employed (in Malay) ' /. I. A. vol. i. p. 270. Logan 

was **kita-punya Imam," i.e. '*our compares this with the custom of the 

priest." The statement was a purely vol- **Dayaks" near Banjermassin, where 

anury one, and not in response to any betrothal takes place at the age of four 

question of mine. In Pahang a fire takes or six years. A similar custom occurs 

the place of the mound (p. 82, infra). in Java. 


It is said that a Besisi man will occasionally take 
to himself two wives, but never more than two ; as a 
matter of fact, however, I do not remember a single 
case in which a Besisi man had more than one. On 
the other hand, no Besisi woman might have more 
than one husband, although cases of polyandry have 
certainly been recorded among the Sakai of the neigh- 
bouring district of Ulu Langat. 

Before leaving the Besisi marriage customs it should 
be recorded that at their great annual carnival or drink- 
ing feast (** main jo*oh "), during the rice-harvest, there 
was (as in some other savage lands ^) a sort of " game 
of exchanging wives." This is the same ceremony 
as that which Logan terms the " Tampoi Feast," 
a fuller description of which will be given below.* 

Mantra. — In an interesting account of the marriage 
ceremony as performed by the Mantra, Logan informs 
us that marriages among the Mantra were not ordi- 
narily made with the haste of the ** Tampoi Feast." 
When a young man was desirous of marrying a girl, 
he would communicate his wishes to his own father, 
who communicated in turn with the father of the girl. 
If the latter agreed to the match, from four to eight 
silver or copper rings were presented to him, and a 
day was appointed for the marriage. When it arrived, 
the bridegroom was conducted by his parents and 
relatives to the bride's house, where a large feast had 
been prepared. On entering he paid his respects to 
the near relations of the bride. If the Batin did not 
reside at a great distance, he always attended, and 
presided at the ceremony. Betel-leaf and its usual 
accompaniments having been placed ready upon a 
sieve (*' nyiru "), the bride took up one of the small 

* E.g. J even, by latest reports, in Greenland. * See pp. 169-170, if^ra. 


packets of betel-leaf and presented it to the bride- 
groom, who presented another to her in return. The 
father of the bridegroom then addressed him, en- 
joining him to cherish his wife, to be kind to her, on 
no account to beat her or behave harshly to her, but, 
if he should ever be offended by her, to complain to 
her parents. The father of the bride then laid a 
similar injunction upon her. The company were then 
feasted, the bride and bridegroom eating from the 
same plate, a custom which is common to most of the 
Indo-Chinese and Malayan races. The bridegroom 
remained for the night.^ 

It should be added that the teeth of the bride and 
bridegroom were filed with a stone before the day of 

A form of the mound-ceremony found among the 
Besisi is also practised by this same tribe, and 
Borie, in describing it, remarks that when all the 

* y. /. A. p. 323*. chiefs, which were thankfully accepted, 

- Ibid, M. Borie (tr. liourien), in A plate containing small packages of 

giving a description of a wedding among rice wrapped up in banana-leaves then 

the Mantra, informs us that the bride, having been presented, the husband 

who was clothed by her companions in offered one to his future wife, who 

her best attire, was conducted to the showed herself eager to accept it, and 

centre of the assembly, where she took ate the contents ; she then in her turn 

her place close to her future husband, gave some to her husband, and they 

who, bowing, saluted every member of afterwards both assisted in distributing 

the company, shaking hands with each the remainder among the other mem- 

of them in turn. According to old bers of the assemblage. The Juru 

custom, the three chiefs made speeches Krah having received a ring from the 

upon the obligations of matrimony — husband, returned it to him, and he 

not forgetting to enjoin upon the hus- then placed it on the finger of the left 

bond that in return for the submission hand of his future wife. The bride 

that his wife owes him, he should having also received a ring from the 

punctually day by day supply her with Juru Krah, placed it upon the finger 

betel-leaf to eat and tobacco to smoke. of the right hand of her husband ; the 

The Juru Krah (one of the three marriage was then declared complete, 

chiefs), who was conducting the mar- and copious plates full of rice with 

riage, then demanded the pledges of vegetables having been served round, 

their prospective union, and the bride all set to work to satisfy their appetite, 

and bridegroom professing to be unable M. Borie remarked that the bride 

to comply, addressed themselves to M. and bridegroom still ate from one dish. 

Borie, who gave them two handker- (Borie (tr. Bourien), pp. 81, 82.) 


guests were assembled, the bride and bridegroom 
were led forth by one of the old men of the tribe 
towards a circle of varying size, round which the girl 
commenced to run, the young man pursuing a short 
distance behind her ; if he succeeded in overtaking 
her, she became his wife, but if not he lost all claim to 
her. At other times a yet larger area was appointed 
for the trial, and the bridegroom pursued the bride in 
the forest.^ 

In addition to the foregoing, we learn from Logan 
that the Mantra did not mix socially nor intermarry 
either with the other Benua tribes, nor yet with the 
Malays,^ and further that they were strict mono- 

Adultery was a capital crime if it could be proved 
by witnesses. The sentence of the Batin was carried 
into execution by the Penglima. The offenders were 
laid prostrate in the nearest brook, and their heads 
were kept under water by placing a forked stick over 
their necks and driving the points into the bed of the 
stream. When the husband was satisfied of his wife's 
infidelity, but was unable to prove it, he might desert 
her, but was obliged in that case to leave her in pos- 
session of the house and clearing, and also to pay her 
ten cubits ( lo **hastas" = 5 yards) of white cloth, thirty 
cents in money, and eight silver rings. The children 
remained with the wife, who might not, however, 
remarry until the husband took to himself another 
wife in her place.* 

The right of the husband to beat his wife for any 
cause whatever was not recognised by the Mantra, 

1 Boric (tr. Bourien), p. 8 1. Cp. ^ J. I, A. vol. i. p. 330. 

ilso Miklucho-Maclay in /. A*. A. S,, ' /M, p. 270. 

' B.. No. 2, D. ^16. * /^id, p. 268. 


and such was also the custom of the Benua, and 
probably of all the other (Jakun) tribes. Should 
a Mantra woman offend her husband, he might 
complain to her parents, who would themselves 
chastise her. The wife, on the other hand, had a 
reciprocal right to appeal for protection to the parents 
of her husband. Should the husband commit any 
serious offence against his wife, her relatives might 
complain to the Batin or chief of the tribe, who 
would authorise them to deal summarily with him. 
They would then repair to the offender's house and 
strip it of every article that it contained. The goods 
thus summarily appropriated were carried to the 
Batin, who would give one portion to the wife's 
relatives, and distribute the remainder between him- 
self and his officers.^ 

Benua-Jakun of Johor. — Among the Benua Logan 
states that betrothal was the rule, and sometimes took 
place, among most if not all the tribes, at a very 
early age on the part of the unconscious girl. The 
Malays declared that when a marriage had been 
arranged amongst the Benua, the relatives of both 
parties would assemble at the house of the bride, 
who was then placed in a canoe by herself, supplied 
with a paddle, and sent down the stream. When she 
had been given a start of one or two reaches, the 
bridegroom entered a canoe and gave chase. Should 
he succeed in overtaking the fair one, she became his 
wife. If he failed, the match was broken off. But since 
most of the young women had good stout arms, and 
could make good use of the paddle that was given them, 
it must be supposed that love usually unnerved them, 
and gave the victory to the bridegroom.- According 

' J. I. A, vol. i. p. 267. '^ Logan here adds that he is seep- 


to members of the tribe, the union was arranged by 
the parents, and the ceremony consisted simply in the 
parties eating from the same plate. After partaking 
of a repast, the relatives of the bridegroom departed, 
leaving him to pass the night in the bride's house. 
Next day he carried her home. A small present was 
sent to the bride's parents previous to the marriage. 
The Batins and their families would send as much as 
forty plates (** pinggan ") on such occasions, and other 
persons as much as twenty plates. If the lady had 
already been married, no ceremony whatever was 
used. She repaired to the house of her new husband, 
and installed herself as mistress.^ Most of the Benua 
had one wife only, but some had two, and there did 
not appear to be any rule on the subject.* The 
husband might not beat his wife for any cause what- 

No marriage was lawful without the consent of the 

tical as to the real existence in his day The young couple then approach each 
of the practice describe<l, but in view other, join hands, and the sylvmn cere- 
of all the evidence, it may be taken, I mony is concluded. It varies, how- 
think, as substantially accurate. ever, in different tribes. Among some 
^ Logan here adds that amongst the there is a dance, in the midst of which 
Berembun tril>es the husband either the bride elect darts off, d la galtpe^ 
took up his residence in the house of into the forest, followed by her inamo- 
his wife's parents or made one in their rato. A chase ensues, during which, 
clearing. should the youth fall down, or return 
^ J. I. A, vol i. p. 270. unsuccessful, he is met with the jce« 
' Ibid. p. 267. and merriment of the whole party, and 
Newbold gives a graphic account of the match is declared off. It genermliy 
a wedding among the Benua, but un- happens, though, that the lady con- 
forlunately it Is not clear to what tribe trives to stumble over the root of 

he refers. His account is as follows: — tree friendly to Venus, and falls (for- 
**On occasions of marriages the tuitously of course) into the outstretched 
whole tribe was assembled and an arms of her pursuer ! 
entertainment given, at which large " No marriage is lawful without the 
quantities of a fermented liquor, ob- consent of the parents. TTie dower 
tained from the fruit of the Tampoi, usually given by the man to the bride 
are discussed by the wedding guests; is a Malay hatchet (* beliong'), a copper 
an address is made by one of the elders ring, an iron or earthen cooking vessel, 
to the following effect : * Listen, all a chopper or parang, a few cubits of 
ye that are present, those that were cloth, glass beads, and a pair of arm- 
distant are now brought together, those lets ; the woman also presents a copper 
K^f ...-,..- c^T5flro»i»^ .rr .^^v, MpJ^'^d.' "Hg to her Intended. Polygamy is not 


father. A man might not have more than one wife at 
once. A man who divorced his wife lost the dowry 
given to her, but if the divorce came from the side of 
the woman, she was bound to return the dowry she 
received from the man.^ 

Any married person surprised in aduhery might 
be put to death. But if a woman so surprised could 
prove that she was seduced, she would not be put to 
death, but would be sent away by her husband. After 
divorce the man and woman might marry again with 
other parties.^ 

A father could not sell his child, but might give 
him to another, always provided that the child would 
consent, no matter what its age might be.* 

If children were left orphans, their nearest relatives 
would bring them up, unless, with their consent, some 
other person agreed to do so.* 

Although the Benua women were generally faith- 
ful, adultery appeared to be neither infrequent nor 
held in sufficient detestation. The Malays asserted 
that it was not difficult to obtain favours of Benua 
women, and these latter themselves admitted that 
husbands sometimes changed their wives, and wives 
their husbands.^ Divorce was simply a putting away 
of the wife.^ 

permitted, but a man can divorce his With the foregoing should be further 

wife and take another. The form of compared the account given by Vaughan- 

divorce is that the parties return their Stevens in V, B. G. A, xxiii. p. 833, 

copper wedding -rings ; the children which does not however add anything 

generally go with the mother." of importance. 

In some tribes it is customary to ^ Favre in J. /. A. vol. ii. p. 269. 

deck out the bride with the leaves of ^ /^,y, 

the Palas-tree, and to cut off a part of ' Ibid. 

her hair, a custom also observed by * Ibid, 

Mala3rs, and termed **andam" (New- * This is doubtless at the annual 

bold, voL il pp. 407, 408. Cp. also "carnival" or ** Tampoi Feast," and 

vol. L chap. ▼., and vol. ii. pp. 394, 395 : it is not fair on that account to tax the 

" Adultery is punishable with death if Benua with infidelity, 
the parties are caught in the act." * /, /. A, vol. i. p. 268, 



Jakun of Johor. — Logan states that among the 
Jakun, marriages were ordinarily celebrated about the 
months of July and August, when fruits were plentiful 
The bridegroom frequented for some time the house 
of his intended, and when he had obtained her con- 
sent, he made a formal demand for her hand to her 
father. A day was then appointed, and preparations 
made for an entertainment, the scale of which varied 
according to the means of the two contracting parties, 
and their rank in the tribe. When the day for the 
marriage had arrived, the bridegroom repaired to the 
house of the bride's father, where the whole tribe was 
already assembled. The dowry to be given by the 
man to his bride was then delivered ; it must consist 
at the least of a silver or copper ring, and a few cubits 
of cloth, and if the man were able to afford it, a pair of 
bracelets. To these gifts a few other ornaments and 
articles, e.g. furniture for the house of the new family, 
were added. Sometimes the woman also presented 
some gifts to her intended husband. The bride was 
then delivered by her father to the bridegroom, and 
the solemnity began. Some stated that among some 
of the tribes there was a dance, in the midst of which 
the bride elect darted off into the forest, followed by 
the bridegroom. A chase ensued, during which, should 
the youth fall down, or return unsuccessful, he was met 
with the jeers and merriment of the whole party, and 
the match was declared off A slightly different 
ceremony was ascribed to the Benua of Pahang, viz., 
that during the banquet a large fire was kindled, all 
the congregation standing as witnesses ; the bride then 
commenced to run round the fire ; the bridegroom, who 
was obliged to run in the same direction, following her; 
"^Vr-* succeeded in catching her the marriage was valid, 



if he could not, it was declared off.^ No marriage 
was lawful without the father's consent. Conjugal 
fadthfulness was much respected among the Jakun ; 
adultery being punishable by death. It was especially 
remarkable that among the Jakun, although they were 
surrounded by Mohammedans and heathen races, all 
of whom were so much addicted to polygamy, it was 
not allowed to keep more than one wife, and that 
Logan met with only one who had two wives, and he 
was censured and despised by the whole tribe.^ The 
only difference, in fact, between this form of mono- 
gamy and that practised by Christian nations was that 
amongst the Benua a man might divorce his wife and 
take another. The rule was that if the divorce was 
proposed by the husband, he lost the dowry he had 
given to the woman ; but that if the woman asked to 
be divorced, she must return the dowry she had 
received at marriage. The children followed the 
father or the mother according to their own (the 
children's) wishes ; if, however, they had not yet 
arrived at the age of reason, they followed the mother.^ 
Udai. — The only reference to marriage among the 

^ On this Favre remarks that all the had allowed a man to pay his addresses 

Jakun he questioned on the point de- to her, the parties proceeded to a hillock 

dared that they were not at all aware round which the woman ran three times, 

of the practice, so that if the story pursued by the man ; if the latter suc- 

werc true, it must be ascribed to a few ceeded in catching her before the ter- 

tribes only {J. I. A, vol. ii. p. 264). mination of the chase, she became his 

[This conclusion, however, does not wife, but not otherwise (Begbie, l.c, 

necessarily follow from the premisses. pp. 13, 14). It is worth noting that the 

The Jakun frequently deny the existence object round which the chase took 

of practices which they fear will be place is here accurately described as a 

laughed at by strangers, and the very hillock and not as an ant-heap. 
Jakun who took part in the mound ^ Cp. Begbie, l.c, pp. 13, 14. 

ceremony had previously denied its Polygamy among the Jakun is not 

existence to me.] allowed, and is punishable. 

A yet older authority for the Mound ^ j^ /, ^^ vol. ii. p. 264. For the 

ceremony than Favre, is Captain treatment of the Jakun women by their 

Begbie, who states that the marriage husbands, who regard them as mere 

ceremony of the Jakun was {ante 1834) chattels, but are otherwise not unkind 

as follows: — When a young woman to them, see Z./. E, xxviii. p. 166. 


Udai is that made by Newbold, who records that they 
are said never to intermarry with the Jakun, who accuse 
them of devouring their own dead and of cohabiting 
with the beasts of the forest.* 

Orang Laut or Sea-jakun. 

Orang* Laut, S'letar. — Of the marriage customs of 
the S'letar tribe we are informed that a mouthful of 
tobacco and a single ** chupak " of rice handed to the 
bride's mother confirmed the hymeneal tie. The 
S'letar women intermarried with the Malays, this 
custom appearing to be not unfrequent ; they were also 
sometimes given to Chinese, and an old woman stated 
that she had been united to individuals of both nations, 
at an early period in her life.^ 

Orang Laut, Sabimba. — Before marriage the bride- 
groom prepared a hut of his own to which he carried 
the bride, on the day of marriage, from the house of 
the Batin where they were united. Twelve cubits 
(**hastas*') of white cloth, and some betel-leaf and areca- 
nut were delivered by the bridegroom into the Ratings 
hands for presentation to the parents of the bride. 

The children of brothers might not intermarry, but 
those of sisters and of a brother and sister might do sa 
Adultery was punished by a fine of looo rattans, 
seduction of a virgin by compelling the man to marry 
her and to give the customary present to her parents.' 

To the foregoing should be added the declaration 
of the Sabimba that they had no actual ceremonies 
at marriage ; the preparation of a shed, open on all 
sides, and measuring about 6 ft. x 4 ft. (1.8 m. x 1.2 m.), 

1 Newbold, ii. 381, 382. ^ /. /. A. vol L p. 347*. 

* ^f**d, D. 297. 


erected over a few branches and leaves strewed on the 
ground, comprised all the bridegroom's care. The price 
of a wife was stated to be ten needles, three hanks of 
thread, sixteen cubits of cloth, and three ** reals.'* The 
Sabimba women did not intermarry with the Malays, 
nor would they part with their offspring for any con- 

Orangr Laut, Beduanda Kallang*. — Previous to mar- 
riage the bridegroom was expected to provide himself 
with a boat of his own. Members of the same family 
might not intermarry, however remote the degree, 
though at the same time no doubt the traces of 
relationship would tend to be soon lost and forgotten. 
Widowers and widows were not in the habit of 
marrying again. Polygamy and adultery were both 

Orang Laut, Huka Kuning. — As soon as the breasts 
of a girl were of the size of an areca-nut she was con- 
sidered marriageable.* When a marriage had been 
agreed upon, the parents of the bridegroom sent to 
those of the bride 3000 rattans, a piece of cloth, a jacket, 
and two silver rings. The marriage, which took place 
at the house of the bride, in presence of the Batin or 
tribal chief and several guests, consisted in the bride 
and bridegroom being placed side by side, and made 
to join hands, while the parents enjoined them to be 
kind to each other and avoid disputes. A feast followed, 
at which the newly married pair ate from the same 
plate or leaf. Singing and dancing to the tambourine 
('* rebana '*) followed. The Batin received as his fee 
a present of 2000 rattans.* 

» J. I. A, vol. i. p. 347*. ^ Ibid. p. 300. 

' This is also the standard followed by the Malays. 

* /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 338* 339*. 


If a husband was not pleased with his wife, he 
might return her to her parents, and after the lapse of 
a month the parties might form other connexions. 
Polygamy was unknown. The children of brothers 
might not intermarry.^ 

Orang Laut, Akik. — The only remark I have met 
with in reference to the marriage customs of this 
particular tribe was to the effect that although a 
Jakun could take an Akik woman to wife, the Akiks 
were not permitted to marry with the Jakun females.' 

The remainder of this account of the wedding 
ceremonies of the Orang Laut is taken from Vaughan- 
Stevens, and is of general value only, no names of 
tribes or localities being given : — 

At marriage the son commonly undertook to build a boat for himtdf, unlea, 
as was usual, he already possessed one. But both he and his wife oonld live in 
the boat of cither's parents, whenever his assistance and that of his wife might 
be required. Marriage took place at a very early age, at fifteen or sixteen yean, 
but now since there are fewer women available, it takes place later.' 

The customs relating to the choice of wives among the Orang LauI are veiy 
similar to those of the E. Semang (Pangan), Sakai, and Jakun.* The men of 
one community could only take a wife from another community (not their own), 
in the days when they lived upon the sea.^ If the two communities were at 
feud, and the young people had no opportunity of making a choice, matches 
were effected by capture, and both the women and their dowry taken by force* 
But these organised attacks never take place in the interior of the country, 
since the Eastern Semang is unrestricted in his choice of a spouse, and the 
Sakai is bound by his totemistic {sic) code.' Communal marriage, in which the 
woman is free to all the men of the community, or its milder form, family-marriage, 
in which the woman becomes the spouse of all her husband's brothers, did not 
occur ; and both polyandry and p>olygamy were equally unknown.^ 

* /. /. A, vol. i. p. 339*. case of four communities of the Orang 

2 NewlK>ld, ii. 413, 414. Laut of which A, B, and C, were of 

3 Bartels in Z. /. E. xxviii. 1 74. pure blood, and D a mixed tribe of 

* As the customs of the three races Orang I^aut and Jakuns, the first tribe 
are very different, this sweeping state- A, could take wives from B or C, B 
ment seems meaningless and indefen- could take wives from A or C, and C 
sible. from B or A, but none of them could 

^ On p. 175, Vaughan-Stevens ex- take a wife from the mixed tribe D. 
plains that by exogamy he means * Vaughan-Stevens in Z,f, £, xxviii. 

marriage within the different branches p. 174. 
of the same race, not intermarriage with ^ Idid. V. ante, p. 62. 

<!fran<TArc or fr»r*iom<»— ^ Thl|e Jn tjjg 8 Jbid, 


Orang Laut children belong not to the father but to the mother. Thus, 
sapposing a woman belonging to a community A, marries a man belonging to 
a oommonity B, the children would belong to A, and at the father's death would 
be taken by the mother to her original home.^ Perhaps this may be the reason 
(remarks Bartels) why the Orang Laut man cares so little about his children and 
treats both mother and children so badly.^ Vaughan-Stevens continues, that when 
he said to some of the Orang Laut, *< The fact appears to be that you can be sure 
who the mother is, but not who the father may be," they laughed and agreed 
with him.' 

Among the Orang Laut the exact value of the present to be made to the bride's 
parents depends partly upon the bride's qualities and partly upon the circumstance 
whether ^e was desired in marriage by one or more suitors. In the case of 
o^itiTes being taken as wives, this present was naturally omitted.^ 

Apropos of the so-called << ant-hill " ceremony, Vaughan-Stevens remarks that 
in spite of many inquiries he was unable to substantiate it except in a restricted 
area near Malacca, where he believes it was <* introduced by half-breeds." *' 

Vaughan-Stevens goes on to say that it was the custom for the youths of the 
tribe, at the wedding-feast, to engage in various games, the object of which was to 
excite the bridegroom to pursue his bride, but that though it was certainly 
unnecessary for him to catch her, he was mercilessly bantered if he fiuled of his 
purpose. This was, however, by no means a necessary ceremony, and did not 
take place at every wedding.^ 

The position of the women among the Orang Laut is pitiable, being much 
worse than among the other tribes.' Vaughan-Stevens says, ** I have often seen 
an Orang Laut man take all the fish and roots which had been collected by his 
fiunily in the course of the day, and silently devour the whole, leaving nothing but 
the heads and refuse for his wife and children to feed on." And when by any 
chance an Orang Laut is compelled to traffic either with the Sakai, Jakun, or 
Malays, these latter not unfrequently insist upon his giving a share of the food 
which he gets from them to his wife and children. The Orang Laut are, in feet, 
the lowest of all the aboriginal tribes,' and are the only tribe of which the men, 
upon all occasions, eat before their womenfolk are allowed to do so. Among 
other tribes the men on special occasions eat before the women, but that is because 
somebody has to look after the food, and not because they are considered too much 
beneath their husband for them to be allowed to eat with him.* 

Even when Vaughan-Stevens gave food to Orang Laut women they never 
dared to eat it when their husband was present, and so long as another man, even 
if he were not their husband, was present, they would always retire from his 
presence before eating it or giving any of it to their children.*® 

The Orang Laut were originally divided into families, recognising a special 
locality or district as their home, and since they invariably lived in scattered pMEurties 
in their boats, they described themselves as belonging to such localities. Marriage 

' Z,f,E. xxviii. 175. ascribed to the Orang Laut, I believe 

« Ibid. to be quite unmerited, and mainly due 

' Ibid. The custom here described to the fact of their being wilder and 

appears to be analogous to the ** Adat shyer than the other races in the Pen- 

Pcrpatih*" of the Malays of Rembau insula, and hence apparently more 

and Naning. stupid and brutal. 

* Z.f. E, xxviii. 176. ' It is not true that they are the 

* Ibid. This scepticism as to the only tribe of which the men eat before 
prevalence of the custom is, I believe, their women-folk, and even if it were, 
quite unnecessary (for the reasons before it may be doubted whether the in- 
given, and others). ference here deduced can be justly 

* Z.f. E. xxviii. 176. drawn from it. 

' This character of brutality so lightly • Z.f.E. xxviii. 167. ^^ Ibid 


did not affect the situation, and the invariable rule held good that men and women 
belonging to the same locality might not marry, bat that each must seek a spouse 
in another locality. This rule, however, like many others, fell into disuse when 
the domain of the Orang Laut became restricted to its present area. But never- 
theless the spouse is still chosen from as distant a locality as possible.^ 

Among Uie Orang Laut monogamy was the rule, the only exception being the 
so-called "Levirate.** For whenever the man's brother died, the fonno 
frequently supported the widow, on the ground that he took her as a kind of 
second wife. This at least is said to have been formerly the custom, until the 
women discovered later that as there were more men than women, they could 
very easily obtain a husband of their own.^ 

When the widow was taken over by the brother of her first husband, the 
children were allowed to choose, should they be old enough to do so, between 
remaining with their mother, and leaving her establishment.' 

Vaughan-Stevens asserts that the custom of [? mother-in-law] avoidance does 
not exist among the Orang Laut, nor were any names *' taboo," though they 
had heard of the custom.* 

* Vaughan-Stevens, Lc, p. 174. • Z,/,E. xxviii. 177. 

» Ibid. Ibid. 


Burial Customs and Beliefs. 

This is a most intricate subject, and the best hope of 
an adequate solution seems to lie in observing the 
divergent mental attitudes of the three wild races 
when confronted with the death of a member of their 
small community. 

The Negrito, for instance, exhibits little dread of 
the ghosts of the deceased, from which the Sakai, on 
the other hand, flee far aloof in terror. The Jakun 
again certainly display a dread of the ghost, but in 
their case the result of this most powerful motive, 
which inspires all similar burial customs, takes the 
form of a religious care for the dead man's spirit. 

Hence it is not surprising to find that, though the 
Semang now employ a simple form of interment, their 
more honourable (and therefore older ?) practice was 
to expose the dead in trees, whereas the Sakai simply 
leave the body to rot, and even desert standing crops. 

The Jakun devote their first efforts to making 
things comfortable for the spirit of the deceased, and 
do not as a rule desert the place until after their 
month of mourning has expired. 

Of the various rites observed by these tribes there 
are several that will prove of interest to students of 



ethnology. Among these are mere desertion of the 
corpse, as practised by the Sakai ; the exposure of dead 
wizards in trees,^ attributed to the Semang ; platform 
burial in a modified form, as practised by some of the 
Sakai of Selangor ; the lighting of a fire on or near 
the grave, as is done both by the Sakai and most of 
the Jakun ; the scrupulous solicitude shown by the 
Jakun for the deceased's spirit, which is provided with a 
furnished hut to live in, and provisions to feed upon, 
(as in the interesting burial-customs of the Besisi),'and 
even with a trench full of water on which to paddle its 
canoe (as in the case of the Jakun chief recorded by 
Hervey) ; and finally, the practice of fixing a bamboo 
in the grave in communication with the mouth of the 
corpse for the purpose of feeding it, a custom of which 
we have among the Jakun of Berembun a mere survival. 
To this we may add the use of the " burial bamboo " 
ascribed to the Semang by Vaughan-Stevens, which 
is said to be deposited in the grave to serve as 
credentials for the dead man's spirit to show when it 
comes before the universal Judge ; and the atrocious 
custom attributed to the Udai, which is explained by 
a Pangan tradition that I collected in Kelantan. 

^ The Andamanese exp>ose the body cornered hutch of lattice • work, in 

facing east on a small stage of sticks which offerings of small value, chiefly 

and boughs 8-12 ft. above the ground, rice and flowers and fruit, are de- 

usually in the fork of a tree ; this is posited immediately after the fimenl, 

thought more complimentary, as in- and subsequently at certain intervals. 

volving more labour. — Man's And, pp. These offerings are for the purpose of 

76-77. propitiating the Butas (the demoniacal 

* The soul - hut of the Selangor beings who infest places of burial 

Besisi is strongly reminiscent of the especially), lest they should attack the 

'* three -cornered hutch," which is soul of the deceased. The grave is 

erected by the side of the grave in then surrounded with a fence or hedge. 

Bali. At the burial of a commoner in Those who are buried in this way 

Bali, we are told that when the body cannot enter heaven ; they then assume 

hats been committed to the ground, all sorts of shapes *' (especially that of 

there *' is fixed in the ground by the the half- wild dogs which are numerous 

^de of the grave a bamboo, on the in Bali). — Misc, Papers relating to Mo- 

r^x ^^ v'^xi^h *\x^rp' 15 a cort of ♦hree- CAifia, second series, voL ii. p. 138. 


I. — Semang. 

Pangan. — The Pangan or Eastern Semang of 
Kelantan informed me that the bodies of the lay 
members of the tribe were buried in the ground (in a 
way which I shall presently describe), but that the bodies 
of their great magicians (whom they called " B'lians ") 
were deposited in trees in order that they might be 
able to fly over the head of the fearful figure which they 
believe blocks the narrow way that leads to the Jungle- 
men's Paradise. They further informed me that the 
dead body of one of these magicians had actually been 
deposited in a tree on the banks of the Kelantan river 
(above S. Sam), but the place described already lay 
a considerable distance to the rear of our expedition, 
and it was not then possible to reascend the river in 
order to investigate. I may add that the Pangan, like 
the Sakai, are entreated at death to " think of their de- 
parted ancestors alone and forget their living friends." 

Kedah Semang. — I will now describe the grave of a 
Semang which may be taken as fairly typical, and of 
which I was able personally to obtain the full par- 
ticulars. At Siong, in Kedah, I persuaded the Peng- 
lima or head of the Semang tribe, with a great deal 
of difficulty, to allow me to purchase the bones of a 
relative of his own who had been buried in the jungle 
not far from the settlement. The Penglima con- 
ducted one of the local Malays and myself to the site of 
the grave, which was in the depths of the jungle, and 
which we could never have found without assistance. 

A couple of stout bamboo poles which had been 
used to form the bier by means of which the remains 
had been borne to the spot, lay crossed above the 
grave, which was partially defended by a low fence of 


prickly palm -leaves and branches. The grave was 
that of one " P'landok " or " Mouse - deer/* who 
was said to have died about a year before, leaving 
behind him a son called "Padang"or " Flatland," 
whom I met in the settlement. We opened the grave 
together, and found it to measure about three feet 
deep by about five feet in length. There was nothing 
left of the body but the skeleton, which lay upon the 
right side in a huddled-up position, with the head and 
knees turned towards the right, and legs doubled back/ 
so as to bring them within the limits of the grave. 

Three coconut -shells, which had been used for 
holding small portions of rice, were still to be seen, 
one of them being just behind the head, and the 
other two at each side of the body. At the foot was a 
coconut-shell still partially filled with water. The body 
rested on a mat which covered a roughly-made floor 
or platform of sticks,* and had evidently been wrapped 
up in a red cloth (** sarong "), pieces of which were still 
here and there visible. A row of short stakes had 
been driven diagonally into one side of the grave-pit, 
the lower ends meeting the side of the pit about half- 
way down, a foot (30 cm.) above the body, and the upper 
ones reaching to the upper edge of the opposite side 
of the pit. The roofing to the grave thus formed had 
been covered with palm-leaves (bgrtam) laid longi- 
tudinally, and the whole arrangement formed a sort 
of screen which would keep the earth from falling 
on the body when the grave was being covered in. 

An infant child of the dead man ('* Mouse-deer") 
had been buried in a tiny grave a short distance 

1 As among the Andamanese, who ' This platform had no doubt, with 

are buried with * * knees brought up to the two bamboo poles referred to above, 

the chin, and fists to the shoulders." formed the bier on which the remains of 

vfp«'e j*,A nn -7^.76- the deceased had been carried *'> the grmye. 


away from that of " Mouse-deer " himself, but nothing 
was to be seen there at the time of my visit beyond 
a slight depression in the surface of the ground show- 
ing where the burial had taken place. 

These were said to have been the only deaths that had 
occurred since this tribe had arrived in the Siong district^ 
where they had lived, they said, for a couple of years. 

Perak Semang. — Mr. L. Wray writes me, that in the 
Piah Valley he once camped in a large clearing contain- 
ing a crop of Indian corn, nearly ripe, besides vege- 
tables, etc. This clearing had been recently abandoned 
in consequence of two deaths. The graves were in the 
clearing and the houses were still standing. Lower 
down the valley Mr. F. Lawder, about four years previ- 
ously, had seen a case in which the house had been shut 
up with the dead body in it. The skull and some of the 
bones from this house are now in the Perak Museum. 
In the same valley Mr. Wray saw another huge clear- 
ing with growing rice abandoned because of a death. 
In this instance, however, he did not see the grave. 

The following account, which generally speaking 
agrees with what I have observed myself, is taken 
from Vaughan-Stevens.^ It gives, however, the only 
account I have met with of the burial bamboo, which 
is one of the important subjects connected with these 
tribes still awaiting further investigation. 

On the occasion of a death the Pangan silently fetch the timbers required for 
the grave, and betake themselves to any suitable place in the jungle. Here they 
dig a grave with straight sides, deep enough for a man to stand in up to the hips, 
and then return to fetch the corpse. The Sna-hut meanwhile examines the corpse 
and gives it the burial bamboo or ** penitdh " (** peneetor "), a bamboo written over 
with signs, which is to serve as testimony on the other side of the grave to the 
behaviour of the man in the present life. 

The burial bamboo is inserted in the girdle of the deceased, with the node 
uppermost, the hollow pointing downwards ; the deceased lying meanwhile upon 
the ground- A slight bier is then fashioned out of a few bamboo poles, which 
arc bound together with rattan or other creepers. The corpse is laid upon it, 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 119-122. 


and as many men and women as have any interest in the dead accompany 
the remains to the grave. On arrival the corpse is deposited in the grave in 
a supine position, without any sort of orientation. A few stakes are then 
planted slanting-wise in the soil of the grave on each side of the corpse, so 
that they cross each other gable-wise above the corpse, a pole of bamboo or sooie 
other material is laid upon the ridge thus formed, in a line with the body, and 
leaves and branches are employed to cover the sloping sides. As a general nik 
the earth is shuffled back again into the grave with the feet, a small moond is 
heaped up over it, and some brushwood laid on the top, in order to prevent the 
pigs from digging the body up again. 

The method of burial now employed by the Semang on the west coast of 
the Peninsula is no longer the old one. In the southern parts of the west coast 
the Sakai methods are imitated, only the preparation of the grave is much moie 
careless. The peculiar diagonal hollow for the reception of the corpse is alwajps 
present. In the north of the west coast the Semang roughly imitate the manner 
of burial of the local Siamese who do not practise cremation : even idols stoks 
from their Siamese jungle companions are not forgotten.' The Semang say that 
they never expose a corpse.* 

The Pangan (Eastern Semang) do not as a rule revisit the grave, but tbej 
have not the least fear of doing so, because, as mentioned above, they do not 
believe in Hantus ; the Semang of the west coast only do so in order to firee die 
grave from underw^ood. 

If there is no minor chief (Sna-hut) in the neighbourhood, the dead man is buried 
without a burial bamboo, but the latter is afterwards lowered into the grave throng 
a deep hole bored with a grave-stake. The soul must in that case remain in & 
body until the burial bamboo arrives, as it is conscious that it has done nothing 
which might cause the latter to be refused. It is true, howe\xr, that if the soal does 
not leave the grave soon enough, Kari is sure to become impatient, and send 
thunder and lightning in order to hasten the tarrying soul, and although the exact 
effect of this is uncertain, the Pangan think that the soul must expiate t^ Hence 
no time is lost in obtaining the burial bamboo, of which the Sna-hut keeps a snpplf 
in hand, and when the deceased person is an adult man he also cuts the name- 
mark on the bamboo, before he gives it to the mourners. In former times the Sna- 
hut was never very far away, and was always called in, but kter the signs became 
better known, and the men in urgent cases cut the signs themselves. Many had 
their burial bamboo prepared during life, as the Sna-huts lived very scattered. 

When an innocent soul was deprived of its burial bamboo by any accident or 
through malice, it might demand restitution from Kari, and if the Sna-hut held 
the burial bamboo back unjustly, Kari's lightning would strike him and hud 
him down to the infernal region (Kamoj). 

Beside the corpse of a woman were deposited, in addition to her own burial 
bamboo, all her combs. These combs were placed in her hair if possible, if not, 
as many as possible were so placed, and the rest laid upon the breast of the 
corpse. This was in accordance with *' Simei's command." 

Similarly beside the corpses of men were deposited all their quivers and 
charm-bamboos and bamboo strings, with charm-patterns against Diseases. Their 
blowpipes, however, were not so deposited. 

The Semang of the west coast often put a little food into the grave before they 
leave it, and kindle a fire in the neighbourhood ; this, however, is in imitation of 
the custom of the SakaL The Pangan do not do this. 

If the bereaved relatives really feel sorrow, they do not show it openly, even 
a mother does not weep openly over her child.* 

* This is probably a solitary case ; ^ Vaughan - Stevens, iii. pp. 121, 
it is not true of the Kedah Semang. 122. Vaughan-Stevens adds, somewhat 

* This was contradicted by the E. obscurely, that on the west coast the 
Semang. upper structure of the grave is either 


It may still be a moot point whether the Semang 
ever bury the corpse in a sitting position or not. For 
although we are informed by Maxwell that the remains 
(of those who die in an honourable way) are laid upon 
a log of wood, in a sitting posture, and buried a foot 
or two under the ground, we have no account of any 
such custom at first hand from an eye-witness, and it 
is hence always possible that a statement of the kind, 
if not in the present instance, may yet sometimes 
arise from the vagueness of a native trying to de- 
scribe the position of the corpse (with its legs drawn 
up under it), such as actually occurs. More exact 
information upon this point may therefore be awaited.^ 

Ascribed to the Semang is a yet more extra- 
ordinary practice, the tradition of which, although 
totally devoid of foundation at present, may possibly 
have originated in some obsolete Semang custom.^ 
This is the idea, found among the Malays, that when 
a Semang dies the body is eaten, and nothing but the 
head interred.' 

II. — Sakal 

There is no satisfactory description of a Sakai 
burial, with the exception of one by Vaughan-Stevens, 
whose accounts as a rule require much independent 

made after the manner of the Malays, the Andamanese, who used to exhume 

etc, or a bertam leaf is placed slanting the bones of relations after three 

across it like the summer huts which months and clean and break them up 

they make for themselves. to form necklaces, with the skull as 

1 Maxwell, /. R, A, S., S, B., No. pendant.— Man's Atu/. p. 78. 

I, p. 112. ' Newbold, ii. 377-379. Since the 

It should be pointed out that Max- above was set up (in the text), I have 

well confuses the terms Sakai and met with evidence that seems to sub- 

Semang, but that in other respects his stantiate my view. — Vt'de p. 228, ?ft/ra, 

account is accurate. The Jakun of Johor make a similar 

* Especially likely does this seem charge against the Udai, whom they 

when we remember the extraordinary ** accuse of devouring their own dead." 

customs of other Negrito races, e.^,, Newbold, ii. 381, 382. 



We are told, however, by Hale that the Sakai of 
Perak were in the habit of burying i ig with a 
man his tobacco wallet, bead necklace, or timber-box. 
Similarly her comb, necklace, or bracelets were buried 
along with a woman. The house in which the deaib 
had taken place was invariably burnt down and the] 
settlement deserted, even at the risk of the loss of 
standing crops.^ 

On the other hand, two Sakai graves in Bataog 
Padang (Perak) described by Wray were raised, 
like Malay ones, and well taken care of, and 
them were the remains of fruit, flowers. Indian co? 
coconut-shells, bottle-gourds, roots, etc., which had 
been placed there probably as offerings to the dead.' 

This last description, though puzzlings is of ao 
small interest, for although the graves described were 
undoubtedly in the heart of the Sakai country, the 
evident care with which they were tended sounds more 
like the work of tribes under Jakun influence, who like 
other branches of the Malayan race are most particular 
in this respect. From all we know of the genuine 
Sakai, they have so intense a terror of the ghosts of 
the deceased that they burn down the house, and even 
sometimes the village, in which a death has taken place, | 
and never return to it. Can it be that deaths from 
epidemic diseases inspire this terror among the Sakai, 
whilst those from old age or other milder causes do 
not ? I confess that I see no satisfactory explanation. 

To the foregoing account Mr. Wray now adds, 
that at Kuala Dipang, in Kinta, he saw the grave of 
Toh Sang, the chief of the South Kinta and a portion 

1 Hale, p. 291. In a MS. note 
Clifford says that the medicine-men 
("ha-la") of the U. Kerbat Sakai are 
exposed after death in huts, when they 

are thought to disappear and become 
tigers. For others there is no ceremony. 
« L. Wray in/. R. A. S., S. B,, Na 
21, p. 125. 



of the Batang Padang Sakai. It was a raised grave of 
the Malayan type, and was built up with earth thrown 
up within his house, for which purpose the flooring had 
been removed, and the walls continued down to the 
ground. His widow and children were living in a 
house near by, and it was they who took Mr. Wray to 
see the grave. 

The account given by Vaughan-Stevens contains 
(as usual) no localities ; it runs as follows : — 

The old fonn of Sakai (" B'landas ") grave is very peculiar, but has now become 
rare. In places where the Sakai have mixed with Malays and Chinese the old 
methods of burial have ceased with the love of the old customs. The grave is made 
waD-stded, as it is then (says Vaughan-Stevens) found easier to dig {He), The 
corpw is washed by friends or relations and dressed in clean clothes. The site 
for the grave is chosen by the wife or nearest relation and one of the subordinate 
chiefii (Penglima) ; it is dways distant from another grave, road, river, or house. 
The digging of the grave, for which no payment is made, is performed by two or 
more persons, old tools being used in preference to modem (Chinese) ones. 
The corpse is laid out with the hands close to the hips, and bands or strips of 
bark or cane are bound round the arms, wrists, and ankles. The eyes are 
ckised, but the lower jaw is not bandaged ; and the body having been rolled up 
in a mat (a modem substitute for bark-cloth), is firmly bound round in three 
places. A new wrapper of tree-bark (large enough to surround the corpse) is 
then rolled round it and tied again with three bands of cane or tree-fibre and 
slung from a carrying pole, the ends of which are borne by two men upon their 
shoulders. Only one woman (the wife) may follow, but as many men as like 
may do so. At the grave the hark wrapper is removed, and the corpse laid upon 
its back in the grave with the head towards the west. There is no "consecrat- 
ing" ceremony.^ 

I omit the rest of Vaughan-Stevens* description 
of the Sakai grave, as it possesses no further interest 
from the Sakai point of view. The form of grave 
described is a mere copy of a common Arabic grave- 
type which has been borrowed by the Mohammedan 
Malays, and adopted from them in turn by the Sakai 
without any interesting variations to recommend it. 
Those who wish to see it, however, will find it under the 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 136, 137. finger to that of the outstretched 

The length of the grave is fixed by thumb). The standard for the depth of 

measurement ; the standard being a the grave is the hip-joint of the digger, 

man's length plus a span or **jengkar* [Among Malays it is usually taken to 

(reckoning from the tip of the middle be the car of the digger. — W. S.] 



reference given. The only remaining point of interest 
in the account is the use of the Sacrificial Tray (Sak. 
" anchap " = Mai. " anchak "), which contains the " food 
and water" that are offered to the "Grave-spirit" (MaL 
" Hantu kubor **),^ for whose benefit also the fire on 
the grave is lit. The soul (" sSmangat ") proceeds to 
the Infernal Region (" NSraka ") or Paradise (" Pulau 
Buah ** or ** Fruit Island "), as his case may require; 
but his Evil Deeds remain by the grave in the fonn 
of a " Hantu Kubor," incessantly seeking a fresh 

To the foregoing may be added Vaughan-Stevens' 
description of a ceremony observed by the Sakai on 
the occasion of a death. 

A dying man lies with head towards the west. The magician boldiog a 
censer (**sungkun**) in his hand, takes up the usual crouching positioD at tbe 
feet of the patient, a little to the right side, and raises himself up slowly till he 
is ** breast high/' He then waves the censer seven times horizontally over tbe 
body, and placing the coconut-shell (bowl) at his feet, bends down and sqfi 
softly in bis ear : ** O dying one, do not remember any more jrour &ther, modwr, 
children, or relations. Think only of your ancestors already dead and gone to 
another place. Your living (friends) will find food.*** 

The embers in the coconut - shell are kept in a 
glow till the man is dead. 

The alleged reasons for the use of incense in this 
ceremony are that smoke " mounts upward and then 
vanishes " ; also that " good spirits love its smell and 
bad spirits hate it." ^ 

Selangor Sakai. — Of the Sakai tribes in the Kuala 
Lumpur district of Selangor, my friend Father 
Letessier has given an account in which he says that 
when a death occurred, the body was washed, and the 

' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 140, 141. been wearing must be washed off before 

To the above may be added Vaughan- burial took place. Also that no fiioe- 

Stevens' remark that among the paint was employed by the mourners 

Sakai (** Senoi ") fece- paint was never at a funeral (Z. / E. xxvl p. 153). 

applied after death, and that any face- ' Vaughan-Stevens, iL 144. 

"lint that the deceased might have ' Ibid. 


hair oiled and combed carefully. Then, after being 
once more clothed in its best garments, it was 
entirely covered with a shroud. The dead man's 
dagger ('* kris **) or his chopper (** parang ") was laid 
upon his breast, together with his betel-leaf wallet. 
When all was ready the deceased was carried out 
upon an improvised bier to a place pointed out by 
his nearest relation. The trench, which was broad 
and deep, was lined at the bottom and sides with 
planks or billets of wood. As soon as the corpse was 
lowered into the trench, tobacco and betel-nut was 
offered — " * for the last time,' they say." Everything 
having been placed beside the body, the grave was 
carefully covered over with planks which were then 
covered up with earth. 

The same day rice and cakes were placed there, 
" not to feed the dead," a young Sakai hastened to 
explain, " but to obtain from the Lord forgiveness for 
his sins " (" Igpas dia-punya dosa '')} On the third, the 
seventh, and the hundredth days following, a similar 
offering was laid upon the tomb,- which was then 
raised and tended carefully.^ 

Another form of burial which is perhaps more 
characteristic is that practised by some of the 
Sakai in the Ulu Langat district of Selangor, which 
appears to be a modified version of some old custom of 
*• platform burial " — about halfway between regular 
•* platform " burial and interment. Of this method the 

* This explanation may have been upon the third, seventh, and hundredth 

given by a convert or have been merely days respectively is, I think, the clearest 

diplomatic, but there can be little doubt evidence of either Malay or Jakun in- 

as to the trtu interpretation of the rite, fluence. The careful washing of the 

agreeing as it does so closely with the corpse (with the oiling and combing of 

spirit of Sakai funeral rites in places its hair) and the laying of the dead 

where the influence of Christianity has man's weapon upon his breast are 

not yet penetrated. equally Malayan customs. 

2 The attention given to the tomb 3 Lctessier, p. 102. 


late Mr. J. A. G. Campbell of Selangor, in describing 
the customs of the Ulu Langat Sakai» wrote that, 
whenever a death occurred in a house, they would erect 
a platform in front of it, whereon they would place 
the body, leaving it there for a day, and would then 
either burn or desert the house, after burying the 
body. This same writer adds that the whole settle- 
ment was frequently deserted on account of a death. 
Burials were attended by the friends of the deceased, 
and the blowing of pipes and singing were the only 
ceremonies at the funeral. The body was not, as a 
rule, buried more than two feet deep.^ 

III. — Jakun. 

Tasau (? Sakai-Jakun) of Selangor. — There was a 

solitary family near Sepang, in the Kuala Langat 
district of Selangor, who were said to belong to the 
Tasau tribe (described as being " halfway between 
the Sea and Hill tribes'*). They were said to 
practise a peculiar funeral rite, the story being that 
whenever a member of this tribe died he was 
carried some distance off into the jungle and there 
laid to rest in an actual hut erected for the purpose. 
Here he was watched for seven days by his son or 
nearest relative, who made daily excursions to the 
spot for that object ; after this he was believed to 
disappear, and the watcher's visits were discontinued. 
Jakun (0. Bukit), N. Sembilan. — But by far the best 
account of a Jakun burial is the description of the 
funeral of a woman by Rowland,- who remarks that 
she was called Sulam by name, and that she was about 

* T. A. G. Campbell, p. 242. * Rowland, pp. 711-713. 


forty years of age, having died upon the 12th July 
1897. She was small and thin ; her hair was curly, in 
strands, slightly grey. The eyes were dark with the 
remarkable bluish opalescent glitter at the outside edge 
of the iris, which all old people among the Land Jakun 
and the Malays themselves have. The woman, accord- 
ing to the statement of her husband, had died of fever 
and a cough, and she had been dead three hours 
already and was quite stiff when Rowland came to her 
funeral. She lay in one of the newly-built huts in 
which the tribe were then living. In the middle of 
this hut lay a piece of tree-bark, which served as a 
species of carpet ; on the right of the small entrance 
a fire was burning, which burned faintly the whole 
day, and round about were to be seen the usual 
primitive household objects. The corpse lay on its 
back at one side of the hut, covered with a white 
cloth ; and billets of wood had been pushed under 
its head and feet, so that they might not rest on the 
earth. The husband, an odd -looking person, with 
long, black beard, sat apathetically beside it ; in his 
face was expressed not exactly sorrow, but a certain 
dull despondency. 

Rowland had arrived, somewhat late, at five o'clock 
in the afternoon, and the people told him that it was too 
late for the funeral to take place that day. He therefore 
came again about eleven o'clock the next morning, 
summoned by the son-in-law of the dead woman. 
The corpse and the man still remained exactly in the 
same position as on the day before. 

First, the corpse of the deceased was carried out 
of the hut by her daughter, a well-formed young 
woman of about twenty, and her husband, a fine 
fellow of the same age, after which, covered only 


about the hips by a sheltering cloth, it was laid upon 
its back on a large piece of tree-bark.* 

Though the corpse did not as yet show any traces 
of decomposition, the cheeks and the eyes were 
somewhat sunken, the eyes still remaining half open. 
It was remarkable that on the under surface of the 
hands and feet, where the colouring is (at all events 
in the living Land Jakun) very faint, the skin of the 
corpse had become quite of a milky white, though 
it had never been noticeable in the same person 
during life. 

Several children and women now brought water 
in vessels of coconut-shell, and the deceased's daughter 
and an old woman began to wash the corpse thor- 
oughly. Rowland noticed that both women showed 
great delicacy of feeling, and, e,g.y never exposed the 
pubic region, but, in order to wash it, merely wetted 
the loin-cloth from the outside or slightly lifted it in 
order to pour water underneath it. The younger of 
the two women before beginning the work had pushed 
her ** sarong," which otherwise was always worn over 
the breast, lower down and round the hips. Before 
strangers this is never done, and they explained later 
that this was a sign of special confidence. 

After this washing the hair of the corpse was 
combed, and a silver needle, which the husband had 
first to fetch from his betel-case, was then inserted' 
through the usual knot of hair at the back of the 
deceased's head. The daughter then called one of the 
children standing by and had a piece of yellowish 
(curcuma-like) root ^ brought ; this she bruised a little. 

^ Rowland, p. 711. 

- Probably as a charm against evil spirits. Cp. Malay Magicj p. 327. 

3 Probably turmeric. 


and then made little crosses with it on the under 
surface of the hands and feet, leaving a yellow trace 
behind ; it was at the same time explained that when 
the deceased awoke in the grave she would look at 
her hands and feet and see from the yellow crosses 
that she was really dead. This was the custom, they 
said. Next the husband and the daughter laid the 
corpse on a mat, which again in its turn lay upon a 
long piece of tree - bark. The husband closed his 
wife's eyes, not without reverence, crossed her arms 
over the breast, and arranged the head so that it 
looked straight upwards. Next, two long pieces of 
white cloth were laid upon the body one over another ; 
and in the lower one, which was nearer the body, the 
son-in-law cut a hole with his chopper ("parang*'), 
explaining that this was done in order that she 
might breathe. In the outer cloth, however, no 
opening was made. The bark was then rolled to- 
gether round the body, laced and relaced with rattan, 
and carried by two men to the grave, which had 
been dug, deep in the jungle, in a clearing cut out by 
other people. 

The pit was almost i metre deep, and remarkably 
long and narrow ; on the left (the lower) side the 
soil lay in a long narrow heap ; it was banked up 
away from the hole by two strong beams, which lay 
one above the other, and were held in position by 
two pickets. 

The corpse was laid on the ground upon the other 
(the higher) side of the pit, and the bark unwound 
from it ; husband and son-in-law then grasped it by 
the shoulders and the feet, another man supported 
the head, and thus it was laid in the grave, face 
upwards, the feet towards the west, the hillock on the 


right, distinctly on the right side of the pit ; to the 
left of it a space remained free, which would have 
sufficed for a second person of equal size.^ 

The husband now crouched down at the foot-end 
of the grave and took from his betel - wallet half-a- 
dozen little thin silver rings and brooches such as the 
Sakai women like so much to wear on the " kabaya." 
He gave one of these rings to a young boy, her son. 
The others, together with the betel-wallet and some 
green betel-leaves, he laid upon the breast of the 
corpse ; the two last, however, he took away again 
later and laid them close to the deceased's left hand. 

Near the grave lay a quantity of pickets, measur- 
ing about I metre in length; these were now placed by 
those present close together into the grave so as to 
form to some extent a sloping roof of pickets, over 
which tree-bark was then laid. While the bark was 
being laid upon the pickets, several of those present, 
among them all the women, took earth in their hands, 
rubbed it between them, and then let it fall with 
some care between the pickets fixed above the 

Great pains were taken that no opening should be 
left anywhere, and that all was well covered with the 
tree - bark. Then three men, together with the 
husband of the dead woman, threw the earth back 
into the grave with hoes (** changkul '*) and stamped 
it firm under their feet. When a mound began to be 
formed, one of the two beams on the lower side of the 
grave towards the right was taken and a shorter piece 
of wood cut for the head side ; all were then secured 
by means of short pegs (pickets), and between them 
the earth was heaped up in the usual way, as in 

1 Rowland, d. 712. 


a three-sided frame of timbers. The foot end remained 
outside this barrier. • 

The husband had already, when the corpse 
was laid in the pit, placed the midrib of a bfirtam- 
palm leaf upright in the corner, on the right at the 
deceased's head; in the bark-roof a slit had been 
cut expressly for it, and even when all the earth had 
been heaped up, the little shaft still rose a foot above 
the hillock. That was the sign that the woman had 
died by herself, and had not by means of the same 
disease summoned with her one of her children or 
relations. All leaves and pieces of wood were then 
carefully removed from the earth of the grave mound. 
Two dishes of boiled rice were then laid on some 
large leaves, the one at the foot, the other in the 
middle of the mound ; one was for the woman herself, 
the other for the spirits (** hantu ") of her parents 
and relatives, who now came to visit her. At foot 
and head were then inserted a couple of rudely-carved 
pegs (as in the ca3e of Malay graves), and these were 
bound with a strip of white material — this was the 
custom (** 'adat "), and no more could be learnt 
about it.^ 

Blandas. — There is no record of a Blandas funeral, 
but I may mention their "Hantu Pawul," which was a 
kind of grave-demon (Mai. = ** Hantu orang bgrkubor "), 
and was exorcised by means of the following charm : — 

Shoots of the Convolvulus, leaves of the Convolvulus ! * 

Pass by me at the fiill length of the house-floor ! 

For one month, yea, for two months, 

Avaunt ye to the left hand, avaunt to the right hand ! 

May I be fatal-to-meet. 

And you, O Pawul, be carrion. 

' Rowland, p. 713. 

- Malayan charms often begin by reciting the materia magica used in the 
ceremony, for which they thus form an aid to memory. 


Besisi. — The Besisi informed me that their dead 
are not laid in the grave in one invariable posture, 
but that though generally placed in a supine posi- 
tion, they are sometimes laid upon the right side 
(as among the Malays), and also, very rarely, with 
the knees drawn up to the chin and the hands 
clasped in front of the knees, in a sort of sitting 
position. This position, however, was explained by 
the Besisi as being only adopted for the saving of 
labour, and there seems no reason why this should 
be doubted. 

The house in which the deceased lived, and some- 
times the whole of the settlement, will be occasion- 
ally deserted or burnt after a death. This practice, 
however, is now less common among the Besisi than 
the Sakai, perhaps owing to the fact that the former 
live more by agriculture. As regards the hut for the 
soul, I was once (before I had ever seen it) discussii^ 
this custom with the three Batins of Ayer Itam in the 
presence of some men of the tribe, .when one of the 
Batins gave instructions that a model should be made 
for me ; and in not more than twenty minutes a 
rough but perfectly intelligible and cleverly made 
model had been constructed from strips of the leaf- 
stalk of the ranggam palm, pinned together with the 
formidable thorns of the "nibong" (a hardwood 
palm), and filled with the diminutive furniture which 
will presently be alluded to. 

It was an almost inconceivably difficult thing 
to see anything of the burial customs of the 
Besisi except by accident, and it was in fact by 
the pure accident of being on the spot when a death 
occurred that I at last saw one of these funerals. 
Tv^'^n «^hpn no Besisi breathed a word to me about 


the intended ceremony, and it was from a friendly 
Malay that the information came which enabled me 
to see it. 

A young Besisi woman, named Sauma, had died 
the night before my arrival, and it was between 8 
a.m. and 9 a.m. that I heard of the preparations for 
her burial, which had been kept a profound secret. 
Fortunately, however, there was still time, and one of 
my Besisi friends taking me up the river in his 
•• dugout " canoe for a considerable distance, we 
arrived at the burial place, about a hundred yards in 
from the river, just before the commencement of the 
funeral proceedings.^ 

The deceased was brought to the spot with her 
own *' sarong " (a sort of plaid skirt or long kilt worn 
by the Malays) girt about her waist, but was wrapped 
besides in a new shroud of white cloth. The shroud, 
in turn, was wrapped up in a couple of new mats, the 
whole being lashed to a pole for ease of conveyance. 
When I arrived, the body, still lashed to the pole, 
was lying near the grave, the digging of which had 
just begun, and which when completed was a 
very narrow oblong pit no deeper than the digger's 

A yard or two from the foot of the grave was 
erected the triangular hut (no larger than an average- 
sized doll's house),^ to which reference has already 
been made, but instead of its being thatched in the 
ordinary way, three leaves of the fan-palm (** k^pau '*), 
with long stalks, were placed upright so as just to lean 
over the framework of the hut. I was told that this 

* This burial ground must have * xhe posts of this hut were about 

been the greater part of a mile away, 3 ft. to 3^ ft. high (91 cm. to 120 cm.), 

ailowtng for the windings of the and the sides measured about i ft. 

river. 6 in. (45 cm.) each way. 


was done to save time, but I noticed near the foot of 
another grave close by the ruined framework of a 
similar hut which had evidently, from the remains of 
the fan-palm leaves, been roofed in a similar manner. 
A ladder, consisting of an inclined stick, was added 
for the soul to climb up to its hut by. The hut had 
just been furnished (before my arrival) with models 
of the *' sentong " (a long basket made of a kind of 
fan-palm leaf, which is strapped to the back and 
generally used by the Besisi women in this district 
for carrying jungle produce),^ a small closed rice-bag 
('* sumpit ") filled with seed-rice, and an open wallet 
(** bujam ") containing young shoots of the wild betel- 
leaf (** chambai "), one of the edible kinds of marine 
bivalve called " lokan,'* and a piece of newly-woven 
matting about 9 inches square, on which had been 
deposited the smallest possible "portions" of boiled 
rice, fish, acid fruits (**asam kfilubi"), water, and 
sugar (but no salt). 

The deceased's father now unloosed the fasten- 
ings of the mats and the shroud in which the body 
was wrapped, and stripped the latter of its selvage.* 
Next he wetted the deceased's face and breast with 
the midrib of a banana -leaf dipped in water, and 
removed her own garment (** sarong "), which was laid 
aside to be burned. Then the shroud was re- 
adjusted and the body laid in the grave, with the 
head pillowed upon the banana-leaf rib. A plank 
made of some soft wood (probably **j6lotong," not 
unlike deal), resting against sticks put ready to 
support it, was then placed in a sloping position 

^ The articles deposited in the hut * This is a Malay custom, the 

are always, I was told, distinctive of strips of selvage (taken from the shroud 

the sex of the dead : thus for a man, itself) being used to tie up the dead 

choppers, etc., would be used. body. Cp. Malay Magic, o ^oi. 

Besisi Soul-Wai.let. 

Sktat Collect ion. 

Wallet left in Hcsisi soul-hut (near the grave of deceased), containing small models of 
various utensils and implements used by deceased during life. 

*V/. //. /. 1 08. 


er the body, so as to protect the latter from 
lling earth during the re-filling of the grave-pit.^ 

The earth was now filled in and four poles put down 
ctagonally to mark the edges of the grave. Then 
^o of the elder men took their stand on the opposite 
les of the grave, and each in turn held out at about 
e height of his breast a couple of jungle knives 
boppers) horizontally crossed. These eadi of these 
'o men let fall (still crossed) seven times running 
K>n the centre of the grave (where the girl's breast 
3uld be) — a strange custom, of which those present 
3uld only tell me that they did it in order that their 
vn lives might not be endangered, but which (as- 
;her Besisi afterwards more fully explained to me)* 
as intended to fix the deceased's ghost in the tomb, 
id keep it from feeding upon the living. 

The elders then planted round the edges of the 
rave some yams (Bes. "yet"), some roots of the 
tronella or fragrant lemon grass (Mai. "sCrai"),^ 
)me roots of the sweet potato (Bes. "tila"* or 
hila' "), and some roots of a purple-leaved plant — a 
ind of coleus (Bes. " torek " = Malay, "ati-ati"). 

Next the seed-rice was taken out of the hut and 
)wn broadcast over the grave. Water was sprinkled 
ver it, and I was told that the rice was to serve 
hen it grew up for the deceased's soul to live upon. 
' inally the deceased's garment (** sarong "), the two 
lats, and the strips of selvage were collected together 
nd consumed to ashes in a small fire which had 
een kept burning since the ceremony commenced. 

I must add that, as it was approaching mid-day 
efore the preparations at the grave were complete, 

1 No doubt in imitation of the Malay form of burial, known as " papan sa*' 
fping ^ (the tingle plank). 


there was some hesitation on the part of those 
present as to whether it was not actually noon, in 
which case they said the burial would have to be 
postponed till the afternoon, since the shortness 
of their shadows at noon would (sympathetically) 
shorten their own lives. Fortunately I was able to 
reassure them, and the ceremony proceeded. No 
invocations were employed nor any set forms of 
words, so far as I could observe, although the 
chiefs and some twenty to thirty members of the 
tribe were present. The grief of the mother was 
especially distressing, since she broke down and 
sobbed aloud, but no emotion was shown by the rest 
Mantra. — M. Borie, in writing of the burial 
customs of the Mantra, states that the body was 
enveloped in a white sheet and bathed ; it was then 
left until the friends of the deceased had had time to 
arrive, when it was bathed again, and carried by two 
friends to the grave. The other friends and relations 
might either follow or precede the cort^e. Arrived 
at the place of burial, the deceased was deposited in 
a tomb dug in a lonely place, sometimes in a reclining 
position, sometimes sitting, and sometimes standing. 
If it was a child, in either of the last two positions 
and with the face to the east, and if an adult, with the 
face to the west. At the side of the deceased was 
placed a spear and a chopper (" parang "), and 
generally some rice, dishes, and old clothes.* Near 
the tomb flowers and fruit-trees were often planted, 
and this, they said, was the ancient custom of their 
forefathers. At the foot of the tomb a fire was kept 
burning for three days, after which no more visits 

* Ace. to Montano ( Voyage^ p. 22), a deposited, a chopper being added in the 
>^tel-box, rice-pot, and calabash were case of a man. Cp. Rev, dEthn, i 55. 


ere paid to it. The Mantra did not wear any signs 
r mourning, and deaths were rarely wept over, 
he house of the deceased was abandoned by the 
irvivors, and as a rule the entire village emigrated.^ 

Elsewhere we are told, by Logan, that a Mantra 
rave was not protected by a roof like that of the 
enua of Johor, though it in other respects resembled 

Above it the Mantra kindled a fire [of logs] 

* ungun "), so that the soul ('* sfimangat ") or spirit 
f the deceased might warm itself, and not weep and 
ail on the grave from the cold. On the grave were 
so placed some unhusked rice or padi, some 
antains, sweet potatoes, yams, betel-leaf, areca-nut, 
imbier, lime, tobacco, a peeling - knife made of 
ood, and a blowpipe that the survivors had pre- 
ously broken to pieces, — praying the soul ("s6m- 
igat ") to seek no more from them.^ After a death 

. the clearing, nothing more was planted there, and 
hen the crop or plants on the ground had been 
ithered, it was abandoned.* 

Berembun Tribe. — Among the Jakun of Berembun 
fire was burnt above the grave for three or seven 
ghts to prevent the **hantu" or ghost of the 
iceased from crying in the grave. A still more 
ngular custom consisted in placing the end of a 
imboo close to the nose of the corpse, the other 
id projecting above the grave. This practice was 
id to be confined to the graves of children who 
ed young, and the reason given for it was that the 
ises accumulating in the body, and having no outlet, 
ould cause it to swell and burst,* and that by some 

' Boric (tr. Bourien), p. 82. survival of the use of the tube or pipe 

* Cp. pp. 91, 98, ante. which among some races is fixed in the 
' J. I. A. vol. i. p. 325*. grave for the purpose of conveying 

* This is doubtless a misunderstood food to the deceased. 


sympathy between it and the body of the li^ng 
mother, the latter would be affected in the same way.* 

Benua-Jakun of Johor. — On the day succeeding a 
death the body was wrapped in cloth and deposited 
in a grave dug near the hut, together with some 
of the clothing of the deceased, and his chopper 
(" parang "), if he possessed one. No ceremony was 
observed, but a framework of wood, resembling a 
(shallow) box without top or bottom, was placed 
above the grave.* This was filled with earth, a piece 
of carved wood was stuck at each end, and frequently 
the whole was covered over by a roof.* 

Jakun of Johor. — The preparations made by the 
Jakun for their funerals were few and simple. If the 
decease took place before noon, the body was buried the 
same day, if after noon, the funeral was deferred until 
the day following. The corpse was washed, wrapped 
in cloth, and interred by the relations and neighbours 
in a grave about four or five cubits deep. The blow- 
pipe, dart- quiver, knife, etc., of the deceased were 
buried with him, together with some rice, water, and 
tobacco. The only reason given for burying such 
things with the deceased was that this was the custom 
practised by their ancestors and followed by them. 

1 y. /. A, vol. i. p. 271 ; cp. the the pilgrim on his long and dicujr 

account in Newbold (vol. ii. pp. 408- journey to the west. No sort of 

410), which runs as follows : — service is recited. 

The preijarations for funerals are On the seventh day after inter- 
few and simple. The corpse is ment, a fire is kindled over the grave 
stripped, washed, and wrapped in to drive away evil spirits. Some of 
cloth of *'t-rap" bark, or in a piece of the tribes turn the head of a male 
white cloth, and interred, among some corpse to the east, of a female to the 
of the tribes, in a sitting posture, in a west. The house where a person lia» 
grave from three to six cubits deep ; died is generally deserted and burnt 
the cooking dish, blowpipe, dart- * This is the usual custom amoog 
quiver, chopper, knife, flint and steel Peninsular Malays. Cp. Malay Magict 
of the deceased are buried with him, p. 408. 

along with a little rice, water, and a ^ /> I* A» voL i p. 27 r. This i» 

few ** smokes" of tobacco, to serve also a Malay custom. 


disappearing without dying, or else, on sickening for 
death, to arrange to have incense (" kSmnyan ") burnt 
over them for two days after their apparent death 
(instead of their being merely wept over and buried), 
and then to return to life again.^ 

In a further account of some Jakun graves in 
Johor which was contributed some years ago to the 
same journal, Mr. Hervey states that he once found 
two or three Jakun tombs at the back of a small settle- 
ment containing five Jakun rattan-gatherers' huts in a 
tapioca plantation running down to the river's edge. 
Of one of these he attempted a sketch ; it was the tomb 
(** p5ndam ") of the " Juru-krah," one of the subordinate 
Jakun chiefs, and the head of this particular Jakun 
settlement, who had died of fever nine days before. 
The body lay about three feet under ground, the 
tomb, which was made of earth battened smooth, 
rising about the same height above the surface. A 
little ditch ran round the grave, wherein the soul of 
the deceased chief might paddle his canoe. The body 
lay with the feet pointing towards the west. The 
ornamental pieces at each end of the grave corre- 
sponded to tombstones and were called "n€san," 
which is the Malay word for such stones. On the 
other side of them were to be seen the small, plain, 
upright sticks, which are called soul-ladders (" tang^ 
sSmangat ''), which were intended to enable the soul 
to leave the grave when it desired. There were 
also to be seen four horizontal timbers on each side of 
the grave, which were joined together to form a 
framework,- consisting of sixteen beams in all, which 

1 /. R. A, .v., S,B,, No. 8, p. 119. call it "kalang dapor," or "hearth 

''* This framework is the same as frame." Cp. Malay Magu, p. 408. 

that constructed by the Mantra and It may be a survival of hut- or 

T<<!sisi ; as well as by the Malays, who hearth-burial (v. pp. 100, 112, ante). 


VU.. 2. 


Fig. \. — a-a. (irave-poits ("ncsan ") of carved wood, equivalent to tomh^lo^e^. /'•/», "Soul-' or ' 
MejF* ' ("tangga .^cmatinat '). c. Torch-stand ("k.lki damar "), holding the end of a "damar ' 
ti. Coconut shell (" tcmpOrong "). e. Jungle basket (" amixjng "). 

Fu.. 2. One of the grave-posts (*' n€'san ") at the fo()t of a woman's toml). 


I el. II. p 114 


was laid on the top of the grave, and thus formed a 
sort of enclosure, within the precincts of which were 
placed, for the use of the deceased, a coconut-shell to 
drink from, a torch (** damar **) fixed in a rattan stand 
('*kaki"), an adze handle, and a cooking-pan (**kwali''). 
Outside this framework was suspended an ** ambong " 
(which is a back-basket with shoulder-straps, made of 
the bark of " meranti " or some other kind of tree) for 
the deceased to carry his firewood in. Close by the 
tomb of the Juru-krah was that of his niece, between 
which and the former there were three points of differ- 
ence to be noted : the first was that the framework on 
the top of the niece's grave consisted of but three hori- 
zontal timbers instead of four (forming a total of twelve 
beams instead of sixteen) ; the second, that one of 
the ornamental head-pieces was roughly shaped like a 
human figure, whilst the other resembled the ** nSsan " 
of her uncle ; the third, that the only objects inside the 
framework were a coconut-shell, a torch and torch- 
stand, and a little sugar-cane. Not far distant was a site 
marked off for a child's grave, by means of a coconut- 
shell and some cloth hung upon sticks. In another direc- 
tion was the half-finished grave of another child, the 
lower framework being already in position, whilst the 
earth had been loosely heaped up in the enclosed space^ 
and a small framework, intended for the top, lay close by.^ 

Orang Laut or Sea-jakun. 

Orang Laut, Sletar. — At death the deceased (of 
the Sletar tribe) were wrapped in their garments 
and committed to the parent earth. ** The women 
weep a little and then leave the spot," were the simple 
words of the narrator of the ceremony.^ 

' Heney in /. R. A. 6*., S. B,, No. 8, pp. 97, 98. « /. /. A, vol. i. p. 344*. 


Orangf Laut, Sabimba. — Logan tells us» that when- 
ever a member of a Sabimba family died, the body 
was washed, wrapped in cloth, and buried in a grave, 
an excavation being made in one side of the pit to 
receive it.^ Above the grave was placed some rice, 
a pot, an axe, a hatchet, a knife, betel-leaf and areca- 
nut, the deceased being meanwhile exhorted not to 
call the survivors or require anything from them in 
future. A fire was kindled at the side of the grave. 
On the third and seventh days the grave was visited, 
and a month later the house was abandoned and a 
new locality selected for the survivors. The property 
of the father descended to his sons.* 

A later account by Thomson differs slightly from 
the foregoing, as we are told that on any of their 
tribe being near death the Sabimba would leave the 
hut until they thought that all was over ; they then 
laid the corpse upon a plank and removed it, shrouded 
in its own clothes, to a grave in which were buried, 
together with the body, the utensils of the deceased, 
such as his blowpipe, chopper, adze, cooking utensils, 
etc. ; these were placed at the side of the grave, and 
the survivors then left the spot and wandered to 
other parts.* 

Orang Laut, Huka Kuning. — The dead were buried 
i^ ft. (45 cm.) deep in graves near the house. A 
blowpipe was placed upon the grave of a male, and a 
knife on that of a female. In about a month after 
the burial the family abandoned the hut and con- 
structed another in a distant place.* 

' This is the **liaiig lahad" of the ^ Thomson in J, */. A, voL i. pp. 

Malays, which is borrowed from the 348'*', 349''*'. Cp. Malay Magic^ p. 

Arabs. Cp. Malay Magic, p. 404. 405. 

* Logan in J. I. A. vol. i. p. 297. * J, L A. vol. i. p. 339*. 


Music, Songs, and Feasts. 

The musical instruments of the three races include 
one primitive stringed instrument, two or three kinds 
of wind instruments (flutes), drums and other instru- 
ments played by percussion, and a primitive kind of 
Jew's-harp. It is a curious fact that all the regular 
instruments except the drum are made of bamboo in 
some shape or form. Of these the distribution appears 
to be fairly general, with the possible exception of the 
drum and the "banjeng" (the stringed instrument 
referred to), which seem to be rarely used by the 
wilder Semang tribes. They at least belong to a 
rather more developed class of instruments, found 
everywhere among tribes of Malayan stock, and 
were probably borrowed by the Semang from the 

The most interesting of the flutes, the nose-flute, 
is so called because it is played through the nose 
instead of the mouth. It has a wide distribution in 
South-east Asia and the Malay Archipelago, but I 
never heard of its being employed by the civilised 
Malays of the Peninsula, who themselves regard it as 
peculiar to the aborigines. 

The Jew's-harp is also widely distributed in the 
same region, is found among all the jungle tribes 


1 18 MUSIC, SONGS, AND FEASTS pait ui 

of the Peninsula, and most probably came in with 
Malayan culture.^ 

The chief point in which the Jew's-harp of these 
tribes differs from that used by the Malays is in 
respect of the handle, which among the aborigines is 
frequently made from the bone of an animal. 

It may be noted here that the drum is not used by 
the Andamanese, and that, speaking generally, it is 
hardly portable enough as an instrument to be adc^ted 
by nomadic tribes. Hence, wherever it appears as a 
Semang instrument, it should almost certainly be 
regarded as borrowed from other (probably Malayan) 

The bamboo harp or guitar of the Semang, as it 
has variously been called (though it does not perhaps 
correspond very exactly to either of those instruments), 
is also not found among the Andamanese, and was 
most probably in the first instance of Malayan or^n. 

The music of these races appears to be similar 
to that which is common throughout China, Indo- 
China, and (formerly at least) Java, and which gener- 
ally consists, except where modified by fore^ 
influence, of the five tones C D E G A. 


In the matter of dress, the trappings worn by the 
Semang dancers (in all cases which came under my 
observation) presented a strong contrast to those 

^ While Baron A. von Hugel was that it is simply due to a more primi- 

showing me some Jew^s-harps (? from tive (clumsier) form of mannfiicture. 

New Guinea) one day I noticed that it being easier to cut out the tongue of 

the lower extremity of the instrument the instrument if the end is qdiL I 

had been split and subsequently tied have never observed this pecoliuitj, 

up. Other specimens from the same however, among the Jew's-harpi of the 

region showed the same peculiarity, Peninsula, either among the jangle 

-^nd I think there can be little doubt tribes or Malays. 


worn by the Sakai and Jakun {e,g, the Besisi). For 
whereas the Negritos usually employed both leaves 
and flowers in their natural state, just as they were 
gathered in the jungle, both Sakai and Jakun wore 
artificial leaf decorations consisting of long white strips 
of palm-leaf plaited up into various fantastic shapes, in- 
tended to represent flowers, fruit, krisses, and nooses 
which (according to Vaughan-Stevens) are specially 
designed to entrap any unwary demons which might 
attempt to attack the wearer during the performance 
of the dance. Bunches of these ** demon-traps ** were 
inserted in the girdle and head-band of the dancer. 

Songs and Mimetic Dances. 

From the accounts of De Morgan, Hale, and other 
writers, it might be inferred that the song-and-dance 
performances of these tribes were not invested with 
any special meaning, and had no object beyond that 
of whiling away an idle hour. In some instances, no 
doubt, it is so, and it may even be conceded that in a 
few instances the songs themselves may merely consist, 
as is alleged by these writers, of words strung together 
at random. It cannot, however, be admitted that 
performances of such a kind are in any way typical, 
any more than it could be admitted that the burden of 
a music-hall song adequately represented the songs 
of Europe. As I shall presently be able to show from 
the specimens I myself collected, the songs of both 
Semang and Jakun generally possess a very definite 
meaning, which is only diflicult to make out, in some 
cases, on account of the differences which exist be- 
tween the sung and the spoken dialects, the former of 
which sometimes contains what are probably archaic, 
as well as rare and distorted forms. 


The Semang chanted songs descriptive of animals 
and reptiles, birds and fruit, but there was nothing 
actually mimetic in the performances that I witnessed 

Among the Jakun {e.g. Besisi and Mantra), how- 
ever, the songs are often distinctly mimetic, and in 
such cases are acted by the performers, who take 
much pride in their performance. Moreover, from 
an analysis of the songs themselves, taken in conjunc- 
tion with the dress of the performers, and the subjects, 
and often the actual words of the songs themselves, it 
appears to me at least an arguable hypothesis that 
they may have been instituted mainly for the purpose 
of increasing the kindliness of nature,^ as the food- 
producing ceremonies of the Intichiuma are thought 
to have been among the Australian Blackfellows. 
There are also, however, among them songs that are 
performed for other motives and in other moods, the 
most important of which are the genealogical songs 
called ** Trumba," which commence by describing 
the early wanderings of the chiefs of the tribe, and 
conclude with a recital of the various spots successively 
occupied by its ancestors. 

Of the actual performances of these songs, as dis- 
tinct from the subjects of which they treat, there is 
not much that requires to be said. It may, however, 
be noted that among the Semang, and apparently also 
among the Sakai, the chief if not the sole performers 
are the women of the tribe, whereas among the Besisi 
most of the dancing was actually done by the men, 
and it was only with much difficulty that the women 
could be persuaded to perform, except indeed at the 
great annual banquets after the rice-harvest. The 
performance took place after the evening meal, which 

^'or a fullor st-^tement of the case, see Skcat, Folklore Jo»nttf' vol. xUi. 


among the Jakun was on the occasion of their great 
annual feast-days accompanied by much drinking of 
freshly-brewed fermented liquors, and terminated with 
what can only be called their '* game of exchanging 
wives," the whole performance being evidently regarded^ 
as having same sort of productive influence not only upon 
the crops y but upon all other contributing sources of food- 
supply. I may add that in all cases that I have seen 
(both among the Semang and the Jakun), as well as, I 
believe, among the Sakai, the dancing of the women 
is usually confined to a sort of curtseying step, which 
consists in bending the knees and modulating the arms 
and hands in time to the music. The dance-action of 
the men was much more free, but as far as I can 
remember, the mimetic dances (representing animals, 
etc.) were always performed by the men alone. 

I. — Semang. 
Musical Instruments. 

Kedah Semang. — The simplest form of Negrito 
music (if it may so be called) consists of various simple 
ways of ** beating time.*' One of these methods is 
to take a couple of hardwood sticks or bamboo slivers, 
which are held in the two hands, when one of them is 
struck upon the other in the air. 

This method of beating time was employed by the 
Semang of Siong, who made use of it to accompany 
their songs.- 

Another method of obtaining a musical note from 
the percussion of bamboo, employed by the Semang 
of Siong, simple as it is, has not been yet recorded. 

> K, e.g,, p. 152, 1. 40; p. 156, 11. (p. 162). 
33-35 5 P* '5^» ^' 4^» 47 J P* *59» ^ A similar method is employed both 

11. 42, 43 ; and the Fish-trap Song by the Sakai and the Jakun. 


It consists in beating the open end of a long bamboo 
internode of large calibre with a palm-leaf fan. The 
bamboo employed measures from about three or four 
feet in length, and has a diameter of three or four 
inches. The lower end, which rests on the ground, 
is closed by the node, and the upper end is cut off 
evenly and left open for the beater. The beater is 
made by folding the leaf of the '' palas palm " {Licuala) 
into the shape of a fan and lacing and relacing it across 
with a strip of rattan to stiffen it, and keep it in its 
proper shape. It measures about one foot in length 
by five inches at the broadest part, and struck sharply 
against the upper (open) end of the bamboo, which 
latter usually rests upon another piece of wood or 
else upon the knees of the performer. This instru- 
ment, like the last described, is used by way of 
accompaniment to the songs of the tribe.^ 

A small variety of Jew's-harp is a favourite musical 
instrument with the Semang, though it is of course 
not used as an accompaniment. It consists of a small 
strip of bamboo (about five inches long by one inch 
in width), in the central portion of which a small 
free tongue is cut, in such a way as to aUow it to 
vibrate easily when the instrument is played. To 
effect this the performer takes the instrument in 
his left hand, the left thumb resting upon a slight 
depression at the lower end of the harp. In his right 
he takes the handle (which is attached by a short 
string to the upper extremity of the instrument). By 
giving the handle a sharp tug or jerk, he sets the tongue 
of the instrument in vibration, producing a loud twang- 
ing note, which can be heard at some distance, but 

^ I have not yet heard of this instrument being used bj the Sakai or bf 
^"y of the Jakun. 

Skeat Coiiection. 
Semang Jews'-harp. 

Made of bamboo with handle of monkey's bone. (Ulu Siong, Kedah.) 

Skcat Collection. 

Used for striking the end«i of I«>ng lamKws to cause a note. (I'lu Siong, Kcdah.) 

I'CL il, /. 122. 

A". H. Va/^p iSkeat Expediti0m\ Gkoi I' IN DANCiNf; Dkkss. KiALA Sam, Ui.u Kklantan. 

Vcl. II. p. I2{, 


which is by no means unmusical. In order to increase 
the volume of sound the body of the instrument is 
generally held between the teeth of the performer, or 
else over the hollow of the bamboo case in which it is 
sometimes kept. 

The string by which the instrument is attached to 
the handle is generally of twisted vegetable fibre, and 
the handle itself the rib of a small monkey. In all 
other respects, however, it is very similar to the Jews*- 
harp of the Peninsular Malays. 

The flutes used by the Semang of Kedah are of 
two kinds, the common bamboo mouth-flute and the 
nose-flute. Both are occasionally though rarely used 
to accompany their songs. 

The common flute is usually about a foot long and 
is made of a segment of young bamboo. It usually 
has three holes, apart from the mouth-hole, and is 
often deccHated with incised patterns. 

The nose-flute, which has a similar number of holes, 
was about twice the length of the common flute used 
by the same tribe. There does not appear to be any 
record of the plugging of one of the performer's 
nostrils with grass or leaves (as is done by other races 
who use this instrument), but my impression is that I 
saw this done by a member of this tribe. The practice 
certainly obtains among the Sakai. though as when a 
pair of nose-flutes is played both nostrils may be 
used simultaneously, there should not be any special 
necessity for plugging the unused nostril when a 
single flute is used. 

The stringed bamboo or ** guitar *' is occasionally 
found among the Semang (in fact I myself obtained a 
specimen from the Semang of Kedah), but it appears 
to be very rarely used by them, and is probably not a 


Negrito instrument. In its simplest form it consists 
of a big segment of bamboo — usually from about 2 ft. 
to 3 ft. (60 cm. to 90 cm.) in length, with a diameter 
varying from 2-4 in. (5 cm. to 10 cm.). This s^ment 
comprises an internode with its two adjacent nodes or 
joints, the strings in my specimen being made by raising 
several thin parallel strips of the outer skin of the inter- 
node with a sharp knife, and inserting under them at 
each end small wooden wedges or bridges (called 
''pillows" in Semang) in order to stretch the strings 
to the required extent. By moving these wedges the 
instrument can of course be tuned. A strong rattan 
ring is also passed over each end, partly to keep the 
instrument from splitting, and partly to keep the strings 
themselves from breaking away at their extremities. 

Perak Semang. — The only authority for the use of 
the drum among the Semang is the account of De 
Morgan, who gives, under the heading of " N^[rito 
Songs," an account of the way in which an allied 
Semang drum was made.^ But as he often confuses 
them with Sakai, and even * describes the method of 
manufacturing a Sakai drum in identical words, I think 
his statements must, in the absence of corroboration on 
the part of other writers, be taken as referring to a 
tribe that was mainly (if not wholly) Sakai. 


Kedah Semang. — On festal occasions both sexes 
adorned the person with white bands of LicucUa leaf 
in place of the ligatures usually worn. Bunches or 
tassels of fragrant leaves and flowers were inserted 
under these bands, in the girdle, on the crown of the 
head, and at the back of the neck, and the head 

* De Morgan, vii. 430. - Ihui, viii. 281. 


itself was bound with a LicualaA&^i fillet. In the 
case of the men the fillet was simply carried round 
the head,^ but among the women in some cases 
two bands were carried over the crown of the head 
from ear to ear, the first just behind a narrow fringe 
of hair in front, and the second at the back of the 
region of the top-knot, whilst a third was carried 
round at the back of the head. In other cases only 
two bands were worn, corresponding to the first and 
third of the bands just described, the central one 
being omitted. A small roll or scroll of Licuala-leaf 
was also inserted in the ear-holes. 

In addition a couple of leaf- festoons were worn 
crossed like bandoliers upon the breast, and bunches 
or tassels of leaves similar to those which are in- 
serted in the fillet were worn in the girdle, and were 
also sometimes inserted in the armlets and knee- 
bands. A woman at Siong wore one of these tassels, 
which was made by shredding (with the thumb-nail) 
the leaves of the Retut, probably a kind of wild 
ginger (perhaps Homstedtia kemtspkerica). It would 
appear that they are worn, not for mere ornament, 
but as charms against diseases. The one here 
described was worn as a protection against pains in 
the back. The leaves are usually picked and worn 
green, but dried leaves are occasionally employed. 
The black coiled girdle of ** rock-vein '* fungus was 
also usually worn upon these occasions, but a girdle 
of coiled cane with alternate knots of LicualaA^^{ 

* This was, I believe, the customary men at Siong wore a sort of wreath 

dance-61Iet prescribed on such occa- manufactured by shredding the leaf 

sioDS for the adornment of the men. of the Zalacca palm (Salak) with a 

Occasionally, however, a fillet made of knife ; this form of head-dress being 

•• urat batu " (the ** rock- vein " fungus believed to avert headaches. Another, 

described in an earlier chapter) were with the same object, wore a wreath 

also worn. One of the Semang of Lycopodium cemuum. 


and ''chalong" leaves dependent from it, was also 
sometimes worn by the Pangan women of Kelantan, 
though the rest of their attire differs but little firom 
what has already been described. 

Songs and Dances. 

Both in the neighbourhood of S. Mat Sam (a 
tributary of the Kelantan river) and in Kedah I 
witnessed performances of the Semang choral dances 
(called Siwang), the performers in both cases being 
females. Indeed I was told by the Kedah Semang 
that their women alone were in the habit of dancing. 

In the former case the dance was performed by 
two Pangan women, to the accompaniment of a some- 
what monotonous chant and a bamboo guitar, the 
latter of which was played by one of the men. 

In the other case, at Siong, two or three Semang 
women and a girl were the performers, and there was 
quite an extensive orchestra, consisting of two men 
who beat the long bamboos described above, a man 
who performed upon the nose-flute, and one or two 
men who beat time by knocking sticks together. 
Sometimes the musicians chanted songs ; sometimes 
they merely played the accompaniment. When the 
former was the case, there was invariably an old man 
who ** conducted,*' and from whom the rest of the 
performers caught up the words of the song, even 
though in some cases they evidently knew the words 
so well that they might easily have dispensed with 
his services. The step danced by the women was a 
graceful one, the knees being bent, the body turned 
oartly round, and the arms either hanging loosely and 
^ligfhtlv swaying from side to side or else stretched 


forward and swayed in time to the music. The 
Pangan women when dancing kept slowly moving to 
and fro, and round in a small circle, but the Semang 
women of Kedah did not move from where they 
stood. In the latter case the performance took place 
by daylight at my special request, but night-time is 
r^^ded as the proper time for such ceremonies. 

The song-dialect of the Negritos was described to 
me by the Semang themselves as being different 
(probably more archaic) than their spoken language, 
and as being harder to understand and to explain. 
Certainly the songs which I took down were extremely 
hard to make out, the words being frequently 
lengthened by one or more syllables to suit the 
music, and the difficulties were not lessened by 
the fact that, although I had them repeated fre- 
quently in order to make sure of the words, the 
lines themselves would constantly be repeated in 
a different order, fresh lines being inserted and 
others omitted, even though the words in the 
repeated line did not vary. Nevertheless, with a 
considerable amount of labour and repeated checking, 
I succeeded in discovering the meaning of about a 
dozen of these songs, which I recorded at the time 
upon a phonograph (taken with me up-country for 
the purpose), and thanks to my father's old friend 
and my own. Dr. R. J. Lloyd of Liverpool, it has 
been possible in a few cases to initiate investigations 
both from the phonetic and the musical point of view. 
I may add that some of these phonograph records 
were exhibited at one of the Royal Society's soirees 
in 1901. 

In Ulu Raman a number of Semang songs were 
performed for my benefit by an aged Semang (named 


To' G£lugor), several of whose songs I took down 
as he sang them. And here is one of the songs that 
he sang. The subject of it is a monkey called " Kra" 
{Macacus cynamolgus), and every line ends (by way of 
a burden) with the monkey's name. 

The Semang Monkey Song. 

lie runs along the branches, Kri ! 

Carrying off (fruit) with him, Kri 1 

He runs to and fro, Kr2 ! 

Over the seraya-trees, Kra ! 

Over the rambutan-trees, Kri ! 

Over the live bamboos, Kr5 ! 

Over the dead bamboos, Kra ! 

We runs along the branches, Kra ! 

Peering forward, Kra 1 

And dangling downwards, Kra ! 

He runs along the branches and hoots, Kri ! 

Peering forward, Kra ! 

Among the young fruit-trees, Kr2L ! 

And showing his grinning teeth, Kr2 ! 

From every sapling, Kra ! 

Peering forward, Kra ! 

He is dressed for the dance, Kdl ! 

With the porcupine's quill through his nose, Kra ! 

Dr. Lloyd's note upon the phonographic record of 
this song is that it is sung to a very simple tune, like 
the **Song of the Fruit-buds," but that it has a 
monosyllabic refrain. 

The last two lines appear to be merely a " make- 
believe" invitation to the monkey to come and join 
the feasting and dancing of the tribe. 

Other songs of a similar kind (of which the follow- 
ing are free and tentative translations) were taken 
down by myself either at Jarum or at Siong in Kedah. 

The Song of the Kruit-cluster. 

The fruit-cluster turns in the wind, 
The fruit-cluster at the end of the spray ; 
The fruit-cluster turns in the wind. 
The fruit-cluster that we climb for, 
The fruit-cluster turns in the wind, 
The fruit-cluster waves to and fro, 


The fruit-cluster whose pulp is add, 

The fruit-duster sways to and fro ; 

The fruit-duster turns in the wind, 

The fruit-cluster that spins round and round. 

Upon the " record " of this song Dr. Lloyd 
narks that it shows a different type of chant. The 
es of the original have four accents each, but the 
variable part of the line occurs at the beginning, and 
; variable part at the end of the line. Each part 
ries two accents, and the lines sometimes rhyme, 
t without regularity, and apparently without design, 
lis song shows well the unorganised character of 
tse compositions, and the singer's habit of bringing 
the same lines repeatedly, and in any order, ad lib. 

The Song of the Wild Ginger Plant. 

Its stem bends as its leaves shoot up, 

Down to its root it bends and sways. 

Bends and sways in divers ways ; 

Its leaves are chafed and lose their stiffness ; 

On craggy Inas it is blown about, 

On craggy Inas which is our home. 

Blown about in the light breeze, 

Blown about with the mist, blown about with the haze. 

Blown about are its young shoots, 

Blown about in the haze of the mountain, 

Blown about in the light breeze. 

It nods and nods upon the mountains, 

Mountains of Baching, mountains of Inas, 

Mountains of Malau, mountains of Kuwi, 

Mountains of Mantan, mountains of Lunui', 

On every mountain which is our home. 

Dr. Lloyd remarks that the ** Song of the Wild 
nger Plant " is not marked by any regular refrain, 
mgh the love of repeated words and sounds shows 
ilf in one way or other in almost every line ; other- 
»e, however, its only quality as verse is that of 
ssessing four accents to the line. 

The Song of the Fruit-buds. 

They swell and swell, the fruit-buds ! 
To and fro wave the fruit- buds ! 
Blown about are the fruit-buds ! 



In the wind, the fruit-buds ! 
In the light wind, the fnut-bodt ! 
Spinning round and roinid, the fruit-bods ! 
Swmying to and fro, the fruit-bods ! 

Dr. Lloyd's note upon this song is that the music 

is simplicity itself, and that the time 

is well kept, the four accented syllables 

o.iyui wongbikau ^f ^^ Yvcut coming in on the exatt 

beat of the music, with the regularity of marching. 

An attempt to reduce the music of this soi^ to 
paper, from the record of the phonograph, is given 
herewith. It was kindly sent to me by Dn Lloyd, 
with his comments on the songs. 

The Song of the Ripening Fruit. 

Plump grows the fruit at the end of the spray ! 

We climb and cut it oflf at the end of the spray ! 

Plump is the bird at the end of the spray 1 

And plump too the buck squirrel at the end of the spray ! 

Of this song Dr. Lloyd remarks that it exhibits a 
somewhat different style of metre. It possesses six 
accents to the line, of which four belong to the variable 
part of the line, and two to the invariable refrain. 

Dr. Lloyd sums up his remarks upon these Semang records by observing thst 
both as to music and metre they are very much on a par with the simplest of my 
Malay (east coast) records. The versification is based always upon the )^H>ssessiQft 
of a given number of accents in the line, and nearly always upon the repetition, 
either at the beginning or end of the line, of certain invariable %irords or phnses. 
The incidence of accent is, however, totally different from that of the Malay 
songs. The Malay lines usually end in, and are rhymed on, unaccente<l syllables, 
but the Negrito lines never end on an unaccented syllable, and though lines often 
end in identical words, actual rhymes never seem to lie sought for. The thoughts 
expressed are of the extremest simplicity, and almost every line is complete in 
itselC The lines rarely have any special sequence, and most of them can be 
recited in any order, without injury to the poem, and it ran be hear* I in the 
phonograph that the singers are quite alive to this, and freely alitor the order of 
the lines. Accent appears less steadfast than in Malay, or )H:rhap(^ icence ii 
greater ; at least it will be observed that the same word appears in «iiffiereiit 
phices with a different accentuation. The final syllibie, wh ch so scl(l<. carried 
the accent in Malay, here carries it oflener than any other. 

In conclusion I should add that, from what » was 
told by the Pangan of Kelantan, the ** full" dr ss of 
i^he Negrito men on festal occasions was thv ame 


as that of their women, with the exception of the 
different girdle (" tali' gel ") and the combs that were 
worn by the latter. The men's dancing dress con- 
sisted, as a rule, of a loin-cloth ("pgnjok"), two 
crossed leaf-festoons or bandoliers (** chiniwok "), and 
a stick or dance-wand (" cheb chas "), which was carried 
m the hand 

Perak Semang. — The performances of the Perak 
N^ritos have a strong family likeness to those of the 
tribes of Kedah. Of the former, Maxwell's account 
tells us that singing and dancing (Mai. ** bfir-sempul **) 
were still in a very early stage of development, and 
that dancing was confined to the female sex.^ 

Sitting together in a circle and facing inwards, the 
five men (whose performance Maxwell is describing) 
commenced a series of long chants or recitations in 
quick time. The instruments on which they accom- 
panied themselves were made of pieces of bamboo. 
One man held in each hand a short tube of bamboo 
(green and recently cut) in an upright position on a 
horizontal wooden log. These tubes were raised and 
then brought down on the log alternately, producing 
a ringing and not unmusical sound, which had some- 
thing of the effect of the beating of a tom-tom.- Two 
others struck pieces of bamboo held in their left 
hands with other pieces held in the right, after the 
manner of the Malay **cherachap" or castanets. 
There was no hesitation or difificulty about recollecting 
words ; the man who led was followed by the other 
four, who were generally about a note behind him. 
The general effect was monotonous, the performers 
sometimes chanting rapidly on the same note for 

1 Maxwell in/. R. A, S., S. B,, No. 4, p. 48. 
* Cp. the same instruments as used by the Besisi. 


nearly a minute together. Their whole range most 
probably did not exceed three or four notes.^ 

The first song was the " Tune of the Gias-tree"* 
(" Lagu Gias *'). This was an enumeration of fruit- 
bearing trees, and of the favourite mountains and 
forests of the tribe. It was said to be held in great 
veneration, and might contain some of the germs of 
the traditions of this singular people. Next came 
the " Tune of the Tiger-spirit " (" Lagu ChSnaku "). 
•* ChSnaku " (or ** B'lian ") is the name given to a 
man who conceals his identity as a tiger under the 
semblance of a human form (Malay " Jadi-jadi-an "). 
this belief being widespread among the Malays as 
well as among the aboriginal tribes. The next song 
was the "Tune of the Prah-tree *' ("Lagu Prah"), 
sung when the " prah *' fruit is ripe, no small occasion 
of festivity among the forest tribes. The fruit b 
sliced up and mixed with other ingredients (" rojak,") 
and then heat-dried in bamboo tubes (" l^mang ").* 

The performance concluded with the "Tune 
of the Durian-fruit '* (" Lagu Durian "). This, like 
the others, was unfortunately unintelligible, though it 
may be presumed that their estimate of this fruit was 
a high one. 

But the most remarkable performance yet attributed 
to the Perak Semang is undoubtedly the Dance-drama 
related by De Morgan, who was an eye-witness of it, 
and describes it as follows : — 

A young girl entered the circle and began to dance 
in the middle. She advanced slowly at first with a 

* Maxwell iny. A*. A, S., S. B.y No. confuses together the names ''Sakai" 

4, p. 49. * (?) "Gayas." and "Semang," but that his scooant 

' /did. It should be noted that is otherwise substantially correct 

\fiv«-n. in the account qu'^tcd above, /. F. A. S., S. B.^ ^'o. 4 p. 49. 



sort of polka step, but without turning round ; then 
she commenced to wave or modulate her arms, and 
directed her hands behind her back. In this way 
she went two or three times round the circle. (This 
was explained to mean that she was looking for a 
husband in the forest.) A suitor soon appeared and 
danced round her, singing of flowers, birds, and 
insects. She moved backwards, followed by the 
suitor, who pressed for her hand in vain. Then a 
second and a third suitor appeared, each being re- 
pulsed in turn like the first, and at this point three 
other young girls arrived on the scene, and her late 
suitors deserted her to make up to her rivals, by 
whom they were promptly accepted, dancing round 
with them and talking. The first arrival then went 
from group to group trying to regain her late con- 
quests, but was too late, and was compelled to remain 
an old maid, whereupon she stopped in the middle 
of the circle and uttered the most lamentable cries, 
repeating again and again the words Death, Male- 
diction, etc. After dancing round her for about ten 
minutes, one of the men of the rival groups returned 
to her, when she humbly agreed to accept the 
humiliating position of a second wife.^ 

' De Morgan, viii. 282, where other they would repeat the words, Death, 
performances of this kind are described. Decay, Fire, and the name of the 
Elsewhere (^/. cit.) De Morgan says deceased, etc If they were feeling 
that the Negritos of Perak were happy, they would sing of flowers, 
in the habit of singing words strung birds, and small insects. This, how- 
together at random, their joy or ever, is only a general rule, and 
sorrow being distinguished solely by often they would string words together 
the nature of the words and the air. with reference to sound only, and not 
If they were feeling dull, they would to their meaning. If the word was 
go through the names of all their too short for the measure, they pro- 
rivers, mountains, and hills. On re- longed it by adding long drawn-out nasal 
turning from the chase they would syllables such as ang^ eng^ ong^ ng^ 
vai% words suited to wild animals, the (the latter after words ending in a 
forest, and their weapons. hard consonant such as ^ or ^, or a 

After a death of one of the tribe, vowel). 


II. — Sakai. 
Musical Instruments. 

Perak Sakai. — As among the Semang, the simplest 
form of music takes the form of beating time. Thus 
De Morgan describes the Perak Sakai as using small 
slivers of bamboo, whose flat sides were clashed 
together with a sound like that of castanets.^ 

Another simple form of percussion music is made 
by using a number of short bamboos (which are open 
at the upper end only) as " stampers," the bamboos 
being held in the hand and struck upon the floor or a 
piece of wood at regular intervals. This method of 
beating time, which has been only once recorded 
among the Semang,^ is mentioned both by De Mor- 
gan,^ and Hale. A full description of these bamboos 
and the methods of using them will be found in the 
part dealing with the Besisi. 

The bamboo harp or guitar (already described 
as in use among the Semang) is also found among the 
Sakai. Thus Hale * describes one that he saw, 
among the Perak Sakai, as possessing three strings 
stretched upon a large joint of bamboo. This guitar, 
however, was probably not in the first instance a 
Sakai, but an aboriginal Malayan instrument. 

In a recent letter Mr. L. Wray states that the 
Sakai of both Kinta and Batang Padang use frets 

* Cp. Z, f, E. xxvi. 172. **At" the Siamese for so simple an inven- 

timcs two bamboo sticks called 'sole tion. 

yet,' measuring 38 cm. in length by ' By Maxwell, t^. p. 131 a$tte, 

3 cm. in breadth, are employed in the * According to De Morgan (viiL 

'* Tuang-tuang '* ceremony among the 281), it is the length of these bamboo 

Sakai. One stick is held in each hand, tubes that causes the alteration of tone. 

and they are struck together. The The most usual method, however, is 

Sakai say that this custom is borrowed by varying the diameter of the tube, 

from the Siamese.'' There is, how- Cp. De Morgan, viL 430. 

sver, apparently no reason whatever ♦ Hale, p. 298; cp. De M., LH, 

vhv tv^* Sakai *>^o"lr' *»a"e gop«» to ii. 619. 



made of small pieces of wood or pith stuck on to the 
bamboo under the strings of their guitars, but not 
touching them until pressed down by the fingers. 

Of wind instruments the Sakai use various forms 
of flute,^ which are similar to those manufactured by 
the Semang. Hale mentions their use of a "long 
bamboo flute with three holes*' in it, as well as a 
species of bamboo whistle. 

Mr. L. Wray writes me, that the nose-flute in 
Ulu Batang Padang is about 18 in. (45 cm.) long, and 
has four holes, the first being 9 in. (23 cm.) from the 
blowing end, and the other holes at distances of two 
fingers' width from each other. The holes are made 
by taking a small dry stick, lighting one end in the 
fire, and then blowing out the flame and applying the 
glowing charcoal point to the bamboo, blowing with 
the mouth meanwhile to keep it alight. Mr. Wray 
had never seen more than one flute used at a time. 
If two are used, they must, he thinks, be of different 
construction, as those he had seen had to be held so 
that the wind from the nostril passed almost at right 
angles to the length of the flute. 

Whistles are rare, but what are usually called by 
this name by most writers, are in reality short flutes. 
They have one end closed by the node of the bamboo, 
except a small hole in the centre, the other end being 
open. They are played with the mouth like a flute. 
The palm of one hand is held over the open end, and 
the thumb of the left hand over the small hole in the 
other end. They thus give three notes. The hole 
blown through is not circular, but shaped like that of 
a whistle. 

• De Morgan, viii. 281 ; V H. ii. tells me that the Sakai often plug one 
619; Hale, p. 298. Mr. Cerruti nostril with grass. 


The nose-flute is also certainly known to the 
Sakai, and the Jews*-harp is mentioned by Hale/ 

A drum, which De Morgan obtained at Changkat 
Kerbu in Perak, was made by hollowing out the 
trunk of a tree, and " heading " the barrel thus ob- 
tained with the skin of a black monkey,^ According 
to Hale, this hollowing of the barrel is effected by 
burning as well as by chopping, the process being 
continued until the barrel is only about half an incii 
thick. Across one end the skin of a gibbon (siamang)* 
or some other small animal, is stretched, and tightened 
up to the required pitch by means of rattan cords an4 
wedges. Hale further describes a tune played upon 
one of these drums as being in what he calls ** one-iwo 

Mr. L. Wray writes me, that there is a Sakai drum 
in the Perak Museum, from Batang Padang. It is 
about I ft. (30 cm.) in diameter, and 2 ft. 6 in. (76 cm.) 
long. It is made of a tree-trunk hollowed out, and 
has on one end a siamang skin head. Mr, Wray 
bought it for $2. 


On festal occasions the attire of the Sakai (for 
both sexes) does not materially differ from that 
of the Negritos. The same leaf-festoons, fillets, arm- 
lets, knee-bands of Licuala-leaf are worn as have been 
described already, and the same bunches of fragrant 
leaves * and flowers are also worn wherever there is a 

* Hale, p. 296 ; cp. VH. ii. 619. been only headed at one end (like that 

^ De Morgan, viii. 281. But see also mentioned by Hale). See V/f, it 619. 

De Morgan, vii. 430, which conflicts ' Sic, Probably in *• common "time, 

with thb. There can, however, be Hale, p. 296. 

little doubt that the account assigning ^ Usually the leaves are picked and 

this drum to the Sakai is the correct one. worn while green, — but dried leaves 

The drum referred to appears to have are not excluded (De Moivan, H? 414). 

Sakai Mkn i'LAvinj; N'om-.-I Lr tks. 
Near Kua'a Ko,y about -ix miles from lapAli. Hataiin I'adaii^, I't-ral-. 


A/. 1^6. 


^ ... 


chance of fixing them. The only important differ- 
ences appear to consist in the different type of head- 
dress, and (frequently) of girdle, worn by the Sakai. 
Of the head-dress Hale says that on the occasion of 
special festivities, e.g.<, at their dances, the Perak 
Sakai wear a sort of high turban made of bark-cloth, 
or a wreath of sweet-smelling grasses or leaves.^ 

The Dance. 

Hale, in describing a Sakai dance which he 
witnessed in Ulu Kinta, says, that after about five 
minutes' beating of the drum one or two men got up 
and commenced a dance, '* the principle of which was 
a sort of curtsey made to every beat of the drum " ; 
and that, at the same time, ** grotesque gestures were 
made with the hands.** After about half an hour's 
dancing the men sat down to rest and commenced 
chanting one of their songs, which consisted of a 
mere ** repetition of the names of a number of moun- 
tains, rivers, etc.,*' all of which were in the Kinta 
watershed (the " Sakai country **) between 4° 30' and 5*^ 
N. lat. One of the places referred to was Tambore (?), 
"now a Malay village with coconut palms at least 
twenty years old,** and which must, as Hale points 
out, have been in the possession of Malays for that 
time at least, " as the Sakai do not plant coconuts." '^ 

After about an hour's chanting (Hale continues) 
the women came forward to perform. It ** could 
scarcely be called a dance,** as they did not move from 
place to place, but only went through certain evolu- 
tions as they stood. First they clapped their hands, 
for a few bars, in time to the beats of the drum, 

> Hale, p. 293. 2 jkid^ 


repeating cries that sounded like ''Sought ^oa^ 
sough/' and then " Chaep, chaep, chaep." This vtt 
repeated some six or eight times, and at the same tine 
they made a deep curtsey once to every dnimJie^ 
Then the arms dropped to the sides, and the body 
was turned from side to side (from the hips upwards)* 
the arms being allowed to swing round loosely wiA 
it, once to every beat of time ; at the same time m 
deep curtsey was made as before; this being le- 
peated about six times. This had a very pretq^ 
effect, as it was done by a graceful swaying moft- 
ment. After this they stood still (with the exoeptili^ 
of the curtseying), and placing one arm akimbo, bdi 
out the other with the palm open, and in time to Ae 
drum the forearm was turned so as to present the 
hand with the palm alternately upwards and down- 
wards with a very slight but at the same time grace- 
ful movement, continued till the end of the song.^ 

In the same connection. Hale says that each liae 
(or word) was first chanted by the leader of "diil^ 
song and then repeated in chorus by the rest. Moti 
of the expressions used were, however, well known 16 
them, and they often picked up the words to sOBie 
extent as they went along.- 

Words of tlie Songs. 
Apart from the words of the song given by Hale, 

^ Hale, p. 299. De la Croix, in a Croix, p. 339). Cp. also Bna de 

similar account, adds, *<At times the Saint- Pol LJas, pp. 269-271. 

musical phrase dies away only to revive ^ Hale, p. 299. Hale adds that a 

suddenly and terminate in a long-drawn similar invocation or ''prayer" wu 

howl which is lost in the night. The addressed to the Spirits of the Fom^ 

wild and profound poetry of the per- the mountains, the rivers, and the wind, 

formance produced a capti\'ating effect the Spirits of Ancestors, the Spiiiti cf 

in the midst of the great forest sur- Disease, the Spirits of Wickednen, and 

rounding us on every side'* (De la Trouble of all kinds (Hale, p. 300). 

Sakai \V(jvikn and Child Pkki-orminc; Danck-Mlsic. 

Note ihc head-dresses and girdles. (S. Pcrak.) 


Sakai Women Dancinc;. is. I'kkak. 

. /. 138. 





which is a mere list of place-names,^ we have few trust- 
worthy records of the words of Sakai songs, with the 
exception of the account by Colonel Low, where we 
are told that their " Mampade/' or airs were much in 
the Siamese style (which last undoubtedly takes the 
lead amongst the musical compositions of the Indo- 
Chinese nations), and that their songs had an inter- 
mixture of Malay, as in the following specimen which 
was sung somewhat in the Siamese mode : — 

Pirda salen kinnang ingat sampei 
Yari mola asal nyite gyijen 
Ayer ambun umbun nioli 
Kiri baju layang mayep singi. 

No satisfactory translation could be got of this 
fragment, but the greater part of the words are 

SelangOF Sakal. — The Sakai of Ulu Langat (as 
also those of Perak) are very fond of " wind-organs," 
which are long bamboos with a slit in each inter- 
node, which are lashed to the top branches of trees, 
and which give out musical tones when the wind 
blows over them.' 

III. — Jakun. 
Musical Instruments. 

Blandas. — The chief musical instruments of the 
Rlandas were their so-called bamboo ** guitars," flutes, 
Jew's-harps, and drums.* 

A drum which I purchased with not a little 
difficulty from a chief of the Blandas tribe, whose 
encampment was situated in the swampy jungle 

* Hale, p. 296. ^ J. I, A. vol. iv. p. 431, 

3 H. J. Kelsall \ti/,R.A,S., S,B., vol. xxiil p. 69. For details, v, Perak 
A/us. N.^ iii. p. 74. * For Blandas songs and charms, r'.App. 


on the right bank of the Langat is now in the 
Cambridge Museum. It is about 2\ feet in length by 
5 inches in diameter, and was made out of the trunk 
of a big screw-pine headed at each end with the 
skins of mouse-deer, which were held in their posi- 
tion by strong rattan bands or rings. To the edges 
of each skin, on which a certain amount of the 
hair was still left, were fastened rattan strings, under- 
neath the ends of which wedges were driven to 
brace up the skins (or drum-heads) before playing. 
This drum was played by the hand only, tambourine- 
fashion. Martin and I, on our visit to the Blandas, 
also found a dance (?)-mask representing a tiger. 

Musical Instruments. 

BeslsL — Among the Besisi, as among all the 
aboriginal tribes of the Malay Peninsula, the beating 
of time by means of wooden sticks was no doubt 
one of the earliest forms of music. 

The first advance in the development of musical 
instruments among the Besisi appears to have arisen 
from their observing the harmonious properties of the 
hollow stem of the bamboo, from whose long inter- 
nodes (by various forms of percussion) musical notes 
were elicited. In the simplest form short segments 
of bamboo internodes of varying diameter are used as 
" stampers," each tube being open at the top, but cut 
off just below the node at the bottom, the scale of 
notes proportionately descending (like that of the 
pipes of an organ) as the diameter of the internodes 
is increased. To elicit the notes the player holds a 
tube vertically in each hand and drums lightly with 
the lower end either upon the ground or upon any 
piece of hard wood that may be at hand. 


These bamboo tubes were called " ding tengkhing," 
or ''quarrelling bamboos," and the ceremony **Rgntak 
Balei," i.e. "Stamping on (the floor of) the Tribal 
Hall," evidently a reference to some form of beating 
time. On the occasion of a Besisi feast at which I 
was present, the two performers sat in the middle of 
the chiefs room. The bamboo tubes were six in 
number (two sets of three each), and each performer 
held one, I believe the one which produced the 
higher note, in his right hand, and the other in his 
left. Each set was of gradually diminishing sizes. 
The two biggest tubes, which gave the deepest notes, 
were called ** male " (l6mol) or " father " (kuyn) ; the 
two intermediate ones were called ** female " (kfidol) 
or *• mother" (gend€'), and the two smallest were 
called "child" (k«non) or "grandchild" (kgntot ?). 
The utility of these " child "-tubes was not very clear. 
I was told that they were mere supernumeraries, to 
replace any others that got damaged ; and it is possible 
that this may have been the case, as this would 
account for their being smaller than either of the 
others. At the performances at which I was present 
the performers, holding one of the tubes in each hand, 
struck them in rapid succession upon the central floor- 
beam of the house, producing a simple musical 
rhythm, which was distinctly harmonious.^ One of the 
tunes played by the Besisi consisted of one high note 
(struck by the right hand) followed by three low notes 

* According to De Morgan (vii. 430), though it is possible that by some 

it is the difference in length of these tribes both length and diameter are 

cylinders that causes the variation in varied simultaneously. Klsewhere (viii. 

the note; but as the note really de- 281) De Morgan himself says that 

pends upon the volume of air set in both are varied. Yet the tubes 

vibration within the cylinder, the re- that I brought home were all 

quired note is obtained less clumsily, almost (to a fraction) of the same 

and I believe much more commonly, length, though varying greatly in 

by varying the diametir of the tube, diameter. 


(struck by the left hand), in common time, the first 
note being the loudest. 

The next Besisi instrument deserving mention is 
the bamboo ''guitar/' which is very similar to that 
employed by the Semang. A point of some interest 
lies in the fact that this instrument, accordii^ to 
a Besisi tradition, was imitated from the stick insect, 
to which the Besisi gave the same name ("k&anting/* 
from "ranting," a twig or "stick"). Unfortunately, 
however, for this attractive theory, there are only 
too good grounds for regarding it as a mere instance 
of popular etymology ; for the name of the instrument 
varies greatly according to the number of strings it 
bears, and such forms as " kfiruntong," "kSrotong," 
and others show pretty clearly the fallacy of the 
suggestion. The name is undoubtedly onomatopcdc, 
intended to suggest a twanging sound. 

But the drum is perhaps the most " important " of 
all the musical instruments used by these tribes. It 
is, I believe, usually found only in the houses of tribal 
chiefs, and may doubtless be regarded to some extent as 
their insignia of office. If so, this fact would sufficiendy 
account for the extreme reluctance that its owner 
exhibits when asked to part with it, as it would then 
be the exact counterpart of the sacred drums and 
gongs used by Malay Rajas for calling together their 
retainers. It differs but slightly (in material and to 
some extent in shape) from the ordinary drum of the 
Peninsular Malays, to which it has evidently close 

Of the Besisi wind instruments, their flutes were 
of bamboo, and differed but little from those used by 
the Semang and Sakai. The Besisi nose-flute was, 
however, very much shorter than that us'^d by the 


Semang; those that I obtained in Selangor being, 
in fact, little more than half the length of the nose- 
flutes I got in Kedah. A kind of bamboo whistle was 
also sometimes employed by the Besisi. 

The Besisi were very fond of what are generally 
called "iEolian bamboos," or " wind -organs " — long 
bamboos lashed vertically to the tops of trees, with 
slits cut in them which produced musical notes when 
blown upon by the wind. Several of the trees near 
Besisi dwellings at Klang were fitted with these instru- 
ments, and they could be heard at a distance of 
upwards of a mile when the wind blew strongly.^ The 
bamboo Jew's-harp is also found among the Besisi. 


The man's head-dress on festive occasions consisted 
among the Besisi of a plaited palm-leaf [Licuala) fillet 
or head -band, from which depended a row of long 
fringe-like streamers (called ** centipedes' feet "), so 
that his face was almost entirely hidden as he danced. 
Besides this, he wore a similar fringe round about his 
waist, and a third slung like a bandolier over the 
shoulder and across the breast. Finally, he had a 
bunch of artificial leaf-ornaments, consisting of imita- 
tion flowers, pendants, nooses, and daggers, inserted 
in his head-band, and another at his waist, and carried 
a curious dance-wand, which will be described more 
fully below. 

Altogether his get-up reminded me irresistibly of 
our own Jack-in-the-green, and might well have owed 

1 Mr. H. N. Ridley informs me this. They were of practical use 

that these wind-organs can be stopped as well as being harmonious, for the 

at will by turning them round with Jakun used to find their way home 

their backs to the wind, and that through the jungle by listening to 

the Jakun used occasionally to do them. 

144 MUSIC, SONGS, AND FEASTS part iii 

its origin to a similar motive, viz., an attempt to make 
the new year more productive by an abundant display. 
of greenery. 

The woman's head-dress on similar 
consisted of a plaited palm-leaf head-band, lacking 
streamers, in place of which it was furnished with 
upright spikes, on which were spitted sweet-sm( 
flowerets or leaves, whose fragrance thus 
pleasantly diffused throughout the room. The rest 
their attire was similar to the men's.^ 

As regards the season at which their feasts 
place, the Besisi informed me that the chief of 
were held annually, first when the rice 
bloom, and again at the beginning, middle, and end 
the harvest.^ 

On these occasions, the members of the entii 
settlement having been summoned, fermented liqi 
is brewed from the jungle fruits of the season and 
banquet spread in the house of the chief. The 
presides and opens the proceedings with- the burning ol^' 
incense and the chanting of an invocation, which is 
usually addressed to the ancestors of the tribe, as well \ 
as to the wild beasts and demons that attack the crops^l 

The feast then begins, the freshly-brewed liquor is \ 
drunk, and, to the accompaniment of strains of their 
rude and incondite music, the jungle-folk of both sexes ' 
deck themselves freely with flowers and fragrant leaves 
and indulge in dancing and singing throughout the J 
night. This ceremony is called " B^r^ntak Balei,** 

1 A beautifully-plaited girdle of a not before the sowing, as among fhe 

tine species of cane was also formerly Malays (Bellamy, p. 227). 

made by the Besisi, probably for special ' On the occasion of one of these 

occasions. I obtained two specimens harvest feasts at which I was present, 

of it, but understand it is now obsolete. the invocation was addressed to the 

- Mr. Bellamy adds that a feast took Elephant, Deer, and Wild Pig, as well is 

plnrc after the planting out of the rice, to insect pests. See vol. i. p. 363, antt. 


£ a 

^ ' tf b 'c - 



« 8 


5 I 


"Drumming upon (the floor of) the Tribal Hall," from 
e use of the bamboo instruments described above. 

The songs are not always merely chanted, but are 
;en really acted (as well as sung), the dancer being 
iquently provided (as already mentioned) with a 
ecial head-dress, which differs for men and women. 

I have also seen the dancer at the ceremonies of 
is same tribe carrying a curiously carved dance-wand, 
e of which I was fortunately able to purchase. I 
ve never heard of any similar object being used 

any other tribe, though Borie mentions the use 

wooden swords (probably Malay fencing-sticks) in 
e dances of the Mantra, a kindred tribe. 

According to the testimony volunteered by the 
isisi themselves, these banquets used formerly to 
nclude with a drinking bout,^ which was followed by 
cind of "game," at which the men of the tribe were 
iditionally allowed, if they pleased, to exchange 
eir wives. AH performances of this kind are now, 
wever, of very rare occurrence, though there is no 
ubt as to the earlier prevalence of the custom. 

Words of the Songs. 

The songs chanted on these occasions are generally 
de improvisations, consisting of certain well-known 
d continually-recurring phrases. The tunes to which 
ey are sung are very simple and quaint. These are 
:nerally mere chants, of three or four notes only, but 

Traces of such drinking bouts are and Tributaries," /. A*. A. 6*., .S*. B., 

■X found among the Malay races. 1882, No. 8, p. 16), where he gives 

rhe wild people are not, however, "jo'oh*' as meaning *'to drink," and 

a rule, inclined to drink. This remarks that the same word is used 

iking festival is called by the IJcsisi in the talxjo - language of camphor 

lainjo'oh," the meaning of which is (i*antang Kapor) with the same mean- 

bably "Drinking game" {vide D. ing (J. R. A. S.^ S. I^., No. 3, p. 

A. Heney's paj>er on the ** Endau 113). 



yet have a weird kind of melody of their own, and are 
sung with a wonderful spirit and verve, which prevents 
them from becoming tedious. Of these songs I was 
able to form, among the Besisi, an important collec- 
tion ; and as I know of nothing that could give a better 
general idea of the life, ideas, and customs of these 
wild tribes than these songs (which are a veritable 
storehouse of such facts) are likely to do, I give 
them in extenso, in the hope that something of their 
spirit may survive in spite of what is lost in the 
translation. I should perhaps add that I was told, 
inter alia, that the songs I had collected should, 
properly speaking, be sung in a certain order. Neither 
my informants, however, nor any other members of 
the tribe, could give me the order of any except the 
first ten, as given below. It would be a point of great 
interest if they should turn out, on further investi- 
gation, to be in any way analogous to the Malay 
*• Rgjangs," corresponding to the " lunar mansions" of 
the Hindus ; and it would also be very interesting to 
know whether the *' lunar mansions " of the Hindus 
were ever treated as the subjects of ceremonial songs 
in a manner at all resembling the primitive chants here 
described. In any case, however, this manual of the 
jungle would well repay study. 

The proper order of the first ten songs, which 
are, however, in the following pages, more con- 
veniently grouped, was said to be as under : — 




The gibbon. 

A soft-wood tree. 



A hard-wood tree. 




The flying-fox. 
A wild jungle-fruit 
»» >» 





Mah hedet hum. 

The li'ttle folk*s bal 

Skeat Collection. 

Headpress of Besisi Man (on left), Wdman (on right), worn to 


Skcat Collection. 

Stranck W(x>i)en Dance-Wand carried bv Besisi Man at Ceremonial Dances. 

Itencath it is a flute, and also a nose-flute, used on similar (xcasions. 
(See p. 145.) 

I'ol. II. /. 146. 

I 'A" N'ANTi. TiiK Lati: Batin of thk Bf.sisi, Kuala Langat, Selaxgor. 

It was from this Jakun chief (here sliown in full Malay dress) that 1 look down most of the 
r.e"«isi Jungle Song«« given in the text. 

IW. //. /. 147- 


The following have no ascertained order, except 
•• Lang/* which always comes last : — 



The coconut-monkey. 



The fish-trap. 



The tiger. 



The elephant. 


Bertam tcnung. 

The solitary bertam-palm. 


Katak rengkong. 

The toad. 



The rhinoceros. 



The roe-deer. 


The tortoise. 


Ular sawa. 

The python. 



The chevrotin. 



The chevrotin (another species). 



The crocodile. 



The sambhur deer. 


Babi utan. 

The wild pig. 



The ape. 

Ayam hutan. 

The jungle-fowl. 



The lace-lizard or "monitor." 



The bear. 

30. Lang. 

The kite. 

Other alleged songs, 

whose names were given but 

t words of which were 

not given me, are — 


The horse-mango. 


The finch or sparrow. 


The rambutan, a wild jungle-fruit. 


A kind of monkey. 


»f »i 


If »» 


The civet-cat. 

Kuching utan. 

The wild-cat. 


The jackal or wild dog. 


The mouse or rat. 


The hombill. 


The Argus pheasant. 

It is just possible, if the **Rejang'' theory be 
tablished, that some of these songs may belong to 
second series of ** Rejangs," just as in Malay we 
id at least three different sets of **Rgjangs" co- 
isting. The translations run freely as follows : — 


An Elephant trumpets at Bukit Peralong, 
A Herd Elephant to the Lone Wild Elephant. 
'Tis the herd that precedes the Old Wild Elephant, 
The Sacred Elephant, the Shrunk-foot Elephant, 
TTie Magical Elephant from the land of Johor, 


The Elephant that descends to the salt sea yonder, 

The Elephant that sports on the sandy beaches. 

And thence returns to the Upper Langat ; 

That climbs the hills to the sacred country. 

And tramples the hills, till they sink in ruins. 

And tramples the trees, till their trunks snap asunder, 

And stamps in his spoor and stamps in his foot-tracks, 

Until the whole land to mire is trampled. 

Now that at length he has reached his sanctuary, 

See that yc slay not the Sacred Elephant ; 

For if you do, you will die of sacrilege. 

Bum ye then incense, and pay your vows to him. 

The Sacred Elephant loves his grandchildren. 

And in their clearings he will not forage, 

Nor will he forage among their coconuts. 

Roam then, O Elephant, o*er hill and hill-slope. 

Roam then, O Elephant, to cave and hollow. 

See, he has passed to the Upper Langat. 

^\n Elephant is drawn, by a host of i)eople, 

Is drawn away to a far-off country. 

Hut roam thou, O Elephant, to the Fresh-water Lake-side, 

Till thou diest, O Elephant, at the PVesh -water Lake-side. 

The Rhinoceros. 

Impit — impit! there calls a Rhinoceros, 

The Herd Rhinoceros to the Lone Rhinoceros. 

She calls her mate to search for sustenance. 

The Rhinoceros that roams and climbs the mountains. 

The Rhinoceros that roams when dew dries on the out-crop. 

What skill have I to strive with the Rhinoceros ? 

I call to my comrades, but all are absent. 

Affrighted I climb up into a forest -tree. 

But the Rhinoceros waits at the foot of the tree-trunk. 

I break off a bough and cast it down to him. 

The Rhinoceros champs it and passes onH'ards. 

Then I descend and run back home again. 

But reaching home, the Rhinoceros follows me. 

I then take a gun and shoot the Rhinoceros. 

The bullet has hit him. The Rhinoceros has £dlen. 

See that ye singe then and quarter the Rhinoceros, 

And give to eat a little to every one ; 

But sell the horn to the Chinese foreigners.' 

The Tir.ER. 
A Tiger roars at the end of the river-point. 
What does he want ? He wants to l)e feeding. 
To feed on jungle-fowl, to feed on wild-boar. 
To feed on sambhur, to feed on chevrotain ; 
The striped Tiger that crosses the salt seas.' 

^ The horn of the rhinoceros is greatly time swim across the narrow strait 

prized among all races in the Malay (about three-quarters of a mile?) diat 

Peninsula, as possessing extraordinary' separates Johcr on the mainland of 

magical virtues. The Chinese, as a rule, Asia from the island on which Singa- 

■»re the best customers of the aborigines. pore is built. 

- Probably in allusion to the known For these songs see also notes to 

'xnf \\xn\ iV-rs Arx frr^m timC tO AppCndiX. 


Do not forget this in the telling — 

The headlands — they are the Tiger's country. 

The Tiger has sworn an oath against Somebody^ 

The Tiger whose bound is full five fathom. 

Dodge we the Tiger and leap to the right hand — 

The Tiger walks up a fallen tree-trunk. 

The Tiger looks for a hill that is lofty. 

The Tiger sleeps (there) at height of noontide. 

And then arises to roam the forest. 

The Tiger hunts for his living quarry. 

The Tiger roams as far as Mount Ophir.* 

That is the place of the Tiger's origin. 

There is his Jinang, there is his Dato', 

There is his Jukrah, and there his i^atin, 

There dwells the * Great Chief ' of all the Tigers — 

The Tiger dies at the house of his l^tin. 

The Beak. 

IVahf waJiy wah ! there calls the Honey- bear, 

The bear called * Panggong,' the bear called * Hijak,' * 

The bear that for food doth rend wild-bees' nests. 

That climbs the bee-tree to seize the wild-bees, 

Tliat roams to the crags and descends to the salt sea. 

That yearns to devour the wild -bees utterly, 

That climbs up the mangroves, and rends them open. 

That climbs up the * kcmpas '-trees, and rends them open. 

Sharp indeed are the Honey-bear's tooth -points. 

Mamat the First-bom, seize your chopping-knifc. 

He is nearing the ground ! He has dropped, the Honey-bear ! 

Chop at him now, you, Mamat the First-born. 

He has reared upright ! He turns to attack you ! 

Dodge now the Bear, O Mamat the First-lx)rn ! 

He dies ! Oho, you have killed the Honey-bear ! 

Now take his spleen to doctor the fallen.^ 

The Sambhi r-I)Eer.* 

AV;/^ — birdtngkcng ! there bells the Sambhur ! 

What do you do in the middle of the knoll there ? 

We are but looking at Somebody^s clearing, 

A clearing that's ruined, devoured by Sambhur. 

The slot there that's left is the trail of the Sambhur, 

From the hoofs of the Sambhur, so sharp and pointed ; 

The Sambhur whose tail is short and tufted. 

The Sambhur whose ears arc pricked and {X)inted, 

The Sambhur whose horns spread massively branching, 

The Sambhur whose neck is so slim and slender : 

Such a stag is the magic Sambhur. 

nt Ophir (or * Gunong Le- /. ^'.^..S., 5*. i?., No. 3, pp. iio-i 1 1). 

W>o feet), in the interior of * Different kinds of bear. 

is a traditional site of the ^ The bear being able to fall a 

:ity " of Malay legend, where considerable distance without injur}', 

of the houses consist of men's it is thought that his spleen will be 

i the thatch of women's hair good for people who have fallen, like 

tables and Folk -tales from a him, from trees. 

tern Forest, p. 26 ; compare ^ Or ** Sambar " {Rusa aristotelisY 


A man bent with age, whose [leg] was ulcered,^ 

Twas he that became yon samd Sambhur, 

Yon many-tined Sambhnr, yon vast-bulked Sambhnr, 

Yon Sambhur of palm-twigs, yon Sambhur of palm-husks, 

Yon Sambhur of palm-shoots, yon Sambhur of tubeis, 

Yon Sambhur that eats the shoots of the * klorak,' 

\'on Sambhur that feeds on the shoots of the *' oow-itch," 

That feeds on the ** cow-itch ** till his head is itching ; 

When his head is itching he rubs his horn-points, 

He rubs his horns and the horns drop off again — 

The golden Sambhur, the stag of magia 

See now, how near to the toils he wanders, 

Rouse him and drive him, for all his belling. 

The Sambhur that roams among the leaf-hoipa. 

The Sambhur that couches among the leaf-heaps. 

See, the Sambhur starts and the toils have choked him. 

Oho, Sir Deer-wizard, spear me yon Sambhur, 

And when you have stabbed him, cast out the Mischief.^ 

Oho, Sir Deer-wizard, here's a Sambhur to quarter ! 

The Roe-deer. 

Empep — eiHpep! there calls the Roe-deer, 

The Roe-dccr that roams to the knolKs far-end there. 

And wanders back to the knoll's near-end here. 

That dwells mid the crags of the Upper Langat. 

The Roe-deer that feeds on shoots of wild cinnamon. 

Rise up, oho, there ! Mamat the First-bom, 

Rise up, oho ! and take your squailer,' 

Take your squailer and stab the Roe-deer. 

Watch very carefully, the Roe-deer is running. 

Oho ! lift him up, the Roe-deer has Baillen ! 

Bear him now homewards and cook my Roe-deer ; 

And when you have cooked him, quarter my Roe-deer, 

And give unto each an equal portion. 

Come liither, my sisters, young ones and old ones, 

And feast on the flesh of this my Roe-deer. 

And when your lielly is gorged with feeding. 

Rise up, oho, there ! Mamat the First-bom ! 

Make merry with drink within the Balei, 

The broad-floored Balei, the long-floored Balei. 

'Tis the young folk's custom to ** dance the Roe-deer," 

To please the men-folk and please the women, 

Young folk so many within the Balei. 

To-morrow and ever Ikj years of plenty. 

Plenteous our fruit, our rice-crop plenteous. 

Fruit . . . Fruit ! Fruit ! Fruit, oho ! 

1 A Malay legend traces the origin is driven out by spells before their detd 

of the deer from a metamorphosed man l>o<lies are touched (cp. Mai, Ma^. 427). 

whose leg was ulcered — doubtless in ^ Le, the throwing -stick used bjr 

allusion to the marks on the deers' legs. many of these tribes for killing SBiaU 

Cp. Malay Magic, p. 171. mammals. It is simply a short stick 

^ Lt, the evil influence believed to be of some hard wood sharpened at one 

'nhe'^"* ip *•" wild animals, a»^d whirh (or both) ends. 


The Chevrotin (Bes. *Kanchel'). 

Nyau — ganyau ! there calls the Chevrotin ! 

The Chevrotin seeks the fruit of forest -trees, 

The Chevrotin seeks the fruit of the * fan-palm/ * 

The Chevrotin feeds when dew dries on the bedrock. 

The Chevrotin eats the leaves of the * ludai,' * 

The Chevrotin eats the sweet-potato leaves, 

The Chevrotin feeds upon the jram -leaves. 

The Chevrotin shrinks from the falling thunderbolt, 

The Chevrotin shrinks from the wild-beasts' on-rush. 

The Chevrotin shrinks from the bite of the serpent. 

The Chevrotin roams both by day and night-time. 

The Chevrotin sleeps at the height of noontide, 

The Chevrotin sleeps amid the brushwood. 

The Chevrotin sleeps in the fallen palm-leaves. 

The Chevrotin sleeps mid the tangled grasses. 

Come hither, you there, to seek the Chevrotin. 

Set ye the noose to snare the Chevrotin. 

The catch has slipped, ho ! we've caught the Chevrotin. 

Now we have captured him, bear him homewards. 

And when ye are home again, see that ye singe him. 

When ye have singed him, cut him in quarters. 

Wlien ye have quartered him, make ye the cooked -meat. 

And give unto each his equal portion. 

The Mouse-deer (Bes. *Pandok'). 

Krmau — krusau ! there calls the Mouse-deer ! 
The Mouse-deer that eats the shoots of the * ludai,' 
The Mouse-deer that eats the fruit of the * kMedang,' 
The Mouse-deer that eats the fruit of the * fan-palm,' 
The Mouse-deer that eats the fruit of the * mangostin/ 
The Mouse-deer that eats the fruit of the *durian.' 
On the Mouse-deer's scent a dog goes barking. 
He has got the scent of a milk-white Mouse-deer, 
He follows the scent of a milk-white Mouse-deer.' 
The milk-white Mouse-deer descends to the water. 
The dog has seized it within the water. 
Lo now, he has killed the milk-white Mouse-deer. 
Carry ye homewards the milk-white Mouse-deer, 
And cut into quarters the milk-white Mouse-deer, 
And give unto each his equal portion. 

Thr Wii.d-Pr;. 

Drft, diet, dret ! there grunt the Wild- Pigs, 
The Wild- Pig's litter that feed on sugar-canes, 

lau,* [Jvistotia Kingiiy Hook. or by tapping on the ground with a stick 

<r), a fine fan-palm. to imitate the stamping of the buck's 

leaves of the * ludai ' are the forefeet in rutting-time. * Ludai ' is Sa- 

food of the two chief kinds pium baccatum^ Roxb. {EupAorHacea). 
us (*p'landok' and *kanchel'). ' White b the sacred colour of these 

caught by rattan noose-traps, tribes, as among the Malays. 


That eat up our yams and oar sweet potatoes. 

Till utterly eaten is our plantation. 

The Boar, whose feet are sharp and pointed. 

The Boar, whose shoulders are sloping and slanting, 

The Boar, whose bristles are stiff and stubborn. 

The Boar whose eyes are crossed and squinting. 

The Boar whose ears are pricked and pointed. 

The Boar whose chaps are fat extremely. 

The Boar whose tail is crisp and curly. 

The Boar has gone down to feed in our rice-fields. 

Take then your blowpipe scored with patterns — 

Whiz — and it sticks, and the Boar goes floundering. 

Watch very carefully, the Boar is running ! 

The Coconut-monkey. 

Kok, kok, kok I says the Coconut-monkey, 

The * Cf an tang ' monkey, the * Rangkak * monkey.^ 

The * Buku ' monkey, peering and prying. 

The monkey whose muzzle is creased and crinkled. 

The monkey whose fingers are curved and crooked. 

The monkey whose haunches are bent and bow-shaped, 

The monkey whose tail's like a bending sapling. 

Who feeds on fruit, the fruit of the 'durian.' 

I le is shaking the trees, see, rise up again there. 

Rise up, oho ! and take your blowpipe. 

Stalk him most warily, watch most carefully. 

Whiz — and it sticks ! The dart has hit him ! 

The monkey has run off helter-skelter. 

The monkey has run off retching and vomiting — 

Thud — thump — thump — the monkey has fallen. 

Pick him up, oho ! you, Mamat Solong, 

And 1)ear him homewards, with back bent double. 

Bear him homewards and there throw him down again. 

Aunt Solong, I pray you, singe me this monkey. 

And you, Mamat Solong, cut up this monkey. 

And give unto each an equal portion. 

And when your belly is gorged with eating. 

Rise up, oho ! then, Mamat the First-bom ; 

Rise up and drink within the Balei, 

The broad-floored Balei, the long-floored BaleL 

To-morrow and ever [be years of plenty]. 

Chant ye *the monkey,' that fruit be plenteous. 

Fruit . . . fruit, fruit, fruit, fruit ! 

The SiamangS or Gibbon. 

Afongy mongy mong! there calls the Gibbon ! 

llie Gibbon that barks at the sun half-risen. 

The Gibbon that chatters on the Upper Kali, 

Up gets the Gibbon on the Upper Luar, 

Crash ! there he leaps through the sprays of • meranti * ! ' 

* Different kinds of Mcuacus neme- ^ HylobaUs syndadylus. 

trinus — the difference is probably * * Meranti,' a name given to i 

onfin-'^ **> *V« coloiiriniT. Shorr*«! (Di^erofar^^^), 


Crash ! there he flings through the sprays of * ludan,' ' 

Now the dry fruit-husks we hear him munching. 

Stalk him, there, warily, watch your sharpest, 

Mamat the First-bom, Mamat the next-born ! 

Warily, brothers, our Gibbon's escaping. 

Warily, brothers, now pick up your blowpipes, 

Your bamboo blowpipes, scored with patterns. 

Try now, both, to plant the venom,* 

Try now, both, to insert the venom. 

There, he is hit ! the dart has got him. 

Warily, brothers, now ; watch our Gibbon. 

Cough, cough, cough, just hark to his retching 1 

See, there our Gibbon goes tumbling downwards. 

Warily, brothers, our Gibbon has fallen. 

Carry him home, with back bent double. 

Carry him homewards, our Gibbon yonder. 

Seek ye and search for dry * ludan ' branches, 

Seek ye and search for dry • changgan * ' branches. 

Search ye for tire-logs to singe our Gibbon, 

Search for and seek hot leaves of * chanchang,* * 

Search for and seek the pungent *jintan.** 

The firewood crackles, now stir ye all merrily, 

There, it is roasted, now carve it thoroughly. 

And give unto each an equal portion. 

See that the flesh for all suffices. 

Let each have a }X)rtion, both big and little. 

The Ape ('Ungka' or *Wa' Wa*).« 

Wong, "ioong, 7oongi just hear the h\i^ cry ! 

The Ape that plays mid the sprays of * kdpong,' ^ 

The Ape that plays mid the sprays of * sdraya,' ' 

The Ape that plays mid the sprays of ' jdlotong.'® 

Crunch, crunch, crunch, the Ape is feeding. 

On the * anggong ' ^^ fruit the Aj)e is feeding, 

(Jn the * raml)ai ' ** fruit the Ape is feeding. 

-\nd the fur of his body is white as cotton. 

The fur of his face is black and silky. 

His brow is trimmed as a maid's with the * Bride-fringe,' 

His stem is at once both hard and flattened. 

Take now your blowpi])e of * Klampenai,' ** 

Stalk him most warily, watch very carefully. 

For the arms of the Ape are long and slender, 

And the legs of the Ape go swinging together. 

Rise up, oho, there ! watch very carefully. 

[The rest is the same as in the song of the Siamang.] 

Qtified. * * Seraya,' a name given to several 
of course, refers to the Shoreas {Dipterocarpea), 

iie dart -point. ^ *Jelolong,' Z^j'^ra waiVi^^i, Hook. 

Qtified. til., and D. costuicUa, Hook, fit 

ntified. *^ Unidentified, 

n,' cummin. ** * Ramljai,* Baccaurea motlfyaita, 

lies concolor. Hook. til. {Euphoi-biacea), a common 

)ng,' Shorra mait'optera, fruit-tree. 

^tracarpea). '-^ Unidentified. 


The Crocodilb. 

IVak, wok, wok! there bellows the Crocodile ! 
The * bay ' Crocodile to her mate of the reaches. 
The Crocodile whose head is knobbed and lumpy. 
The Crocodile whose tail is like a sword-blade. 
The Crocodile whose teeth are clenched together. 
In every river- pool there dwells the Crocodile, 
The Crocodile that's fierce, the Crocodile that's safage. 
That climbs up to bask on the bank of the river. 
And enters the waters to search for sustenance. 
The Crocodile that * gazes * ' at our reflections. 
If our head Ls gone, he will get him sustenance. 
If our head is there, he will get no sustenance. 
There sits a monkey upon the timber. 
The Crocodile sweeps him off into the water ; 
The Crocodile smothers him within the river-mud, 
And when he Is dead, it bears him shore-wards. 
And batters him on timber, to kill him thoroughly. 
And swallows him whole, when dead completely. 

The Lace-Lizard or Monitor. 

The Lace-Lizard's head is knobbed and knotty. 
The Lace- Lizard *s eyes are small and narrow. 
The Lace-Lizard's snout is sharp and pointed. 
The I^ce- Lizard's belly sways and swaggers. 
The Lace-Lizard's footprints are spreaded widely. 
The scales of its back are like the sting-rajr's. 
The Lace- Lizard's tail is like a sword-blade. 
The Lace- Lizard's teeth are thorns of the screw-pine. 
The Lace- Lizard's tongue is a tongue that's doable. 
Like to the man's that s})eaketh falsehoods. 
The Lace- Lizard's chief is now the crocodile. 
He was once the crocodile's younger brother. 
The land crocodile, with the salt-sea crocodile. 
One upon land, and one in the water. 
Watch very warily, and slay the Lace-Lizard. 

The Python. 

Settg^ sen^y sen^! there calls the Python ! 

The Python coiled in the tops of forest -trees. 

The Python coiled on the topmost brushwood. 

The Python coiled in the tangled grasses. 

The Python that enters the hollow tree-trunk. 

The spotted Python that men call * Sawa,' 

The Python whose tail is like a peg-top,* 

The Python whose tongue resembles garlic. 

The Python whose teeth are thorns of the screw-pine. 

1 *■ Gazes,* in allusion to the belief he can safely attack the person thus 

that the crocodile ascertains the designated. 

identity of the human beings destined ^ Le, "gasing." But 'gasing- 

to become his prey by * gazing' or gasing,' = C/>xainr/^^ /'onifn^ ll, abo 

iivination. Whenever this process re- Pcricampylus incanus. Mien {Mtmi- 

veals to him the figure of his prospective spermacea). Slender climlung plants* 

-'/•♦jn, ••Uhrajf *\\t» he'id h** ifno«~s uscd mcdiclnally. 


The Python whose cheeks with fax are swollen. 
The Python whose head is like a ladle. 
And on whose head the scales are golden, 
That walks on rihs one hundred and forty, 
Whose body is big as the stem of the coco-palm. 
The hungering Python that swallows the wild-boar. 
Swallows the wild -boar and seizes the mouse-deer. 
Swallows the mouse-deer and seizes the sambhur, 
Swallows the sambhur and seizes the tiger. 

The silk-skinned Python, the bediamonded Python, 

The silk-skinned Python that groweth sacred. 

The Python that came from the springs of water. 

Whose body is big as the stem of the coco-palm. 

'Tis he that we call the HornW Serpent. 

nris the silk-skinned Python that crept down seawards. 

And fought against the old Sea-Python,^ 

Until the broad seas turned to narrow. 

The old Land -Python since time's beginning. 

That is the Python that was defeated. 

The old Land- Python that fights no longer. 

The old Land -Python that craved for pardon, 

'Tis he, that came from the land, was vanquished, 

And he, that came from the sea, was victor, 

Twas he that possessed the stauncher spirit. 

But the dead Land -Python ascended skywards. 

And turned to the Fire we call the Rainbow, 

For his horn was ta'en by the old Sea-Python. 

Watch very carefully, step not over it. 

For if you do, youll be crushed as a rebel. 

Round your limbs will twine the I*ython-sickness. 

Be sure that you this in your soul remember. 

To-morrow and ever may Fruit be plentiful ! 

The Tortoisf^ 

Tortoise ! Tortoise ! Tortoise ! 
Tortoise whose fore-paws are bent out sideways. 
Tortoise whose hind -feet are shaped like adzes. 
Tortoise whose head is sharp and pointed, 
Tortoise whose back is like a spice-block. 
Tortoise whose liver is black of the blackest, 
Tortoise whose fat is green of the greenest 
Rise up, oho ! now, Mamat the First-bom, 
And take your knife and your bamboo blowpipe, 
And take your throwing-spear '-^ to roam the forest, 

is battle of two snakes, serpents India and elsewhere, see, «.^., ''The 

3ns, *is one of the most fruitful legend of Merlin," by Dr. M. Gaster 

in Oriental art. In China it (Folk/ore^ xvi. 414, 422). In the 

as two dragons fighting for a present case it furnishes us with this 

In the Malay region it is some- fine Jakun myth of the origin of the 

couple of dragons as in China, rainbow. 

•Detimes a couple of snakes ' I.e. the pointed hardwood stick 

I in fighting for a magical or *squailer' used for killing small 

Lone. It is also common in game. 


And search for the Tortoise ; see, here are its footprints ! 

This is the feeding-ground of the Tortoise. 

The Tortoise that feeds on the shoots of the ' chteieb.' * 

There, did you see it, Mamat the First-bom ? 

There, did you see it, among the buttresses? 

Now youVe expelled it, Mamat the First-bom, 

Carry it homewards, Mamat the First-bora. 

Mamat the First-bom, now cut up your Tortoise, 

Chop it up small and let it be roasted ; 

And when it is roasted, ser\'e it on leaf-plates,* 

And give unto each an equal }x>rtion. 

Ho, Mamat Solong ! ho, Mamat Alang ! 

Come, now your belly's full, dram on the Hall-floor. 

TuR Toad. 

A'ok^ kokf kok ! that's a Toad that's croaking ! 

A Toad that's croaking his very loudest. 

The Toad that dwells at the foot of the forest-trees. 

The Toad that dwells on the Upper Langat, 

Jumping up-stream, and jumping down-stream. 

There goes the Toad, whose waist is so tapering. 

And whose chest is one of the very deepest ; 

The Toad whose eyes are mightily goggling. 

The Toad whose lingers are crashed and crumpled, 

The Toad whose feet are spread and splaying. 

The Toad whose skin is rough and knobbly, 

The Toad whose body ^anth slime Is venomous. 

The * Rengkong ' Toad that feetls on centipedes. 

The * Kengkong ' Toad that feeds on scorpions, 

The * Rengkong ' Toad that swallows gravel. 

Kat ye not then the Toad called * Rengkong,' 

For }K)isonous to eat is the Toad called * Rengkong.' 

c:hop then with a knife at the Toad called * Rengkong,' 

And if he walks off again, be not frightened. 

From the times of old till to-morrow and ever 

May there remain this rite and memorial. 

This rite remain that l-ruit be plentiful. 

Thk Kite. • 

Srk-sfk-leau ! there mews the Fishing-Kite ! 

The Kite that soars above the cloud -belt. 

The Kite that glides above the cloud-belt. 

The Kite that nests in the tall 'jclotongs,'^ 

And seeks to breed in the tall * jelotongs.' 

The Kite that nests in the sprays of the * kempas,' 

And seeks to breed in the sprays of the * kempas.* 

Soon as begins her children's sickness. 

High and low the Kite goes soaring, 

And catches the * siakap ' fish to feed her young ones. 

And catches snakes to feed her young ones. 

* Unidentified. ally those of the banana-tree. 

7 r - \0^xf^ -yarns' ^r pi-,t-r gencr- ** K p. 1 53, n. 9, omU. 


The Kite glides \yasi to the Rock of Lalau, 

The Kite glides past to the Hill Precipitous. 

The Kite glides past to the crag called * White-Rock.' 

The Kite glides past to the Rock Perhambang — 

At Perhambang Rock the Kite sinks earthwards, 

To search for the * Love-plant ' ^ upon the mountains, 

With which to cure her children's sickness. 

Thus we find the * Love-plant ' upon the mountains, 

And our spirit yearns within our body — 

The Kite's own * Love-plant,' go bear it homewards. 

To make you well within your spirit. 

Rise ye then warily, [watch] the Kite's young ones. 

This heart of mine is ravished greatly, 

Now that I know where to seek the simples. 

Do not hesitate, do not dally. 

Do not dally in the Garden of Flowers, 

F»ut fly direct to the Garden of Fruit-trees. 

So shall remain, as from aforetime. 

Unto the Kite's young a debt of gratitude. 

And this be a token to childing women. 

The Jungle-fowl. 

Nang ch^nangkas I there crows the Jungle-fowl ! 
The Jungle-fowl upon the knoll there. 
Whose name is called the milk-white Jungle-fowl, 
Whose name is called the Jungle decoy-fowl. 
By strange Malays who set bird -nooses. 
By strange Malays 'tis made a decoy-fowl. 
Fly hither then, O milk-white Jungle-fowl, 
No fowls of the Jungle can resist you, 

milk-white Fowl, that art their chieftain. 
The milk-white Jungle-fowl now flies homeward. 
Nang chc*nafjgkas ! there crows the Jungle-fowl ! 

1 lark to a tale of days that are gone by. 
To-morrow and ever may Fruit l)e plenteous. 

The Flying -fox. 

/i- . . . lompC'lompe I there flaps the Flying-fox ! 

That is the flip-flap of the Flying-fox, 

The Flying-fox from o'er the water, 

The Flying- fox from the side of the forest, 

The Flying-fox from out the islets, 

The Flying-fox from o'er the channel. 

The Flying-fox that eats the fruit-buds, 

That goes about to search for tree -fruits ; 

And flies unto the upper reaches, 

And flies unto the lower reaches. 

The Flying-fox tribes are many and various 

That feed upon the fruit of the * rambutan,' - 

That feed upon the fruit of the * duku,' ' 

Ne * chinduai,' the most phelium lappaum^ L. {Sapimiaccit), a 

;-charm of the alxirigines. common fruit-tree. 

' (Mai. * rambutan '), Ne- ^ * Duku,' a well-known fruit-tree. 



That feed upon the fruit oi the * durum.' ^ 

Flip-flap go the wings of the Flying-fox, 

Flish-flash go the wings of the Flying-fox. 

This we call the * Rite of the Flyuag-fox.* 

Take now your blowpipe scored with patterns. 

Take your blow-pipe and shoot the Flying-fox. 

Whiz— and it sticks ! The dart has hit him. 

Rise up, oho ! the Flying-fox has fisllen ! 

Plimp-plump ! the Flying-fox has fallen ! 

The Flying-fox vomits mightily retching. 

Carry the Flying-fox home and singe him, 

And when you have singed him, cut him in quarters, 

And call ye every one to the BaleL 

Feed ye your sisters, both young and old ones. 

Give ye to each his equal portion. 

Then when your belly's full, stand yt upright. 

O Mamat Solong, O Solong Sidai, 

Step ye forth for the drinking and singing. 

And drum with your heels on the long-floored Balei, 

Drum with your heels on the broad-floored Bald ; 

Let all in the Balei make them merry. 

Fruit of all kinds, may Fruit be plenteous. 

Every day may Fruit be plenteous. 

Every month may Fruit be plenteous. 

Every year may Fruit be plenteous. 

Such a year is a year of plenty. 

Fruit . . . Fruit, Fruit, Fruit ! 

The Kledang Fruit.* 

Take your knife, O Mamat Solong, 

Such to you is Aunt Solong's message. 

Such to you is Aunt Tengah's message : 

They yearn to eat the fruit called Kledang. 

Climb then the tree, O Mamat Solong, 

Where the Kledang fruits are swajring o'er you. 

The Kledang fruits, lo ! are strewn and scattered. 

Each of you, children, go gather a little 

The Kledang fruits that are ripe to bursting. 

Go bring the Kledang fruits, bring them homewards. 

And throw them down u[x>n the hut-floor. 

Come hither ye gaffers, fathers, uncles, 

Come hither ye sisters, aunts, and cousins. 

These Kledang fruits are for you to feast on. 

Crave ye no more for the bursting Kledang, 

Crave ye no more for the crow-black Kledang. 

Rise to your feet, then, Mamat Solong, 

And unto your hut go summon the little ones. 

Let the little folk drink within the Balei ; 

That is the token of fruit that's plenteous. 

Plenteous be * durians,' plenteous the * rambutans,' 

Plenteous the ' rambai ' and plenteous the * pnlasan,' ' 

* *Durian,* Durio zibtthinus^ L. 
■ ^ahHuect), 

Roxb. {Urtuacea). 

' 'VM\ti%skXi; NepheUum mutMU^Vi 
{Sapindate^y, a well-known fimit 


Plenteous the * tampoi ' * and plenteous the * kundang,* - 
So may all manner of fruit be plenteous. 
So, for nine years may fruit ne'er fail us. 

The Redan.3 

Take your jungle-knife, Mamat Solong, 

And dimb yon tree, yon tree called Redan. 

Lop off its branches, and glide down groundwards. 

Let every one gather the fruit of the Redan, 

Gather the fruit of yonder Redan. 

When you have picked it up, bear it homewards. 

And serve it up for all the people. 

May the Redan fruit feed both big and little. 

To eat the Redan is our little ones' custom. 

Let none in the Balei still go craving. 

But when your belly is gorged with feeding. 

Rise up and dance, O Mamat Solong, 

Rise up and drink within the Balei. 

And let all people then make them merry. 

And you, my children, may naught you startle. 

The Kabau Tree.* 

The Kabau tree waves this and that way. 
The tree whose stem creak-creaks so loudly, 
The tree whose bark is grey and mottled. 
And with whose bark are made our choppers,^ 
And mid whose twigs are bred the borer-bees. 
And mid whose leaves are bred the swallows ; 
Whose blossom falls like scattered rice-meal, 
Whose blossom falls like rain in sunshine, 
The tree whose fruit must not be eaten, 
Whose fruit is poisonous when eaten. 
Do not forj^et this in the telling. 
But chant of the Kabau now and always. 
Then hie to drink within the Balei, 
Tramp-tramp, make merry within the Balei, 
The Balei that's broad, the long-floored Balei. 
Let all the little ones be performers, 
Along with all the men and women, 
'Tis this that pleases all the people. 
Plenteous is the year and fruits are plenteous, 
I^t us then eat the fruit of the 'rambutan,'® 
Fniit of the * mangostin,' fruit of the * durian ' ; 
Thus eat we Fruit, both big and little. 
Eat we, O sisters, lx)th big and little, 
Make you merry now, O Mamat Solong, 
And Fruit be plenteous every season. 

' Baccaurea maiayana, ^ * Redan,* Nephelium maingayi^ 

Euphorbicuea) ; also a Hiem (Sapindacea). * Unidentified. 
* The meaning of this, and the next 
»,' ? Bonea macrophylla, two lines, is very obscure. 
diacea)f a kind of small ^ * \<2Lmh\iizxif* Nephelium iappaum^ 

L. {Sapindoieo'), a well-known fruit. 


The Gabang Fruit.' 

Take now your chopper, O Mamat Solong, 

Take it to lop off the fruit of the Gabang, 

The Gabang fruit that is scattered earthward. 

First lop ye off the bending twig-ends. 

And lop off next the midmost branches. 

And after lopping glide down earthwards. 

See, wc are gathering the fruit of the Gabang, 

Bring me your baskets, and bring me your wallets. 

And bear ye home the fruit of yon Gabang. 

Then go and call our folk together. 

And give to each an equal portion. 

When you have eaten the fruit of yon Gabang, 

Rise to your feet, O Mamat Solong, 

And drink and make merry within the Balei, 

As was the custom of your grandfathers. 

The little ones sport within the Balei, 

And all the men-folk are fain to watch them. 

And all the women are fain to watch them. 

Come hither then with unbound tresses. 

And lake your combs and smooth your tressei>. 

And make your tresses as fine as possible 

To catch the eyes of all the men -folk ; 

Then take ye rice and take the rice- pot. 

And cook the rice for all the people. 

Take too a pan to make you cooked meats, 

That is the work that falls to women. 

Eat ye last the rice that is left for you. 

Eat it, nor be o*er-slow in eating. 

And when you are filled, lie down and slumber. 

The Solitary Bkrtam-Palm.- 

The Single BCrtam at Langkap Berjuntei, 

The Single Bcrtam on the Upper Langat — 

'Tis the Bertam whose fruits bend over outwards ! 

We have gathered them and brought them homewards. 

We have split them and given to each his portion. 

Be there Bertam fruit both now and always, 

From the Single Bertam upon the Hill-tops, 

That is the token of fruit that's plenteous, 

That is the sign of a year of plenty. 

Come ye, my little ones, make you merrj-. 

Make each of you merry within the Balei, 

And when you have eaten and gorged your belly. 

Rise to your feet, O Mamat Alang, 

Drink and make merry within the Balei, 

The Balei that's broad, the long-flooreil Balei. 

And call our folk to dance and make merr}-. 

And call our folk to drink and make merry, 

That is a year when fruits are plenteous. 

* A kind of wild ' rambutan. " 
• * BrTtPm,' Ftiijtissona tristiSy Griff. (Pa/ma). 


The Merbau Tree.^ 

Plak-plau I there falls the Merbau ! 

The * ivory' Merbau, the * cabbage* Merbau, 

The * saffron ' Merbau that's split with wedges. 

Chentong the Carpenter, ho ! fell me this Merbau. 

Lofiily sways and falls the Merbau. 

Bring me a chisel, and bring me the planing-adze. 

Now we have split it, make we a grating, 

Make we a gallery, make we a deck-house, 

Make we oars, and make we an awning. 

Load we our ship with wax and eagle-wood, - 

Load her with benjamin,' load her with resin, 

Load her with gutta, with *gutta taban.'** 

Hoist up your mast and sail forth seawards, 

And shape your course to the sea of Mambang ; 

Drop your anchor and climb up shorewards, 

And barter your goods at the people's bouses. 

See, our boat points to the land of Malacca, 

Our anchor drops just off Malacca, 

To barter wax and barter resin. 

To barter benjamin, barter gutta. 

And salt and rice to take as cargo. 

Now points our boat towards our country, 

And off our own land drops the anchor. 

Now call we comrades, big and little, 

To carry our wares up to the houses. 

And give of them to each his portion. 

The Pulai Tree.* 

A'ikf kikf kikl there creaks the Pulai ! 

Its bole a-rock with the brisk- blown breezes. 

Thick, umbrageous, pendulous, wa\7, 

Are its leaves and airy streamers, 

Roots in the earth, and roots on the surface. 

Its surface-roots like struggling serpents. 

Its buds that rival a virgin's nipples. 

Its leaves with sap like milk of a virgin. 

Its stem whose hue is grey and mottled, 

Its shoots that are like the p>eak of a head-clolh. 

Its shoots that look like scroll-work finials. 

Its buttresses whose height is dizzy. 

Its blossom strewn like scattered rice-meal. 

Its blossom strewn like rain that drizzles. 

Thus men are wont to sing the Pulai. 

' Afzelia paUmbanica jamin, Styrax benzoin L. {Styraceic). 

inosir)^ one of the finest The gum is obtained by cutting the 

Peninsula, used in boat- bark. 

* *Guita'(or *getah') *taban,' Dich- 

yd OT ^ ghsLTXi^^ A^ut'/aria opsis ^tia Benth. {Sapotacea)^ the 

am. i^Thymelacea)^ pro- best kind of gutta-percha. 

11 -known incense wood ^ 'Pulai,' Ahtonia scholaHs Br. 

ich fetches a remarkably (/^/i?r^«^r^d:), a tree whose surface-roots 

he Far East. furnish the cork used for the floats of 

)r *kemnyan,' gum ben- fishing-nets, etc., in the Peninsula. 



We take an adze and fell the Pulai» 
And build a canoe to trade to Malacca ; 
To barter goods and sell cor coconuts. 
Then homewards torn our boat of Pulai ; 
Beach we it then, and o'erhaul it thoroughly, — 
Sell to a Chinaman for a hundred dollars ! 

The Fish-trap. 

Ting, ting, hit 1 that's the small-waisted Fish-tiap! 

The trap that was made by Mamat Alang, 

The trap that is set in the river yonder 

For the fish, the scale-clad fish, to enter. 

Fish so many and fish so various ! 

The * tapah * * fish, and the fish • sabarau,* 

The * 'man * fish, and the fish called * bujor,* 

llie * lembat ' fish, and the fish • pipuyuh,' 

May all of them enter the small-waisted Fish-trap. 

Bear them home, throw them down on the hut-floor, 

And slice them up, these fish so many ; 

Stew them and cook them ver>' very carefully, 

And when you have cooked them, call your comrades, 

And give to each his equal portion. 

And when your belly is gorged with eating. 

Rise to your feet, O Mamat Solong, 

And drum on the long floor of the Balei, 

Drum on the broad floor of the Balei, 

Big sisters and little are fain to watch you. 

That is our rite of the small-waisted Fish-trap. 

Children's Bathing Song. 

Go, little people, go a-bathing, 

So m.iy you cool your heated bodies. 

So may you cleanse your little bodies. 

And rub with care your little bodies, 

And leave no stain on your little bodies ; 

Then haste back home and take your hair-combs. 

Take your combs and comb your tresses, 

Comb them until they be smooth and glossy — 

Such is the way at small folk's bathing. 

Go, little people, into the Balei. 

Creak-creak ! there sounds the floor of the Bale 

The long- floored Balei, the broadrfloored Balei. 

For all the women are fain to watch you 

Dance, little folk, within the Balei. 

And fruits be plenteous, the season plenteous, 

Fruits be plenteous, fruits that are various. 

Every day shall be fruit in plenty, 

Every month shall be fruit in plenty, 

Every year shall be fruit in plenty. 

Go not back from the solemn promise. 

From the rites that within the book are written. 

Fruit . . . fruit, fruit, fruit, fruit ! 

' Of these six iish 1 have only been able to find record of two as hasg 
identified, the * sabarau,' probably = /^a/ff<? boggu^ and the ''man' or *anian'« 


Such is the custom of jungle-dwellers, 

Our custom when we with drink make merry. 

The Bangkong Fruit. ^ 

Hong Kau Barak Hong I 
Thus we pluck the Bangkong. ^ 
Reach for them, Father Tunang. 
Reach for them, Father Sayang. 
Reach for them. Father Odong. 
Thus we pluck the Bangkong. 
We pluck the * Bangkong kudes,* 
We pluck the * Bangkong kateb,' 
We pluck the * Bangkong mengoh,' 
We pluck the * Bangkong palas.' 
Go forth, O Father Odong. 
Go forth, O Father Tunang. 
Go forth, O Father Sayang. 
Go forth and pluck the Bangkong. 
Now we've got the Bangkong, 
Haste we to bear them homewards, 
And call to Mother Tunang 
[And call to Mother Odong, 
And call to Mother Sayang] 
To haste and split the Bangkong. 
Take a chip-edged rice-pot — 
That's to boil the Bangkong, — 
Don your palm -leaf tassels, 
And follow, follow homewards. 
Follow us. Friend Gentoi, 
And wave your palm-leaf tassels. ^ 
I wave them round, I wave them, 
I wave the sprays a little. 
The holy Basil's planted 
Within a hollow tree-trunk ; 
If Love desert the body 
It then reniaineth lonely. 
And what remaineth further? 
'Tis our grandparents' custom 
That all the younger people 
Make merry in the Balei ; 
All, all, both men and women, 
'Tis our grandparents' custom, 
And that of Mother Kalis, 
For sharp was Mother Kalis, 
Yea, sharp — and very stupid, 
Stupid was Mother Geboi. 
Rejoice then in the Balei, 
And what remaineth further 
For all now go rejoicing 
For joy that fruits are jilcnteous, 
For a season that is plenteous ; 

ig in the original is of a different metre to all the preceding ones, 
ree beats to the line, as in the translation. 
ang,' a wild fruit-tree, unidentified. 
tassels or bunches worn in dancing. 


Though many are our people. 
Yet fruitful are our rice-fields. 
And fruitful all our fruit-trees. 
Then tread we all and trample. 
And drum upon the Hall-floor, 
The Hall-floor made of B^rtam, 
Of Bertam. What remains else ? 
And what shall we do further ? 
To-morrow still be plenteous, 
Be plenteous all our fruit trees ! 
He-e-ee ! 

The following song, in irregular metre, exhibits 

other moods — the first part is pathetic, the second 

joyful : — 

The Song of the Sick Child. 

Expanded are the buds of the * bharu,* * 
And thick and ever thicker grows the * tembesu * * blossom 
Give no thought more to me, ah Granny ' 
Cast me away, me the outcast ! 
Make no more mention of me, ah Granny ! 
Nought but the fruit-calyx is left, ah Granny ! 
Nought but the print of my hands is left, ah Granny ! 
Nought but the print of my feet is left, ah Granny ! 
Nought is left me but to sing my chant, ah Granny ! 
My heart yearns for the Hills, ah Granny ! 
Hearken to my chant in the hut, ah Granny ! 
I will get me up and go. Granny, vrrap up my rice-bondle, 
I will roam the forest and snare me wild-birds ! 
Lo, I have set my snares but have caught nothing, ah Granny ! 
I have nothing to hope for, ah Granny ! 
Your child is not strong enough to climb aloft, ah Granny ! 
I have brought mv wallet, but even its cords are broken, ah Grumy ! 
♦ ' ♦ ♦ 

Lo, I have picked up a Hombill and brought it home, 

*Tis a fat bird and a heavy one, oh Granny ! 

Now I am home again, cook me the Hombill, oh Granny ! 

And partake of the Hombill, oh Granny ! 

And give to each one a little portion. 

Go a-craving no more for the Hombill's flesh, oh Granny ! 

But partake of the Hornbill, oh Granny ! 

Come and partake, oh little sisters and big ones, brothers- and sisters-tn-Uw. 

The Besisi Trumba. 

A song of a very different sort was the Besisi 
Trumba or Song of Tribal Origin, which has a special 

^ • Bhara,' Hibiscus tiliaceus Linn. {M(Uvacea\ a common sea-shore tree. 


interest of its own as representing an attempt on the 
part of this race of jungle -dwellers to keep some 
sort of record of their history. 

The Besisi who gave it me was an old man 
named Bedoh, of Sepang Kechil. Part of this 
Trumba at least seems to preserve the traditions of 
old tribal boundaries, and I believe it really supplies 
the clue to the long strings of (generally contiguous) 
place-names that are so often described as occurring 
in the songs of the Semang and Perak Sakai. The 
following version is a little freer than that given else- 
where in this book : — 

Besisi Song of Tribal Origin. 

From Gobang Gubin,^ from * Buluh Bohal,* 

From the land of Jati,^ to the land of Endau,^ 

We came to the land of Johor the ancient, 

To Tengki-tengkel and olden Jeram. 

At Naning-naneng * dwelt chieftain Baruis,* 

And chieftain Banggai ^ at the hill of Nuang. 

At Boatpole Hill 7 and the Hill of the Elephant 

Dwelt chieftains Mara, Barai, Suntai. 

Then chieftain Galang ^ came down from inland, 

' * Gobang Gubin ' is very obscure. ^ * Tanah Hendau ' is the district of 

One explanation given me by the Besisi the Endau river (on the borders of 

was that it stood for "lobang Gubin Pahang and Johor). 
di- buluh Bohal," i.e, the hole of * *Naning' is the district of that name 

* Gubin ' in the Bamboo of Bohal, this near Malacca, best known from two 

latter being explained as referring to the (British) punitive expeditions which 

(mythical) giant Bamboo from which were sent against it, the first of which 

the founder of the race miraculously proved abortive. 

issued, and which apparently gave its * * Batin Baruis * ( = Newbold*s * Batin 

name to port of the insignia of the Breyk') is here mentioned as the 

Jakan chiefs. A further explanation founder of the Naning tribes. 
was that * Gubin * meant a dog, as in- ^ * Batin Banggai' is locally famous as 

deed it does in the Blandas dialect of the founder of that branch of the Besisi 

Selangor, and that the passage there- tribe that dwelt near Sepang Kechil 

fore meant *The Dog's Hole in the in Selangor. We here learn that he 

Ancestral Bamboo,' in which case the came from Bukit Nuang or Benuang, a 

explanation doubtless rests upon the hill near the headwaters of the Labu, 

traditions which connect the dog with an important tributary of the Langat. 
the mythical ancestor. It is probably ^ 4 gykit Galah' was said to have taken 

a place-name, cither of some place in its name from a boat-pole near its foot, 

the south of the Peninsula or Sumatra. to which the Chinese used to moor 

Fur this song see also notes to App. their boats * when the sea washed the 

* 'Tanah Jati ' is a place-name, base of the hill,' now far inland, 
though I cannot say where it is. * * Batin Galang,' i.e, B. Merak 




And pushed to the sea, and made the Sea-Folk, 

And the Sea- Folk grew into the Pirates. 

The Gx:o-palm chief dwelt at Selayan,^ 

The Betel-palm chief dwelt at Selayan, 

With Cherteng, Perting,* TSgun,* Brego/ 

And the * Watcher*s-Stump * * on the Upper Langat, 

With Ching,« Berdnang,^ Pejam, Gebok,> 

The Hanging lAngkap-palm,* Bangkong Menggoh,'* 

The Ivory Bangkong, Kechau, Lang-lang," 

Galang, was a well-known Jakun chief 
frequently mentioned in tradition. 
He was said to be a son of Moyang 
Sixunang. [Merak has been con- 
jectured to be the old Cambodian title 
Preib (Brih).] 

* • Selayan/ 1: /. * Sarayon.' This is 
obscure. Sclayan (? Sclayang) is the 
name of a place, iK>ssibly an abbrevia- 
tion of Pantei Layang-layang, a Jakun 
settlement in the same district, * Batin ' 
dropping out owing to its similarity to 
the word * iJatang.' Or it may well be 
that we have here a reference to the 
two chiefs (Batin Gomok and Batin 
Mahabut) who are connected with the 
legend of the poisonous coco-palm and 
the Ix'tcl-ixilm of Bukit Nuang and 
Bukit (jalah resj)ectively in this ver}* 
neighbourhood (cp. i. 687, n. i). 

^ • Cherteng ' and * Perting ' (or « Pa- 
teng' ) are names of places on the Ulu 
Langat River. Pateng is no doubt the 
same as Perting, a name which has 
been given to several rivers in various 
parts of the Peninsula. 

' * Tagun ' was said to have been the 
name of a Batin in Ulu Klang, but if so, 
it here refers to a river which was named 
after him — no doubt the Tarun, near 
Bcrgul, on the Sclangor-S. U. frontier. 

* * Breg(> ' was explained to me as = 
*Batu Ber-grak,'or the * Rocking Stone,* 
the name of a rock in Ulu Klang ; but 
I think erroneously. It is probably a 
place called Bcrgul or Brcgul in Ulu 
Langat, for which see n. 3, above. 

* * Tunggul Si Jaga,' the * Stump of 
the Watcher,' was the name of a slump in 
a commanding jxjsition, near the River 
Langat (a little above Subang Hilang), 
from which a look-out used to be kept 
by pirates in the days when they 
infested the Langat River. The spot 

s still well known. 

' ^hirtq * 'p tV«*» *»»»rwA r\f g Small 

Stream flowing into the Lang^ near ik 
mouth of the Beimnang. It was sad 
to be short for < Kuching ' or the * Cat,' 
and that the name wai given in conjoK- 
tion with that of * Bennang,' or 'tk 
Swimmer ' ; the two streams gettioi 
their respective ai^>eUations from a ot 
that once swam across there. Tim 
story, however, is no doabt a pfaodbk 
piece of popular etymology. 

^ The ' Beranang ' is a weU-knovi 
tributary of the Upper Langat, ginos 
its name to a portion of the district. 

• * Pejam' or *Batang Pejam' and 
< Gebok ' (or Ribok) are said to be ik 
names of two small streams near Setal, 
a place in S. Ujong territoiy quite near 
the Selangor frontier. The fiist ii 
beyond Setul, the second just below it 

» « Langkap BeijanteL' The « Pea- 
dulous Langkap '-palm, a spot a 1ob| 
way up the Langat River. 

^^ * Bangkong Gadeng.' Therearetvo 
or three spots connected with vanoH 
kinds of ^mgkong, which is a kind of 
wild *chemp^ak' fhiit — (I) Ban^oo{ 
Menggoh,or the plaoeof the *Bangkoo{ 
Menggoh ' fruit ; (2) Bangkong Gadeng, 
the place of the * White (lit. Utxj) 
Bangkong' fruit, near Bukit Toog- 
goh, at K. Labu ; (3) Tegar-Bangkonc 
(or Teg&bangkong)y the ' Ben^rang 

11 * Kechau, Lang-lang.' Accordingto 
one version these two place-names were 
also given in conjunction = Kadui 
'Lang-'lang or the ' Place of the Qoanel- 
ling Kites.' This explanation, bow- 
ever, is no better than the Kuching and 
Beranang one, Kechau and Lang-lang 
being the names of two streams in 
the Ulu Langat district, the latter now 
l)etter known as Sungei Lalang of 
* Jungle - grass River,' though it was 
formerly kn^^^Ti as t <uig.luig. 



The Rock of Jamun, Rock of Laiau,* 

Pra' CMrek, and Rock Berg^ntel.2 

From the Lace-bark Merbau,^ we reached the Lake-side, 

The Swaying Bees*-nest, the Brooding Bertam,* 

The Mango-tree Pass, and Palm-wood Flooring,* 

And passed to the Halting-place Umbrageous,^ 

To the hills of the Halting-place Precipitous,^ 

To the Headland of the Leaf-clad Boulder.^ 

Who was it made the land Scmujong ? 

Sister Nyai Techap and Gaffer Klambu » 

Together made the land Semujong. 

They who donned the * round coat,' *^ became retainers, 

And mixed with strangers, Malays of Rembau : 

They who donned the 'split coat,* speak *Besisi.' 

)atu Jamun' and *Batu Lalau' are 
mies of two inaccessible * peaks ' 
I the hills of Ulu Klang ; cp. the 
'Ada chengkuoi di-atas Bukit, 
Lalau di-ulu Klang,' /.^. 'There 
the Love-plant upon the hills, At 
Rockin Ulu Klang.' 
Pra' Charek,' the name of a hill, 
o be near Ulu Tekar. A some- 
similar name, Pra' Lantei, is 
f a Besisi settlement on the right 
of the Klang River, quite near 
wn of Klang. * Batu Berg^ntel ' 
( Elephant Rock, locality un- 
a, but probably in Ulu Klang. 
Merbau Ber-subang ' or * Merbau 
vang.' There seems to be a spot 
Merbau Ber-subang (the Pierced 
lu Tree) as well as one called 
iu Karawang (the Merbau -tree 
the laced bark), both near the 
of the Pejam, already referred to. 
times one form is used in this 
ct, sometimes the other. 
L^bah Bergoyang,' the * Swaying 
nest,' said to be the name of a 
rhere a bees'-nest, depending from 
ranch of a tree, swayed miracu- 
to and fro without even a wind 
k it. * Bertam Tenung. ' Name 
place called after a solitary (lit. 
ding ') Bertam - palm, locality 

Ginting Pauh.* "Wild Mango- 
divide," and Lantei Nibong are 
o be near Bangik, on the Upper 
Lt« not far from PVentian Rim pun. 
P'rentian Rimpun ' is given as in 
lu Semunyib, not far from S. 
g (in Ulu Langat district), and 

said to be a point on the S. Ujong 

7 * P'rentian Tinggi. * Described as on 
the boundary between Rembau and S. 
Ujong (?). There are, however, several 
places of the name, and it is said to be 
one name for the Ginting Bidei Pass 
from Selangor into Pahang. 

^ *Tanjong Batu Berdaun' is de- 
scribed as being in Malacca territory. 

• • Adek Ber-techap. * A better reading 
is Nyai Techap (or Tichap), Nyai being 
an old Malayan title (now obsolete) which 
was applied to respectable women. 
Nyai Techap was the younger sister of 
the Mosquito-net Chief (To' Klambu), 
the latter of whom *now lives at 
Durian Chabang Tiga, beyond Rahang'; 
Nyai Techap herself resided near 
Pantei Layang-Layang, or * Swallow 
Beach ' (? = Selayan or Selayang), which 
is now the residence of the To' Klana 
of S. Ujong. 

10 < Round coat. ' This seems to be a 
Jakun nickname for the undivided coat, 
i.e. a loose jacket with the opening a very 
short way down the front, just enough 
to admit of the garment being easily 
put on and off. The * Baju blah ' or 
divided jacket, on the other hand, is 
one which is divided all the way down 
the front. Evidently the legend here 
refers to the different costumes of two 
separate Malay tribes whose customs 
they severally borrowed, possibly those 
who followed the customs of the Te- 
menggong and Perpati respectively. 

The Besisi to this day wear the 
divided jacket commonly worn by the 
Malays of Selangor and Malacca (who 


The songs hitherto given are more or less definite 
compositions recognised by all the members of the 
tribe ; ^ I will now give a specimen of what 1 believe 
to have been an actual improvisation, and whidi 
certainly possessed no recognisable metre : — 

Song of the Monkey-hunters. 

Go now forth into the forest, 

Taking with you a blowpipe, 

A poison-case, and seven darts. 

For shooting young coconut-monkeys. 

One has Iwcn shot, struck to the heart. 

And has fallen to the j^round. 

Cut a creeper wherewith to bind it. 

Bind it on to your lack and cany it home. 

On reaching home, singe off its fur. 

And poke off its skin. 

(Quarter it and give a portion to ever>'body, 

And go craving for cooke<l meat no longer. 

WX not in the ' asam kelubi ' fruits, for they are poisonous. 

Put in * kulim ' leaves, turmeric, ginger, 

* Kayu-kMat* leaves, and spices, and *kesom.* 

Take a rice-sp<x)n and skim off into a palm-leaf. 

And let every one eat together, each taking a little, 

And go craving for the coconut-monkey's flesh no longer. 

After eating your fill, rise and get cigarettes, 

And when you have finished them, lie down and rest. 

And when you have rested, sleep. 

Mantra. — We are informed by Logan that the 
musical instruments used by the Mantra were the 
• salong,"" and the bamboo 'guitar' or * kSranting.' * 

The tambourine (*rebana') and drum (*gendang*) 
were, however, also employed by them, and their only 

were certainly in the main a colony from interpolations and omissions, and also 

the Rio-Lingga (Johor) region, whereas occasionally by alteration in the order 

the N. Sembilan, Naning, and Rembau of the lines, the general tenor and 

Malays came over directly from Suma- form of these songs does not appreciably 

tra (Menangkabau, etc.). vary. 

*Juanda' (retainers) is a Jakun per- 2 5jV=*suling* (?). 

version of Mai. Beduanda, which is to ^ On this latter instrument, Mr. 

this day the name given to the mixed Blagden informs me, a special tune 

descendants of the Malays and the was played by the Mantra of Malacca 

Jakun in the state of Rembau, the to attract their game. Similarly the 

tradition being thus amply corrobor- Jew's harp (*rfngoin*) was used for 

ated. imitating the note of the *chAaii* 

^ Aithouch som^'vhat fnoriifi^nl by bird. 


resource, when troubled in mind, was to comfort them- 
selves by singing.^ 

But by far the best and most complete account 
of a Mantra festival is that given by Logan, who tells 
us that, at these feasts, a large Balei having been con- 
structed, and abundance of Tampoi wine^ prepared, 
all the members of the tribe from the whole country 
round were invited, — all the families under one par- 
ticular Batin being the feast-givers. A string made 
of rattan or some similar material, with knots tied in 
it to indicate the number of days assigned to the 
feast, was sent to each of the other Batins. Each of 
these Batins then assembled all his own people, men, 
women, and children, who repaired in their best 
clothes to the place of the feast. If any Batin failed 
to attend, he incurred a fine of twenty rupees.' The 
Penglima received them at the door of his Balei or . 
Hall with a cup of Tampoi wine, and took from them 
their spears and other weapons. They then entered 
the Balei, and danced round it thrice with their arms 
akimbo, after which they sat down and partook of 
betel - leaf A meal of rice, yams, and the flesh 
of wild hogs, monkeys, fish, coconuts, etc., was 
then served. When this banquet was over the 
Tampoi wine was again brought forward, and all 
partook freely of it, with the exception of children 
under six or seven years of age. Dancing then com- 
menced, and was kept up all night, and often to the 
middle of next day, those who were exhausted lying 
down to sleep in the Balei, husband and wife to- 
gether. During the dance they were cheered with 
the music of tambourines, drums, and flutes. The 

J / /. A. vol. i. p. 330*. 
* The fermented juice of the fruit of the Tampoi tree. ^ 5"iV, guare •dollars.* 


women danced together in the centre of the Balei. 
each grasping the arm of her neighbour, and the men 
danced round them. One of the men sang or chanted 
a stanza, generally impromptu, and one of the women 
answered. The dancing consisted of a peculiar shuff- 
ling and stamping of the feet, and the only noticeable 
difference between that of the men and the women 
was that the latter kept swaying the hips to and iiro 
at every step. An abundance of sugar-canes and 
plantains were hung round the Balei, and evefy one 
helped himself when he chose. These feastH Were 
kept up for weeks, and even for months, and, itt. fact, 
only came to an end when the supply oi TampcM 
wine failed. Guests came and went while it Ijiiffrf 
Parties daily repaired to the forest in search of game 
and fruits. During the Tampoi feast many matches 
were made, and as little negotiation, and leas cere- 
mony, was needed, it sometimes happened that a pair 
who had no thought of marriage in the morning* found 
themselves at night reposing side by side in the 
chains of wedlock, while the dance and song were 
kept up beside them.^ 

M. Borie adds, that the favourite instrument 
among the Mantra women was a sort of guitar called 
*kVanti,' and which, in practised hands, gave forth 
sweet and varied music.- They also play the (Malay) 

But no account of the musical instruments of the 
Mantra would be complete without some mention of 
the ingenious * ^^olian bamboos,' already mentioned 
in the account of the Besisi. On this point M. 
Borie says, that the month of January was the one 

^ J, L A, vol. i. pp. 260, 261. ' Misc, Ess, rei. Indo-China^ sec 

2 -^^rkm (tr. Hourien), pp. 79, 80. »er. vol. i. p. 2Qd, 

SAeat Coliectiom. 

Model madk for me by a Besisi Chief to illustrate the Songs, 

and in that respect perhaps unique, representing the pursuit of game (hornl)ills, pigeons, 
monkeys, etc.), hy He>isi with the blowpipe. The man on the right is supposed to be 
using the blowpipe, and the man on the left to l>e climbing a tree after a wounded bird or 
monkey. (See Besisi Songs, pp. 147 et seq.) 

I'd. //. /. 170 

(iRorr OF .\iu»ki<;im:?> with Fiddlk.-*. Chabal'. Malacca. 

The iiuui ifi the i.cntrc i«. the Malay PenRhulu of the village. 



ITi' Makain (un tho left) i> il>e " ?n:nck " (///. "grandfather") of the community. Pa' Linggi. 
with the gun, is a tiger hunter. 

I'ol. II. p. 171. 


in which the Mantra gave themselves up to the en- 
JQjrment of music. At that season the wind blows 
ttooiigly, and the Mantra would place on the tops of 
Che highest trees in the forests long bamboos with 
holes of different size between the nodes, so that the 
wind passing over these holes might produce musical 
sounds of various tones. The stronger the wind, and 
the larger the bamboo, the louder was the music. 
At other times they would make a kind of fife, with 
small pipes of bamboo, which they would also place 
on the tops of the trees, after the manner of a 

M. Borie adds that on their days of rejoicing (after 
sowing or gathering in the rice), a festival would be 
given, at which, after the banquet, two men, armed 
with long wooden swords, would engage in mock 
fight ; advancing, retiring, thrusting, parrying, and 
making the most ludicrous gestures and contortions 
At other times they would simulate a hunt of 

Jakun of Johor. — The Jakun had some knowledge 
of music. They had several songs which they had 
received from their ancestors, or which they had 
made themselves, entirely by the ear, for they had 
not the remotest idea of any musical notation. These 
songs of theirs were generally rude, and agreed 
perfectly with the austere aspect of their habitations ; 
they might even, too, be heard singing in a melan- 
choly tone during the night. But these songs, though 
rude, were not altogether disagreeable to European 
ears, if the latter were not too delicate. It was 
surprising to find that though they were entirely 

* Borie (Ir. Bourien), pp. 79, 80; cp. Misc. Ess, rei. Indo-Ckina, sec. ser. 
vol. I pp. 293-294. * IHd. 


ignorant of European music, which they had never 
heard, yet, in a great many of their songs, they 
proceeded by thirds and fifths, assuredly without 
being aware of it, but guided only by the ear; a 
fact which confirms the opinion of those European 
musicians who hold that the third, the fifth, and the 
octave are found in nature itself. Some authors speak 
of a kind of violin, and of a rude flute used by the 
Jakun, who also use two kinds of drum resembling 
those of the Peninsular Malays.^ 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

0. Laut Aklk. — The only remark that I have met 
with in reference to the music of the Sea-Jakun is 
that of Newbold, who states that the Orang Laut (of 
the * Akik ' tribe) were passionately fond of music, 
especially that of the violin.- 

' y. /. A, vol. ii. p. 251. love of and aptitude for music than the 

- Newbold, he, (it, ii. 413, 414. Malays, and that the tunes they phy 

On the above passage Mr. Blagden are more pleasing to the Eun^ieuieir 

writes me that, '* speaking generally/* than most oriental music Their tunes 

he thinks *^the Jakun tribes, and would be worth collecting and stndjr- 

particularly the Mantra, have a greater ing.'* 


Natural Religion and Folk-lore. 

The question of the religious beliefs of these races, 
subjected as they have been to such a fire of cross- 
influences, is surrounded by so many difficulties, that 
I may perhaps be excused for stating these first 
before setting down my own conclusions. At present 
the information that we possess on this most intricate 
of questions is not only very partial and incomplete, 
but also, in some cases, self-contradictory. 

Many discrepancies must, I fear, in the first 
instance be attributed to ignorance of the value of the 
scientific terminology which has in recent years grown 
up around the subject of religion, using that word 
in its widest sense. Ignorance of this kind often 
prevents the ordinary untrained observer from re- 
cognising as a God anything that does not exactly 
correspond to the monotheistic conceptions of Chris- 
tianity. On the other hand, a no less serious 
difficulty is created by those who (generally, I am 
sure, in all good faith) read into their observations 
the religious ideas by which they are most in- 
terested, or who rely upon informants who are simply 
saying what they think will please. The most 
remarkable instance of this kind is that of M. Borie 
(a French Roman Catholic missionary at Malacca), 
who stated of the Mantra, that *' their religious books, 



which had long since been lost, appeared to have been 
in all particulars according to the religion of Raja 
Brahil (still called by the Malays ' Nabi Isa,' or 
* Tuan Isa,* the Lord Jesus)." Raja Brahil, however, 
which is a corruption of ** Raja J6brail," is in reality 
the Archangel Gabriel (who is sometimes regarded 
as the special protector of these tribes), the phrase 
being borrowed directly from the Malays, and in- 
directly from Arabic sources. It is also impossible 
to believe, from what we know of them now, that the 
Mantra (in spite of M. Borie's ingenious supposition) 
ever had any religious books, or that they even knew 
the use of the alphabet, whilst the idea of pronoundi^ 
them to be a broken sect of Christians is nothii^ 
short of absurd.* An additional difficulty lies in the 
extraordinary shyness and timidity common to all 
the Peninsula races, which in many cases is scarcely 
surpassed by anything of which we read among savage 
tribes in other parts of the world. 

It is therefore hard to devise any analysis that will 
show at a glance the state of the case, but I believe 
when all the evidence is weighed and the errors 
eliminated, it will be found that generally speaking — 

{a) The Semang religion, in spite of its recognition 
of a '* Thunder-god" (Kari) and certain minor "deities," 
has very little indeed in the way of ceremonial, and 
appears to consist mainly of mythology and legends. 
It shows remarkably few traces of demon-worship, 

' See Vanhille on " Radja BOrail," Borneo, and corruptions of words of 

(/W. 6V</.», 1902), and compare the Sanskrit origin are also occasionally 

Arabic ** Finnan '" (" Decree of (lod "), found in the Peninsula, e,g, the Jakun 

which (say i.he Malays) takes the "Jewa-jewa" (= Malay "Dcwa- 

form of ** I'irman" or *'Pirmal" among dewa"), which is used in the sense 

some of these tribes, and the obvious of a minor deity. The tradition of a 

"Allah Ta'ala'," mentioned by Mr. lost book is an idea common among 

Ml.imy. Similar corruptions of the the tribes of Indo-China ; cp. vol. l 

.ml". f***^riitn««*s r\^ aiIji>i orc'ir in pp. 378, 39 1, 5.'^, and infra^ 347. 


Tery little fear of ghosts of the deceased, and still less 
of any sort of animistic beliefs. 

(^) The Sakai religion, whilst admitting a great 
quasi -deity, who is known under various names, 
yet appears to consist almost entirely of demon- 
worship ; this takes the form of the Shamanism so 
widely spread in south-east Asia, the Shaman or 
Medicine-man (** hala ") being the acknowledged link 
between man and the world of spirits. In the words 
of Mr. Hale, it is a form of ** demon-worship in which 
demons (Hantu) are prayed to, but not God (Allah)." 

(c) The religion of the Jakun is the pagan or pre- 
Mohammedan (Shamanistic) creed of the Peninsular 
Malays, with the popular part of whose religion (as 
distinct from its Mohammedan element) it has much 
in common. It shows no trace of the tendency to 
personify abstract ideas found among the Semang, 
and its deities (if they can be so called) are either 
quite otiose or a glorified sort of tribal ancestors, 
round whom miraculous stories have collected. The 
few elements that it has in common with the Semang 
religion are no doubt due to cultural contact. 

Of this pagan creed J. R. Logan has remarked that 
there can be little doubt that the Benua have derived 
their theistic ideas from a Hindu or Islamised race. 
The basis of their religion and religious practices is 
Poyangism, in itself a species of milder Shamanism, 
and this they have united in a very remarkable manner 
to a mixture of theism and demonism ; the one either 
of Hindu origin, as is most probable, or borrowed from 
the Arabs through some partially converted tribe of 
Malays ; and the other having a considerable resem- 
blance to the primitive allied religions of the Dayaks 
of Borneo on the one side, and the Bataks of Sumatra 


on the other. The mode in which the three systems 
have been united so as to be amalgamated into a 
consistent whole is deserving of consideratioa 
Poyangism remains almost unimpared, or rather the 
Poyang, while assuming the character of priest, and to 
a certain extent abandoning that of wizard, retains in 
effect his old position. He still commands the 
demons by incantations and supplications, and their 
power rather than his own has been subordinated to 
the deity. At the same time this idea of an ultimate 
and supreme creator has not greatly altered their 
conceptions of the demons. Originally, impersona- 
tions of the vital and destructive forces of nature — or 
the recognition in nature, through the first union of 
reason and imagination in faith of a spiritual power 
which animates, destroys, survives, and perpetually 
renews the visible forms and forces of the world, — their 
presence was still allowed to fill the sensible ; and 
nature herself both material and spiritual was 
subjected to God. That extramundane theism which 
pervades many higher religions, adapted to the ancient 
belief, left the demons in the possession of the world, 
and if it rendered their power derivative instead of 
self-subsisting, it also entirely excluded men from the 
presence of the deity. While by his supreme power 
and omniscience he could control all things, he 
remained to them a God afar off.^ 

Similarly amongst the Berembun tribes we 
recognise a pure Shamanism, with its accompanying 
charms and talismans; a living faith fresh from the 
ancient days of eastern and middle Asia — preserving 

* /. /. A. vol. i. p. 2S0. As re- in his Introduction and notes to the 

f^ards the Indian element, Vaughan- MateriaUn^ points out aU the &cts 

Stevens' editor, Griinwedel (one of the which appear to him to indicate Bod- 

Tr^nf-ct^ ii«inq«nt**op*'«»<on Bu'^dhieni^- dhist iufluence. 


its pristine vigour and simplicity even in the present 
century, — untouched by the Buddhistic deluge which 
lias passed over the vast regions of south-eastern 
Asia, and has sent so many waves to different parts of 
the Archipelago, and resisting the pressure of the 
Islamism which surrounds it/ 

The Poyang and Pawang of the various Jakun 
tribes, the Blians of the Dayaks, and the Dato' and 
the Si Basso of the Bataks, are one and all the 
Shaman, the Priest-medicineman, in different shapes.^ 

Analysis of Chief Deities of the Three Races. 

The most important points in the description of 
the character of the chief god of each of the three 
races may be stated as follows : — 

I. KARl/ 

(1) He is of supernatural size and has fiery breath, but is now invisible (?).* 

(2) He is not described as immortal, though a belief of this kind may perhaps 

be inferred from the fact of his having existed continuously from before 
the creation. 
(S) He created everything except the earth and mankind, and when Pie had 
created the latter Kan gave them souls.* 

(4) If not omniscient, he at least knows whenever men do wrong, and his will 

is omnipotent. 

(5) He is angered by the commission of certain acts, but sometimes shows 

pity and pleads with Pie on man's behalf when the latter (their actual 
creator) is angry. • 

* The following remarks by Logan of the Mantra is the primitive heathen- 
apply to the Jakuns in general: — **Here ism of Asia, which, spreading far to 
I only remark, with reference to the the east and west, was associated with 
incantations, charms, and other super- the religions of the eldest civilised 
ititioDS of the Mantra, that the greater nations, for it flourished in ancient 
part appear to be essentially native Egypt, before the Hebrews were a 
[the Arabic portions having been added f>eople, in Greece and Rome, and bids 
or substituted by Malays] — that is, they fair to outlast Hinduism in many parts 
have not borrowed from the Hindus or of India " (Logan iny^ /. A. vol. i. pp. 
Arabs, but have assumed their peculiar 329*, SSO*, and cp. ibid, pp. 279-282). 
form from the state in which the tribe ' J. /. A, vol. i. pp. 282, 283. 
has existed on the Peninsula from time ' Another form is *• Karc " (•• Thun- 
immemorial, while, in substance, they der"), but V. -Stevens has "Kayee'* 
have been transmitted directly from the ( = ** Kayi "). 

common source to which a large * Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 132, 133. 

part of the inhabited world must refer ^ Ibid. 1 1 7. 

its earliest superstitions. The religion * Vol. i. p. 421, supra, 



(6) He is the supreme judge of souls, and as be is the giver of life, bai bo» 

ever also to destroy iL When he is angry he slays men fay mem at 
lightning direct,^ or by means of a beast called TfojiiL 

(7) This, however, appears to be of very rare oocurreDoe^ as he osoally kna 

the killing to be done by his messengers.* 
<8) He requires at intervals the sacrifice of blood,' but does noc, howctci, 

make any use of it. For the offering of this sacrifice a form of addita ii 

prescribed, though this is the only direct example of any sort of pnjcr 

being addressed to him. 
(9) His ser\*ants are Scntiu and Chini* (which /orr Vangfaan-SteveDS naj 

possibly =Chin-oi), "Ta* P6nn"and "Minang."* 

To sum up, Kari possesses many attributes 
usually ascribed to a deity, but since he lacks (with 
one doubtful exception) an actual cult, it would 
perhaps be best to regard him as a mythological 
person, analogous to the patron saints of Europe. 

Of Pie much less is known than of Kari. Pie 
was, however, the creator of the earth (under Kari's 
direction), as well as the first actual creator of the 
human race (as represented by the Semang), on whose 
behalf he pleads with Kari when the latter is angry. 
Unlike Kari, Pie has no acknowledged form of cult 
whatever, unless perhaps we may recognise in the 
story of the woman who when a tree was falling upon 
her shrieked to Pie to save her, some faint re- 
miniscence of a cult that has long ceased to exist 
In addition to the foregoing there are several other 
great spirits of whom the chief are Ts' P5nn and 


An analysis of the character of the Sakai "God" 
under his various names (Tuhan, Pirman, or Feng),* 
shows that he occupies very much the same place in 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 117. '*God" of the Andamancse (Ifsn^ 

* Vol. i. p. 421 supra. Ami, p. 89 seq.), 
' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 107-109. •"Peng" — sic Vanghan • Stetcn. 

\ Ihid, pp. 132, 133. It may be doubted whether the tint 

^ For this whole description cp. two names at least are not rather of 

Mor». <i-.c/»-pH/.n ^f Puluga the Maky or Malayo-Arabic origiii. 


lie Sakai cosmogony as is occupied by Kari and 
Pie in that of the Semang. 

<1) He is of supernatural size and invisible (?). 

C2) He is immortal (?). 

IS) He is not definitely mentioned as the creator, but presides over the 
existing universe, having the power of life and death over the human 
race and the spiritual world alike ; ' he appears as the champion of man 
against both demons and wild beasts.^ 

(4) No statement is made as to his omniscience, except that he invariably 

knows when man does wrong. 

(5) He is angered at the commission of certain acts (** the Sakai think they 

must have done wrong before he lets the demons attack them "), but 
may also show mercy.* 

(6) He is the supreme and final judge of souls (Granny Long-breasts applying 

the preliminary test by washing the souls in hot water). ^ He alone 
has power either to grant life or refuse it both to man and demon. 

(7) His punishments are inflicted by means of his agents, the demons.' Man 

is described as appealing to Tuhan for help in difficulties. 


The more advanced in civilisation the tribes with 
whom we have to deal, and the closer their connection 
in particular with the Malays, the harder becomes the 
task of eliciting from them any definite statements 
with regard to their own belief in a deity. For by 
£aur the most part of the Jakun tribes when questioned 
upon this subject are accustomed to reply that there is 
a God whose name they give as ** Tuhan " or ** Tuhan 
Allah/* the God of their Mohammedan neighbours 
the Malays. Among the Mantra, however, and 
doubtless among other Jakun tribes, if the matter were 
more thoroughly investigated, there does undoubtedly 
exist a belief, shadowy though it be, in a deity, and 
this independently of Arabic sources. There are in 
£^t, as among the Semang, traces of a dualistic 
system, wherein two great mythological powers are 

> Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 131. This precludes the drawing of a hard-and- 

iccoant and the name **Gendui Lanjut " fast line between the races in his case, 
ire Ma]ayan(Jakun)in character, but the ^ /^^f. p. 163. 

general lack of precision and the mixed ^ /bid, pp. 130, 131. * Ibid, 

tatore of Vaughan- Stevens' material, ^ Ibid. p. 131. 

vhich in more than one case is admitted, ^ I,e. ** Lord of the Lower World." 


recognised, a Lord of the Upper and a Lord of the 
Lower World. It is the latter to whom the creatioa 
of the earth is attributed, and who intervenes to 
protect mankind from the starvation consequent upon 
their own over- rapid increase, a result which he 
eventually achieves by the creation of Death. 


To sum up, it is evident that the deities recognised 
by these three races do not by any means adequately 
fulfil the common definitions of deity ; for to take the 
test of ** worship " alone, the only one of the three 
religions apparently possessing anything approaching 
a form of prayer addressed to a deity is the Semang, 
and even this only happens in a single instance (that of 
the Thunder-charm addressed to Kari). There is a 
tradition, but no proof, of an appeal to Tuhan on the 
part of the Sakai, but of prayers addressed either to 
Allah or Tuhan Di-bawah on the part of the Jakun 
there is hardly even the tradition. Yet there does not 
appear to be any reasonable doubt that three of these 
great spirits (at least Kari and Pie and possibly Tuhan 
Di-bawah) may, in consideration of the wideness of the 
gulf that separates them from the lesser spirits and 
demons (who are always dependent on and are in one 
case at least actually described as being creaied by 
them), be dignified (otiose though they are) by the 
higher title of Gods. But taking into account the 
effect of cultural influences, the most probable ex- 
planation of the present state of things may perhaps 
lie in the fact that the pressure of alien religions 
<<^roduced by more strenuous races has driven the old 
o.^^,hpn religinn into the bp'^kground, and that where 



has partially at least stood its ground, it has been 

neutralised and then welded into one with the 

wading elements of Hinduism and Islam. There 

no doubt been other contributory causes ; there 

\^ may even have been a general tendency, as amongst 

many other races, to increase indefinitely the number 

; of spirits who might be invoked, in the hope of obtain- 

Z^ ing more powerful succour, but in the medley of races 

that have gone to fill the Malay Peninsula, the former 

cause has probably been the more important. 

Analysis of Chief Spirits and Demons. 

We now come to the question of demonology, 
» in which the souls or ghosts of the deceased still play 
a considerable part, since both the Sakai and Jakun 
are in the habit of deserting their encampments, and 
even in some cases their standing crops, upon the 
occurrence of a death from any violent sickness, so 
great is their terror lest the ghosts of the deceased 
should prey upon their own living bodies. 

In this respect there is a wide gulf between the 
religion of these two races and that of the Semang. 
Among the latter demonology takes such a very mild 
form that it might be practically non-existent for all 
the effect that it has upon their movements. Vaughan- 
Stevens indeed declares in more than one passage, 
that the Semang do not believe in spirits at all, and 
though such a statement goes beyond the truth, it 
may at all events be safely said that the Semang very 
rarely allow themselves to be terrified by them. 

In the following table an attempt is made to 
classify the spirits and demons of all three races 
according to their nature and origin : — 







I. Nftture-ipiriti— 

{m\ ACfnosphere^ 

, Kari uid Pie mud 

Raia-splrits [V..5L 

B«.-r» s 


their ierTmiits[V.- 

iL 135], 



; StJ. 

(MiLi pv^s 

ji) Wind-spihts. 

jTa' P<ion(W.S4 

Jin Angin or Wind- 

Bm-Jm Ai 



{Hale, loDV 


(3>Sim-ipirit (/#>), 

Jin Miiktok [Swell]. 

Heat^apiriU iiiid.^ 

(rf) Eartli^spirits^ 

(0 ^pmti of the 



Btt&-Jiii Si 


[Hale, joo; V.-St. 

Che Garatiit 

li. ml 


(3) Spirits of hilli 

(kind not »pcdfied) 

Lake-spiriti [V.-St. 

suid mouti- 




O^Sptriti of the 

■ r> 

I. H, Sibuni [V.- 

I, B«.-H. 


St, ii. 135]- 



a. H. Tinggi [V.- 

1. Bm-H. 

St, ii. 135]. 


3. H. Batman [V.- 

3. Bt^-^Or 

St, ii, ijsl.' 


places [W. 

(4) Spirits of the 

(not specified) 






DiBose-spiriti em- 

''Eaeh tree has its 

I. B»-a 

bodied in trees. 

special variety of 

the Eaglet 


demon (Hmntu)" 

1. Bw,-H 

[\' .St. ii. 135]. 

Ihe CafDi 


3. B8i.-H 


Ihe Gut 

[6 J Croi>-spiriti, 

H. Juliiig or Ihe 
Squitttiag Demon 
(MahJ [V.-St 


(7) Fire-ipirils. 

h% shown by alleged 

Sec Heat - spirits. 

(not rei 



[W,S4 cp. Swett]. 

(S) Water-spiriti. 

(not specified) ' 

(not specified J 

Bm. — H. 


[Hale, 300I* 




* 5fV ? Bunyan. It may be questioned whether these spirits of \ 
Stevens are not rather Malayan, as their names appear to show. On tl 
hand, in several cases they agree with those recorded by Hale, who \ 









(not recorded.) 


I. Bes.— Jin Kuwak 
(harmless) [W.S.]. 

2. Jin Mati-Anak. 

2. Bes.— JinMatiAnak, 

[V..St. ii. 145]. 

or the Still-birth Demon 

(MaL) (deadly) pV.S.]. 

3. Bes. — H. Langhwe 



(not recorded.) 

I. Gambling-demon 

(not recorded.) 


[Hale. 301]. 


2. Opium -demon 
[Hale, 301]. 

[Hale, 30x1. 

4. H.Kubur[V..St. 

4. Bes.— H. Kubur, or 


the Tombs • Demon 
(Mai.) [W.S4 

IS of 

(not recorded.) 

I. (of fatigue) H. 

X. (?) 

Si and 

Jemoi [V.-St. 135]. 


2. (of headache) 

2. Bes. — H. Kembang 

[Hale, 301]. 

Buah (Mai.) [W.S.]. 

3. (ofstomach-ache) 

3. Bes. —Jin Grouk 

[Hale, 301]. 

(Mai.) [W.S.]. 

4. (of mosquitoes) 

[Hale, 301]. 

5. (of fever, elephan- 

tiasis, ulcers, and 


[V.St. 1351. 

of the 

Pang. — Ghosts of 

I. Hantu Degup 

the dead become 

[V.-St 132]. 

Storm- or Water- 

! 2. " Lost souls ex- 

2. Bes.— Hantu Kemuk 

spirits [W.S.]. 

1 i>elled by G. 

1 Lanyut work upon 

1 the living through 
the agency of rain, 
heat, in moun- 

' tains and lakes, 

rocks and trees " 

[V.-St. ii. 135]. 

(Mai.) [W.S.]. 



Creation of Man, 

\ some cases the Semang and Jakun legends 
ig on the creation of man show a common 
:ss, which is probably mainly due to the same 
ige-Malay" element, of which there are such 
lant traces in the dialects of both races. Among 


both races, for instance, we find the idea that man at 
first multiplied so fast as to make the earth too 
crowded. Kari the Thunder-god (in the Semang 
story) slays them with his fiery breath, and thus 
reduces the number of mouths to be fed. In the 
Jakun legend, on the other hand, Tuhan Di-bawah, 
the Lord of the Underworld, turns half of them into 
trees for the same purpose. In both stories this ched 
to the population proves insufificient, and Death is 
accordingly instituted by way of relief. By both races 
the same proverb is worked into the argument, viz., 
that it is better for the parents of each generation to die 
** like the Banana-tree,'* leaving their children behind 
them, than to have them increasing continually like 
the stars of the sky for multitude, as they are supposed 
to have done before the institution of Death. 

This particular creation -legend is one of great 
interest, as it may possibly contain certain elements 
of real Semang mythology disseminated among the 
Jakun of Johor by the Semang tribes now largely 
absorbed by the Jakun in the south of the Peninsula. 
It is at all events interesting to note that, as far as 
the evidence of our records goes, the Semang are in 
the habit of personifying abstract ideas, such as Death, 
Hunger, Disease, and so forth, but that the pure-bred 
Jakuns (i,e, Malayans) are not. The racial factor in 
the two types of legend is in fact so different, that if 
only a sufficiently large number of both kinds could 
be collected, I am confident they could as a rule 
be separated without much difficulty. 

A few legends will of course always be difficult to 
classify, and amongst these may perhaps be included 
the Jakun story that the mother of the first pair of 
rnpn ^M^rt^ne ^nd Bfilo) was called " Clod of Earth" 


(" Tanah Sa-k6pal "), and their father *' Drop of Water" 
(•* Ayer S&-titek "), of which all that we can say is that it 
teems to have originated in some story to the effect 
that the first parents of the human race were formed 
fix>m clay. 

Ostensibly Semang, on the other hand, is the 
I^end that Kari created everything but man, whose 
creation he desired Pie to effect, and that when Pie had 
done so, Kari himself gave them souls. The Semang 
story of the dialogue between the baboon and the first 
parents of the human race may quite possibly be 
distantly connected with the widely prevalent Jakun 
l^end ascribing the origin of mankind to a pair of 
white apes. 

Another interesting legend on the same subject 
was the Land- Jakun (Mantra) myth that in the early 
days of the world man did not die, but grew thin with 
the waning of the moon, and waxed fat as she neared 
the fuU.^ 

In yet other Jakun stories, which however are 
probably, in the main at least, of Malayan origin, 
the founder of the race is described as a person who 
•* fell from heaven," or who was discovered in some 
miraculous way, e.g, in the interior of the stem of a 
giant bamboo. 

Before quitting this subject, I may perhaps mention 
the Jakun references to miraculous forms of birth, such 
as the Mantra tradition of a certain race of Demons 
(" Setan ") whose children instead of being born in the 
ordinary way, were ** pulled out of the pit of the 
stomach." Akin to this was the Jakun legend of the 
first woman ** whose children were produced out of 
the calves of her legs." 

* y. A'. A, S, No. 10, p. 190. 



The same remarkable parallelism that we found in 
their legends of the creation appears in other Semai^ 
and Jakun traditions of floods, which thoi^h at first 
sight might be thought to be Deluge-legends, may be 
more correctly classed as myths of the " origin of the 
sea " type. According to the Semang legend of the 
Rainbow, a great dragon or snake in ancient times 
broke up the skin of the earth, so that the world was 
overwhelmed with water. According to the Mantra 
it was a giant turtle that brought the water up from 
below through a hole in the ground, from among the 
roots of a ** pulai " tree, thus causing a flood whid 
developed afterwards into the ocean.^ A Benin 
account, which is the fullest of the three, refers besides 
to a kind of vessel in which the first parents of the 
race are alleged to have effected their escape frcmi 
drowning. According to the traditions of both 
Semang and Benua, moreover, it is the mountains 
that give fixity to the earth's skin. 

It is perhaps worth remarking that the various 
allusions to the destruction caused by fire seem to point 
to the former prevalence of some myth of an universal 
conflagration from which the ancestors of mankind 
escaped with difficulty, and which was more or less 
analogous to the tradition of the flood.- 

Natural P/ienoniena. 
The firmament or sky, in the opinion of the 
Semang and the Jakun, is built in three tiers, the two 

1 For the Mantra version see p. 339, Moon - Man s nooses and impending 

infra. The Benua version (p. 356) fall of the sky-pot of the Mantra (3 I9i 

ascribes the breaking up of the skin of infra), the hatching of the stone egp 

the earth, and the consequent deluge of the Sakai World-eagle (237, it^\ 

which ensued, to Pirman, i.e. Tuhan. and perhajis the Man v. Demon bittle 

' ^' Vact.r)«" b-U'^'s «e have the of the Tembch (App.)- 


Upper tiers, which are regarded as the Paradise of the 
blest, being filled with wild fruit-trees, whilst the third 
or lowest tier contains the low and brooding clouds ^ 
that bring sickness to mankind. 

All three races have versions of the widely-spread 
tradition of the Paradise-bridge, which leads across a 
boiling lake into which the souls of the wicked are 

The entrances of heaven and hell (according to the 
Semang legends) are close together in the west, and a 
third place (a species of Hyperborean region) which is 
also found in them, is described in the traditions of 
some Jakun tribes as well. There are separate hells 
for various races of mankind, and yet others for 
animals and snakes. 

As might be expected, a good deal of the mythology 
of these tribes is taken up with the traditions of the 
heavenly bodies, all of which are alike personified, 
many of the stories dealing with the marriages or 
conflicts of the sun and moon, and the chequered 
fortunes of their children the stars. 

In one of the Mantra stories the sun is described 
as not having been created till after one of the floods 
to which I have referred. 

The moon is by some of these tribes {e.g, the 
Besisi) identified with the Island of Fruit (the Jungle 
Paradise),* which, if we take the evidence of one of 
the songs of the same tribe, is preceded by a ** Garden 

* ''Kelonsong Awan"(p. 207,/;//ra). Sakai. Among the Besisi he is called 

* A form of this Bridge-myth is found "Gaffer Engkoh" or Jongkoh. Its 
among the Andamanese, who describe guardians take different shapes accord - 
it as a bridge of invisible cane through ing to the imagination of each particular 
the sky (sec Man*» And. p. 94). tribe — a baboon, or demon, among the 

' The chief of the Heaven of Semang, a dog among the Jakun, etc. 

Fruit-trees is called Penghulu by the The choicest heaven is reserved not 

Seouuig, but this clearly corresponds for the good, but for the old and 

to the Granny Long -breasts of the wise. 


of Flowers." It is the moon, again, into which Gaffer 
Engkoh is said to have climbed, and which in several 
traditions is described as the habitation of the Jakun 
** Man in the Moon " (" Nenek Kabayan "). 


The Sakai regard Fire as a mystical emanation 
from the power of Tuhan, which owing to its divine 
origin is the destroyer of evil. The Sakai point of 
view is best expressed by their tradition of the wash* 
ing of the wicked souls ^ in boiling water. They 
have learnt that whilst Fire annihilates, Water softens 
and purifies, and hold therefore that Tuhan showed 
mercy in mitigating with Water the effect of the Fire, 
which would have destroyed the soul itself in destroying 
its sin-spots. As things are, however, the Fire only 
destroys the collective wickedness of the souls washed 
in the copper, which latter resembles, according to the 
Sakai, **a red-hot cauldron, in which a remnant (rf 
Upas-poison is burning away." ^ 

Animal Myths and Beliefs. 

Of the tiger's origin we have no account from 
the Semang side, though several different stories 
are told by the Jakun of the way in which it was 
metamorphosed out of various inferior animals. The 
most usual version of the story appears to be the 
Jakun one, which derives the tigers origin from a 
dog belonging to a chief (the dog being, as a rule, the 
only animal domesticated by the Jakun). 

So too Hervey in his Mantra Traditions relates 

^ According to the Besisi it is only (''sumbang**) that are thug treated. 
.1^ •r-'Ax -»i" tK/^e* ^\^r 'v^m«nit {^'•••t * Vaoghan-Ster^ns, iii. 130. 


that B£ld (one of the first ancestors of mankind) kept 
a dog at his house; from this dog came the tiger 
that devours mankind (the "Smooth-skinned" race) 
as contrasted with animals (the " Furred " or " Rough- 
skinned ').' 

To the wild bull (S^Iadang) there is a solitary 
reference in the collection of Mantra traditions which 
we owe to Hervey. The same remark applies to 
the mouse-deer (Kanchil), who was promised by To' 
Entah (as its reward for rescuing him from the giant 
turtle), the leaves of the sweet-potato (K'ledek). The 
tapir and the manis are referred to in the Semang 
l^ends, the crocodile in the Blandas account of the 
origin of the tiger, and many other animals in the 
Besisi songs. 

We find among the Jakun a curious pre- Darwinian 
version of the evolution of man from the ape, the 
ape selected for this distinction being the Hylobates 
syndactylus, which, as a matter of fact, is really nearer to 
man than Macacus or even than the ** Orang-outang." 

Borie ^ informs us that he had several times been 
" quite seriously " assured by the Mantra that they 
were all descended from two white apes (** ungka 
putih "). These white apes, having reared their young 
ones, sent them out into the plains, and there they 
"perfected" themselves so well that both they and 
their descendants became men ; whilst others, on the 
contrary, who returned to the mountains, still re- 
mained apes.' 

^ A grosser fable ascribing the origin among the Benuasappears to be regarded 

of the tiger to the frog and Baginda ... as a sacred colour. The former 

All is also given by Hervey (y.^. /1. 5"., have their white siamang, their white 

S.B,^ No. 3, 110-112). » Page 73. alligator, and their white ungka " (New- 

' An identical story is given by bold, ii. 395, 396). Cp. also the 

Newbold, who relates that their chil- Semang story of the baboon and the 

dren were four in number. *' White first parents of mankind. 


The white siamang or " ungka " is, moreover, one 
of the embodiments in which the soul of a deceased 
chieftain is believed by the Sakai to take refuge. 

The Macacus or baboon is also referred to ia 
Semang traditions. There is, for instance, the baboon 
who acted as adviser to the first parents of mankind, 
as well as the gigantic baboon which by some Negrito 
tribes is believed to guard the Paradise-bridge, and 
which according to another Semang account was "as 
big as a hill " and prevented unauthorised souls from 
entering Paradise to steal the fruit. 

Of the smaller animals may be mentioned the dog 
(a reddish -furred wild dog, Canis rutilans), which is 
not only believed by the Jakun to have been the 
prototype of the tiger, but is also among some Jakun 
tribes {e,g. the Besisi of Selangor) believed to guard 
the bridge that leads to Paradise. 

The big old ** monitor" or "lace" lizard, which 
is called ** Bagenn " by the Semang, is credited by them 
with being the originator of a proverb which among 
the Jakun is assigned to Bfilo, one of the first 
progenitors of the human race. Moreover, according 
to a Jakun tradition (given by Borie) it was on the 
skin of a monitor that their (mythical) sacred books 
were said to have been written. One of the small 
grass-lizards or skinks (as we are told by Hervey in 
his collection of Mantra traditions), is connected with 
the returning to life of this same B6lo, the reptile 
being mutilated by Mirtang, B€lo s brother.* 

Of the squirrel (** tupai ") there does not seem to be 
any special tradition, though tufts of squirrel tails 

1 This may be a Malay idea, or be connected with the sou] (e.^. of a 

held by the Jakun in common with deceased medidne-man or magician), 

he Malavs. It evidently refers to Cp. Malay Magic^ p. 325 ; and see 

K« '\^V\^ Hat th^ iJt.«»h is somehow also Birth-customs, p. 26, amie. 


re worn on necklaces, probably for reasons of 

To the flying-fox there are also one or two refer- 
nces. It is when roasted a favourite dish of the 
akai, and it forms the subject of one of the tribal 
ai^s of the Besisi. The bone of a flying-fox was 
Iso included in a list of royal insignia belonging to 
ic hereditary Chief of Jfilfibu, who was said to be 
escended in part from Jakun ancestors. 

There is no trace of totemism among the Semang.^ 


The power of self- transformation (into the tiger) 
[aimed by a few of the more accomplished medicine- 
len, as in many other parts of the world, is probably 
ot to be connected with the transmigration theory, 
Thereby it is held that the soul of a dead chief may 
nter a tiger. The B'lian is the tiger in the Peninsula 
s in Africa the hyena is the wizard. There does 
ot appear to be any trace of such a belief among 
he Andamanese, but as it is almost universal among 
he other tribes of the same region, I am inclined 
o ascribe this merely to the absence of tigers from 
he Andaman Islands. On the other hand, it is a 
act worth noting that a small ** tiger's-claw knife," 
ailed ** bladau," such as is used by the ** leopard-men " 
>f Africa, is still in use both among the Sumatran 
md the Peninsular Malays, and it may possibly be that 
hese wild (Peninsular) tribes first **made believe" to be 
igers with the object of impressing their more civilised 
leighbours with all the fear they could, an object in 
^hich they obtained a considerable measure of success. 

* See p. 260, infra. 



But the most interesting of all the Semang myths 
are those representing various birds as vehicles for 
the introduction of the soul into the new-born child, a 
full account of which will be found under Birth- 
customs. The Argus -pheasant, on the other hand, 
is connected by the Sakai with lunacy,* the ground- 
dove appears in one of the Semang creation-myths, 
and finally there is the white cock into which the 
soul of a deceased ancestor is believed by the Jakun 
to have migrated. But taking all references to birds 
into consideration, it is certainly remarkable that so 
little in the nature of divination by birds or augury 
has yet been recorded of any tribes whatever in the 
Malay Peninsula. 

Legends and Ideas about Plants and Trees. 

Among the Semang plant-legends is that of the 
flowers that were planted by Pie to serve as models 
for the designs of Disease patterns. Another is that 
of the epiphyte, upon which the Diseases were laid by 
the Winds who were carrying them. Yet another is 
the Semang legend of the origin of the blowpipe 
patterns explaining why some trees have smooth 
and others prickly fruits, and why some fruits are 
sweet and some are acid. To these may be added 
the Mantra tradition of the period when one-half of 
mankind were turned into trees by Tuhan Di-bawah, 
and the Semang "birth-tree" and "name-tree," for 
which see ** Birth-customs.*' 

In the legends of the Jakun we are told that the 

> Z,f,E, xxvi. 169. 


ark was made of " pulai " wood. This is a very light 
wood obtained from the roots of a species of Alstonia, 
iriiich forms the native substitute for cork in these 
fi^ons, and is used by the Malays for the floats of 
dieir fishing-nets. 

It is upon a ** pulai " tree, moreover, that the 
F Birth -demons called ** Lang-hue" are supposed by 
the Blandas to sit at night. 

The proverb about the banana- tree ("pisang") 
should be referred to here.^ It is found both among 
the Semang and the Jakun. 

The Semang practice of wearing leaves and screw- 
pine blossom upon the head as a safeguard against 
felling trees is explained by an appropriate myth. 

In the legends of Kari we are told* that the 
Semang soon got numerous by living on fruits. 

Of Pie it is related that he ate fruit and threw 
away the seeds, which grew up into trees and bore 
fruit in the course of a single night, and this is not the 
only story connecting the name of Pie with fruit. 
Elsewhere, for instance, he is associated with the 
account in which the origin of certain red and white 
jungle fruit is described. 

The ** kgnudai " fruit is connected in the traditions 
of the Blandas with the origin both of the tiger and the 

The large, prickly, uneatable fruit with which 
the giant baboon pelts the would-be invaders of the 
Land of Fruit - trees, is a kind of ** false " {i,e. 
•* valueless ") durian called **durian aji." 

Other ideas about plants which may here be 
mentioned are the belief that the breast-painting (of 
a Sakai man) represents a sort of Polypodium, the 

* See p. 184, ante, ^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 132. 



sporangia of which were bruised in water and squirted 
over the happy pair on the occasion of the wedding 
ceremony; and also that the patterns of the £lc^ 
painting represented another fern, with the juice of 
which the Sakai youths were sprinkled at adolescence. 

riie Soul} 

The Eastern Semang (Pangan) of Kelantan in- 
formed me that each man possessed a soul which was 
shaped like himself, but that it was " red like blood"* 
and ** no bigger than a grain of maize." It was passed 
on by the mother to the child, but in what way they 
could not explain. 

The Eastern Semang further informed me that 
the soul of a B*lian (priest, chief, and magician) entered 
after death into the body of some wild animal, sudi 
as an elephant, tiger, or rhinoceros. In this embodi- 
ment it remained until the beast died, when it was 
admitted into the Upper Heaven (of Fruits). 

The souls of ordinary people were variously repre- 
sented as being compelled to cross the boiling lake by 
means of a tree-bridge (from which the wicked slip off 
into the lake below them), and as being sent to a 
different and a far less inviting Paradise.' 

But the most novel soul-theory ascribed to the 
Semang is that recorded by Vaughan-Stevens, who 
states that according to the Semang belief all human 
souls grew upon a soul-tree in the other world, whence 
they were fetched by a bird, which was killed and eaten 

* Not the soul as understood by is the Malay '*semangat." 
modern Christians, but the soul of * Cp. Man's And. p. 94 : " The 

magical (pre - Christian and extra- colour of the soul is said to be red. 

Christian) ideas, which may be seen in ... and though invbible, it partakes 

old English woodcuts escaping in the of the form of the person to whom it 

forp^ '»f a mannikin from between the belongs.'* 
.«/< ...^ 5V,o.iM«rr «f •kg '^v^g. It 5 Man's And. p. 94. 


-fe : 

3 \ff the expectant mother. The souls of animals and 

■ fishes were conveyed in a somewhat similar way, i.e. 

: through the eating by the parent of certain fungi and 


f Of Sakai beliefs concerning the soul our records 
are of the scantiest description. It will probably be, 
however, found that the Sakai conception of the soul 
does not appreciably conflict with that of the Semang, 
and that the real difficulty in treating Semang and 
Sakai religion will be to discover their points of 

" To ask whether the soul is immortal appears," 
says Letessier, "the height of strangeness — *And 
how could it die } It is like the air ! * " was the answer 
of an old Jakun of Bukit Layang, to whom he put this 

The Sakai, like the Semang, attach much weight 
to dreams, and are firm believers in metempsychosis. 
The soul after death is repeatedly washed by ** Granny 
Longbreasts," in order to purify it from its stains, in a 
cauldron of boiling water, after which it is made to 
walk along the flat side of a monstrous chopper with 
which she bridges the cauldron, the bad souls fall- 
ing in and the good escaping to the land of Paradise.^ 
The beliefs of the Jakun and Orang Laut appear to 
be very similar to those of the civilised Malays, but very 
little indeed has been hitherto collected about them. 

In a Besisi legend both people and animals are 
described as having seven souls, a number which 
agrees exactly with Malay ideas on the same subject. 
The same tribe closely connect the soul with the 
shadow, and build little hutches beside the grave for 
the soul to dwell in when it issues from the earth, and 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 130. 


in Other ways certainly carry to a far greater degree 
than the Semang, and perhaps even further than most 
Sakai tribes, the arrangements believed by them to 
be necessary for the soul's maintenance and comfort 
throughout the period during which it lingers in the 
neighbourhood of the grave. 

The Priestly Office. 

As among the Malays, the accredited intermediary 
between gods and men is in all cases the medicine- 
man or sorcerer. In the Semang tribes the office of 
chief medicine -man appears to be generally com- 
bined with that of chief, but amongst the Sakai and 
Jakun these offices are sometimes separated, and 
although the chief is almost invariably a medicine- 
man of some repute, he is not necessarily the chief 
medicine-man, any more than the chief medicine-man 
is necessarily the administrative head of the tribe. 
In both cases there is an unfailing supply of aspirants 
to the office, though it may be taken for granted that, 
all else being equal, a successful medicine-man would 
have much the best prospect of being elected chief, 
and that in the vast majority of cases his priesdy 
duties form an important portion of a chiefs work.' 

The medicine-man is, as might be expected, duly 
credited with supernatural powers. His tasks are to 
preside as chief medium at all the tribal ceremonies, 
to instruct the youth of the tribe, to ward off as well 
as to heal all forms of sickness and trouble, to foretell 

' *• They have neither a king nor a of priests (jiV-), their only teacher being 

chief, except that title be applied to a the Poyang, who instructs them in iH 

person called Poyang (* Puyung*), who matters pertaining to sorcery, e»il 

debides on every case laid before him, spirits, ghosts, etc., in which they 

And whose opinion is invariably adopted. firmly believe" (Begbie, pp. Iji 

j;^o«.inrr »/■ i">iipi«'\n tVi^^- -^fo dc^itutc 14). 


llie future (as affecting the results of any given act), 
feo avert when necessary the wrath of heaven, and 
even when re-embodied after death in the shape of 
WL wild beast, to extend a benign protection to his 
<dlevoted descendants. 

Among the Sakai and the Jakun he is provided 
'With a distinctive form of dress and body-painting, 
and carries an emblematic wand or staff by virtue of 
bis office. 

Sacred Spots and Shrines. 

We have as yet no record of the use of **high 
places" or shrines among the pure Negritos, and 
perhaps naturally so, since the idea of regarding a 
specific locality as sacred could only grow up with the 
greatest difficulty among tribes who are so essentially 
nomadic that they never stay more than four or five 
nights in a single spot. 

By the Sakai and Jakun, however, such sacred 
spots are certainly set apart, incense being burnt there 
and vows registered, invariably, I believe, in the 
hopes of obtaining some material advantage.^ 

In addition to these shrines, however, there are 
also to be seen, in the districts inhabited by the Sakai 
and Jakun, what may be termed medicine -houses. 
These houses either take the form of solitary cells 
erected in the depths of the forest (in which case the 
magician keeps a selection of his charms and spells 
in them), or (more frequently) that of diminutive 
shelters made from the leaves of a palm called **d6m- 
pong," which are built to screen the medicine-man 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 141. 


and his patient from view during the performance of 
the ceremony of exorcism.^ 

Nature of the Rites. 

The main divisions of the magico - religious 
ceremonies of these wild Peninsular tribes maybe 
enumerated as follows : prayers and invocationSi 
sacrifice, abstinence, possession, divination, and self- 

Prayers and Invocations. 

Among all the Peninsular tribes both prayer (in 
the wider sense) and invocations still remain in the 
un-ethical stage in which material as distinct from 
moral advantages alone are sought for. 

Among the Semang, however, with the rarest 
exceptions,^ they appear to have scarcely reached the 
stage of fixed forms, the petitioner generally content- 
ing himself with expressing his wish in a quasi-con- 
versational phrase, addressed to the great spirits or 
deities of the tribe. 

Among the Sakai the conjuration of the spirits of 
deceased ancestors and demons of all kinds is more 
freely employed ; but most of all among the Jakun,the 
Bfisisi addressing invocations not merely to animals 
but even to insects and inert objects which they 
believe to be the embodiments of the spirits whose 
aid they are invoking. 

All branches of these tribes, as is usually the 
case with autochthonous races, are credited by the 
immigrating Malays with the knowledge of charms 
">f i^he most marvellous potency. 

^..Mrri.0,^ c». »«5. ; ^2 « E.g. that o'*^' '^''nder^rhann, q.v. 


Their love-charms in particular (such as that used 
in the " Chinduai " ceremony), are believed to be quite 
irresistible, and they are credited with the power 
of making themselves supernaturally beautiful or in- 
vulnerable at will. By means of " sendings," or rather 
•* pointings " (" tuju "), they are believed to be able to 
slay their enemies at a distance, and many a Sakai 
has paid the penalty for sickness and trouble falsely 
ascribed to his malevolence by excited and not over- 
scrupulous Malays. 


The only common form of offering, which consists 
in the burning of incense (benzoin), is found among all 
branches of these tribes, other kinds of offering being 
comparatively rare. The practice of drawing blood 
from the region of the shin-bone and throwing it up to 
the skies is a Semang sacrifice addressed to Kari. On 
the other hand, many of the Jakuns (especially the 
coast tribes) expose in the jungle small sacrificial trays 
upon which are deposited various kinds of food (boiled 
rice, meat, and fruits), together with small vessels 
containing water. These trays are called ** anchak " 
(Vaughan-Stevens, '* anchap "), and correspond very 
closely both in name and form to the sacrificial trays 
similarly employed by the Malays. 

I have also seen among the Besisi, on the occasion 
of their rice-harvest feast, a small quantity of boiled 
rice deposited on the top of a low tree-stump, and 
offered by way of a compliment to all the enemies of 
the rice, as represented by noxious insects and the 
wild beasts of the jungle. Here we see the idea of 
sacrifice in one of its most rudimentary stages, that 


200 NATURAL REUGION AND folk-lore mim 

of a mere complimentary present intended to establish 
a truce with avowed and acknowledged foes. 


Of fasting and other forms of abstinence among 
these races not very much is known, though instances 
do undoubtedly occur. One of the most usual forms 
of abstinence occurs at Sakai child-births, when the 
mother is required by the unwritten laws of the tribe 
to refrain from eating various kinds of food. 

Sakai and Jakun medicine-men also to some extern 
practise abstinence in order to acquire the power of 
seeing visions. 

Possession and Exorcism. 

About the forms of possession practised by Semang 
medicine-men we know next to nothing. It would 
appear, however, from a ceremony that I myself 
witnessed among the Semang of Kedah that some 
form of possession is certainly believed in by them, 
though I am inclined to think that it is probably of 
a more simple kind than that practised by the Sakai 
and Jakun ; and that whereas among these latter the 
magician invokes the aid of a friendly demon to enable 
him to overcome the demon that is tormenting the 
patient, the Semang magician trusts rather in the 
strength of his own spirit to exorcise the adversary. 

Divination {Diagnosis). 

Of divination among the Semang our records are 

again almost non-existent, though among the Sakai 

a"d Jakun divination is clearly employed as the 

.innferpart 'n mae^'c of our own meHical ''diagnosis.'* 


There appear to be two distinct ways of performing 
divination, one being by means of a tribal ceremony 
such as our latter-day spiritualists might perhaps call 
a siance, and the other undertaken by the medicine- 
man alone. Divination in either case frequently only 
forms part of an exorcising ceremony, as the possessed 
medicine-man, after replying to the usual questions 
concerning the origin and nature of the patient's 
malady, and prescribing the remedies required to 
restore him to health, is frequently asked questions 
of more general import, which need not necessarily 
have anything to do with the condition or fortunes of 
the patient. 

Dreams and General Beliefs. 

Both Semang and Sakai, but especially the latter, 
appear to attach much weight to dreams. 

Thus we are informed,^ for instance, that among 
the Sakai the new-born infant receives its name in 
accordance with a dream. ^ 

A similar strong belief in dreams is also found 
among the Jakun. 

Amulets and Talismans. 

Amulets and talismans form a fairly numerous 
class of objects among all the wild tribes. 

Among them may be reckoned coins strung on 
necklaces (as charms for the eyes). The custom of 
stringing on necklaces tufts of squirrels' tails, teeth of 
apes, monkeys, and wild pig, small bones of birds 
and various animals, and similar objects, which De 
Morgan calls ** trophies of the chase," may be com- 

i Z.f.E, xxvi. 161. « Ibid. p. 158. 


pared, their use being probably due, as in other parts 
of the world, rather to magical ideas than the mere 
pride of capture. The bristles, teeth, and daws ol 
tigers are all certainly used much more for magical 
than for merely ornamental or decorative purposes. 

1. — Semang. 
The Heavenly Bodies. 

The sun is believed by the Semang to possess an 
actual human figure (that of a female), and is further 
alleged to possess a husband, whose name was given 
me as ** Ag-ag, the Crow." 

On reaching the west the sun falls suddenly, 
it is believed, into a great hole or cavern, whidi 
according to some Semang legends is identified vrith 
hell. According to another version, it goes down 
behind a range of mountains on the western border 
of the earth, which is believed to be flat, and there 
gives light to the Senoi. 

Similar ideas were entertained about the moon, 
the name of whose husband was given me (in Kedah) 
as **Ta' Ponn," a mythological personage of whom 
more will be said later. 

The stars were regarded, I was told, as the moon's 

1 Swettenhamsays(p. 228): <*They" petition to the san or the moon,'* 

(the Negritos) *'call the sun a good though it certainly has not the leatt 

spirit." In /. R. A. S.^ S. B.^ No. 5, foundation in fieu:t. A similar and 

p. 156, he mentions a **good female equally inaccurate statement (from 

spirit in the clouds." Symes) was quoted by Andenon (i%.) 

NewboId(pp. 377-379)t i" speaking about the Andamanese (v. Man, pu93. 

of the Semang, says: "They worship for the dimenti). In both cases the 

the sun." He appears to have taken idea probably arose from the 

'his statement from Anderson *s Consid, cause, viz. the ceremonial treatment 
Add. xxxvii. \ where the Semang of an eclipse. Cp. also J, /. A. it. 



Among the Semang there is the greatest fear of 
eclipses, which are believed to be due to the attempt 
of a gigantic serpent or dragon to enfold or swallow 
the obscured luminary. The name of the serpent 
that is believed to enfold the moon was given me as 
" HOra* " ; but I was told that, although it assumed 
the guise of a serpent, it is in reality the moon's 
own mother-in-law, and is only attempting to embrace 
and not to swallow it. The moon, however, shrinks 
from the proffered embrace, from whence we may 
perhaps conclude that the moon is sometimes also 
regarded as a man, the confusion being probably due 
to the conflict of cultures.^ The only alternative is to 
suppose " mother-in-law — daughter-in-law avoidance '* 
of some kind. The serpent that swallows the sun is 
"a different one," and is believed to attack it in 
deadly earnest. 

The Rainbow, 

According to my Semang informants, the rainbow 
is called ** Hwe-a'." It is believed to be the body 
of a great serpent or python, and the spots where it 
touches the earth are regarded as very feverish and 
bad to live near. 

We are further told (by Vaughan-Stevens) that 
the sun on setting behind the western mountains 
gives light to the Senoi, and that under the heaven 
called Tasig, beneath Kari*s seat, begins the 
gigantic body of the rainbow-snake, ** Ikub Huya" or 

* According to the Khasia the moon according to the Eskimo the (female) 

is a man whose mother-in-law throws sun smears with soot the face of her 

ashes in his face when he pursues her brother, the sun, when he presses his 

once a month (Latham, i. 119). And love upon her (Peschel, p. 256). 



' Hoya/ ^ which extends to the regions of helL It 
lets water from the nether deep through to the earth 
at Pie's command for the Semang to drink by push- 
ing its head through the flat earth-crust, and thus 
causing springs of water (" met bStiu ") to rise. The 
light drizzling rain that falls when a rainbow is visible 
is the sweat of the reptile, and if it happens to Edl 
upon any one who is not wearing a particular kind of 
armlet, it causes the sickness called * lininka * (?). 

Women wear by way of protection armlets of 
Palas {Licuala) leaf, and men wear armlets of the 
** Rock-vein '* fungus (** tSmtom," or Mai " urat batu") 
on the left wrist. These bands are called "chin- 
ing-neng." * 


During a storm of thunder and lightning the 
Semang draw a few drops of blood from the region of 
the shin-bone, mix it with a little water in a bamboo 
receptacle, and throw it up to the angry skies 
(according to the East Semang or Pangan, once 
up to the sky and once on the ground, saying 
**b6\'' i.e. "stop"). On my inquiring further, one of 
the women offered to show me how to do this, and 
drawing off a drop or two of blood into a bamboo 
vessel by tapping with a stick the point of a jungle- 
knife pressed against her shin-bone, she proceeded to 
perform this strange * libation * ceremony in the 
manner just described. 

If a man is in the least degree too familiar with 
his mother-in-law, thunderbolts, said the Semang to 
me, will assuredly fall. For this reason (if for no 

' **Jeko^" = snake in the Semang dialect, and " hwea* ** = rainbow. 
8 '''iii^han-S*'»veni, iii. »26. 




Other !) the contingency never arises. But they also 
assured me that they of the jungle were far more 
distant and circumspect in their dealings with their 
mothers-in-law than was the case with their neigh- 
bours the Malays.^ 

To the foregoing I may add that according to the 
Eastern Semang, the ghosts of wicked (or ignorant ?) 
tribesmen, on leaving the dead body, fly up to the sky 

1 Vaugban-Stevens s account is as 
follows : — The so - called •« Kor-loi- 
melloi/' or ** Blood- thro wing" cere- 
mony, is now completely forgotten 

00 the west coast of the Peninsula 
[I did not find it so. — W.S.], and 
even in Perak, but is quite universal 
in the east coast states. In order 
to appease the angry deity men and 
women (of all ages) are in the habit 
of cutting the skin covering the 
shins to obtain a few drops of blood. 
One cut is usually sufficient, so that 
on the whole very little blood is 
drawn. The cuts are made diagonally 
across the axis of the leg, are from 
6 to 10 mm. in length, and are said 
to have been formerly made with a 
stone knife (?), though now with the 
ordinary iron jungle-knife or parang, 
which was knocked with a piece of 
wood until blood was drawn. The 
blood — it need only be a drop — is 
either sucked out or dropp)ed directly 
into a long bamboo receptacle, and a 
quantity of water (sufficient to half 
fill the bamboo) is poured in with it. 
The Semang then turns in the direction 
of the setting sun, and doling out 
the liquid with a special bamboo 
spatula, throws it straight up into the 
air, calling out with a loud voice, 
•* Blood, I throw towards the sun ; 

1 draw blood, curdled blood ; I throw 
blood towards the sun," or words to 
that effect, the invocation being 
repeated each time that the liquid is 
thrown, up until all is finished. 

When the storm is very severe the 
bamboo may be refilled with blood and 
water and a fresh ceremony take place. 
The bamboo vessel used for the pur- 

pose is, as a rule, fresh and roughly 
cut, and was usually net decorated — 
doubtless owing to the ^ct that there 
would be no time to do so during a 
sudden tropical storm, the vessel being 
cut for the purpose on each occasion, 
and thrown away after use. 

Kari himself makes no use of the 
blood thus sacrificed, but is pacified 
by this sign of his children's repentance 
and ceases to hurl thunderbolts, and 
to continue his complaints of their 
misdeeds to their creator Pie, at least 
until they again give him occasion to 
do so. 

Pie, however, employs the blood of 
the Semang in order to create certain 
red jungle fruits which serve as food 
for man, such as, for instance, the 
well-known "rambutan" {Nephelium 

The Puttos themselves did not cut 
themselves, but instead of doing so 
threw their secret remedies (which 
they preserved in bamboo cases), into 
the air. From these Pie created 
certain white jungle fruits. 

When the periodical wind or mon- 
soon brings no rain, very few fruits 
appear, and the Semang then say 
that this is because they had not 
thrown up enough blood, since the 
frequency of the blood - throwing has 
an influence on the quantity of rain. 
[From this it would appear that the 
ceremony may after all perhaps be 
mainly a rain-making ceremony. — 
W.S.] — Vaughan - Stevens, iii. 107- 
109. Cp. Newbold, ii. 386, 396; 
and /. R, A, S., S. B., No. 4, p. 48, 
where women only are stated to draw 


(along with the vital principle, or "Nyawa") and 
become storm-spirits (i.e. spirits of thunder, lightning, 
etc.). Hence, in the blood-throwing ceremony, part of 
the blood is thrown upwards, in order to propitiate them 
and persuade them to return to the upper heavens. 
Sometimes, however, the ghost, on leaving the body, 
proceeds downwards and becomes a water -spirit 
And hence, in the same ceremony, part of the blood 
is thrown down upon the earth. 

A remarkable explanation of the phenomenon of 
lightning was given me in Kedah by an aged Semang, 
who explained it as the flashing (in heaven) of the 
top-cords of the dead medicine-men (or B'lians) of 
the tribe, who were believed on such occasions to be 
engaged in the diversion (which in the East is shared 
by adults) of top-spinning. To the same cause was 
attributed the sound of thunder, which was believed 
to be the murmuring noise of the tops as they spun. 
Other informants of the same tribe, it is true, admitted 
sharing in the almost universal fear of Heaven's 
anger caused by thunder and thunderbolts ; it is 
hard, however, in such cases to distinguish the 
original ideas from those obtained from foreign 
sources, though the less original and unique the idea, 
the less likely it is to be indigenous. 

Lightning is produced by Kari when he is 
wroth. He takes a flower and shakes it over the 
sinner and the lightning darts forth. The bell-like 
flower -cups of the (unknown) plant strike each 
other and cause thunder. The echoes are Pies 

* Cp. vol. i. p. 451. 



Kari's servant Sinai is himself one of the winds, 
nd carries a whip in either hand to compel the 
bedience of the other winds. The monkey Aii 
hastises the winds when they are too slow in their 

The Heavens and Paradise. 

The Kedah Semang informed me that the 
eavens^ consisted of three tiers or layers. The 
ighest heaven is filled with fruit-trees which bear 
ixuriantly all the year round, and is inhabited 
y certain of the greater personages of Semang 

The second or central heaven also. contains wild 
"uit-trees, and is defended against unauthorised pil- 
irers by a gigantic baboon, which pelts all would-be 
tealers of the fruit with certain hard, prickly, and 
neatable fruit (of the kind called false durians)/ 
"he third or nethermost heaven, on the other hand, 
ontains nothing but the low and brooding clouds* 
rhich bring sickness to mankind. 

When I asked the Eastern Semang (Pangan of 
Celantan) about the fate of the soul after death, they 
eclared that the souls of the old and wise proceeded 
) a Paradise in the west wherein grew fruit-trees of 

* Cp. vol. i. pp. 451, 457. ' I.e. the **Durian Aji.*' According 

* Called in Semang, according to to Vaughan-Stevens, it is a gigantic 
at^han- Stevens **Seap"." Sedqu. figure resembling a Semang, named 
Scak""or ^'Seap"*." There is no such Kanteh, that keeps the door of Para- 
imbination as ** p" " in any Semang or dise, and has animals as assistants. Cp. 
ikai dialect, and if **Seak"" is right, it vol. i. p. 453. 

:rhaps =**Seag*»" or "Seng" (pr. * Cp. the Malay phrase (used by 

Sek" ") in "Seng Ketok," which Sakai tribes) " Kelonsong a wan " (the 

cans "west" in all the Semang "husks" or "hulls" of the clouds) 

alects of which I have had experience. (V.-St. iii. 106, 125). Seep. 187, a;//^. 


every kind (those mentioned as examples were the 
Bangkong, Rambutan, Durian, and Tampoi), but 
in order to reach it they had first to pass across a 
bridge consisting of the fallen trunk of a colossal tree. 
This tree-bridge would have been easy enough (for a 
Semang) to cross, but for the fact that at the further 
end there sat a gigantic figure (** Bfirhala'," ix.^ idol or 
image) with only a single nostril, huge ball-less ey^ 
sockets, two immense tusks in each jaw, exceedingly 
curly hair, and enormously long finger-nails cros^ 
upon its breast. Many of the souls were scared by this 
horrible demon to such an extent that they straightway 
fell, panic-stricken, into the vast boiling lake beneath 
it, up whose sheer smooth sides they tried in vain 
to clamber. Here, therefore, they swam desperately 
about, clutching at the sides, for three long agonising 
years, after which, should the Chief of the Heaven of 
Fruit-trees then think fit, he would let down his 
great toe for them to catch hold of, and so pull 
them out ! The old and wise (e,g. the B'lians) were 
for this very reason buried in trees, viz., so that 
their souls might be able to fly over the head of this 
fearful figure. 

According to the Western Semang, whilst the souls 
of the dead B'lians proceeded to the Island of Fruit- 
trees, those of the lay members of the tribe went a 
long way across the sea, to a Land of Screw-pines and 
Thatch-palms,^ where was the hole into which the sun 
fell at night. If they had committed any wicked 
act, however, although they started by the same road, 
they did not arrive at the same destination, but were 
compelled to turn northwards aside across the sea to 

^ Nipab = ^ipa fruticansy low -growing palms found only in salt-water 


\ land which had two months of day and a month of 
night ^ alternately. 

The account given by Vaughan - Stevens is as 
bllows : — 

AD soals, whether of Semang or of beasts, go straight to Kari to receive their 
MBtence. Good souls proceed to the region of sunset, but the entrances both to 
P^uadise (Seapi^) and Purgatory (Belet) are close together. 

The entrance to Purgatory is called Sunset (*' Met-katok blis*'). Purgatory 
itielf is a vast cavern, shut in by rocks, in the mountain-chain (** Huya")' which 
farms the world's end. Good souls pass these ramparts of rock and reach the 
ocber side of the world, where they dwell with the Chinoi, the servants of Kari. 
Ilie ruler of Purgatory is one Kamoj (a black, gigantic, and frightful form), who 
botts wicked souls as they wander, cold, hungry, and thirsty, with a heavy 

The door-keeper of Paradise is a spirit resembling a gigantic Semang. His 
dotj is to prevent the souls belonging to other races of mankind from entering 
iato the Semang Paradise. 

By his side stand Kangkung, a beast of immense strength, which keeps watch 
to prevent the entrance of the souls of tigers ; Jelabo, a beast whose duty is to 
keep oat the souls of wicked Semang ; and Kangkeng, a beast which keeps out 
the souls of makes and scorpions. 

In addition to the foregoing are Champa and Chalog, two brother giants, of 
wfaooi Champa is the elder, and who are represented as the guardians of Tuhan's * 
\jn£) Paradise called «Tasig." 

These two are armed with bamboo-spears, and keep watch over the " light- 
aisg-hiding " {blUzbtrgenden) flowers which belong to Kari.^ 

The Semang Deities, 

Although I had many conversations with the 
Semang (both Western and Eastern) on the subject 
of religion, they continually pretended entire ignor- 
ance of any supreme Being, until one day when one 
of them exclaimed (in an unusually confiding mood) 
** Now we will really tell you all we know," and im- 
mediately proceeded to inform me about Ta Ponn 
('• Gaffer Ponn "), a very powerful yet benevolent 

* Probably a slip on the i^rt of the * Tuhan is usually the name given 

speaker for **a month of day and two to the god of the Sakai (V.-St). 

months of night." * Vaughan-Sievens, iiL 122-124. 

' Huya is Vaughan-Stcvens's way All these guardians of Paradise arc 

of writing ** Hwea* " or " Hweya' "' represented on one of the bamboos 

s= the Rainbow-snake, ^.z/. called **gu," for description of which 

^ Vaughan- Stevens, iil 117. see "Decorative Art" (vol. i.). 



Being who was described as the maker of the world. 
This information was accompanied by the statement 
that Gaffer Ponn was " like a Malay Raja ; there was 
nobody above him." In addition to this, I was in- 
formed that he was the moon's husband, and lived in 
the eastern heavens, together with " Ag-5g," the Crow, 
who was the ** husband of the sun." " Ta' Ponn " (said 
my informants) looks "just like a man," but is "as 
white as cotton" (Mai. "kapas"). 

" Ta' Ponn has four children, two male and two 
female, whose names are Rayidd and Harau (male); 
Rihh-rihh and Brua' (female).^ When you hear the 
noise of the Riang-riang (cicada or * Knife-grinder 
insect ') in the jungle, that is the voice of Ta' P6nn*s 
children. Ta* Ponn s mother is called Yak (YS*) 
Takell. She is the old Earth-mother, and lives under- 
ground in the middle of the earth." According to the 
account of another informant, Ta' Ponn's father was 
one Kuka', about whom, however, I could find out 
nothing further. 

Ta' Ponn has, moreover, a great enemy named 
Kakuh, who is very dangerous and who lives in the 
West.^ He (I was assured) is " very black, blacker 
than we are," — as black, in fact, " as a charred fire-log." 
** That is why the east is bright and the west dark" 
The heavens are in three tiers, the highest being 
called Kakuh. In the heaven where he lives, there 
is (according to a Pangan of Teliang) a giant coconut- 
monkey ^ (B'ro'), ** as big as Gunong Baling " ( = Tiger 
Peak, a big limestone hill in the neighbourhood of 

1 Probably different kinds of insects here between the name of Ti' Pwm^ 

(cicada, etc.). adversary and the place where he lifcd. 

But Kakuh is the name of the ' The coconut - monkey (AA&w 

iiighc"*- tier (of the heavens), and uetnestrinus) appears in thie Bess 

h*.-' «j»^, k«.— y^x^m comA confusion Songs (vol. i. p. 152). 


; Siong in Kedah), who drives back any one who is 
found (as the B'lians sometimes are) attempting to 
enter the heavens in order to help themselves to 
the fruit which grows there. This monkey-monster^ 
on discovering any such would-be pilferers, pelts 
them with a large prickly jungle -fruit (already 
mentioned), by means of which he hurls them down 
headlong. I was further told of this monkey that 
when the end of the world came, everything on earth 
would fall to his share. 

The account of the Semang religion given by 
Vaughan- Stevens includes, however, not only Ta*^ 
POnn (disguised by Vaughan-Stevens as ** Tappern '\ 
but two superior divinities named Kari (spelt Kiee, = 
Kayee, by Vaughan-Stevens, and Keii by his editors) 
and Pie, neither of whom I was able to identify among 
the Semang of whom I made my inquiries. Neverthe- 
less the fact that one person out of these three (viz. 
Ta' Ponn) was so readily identifiable, establishes, to 
my mind, a presumption in favour of the general 
accuracy of the rest of Vaughan-Stevens's account of 
the Semang religion. At the same time, the frag- 
ments of Semang religious belief that I was able to 
rescue, in spite of all difficulties, exhibit such in- 
teresting variations from the accounts related to 
Vaughan-Stevens, that it is evident that a rich mine 
of information still remains to be worked. 

Legends of the Semang Deities. 
Legend of Kari the Thunder-god. 

••Kari created everything except the earth, which he ordered Pie to complete 
for him. When, therefore, Pie had created man, Kari gave them souls." . . . 

When Kari {sU) had created men, they were very good. Death was not yet 
established, and the Semang living on fruits prospered and soon got numerous. 
Bat Kari saw they were getting too numerous, and came down to the Jelmol 
MouDUins to look nearer, and consider what was to be done. The Semang 


crossing the mountain did not see him, for none can lee him, and nn over hii 
foot like ants. He blew them away, but his Breath was fiery and burnt thai iH 
up throughout the neighbourhood. Seeing this, he ordered his Breath to coOot 
and conduct their souls to heaven. He then continued his meditAtions, and nam 
their numbers were still too great, he commissioned his Breath to go and killniGR 
Semangs whenever they again became too numerons, Kari's Breath had oov 
separated into the winds, and these were to be watched by Kmri*s two servant^ 
Sentiu and his wife Chini, with Ta' Ponn ("Tappem"), and Minang ("Mii- 
nung "). Sentiu now begged that his own servant, or the tatter's urife, should akne 
remain active on earth, and kill only a few Semang ; for if he himself and his«% 
did so, none would be left. Kari, however, refused this, and Sentiu YauA 
remained with his wife, and they killed all they could reach, Kari being wnxk 
at the disobedience of mankind. So the race dwindled away. For Kari had sol 
the wicked souls to the infernal regions (Belet), and had created Diseases toda&of 
them in his wrath. Pie, however, pitied them, and, having come to an agreemoK 
with their chiefs (Puttos), got Kari to turn these winds into lightning (Kdai)^ 
and stopped them from slaughtering the Semang, except in special cases whcB 
Kari*s wrath was provoked. When Kari sends them now, they kiU the 
Semang in a body, but the death - messengers only kill certain individuali bf 
Kari's command. Pie also arranged with Kari in what cases souls should be 
sent to Paradise (Seap") or to the infernal regions (Belet), whence arose Ac 
system of burial bamlxjos. Pie himself (and in his stead the Putto of tk 
district) was to write his decision upon the burial bamboo to be shown to Kan, 
by whom it was executed. Pie also got power given him to avert Diseases bf 
charms. These were good against every Disease, so long as the sin vUdh 
provoked the Disease was unintentional, or had been forgiven by the Ptatto. 
Pie had taken, as already related, the flowers growing near Karih^s dwelling snd 
planted them on the mountains (Jelmol), and assigned them as remedies for Ac 
various Diseases. He also brought the drawings of each flower, and instmded 
the Putto about its use. He also agreed with Kari that his Breath should be 
substituted for Kari's (since it was less fatal), and should only kill individuals. 

Thereafter when the winds waited for the burial bamboo to be given to the 
deceased (before which time the soul could not leave the Ixidy), they laid the 
Diseases on a parasite on one of the trees, because its roots did not enter the 
ground, and the Diseases waited there until the soul was ready to go to Kari. 
Pie also created a wind which sat on the mistletoe, and told Pie all that pasMd.' 

Now that Pic no longer dwells upon earth, this wind goes, according to the 
opinion of the Semang, who are not, however, unanimous about it, either to 
Kari or perhaps direct to Pie. When Pie had thus apportioned the Diseases, 
the vegetable kingdom was exhausted. But soon afterwards some very deadly 
Diseases, which had been sleeping whilst Pie had been breathing upon othaSi 
tried to obtain a resting-place u^x>n various epiphytic plants. The plants, how- 
ever, had all Ix^cn given away, and that is the reason why to the present dij 
smallpox, cholera, and other epidemics, of which the Semang stand in the 
greatest terror, but which are hard to identify from Semang descriptions, have so 
rest, but as soon as they have killed one man, fall straightway upon another 
even before the soul of the first has left the body.* 

Legend of the Firebrand, 

According to the views of the Semang, when Kari selected Belet (in the " Sun- 
set" region) as the abode of the damned, he gave Kamoj a firebrand. Tim 
brand was burnt in two before Kamoj had nearly had time to arrange Belet as his 

^ Vaughan- Stevens, iii. 109, 132, 133. 
" .'nd pp. 133, 134. 


; of action. Therefore Kamoj hung one portion with the charred end down- 
I before Belet, and kept the odier as an emblem of his power and jurisdiction. 
Khe brand hanging over the entrance stopped the once-entered souls from return- 
iagt the upper uncharred end allowing the souls to come from Karl's judgment- 
Mit. Hence a charred stick serves as a protection against Diseases. The Disease 
■kkh caused a man's death was fetched by the winds at Kari's command ; and 
lie winds had to accompany the soul and the Dbease to Belet, but dared not 
nter, since if they had, they would not liave been able to return (for fear of the 
bnad). The Puttos then sidopted, as emblem of their power, a charred stick 
iboot six feet long. With this stick they could expel Diseases, and if they could 
\ go themselves, would send it by a servant to the sick man, upon whom it was 
But if a Putto wanted to kill a man, he touched him with the unbumt 
nd, and all the Diseases near by entered the man's body. If to heal, he 
touched him with the burnt end, and all diseases were driven out of him.^ A 
Senwing will still dose up a path by suspending a charred stick across it, though 
he hinoself could not inflict Diseases with it, and only the Putto could — by 
■iiiin[^ his stick in charcoal with his secret sign, which varied with the object 
he had in view. Thence in time were derived the charm-bamboos (Gar's), 
■faich at first were sticks marked with charcoal, but later sticks which had 
ieagns incised upon them, into which the charcoal was rubbed. For these finally 
: substituted light and convenient bamboos, which were also available for the 
; and herbs appropriate to the charm in question.' The original marks on 
die fire -sticks have disappeared with the Puttos who employed them, but the 
old pettems are revived in the quivers and charm-bamboos, the magic combs of the 
women, and the blowpipe. At the end of the Semang quiver is a spot where 
the skin of the bamboo has been scraped off, and the place blackened with 
cfaeicoal. The end thus marked, which hangs downwards, represents Kamoj's 
five-stick, and hence serves as a charm against Diseases. If a Semang is unlucky 
in hunting, he stands still, makes a fire, and rubs a little charcoal upon the 
moBthpiece of his blowpipe, and upon the conical butt-ends of his darts. Sick 
persons mark themselves with charcoal where the pain is felt. Formerly this 
was the duty of the Putto, who employed a special sign which always healed ^ 

Legends of Pie. 

Pie and his sister are "the central figures of Semang mythology." 
Kari created everything except the Earth. He told Pie to complete this 
part of his work, and Pie did so ; Pie made men, and Kari gave them souls 
(Kfe), and Pie lived among them with his sister Simei in the Jelmol Mountains 
in Perak. Under Pie and Simei were the Puttos, each of whom ruled a district. 
No one knows who Pie's wife was ; but his sister did the work of one. 
They both resembled the Semang in shape. Simei gave light to the fire-flies, so 
that they might accompany her by night when she visited sick Semang women, 
especially those in travail. In those days the men only awaited the advent of 
her messengers the fire-flies, and then withdrew into the jungle, leaving the place 
free to her and the women. Since Pie and Simei disappeared, the fire-flies keep 
seeking for them among the bushes. They must therefore never be harmed. 
Simei was accompanied by day by a bird called Me-el, apparently a kind of crested 
dove,* and either she or Pie was always at home when the other was out. 

* Vaughan-Stevens relates (p. 131) full development of the Semang magic 
that frequently when he was resting designs did not lake place until after 
at night in the jungle, one of the old they had had dealings with the Sakai 
Semang people would hang a firebrand {ibid, ). 

near his head, to drive away fevers, ^ Vaughan-Stevens, iii. pp. 131, 132. 

etc * It was believed that in former days, 

* Vaughan-Stevens considers that the when Simei was on earth, this bird 


Kari retained his power of punishing mankind, whetelbre Pie, who pidel 
them, went to the land of the Chinoi, the servants of Kari, on the other sik of 
the world. These servants had the task of making hanging fiower-omimaBi 
and Pie collected all the flowers and planted them near the mountains, and tlie» 
from evolved the patterns which are now in use as charms against Diseases. 

Simei helped him. She it was who invented the special set of designs wUck 
serve as charms against the sicknesses peculiar to her sex, and which are coped 
on their combs. 

The Puttos copied the patterns on bamboo, and Pie then deposited then it 
a cave, and turned them to stone, so as to be always ready when wanted. Ik 
Puttos also prepared another set for each Sna-hut, whose duty it was to see tkt 
every man had the proper kind of charm that he required. At the same time & 
Puttos inscribed a set of charm-bamboos with the mythology of the Seman^ ol 
Pie turned these also to stone ; the Puttos alone knew where they were. 

Of the leaves and blossom of the screw-pine (pandanus) worn on the heMl ■ 
a charm against falling trees, the following is related : — 

Pie (in the form of an old man) and Simei would appear when called, ad 
after helping, disappear, the former helping the men, the latter women. Pie osed 
to ask for fruit and throw away the seeds, which grew up into trees and boit 
fruit in a single night. Thus, and thus only, the Semang knew that Pie hid 
been present 

Pie once met a man and woman carrying fruit, and asked for iL Tk 
woman denied having any, and as usual (when Pie caught a Semang lying) a tne 
fell upon her. As it was falling she shrieked to Pie (not knowing of bis prescDoe), 
and he threw some pandanus leaves upon her head, whereupon the tree retoned 
to its erect ix)sition as soon as it touched them, Iea\*ing only an impresskn oi 
the leaves where it fell. Pie subsequently ordered all women to wear leaiSi 
thus marked, as charms against falling trees. The Puttos therefore designed 
patterns for various trees which easily fall. These leaves are stuck in the bli^ 
combs of the women, but no pattern is used on the pandanus leaves if the 
feels innocent, unless a twig falls on her head, when it is at once added. 

Pie often appeared as a Semang, but with long thick bushy hair 
his body. Some say he returned to Kari with Simei, others that he sleeps 
in ihe Jelmol Mountains, and will yet return.* 

To the foregoing may be added (from various 
portions of Vaughan-Stevens's account) the following 
allusions to the history of Pie : — 

Like Kari, Pie appears to require blood-sacrifices. Thus in his account of 
the blood -throwing ceremony Vaughan-Stevens says' that Pie uses the blood 
(thrown up tu the skies to disi>el the thunder) for making the red jungle ftvit 
called Rambutan. And a little further on he says that Pie made white fruit of 
the storm charms which the Puttos threw into the air for a like reason. Vaughan- 

could not die, and that when it was they are afraid to do for fear of losing 

killed, and e.g. its head and legs their virility. Formerly if a Semsog 

removed, and its l>ody left l)'ing in the man saw one of these birds, he would 

jungle, its mate would come and carry go out of its way, w^hile a \«'oman would 

the l>ody to Simei, who would give it sit down, since it was a sign that Simd 

a new head and legs. These birds was near (Vaughan-Stevens, iii. iio). 
were probably the messengers of Simei. * Vaughan - Stevens, iii. 109-112. 

'^he Eastern Semang will on no account For Pie's relations with Kari, see the 

cill their but the half-blood Semang account of Kari (fv/ra). 

^nlv "♦'^i »^r»rf ^f -^otinrr tVi*»»r» which - IHd, pp. IO7-IO9. 


ItBii iM describes how Pie turned himself into a stick-insect and sat on a twig, 
tad when the elephant tried to destroy his plantation of magic flowers, caught it 
ly the nose so that it stretched and became a trunk. ^ 

A little later he describes how Pie turned himself into a manis (Mai. 
*tdi^giling") to defend the Semang against the elephant, and how his scales 
■n into the elephant's foot and wounded him.^ 

Again he describes how Pie was attacked by the tiger and the snake, and 
how he put his foot upon the snake's hood and told the rhinoceros-bird to drive 
iway the tiger. 

In the Legends of Kari we learnt* how Pie got the winds (Kari's Breath) 
tBRied into lightning in order to stop their indiscriminate slaughter of the Semang ; 
hair he arranged with Kari the system of burial bamboos as a means of deciding 
whether souls were to go to Paradise or to the infernal regions ; how he got 
power to avert Diseases by charms ; and how he brought the flowers from Karl's 
dwelling and apportioned them as antidotes to the several Diseases ; and how his 
Breath was substituted for Kari's as being less fatal, and how he created a wind 
to sit on the mistletoe and tell him all that passed. 

The Semang Soul-theory. 

According to the Eastern Semang or Pangan, each 
man has a soul which is shaped exactly like himself, 
which is '* red like blood," and as small as a ** grain of 

According to Vaughan-Stevens, the Semang sup- 
pose that souls are supplied in a variety of ways to the 
young of human beings, tigers, and other noxious and 
harmless wild beasts, night-beasts (as a separate class), 
birds, and fish.* 

The ** Til-til-tapa " and the ** Chim iui " need no 
souls; for they are the souls of human beings in the form 
of birds ; when they need life for their eggs they eat of 
fruit of the male or female birth-trees. If one of these 
birds dies a natural death, it is because an unborn 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 137. called **H16mdon"; they believe an 
^ See below, p. 222. infant has no soul, and hang a wax 
' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 133. puppet up in the forest. As soon as a 

♦ Evidence is required in support of stick-insect (?) settles on it the sorcerer 
these statements. Cp., however, the wraps it in a cloth ; the insect is shaken 
Malay superstition which connects the out on the child, which then gets its 
Burong Pingai or Pingai bird of the soul. — Missions CcUh.^ 1893, p. 1 40. 
Malays with the soul ; and our own According to the Guarani (South 
nursery make-believe of child-bringing America) the humming bird brings the 
storks and other animals (Cp. Folklore^ souls and takes them back after death. 
XL 235). The Bahnar have a ceremony — Alencas, 0. Guaraniy ii. 321. 


foetus has died. Some say these undeveloped souls 
go into another bird, and the woman who eats it 
becomes the mother of twins, just as if she had eatea 
a bird with its egg.^ 

An expectant mother visits the nearest tree whidi 
happens to be of the species of her own birth-tree 
and hangs it with fragrant leaves and flowers, or lays 
them beneath it (avoiding the place where, in her own 
tree, the after-birth was buried), " because her child's 
soul (embodied in the bird) will recognise the tree by 
it.'* The bird which conveys the soul sits on the tree 
and is killed and eaten by the woman. The souls of 
first-born children are young birds newly hatched, the 
offspring of the mother's soul-bird." 

Fish -souls come from grasses, bird -souls from 
their eating certain fruits. Each species of animal has 
a corresponding soul-plant. The " susu rimau " • con- 
tains the soul of an unborn tiger cub. The tiger eats 
it, and thus the soul is conveyed. When the soul- 
bird (human) falls upon one of these fungi the souk 
fight and the child is crippled or dies. But in any 
case the human soul is victorious. 

Souls of beasts noxious to men are conveyed by 
poisonous, and harmless by non - poisonous, fungi. 
Phosphorescent fungi convey souls of night-beasts. 
The idea of the soul-bird, however, is obsolete except 
among the Pangan. The Malays, Siamese, and 
Chinese are thought to have different birds, to 
convey their souls. 

* Vaughan- Stevens, iii. Ii6. This {Tuber Regium) of Rumph. {Hti^ 

can of course only refer to children of Amboin, vi.). It is largely used in 

the same sex. ' Supray pp. 4-6. native medicine, e,g, for consumptiofi, 

3 The "tigress-milk "fungus, or*' susu and was supposed by the Besisi to wtx 

rimau," is the sclerotium or resting- and wane with the moon, so that it 

tage of a fungus, which has been was thought best to gather it when the 

-i^^Titi^A/^i ^v PiHi'^tr «»r /'^'-/•v«/r j^ moon was fi'M. 



The new souls sit in a great tree behind Kari's 
.•eat till he sends them forth. They never return to 
' him after death, after they have become human. 

■ •• She has eaten the bird " is the expression used by 
^ Kelantan Semang of a pregnant woman. The soul- 
■- bird is not eaten up all at once, but sometimes kept in 
■: a bamboo called " tahong " (? ** tabong '')} 

The bird which conveys men's souls is the small 
Argus-pheasant (** Til-til-tapa ") ; the bird which con- 

■ vcys women's souls is '* Chim iui." 

, Twins result (as above indicated) from eating the 
: 80ul-bird with an egg.' They have the same birth- 

With the dead was interred the ** pgnitah " or burial 
bamboo, which had to be produced by the soul when it 
came before Kari, on penalty of condemnation.^ Both 
by Semang and Pangan the soul was believed to cross 
over into Paradise by means of a tree-bridge, from 
which the souls of the wicked fell into a boiling lake 
beneath, through fright of a monstrous figure that 
mounted guard over the bridge. A fuller account of 
this, however, has already been given.^ 

The ideas of the Eastern Semang (Pangan) with 
regard to death and the future life are as follows : — 

There are two Death-spirits, one for men which is called Sentiu, and one for 
women called Chin-ni. Sentiu has a male servant (*'hala") called Ta* Ponn 
("Tappcm"), and Chin-ni, a female servant called Min-nang. All these are 
invisible spirits. Of their own unaided power they cannot take away life from 
any one, but on their wanderings among the Eastern Semang they see here and 
there persons who in their opinion are fit to be called away from life. In such 
a case either Sentiu or Chin-ni send their servants to the Putto of the 
district, and the latter sends his servant to the Sna-hut, and sets forth everything 
that concerns the life of the Semang in question. The answer returns by the 
same road until it reaches Pie, who proceeds to bring the matter before Kari by 
word of month. If Kari decides that the man should die, Pie then commissions 
his servant to inform the Death-spirits about it. These latter (Sentiu or Chin-ni, 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 112-114. * ^^^' P» 116. 

5 Cp. vol. L p. 460 ; and vol. ii. p. 93. * P. 208, ante. 


as the case may be) then send forth the •* Death-wind " («< Bewt kibis**), vbick 
blows over the doomed i)erson, causing death. No spells have the povo to 
ward off the Death -spirits, as Diseases may be warded off. On the other had, 
when Kari is wroth with any one he slays him with a flash of lightning, and oat 
through the agency of the Death-spirits.^ 

In Paradise the souls eat fruits alone, and the children's souls aie afak to 
move al)out unassisted. All the souls are visible to each other though invisibktt 
mortal eyes. They do not change, nor do they marry, but remain for ever in fttt- 
dise and never return to earth again. The bodies of the dead do not rise again. 

The souls of innocuous beasts go after death to a place near Paradise wUd 
is called ** Kena-Iuong" ; but the souls of tigers, snakes, scorpions, etc, go tt 
Purgatory (Belet), where they torture and feed upon the souls of the dsmaBd. 
Acconling to a (liflferent tradition, however, the souls of tigers go after deilh. 
like the souls of all other l^easts, to Kena-luong, which is an immense ctvc& 
There they are no longer able to feed upon flesh, but on fruits and plants ; ol 
have no power of harming the souls of the harmless beasts that are with thcsi 
Only, along with snakes and scor])ions, they take pleasure in showing themsdis 
at an opening of the cave called ** Helet,"' and thus scaring the soabof men.' 

Common people were buried in the ground, but Belians <the great diie&who 
were l)elicved to have the power of turning themselves into tigers), were depooied 
in trees. ^ 

Legeftds and Ideas about Human Beings. 

The Semang say that the first woman, seeing that 
all other animals had children, was desirous of 
having children of her own, but did not know how to 
obtain them. At length she and her husband took to 
carrying a brace of fire-logs under the armpits by way 
of '* make-believe." One day the coconut monkey 
(BVo*) noticed what they were doing, and gave them 
advice, as the result of which they obtained two boys 
and two girl children. In the course of time these 
four grew up and had children likewise. One day, 
however, the ring-dove ("tekukor") met them and 
warned them that they had married within the pro- 
hibited degrees of consanguinity. It was, indeed, then 
too late to undo the mischief already done, but the 
ring-dove advised them, nevertheless, to separate and 
marry ** other people," in which case (it said) the 


1 \'aughan-Stevens, iii. 117. 
this it would appear that Kena-luong and Belet are contiguous. 

'o«jTV.nn,<: ns Jn. II7.I18. * ^H- psffe QI, GMtt, 


ildren of these fresh marriages might intermarry 
ithout impropriety. 

Among the Semang vague ideas about a big 
»nflagration seem to take the place of the wide- 
iqpread myth of a big flood. 

Thus, in explanation of the ** fuzziness " or ** frizzi- 
Jiess" of their hair, they told me that a very long 
time ago their ancestors were near a clearing in 
the forest together with the ancestors of the Malays. 
\ But one day some Siamese priests (** Sami ") set fire to 
the clearing (which was overgrown with jungle-grass), 
the result being a conflagration from which both they 
and the Malays escaped with difficulty. The Malays, 
however, were a trifle the quicker in getting away, and 
in the confusion which followed contrived to annex 
both the clothes and the rice-spoons of the Negritos. 
The latter, on the other hand, only succeeded, 
with great difficulty, in saving their blowpipes and 
quivers, and in effecting even this their hair got so 
singed by the fire that it has never since recovered 
from the crisping that it then received.^ 

This same story, with a few variations, is re- 
corded by Vaughan- Stevens,^ who suggests that it 

* Among themselves I believe they also the Kra and the B'ro* (two kinds of 
really admire a thoroughly woolly head monkey — the ape-kings Hanuman and 
such as not a few of them possess, but Sugriwa of the Indian poem). The 
in meeting people of a higher grade of battle began. ** Pram " fastened fire- 
culture, such as the Malays, ihey are brands to the tails of the apes, which 
perhaps naturally somewhat ashamed ran over the leaf-roofs of the jungle- 
of it, just as they would be of their men's houses and set them on fire, 
blacker skins. The fire reached the jungle, and 

* The account given by Vaughan- the jungle-men fled into the forest. 
Stevens (iii. 99), runs as follows : — As, however, they ran through the 
** In ancient times they had straight burning jungle their hair curled, and 
hair and lived in Kampongs. Their remained curly ever afterwards. But 
Rajas were the gigantic Gergasi's. after they had once fled into the 
•*Pram" (Siamese, Phra Ram), a depths of the primeval forest they 
Siamese Raja, wished to destroy the never returned to the civilisation which 
Gcrgasi's, and for this purix)se led an they had once possessed. During 
army into Kedah. In this army were their flight the coconut- monkey called 


may be taken from a Siamese version of the Rom- 


Other Semang Traditions. 

One of the Semang traditions > given to De Morgan was to the effea thit a 
officer of the Raja of Johor, named Nakhoda ("Nada*') Kassim, exiled bylB 
master, and setting sail, arrived after a few days at the mouth of the River Brou, 
and there landing, proceeded on foot through the jungle till he stnick tbe 
Perak River near Kuala Kangsar. Here he met with a Semang village md 
exchanged presents with the inhabitants, and stayed there for some time. One 
day, however, two little daughters of the Semang chief were quarrelling ovei & 
stick of sugar-cane, each of them attempting to break it in turn, when another 
child snatched up a knife and severed the sugar-cane, at the same time, bowevB; 
cutting the hand of one of his sisters, at which milk-white blood immrdirtriy 
issued from the wound. 

Nakh(xla Kassim, who was a spectator of the scene, thereupon demanded the 
sale of the child from the Semang chief, in order that he might make her hb 
wife. The chief agreed, but persuaded Nakhoda Kassim to remain with hna, 
and in course of time the marriage came off, but for four years they had no dul- 
dren. One day, however, his wife going down to the river to bathe foimd npoi 
the l>amboo raft a new-bom infant couched in moss. She therefore took the 
child hack to her husband, who adopted it and gave it the name of Potri But 
(*Pouteh Buissehf) 

Now alx>ut this time a dog belonging to one Gaffer Long-nose (<* To' Hidong "K 
a relation of the Raja of Pahang, took to barking every day at the nme ho« ift 
the direction of the sunset, and one day Gaffer Long-nose let the animal bos 
and followed it. In seven or eight days he reached Yang Yup in Ula Plm, and 
the dog coming to a clump of bamboos began barking all round iL Gafiier Loog- 
nose took his knife and slit up one of the stems, and therein found, to his greic 
surprise, a new-bom (male) infant, which he at once extracted and took ako{ 
with him on his joumey. 

A few days later GafTer Ix>ng-nose met with the Semang, and hearing from 
them of Nakhoda Kassim, went to meet the latter, and showed him the dhild, 
whom he had named Mouse-deer Hill (* Bukit Pandok.') A few yeais later 
the two children were married, and Nakhoda Kassim died. Mouse-deer Hill 
having discovered by looking through his father's papers that his father had 
received from the Raja the right to select for his own whatsoever part of the 
country he would, proceeded to Pahang, but finding himself incapable of govern- 
ing it, he went to Johor and rcc^uested the Raja to appoint one of his sons in his 
stead. The Raja first sent his two youngest sons, the elder of whom, bovrever, 
slew the younger and then himself at Tanjong Batu. The Raja then sent a god- 
son of his, named Salam Balik, to take charge, but shortly afterwards a soo 
being born to Mouse-deer Hill, Salam Balik had the child killed, and a despenue 
conflict ensued with the Semang, who employed poisoned arrows. The struggle 

out angrily, *Dia lari sarui>a Semang.' 255; and the account in Livy, is 

They run like Semang." well as the Ram&yana, 

V^aughan- Stevens says he could not ^ In addition to this legend, which is 

find out what this allusion means. [It is clearly from Malay sources, a very in- 

prol>ably a pun on Siamang. — W.S.] coherent account by Vaughan-Steveos 

(V.-St. iii. 99, cp. ii. 99, 100.) of Semang wanderings is to be found in 

For the firebrand incident, cp. Judges Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 128, 129, but is 

." M . T-TvH^. Vft ^*rx Pe/igiot P" not worth quoting. 


i some years, and Malays from the Nicobars came over to assist the Semang, 
: the latter being Megat Terawis (" Meccah Travis," sic!\ who had brought 
^rtth him a wonderful gun, on the bullets of which he wrote his name. Salam 
.Bilik being wounded by one of those, agreed to make peace, and gave his daughter 
tD Megat Terawis in marriage. In course of time Megat Terawb obtained a 
dttDghter, and Mouse-deer Hill having married again and obtained a son, the two 
duldxen were wedded, and their offspring became the royal femily of Perak.^ 

Legends and Beliefs about Animals. 

The elephant, as being one of the largest and 
most important of the animals, is naturally one into 
which the souls of chiefs are believed to migrate 
after death, and has euphemistic and propitiatory 
names by which it is known to the Semang and other 
wild tribesmen. The following story in explanation 
of the strained relations now supposed to exist 
between the elephant and the stick- insect and the 
tapir is told by the Semang : — 

The elephant originally had no trunk and instead four big teeth, and greatly 
haiasKd the Semang by stealing the fruit out of their back-baskets or dossiers, 
even turning up the flowers that Pie had planted. The Semang therefore 
begged Pie to help them, and he turned himself into a stick-insect and perched 
on a twig, and when the elephant came to feed on the fruit of the tree 
on which he sat, he knocked the elephant's lower teeth out and caught him 
by the nose. At this the elephant naturally drew back, so that his nose got 
stretched and became a trunk. The elephant, however, then begged for mercy, 
io he was allowed to go, but was obliged to keep his trunk by way of a 

The elephant next met the tapir, who could not refrain from expressing his 
surprise at seeing the elephant's altered features, whereat the latter tried to bite 
him as if he still had his teeth, and would have done so but that the tapir slipped 
behind a rock. The elephant caught at the rock and used his tusks like a boar, 
but the tapir said that he would have nothing to do with a **pig." At this the 
elephant stretched out his trunk, caught the tapir by the nose, flung him down 
on the ground, and said if he met him again on the hills he would tear his head 
off. Since then the tapir has stayed by the river-side, avoiding the elephant that 
lives in the hills. And the elephant has a long trunk, and curved teeth in the 
upper jaw only, and he gets angry whenever he is called a *• pig " ; and strikes 
every branch that he eats either against a tree or his own foot, in order to drive 
away any chance stick-insect that may have settled on it. If he fails in doing so 
and eats the stick-insect, he goes mad at once and goes to search for the tapir.* 

This story is on the lines of local Malay stories 
in some parts of Kedah and also on the east coast, 

* De Morgan, i. 59-61. ' Vaughan-Stevens, iiL 137. 


where the stick-insect is called by the curious name 
of ** elephant's fish -poison,"^ the east coast Malays 
firmly believing that if an elephant accidentally 
swallows a stick-insect with any leaves that he may 
be eating, he will die as certainly as if he had eaten 
the well-known fish-poison called " tuba." 

On one occasion when I was travelling by elepham 
in Kedah my mahout referred to this story, and in 
order to test it I got him to give the elephant some 
wild ginger leaves (of which the elephants are fond) 
on which a stick-insect was sitting. The elephant 
looked them over, and seeing the stick-insect, prompdy 
tossed the leaves aside. 

The story of the breach between the elephant 
and the pangolin or manis is told as follows : — 

The elepham once attacketi some Semang sleeping in the jungle, vbo 
called to Pie for help. I'lc turned himself into a manis,' and meeting a pair of 
young elephants, rolled himself up and ^-as kicked out of the way by the mk: 
The female callc<l t«) the male to follow, but the male replied, " Wait till I hiic 
killed this thing." ** What thing is that ? " replied the female. " A live stone," 
said the male. "Swine," said the female, "stones are never alive, bring the 
thing here." "I am afraid to do so," said the male. "Swine!" cried die 
female, and the male, losing his temper, seized the manis with his trunk to ffiif 
it at his wife's head. Hut Pic rolled himself up and fastened on to his truk, 
and the elephant trpng to shake him off, and failing, trod upon it, so that tbe 
scales ran into his foot. Pie meanwhile shouting " Kro-o-o-ok." The dephaot 
recognising Pie's voice, asked and received mercy, but the elephant since tlttt 
day has a finger at the end of his trunk, and fears the cry of the minis and 
always holds up his trunk when he meets anything likely to hurt him. 

The inland Malays say the elephant cannot endure the manis, and are haid 
to ride when they hear it, and Semang elephant -hunters drive him by imitating 
the cry of the same animal. ^ 

The tiger (like the elephant) has many names, 
and is one of the more important animals into which 
the souls of dead chiefs are supposed by the Semang 
to migrate after death. 

Tigers and snakes had always been good friends, and when Pie once drove off 
a tiger which was attacking a man, the tiger henceforth became the enemy of Pk 

* Mai. "tuba gajah" or elephant's ^ v. -St. iii. 138; cp. p. 293, infr^ 

"ha (*• tuba " = Derris elUptica). Vaughan-Stevens' editor compares tbe 

ifoi ••tenecilinc." Kakkata Ttitaka, P »". pp. vi. viL 


t the mbtletoe, and tried to destroy the latter. The snake took the part of 
\ tiger. But the rhmoceros-bird seized the snake by the nape of the neck and 
r away with it. Then came Pie, and the bird beginning to speak, the snake 
to the ground and Pie put his foot upon its head and ordered the bird to 
away the tiger. The broad hood of the snake was produced by Pie's 
ing upon it, and the nuurks in its neck came from the bird's beak. Hence 
\ ihinoceros-bird now kilb the snake when he sees it, and makes a great noise 
en he sees a tiger, to drive it away. That is why the feathers of the rhinoceros- 
:%iid are used for tiger-arrows (as charms) and for those only.^ 

Vaughan-Stevens states that the dead bodies of tigers (as well as of poisonous 

fflMkes) were sometimes ceremonially treated on animistic principles. The Pangan 

^0f Kelantan, according to his statement, would formerly deposit a charred stick 

Niidier upon the body or before the jaws (of a dead tiger or snake), and in the 

CMe of a tiger the stripes would even be touched with charcoal in several places. 

TUi was to prevent their souls from going near the Semang on their way to 

Ibdr own place.' On the other hand, tigers were sometimes said to show them- 

ielves (with snakes, etc.) to souls in Belet in order to frighten them for their 

tridcedness. And yet other accounts declare their souls to be admitted even to 

Butadise, when however they are believed to change their habits and become 

gmminivorous, or in some other way to be prevented from attacking their 

aatnral prey. 

From what I myself heard, I may relate that, accord- 
ing to the Semang, if forest leeches (Sem. ** lawai "), 
such as are abundant in the jungle, are picked off 
from the person and burnt in the fire outside the 
shelter, tigers will be sure to scent the burning of the 
blood and will hasten to the spot. 

Another certain way of provoking the aggressive- 
ness of the tiger-folk is to follow after any member of 
the tribe who has started on a shooting expedition in 
the jungle with his blowpipe, no matter whether with 
the object of accompanying or of recalling him. 


The coconut monkey is the subject of more than 
one tradition. It is a gigantic coconut monkey, for 
instance, that is one of the guardians of Paradise, 
and it is a coconut monkey too that is represented 
as offering advice to the parents of the race. 

* Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 134. * Ibid, p. 132. 



Snakes and serpents of various kinds (more 
especially the python and the cobra) have a fairly 
important r6le to play in the mythology of the 
Negritos. The most important is the pjrthon, whidi 
the Semang connect with some of their ideas about 
nature, e.g. with their theory of eclipses (in which they 
distinguish a python enfolding and seeking to devour 
the sun and the moon), and Ikub Hwea' (Vaughan- 
Stevens' ** Huya "), the great world-snake of which the 
rainbow is believed to be the visible portion. 

The origin of the cobra's hood and of the cobra's 
quarrel with the rhinoceros-bird has already been 
related in connection with the tiger. The same ideas 
are held about the souls of snakes as are held about 
those of tigers. 


Birds also occupy a somewhat important position 
in the religious life of the Semang, as will be seen in 
the chapter on the soul, though they do not appear 
to be regularly watched for purposes of augury. 
They are, however, believed to convey the souls 
of new-born children, and among the Kelantan 
Negritos a mother who has hope of offspring is 
required to eat this soul-bird; and the phrase "she 
has eaten the bird " has become tantamount to saying 
*' she expects to become a mother." 

The bird which according to some Semang 
versions conveys men's souls is the small Argus- 
pheasant. Besides this, there is the bird which 
conveys women's souls, and the bird Me -el, which 
«. b*. "QeparaWe romr^^ninn of Simei. 


Yet another bird which figures in Semang myth- 
iDlogy is the ring-dove ("tSkukor"), which is repre- 
Ipmted as admonishing the first ancestors of mankind. 

■c Insects. 

i^^ Of insects, the stick -insect is perhaps the most 
Bmportant from the point of view of Semang folk- 
pOTc, and the strained relations between the latter 
Ipnd the elephant have been set forth above. It is 
icalled (as by Malays) the Malacca-cane Spirit, but 
|the noise attributed to it is probably made by a small 
ifix)g. Fireflies again are connected with the Pie 
I; traditions (as given above), and the noise made by the 
[ cicadae is said to be the voice of Ta* Ponn's children. 


i: Beliefs about Trees. 


In accordance with Pie's command, a tree is believed to fsSX on a Semang who 
tdls a lie. The leaves of the screw-pine are employed as a charm against falling 

Children's names are derived from trees near the place of birth. The after- 
birth is buried under the birth- or name- tree. The father then cuts notches in it, 
and Kari does the same with the tree on which he leans.' 

Any tree can be a name-tree. The family (birth-) tree is taboo ; it is not 
injured, nor is its fruit eaten except by an expectant mother. A woman with 
hope of children among the Eastern Semang (Pangan) used to visit the nearest 
tree belonging to the species of her birth-tree and decorate it with flowers. The 
ioal-carrying bird always sits on the same kind of tree.^ 

The birth-tree on which the notches are cut dies soon after the death of its 
owner, but should the tree die first, its death forbodes that its owner will soon die 
also. The tree of a murdered man is believed to fall on the murderer.* 

N.B. — There appears to be some confusion in Vaughan - Stevens' account 
between the name-tree and the birth-tree ; except by chance they cannot be 

The soul-bird is said to rest only on trees of the same species as the birth - 
tree, all of which are regarded as identical. 

Magic — The Medicine-man or B' Han. 

Among the Semang by far the most important 
member of the tribe was almost invariably the 
Shaman or Medicine - man (called B*lian).^ These 

I Vaughan -Stevens, iii. 112. * Ibid. p. 117. 

« V. supra, ^, I, 6 Sem. "hala." ««B'lian" is of 

' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 1 1 3. Malayan origin. 



B'lians are of course of varying status, but I befo 
that under ordinary circumstances the chiefs of tl 
Semang tribes are always B'lians of more or k 
repute, who take (among tribes more or less 
touch with Malays) the Malay titles of PiB 
( = Mai. *' PSnglima*') or Pgngulu ( = MaL " Pfinghuli 
The chief of the Kedah Semang (at Siong) ' 
called " Pglima," but would not admit that he wj 
B'lian until I had seen him charm the evil sp 
out of one of the women, when he admitted 
he knew something of the medicine-man's art* ' 
of the men seen by Mr. Laidlaw and myself cm 
east coast had also the reputation of being a notoi 
Blian, who had moreover the power of turning 
self into a tiger at will. 

The B'lians themselves obey certain prohibit 
which are not observed by the lay members ol 
tribe. They will not eat goat or buffalo flesh, 
but rarely (it is said never, but I have seen it) th 
fowls. I was further informed that the oldest 
** best " of them, that is to say, in their own w 
" those who know all the magic of the tribe," ret 
a special form of burial, the body being depo 
in a rude tree -shelter built among the bran 
together with a modicum of food and wat< 
jungle - knife, etc. This method of tree-buri 
believed to enable them to enter into Par 
(which is not the Paradise of their lay fe 

^ B'lian is naturally a title of respect turned. Thus we read in K 

(as Bomor and Pawang are among the (ii. 416) of the "treacherous" 

Malays), and as such is occasionally **that watches over the tig^ 

used by the Malaj-s, the result being which is supposed on rainy ni 

that confusion sometimes arises as to visit the abodes of men, and on 

its exact meaning. The name B'lian text of asking for fire, to seize t 

again may be applied both to the man them into pieces with itsenonnoui 

Arho can become a tiger and to the 

•»<yA *nto «vKi/»>i he »«^ ^lievfd to have 

In Sarawak the word is always 
^t appers. ^^. p »49, n. I, . 


linesmen), by flying over the demon that scares the 
tier. They are moreover believed to be able to 
>oceed, in trances, to the Fruit Paradise and bring 
uit back with them ; they can drive out devils ; 
ley alone know the love -charms which never fail; 
id they are able to slay men at a distance by 
eans of their " sendings," which are more feared 
r the Malays than any magic of their own. 

Above all, they can turn themselves into tigers 
iring their lifetime, and after death their souls 
►t infrequently enter into wild beasts, such as the 
^phant, tiger, and rhinoceros, and there abide until 
sir animal embodiment dies, when they duly proceed 
their own Paradise/ 

The Were-tiger Ceremony. 

One of the most interesting episodes of the 
imbridge Expedition in 1899- 1900 was our meet- 
5, at the little Malay hamlet of Ulu Aring in the 
• interior of the Peninsula, with a B'Han named 
indak who possessed a great reputation as a 
ngerous were-tiger. 

The Malays waited for his departure before 
ving me this information, but although I was not 
rare of his reputation at the time, I had fortunately 
ked him a good many questions about B'lians and 
eir reputed powers, and he had given me a good deal 

interesting information. From what he told me 

Mr. N. W. Thomas writes me that man does not, it is true, take the form 

5t probably this common feature of of his manito^ but practically the 

unanism first arose from the belief familiar is the manito of the Shaman, 

t animals are cleverer than men. At all events this power that the B'lian 

\ Shaman's magical powers are claims of becoming a tiger seems clearly 

posed to be due to the aid of the to account for the painting of his face, 

nal, and he takes its form to put on solemn occasions, with the tiger's 

n into practice. The manito (in- stripes, which are supposed to make other 

dual totem) is another case. The tigers [and men? — W.S.] afraid of him. 


it appeared that he had (or believed that he hadi 
the power of turning himself into a tiger at will, in 
which guise he would feast upon bodies of his victims 
(whether dead or alive), always, however, excepting 
and burying the heads} '* When a B'lian wishes ' 
become a tiger," said Pandak the B'lian, "he takes 
a handful of incense {i.e. benzoin) and says, * I am 
going to walk* (* Ye chop*), and sets off into the 
hilly parts of the forest, often two or three valleys 
distant from his shelter of leaves. There he kindki 
the incense, and dipping his right hand into die 
smoke (to collect the fumes in it), he holds k JM 
above the level of his right shoulder funnel^li 
and blows the smoke through the funnel thus 
This process he repeats a second time in front of lk 
left shoulder, and again just in front of his 
the same time invoking the spirits of the 
to grant his wishes. He then recommences^ ind 
collecting more smoke in his fist, blows through ft as 
before — this time, however, close to the ground. He 
next squats on his haunches and leans forward on Us 
hands, turning his head quickly to left and right 
** Presently '* (I tell the tale in his own words) "his 

* skin changes, fur grows, and a tail appears.' * Thus 
he remains from seven to twelve days, during which 
time he raids the neighbouring cattle-pens till his 
craving is fully appeased, when he returns to the 
spot that he started from, squats down as before, 
and turns himself back by means of saying simply, 

* I am going home ' (* Ye wet *). Throughout the 
period of his absence, however prolonged, his wife. 

^ This claim of the Semang medicine- Customs," p. 95, ante. 
nan is evidently the foundation of the • According to Mr. H. N. Ridley, 

atrocious custom attributed by the the tail, in one version of the story, 

vfnia*-. to th^ TTdai ; sec ** Burial is the first »^n to appear. 

Pandak thk Wkrk-Tigek (on the Right). 

(Ulu Kelaiuan.) 


encampment had one by one slipped out after ha, 
I too followed in order to see whether anything could 
be done for her, or whether she was about to die in 
the jungle, as some of her tribe assured me. Ob 
reaching the spot I found her sitting down with her 
legs stretched out in front of her, whilst the diief 
(Pelima) was digging away as if for dear life with a 
pointed stick to try and uproot the stump of a sapling 
a few yards away from her back. After a good ded 
of hard work, which caused the perspiration to stand 
out upon him like beads, he succeeded in uprooting 
the stump, and thereupon taking some soil from the 
hole he rubbed it upon her back and stomach. He 
then showed me the identical stump, the stem ot 
which was pinched in — a sure sign, he declared, of the 
late presence of the demon of which it had been the 
embodiment.^ He then dug up a second root, whidi 
proved to be that of a creeper whose roots had grown 
across each other in a manner suggestive of the man- 
drake ; this too he declared to be the habitation of 
a dangerous demon, and soil taken from the hole from 
which it had been uprooted was rubbed on the woman 
in the same manner as before. By this time his 
patient had commenced to recover, and he informed 
me further that the cleared space where she happened 
to be sitting had been the site of a previous encamp- 
ment, and that he had thus been exorcising these two 
evil spirits from the spot where she used formerly 
to bathe (the inference being that they had attacked 
her while bathing). The roots being extracted, the 
Pfilima proceeded to perform the peculiar rite known 

^ One of these roots (the stump) gut kli ''( = «< Beard of the Kli fith"*), 
belonged to a sapling of the ** Peng- and the other that of a creeper adkd 
inor '* 'n»#. no 11^ by the Malav« «* jang- ** awe kr^b««<T »( «« k, creeper "). 


> the Malays as '* s6mbor sirih," ^ and to conclude the 
anemony two of the audience picked up a couple of 
^ad and fallen saplings and hurled them forcibly into 
le surrounding jungle, in order (as they explained) 
lat the evil spirits might go with them. By this time 
le woman had, strange to say, for the time, at all 
V'ents, perfectly recovered, and in the course of about 
alf an hour she was able to walk back to the encamp- 
ment, two males of the party working off their emotion 
yr running up a couple of forest trees (placing the 
W of the foot against the trunk), and shouting for joy. 

On coming away I begged of the Pelima the two 
iieer stumps which had given him so much trouble 

> uproot, which are now at Cambridge. 

According to Logan, the Semang not infrequently 
iposed upon the superstitious Malays, when they 
ished to procure a supply of tobacco and had no 
•oducts to barter, by presenting them with medicines 
hich they pretended to derive from particular shrubs 
id trees in the woods, and which they represented 

> efficacious for the cure of headache and other com- 

I may add that we learn from Vaughan-Stevens 
lat charred sticks and the blackening of the feet 
ith charcoal were regarded as effective charms 
gainst disease,' also that the body is painted for 
lagical purposes.* 

The women also wear combs inscribed with magic patterns against disease.^ 
be wind-demon is believed to deposit the disease upon the forehead, hence the 
tportance of having the charm upon the head. In the huts the combs are not 


1 »♦ Sembor sirih." To perform this 2 y; /, ^. vol. iv. p. 426. 

e the Malay medicine -man ejects ^ Cp. supra^ p. 59. 

ewed betel -leaf accompanied by a * Cp. supra, p. 38. 

ann upon some part of the patient's • The Pangan women ot Ulu 

Tson, which in this case was the Kelantan wear "huchong" leaves 

>mach and small of the back. stuck in their combs as charms. 


The men had a corresponding let of duurm-pAttemi for their qmTen ud 
charm-holders, the latter having been substituted, as mofre convenient, far the 
partly charred sticks originally given by the Putto.^ 

The women also haid the "tahong,** or birth -bamboo worn for migial 
purposes during pregnancy.' 


I now come to the famous love-charm of the wild 
tribes which is called '* Chinduai," and appears to be 
very widely if not universally known to them, though 
its actual origin is quite uncertain. 

The Chinduai is said by the Semang to be the 
name of an exceedingly small and rare plant, a few 
inches only in height, and possessing a very small 
white blossom of extraordinarily powerful fragrance. 

When the plant is met with it is pulled up by the 
root (and burnt ?), and a few drops of oil are dropped 
upon it, after which a little of the oil from the plant is 
smeared upon the forehead and breast, and the follow- 
ing mystical formula repeated : — 

En-en Bonn, 
Ta-ta* noi, 
Nai ka-bleb, 
Chuang boi, 
Chcpoi dooi. 
Tug-tug loL 

I spent a good many hours in endeavouring to dis- 
cover the exact meaning of the words, with, however, 
only partial success. It may therefore serve as a 
problem to be worked out at leisure by those who 
enjoy such linguistic enigmas. It is only fair, how- 
ever, to say that I doubt whether it is in the ordinary 
Semang dialect. The Siong people told me that they 
themselves could not explain it properly, because the 
language of their charms was harder to understand 
han what they usually spoke. It quite possibly 

' See vol. I p. 437. * Vol. L pp. 458, 459. 


lelongs (as do so many charms in Malay and most 
nher languages) to a more archaic dialect. 
A tentative version runs as follows : — 

Look, look, comrade ! 
As this oil drips, 
Alone by yourself 
Approach towards me, 
(And) yearn towards me 
(As this) oil spreads upwards. 

Sendings or ** Pointings'' 

The following information concerning the bamboo 
endings or rather "pointings" (**tuju") used by 
le Blians of their tribe was furnished me by the 
emang themselves. 

The ordinary ** tuju " is a mere slip or sliver of 
amboo about two inches long. This is laid upon the 
ght palm, and commanded to go and kill its intended 
ictim. It thereupon flies through the air, and on 
caching its victim pierces him to the heart.^ The 
tuju " with the nick in it was (they told me) far the 
lore deadly than the one without, as on reaching its 
ictim it would ** twist itself round his heart-strings." 

One form of the ceremony is as follows : — Wax 
•om a deserted bees*-comb is taken and fashioned 
Dughly into a taper. This taper is lighted, and a 
ttle incense burnt. The sliver (** tuju ") is then 
Dmmanded to proceed directly, turning neither to the 
ght hand nor to the left until it reaches its destined 

When I asked some members of the tribes at how 

' The nicked " tuju " may very arrows of the combatants are repre- 

obably, I am inclined to believe, sented as a kind of small serpents or 

;>resent a degenerated bamboo arrow, dragons which did not require to be 

I nick still carrying on the tradition shot with the bow, but flew of their 

the barbs. It must be remembered own accord to the mark, directed 

It in the version of the Kamayana, as merely by the magic power, or will, 

idified by Malay shadow-players, the of those who owned them. 


great a distance one of these sendings could be ex- 
pected to take effect, I was told "as far as im 
here (Siong) to Ulu Selama," a distance of probably 
two days' journey across country. 

The Malays especially fear the power of these 
** pointings/' which are, they believe, almost invariably 

II. — Sakai. 

The beliefs of the Sakai, whether concerning 
celestial or terrestrial phenomena, have been very 
imperfectly described, and the scanty details that have 
been collected on this subject, except perhaps for the 
materials collected by Luering, are in no way charac- 
teristic, though they appear, so far as they go, to be 
very similar to those of the Semang. 

Sakai Legend of Early Man — Origin of the Blowpipe Patteksl 

Originally man and beast lived on fruits alone, and every tree and plant (cva 
rattan and Ijainboo) bore sweet and wholesome fruit. Demons (**Haiitunf 
however, dwelt in all of them, and hence men, whenever they desiied to fell i 
tree, used to knock upon its trunk to warn the Demons to leave it The lind, 
however, was full of apes, who used to break off twigs at random through boc 
wantonness and thus incurred the wrath of the Demons ; so that many trees took 
to bearing seeds only, or protected their fruit by means of hard or prickly shells ; or 
else bore but sour or noxious fruits. Then famine commenced, and Tnhan' ordoed 
the people to slay wild beasts also for food, and taught them the use of the 
blowpipe. Whereupon certain trees and plants offered to make their sip 
poisonous and lend it to man, so that they might be revenged upon the apes. 
The bamboo Demons, however, soon became wroth with man as well, becaoie so 
many stems of bamboo were used, and entering the blowpipes either difcrted 
the darts, or licked off the dart -poison to spoil their shooting. Then they 
applied once again to Tuhan for help, and Tuhan grasping in his led-boC hands t 
clump of ** Seven Bamboos " (into which the Demons had crept), forthwith 
turned the Demons themselves into stone. 

The Batin,'-^ who had fallen asleep, now awoke, and Tuhan (seeing th: 
Demons in his blowpipe stretching out their necks) called to him and told hin 
to put the Demons into the fire by means of a long rattan (cane). So did the 
Batin, and so did they all, and thus many demons were killed. 

After that Tuhan had annihilated the Demons, he observed, on his way, that 
the Batin and his people were suffering greatly from hunger and thirst. TheiefoR 
he touched the ground where the Seven Bamboos had been growing, ontil there 
shot up a number of fresh young bamboo sprouts, such as are willingly eaten bf 

* Tuhan is of Malay or Malayan to southern (probably Jakun) infiiwDOe. 
..,-« "v-* fitie of Bntin. too, poinU * See Van^rha" Stevens, iiL 128, 129. 


Sakmi, and indeed by all native races of the Peninsula — as well as full-grown 
which contained water. Thus all the chiefs obtained enough to eat, 
henceforth they cooked the sprouts of bamboo in the intemodes of the full- 
stems themselves. And since the thorns of the rattan had scratched the 
of the tube, each headman gave his own tribe the marks which had 
on his own bamboo, as a magic design to protect them against the 
;, and hence each clan derived its own so-called *' pichod "-mark. 
Then each of the headmen made a quiver for himself out of one of the 
les of the Seven-fold Bamboo, and out of the abnomal growth, by 
a hole through it, a buckle for his own girdle, in which he carried the 
Later, people took to burning into their quivers patterns representing 
various marks that had been left by Tuhan's red-hot hands upon eadi separate 
of the bamboos, no two tribes selecting exactly the same pattern, since each 
was most easily quelled by the particular design which had slain his own 
And when Tuhan had given them a complete series of charm-patterns, each 

followed the graining (*' Baris hidup ") of the node which fell to its chief. 
This is the reason that the " Orang Sakai " are fond of ape's flesh. ^ 


The Sakai of Ulu Bertang say that Rahu is a 
monster which appears to resemble a dragon, since it 
" swallows like a serpent." It is seen to crawl across the 
heavens, and its colour is at once both green and black 
("bla-ur bl-ak"). The moon sees Rahu approach 
and becomes very red (** rgngan "), perhaps from fear. 
To help the moon, people strike drums and bamboos 
(•' awad ") together, and scream out to frighten Rahu. 
This is what they shout and sing : 

The moon has been eclipsed by Rahu, 

We call out to the moon, we call out to Rahu, 

O Rahu, let loose my moon, oh ! ^ 

" Then the moon is let loose (* b5rhol *) by the 
monster, and we are all glad, for if the moon were 
not it would be very dark. We do the same when 
Rahu tries to swallow the sun.*' 

World-legends—'' Klang Rlok:' the World-eagle, 

On the east side of Gunong Renduai, in Ulu 
Bertang, in the Kinta district of Perak (near Sungei 

^ Vanghan-Stevens, iii. 128, 129. Ha chngru gicha, chngru Rahu, 

' Va kilip gicha ya Rahu, O Rahii b^rhol gicha eng, oi ! 



Siput), the low-lying reaches of which are now known 
as S. Batu Putih, or ''White Rock River," there is a 
hollow (**gugup'*) in a steep and inaccessible wall of 
limestone, at about half its height. This is the nest 
of the ** K'lang B'lok," a giant eagle, which at one time 
nearly succeeded in destroying all human beings,' 
Only two persons had managed to escape, both the 
youngest members of their respective families, a boy 
called Ba-lut (i.e. ** youngest son "), and a girl called 
Wa-lut {i.e. ** youngest daughter "). These two owed 
their safety hitherto to the possession of a magic 
knife (called **j6hud paung"). When they found 
that they had alone escaped with their lives, the 
youth approached the maiden saying, " Marry me?"* 
The girl replied, *' All right ! if you will cause the 
K'lang B'lok to die, I will be your wife." The boy 
replied, " I will kill the K'lang Blok."* After saying 
this he climbed to the cave and waited for the retum 
of the giant bird. It was then about noon, but 
suddenly the sky became dark, and the sun dis- 
appeared behind the wings of the bird, the rustling 
of which was like the sound of thunder ('"ngkuh"). 
Ba-lut then stretched out his right arm with the magic 
knife, which proved to be so sharp that in its flight 
the approaching bird cut its own neck against it and 
died. Then Ba-lut married Wa-lut, and they two 
became the ancestors of all the people now living in 
this world. 

To this Dr. Luering of Perak, who sends me the 
foregoing tale, adds that he was informed, not by the 

^ ** Mai lik gi-chii " (Mai. " manusia *• KMang " may be an archaic foim of 

h;ilMs di-makan "). Mai. " hclang " = " kite," " hawk," 

'^ »*Guy ru cng''=*Mivc (/*/. sit) "fish -eagle." Cp. Vocabulaiy, H 

•thme." 54; "Balog" (in Kedah Semang)" 

» - w.,U c"r *--«i>* VM«nff P*lok." "stoDff." 


■ ^teller of this story but by a third person, that there 
: HX>uld be no doubt that the cave which was pointed 
= riput to Dr. Luering himself was really the nest of the 
;K'lang B'lok, because many years ago, no one knows 
z how many, a man succeeded in climbing up to it, and 
there he saw two very large eggs of the K'lang B'lok, 
5: which, however, had been turned into stone, and 
/ Gould not therefore be hatched. " Oh, if they ever 
F were hatched, this world would come to an end, and 
we should all be eaten up. No one can withstand 
the might of K'lang B'lok." This was the exclama- 
tion made by Siamat, the man who recounted the 
story, when asked whether he had ever heard of the 
eggs of the K'lang B'lok having been seen. The 
cave can only be reached by rope-ladders. 

Another bird connected with Sakai beliefs by Dr. 
Luering is the Coucal ('* but-but " = Mai. *'bubut"), 
which has the power of healing the broken legs of its 
young ones. People go and find the nest, if they 
have good luck, for one may search for a lifetime and 
never find it. When the bird has young, if you break 
the leg of one of them, its cries will attract the 
mother, who will come and see what is the matter, 
and when she has found it out she will fly into the 
jungle to find the plant called ** akar temu urat," or 
** creeper with the meeting leaf-ribs," which she will 
rub upon the injured limb. Next morning if one 
returns to the nest it will be found that the young 
bird is quite well again. This medicine has some- 
times been obtained by frightening the mother-bird so 
that she drops the plant, but the Sakai know how to 
find it in the jungle, and some Malays also know the 
plant. ^ To prepare it for use you have but to steep it 

* Cp. p. 157, ante. 


in oil, and rub it upon the affected part, when it will 
join even broken bones and heal all manner of 
wounds. Dr. Luering's authority said that he was 
shown the plant some years ago, but unfortunatdj 
had never found it since, and his informant had died, 
but he remembered distinctly that his informant bidK 
the growing plant about two inches from the ground, 
and joining the broken pieces again, tied them witb 
a string. The next morning the two pieces had 
again grown together, so that there was no sign of 
them ever having been broken. It was also im- 
possible to break them at the former place, thou^ 
they could still be broken elsewhere. Seeing this 
was believing. 

To return, the Sakai are said to indulge in a 
ceremonial exorcism of the spirits of thunder, during 
the prevalence of which they go out of their houses 
and brandish their poles and arms, to frighten away 
the evil spirits.* 

The forces of nature are thought to possess the 
souls of certain evil spirits or demons, which cause 
them to harm people. The forces themselves are not 
demons. The harm which is sometimes caused by 
wind and lightning is the work of demons. If a 
demon is banished by a powerful charm, he dare noi 
in such a case cause (for instance) the lightning to 
deviate from its destined goal, e.g. to set the jungle 
on fire, in order to do harm of another kind by striking 
a man. The winds are believed to be seven in number, 
each one lying above the other; seven, like three, 
being a mystic number to the Sakai. The whirlwind 
— a product of several meeting winds (called " Angin 
Puting B'liong") — is cone-shaped like the haft of an 

^ J. I. A, vol. iv. p. 4.W. 


Ize ( = Mai. " puting "). This name is said to be 
ken from the cone-like shape assumed by leaves 
hen they are being rolled up by the wind in question.^ 

The earth, moreover, is regarded as a thin, flat 
ust floating upon a nether ocean. The heavens 
msist of several layers or tiers, the lowest of 
bich may probably be identified with the traditional 
^ion of " Kfilonsong Awan " (lit. ** Husks, or Shards, 
' the Clouds "), beyond which lies the Sakai Island of 

The inhabitants of the upper heavens consist of 
uhan or Peng,* the "god" of the Sakai, and a 
iantess named ** Granny Long-breasts " (** Gendui 
anyut "), whose task of washing human souls will 
e described more fully in the succeeding section, 
toth men and women go to this Paradise, but children, 
istead of undergoing the ordeal, are allowed to go 
ad play in a place called ** Noon,"* which lies under- 
eath the aforesaid ** Cloud-husks." 

Sakai Sotd-theories. 

About the appearance and attributes of the soul as 
Dnceived by the Sakai, we have at present no in- 
)rmation whatever. 

After death, however, the Sakai say that ** Granny 
*anyut" or ** Long-breasts" (**Genowie Lanyoot "), the 
)ueen of Hell, washes their sin-blackened souls in hot 
rater.* All men's souls must be purified,^ and after 
eath they proceed to Neraka (the Infernal Regions), 

' No. It is really from the Malay ' Perhaps to be identified with the 

ord for water-spout (from its conical Semang Ponn, q,v, 
rm). The passage may perhaps refer * The original has ** Tingha Howi," 

" iriandas " beliefs, at least to some which I take probably to = Mai. 

Malayan origin. — Vaughan- Stevens, ** Tengah Hari," 1.^. ** Noon." 

148, 149. * Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 130. 

« Ibid, These too are Malayan beliefs. ^ Ibid, This is also Malayan. 


where they come before the aforesaid personage, who is 
described as a giantess with pendulous breasts, vfaich 
she throws over her shoulders. Elsewhere she is 
described as sitting in the usual posture of a Saloi 
woman, sideways, with the feet drawn up to the left, 
and with her hands resting on her knees, except who 
she was engaged in washing the souls. She makes 
the souls (after their purification) walk along the 
horizontal edge of a monstrous chopper, which hangs 
with point turned away from her over a big vessel 
to the middle of which it nearly reaches. The 
water in this vessel is kept at boiling point, Granny 
Lanyut herself stoking the fire. A block of wood 
(** tras ISpong " ?) juts out from the opposite side of the 
copper so as nearly to meet the point of the blade, 
and the souls have to spring across the intervening 
gap. Bad souls fall in, good ones escape, the latter 
proceeding along the block of wood in the direction 
of the Island of Fruit-trees. Here they wait till 
Tuhan sends them a friend of the same sex to show 
them the way to the ** Husks of the Clouds." 

If they have no friend, they must wait for the 
arrival of another soul who has a friend there. Upon 
this journey the two sexes are separated, and none 
but adults are allowed to proceed ; all children (" with- 
out limit of age or sex ") stay with Tuhan instead of 
proceeding to Granny Lanyut. When eventually they 
go to the place called ** Noon " (.^) they spend their 
time in play, and (like their elders) do not require to 

The souls that fall in are fished out by Granny 
Lanyut as soon as they are clean enough, when they 
a-^ rubbed, and set upon the block of timber. 

f thev then require further purification, they are 


lit)wn in a second time, and if necessary a third 
me, and so on up to seven times, when if they still 
aonain black, they are cast out by Granny Lanyut to 
'Uider on earth again as demons (of the kind most 
ppropriate to the sins they have committed).^ Two 
uch " lost- soul " demons are the DSgup Demon and 
■rave Demon, to both of which we shall presently 

The Sakai Deity. 

Tuhan, the Sakai (** Blandas ") god, and Kari, the 
emang Thunder-god, are. (says Vaughan- Stevens, 
ithout, however, giving any proof) quite different 

About Tuhan we are unfortunately told very little. 
l^e gather, however, that he is the supreme judge of 
le souls of men, who are sent before him by Granny 
panyut, and that the demons are the agents of 
is punishments. And elsewhere we are told that 
whenever the Sakai have done wrong, Tuhan gives 
le demons leave to attack them,^ and that against 
is decree there is no contending.* He is not prayed 
>, as his will is unalterable. 

The name of the chief spirit or god of the Sakai 
;, however, in other places given by Vaughan- 
tevens as Peng ; e.g, in that writer's account of the 
tuang-tuang " ceremony,* where Peng's power over 
le demons is described. 

Spirits and Demons. 
Of Sakai demons (" Nyani ") in general we learn 
om Vaughan-Stevens that there are both male and 
imale demons, but that there is no intercourse between 

* Vaughan- Stevens, ii. 131. ** Peng" is uncorroborated. 

• Ibid, Note that the name at least ' Ibid, p. 132. 
"Tuhan" is Malay. The name of * Z.f.E. xxvi. 163. 



them, and consequently no propagation of the spedei 
They prefer, nevertheless, to live in pairs like human 
beings. Peng (or '' Allah '') is able to annihilate 
them, and can also increase their numbers, but 
nobody (else) can kill them. The magician alone is 
in a position to keep them at a distance, when they 
want to inflict injury upon any one, and that only if 
Peng himself has no reason for permitting them to 
cause it, as otherwise the power of the magician b 
ineffectual. We are also told that demons, especially 
the male ones, are not afraid of women ; and that at 
the " tuang-tuang " ceremony they enter the ring from 
above and pass out of it through the ground.* 

Of other spirits and demons Vaughan-Stevens 
gives the following information : — 

The demons into which the souls that cannot be 
purified are changed vary from those which arc 
merely shut out of the ** Cloud-Husks" to the Hantu 
D6gup or Ghost Demon, which suffers from coM, 
thirst, and hunger. 

The Sakai think (as has been already mentioned) 
that they must have done something wrong before any 
demon (with the exception of the Dggup Demon) gets 
permission from Tuhan to attack them. In any case, 
however, they consider that all demons should be 
avoided ** like the tiger," and when sick (though not 
when dying) they seek to frighten them away (or 
oppose them by means of spells), just as if they were 
human beings.^ 

^ Z.J. E. xxvi. 163. idea of prayer is quite fbreigii to ibc 

^ Hence when Vaughan - Stevens Orang Hutan " is due to a similar m- 

declares (ii. 132) that there is no trace pIo>'ment of popular phraseologjr. See 

of demon - worships he is evidently J, L A, vol. iv. p. 430. — •• The Sikii 

using the word "worship" in its deprecate the Nyani or superior spirits^ 

narrow (and popular) sense. So too and the Pateh or inferior ones, whidi 

"DP "K^. \ 1^, his remark that ** the arc male and female.*' 

SAKAI (* BLAND AS') 243 

There are four chiefs of the world of demons, 

a Batin, Jinang, Jurukrah, and Penglima.^ 
The symptoms of a man killed by the D6gup 
ion resemble those caused by snake-bite in the 
>t. Men can easily escape from a demon by running, 
luse both its feet are reversed. If, however, they 
overtaken, the demon shakes them and they soon 
U dead. All deaths by demons are permitted by 
' Tuhan, who decides how long each man ought to live. 

The D^gup Demon. 

The Dggup Demon is a lost, but immortal soul, 
which being so spotted that Granny Lanyut is unable 
to purify it even after seven times bathing it in 
boiling water, has been expelled by her from hell, and 
is undergoing punishment on earth for its sins. It is 
visible, and always slays ^ all whom it meets, without, 
however, causing them pain. It cannot go far from 
the spot where its body is buried, but seeks for 
warmth and comfort in the vicinity of the grave. 
Even, however, when it finds what it seeks, it derives 
no benefit. '* Unbearably tormented, it ''.eeks relief 
and finds none, except on the grave, and when it fails 
to find the latter (the gr^ve) it may be heard at night 
shrieking ** Gup ! gup ! gup ! '* ( Vaughan - Stevens 
declared that he had often heard it, by night only, 
but attributed the cry to a small owl or gecko.) 
When it finds the grave, it cowers down upon it, tak- 
ing the form of an old man or woman whose feet are 
turned backwards (as is the case with other demons).^ 

* Vaughan - Stevens, ii. 134. A soever itmet, it might only frighten them, 
proof of Malayan influence. * In his account of the ** luang-tuang" 

* Vet (pjx 133, 134) v. -St. says that ceremony, after slating that the soul of 
though (unlike other demons) it had a magician could not be damned, whilst 
power from Granny Lanyut tokill whom- that of a Batin could, Vaughan- Stevens 


The Sakai will leave any place at once where evena 
single evil-doer dies, the whole tribe moving on and 
rebuilding their village, and never returning to die 
deserted site. The number of deaths, however, does 
not matter if the deaths may be attributed to otha 
causes (than the Hantu Degup), nor if all the deceased 
bore good reputations. Hence the Sakai avoid Malays^ 
who always have (with them) a bad reputarioo, 
although they maintain that dead Malays go to a 
different place. 

The Grave Demon. 

Of the Hantu Kubur(or Grave Demon) Vaughao- 
Stevens says^ that the use of the anchak (" andbp"), 
or sacrificial tray, which is suspended over Sakai 
graves, is to receive food and water destined for the 
Grave Demon.*'^ It is again for the Grave Demon 
that the fire on the grave is lit. The soul (MaL 
** sfimangat ") of the deceased has already gone to the 
nether regions (** Ngraka"), but his wicked deeds con- 
tinue to wander about near the grave in the form of a 
grave demon in order to find some human embodi- 
ment into which they can enter. A good man gives 
them no opportunity, but a bad one allows them to 
enter, and becomes worse in consequence. If the 
Grave Demon finds no such new place of abode, it 

cuiitinues as follows : — *' If the soul of ment (since as a Batinhe was acc ust oned 

a Batin was damned, the punishment to having food brought to him). Bat 

consistecl in this, that his soul was ordinary people fled before him, and 

turned away by Granny Lanyut as the magician, whenever he came opn 

unwashablc, and returned to the earth him, struck at him with his feaifcl 

as a Ghost Demon or Hantu Degup. stick : the stick with the triple tigo'i 

Anhungered, he saw an abundance of claw-like growth, from the stem of t 

fruits on every side ; thirsty, he saw kind of rattan, which the Malays ciU 

water everywhere, yet could not reach Dahan, and which inflicts esceediaglT 

it either, so that his soul wandered painful wounds" [Z.f, E. xxvi. 148). 

iI)out continually in order to find ^ Vaughan -Stevens, ii. 141. 

au«<>ofw^Y urhrt -vMilrl b^'ufir it lourish- ' Cp. supra,, p, 98. 


t return to the grave in three days' time. 

use of the fire is to show it the way. If 
r the three days it finds no new home, it sits by 
fire at night, eating and drinking the contents of 
'• anchak " or tray, and sleeping throughout the day- 
I, and having continued in this state for seven 
{, it dies outright and vanishes for ever. Hence 
• seven days no more food is put in the tray, 
le it is alive and being fed it is harmless, and 

no harm to the survivors, who visit the grave 
\t to bring it food or to attend to the fire. As the 
re Demon is invisible, no one can tell whether 
deceased left behind him a Grave Demon or 

Therefore the fire is lit and the food offered 
»ehalf of all the members of the tribe, both big 

Demons of the Atmosphere. 

n Vaughan- Stevens' class of invisible demons 
i are many kinds of demons of the atmosphere 
h work through the agency of rain, heat, moun- 
, lakes, stones, and trees. These are, however. 
r^ry dangerous, and seldom kill. 
"he Demon Huntsman (Hantu Sfiburu) is a lost 
that has been excluded from the ** Cloud-Husks *' 
elonsong Awan "), and sent back to earth by 
my Lanyut. Like the ** Lofty Demon," it re- 
gies a jungle-man, and disappears from sight the 
lent it is seen. It is never far from water, and 
imetimes swallowed in drinking and thus intro- 
d into the blood. It also resembles the Baunan 
ion, except in form, which in the case of the 
r is that of a huge black human figure. 

raoghan-Steveos, ii. 141. Cp. ib. 83 «., for a " Hantu " with *• vampire" 


The Mati Anak (or Stillborn-child Demon] 
two forms, that of a frog and that of a bird. Lik* 
other three demons, it is a soul expelled from Par 
by Granny Lanyut, and resembles such souls 
other respects. 

The Jgmoi Demon resembles a black dog, 
disappears as soon as it is met with. It is s€ 
bushes after a long day's journey, and seems a \ 
personification of fatigue, the sight of it bri 
great bodily prostration, and the legs of the 
swelling up until he is unable to move fro 
spot. In other respects it resembles the foregc 

There are also many tree-spirits which bel 
the class of invisible spirits, but are not very dang 
and seldom kill.^ Also the crop-spirits belong 
the same class, chief of which is the Hantu Jul 
Squinting Demon, which is exorcised with sc 
care at the harvesting of the rice.* 

Before leaving the subject of demons, rej 
should be made to the Sakai custom of hang 
the jaws of apes (that have been shot with bl 

* Vaughan-Stcvens, ii. 135. the head of the hatchet in 

' Before a tree is cut down, a Sakai and returned it to its on 

taps three or four times on the trunk sequently doing the same foi 

with the back of his implement. The tools. The ceremony of bf 

legendary explanation is that this cere- felled timber was likewise ao 

mony is a notice to quit to the Hantu by magical ceremonies. At 

of the tree. Vaughan-Stevens could ing of the rice the magician 

never get a satisfactory explanation. — various ceremonies intended 

v. -St. iii. 128. the rice grow short, to prote 

^ The process has already been de- wild animals and evil spin 

scribed, but may here, for convenience* make the seed fertile. C^ire 

sake, be in brief recapitulated. Before exercised not to awake tl 

felling the trees for a padi-clcaring all demons, 

the tools had to be charmed. Women Before the commencement 

and children might not be present on a magical ceremony was pet 

account of the dangers from evil spirits. secure the soul of the rice ; 

Saplings were cut and erected at followed by a feast, after 

sunrise and the handle of a hatchet labours of the harvest, till tl 

hung from them. After repeating a hands of the women alone, 

uip^KAror'^hflrme t]ietTi4^rian "^pl^oed tinued. Supra, vol. i. p. 3^ 


ts and eaten) from the roof of the house.^ This is 
le in order to keep away the ape-demons, which 
^use epileptic fits. This form of madness (**gila"), 
the Sakai call it {i.e. the grinning and showing of 
ith that is seen in apes as they fall from the 
-e after being shot, and before the hunters kill 
tem with the parang or chopper), is inflicted upon 
hunter by the ape -demon, if the latter is not 
bwiverted from the object of its revenge.^ 

Dr. Luering of Perak writes me, that the spirits 
'^hich most afflict the Sakai of Ulu Bertang are the 
•lowing : — " Nyani' manus," the tiger spirit ; ** Nyani' 
^*rak," the jungle or forest spirit ; '* Nyani' tiu," the 
^ver or water spirit. These three spirits can more 
Or less be overcome by the skill of the Sakai, either 
by charms or medicine, but another spirit called 
*' Nyani' jShii'," or the tree spirit, is so quick in 
Working mischief that no help is possible. He comes 
down from the trees when no man knows, and before 
any one suspects it, has slain his victim.* 

Dr. Luering inquired after the elephant spirit, 
which is so much feared by the Perak Malays, and 
which, the Malays believed, had quite recently killed 
one of the greatest chieftains of the state (the Dato' 
Penglima Kinta, who died of dropsy), but the Sakai 
knew nothing of any such spirit. Questioned as to 
small-pox (Mai. ** champak " = Sak. ** ginas "), they said 
that it was a ** Nyani' gop " or Malay spirit, which 
was very hostile to the Sakai, while it treated the 
Malays kindly. The chieftain of the Sahum tribe re- 
marked that he used to estimate his tribe at about three 

* The Perak Sakai similarly suspend 21, p. 162. ^Z,f,E. xxvi. 169. 

thc(lowcr)jawsofcivct-cats(**musang") ^ j,'or the offerings made in expelling 

and other animab, as well as bunches of these spirits (the '* fialei Nyani"), v, 

horabill skulls.— /.i?.^.5., S.B,, No. Fasc. Mai, p. 46. 


hundred souls, but within the last year twenty-four had 
died of small-pox. Dr. Luering's informant added:— 

" We believe in * kramats ' or sacred places, at 
which we worship like the Malays^ burning inceuie 
(' kfimgnyian '). We learnt this from our ancestor! 
Of course, some of these sacred places belong to 
Malay spirits (* Nyani' gop '). In case of sickness we 
make vows there ('bfirkaul'). We have no other 
word for making a vow. 

** These spirits have sometimes been seen : Malay 
spirits look like Malays, others look like ourselves. 
There is a sacred spot on Gunong Banglang/ near 
the steep rock-wall there. I have never seen it, but 
our people go there to make vows. Another is on 
Gunong Renduwai, where the K'lang B'lok was 
killed. Of course there are many more, and some 
are very powerful, but there is no name for them 
except that of the place where they dwell." 

According to Vaughan-Stevens (in his account of 
the '* tuang-tuang " ceremony), the term "physic "is 
somewhat misleading, for it is only in very few cases 
that the magicians act to any extent as physicians. 
They are really magicians pure and simple, the corre- 
sponding profession in the case of the southern tribes 
being rather that of medicine -man (or "Poyang"). 
As the latter, however, has not been formally initiate 
into the mysteries of the magicians, as preserved by 
the wilder tribes of the jungle, a new profession has 
arisen there, viz. that of healing diseases with infusions 
of herbs applied inwardly. 

The ancient demon- or devil - man is something 
quite different. Through the magic power bequeathed 
".o him by his ancestors, he exorcises all kinds of 

' Oi. «« P«lang»» (Malay), south-east of Batu Pipis. 

VI SAKAl (' BLAND AS') 249 

^mons and diseases^ and the few plants that he 
iploys are applied outwardly either in pressed form 
in that of an infusion.^ 
p^ The Sakai magicians in ancient times exercised an 
influence far exceeding even the prerogative of a 
pi^^ef. On every occasion their counsel was required, 
^^ttnd even the Batin ^ did not undertake any action of 
r^ importance, such as a migration or a war, without 
'- their approval. Moreover, they filled an important 
r61e both at births and at marriages, though not (it 
appears) at funerals.' 
\^ The chief power of the magician consisted in his 
[ universally recognised attribute of being able to 
y assure the health of his clientele, and to provide for 
t them the means of nourishment and the like by virtue 
of his charms. The magician of the wilder tribes is dis- 
tinguished from his colleagues of the south by the fact 
that he still believes firmly in the power of his charms. 
Besides this, the magician could punish any 
persons who offended him by permitting the demons 
to torment them and make them ill, this result being 
attained by his refusing them his protection against 
the demons that were always ready to torment man- 
kind. He had, moreover, the right to step into a 
house and take away the charms that were hung up 
in the house, and any one who hindered him from so 
doing was compelled to suffer the penalty of being 
killed by means of his club. The supreme god 
(Allah, Tuhan, or Peng) alone had the power and the 
right to dictate to the demons on whom they should 
inflict their injuries. No demon could injure a 
magician, and the latter's death (no matter from what 

> Z.f, E, xxvi. 145. Cp./- ^- ^- vol. iv. p. 430. 
« A Malayan official. ' Z. < E, xxvi. 147. 


cause) was regarded solely as the act of heaven. The 
chief reason alleged for this belief was that the power 
of the magician had been developed to its utmost (u 
that he had learnt everything that magic had to teadi 
him), and that he was therefore entrusted by AM 
with the charge of caring (in an unrecognised way) 
for the souls of the dead, whether in heaven or the 
Isle of Fruits. The soul of a magician could never 
be damned, but that of a Batin could.^ 

The trappings of a Sakai magician consisted of his 
headband, necklace, girdle, kneebands, and staff. 

His headband was painted "in black colour and 
without dots " (to distinguish it from the red pattern 
with black dots worn on ordinary occasions by all 
members of the tribe). 

His necklace (**koy-iss") consisted of a "string 
of seeds of a kind no longer procurable,* to whidi 
was attached a tortoise - bone pendant, with tiger's 
teeth or beads on both sides." 

His girdle consisted of tassel -like bunches of 
"s'lowk" {}) leaves. 

His kneebands consisted of "linok" or squirrel- 
tails, strung as closely together as possible. 

His hair was allowed to fall down to its full 
length (for it was never cut !) over his face, so that 
his features were all but hidden. 

His loin-cloth (unlike that of his fellow-tribesmen) 
was entirely plain and undecorated. 

The emblem of his dignity — a staff — was made 
from Satambun (" Tamoon ") wood, and was said to 
have been originally the emblem of a Batin,* which was 

* Z.j\ E, XX vi. 147. F. n. 3, infra. that had died out, nor is it likely that 

' This statement is scarcely credible. any formerly imported seeds have ceased 

'* is not at all likely that the seeds to be imported. 

-.,1/ inT )elonged to plants or trees ' This and similar statements ap- 

I SAKAI (' BLAND AS ') 251 

lopted at the time of the first influx of Malays, in 
sice of the ancient mark of the magician, viz. a rare 
pdeformed growth or " sport " of the bamboo, which was 
ifaicised with powerful charms for quelling evil spirits. 
?Jlone but the magicians might bear this staff, which 
' it was believed would injure any one else who tried to 
:- do so.* 

One of these staffs which was collected by 
Vaughan- Stevens measured 62 cm. in length, and 
bore, firstly, a charm designed as a protection against 
the " P'wlli " (?), or " Vampire of Shake-Net Island " 
(which was the traditional first home of the race) ; 
secondly, a charm against the ape spirit or epilepsy ; 
and thirdly, a charm against the argus-pheasant spirit 
or lunacy.^ 

In addition to his staff, the Sakai magician also 
occasionally employed a sprinkling - brush named 
" chen-ow," with which, in the performance of certain 
ceremonies, he sprinkled the demons.* 

It may be here further noted that all the Sakai, 
whether magicians or not, whenever they find them- 
selves compelled to handle any magical object, are in 
the habit of taking a leaf into the hand, to prevent the 
demon (Hantu) that resides in the said object from 
passing directly into their persons.* 

I may add that iron may not (according to 
Vaughan-Stevens) be used for cutting either the 
hair or the finger-nails.^ 

pear to point to the fact of their having *' P'wlli" may be a corruption of 

originated amongst tribes under the ** Pawul," a Blandas Grave Demon, v. 

influence of Malayan culture. p. 105, ante. 

* Z./. E. xxvi 166-169. ' J bid. p. 166. ♦ Ibid. p. 167. 

* /ifid, p. 169 ; cp p. 264, infr. * Jbid, xxix. 178. 



We are also informed that a special type of 
medicine -hut was formerly owned by the Saka 
magicians (in addition to their own private dwelling- 
hut),^ that the latter stood " deep in the forest," tlot 
it was built on the level of the ground, and that it 
was protected against intruders by means of a post, 
which was planted in the ground in front of it, and 
hung about with a medley of bones, leaves, and 

The shape of these huts is said to have originally 
been round, and none but magicians were allowed to 
enter them, or to see their contents, which consisted 
of bamboos incised with special charms.* 

Vaughan-Stevens was only allowed to enter sud 
a hut once (and that only after a sort of ceremony of 
admittance into the tribe, which consisted in fera- 
seed bruised in water being poured over him). The 
walls and roof of the house were hung with tufts of 
dried plants, and bamboos of all sizes lay scattered 
about upon the ground and in every corner, all of 
them being covered with incised patterns.* 

Exorcism or " Tuang-tuang'' Ceremony {'* /Cuwet-niss"). 
** Kuwet-niss " is, as it appears, the older name for 

1 Vaughan - Stevens adds that the Sibylism. An arbour of thocns b 
Sakai magicians of the present day framed, into which a man and hit wife 
employ their own dwelling-houses as are put. The neighbours perionn a 
medicine - huts ; though even now a chant outside, and a strange noise ii 
cave will sometimes be fitted up to do then supposed to be heard, which is 
duty for this purpose. believed to be a sign that the spirit 

2 Z./,E. xxvi. 145. Strong confirm- they have invoked has possessed the 
ation of this statement of Vaughan- i^air enclosed in the arbour. The 
Stevens with regard to the Sakai latter then come forth, and whitcfer 
medicine-huts is to be found in they utter is regarded as an expieaioo 
AAA. vol. iv. p. 430: "They (the of the will of the spirits alluded to." 


i€j ceremony of exorcism, which is also called 
luang-tuang." The first expression is employed by 
4e Sakai among themselves, and the second appears 
:> be especially used by the civilised {i.e. Malayising) 
ribes. The latter is applied not only to the act of 
scorcism, but also to the bamboos employed for that 
iirpose.^ Since only a thoroughly skilled magician 
i in a position to bring the ceremony to a quite 
uccessful completion, it is now somewhat rare, the 
nagicians who possess the old tradition sedulously 
voiding the Malays on the ground that their 
'medicine-hut" would be defiled if it were entered 
y a stranger.^ 

The ceremonial headbands of the men, or " lat," as 
listinguished from those of the women, "rib" (**reeb"), 
rere stiff bands of bark-cloth, and were always worn, 
rhereas the headbands of the women, though made 
tf the same material, were only worn on occasion. 
The hair of the men was allowed to fall down after 
he example of the magician, and was merely bound 
)y the headbands, whereas the women bound up 
heir hair in some kind of knot, which they employed 
he headbands to fix. 

The patterns painted upon these headbands were 
dleged to represent the owner's name in each case. 

These patterns, as has been said (together with 
:he face-painting and blowpipe patterns), might not 
3e employed until the Sakai youths were married 
md had thus been admitted into the tribe. 

Since the painted headbands might only be worn 
Dn special occasions, the black patterns were not 

* These **tuang-tuang" were bamboos notes. They were intended for use as 

Iccorated with magical patterns and amuletsagainst disease, spiders, drought, 

truck on the ground during magical etc., or as rain-charms. Supra^ vol. i. 

eremonies, so as to produce musical p. 472, seq. * Z.f. E. xxvi. 144. 


retained on the headbands of the lay members of the 
tribe, and only the red pattern with black dots was 

The black patterns were called " demon '* patterns, 
because they afforded protection against the demons, 
who, as soon as they saw them, were obliged to flee. 

The magician who presided at the ceremony wore 
his own pattern in black and without dots.* The 
object of this was partly to hinder the demons (who 
had been invoked by the bamboos of his servant) 
from entering the circle in the middle of which he 
himself stood, and partly so to lead the demons round 
the circle as to confront them with the patterns of all 
who were present, so that during the ensuing chase 
they should know which persons might not be injured 
by them. But in order to avoid terrifying them too 
much, and thereby hindering them from imprinting 
the patterns on their memories with sufficient exacti- 
tude, the Sakai purposely let fall their hair over their 
faces, so as to prevent the black stripes in their face- 
painting from becoming too noticeable. The magician 
and his attendant did the same. In this way it was 
possible for the demons to approach the headbands 
and observe the patterns. In order to make them 
plainer to the demons, the dots of the red pattern 
were made black instead of the recognised white, 
since white dots against the dull " anatto " red were 
difficult to distinguish. In former times, when a 
species of red ochre was employed, the dots were 
white, as in the case of the face-paintings.* 

These preparations having been made, the magician 
after a short silence strikes the end of his bamboo 

' For the customs of face-painting ployed for purposes of migic), qn 
and body-painting (which were em- supra^ " Maturity Customs.*' 
* Z.f E. xxvi. 162. 


|(** tuang-tuang ") a few times upon the ground, the 
^pil accompanying him with one of the decorated 
^bamboos in each hand. Soon after this all the men 
Ijoin in with due solemnity, and continue for about 
tjm hour; so long, in fact, as the magician himself 
continues. As soon as he ceases, all of them stop, 
and laying their bamboos behind them, proceed to 
the particular business (whether hunting or fishing or 
whatever it might be) for which this strange cere- 
mony was preparatory. 

Meanwhile not a word was spoken, and little, if 
any, gesticulation was used. In some cases two 
bamboo sticks called " sok-yet " (38 cm. x 3 cm.) were 
used at the ceremony ; one stick being held in each 
hand and struck upon the other in the air. 

In former times the women might use none but 
" smooth " {i.e. undecorated) bamboos in contra- 
distinction to the men.^ 

Women and children were obliged to attend the 
ceremony, since it was considered unsafe for them to 
be far from the men when so many demons were 
being invoked. 

The women took their places in the circle, each 
woman sitting behind her husband, with her children 
in turn behind her. Between the two circles (of 
men and women) there was a broad space left vacant 
for the passage of the demons, so as to enable the 
latter to look at the headbands of both men and 
women simultaneously. The demons, especially the 
male ones, are not afraid of women, and hence the 
women did not allow their hair to hang down over 
their faces, the black stripes on their face-painting 
being thus left visible. This device prevented the 

* Z./. E. xxvi. 172. 


demons from breaking through between two women \ 
and attacking the unprotected children. 

The demons entered from above into the space J 
between the men and women, but as soon as the 
beating of the bamboos was at an end, and escape 
was possible, they went down through the earth in 
obedience to the magician's will. 

It was alleged that the women wore no designs 
on their headbands, but were recognised by the 
demons who had previously seen them in thdr 
husbands' company, and protected by the channs 
inscribed upon their husbands' headgear.* 

The idea that lies at the bottom of the ceremony 
is the following : — 

The painted bamboos of the pupil are to call 
together all the demons to see what the magician is 
doing. The decorated bamboos of the other men arc 
intended by means of their patterns to render the 
demons powerless for the ensuing day. At the 
same time, if Allah {i,e. Tuhan or Peng) intends a 
man to be injured, there is no remedy against it 
Each individual man now knows how to cut the 
charm-pattern to suit his particular case, but he may 
not employ the general charm-pattern for himself 
alone, as he would then conjure up all the demons 
against himself, without any chance of self-protection. 
On the other hand, if a man should (as he properly 
might) incise either the tiger or snake-charm for 
himself alone, and thereupon sound it, he would 
certainly be safe if the tiger and snake-demons heard 
the sound, but as certainly not if they did not hear 
him. Since, however, the chase was only undertaken 
as a rule by fairly large parties, there was usually little 

1 ZJ. E. xxvi. 163. 

fc^. VI SAKAI (* BLANDAS*) 257 

nger for any particular individual, so that the charm 
employed was almost uniformly successful. And 
mce every member of these hunting parties had to 
t equipped with the charm-leaves, the prizes and 
iprards that fell to the magician were great.^ 

Another Form of Exorcism (Sawai), 

This consists of an incantation, or rather spell, 
hich is performed on behalf of an invalid when all 
se fails. The exact words employed are not known 
\ yet, but the form of the ceremony itself is known to 
rery Sakai.^ The patient is laid with the head towards 
e west under cover of a roof or screen made from 
e fresh leaves of a palm, which resembles the areca- 
Jm, and is called ** dampong." An opening is left 
rough which the magician (or Pawang) enters. This 
trance can be closed so as to conceal both the patient 
d the magician from observation. The latter takes 
:enser (** sungkun " or *' sangkun " '^) with him, which 
nsists of a half coconut-shell containing burnt resin 
enzoin). He then squats down at the feet of the 
valid, and raising himself breast high swings the 
nser seven times over the patient's couch. Next he 
izes a leaf of the *' dampong "-palm, and therewith 
labours the invalid, or rather the demon by which 
: is possessed, with the object of driving it either 
to the network of loops or a cage which hangs over 
e head of the patient.^ 

The loopwork varies greatly, both as to form and 
aterial, probably according to the demon it is in- 
nded to catch. 

Z.f.E. xxvi. 173. ceremonyshows more Malayan influence 

' In orig. **Orang Hutan." This than the last. 
3 Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 141, 142. 



The magician now stamps his feet and dances 
wildly, shrieking and shouting until the demon, tfri 
escape its chastisement, takes flight by enterii^ ioM 
the cage. The magician then stops and munnm 
certain magic words, which are believed to prevat 
the demons from escaping. 

Then he goes out with the loopwork, whidi k 
takes home and hangs up there. If it comes in hall 
the demons escape, and return to their original dwdt 
ing place. This particular process is called "T^ 
Badan Sawai." Yet another spell, called "T6kan Badan 
K1uar," or Birth-blessing, belongs to the or^^inal 
duties of the magician's profession, and as it is not 
kept secret, it can be performed by any man orwonaa 
who chooses. The magician generally imparted dm 
incantation (like that for the dying) to the Pei^Una 
of the place and his wife, so that in urgent cases Acy 
might be able hastily to take his place.^ 

Alleged Totemism} 

Unfortunately Vaughan-Stevens does not seem to 
have found any consistent theory on the subject, and 
his notes, which, as his editor tells us, were gathered oc 
many different occasions, so often confuse the clan wid 
the tribe that it is impossible even to gain any dea 
conception of the Sakai traditions on the subject I 
seems, therefore, useless to attempt any reconstruction 
The only facts to be gathered are the following : — 

In dealing with the face -patterns of the Saka 
Vaughan-Stevens gives an account of an alleged dai 
system. The Sakai are said to compose five origin: 

^ Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 142, 143. roust add that to me the evidenoe 1 

' Cp. pp. 32, 62-64, ante, I am appears to be of the text-book ofd 

indebted for this summary to Mr. and to conflict with all we yet knc 

•^rkmac M -xp*r in Totemism. I of the Sakai — W.S. 


which formed sub-groups, when the tribe 

to inhabit a single locality, each of which 

«pted a name closely allied to that of the parent 

p. The alleged five main groups, found among 

^^ Senoi, the Kenaboi, and Besisi, were the Snake, 

ish. Leaf, Thorn, and Tiger clans. The sub-groups 

the Snake clan take as their eponymous species the 

hon, the Cobra, the Hamadryad, and so on. The 

nal purpose of the crest of the sub-groups was as 

property mark on blow-tubes and as a pattern for 

painting, according to the account given by 

aughan-Stevens. He does not, however, seem to 

ve been able to collect any examples of the former 

*ul>-groups.^ As to the latter, which he distinguishes 

li^m the patterns, none of which he gives, he says he 

^ "^Uras able to get them from the magicians, though 

%hey were no longer used owing to the clan (** tribal ") 

^assemblies having fallen into desuetude.* 

The Sakai marriage regulations were said to be 
l>ased on this clan-system, but instead of being exo- 
gamous, they were strictly endogamous, marriage out- 
side the clan involving expulsion from it, a practice that 
gave birth to new clans — Civet-cat, Crocodile, Scorpion, 
etc, which soon attained a numerical superiority. 

In the absence of any information as to the 
sacrosanctity of the eponymous species, it is premature 
to use the term totemism in speaking of this system. 
At the same time the fact that a quasi-totemic nomen- 
clature is found in conjunction with a marriage system 
resembling that of the mythical period of the Arunta, 
renders even this alleged Sakai organisation of extra- 
ordinary interest and importance. 

1 Probably because there were none to collect. — W.S. 
« Z,f.E. xxvi. 150-152. 


Among the Semang there is no trace of totemisa 
As to the Jakun, the only fact pointing in the 
direction of totemism is one recorded by Favre/ that 
some ** tribes " of Jakun abstained from eating elephant 
flesh, alleging that it caused sickness. This, in fom, 
very totemistic belief, is, however, an isolated case. 
In the absence of further information it is simpler to 
suppose that some Jakun groups had, owing to 
contact with Malays or other tribes, given up one i 
their old tribal beliefs, or, possibly, that those whid 
respected the elephant had acquired from outside a 
belief in its sacrosanctity. 

Charf?is against Wild Beasts. 

Sakai. — A charm against tigers is made in the 
following way : — A bundle of ** s'lowk " leaves is rolled 
up to represent the tiger's body ; this is transfixed with 
imitation bamboo arrows made of thin strips of bfirtam- 
bark, on the ends of which are tassels of split ** slowk" 
leaves. To the ** tiger " is fastened a strip of rattan, on 
which is hung a leaf painted with magical patterns in 
dragon's blood.'- After various other magical additions, 
including a water-vessel, a flower of the Latoom-plant, 
etc., had been made, the whole was hung up in the house. 

When a man fell ill of dysentery or colic, it was 
attributed to the tiger-spirit. He was sprinkled with 
water from the water -vessel, and the spirit was 
believed to be thereby transferred to the Latoom- 
flower, in which it was believed to be imprisoned by 
the ** s'lowk " tassels. Vaughan-Stevens found these 
charms among the Central Sakai (Senoi), Besisi, 
Kenaboi, but not among the Jakun or Benua-Jakun.* 

* Favre in Ann, de la P, de la Foi^ xxii, 303. 

2 ^p. T,f, E, 1894, p. 152. "S'lowk" qu. = "selft'" ("leaf")? 

'^ Rtk ^otizblatt, i. 1-4. 

SAKAI (* BLAND AS ' ) 261 

Interpretation of Dreams — the Dream Ceremony. 

The Sakai attach great importance to dreams, 
iging formal reports of them to the magician or 
lie midwife ; the man to the former, the woman to 
1« latter. The dreams of the lay members of the 
are of no special interest, but the magicians in 
is receive inspiration from spirits that are well 
jsed.^ Of special significance are those dreams 
farded which are awaited by all magicians and the 
^'^'^liole tribe on important occasions, the Batin being 
*Jie chief person involved. These gatherings were 
«ield on the highest accessible mountain summit in 
%}ie territory of the tribe, and occupied several days* 
"^ime, since it was required that each of the dreams 
iriiould be repeated upon three successive nights. 

There has been no such gathering since the dis- 
appearance of Berchanggei Besi ; all that the present 
magicians know with regard to such ceremonies being 
that the Batin invoked the help of Tuhan in some 
form now forgotten, and that the Batin then fell im- 
mediately asleep and the dreams came to him in a 
disguised form, and after his awaking were interpreted 
by the magicians.^ 

Sakai children are named in accordance with 
dreams, in which there appeared the track of a tiger, 
a tree, an insect, etc.® 

Use of Love-philtres. 

The Sakai, like the Semang, have a great reputa- 
tion (especially among the Malays) for love-philtres, 

J Z.f.E. xxvi. 158 (r). The men- (///. •'Iron Claws"), v, p. 265, infra, 
tion of these officials suggests Malayan * Ibid, p. 158. 

influence. For ** Berchanggei Besi" ' Cp. Jw/ra, p. 12. 


the most famous of which is made from a plant 
called ** Chinduai," which grows on the Perak moun- 

It is with this plant that a tale collected for mebf 
Dr. Luering among the Sakai of Ulu Bertang in 
Perak is connected. It runs as follows : — 

Dato* Jaja' (? Yahya) was the wife of a Malay 
trader living in the Kampong of Sungei Siput, Kintt, 
which then was near, or nearer than now, to the sea. 
As is still the case, the Sakai, on arriving from the 
far-off Bertang, were accustomed to drop in and call 
at Malay houses to chew " betel." One day when 
Jaja's husband had gone to sea, some Sakai from 
Bertang came to the house, when Jaja', repelled by 
their ugliness and dirtiness, received them in a very 
unfriendly mood. She told them that she could not 
afford to give them any " betel," for her husband was 
away, and she did not know when he would return.— 
in fact she had not the means to feed her own 
children, and how could she be expected to supply 
** betel " to outsiders, especially to Sakai ? The 
Sakai went away crestfallen, but vowed that they 
would revenge themselves. One of them who was a 
medicine-man (** Pawak *'), as soon as he had returned 
to Bertang, made ** chenduwai " or witchcraft, whidi 
caused the Malay woman Jaja*, though so far away, to 

» Cp. Wray in /. R. A. S,, S, B., called "buluh pdrindu" or "jtmai 

No. 21, p. 127: "On the rocks near bamboo," he says: ''The sbiH 

the summit, a quantity of a plant called bamboo called by the Malays 'bthh 

'*Chimbuai"(jiV) grows. This plant is pfrindu * is, on the other hud, a* 

much valued by the Malays, as it is tremely plentiful on Bemmfaui, and cob- 

supposed to act as a love-philtre. It paratively scarce on the other hill. I mi 

probably belongs to the Ophioglossacea^ fortunate in being able to collect flower- 

and is a delicate rush-like plant about ing specimens of this elegant littk 

three inches high, having its spores in l>amboo, which is credited with mjttc 

*<ttle tassels on the tops of the leaves. " properties by the natives, and is in wA 

\nd cp. also the same writer in ibid, pp. request by love-lorn swains, whose mi** 

c« ^«;o v^e— in referring to the plant tresses are cold and irresponsive." 


^&I1 violently in love with him. She seemed to have lost 
her reason, for she fled into the jungle calling for 
Tier Sakai lover, whom, after days of wandering in the 
rilds, she at length found at his home in Bertang. 
j^Jaja' had had two children by her Malay husband, 
^called Kulop Perak and Si Mat respectively; and 
f Aow by her Sakai husband she in due time had two 
sdiildren, who grew up in Bertang as Sakai. When 
lier Malay husband returned from his trip to the sea, 
Jbe at first made vain endeavours to have his wife 
restored to him, but failing to recover her, he gave up 
%he search. Nevertheless her Malay sons, Kulop 
Perak and Si Mat, felt the reproaches of the villagers, 
that their mother had gone to live as a Sakai, very 
much. They therefore went to Bertang where they 
found their mother with her Sakai family. It took a 
grreat deal of persuasion to bring her away from 
there, but at last they succeeded, and she left in the 
company of Kulop Perak and Si Mat, leaving her 
Sakai husband and children (whose names are now 
forgotten) behind. But the nearer she approached 
her former home, the more reluctant she became to 
proceed. The thought that the villagers would 
reproach her for her escapade began to be more and 
more oppressive to her, and therefore, when almost 
in sight of her former home, she drowned herself in a 
little rivulet which they had to cross. Her body was 
easily recovered by her children, and she was buried 
close by, but her name is still attached to the river, 
which goes under the name of Sungei Jaja'. Her 
Sakai children became the ancestors of the Sakai, who 
related this story, and who attribute the high stand- 
ing of their family to their partly Malay descent 
through Jaja' the Malay. 


The woodlouse (?) is related by Vaughan-Stevens 
to be used as a charm by the women for impairing a 
man's virility.^ 

Tke Sakai (" Blandas ") Traditions} 
The following traditions are assigned to the Sakai 
(** Blandas '*) by Vaughan - Stevens, though (by his 
own admission) they were taken from very mixed 
sources. They ** depend," says Vaughan-Stevens, 
**upon accounts given by some hundred individual 
members of the races concerned, and only those 
accounts which are practically universal have been re- 
tained "(!). In parts they resemble the Mantra legends. 
The oldest of these traditions concerns an island 
called Guntong Penyaring (** Shake-Net* L"), said to 
be situated across the sea in the direction of the rising 
sun. In the interior of the island was a mountain 
with two summits. Between these lodged at night 
great flocks of fruit -bats, which were in the habit 
of repairing to their feeding-places on both sides of 
the mountain from thence. By day they remained 
suspended from the trees near the saddle of the 
mountain. The Sakai drew nets across the 
entrance to the gorge in a diagonal direction by means 
of long cords, and shook them down during the day- 
time. Frightened, and blinded by the sun, the bats 
flew into the nets, and the Sakai ate them. The 

* Cp. supra^ p. 67. Probably a that Vaughan-Stevens has here tried to 

large millipede (** gonggo' "). The compile an eclectic account co\*eiing all 

Malays have a similar idea. the ** branches of the race from Johor 

2 The name "Sakai" stands for to Kedah '* (p. 279), in conformity with 

** Blandas'' throughout these legends. his views (vol. i. p. 26). TheyfonDS 

In part they are certainly Mantra, but considerable part of Vaughan-Stevens' 

the numerous references to Selangor work, and as such have been indnded, 

and I'erak, and especially the state- in preference to omission. 
mcnt as to the many settlements of ^ =Mal. "guntang"; i.e. •*gon- 

'* Kenal)oi " (counted as ** Blandas " by chang [pen-]jaring " — a folk-etymologj. 

"'auijhan-Stevens) ** near the sources of Vaughan-Stevens has *' Guntong Pin- 

h«» i»rA<it Pera^ rJ^^- " cii/^tv^ J *hink, jarring." 


Csradition terminates by describing how a great ship 
^nras wrecked upon the island, and how the water sank 
amd left the ship stranded high and dry upon the rocks. 
T*he captain and crew got to land and were kindly 
x^ceived by the Benar-benar, or Benua, a branch of 
^he Orang Laut, or Sea Tribes, who lived upon the 
c:oast, whereas the Sakai dwelt in the forest. The 
Orang Laut belonged (according to the Sakai) to 
sm inferior branch of their own tribe, though others 
say they originally formed a separate race which mixed 
with the Sakai by intermarriage. All accounts, how- 
ever, agree in saying that they stood in some close 
sort of relationship to the Sakai. This tribe informed 
the Sakai Batin, who allowed the shipwrecked people 
to come and hospitably entreated them. 

Nevertheless, it is related, some of them went off 
in the ship's boat, and were heard of no more. 

The captain and the rest, however, remained and 
were well cared for, and soon after the old Batin him- 
self died, leaving no son.^ 

The Sakai then assembled to elect a new chief, 
and choosing the captain of the shipwrecked vessel, 
gave him the title of Batin Berchanggei Besi (lit. 
the Chief with the Iron Claws).^ 

This name is said to have been given to the Batin 
on account of his great personal strength. He once 
(it is said) called twenty people together to cut down 
a certain tree, and when they failed to perform it, he 

* V.-St ii. 83, 84. Other Sakai Artificial finger-nails of gieat length 

(**Blandas")traditionsaregiveninV.-St. are still worn by Malay women when 

iii. 97- 100, but they are of no real value. performing with a theatrical troupe, and 

2 Or** nails": **changgei " = a long also occasionally by highly connected 

finger-nail, which has been allowed women at weddings, as in the case 

to grow to an abnormal length (as by of the late Haji Gayah of Selangor. 

Chinese mandarins). They were They are made of various metals — gold, 

formerly worn by Malay chiefs. brass, or as here, of iron. 


felled it unaided, splitting, however, his loi^ fmger- 
nail in doing so. 

Batin Iron-claws built a novel kind of house for his 
subjects upon the summit of a hill, its roof being made 
of fire-burnt earth, and its foundation-posts, in some 
cases of exceptionallyhard wood,and in others of agiant 
grass which was as thick as a man's leg, and whidi 
possessed a hard outer cuticle, but a soft interior— a 
form of timber unknown in the island. The roof-tree 
was not straight, but depressed in the centre, and it 
had greatly projecting gable-ends. Finally, the walls 
were of glass. 

Sometime afterwards it happened that the son of 
a Raja fell from heaven, and, staying with the Batin, 
married his eldest daughter. Later on this prince 
persuaded many of the Sakai to give up eating swine's 
flesh altogether. 

Now the old Batin, the predecessor of Iron-daws, 
had a brother who had died before Iron-claws came, 
and who had left two sons, the eldest of whom was 
called Abang (** elder brother"), and the younger, Adik 
(** younger brother") ; and Abang ought to have been 
Batin. But once the two were crossing a stream by 
means of a tree -trunk, the eldest in front as was 
customary. Half-way across the trunk broke under 
Abang s feet and both fell into the water, the elder in 
an upright posture, the younger in a sitting attitude. 
And when the younger found he was unhurt he called 
out in the Sakai (" Blandas ") dialect, " Usui." 

The brothers continued their journey, but inquired 
of a medicine-man when they reached home what this 
omen meant. The medicine-man said that the elder 
should always be on his feet and never find rest, whilst 
"be vounq:er should he seated like the Malays and give 


up wandering. The younger brother then determined 
to seek a place where he might be enabled to fulfil the 
prophecy, and went to Menangkabau. But Abang 
remained in the country. 

But before the younger son's departure Iron- 
claws prepared a banquet of all kinds of flesh, and 
at the banquet the younger son and a number of his 
friends remarked that although the meat was cooked 
with swine's fat, the head had not been served. On 
inquiry they found that through some neglect the 
head had not been cooked. They then went to the 
Batin and asked for it to be given them. But Iron- 
claws finding it had been forgotten made excuses. 
At this the guests were very angry and said that if 
the Batin kept back dishes for himself they would not 
eat any of his banquet, and went away. Then the 
younger son and all his friends who had refused to eat 
the swine's flesh went to Menangkabau. Hence arose 
the custom of exhibiting the produce of the three 
days' harvest to the guests in order to prove that the 
entire amount of the rice has been prepared for them. 
When Iron-claws heard that the grave demons 
(** Degup ") had taken to killing the Sakai, he convened 
an assembly and proposed to found a new settlement. 
His son-in-law (the prince who fell from heaven) and 
a number of the Sakai would not agree to this, but the 
others assented. Iron-claws then broke up his house 
on the hill, and re -erecting it on the sea- coast, 
fenced it with a palisade and called it Pagar Ruyong 
(Palm-stem Fence). He then gave a great feast. At 
one end were the dishes containing swine's flesh, at 
the other end those that did not ; the whole tribe 
was invited. Those who did not eat swine's flesh sat 
in one place together, and vice versa, and after the 


feast Iron- claws and all who ate swine's flesh pro- 
claimed their determination to leave the island. The 
son-in-law received the Batin's house at Pagar Ruyong 
and there remained, no further mention beii^ made 
of him in the traditions. But when the building was 
ready the elder brother died, and Iron-claws desired 
the Benua (or Benar-Benar) to complete the palisade. 
Afterwards, however, he left it and built a number of 
boats, in which he, his friends, and all of the Benua who 
ate swine's flesh and obeyed his orders left the island 

In due course Iron-claws and his people arrived 
at an uninhabited island, to which they gave the name 
of Pulau Pasir (** Sandy Island "). Many of his party 
stayed here, but Iron -claws and the rest went still 
further, and on reaching a second uninhabited island, 
called it Pantai Layang. Here too some of the Sakai 
were left behind. 

Next Iron-claws reached a yet larger island (which 
was also uninhabited) and called it Jawa ("Jowar") 
or Java. Here his youngest daughter remained with 
several of her following of Sakai, and Iron -claws 
and the rest, proceeding still further, arrived at 
Malacca, which was then uninhabited (as was all that 
region) and covered with thick forest. Here they 
made a clearing and called it Pengkalan Tampoi, and 
Iron-claws, setting off with his Penglima and some 
companions to explore the interior, arrived at the 
place where Klang now stands. Here Iron- claws 
vanished from the sight of men and was seen no more, 
his people returning to Pengkalan Tampoi. 

In view of his own departure. Iron -claws had 

made Hang Tuah the Bat in of Pengkalan Tampoi, 

^nd the latter proceeded to build a house on the hill 

iv^rlooVine *^he present town of Malacca. A great 

kp. VI SAKAl (' BLANDAS') 269 

lony soon grew up here, and in a few years had 
read to Mount Ophir (Gunong Ledang). A marshy 
Sice was used by the new settlers for yam-culture, 
id thence called Paya Kladi. Not far off stood a 
rge orchard (** Dusun Besar"), whose fruit, which 
its in full bearing, had been planted by the Sakai 
few years before.^ 

When Hang Tuah saw that the country was too 
aall to contain the Sakai, he went southwards one 
ly to Johor to have a look at the land there. The 
enua had spread southwards along the river Muar, 
hich debouches a little south of Malacca. Hang 
uah here looked round for a little, and then made a 
-eat clearing near the place where the town of Muar 
>w stands, and called it Benua Dalam, and a smaller 
le on the sea-coast, a few miles south of the large one, 
le smaller receiving the name of Benua Laut Jagun.*'^ 

Many of the forest-dwelling Sakai went to Benua 
^alam, but the Benua (Benar-Benar) spread them- 
tlves partly in the forest-clad country and partly on 
le coast. One day a Malay prahu was proceeding up 
le coast from Kedah. They were looking for new 
nd, and when they saw the clearing at Pengkalan 
ampoi they landed and begged for water and vege- 
.bles. They were well received by the Batin in his 
3use, and when they departed one of them asked 
le Batin to tell him the name of the colony. As the 
Liestion was asked both were standing near a large 
ee. The Batin thought he was being asked for the 
ame of the tree, and answered ** Kayu Laka"^ (or 
Laka Tree "), giving the name by which the tree in 
aestion was known to the Sakai. 

1 Vaughan.Stevens, ii. 85, 86. J A popular derivation of "Malacca." 

There is a Pengkalan Tampoi near 
• Or •* Jagong." /bid. Jugra (Selangor). 


The Malays then went on board their vessel and 
returned to their own country, though only to give their 
own Raja a glowing description of the beautiful land 
they had seen. They soon reappeared with a flotilla 
of prahus, and their leader demanded the land pos- 
sessed by the Sakai. As this was refused, a battle 
ensued, in which the Sakai were beaten. They fled 
to the country where Malaka Pindah now stands; 
next morning they continued their flight in a northerly 

At Dusun Besar the Batin rested on a great stone 
and took food. To show that the land was his own, he 
called a medicine-man, and made, deep in the stone, 
an impression of his foot and also of the bottom of his 
betel-leaf pulper, both of which may be seen to this 
day. The Batin had two full-grown sons, called 
Hang Jebat and Hang Ketuwi {i.e. Kasturi) respect- 
ively ; these sons were Jenang, or subordinate chiefs, 
and were in charge (under their father) of the sur- 
rounding settlements east and north of Pengkalan 
Tampoi. At Muar dwelt Batin Alam, a grandson of 
Batin Iron-claws. 

The fugitive Sakai now arrived at the place where 
Johol now lies, and here a daughter^ was bom to 
Hang Tuah.- 

Hang Tuah now wished to make provision for all 
his children, and as he intended to give the colony of 
Johol to his daughter by way of inheritance, he left 
the child in the care of his Penglima and went to 
what is now Sungei Ujong. On the way, Hang 
Jebat and Hang Ketuwi quarrelled as to who should 

^ Vaughan - Stevens here remarks of the Negri SembiUui. Hang Tuafa, 

that this Hang Tuah, his daughter, and however, is really the celebrated Malty 

-lis two sons are the ** Undang Yang hero mentioned in the Afafay Anwais, 
Vm^of " ^» <o»ir fT"^* loiw^n^rinir "hi^ft * Vaueh*" -Stevens, ii. 86, 87. 


;K>ssess the country through which they were then 
travelling, and the dispute ended in a combat which 
proved mutually fatal. As Hang Tuah was thus 
icprived of both his sons, he declared he would not 
irander further to seek a new dwelling-place, and there- 
fore called the river by which he stayed Sungei Ujong 
" River of Termination '')} For a time indeed he 
arried there, but again in fear of the ghosts of his 
lead sons he proceeded to Klang, and here a son was 
K>m to him. 

There is no account of any attack after that upon 
?engkalan Tampoi. 

Some years later this last-born son of Hang Tuah 
vas crossing the river by means of a tree-trunk, 
:hewing sugar-cane as he went, and blowing the trash 
>ut of his mouth. Some of the latter fell upon the 
Tee and some into the stream, the latter being carried 
iway by the current, so that it was eventually seen 
by the son of a Menangkabau Raja, who was coming 
upstream at the time in a little boat, the ship in which 
he had arrived being at the mouth of the river. 

Now this new prince had brought a casting-net 
for fish, but had caught nothing, and was therefore 
suffering from hunger. A chief who was with him 
saw the trash floating down the river, and concluding 
that some people or other must be dwelling in the 
vicinity, pushed on until -he reached the tree-trunk. 
Here he observed the rest of the trash, and following 
up the track, came at last to the house of the Batin. 
One of the people who accompanied him proved to 
be a descendant of one of the younger brother's com- 

1 This is a popular etymology. The Jong, a name which is still sometimes 
real name of the country before the heard, and which I have seen on old 
British entry seems to have been Semu- official seals. 


panions, who had gone to Menangkabau, and this 
ensured a friendly welcome to the new arrivals.^ 

As, therefore, they were sitting in the verandah 
and chewing sugar-cane, the Malay prince turned his 
eyes to an opening in the side-wall of the house, and 
through it was able to distinguish one of the Batin*s 

With the idea of making her his wife, he 
asked the Batin if he would exchange presents with 
him. The Batin, however, said he was a poor man, 
driven by the Malays from his rightful possessions, 
and that he now had no possessions. The guest, 
however, replied that he possessed a daughter, whom 
he would much like to make his wife. The bargain 
was quickly concluded, in accordance with Sakai 
custom, and the guest sending his Penghulu to the 
ship for his own presents, went home again, and in a 
few months returned to marry the Batin's daughter. 

Sometime afterwards the pair had a son, and 
according to Sakai custom the mother inquired of the 
father what name the child should bear. The 
father answered that if it were a boy it should be 
called To' Mantri. So the boy was named To' 
Mantri, and since that time the Sakai of the west 
coast near Sungei Ujong and Malacca have been 
called Mantra. 

The girl who was born to Hang Tuah in Johol 
remained there till she was of marriageable age. 
According to Sakai custom she became Batin (or 
chief of the tribe) for a whole year, after which she 
married a Malay from Menangkabau. From the time 
of her Batinship arose (so say the Sakai) the title of 
Pangku {i.e. *' Vice-") Penghulu. 

^ \'auehan- Stevens, ii. 87. 

kP. VI SAKAI {' BLANDAS') 273 

The story runs on in this way to a great length. 

The Penghulu of Inas (a small semi-independent 
strict of Johol) came into possession of the wooden 
opping-board on which the bats were cut up at 
Shake- Net Island," and a spoon of old Sakai make, 
uiufactured from the skull of a bat.^ 

The Sakai at that time had no fixed boundaries, 
ch as now exist. These are of later date, and were 
ig^nated by the Malays. 

Eventually the last - born son of Hang Tuah 
icrame Batin of Sungei Ujong, and since that time 
e Sakai consider all the land which now belongs 

Sungei Ujong, Klang (Selangor), Johol, and 
Malacca as their own especial fatherland. 

After Hang Tuah and his race had died out the 
akai never had a regularly elected Batin again, 
^hen a number of Sakai wished to found a new 
ittlement they chose a Batin for themselves ; there 
as, however, no head Batin who could confirm the 
iw appointment, and thus the power of the Batin 
irank and his duties also, so that at last each man 
" the community was almost his equal. 

From another side arose a power superior even to 
lat of the Malays, viz. the Beduanda, who very 
iickly became the masters of the Sakai. 

As the Malays flocked into the country in in- 
easing numbers to seek for land, they merely 
immunicated with the chief of the Beduanda, be- 
/een whom and the Sakai Batin there was at first 
ill some sort of understanding, but after a time the 
eduanda chief ceased to consult the Sakai Batin, 
id gave his Malay kinsmen all that they wished by 
rtue of his own authority.' 

v.. St. iL 87, 88. Cp. the Jelcbu regalia, p. 291, infra. * Ibid. p. 88. 



Only in three districts (Sungei Ujong, Klang. and 
Johol) did any bargaining take place between tbe li 
Sakai Batin and the Malays, and even these did not |r 
relate to the land, but to the fruit-trees, which, acxori 
ing to Sakai custom, each member of the tribe was 
required to plant on the land that he possessed 
This custom still exists. It is most closely followed 
by the dwellers in the jungle, but even in smaH 
stretches of waste land, here and there, the Malay- 
ising Sakai, though they know well that in the course 
of a year or two they will be far removed from their 
present home, still plant coconut-palms ^ and fruit-trees 
of various kinds, the fruits of which they will never 
gather. This custom was due to the care taken by 
the old Sakai laws for the welfare of the future race, 
and the only terms that the Sakai made with the 
Malays were (i) that no tree planted by a Sakai 
might be felled by a Malay, and (2) that, later on, no 
Sakai who wanted fruit from the trees should be p^^ 
vented from having it.- 

Thus the Beduanda obtained the extensive terri- 
tory to which they naturally afterwards laid claim. 
But they do not belong to the original Sakai stock, 
although they are connected with them by blood. 
They are a mixed race, and are considered as sudi 
both by Malays and the purer -bred Sakai. They 
exhibit, moreover, all possible stages of admixture, 
varying from people who are almost like Malays to 
people who cannot be distinguished from the Sakai. 
These Beduanda lay claim to a definite fixed territory, 
whereas among the nomad Sakai tribes each man 
desires only so much land for his own as a cock's 

^ This statement is open to question. ever, planted by these tribes. 
^f >f\rrsr^^^^ -j^aim « ^ojv «'«>flom, '*" * Vaughan-Steveiis, VL 89. 

»*AP. VI SAKAI {' BLANDAS') 275 

C3t>w can be heard over, and that only for so long as 
bie stays; and, moreover, he lays claim only to the 
products of the trees that he happens to have planted 
liming his temporary sojourn.^ 

Before the battle with the Rawa men, the Bataks, 
<Dr the Lubu men* (as the Sakai called them), an 
Sttack was made on the Sakai from outside. 

The Sakai had spread out alongside of the Malay 
settlements when the attacks of the Bataks began. 
These latter lasted for some years, and the outer 
settlements in Perak had encountered them first. The 
Sakai now report that their kinsmen were eaten by 
the Bataks, and that it was from fear of this enemy 
that they fled hither and thither in the jungle. 

In this hasty flight their various tribes and families 
were united. The pursuing Bataks went east to the 
sources of the great Pahang river. Here lay many 
settlements of the Kenaboi, and the Batin of the 
latter determined to expel the heathen interlopers. 
He therefore called all his fighting men together, hid 
most of them in ambush in the jungle, and then 
entered into negotiations with the leader of the 
Bataks, and invited him and his companions to a 
great feast. The Bataks came, but the crafty Batin 
had mixed the poisonous fruit of the PVah-tree^ 

1 Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 89. gestion or colic ; but probably this 

* The Rawa men, the Bataks, and danger is lessened when it is cooked, 
the Labu men are all Sumatran tribes, Mr. L. Wray also writes that he 
the Bataks being cannibals. was warned by some Batang Padang 

* The fruit of the Frah-tree, which Sakai not to eat **buah p'rah." They 
resembles that of the Spanish chestnut, said it was poisonous unless it was 
is certainly not poisonous under all cooked. Mr. Wray adds that he had 
conditions, and it is in fact a favourite eaten them roasted many times. The 
food of the Jakuns, though I myself P'rah-tree belongs to the Euphorbicueay 
was one day warned by Jakuns of its many members of which order are 
"poisonous" properties when tasting poisonous. The bright red young 
it. I believe the fact is that it is ex- leaves of the P*rah-tree are cooked and 
treraely liable to produce violent indi- eaten by the Sakai as a vegetable. 


among the dishes which were placed before the 
Bataks, so that many died immediately. The rest 
succumbed to a hail of javelins rained on them 
by the ambushed Kenaboi. The rest of the Batab 
in consequence left the country, and the Batin 
was called Batin P'rah in remembrance of the 

The second attack came from the Bugis, whom 
the Sakai call Rawa,- and who are described as having 
come from an island situated not very far off. 

The story runs that one Guntar (?) was at that time 
the Batin of the Beduanda in Sungei Ujong, and the 
Sakai used to bring their wares out of the jungle and 
sell them to Guntar, who thus became a middleman 
between them and the Malays, one Kelanong being 
named as the Malay chief. After a time the Malays 
went further west from the Pahang in order to trade 
with the jungle tribes of the interior, especially in 
eagle-wood and ivory, which they in turn sold to the 
Chinese and Siamese of the eastern seaboard. And 
as the eastern Malays offered the Sakai much higher 
prices than Guntar, they therefore sold their goods 
to him no more. 

Being vexed at this, he threatened the Sakai, who 
called to their aid the fighting men of the Senoit 
Kenaboi, and Besisi, and went in a crowd to Guntar's 
house. Frightened at the crowd, the leader of the 
Beduanda dissembled, and invited the Batins of the 
Jungle-folk to a council.* These agreed, and leaned 
their blowpipes against a coconut-palm, and the tree 
was thrown down by their great weight. As Guntar 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 91. came from Sumatra, which isonljjvst 

- Sic. The "IJugis" are inhabitants across the Straits, 

-•f Celebes, which is a very long way ' Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 91. 
'ff t**'^ Peninsula. T^t Rawa really 


Ipielded in every point and withdrew his threatenings, 
l^he Sakai again dispersed. 

;^ Raging at this check, Guntar, while he simulated 

riendship for the Sakai, made secret overtures to the 

iwa, who for a long time had carried on trade with 

^idie west coast, without having any regular settlement. 

Cruntar promised to give the Rawa the land of the 

Sakai and certain presents if they would drive them 

away. The Rawa accepted, and soon many of them 

came to the Peninsula and attacked the Sakai in 

their own homes at night, thrusting their spears up 

through the floor and killing the men as they hurried 

out. Women and children they sold to the Malays, 

who must therefore have known of the design. The 

Sakai sought to drive the intruders out of Selangor. 

Many battles took place, in one place with success. 

They had taken up a position at Bukit Guling Batang, 

and rolled rocks and stones from the screes down on 

the attacking Rawa, who were obliged to retreat. 

Since the Rawa had better weapons, they killed many 

and took many into slavery, and in the confusion the 

Sakai fled in all directions into the jungle, where the 

Rawa did not venture to follow them. 

This is the cause of their wide dispersal, the de- 
struction of their race, and the difference that shows 
itself in the customs of the separated branches of the 

Here and there one finds in the remote hill- 
country small settlements of Sakai of comparatively 
pure race, but on the whole their original mode of 
life and early customs have either been given up or 
very much modified.^ 

According to tradition, enmity broke out in the 

* Vaughan- Stevens, ii. 92. These legends cannot, of course, be taken as histor}'. 


end between Guntar and the Rawa, after which all 
the Sakai men who had not been made slaves fled 
far away. Guntar is said to have broken his word, 
on which the Rawa attacked the Beduanda, and took 
away many of their children to be sold. Then mott 
of the rest sailed back to their land, only a few remain- 
ing in Perak and Selangor. 

The example once given was not forgotten, and 
for many generations the Malays of the Peninsula 
were wont on occasion to take the children of Sakai 
parents and sell them as slaves, although they made 
no further organised attack on them. 

Here follows the history of the " Orang Jakun " (!). 
When the Malays of Kedah attacked Pengkabn 
Tampoi, the Benua united themselves both with the 
Benua Laut Jagong and with the Benua Dalam 
people, and Batin Alam withdrew with them to the 
mountains of Johor. When he heard that the 
Sakai men had not been again attacked, but had 
settled in Sungei Ujong, Johol, and Klang, he decided 
to unite with them ; but this plan was opposed 
by the Benua. In the end, however, he set off with 
those who wished to follow him, and united himself 
with the Sakai at Klang. 

The Orang Benua who had remained behind in 
Johor resolved to go southwards, while the rest of 
the Sakai who could not bring themselves to unite 
with Batin Alam's people returned to Muar, where 
soon afterwards wanderers arrived from Menangkabau. 
Tradition mentions them no more. 

The Orang Benua arrived at Batu Pahat in 
Johor, which was then unoccupied. Here they were 
afterwards attacked by men in boats. These were 
not Malays, and it is not known who t^hey were. 


The Orang Benua fled along the coast, and reached 
le east end of Johor. As they found the country 
ftoccupied they turned towards the interior, and 
ittled on the river Sembrong. Here they lived 
ng in peace, working their way step by step 
irough the forest towards the north-west. Here 
ley met with some people who were fleeing from the 
lataks. The fugitives were received as friends, and 
^yed with them for a time. A few years later 
Mne a great host of Sakai fleeing from the Rawa 
>wards Johor. Many of them stayed with the 

The Benua themselves afterwards took their way 
restward along the Strait of Johor, and fell in with 
race of the Orang Laut, and intermarriages took 
lace. Physical proof of the mixture is said to exist 
1 the projecting teeth which can be seen in so many 
f the Benua, and through them also in the Mantra of 

The Benua dwelling on the west coast of the 
^eninsula belong just as much to the main Sakai 
tock as the other branches of the race from Johor 
3 Kedah. On the east coast the type of the people 
» more deeply marked, and the various branches 
iffer less from one another.^ 

The traditions of the Benua themselves are very 
oor, but agree in the main with the usual stories of 
le Sakai. 

The Kenaboi folk had wandered far both from 
lie Sakai (*' Blandas ") of Sungei Ujong, when they 
>und themselves checked in their march by the 
Cenaboi river, one of the tributaries of the main 
tream of the Pahang. 

* This is, of course, a mere tradition. * Vaughan -Stevens, ii. 93. 


They found the country attractive, and settled at 
Kenaboi (the Mengiri river,* where the best bamboos 
grow for blowpipes being not far away). This circum- 
stance determined their choice of a settlement for a 
long time, when they pushed gradually further down 
the Pahang to the Pekoi, or, as the Malays called it 
when they reached it, the Senoi (" Sinnoi ") river. 

These two settlements perished through the 
invasion of the Bataks and the Rawa ; their in- 
habitants were dispersed, and united afterwards with 
other tribes. 

From Klang a great host of Sakai (" Blandas") 
including those who had attached themselves to 
their companions after the attack on Pengkalan 
Tampoi, had gone to a place east of Sungei Ujong, 
which they called Kring,* as their first settlement 
Later they spread to the north and east. In con- 
sequence of the attack of the Bataks this section of 
the race — known merely under the name of " Blandas" 
— went further towards the north. 

When, however, the Kenaboi men under Balin 
PVah had beaten back the Bataks, the greater part 
of the now so-called Besisi came back. 

Broken up, however, into separate family groups in 
the time that followed, they ceased to form a separate 
race, and scattered themselves among the Besisi 
at Sungei Ujong, Perak,' and especially Selangor. 
Their countrymen in these places remarked that half 
of the new arrivals brought with them a foreign 
dialect. In addressing the inhabitants of Perak, 
Selangor, and Sungei Ujong they all spoke the Sakai 
tongue; among themselves they talked half Sakai, 

* Sic^ ? Nenggiri. * Probably Triang or Tring. 

One of V.-St.*s characteristic inaccuracies. There are no Besisi in Perdc 


ilf an unknown language, whence they were called 
esisi, which means " a foreign language." ^ 

[The remainder of the chapter is taken up with 
le merest speculations as to the origin of the tribes 
id their distribution.] * 

Legend of the Origin of Sakai Face-painting. 

When the Senoi had decided to leave the main 
em of the Sakai stock in order to seek a new home 

the eastern part of the Peninsula, the magicians 
ok counsel together to decide what form the new 
Ltterns of body-paintings ' (which were to distinguish 
e ^ Senoi) should properly take. A decision with 
gard to the breast-painting was soon reached ; but 
is was not the case with regard to the face-painting, 
>me magicians wishing to change the pattern at the 
re, others not. At this stage, however, the wife of 
le of the magicians who had hidden herself to hear 
le discussion, put her head into the room uninvited, 
id took part in the discussion. Her husband, who 
ood near her, had smeared his fingers, like all the 
:hers, with **anatto," in order to be able to apply 
le red streaks. Incensed at his wife's intrusion, he 
ruck at her with his red-dyed fingers, and as they 
ft five marks upon her face, the assembly decided 
lat the women should in future bear five lines upon 
leir face, but the men only three.* 

Traditions of Abnormal Races and Cannibals. 
The **Orang Ekor," or Tailed Men, who are 

* Vaughan- Stevens, ii. 93, 94. This 2 s^g Vaughan- Stevens, vol. ii. pp. 

:nvation of "Besisi" is certainly 94 to end. 

accurate. ^ Z.f. E. xxvi. 154. * Ibid, p. 155. 


spoken of all over the Malay Archipelago as if they 
were real human beings, are described as appearii^ 
from time to time in various parts of the Malay 
Peninsula. They are said to resemble human beings, 
and are not believed to be dangerous ; but they ?rill 
have nothing to do with men, and vanish at once 
into the forest as soon as they are seen. They wear 
nothing but a loin-cloth of tree-bark, beneath whidi 
may be seen a short tail. Both the men and women 
have tails, but they are not numerous, and their 
children are never seen.^ 

Other traditions of abnormal races are as follows:— 

1. A race of gigantic women, or Amazons, who 
live unmarried. The Sakai, it is said, sometimes 
find beautifully decorated blowpipes of great length 
belonging to one of these Amazons, either lying on 
the ground, or leaning against a tree. In some cases 
they have been rash enough to carry them away, but 
had not gone far before they were struck down from 
behind. Those who were not killed and could 
observe their aggressor, described her as a gigantic 
woman who vanished immediately upon the recovery 
of her property. Nothing more is known of them, 
though they are described as being real human beings.' 

2. The Sakai (the '* Blandas " of Vaughan-Stevens) 
apply the name ** Sakai *' to a fabulous race of little, 
hairy, desert-dwelling people, who are now but rarely 

1 Cp. M. Maclayin/i^.^..S'., S,B., Cp.Z./^.,Indez,j.v. "Geichwiiiite 

No. 2, p. 21 6; and the explanation Menschen." I may add that when the 

given hy Treacher, who in No. xxi. Malay members of the staff of the 

pp. loi, I02, of the same journal refers Cambridge Expedition went on baud 

to a tribe of the Muruts, in Borneo, ship at Klang (on their way to BaQg* 

who in addition to the usual loin>cloth kok in 1899), they were warned \fi 

wear on their backs only the skin of a their Malay friends to take care oo 

long-tailed monkey, the tail of which reaching their destination that ihqr 

hangs down lx:hind so as to give the were not eaten up by the Tailed Bttib 

impression at a short distance that it (Batak b^rekor). 

bnns i^rt and »"»!\rce^ of it's warer. ^ Vaugb«n-Stevens, iL 82. 




^ieen, are very shy, and possess so fine a sense of 

Itmell as to know when a human being is approaching.^ 
These " demon Sakai '* (Hantu Sakai) have a sharp 

|t>lade-like bone in their right forearm which they 
^ ttse in the felling of trees. To gather the fruit from 

I the topmost sprays of a tree they climb the stem, and 

:$eat themselves upon a branch, whilst they cut the 

spray through with this sharp blade. Although 

they fall to the ground together with the branch 

they never hurt themselves.^ 

De Morgan states that he was informed by one 
of his men (Ibrahim) and the Sakai Penghulu (** Pa* 
Pinang"), who was travelling with him, on reaching 
Sungei Kandis, that the part of the country through 
which they were passing was too cold for the Sakai 
to live in, but was inhabited by other tribes who 
were short of stature, and whose only garment was 
a cincture of leaves attached round the waist. They 

^ It IS a carious fact that meat-eating 
Europeans are said to have a (com- 
paratively) strong rank smell, in this 
difiering from that of (and noticeable 
by) the rice-fed native. 

' This agrees with the Malay tradi- 
tions of the ** orang-outang," or 
•* Mawas," sometimes called Hantu 
Mawas. Begbie (pp. 5, 6) speaks, 
however, of the Mawas as a wild tribe 
of human jungle - dwellers whose 
chopper has been confused with the 
arm that wields it. 

Cp. also Anderson, who states that, 
according to Malayan legends, there is a 
race of wild people said to be found in 
the interior of Bernam ["Burnam," the 
boundary between the states of Perak 
and Selangor], designated Tuah Benua 
[sic ? Hantu Benua] by the Selan- 
gorians, and known in Kedah by the 
name of ** Mawas." They are repre- 
sented as bearing a strong resem- 
blance to the Mawah, or long-armed 
gibbon, but instead of having a 
bone in the lower part of the arm, 

they have a piece of sharp iron which 
serves the double purpose of an arm and 
a cleaver for cutting wood. Anderson 
mentions another savage race, according 
to the Malays called B'lian, who are 
covered with hair, and have nails of 
extraordinary length. Their principal 
occupation is said to be tending the 
tigers, which are their peculiar flocks, 
as the buffaloes are of the Malays. 
They are represented by the Malays 
as sometimes coming to their residence 
on rainy nights and demanding Are, 
which those who are acquainted with 
their savage disposition prefer to 
hand them upon the extremity of the 
sumpitan, or blowpipe, or on the 
point of a sword, since were they to 
present it with the hand, they would 
inevitably be seized and devoured by 
the savage monster, a fate which the 
Malays firmly believe has befallen 
many. See pp. 225-229, ante, 

A ** mawas bone " obtained by the 
Expedition, proved to be part of an 
old iron implement of peculiar form. 


were further described as having frizzled hair, and 
as talking an incomprehensible dialect, as living in 
caves and feeding on wild plants, and as bdng 
entirely ignorant of metal, for which they substituted 
stone implements. The entire range of mountains 
between Perak, Selangor, and Kelantan was said to be 
inhabited by them. They were alleged to flee from 
the approach of men. De Morgan vsras unable, un- 
fortunately, to obtain confirmation of this statement, 
but says that he considers it to be probably true.* 

3. There is also said to be an invisible, huge, 
man-like being, who, though never seen, leaves foot- 
prints a yard (or " metre ") long on soft and clayey 
ground. This, however, is all that is known of it, 
and Malays in the Peninsula maintain that otherwise 
normally formed jungle -folk have been known to 
possess these huge feet.* 

4. The giants (** Gergasi ") are believed to be 
represented by two huge black men with projecting 
tusks in both jaws. They are said to devour those 
who lose their way in the mountain chains of the 
north of the Peninsula." 

Fuller accounts assert that southern Siam was 
once invaded by man-eating giants with dark skins 

1 De Morgan, vol. i. p. 19. The gested a way in which he thinks the 

description appears to answer best to tradition may have arisen, viz. thxoDgh 

that of the pure-bred Semang, as they the practice (common to many of thett 

might be described by the Sakai. wild people) of binding leaves or 

' Vaughan • Stevens, ii. 82. Cp. branches onto their feet when crossing 

M. Maclay in J.R.A,S.^ S.B,, No. swampy ground, either for the purpose 

2, p. 216: **The Malays of Pahang of preventing themselves from sinking 

relate that the wild men on the in the mud, or of concealing their 

river Tekam have feet half a metre tracks from possible enemies. 
in length." The idea of wild men ' Vaughan Stevens, ii. 81, 82. Cpi 

with abnormally long feel is a wide- M. -Maclay, who in /,R,A,S.^ S,B,% 

spread tradition among Mohamme- No. i, p. 216, describes the "Gergasi" 

dans, and probably reached the as dwelling on the borders of Redah 

Sakai through the Malays, although and Singora. Their (Sanskrit) nime 

Vaughan-Stevens has elsewhere sug- points to Indian (Hindu) influences. 


nd two projecting teeth resembling the canine teeth 
f tigers. The Raja fought with them, and in a single 
attle killed all but seven, who fled to Southern Kedah, 
diere each of them sought for a hill for himself to 
well in. Here they henceforth dwelt in caves. 
Iiccording to some they had many heads, or elephants' 
ars, or large wings. By the poorer Malays they 
'ere believed to bury treasure, and in many parts of 
ledah a Malay who has dreamt of such a treasure 
ill go and dig for it. At length, however, they died 
iit, and if they were killed and their blood fell on the 
irth, leeches arose, but if it fell upon the grass it 
irned to mosquitos.^ 

The stories of cannibalism perpetrated by Bataks 
I the Peninsula are very common, and although 
robably much exaggerated, it is not unlikely that such 
editions may possess some remote foundation of fact. 

The charge of cannibalism may possibly have been 
•ansferred to the wilder jungle-folk from the Bataks of 
lis invasion.^ None of the former, however, are 
mnibals, and there is no proof at all that cannibalism 
as ever, at least in historical times, occurred among 


Gods and Natural Phenomena. 

The Tembeh give the name **Sam-mor" to the 
upreme Being, of whom as a God they seem to have 
ery vague notions. The custodian of the region to 
hom **Sam-mor'* sends wicked souls is called 

* Vaughan-Stevens, ii. 100. Pahang Malays charge the wild men 

' Cp. M. Maclay, who in/./^.A.S., on the river Tekam with being can- 
B., No. 2, p. 216, says that the nibals. 3 G/ai^tSy Ix'ix. 118(1896). 


Heaven lies "somewhere on the other side of 
the world"; Hell (** Ni- nik") in a cavern or dark 
region in the interior of the earth. The chief of 
the nether regions does not altogether correspond 
to our own ** Devil," for though he is a friend of 
Darkness and cannot endure Light, yet as receiver of 
the souls of the wicked Tembeh he appears rather to 
fill the place of some lesser divinity. To him (t.^. to 
** Naing- Naing"), who continually seeks to injure 
mankind when they do not humbly obey him, the 
Tembeh address fair words, praying him to stay far 
away from them, etc., whereas they never pray to 
** Sam - mor " who always remains (they declare) 
friendly-disposed towards them.^ 

Before the creation of the Sun, the Earth was like 
a flat board, beneath which centipedes, ants, and 
scorpions swarmed. In a hole beneath this board 
(the earth) dwelt Naing, whilst Sam-mor was en- 
throned high above it. Sometimes Sam-mor de- 
scended to the board (the earth) in order to take 
exercise, and on one such occasion Naing let him be 
stung by a demon in the shape of an ant. 

Then followed a battle between Sam-mor and 
Naing in which the latter was defeated ; Sam-mor 
threw Naing back into his hole and piled up the biggest 
rocks which he could find like a mountain on the top of 
him and over the hole, so as to make it impossible for 
him to come out again. Finally Sam-mor threw the 
whole board, mountain and all, into the air, wherein the 
whole world has since remained suspended. After- 
wards he rolled fire which he had brought down 
with him into a ball (the sun), which still revolves 

1 The reduplicated form "Naing- specific meaning, the fonn "Niii^'* 
Naing" does not appear to have any hieing indifferently employed by V.-St 

tAP. VI SAKAI 287 

mnd the mountain {i.e. the earth) to keep watch 
rer Naing.^ 


Among the Sakai each magician could perform any 
larm that he wished, but among the Tembeh, on the 
mtrary, the magicians were divided into the seven 
allowing classes, with the proviso that the members 
F each class should only learn and be allowed to 
ractise one particular form of magic. 

1. The three Demon-charmers or Head Magicians. 

2. The Disease -charmers or medicine -men who 
•inished sickness by means of charms and drugs. 

3. The Field and Forest-charmers (for agriculture, 
anting, and fishing), with whom should be classed the 

4. The Diviners of Dreams, who interpreted the 
reams of the uninitiated as well as individual dreams 
r supernatural events. 

5. The Diviners of Omens, who interpreted 
nens, and knew the auspicious and inauspicious 
lys, etc. 

6. The Diviners of Crimes, who tried charges of 
:lony and decided whether the accused was innocent 
r guilty. 

7. The Assistant Magicians or pupils, who carried 
Lit the magician's orders, and lived in closer com- 
lunication with the laity.^ 


The following is the gist of the Tembeh traditions 
iven by Vaughan-Stevens : ^ — 

I Globus, Ixix. 118 (1896), H. V. S. 2 7^,^/, 

' Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 98. 


The Tembeh were of the same stock as the Sakai when the latter dwdi is 
Pulau Guntong Penyaring, although they themselves (the Tembeh) dwelt upoi 
another island, called Tembeh (** Tumior "), which was £ur distant from that of the 
Sakai (Blandas). Long before the time of Batin Iron-claws, the Tembeh bad 
been attacked by the inhabitants of another island, who were cannibals, nd the 
survivors had fled to Borneo (Negri Brunei). 

For their subsequent departure from Borneo various reasons are given ; t.i. i 
quarrel, the hostility of the Dayaks, and the dream of a white bird whkh thcf 
were to follow. The upshot, however, was that they reached Perak and wandeied 
inhind. A foreign conquest of the Peninsula followed, driving them pennineollj 
into the mountains. 

Exorcism of the Cholera Demon. 

The cholera charm here described was alleged by 
the Tembeh to have been identical with one formerly 
practised by all the Sakai tribes, at the time when 
there still existed among them a real hereditary class 
of magicians. The fact that the Sakai magicians 
were once acquainted with a special charm against 
cholera was frequently asserted by them, but none of 
them were able to state for certain whether it was or 
was not identical with the ceremony practised by the 

The ceremony commenced by the magicians 
giving a signal, at which every one but himself was 
compelled to withdraw into the small tree -huts in 
which this particular tribe was living. After their 
retirement he proceeded to enclose, by means of four 
shallow furrows drawn with a pointed staff [at right 
angles to each other], an open space, the size of which 
depends on the (anticipated) number of spectators — in 
this case it measured about 30 m. — and which has 
previously been cleared and levelled for the purpose. 

It is here that there takes place the expulsion of 
the Cholera Demon, who is called ** Rak " and is 
apparently exorcised like the Smallpox Demon by 

1 Ghbtis, Ixix. 118(1896). 

Markings of Mkn kkfresenting Demons in the Tembeh Ceremonv 



o ^ 









I'aujihaH-StrveHS (jG/ohus). 
(For explanation sec Appendix.) 

N, E, S, W. Points of the conipavs. 

V = Corner at which the spear-bearers entered the plot, their track being 
denoted by dots. 

^=l»amboo sprays phinted in centre of plot, from which spears were 

00= Positions taken up by sptar - bearers to await attack of the white- 
striped men (demons). 

yoi. //. /. a88. 


ins of a dance, during which certain magic formulae 
chanted by the magician.^ 


Cerenumies and Charms. 

Records of the religion of the Selangor Sakai are 
remely rare. It is therefore very interesting to 
Ti from the late Mr. J. A. G. Campbell that the 
:ai of the Ulu Langat district '' had a ceremony at 
ich they used all to sit down, blow bamboo pipes, 
I sing to demons (or ' Hantu ')," though whether 
drive them away or to ask blessings of them he 
I not, when writing, been able to learn.* 
Yet more interesting is the Ulu Langat version of 
\ famous love-charm called ** Chinduai." According 
Campbell, the plant called "chinduai" " is extremely 
•e, and almost unobtainable. The charm is a white 
wer of three petals, which is supposed to be only 
xurable in almost inaccessible places, such as very 
'ep cliffs. It grows out of the rock and possesses 
leaves or stem, but exhales a strong perfume. If 
ced in a house it is supposed to make all the 
abitants so enamoured of the owner that he can do 
'thing he likes with them." Mr. Campbell con- 
ies, ** I am told that there is a hill in the interior of 
lacca where a * chinduai * is supposed to grow, 
e Sakai are said to be able to climb these steep 
is by the aid of devils. I have never seen the 

Globus^ Ixix. 118 (1896). The in the Appendix to this volume, 
led description of this ceremony ' J. A. G. Campbell, p. 240. 

\ Globus, Ixix. 1 37- 141) is given ' Ibid. 



III. — Jakun. 

Jakun of Sungrei UJong. — The following story of tl 
transmigration of the soul of a deceased tribal cfak 
or ** Batin," of a Sungei Ujong tribe was contributt 
to the Selangor Journal by a French Roman Catho 
missionary, the Rev. Charles Letessier: — 

** On the summit of the Hebang mountain, at t 
foot of which dwells the Batin Lepeng, there lives 
solitary retirement a beautiful black ape of \ 
Siamang species. It is known to all the Sun 
Ujong tribes under the name of * The Sac 
Ape * (* Siamang Kramat '), a title which recalls 
mysterious origin. A Batin having died, the moun 
repaired to his tomb as was customary seven c 
later in order to make it up, but on their arrival v 
unspeakably astonished to find no traces remainia 
the deceased save his clothing and his shroud, ^ 
suddenly they perceived a * Siamang ' swinging 1 
branch to branch of the great tree that overshado 
the grave. As a * Siamang ' had never been sec 
Bukit Hebang before, they came to the conclu 
that it could be nothing else but the deceased B 
especially as they never succeeded in their attei 
to drive it away. They assert that on a 
sequent occasion, when wounded by the dart fn 
blowpipe, he transformed himself for a moment ii 
tiger, striking such terror into his would-be ass: 
that the latter expired not long afterwards.^ 
' sacred ape * is of the size of a child of six y 

^ This is a very interesting point, as by the Malays of the Tembdin 

it shows that the deceased ancestor in in Pahang of a bear that one 

animal form is believed to be still able leaders of a previous ezpeditioo 

to turn himself from one shape into Tahan Mountain had shot i 

ariofKpr .^t »":il Ro, too, I "vas told wounHH. and which had foi 


nd IS covered with long jet-black fur. It is never 
nown to descend to the ground, but whenever one 
r its tribe climbs the mountain it hastens to meet 
im, springing from tree to tree, and accompanying 
im to the summit, expressing its delight the while 
y means of cries and gestures; and in conclusion 
bose who relate the story never forget to say that it 
^retells, three days in advance, the approaching death 
f their existing Batin."^ 

Jakun of Jelebu. — It is an interesting fact that the 
ncient Malay regalia of Jelebu, one of the states of 
le Negri Sembilan, are declared by Malay tradition 
) have been of Jakun origin. 

The list of articles composing it was given me as 
Jlows : — 

1. The ivory ear-studs, or ** Subang Gading." ^ 

2. The ebony-wood ear-studs, or ** Subang Kayu 

3. The ** monkey " bone, or ** Tulang Chikah." 

4. The ** flying-fox" bone, or ** Tulang KSluang." 

5. A mouse-deer's eye-tooth, or *' Taring P'landok.** 

6. A slip of " male *' rattan, or " Sega Jantan." 
The following tradition is also told about the 

-igin of these Jelebu tribes : — 

Batin Salengkur *Alam (the ancestor of the tribe) 
ascended from heaven. He is said in Malay tales to 
ave been the hero of the ** bamboo episode.'' There 
ice grew a giant bamboo (which according to one 
:count was called Buluh Bohal), upon Gunong Hijau, 

nsformed itself into an ape. Such itself into an animal at will, and be- 
least was the legend which I myself came a man when fired at." 
ard on the Tahan, but on my ^ Letessier, p. loi. 
;ntioning it to Mr. H. N. Ridley ^ *' Subang" is a Malay word 
le of the leaders of the expedition signifying the ear - stud, which is 
question), he wrote : ** It was rather worn by Malay maidens as a sign of 
demon which was believed to turn virginity. See also p. 313, infra. 


and the Batin is said to have stirred it thrice with his 
foot, in spite of the mysterious protestations whidi 
issued from it each time he did so. On the thirl 
occasion a Princess, Lindong Awan, issued out of k, 
and was married on the spot to a Prince of Johor 
named Raja Ma'atham. The ceremony was performed 
by a mosque official (" Kathi ") and the requiate 
number of witnesses (four), all of whom descended 
from heaven for the purpose of performing it. Suh- 
sequently, we are told, the Batin ** disappeared," asd 
the young prince and his miraculously provided 
spouse together ascended the throne of Johor.^ 


Natural Phenomena and Paradise. 

Blandas of Selangor. — According to the Blandasof 
Kuala Langat the earth was originally the shape of a 
particular kind of betel-box, which is called " sodok- 
sodok " by the Malays, and which is flat and oblong. 
The nether deep or ocean was the shape of a tobacco 
receptacle of the kind called " lopak - lopak " (i/. 
globular), and the heavens which were round and over- 
reaching were like an umbrella ( = Mal. "payong"). 

The traditions of the Blandas Paradise are very 
similar to those of the Besisi in the same district, 
which latter will be set forth more fully below. A well- 
known old Blandas chief told me that in the " Island 
of Fruits" (the Blandas Paradise) the souls of "old 
people" became "young" again;* that there was no 
pain or sickness there, and that there was such an 
abundance of ** well water " there that it formed seven 
ponds or lakes.® 

^ Cp. pp. 343, 344, infra. (di-Pulau Buah)." 

"^»^nflr ciuUK K.-.e'ir T»nUV; kcchil ^ *' A^T' t^totga bftomiii kuUm tojok^ 


He added that it was possible for a medicine-man 
RO send his soul to visit the Island of Fruits in a 
K^ance (** bSr-sawai "), and that if he and his people 

* sat down in a line " that extended all the way there, 
kany one who thus visited it could bring back enough 

* rambutans " (a favourite jungle fruit) to feed every 
l^ne of them. He added that the way to it led along a 
l^ank (" mSniti papan "), and that any great medicine- 
Oian, if he wanted to kill an adversary, could do so by 
** sapping the plank" in question (**tStas papan"). 

Animal Beliefs and Traditions — the Elephant. 

One of the nicknames given to the elephant by 
the Blandas of Selangor is that of ** Babi RSbong," or 
bamboo-sprout {v. p. 222) boar, i.e. the wild pig that 
lives on the young bamboo shoots, these being the 
favourite food of the elephant in the Malay Peninsula. 

A form of the ** manis " story, as related by the 
Semang, also occurs, for I was one day told by an old 
Blandas chief of the same district that once when the 
elephant had incautiously pushed his trunk through 
a hole (in a tree), a manis caught hold of the tip of it, 
and thus effectually prevented the elephant from with- 
drawing it again. This, no doubt, is the reason why 
the elephant's trunk has become so elongated, as it is 
also the reason why the elephant still goes in fear of 
the manis. 

The story here told is the counterpart of numerous 
stories very familiar to the Malays. In some of 
these the manis bites the elephant's foot, in others it 
rolls itself round the elephant's trunk and so suffocates 
it ; in yet others the manis licks a wild banyan-tree 
(** jawi-jawi "), and the tainted tree is for ever avoided 
by the elephant and all his descendants. 


The same (Blandas) tribe also had a story about 
an elephant - stone which possessed certain magic 
virtues, and which had been obtained by a member of 
the tribe from an elephant killed by a spring-spear trap 
(" blantek "). The stone was called " Batu* Badui." 
or ** Elephant-stone," and appears to be an analogue 
of the magic stone which the Malays believe may some 
times be obtained from the head of a snake (cp. our own 
** toad-stone "). 

The Tiger. 

The tiger's stripes are believed, among the Blandas, 
to have resulted from contact with the "kfinudai" 
fruit, which fell upon the tiger's skin and caused its 
markings.^ But this effect was only caused by the 
** kenudai " fruit that fell upon the land ; and that 
which fell into the water is believed to have been 
in some way connected with the origin of the 

The following is a Blandas charm which is believed 
to have the power of crippling a tiger. It was given 
me by a member of the Kuala Langat tribe : — 

Tiger-crippling Charm. 

Trong wet ! Trong wau ! 

Stick fast i' the tree-stumps, where thou prowlest ; 

The weighting charm is said already. 

Refuse thou then men's heads, O Tiger. 

And be your hind-feet slow, earth-leaded. 

And slow, stone- loaded, be your fore-feet. 

A sevenfold rampart now surrounds me, 

The weighting-charm Fve just repeated. 

1 Mr. PI. N. Ridley calls this fruit break and leave a stain or smear on 

*<kcnidai," which maybe Malay, but anything with which it came in 

* * kenudai " was the name used by the contact. 

Blandas. Mr. Ridley tells me that it ^ The exact connection was not a- 

is a Gloihidion (possibly Brtinmum\ plained, but I believe it to have bees 

and that it is a * * shrub with pulpy that they developed into the knob-like 

fruit growing on wet river - banks. " projections on the top of the crocodile'^ 

The pulpiness of the fruit may doubt- head (over his ejres), which are voy 

ess have helped the story, as the result conspicuous, and are alluded to io 

^f its falling would laturally be to Malay stories of the crocodile's ot^ 


A second Blandas tiger-charm, which ran as given 
ow, consisted of a couple of stanzas of the Malay 
* pantun " type : — 


Though the young tobacco bends in the breezes 

Tis planted in a rock -walled cranny. 
Pull ye the cord, clap hands together, 

So from the sun the moon's defended.^ 

Grant me a ladleful of water, 

A ladleful ta*en from the wellside, 
It shields me like the king's umbrella,' 

It shields me like unto a Fairy. 

A charm for snaring the souls of monkeys has 
^ready been given." 


Exorcism is called in the Blandas dialect **b6r- 
sawai/' which is the equivalent of the Besisi ** b6r- 
salong " or ** tisi\" 

The directions for exorcism of the Blandas 
magicians, given me by themselves, were as follows : — 

Make a shelter with Nibong-palm leaves, big 
enough to contain the Pawang or magician and any 
one else who wishes to be present. Lay the sick 
man inside it on his back. Burn benzoin or incense,'* 
and summon the spirits (Hantu) of either tigers or 
elephants or monkeys (**lotong") and the like, to 
descend and enter into your body. Wave (** bSr- 
limbei") a bunch of *Micuala" leaves, and as soon 
as he (the spirit just invoked) descends and 
'* twins " with you,* brush the patient downwards 

* The allusion in the fourth line of ' Supra, vol. i. p. 2 1 5. 

the first sunza refers of course to the * Called **cho*ong" (or **cho*ok*»") 
belief that the sun is, on the occasion in both the Blandas and Besisi dialects, 
of an eclipse, bent upon devouring the **Cho'ong" lit. means to **bum" or 
moon, from whom he has to be "kindle," — "incense" being under- 
frightened away by the din raised by stood, 
the inhabitants of the earth. ^ " Kalau dia turun bekembaran 

* The umbrella of Malay royalty kita." 
is, of course, the one here meant. 


from head to foot seven times in succession 
the bunch of leaves) repeating at the same time dK 
following charm : — 

Exorcising Spell. 

One, two, three, four, five, six, \ 
All seven heads of you, begone now. 
But let not go the soul i' the shadow ; 
Let go the demons and the devils 
That dwell within this flesh and sinews. 
And let the Hot grow cold and frigid. 
Descend ye now, all Venoms, 
Ascend ye, Neutralisers. 
Lo, thus I neutralise all Venoms, 
Ascend ye, Neutralisers. 

Another form of exorcism practised by the Blandas 
consisted in casting out demons by means of a 
ceremony called ** bfirjin," which appears to be 
analogous to the Malay ceremony which goes by the 
same name. 

The requisites (** kalangkapan ") for the- ceremony 
consist, they told me, of ** sgrdang " leaves, for making 
the so-called ear- studs or **subang" (which is the 
name given to the pendent leaf- ornaments used by 
these people in all their ceremonies) ; " bfirtam "-palm 
leaves, for waving (Mai. ** pglimbai ") ; and lastly, 
** Ifigum " leaves to make the leaf-chamber (** salong") 
itself in which the performance takes place. 

The charm runs as follows : — 

Spell for exorcising Diseases. 

Spirit-guides, both all and sundry. 

Both big and small, and old and young ones, 

1 crave your help in healing some one 

Who's sick i' the veins [or bones, joints, or soul, etc]. 

By the Blandas charms and spells are employed 
against the Langhui (birth-demon), the Polong, the 
Pontianak,^ and the ** Uri"^ demon. 

> Cp. supra^ pp. 13-15. By many with the Langsuir, and not, n't 
'♦>""''♦''** the Pontiani»k is identified should be, with the Matianuk. 
' Tit. "i^f^-Hrth." 


The Blood-throwing Charm. 

be Blandas informed me that they did not now 
se the actual throwing of blood, but always 
water instead. At the same time, however, 
5 of the ** bunglei " were burnt, and the following 
I (which is principally directed against the 
ral Huntsman) repeated by the magician : — 

Charm against the Wild Huntsman. 

Oho, thou Demon Hunter, 
Accept this bowl of blood we offer, 
And use it up to cook your mushrooms ; 
But go a-hunting here no longer. 
Hunt only in the Slough of Ali, 
And in the Swamp of the Mahang trees. 
With your good hound whose name is Tampoi,* 
Your hound whose name is Koing, 
Your hound whose name is Sukum, 
. Your hound whose name is Langsat. 
Lo, here I draw my jungle chopper 
To cut the Neutralising Creeper, 
To cut in twain the Giant Creeper, 
And snuff out thus the Demon Hunter. 
Come thou a-hunting here no longer, 
But hasten back to where thou cam'st from. 
Return unto the Slough of Ali. 

Charm against Cramp.2 

Crack -crack ! creak-creak ! 

That's the banyan with its streamers ! 

Your beard is long, your eyes are scarlet. 

The web hangs down : why, children, bring it ? 

E'en as I snap this staff of rattan,^ 

Be snapped and broke your jaws, O Demons ! 

And like to them be yours, O Giants ! 

Like hammered iron, like Indian iron. 

Be snapped and broke your jaws, O Demons ! 

Be all to- broke your jaws, O Giants ! 

I neutralise your jaws, O Giants ! 

It is not mine, this Neutraliser, 

But it is that of Malim Putih. 

For >'t7«r jaws is it meant, O Giants ! 

dogs' names are those of ^ Lit. ** snap this * Rotan manau,' " 

ild jungle-fruits. this beinj; a special kind of rattan 

"Semut Huta." sjiecially used for staffs, etc 


The Blandas also attribute souls to maize and 
banana-trees, and also, like the Besisi, bring back die 
soul of the rice, and suspend it from the raften,* 
holding a great feast afterwards. 


Celestial Phenomena. 

Concerning the ideas of the Besisi on the subject 
of heaven, Mr. G. C. Bellamy reported in 1886 to the 
Selangor Government that the souls of the departed, 
according to their own notions, passed away to an 
Island of Fruit-trees, where they spent etermty. I 
This Fruit Island was, as far as he could ascertjdn, 
nothing more or less than the moon, and on the occasion 
of an eclipse they considered the shadow of the earth 
on the moon's surface to be a spirit or demon (Hantu) 
annihilating their moon-ancestors (** Nenek 'Bayan"). 
This belief occasions the greatest possible terror in 
their minds, and they proceed into the jungle with 
great lamentations and beating of tomtoms, and, 
striking the trees with their jungle-knives ("parangs*'), 
beseech the God of the Malays ("Tuhan Allah") to 
release their moon-ancestors. All this I can myself 
confirm from inquiries made in the same district, 
but they are very shy about referring to it in 
conversing with a stranger, and in such cases usually 
remark evasively that they cannot say where this 
island lies, since nobody has ever seen it. Yet to those 
who have gained their confidence they will insist upon 
its reality readily enough, their descriptions of it 
forcibly recalling the poet's island-valley of Avilion, 

* Supra f vol. i. p. 362. 


iirhere falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, nor ever 
Lnd blows loudly," — a land unfailing of durians and 
mbutans and mangostins and all the varied fruits 

the jungle ; ^ a land therefore of perpetual feasting, 
liere the simple jungle-men may lie reclined, playing 
;>cn their rude instruments of music. None but the 
ood will be admitted to it, the bad will have no place 
i^^re, but mourn, ** blown along a wandering wind " 
te was the ghost of Gawain). It is only reached by 
nossing a fallen trunk which serves as a bridge, and 
^m which the ignorant and wicked when they go the 
'^ng way fall into a great water, generally said to 
^ a boiling lake, contained in a vast caldron. This 
lily happens, however, to those who allow themselves 
D be frightened by a big and fierce dog which sits at 
be parting of the ways by which the souls must go. 

Another account, from the Besisi near Sepang in 
le same district, was to the effect that as soon as 
le survivors retire seven paces from the freshly-dug 
rave in which they have laid a newly-lost comrade, 
lere comes a sound of thunder, which is the recep- 
on accorded to the soul of the deceased as it ascends 
le heavens and reaches the Island of Fruits. There 
to be found every kind of fruit that grows, and there, 
)0, are many straight roads planted on each hand 
ith avenues of banana-trees and pine-apples. Here, 
Iso, said my informants, are tigers and other wild 
easts, but Gaffer Engkoh withholds them from 
lolesting any one who goes there. The magicians of 
ie tribe are reputed to be able to visit the Fruit-tree 
^aradise in a trance and bring fruit back with them. 

* Mr. Bellamy rightly remarks that the loud shout of ** Pie" = ** Fruit," with 

is is just what one would expect from which many of the songs of the Besisi 

eir way of living, one of the great fea- conclude). I should add that ** Nenek 

resof which is their passion for fruit (cp. 'Bayan " = Mai. ** Nenek Kabayan. " 



Of the divine ancestors of the Besisi this Gaffer 
Engkoh (or Jongkoh), of whom the foUowii^ in- 
teresting story is told, is the chief. Gaffer Engkoh, 
I was informed, once upon a time fell from heaven 
(together with his dog) in the neighbourhood of the 
Besisi settlement at Sepang Kechil, on which occaskn 
one Porang^ Atiyau became possessed and rem^ed 
unconscious for seven days and nights. In this un- 
conscious state he plaited a festoon, which soon b^ 
came a ladder reaching to the moon. By this ladder 
Gaffer Engkoh reascended, and when he had gone 
up, and Porang Atiyau with him, the latter quietly 
slipped down again and pulled down the festoon with 
him. And thus Gaffer Engkoh now dwells in the moon 
and protects from wild beasts dead souls that visit the 
Island of Fruits. 

Now Nenek KSbayan (" Si Bayan ") dwelt in the 
(upper) tier of the heavens in which the sun is, and 
he cursed Gaffer Engkoh because the latter (when 
on earth) had felled the sea-coconut palm* ("pauh 
janggi "). Then Gaffer Engkoh in wrath (as he could 
not retaliate) adjured his dog, whom he had left behind, 
saying ** Thou shalt eat the Rough -skinned* (lit 
* furred ') and the Smooth-skinned * shalt thou devour." 
And with that Gaffer Engkoh^s dog became a sacred 
tiger,* whose footmarks may to this day be seen at 
Bukit Bangkong near Sepang K6chil. And so to this 
day Gaffer Engkoh is chief of the Besisi Paradise, and 
the guardian of the soul-bridge among them is a dog. 

A number of other beliefs and traditions, such as 

1 Sic, ? ** Poyang." Heart of the Seas. — Cp. Malay Magit, 

- "Pauh janggi," the coco-de-mer or p. 6, tiote, 
double coconut-palm, found in the ' " Yang ber-bulu." 

"^lychelles, and believed by Malays * *• Vang ta' ber-bulu." 

o grow on a sunken bank in the ' Cp. Hervey in the Mantia Belief, 

Ttirict -kf a rrrt^f -*'Viiriru-krki in tViig p, 337f infra. 


le myth of the origin of the Rainbow, and beliefs 
mnected with various animals and reptiles, will be 
Mind in the Besisi Songs. 

Spirits and Demons. 

The following notes on the spirits and demons of 
le Besisi were collected by the writer among the 
tesisi of Selangor : — 

The Wind-Demon (Jin Angin) lives on a white rock 
ear Tanjong Tuan (Cape Rachado). "It is a male 
pint and harmless, and once came to me " (the speaker) 
in a dream and invited me to visit its abode." 

The ** Legion of Demons " or ** Demonic Legion " 
Bes. "Jin Si-ribu") dwell in the earth and feed 
hen possible upon human victims. They are as 
dl as the loftiest trees, and measure more than a 
Lthom across. They have scarlet eyes, and very 
wig black hair, which in the case of males is grown 
own to the waist, but in the case of females falls 
own below their feet (" l^beh kaki "). They have 
jnical heads, and walk with the greatest swiftness, as 
iviftly, in fact, ** as a fire-ship (i,e, steamer) can sail." 
is they go, they make a shrill whistling noise, " that 
Dunds like shi-i-i-i." At the full of the moon their 
odies are perfectly white, as white, in fact, as a sheet. 

The demon garrotter (Jin Sa-rapat) lives in the 
ills. He is of the size of an ordinary person, but 
arries a small pocket-knife (** pisau b'landa ") with 
rhich he slits the weasand of his victim. 

In addition, there are the Hantu KSmbang Buah 
** bagei lanjut ") and the Jin GVotak, of which nothing 
nore than their names is known. 

There is also a strong belief in animal spirits and 
n vegetation spirits of various kinds as well as in 


Spirits of inert objects. As regards vegetation sprits, 
I have seen a fruit-tree (mangostin) decorated irith 
palm-leaf festoons which I was told were used in a 
ceremony for promoting the fertility of the tree, and 
there was also, as among the Malays, a strong 
belief in the spirits inhabiting trees yielding gutta 
(Hantu Gfitah), eagle wood (Hantu Gharu), and 
camphor (Hantu Kapor), all of which were treated 
ceremonially and surrounded with taboos. 

The "Orang Bunyan" live in swampy placcsL 
** I " (the speaker) ** once met two of them near 
the Pelkun in the Siak district (Sumatra). They 
wore madder-coloured jackets and flowered skirts of 
the kind called * batek ' ; beautiful women they were, 
both of them, with pale skins, open features, and 
black hair rolled up on their heads, and trimmed with 
a fringe (like that of a bride) over the brows. They 
asked me what I was doing, and I said I was ' collect- 
ing gutta/ They replied, * All the gutta here is ours. 
If you collect any, give it to us.' At this I turned 
back, and when I had gone but two paces, they 
vanished. When I got back, my comrades said, * Why 
did you abandon all that gutta ? ' So I told them of 
the two women I had met, and what they said. And 
that night my two comrades died without a trace of 
sickness. Afterwards I met a gutta-tree magician and 
told him my story. So he would try too. He got 
as much as two pikuls and sold it, and had just re- 
turned to get more when his son-in-law died. 

** One of these same * Orang Bunyan ' called 
Gaffer Blue- Heron (Bes. * Dato* Si Puchong ') lives at 
a Sacred Place near Sungei Kroh (close to Sepang), 
and another at a Sacred Place on the way to Labu 
(Bes * K'-^mat To' Kfimarone '). Whenever we pass 


shrines we have to burn incense there and say, 
idfather, harass me not, I am your grandson,* or 
ould be destroyed by their attendants. Each has 
ttendants, an elephant and a tiger, both of whom 
3ne of their feet formed like the foot of a man." 
[le Demon (or ** Spectre") Huntsman (Bes. 
itu si Buru ") is full ten feet high, and his face is 
lairy (with beard and whiskers). From nightfall 
•ds at the full of the moon he goes hunting deer 
»ig. He has two hunting dogs, both of them 
and with reddish fur. One of them, the redder 
I two, is called Sokong (Mai. **Sukun"), and the 
Ko'ing (? Mai. ** KVuing "). He carries a spear 
^hich he stabs people, and its shaft is six cubits 
and as big as two hands may grasp (** bgsar dua 
n"). He whistles as he hunts, and his dogs 
irking ** weh, weh ! " ** Relatives of mine " {i.e. 
speaker) ** have however repeatedly made friends 
bim. If they want to meet him, they restore to 
set position a half-snapped tree-stem. (Any but 
ta-tree will do.) At this he appears, and says 
It do you want ? ' And they reply, * I want my 
-' To this he answers, * I will be a father to 
if ever you are sick, send for me and I will come 
u.' This promise he keeps, and when they are 
hey invoke him, and he comes and cures them 
lis charms." 

he Spectre Huntsman described above, dangerous 
is, corresponds in scarcely anything but name to 
irrible Demon who is regarded as such a scourge 
i forest-dwelling Malays in the same district, 
he River Spirit (Bes. ** Hantu Sungei ") haunts 
Durces of the rivers. 
he Demon of fatal Birth -sickness (Bes. **Jin 


Mati Anak/* with which however it has scarcely anj 
points in common), is of two kinds. The one which ii 
harmless is called Kuwak. It is believed to resemble 
a dwarf human being, being only three hand-spans 
high. It has a white body and goes naked, "barkia| 
like a deer" (** ke-e-e-eng ") in the very dead of night 
The more dangerous kind has long nails (like daws), 
is covered from head to foot with long bushy hair, and 
goes lolling its long tongue out ** like a thirsty dog.' 
Sometimes it enters people's bodies, and then they go 
mad ; at others it enters into water, and no hann is 
done. This demon sprang from a woman who did 
in giving birth to her youngest child. 

Of the Hantu Lang-hwe (Mai. " lang-suir," wUch 
is often associated in Malay mythology with the Mad 
Anak) very little was told me. I learnt, however, that 
it lives in the Pulai-tree, is about the size of an owl, and 
makes a noise which sounds like ** kok-kok-kok-kok.** 

Of the Grave Demon (Hantu Kubor) there are 
two kinds. The first enters into the bodies of wild 
beasts, such as deer and tigers. When you see a 
deer or tiger with its head turned round (lookii^ 
backwards), it is because its body has been entered 
by the Grave Demon. 

The other kind, which is called " K6muk," * has 
a globular body like the fruit of the wax- gourd 
(** kundor "). It is pallid in colour, and chases people at 
sight, rocking itself after them, and making a noise 
which sounds like ** nuh-uh-uh-uh." When it enters 
people they get **all abroad'* and feverish, and litde 
by little it ** steals their life." 

Before leaving this part of the subject I maj 
perhaps as well record the fact that among the Besisi 

■ ? ^^^ue^'W -Stevens' •* Hantu Degup.* 


; is "pantang** (prohibited) to gather quartz, and 
kat the practice if persisted in was believed to cause 
0th fever and a swelling of the legs. 

Transmigration of Souls, 

In addition to the foregoing information, I may add 
lat the transmigration of souls is also one of their 
Jigious tenets, and they firmly believe that the souls 
■ their deceased Batins now find a resting-place in 
le bodies of tigers, deer, pigs, and crocodiles. ^ 

This testimony extends the list of animals into 
hich the transmigration is believed to take place 
*yond the limits of mere beasts of prey, and shows 
lat the idea is based on more general grounds than 
ight otherwise have been supposed. To the fore- 
>ing list, again, monkeys or apes, the elephant, and 
le rhinoceros should be added. 

The Tiger. 

The Besisi had several names for the tiger, whom 
ley used to call ** Tueh " (Tuweh) and ** Malap " as 
ell as **aa." They told me that the tiger had a 
mg of its own, and that what it said was : 

Teng wet bong 
Teng wet bong 
Merutup kapala chuchu ; 

hich might almost be translated, on the analogy of 
[le of our own nursery rhymes : — 

Fee fob fum ! 
Fee fob fiim ! 
Crack goes your bead, my grandcbild ! 

* I may mention in this connection told a wild pig (in wbicb it was implied 

It I myself well remember being that the deceased's ghost was embodied) 

^wn a grave near Sepang in Selangor was believed to have issued. This 

which the earth had partly fallen in, idea, was I believe, due to the Chinese, 

.ving a hole in the centre of the but it is perhaps worth quoting as a 

ive or mound out of which I was local parallel. 



These lines evidently afforded them considerable 
amusement They may very possibly be one of thdr 
own children's rhymes, in which case they would 
naturally amuse the grown-ups.^ 

The wooden ** scapegoat" images of the Beasi 
will be dealt with later (pp. 374, 375). 

Divination {'' b^r-sawai''). 

The most usual form of medium-making among 
the Besisi is the ceremony called ** Seoi," or more com- 
monly, perhaps, ** Sawai " (Mai. " ber-sawai ") ; i>.thc 
** chanting " ceremony. - 

I was once present at a performance of this sort 
near Ayer Itam, in the Kuala Langat district of 
Selangor. The ceremony is performed usually for the 
benefit of sick persons, but there was no sick person in 
this case, and the Besisi informed me that the use of 
the performance was not confined to cases of sickness, 
but that the medium who falls into the trance in such 
cases was able to answer any questions affecting the 
welfare of any individual or individuals for whose 
benefit the ceremony was performed. 

The ceremony took place about an hour after sun- 
down. All lights having been carefully extinguished, 
so that the house was plunged into complete darkness, 
the assembled company, which included women as 
well as men, sitting in a wide circle close to the outer 
walls of the hut, commenced to chant a weird kind 
of incantation, to the accompaniment of bamboo 
*' stampers" (*'ding tengkheng **), which were played 

1 Two more lines about the tiger, of Lit. ** Chawong the elder, is hii 

which I could not, however, get the elder brother, Chawong the youngefi 

exact meaning, were — his younger brother." 

" Chawong abang, abang-nya, 2 "S^i," lit. =to sing or chant fa 


r performers sitting in their midst. Two of the 
fcrformers, each holding one of these " stampers " (in 
ich of his hands), struck these instruments in rapid 
iccession upon the central beam of the house-floor, 
■educing thereby a musical rhythm by no means 
^pleasant to listen to. At the same time incense 
^nzoin) was kindled in an improvised brazier of 
^onut- shell. As the incantation (which consisted 
r an invocation to the spirits) proceeded, one of the 
Dirits commenced to give evidence of his descent, by 
iking possession of one of the company, who presently 
dl down apparently unconscious. While he was in 
lis state (of possession) questions were put to him, 
pparently by anybody desiring to do so. The 
quired information having been given, the possessed 
erson was restored to consciousness by the inhaled 
noke of the burning incense, which, I was assured 
^ one of the company, will always "restore him 

I only succeeded in obtaining a portion of the 
ords of the incantation, which proved to be a descrip- 
on of the preparations required for the ceremony. 

I would attempt to translate it, somewhat roughly, 
> follows : — 

Part of Charm used by Besisi Mediums. 

»' Right," we cry, One, Two, Three, Four ! 

" Right," we cry, Five, Six, and Seven ! 

Hang up the ivory ear-studs. 

Hang up the leaf-fringed pendants, 

Stretch out the leafy festoons. 

Stretch out the festooned fringes. 

Count up your ** smooth-coat " lime-fruit, 

Count up your ** rough-coat " lime-fruit, 

Stamp on the leaf-cell's flooring. 

The flooring of the Balai. 

To the foregoing a few words of explanation 
lould perhaps be added. 

* For this ceremony, cp. pp. 257, ante ; 359, infra. 


The use of the word 'Tight " (Bes. "hel" or "nahSl" 
= true, ratified, or approved, i.e. " right ! "), together 
with the short numerical formula or category wluch 
follows, is clearly parallel to the use of the same word 
at a Besisi wedding, described at p. 74, ante. 

The " ivory ear-studs " are ring-shaped decorations 
or nooses made of white (dried) /tri^a/a-palm leaf, whid 
together with long fringed festoons of leafwork, arc 
hung about the house by the Jakuns at all thdr 
religious ceremonies to snare the spirits. 

The words ** stamp (or drum) on the floor," etc 
refer to the beating of time by means of the " (Hi^ 
tengkheng " or ** quarrelling bamboos " just describci 

The reference to the leaf-cell or leaf-chamber is 
important, owing to the rarity of any such allusion. 
I was however told by the Besisi (independently of this 
statement), that for the purpose of divining a person's 
sickness the magician often makes a small leaf-chamber 
or cell for himself, called " Balei bumbun." This cell is 
erected close against the walls of the sick person's 
dwelling, and the magician conceals himself within it 
during the performance of the ceremony in which the 
treatment required for the patient is divined. 

The Malays firmly believe that the performance 
of this ** bersawai " ceremony (as they call it) on the 
part of these tribes is infinitely more efficacious than 
any ceremony of which their own medicine-men are 
capable. Hence the Besisi kept it a very close secret 

The following charm is employed by the Besisi 
for exorcising the Demon of Pain, or as they call it, 
Venom (Tawar Bisa') : — 

Charm for neutralising Venom. 

Dishevelled are your locks, O Demon, 
V/^ur sp^ir too, sire, is weak and fragile. 


Harm you the shoot, I'll show the Antidote, 
Harm you the leaf, I'll show the Antidote, 
Cross me, and I'll display the Antidote, 
Point at me, I'll display the Antidote, 
Enter, and I'll display the Antidote, 
Oppress me, I'll display the Antidote, 
Strike me, and I'll display the Antidote, 
Harm me, and I'll snatch forth the Antidote. 
Descend, O Venom ; ascend, O Antidote ! 
It is not I that am skilled in Antidotes 
It is my Masters, the old magicians. 
O Bird men call Chinchili', bring me 
Wherewith to foil attacking Demons. 
O skilful Master, bring the flour-paste 
To heal this Anguish in the sinews. 

Inwalling Charm. 

The following is one of the so-called " inwalling " 
prophylactic) charms used by the Besisi ( = Mai. 
Sndinding "). 

Spell for Self-protection. 

7<r Krusau / On Batu Putih, on Ladun the lofty, 

I tread the lemon-grass,^ the Iron Pestle,' 

To inwall me against foul fiends so many. 

The Seven Hill-crags have I uprooted. 

The long cane's split ; walk ye o' the one side, 

O fiends, whilst I walk on the other. 

Comrades, may Light become your rampart. 

Be mine a rampart of thick Darkness. 

Charm for driving out Devils. 

One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven ! 
Be cool, O Fever, cool and frigid. 
In flesh and bones and joints and sinews 
Pluck-forth, expel all Fiends and Devils, 
Be opened, loosed, ye Fiends and Devils, 
Drive forth, I beg, all Fiends and Devils. 
Busu, bring thou the sucking Flour-ball, 
Busu, bring thou the flour-paste Antidote, 
To allay these pangs i' the flesh and sinews. 
And thou, O Fever, \yt thou coolM, 
And all the Fiends and De\nls forth-driven 
From out the heart, from out the spirit. 
Busu, bring thou the Tenglang blossom, 
And chant in the leaf-cell, the leaf-chamber. 
Bring, Busu, all these Fiends together, 

Ooubtless in allusion to the legend * This no doubt refers to some 

; seven magical clumps of citronella special geological feature of this partic- 

which are believed by the Malays ular crag. There are places so named 

ow upon the peaks of some of the in the mountains in other parts of the 

St mountains in the Peninsula. Peninsula. Cp. p. 344, infra^ n, 4. 


And drive them forth before jrour knife-blade 
Unto the Rock that's called Perimbun, 
And there remain they, at Perimbum ; 
Foul be Perimbum with them ever. 

Charm against Devils. 

Hong Hang become Foam, 

And Foam become Rock, 

And Rock become Foam ! 

Dash them down, to left and right. 

Dash them to ground, these devils divers. 

Hong Plese',* that from the first wert Plcsc', 

The pot's a-boil, the copper's boiling. 

And lo, to left and right I brim it, 

I brim it up with devils divers ! 

The following charm is used by the Besisi for 
exorcising the Spectre Huntsman {v. p. 303, aii&),an 
Oriental counterpart of the "Wild Huntsman" of 
the Harz mountains, so familiar to us in European 
literature: — 

Charm against the Spectre Huntsman. 

Headlong I fly to seize a peeling-knife 
Wherewith to peel yon hairy betel-nut. 
Pve drawn my sword and walked the tree-trunk. 
And shaq)ened me seven stakes of bamboo 
To pierce thy chin, O Spectre Huntsman ! 
Avaunt to the left, a\*aunt to the right hand ! 
Avaunt, avaunt, thou Spectre Huntsman ! 


The Besisi have two or three very famous love- 
charms, which are, however, sometimes confused in 
native accounts. The first of these, the " Buluh P6r- 
indu"(Bes. ** ding dioi " ?) is described as a kind of 
dwarf bamboo, which grows, like its no less famous 
rivals the **Chinduai" and **Chingkwoi," on the steepest 
and most inaccessible mountain peaks. 

It is said that- in former days the members of the 
travelling theatrical troupes, still a feature of the 

1 The Plesc* (=Mal. "Pclesit") is sucks the blood from its fictia's 
also called Pemprit by the Besisi, who body. 
j*»^/»riiy» ;f as •«. kind of vampire, which ^ Skeat, SeL J**v^m, v. 379, 38a 


ila, were in the habit of obtaining from the 
K>me minute splinters or slivers of this plant, 
slipping them in between their teeth, in the 
lat this would render their voices irresistibly 
lus ; when successful they kept all their hearers 
mercy, and made use of their power to extort 
g and everything that took their fancy. Hence 
parts of the Peninsula the mere possession of 
er of the " Yearning Bamboo " was formerly 
ice punishable by death. 
Chingkwoi, which may or may not be identi- 
ith the Chinduai, is a fragrant rootlet about a 
)readth long, which has minute efflorescences 
t threads about it, and is said to possess a 
elicate and refined fragrance than any other 
n the world. The most widely accepted ver- 
the story says that it grows underneath the 
F an overhanging crag on the top of one of the 
ins in Ulu Klang (near the sources of the 
river),^ and that a Jakun when he wishes to 
it has to ascend this hill and there build a 
wherein to keep his fast beneath the crag 
kite, which builds upon the crag and uses the 
ai as medicine for its young, drops a piece of 
It in flying over him. I have in my possession 
nute rootlets which purport to have belonged 

ing to Campbell, the Chin- ** Chop not at the « Tilang ' Bamboo, 

> reported to grow in the If you chop at it, its splinters will 

Vlalacca, but is not equal to strike you. 

woL Set not your foot upon the Klang 

g to another account, it is mountains, 

voi which grows upon a crag If you do so, their lore -charm (lit 

Lalau in Ulu Klang. It yearning) will strike you." 

1, like the Chinduai, as a 

& palm's-breadth long, with The story reminds us of old English 

i about it. legends of the cinnamon, a plant of 

quatrain of the Selangor wonderful virtues got from the nest of 

as follows : — the phoenix. 


to the Yearning Bamboo and the Chinduai respecdve 
Unfortunately they cannot be identified, as theyp 
sess no leaves or stem, but it is noteworthy that< 
of them at least answers to the description whid 
given above, and a faint and indescribable perfu 
always seems to arise whenever the bamboo recept: 
wherein they are kept is opened. In any case, 
Chinduai of UIu Klang has a wide reputation as 
rarest and most potent love -charm known in 
Peninsula. It is usually carried in a pouch attac 
to the girdle. 

Besisi Traditions — Si Nibang. 

One of the most remarkable of the legends 
by the Besisi, though unfortunately I could not sue 
in getting anything like a perfect version of it, 
the following story of Si Nibong, which, from wl 
was told by the narrator, an old Besisi man, 
founded upon a story known to the Blandas.^ 

The story relates to a Jakun chief name 
Nibong, (or ** Nibong-palm "),* who lived appar 
in a house constructed entirely of materials obt 
from the palm after which he was named.' This \ 
was described as being situate at or near the vi 
and holding of his overlord, Busu Baba' (Mai. " B 
the youngest born), who was described to me as hs 
been in former days the greatest chief of all the J 

^ As the story is incomplete, I only yang Nibong, or the *< Nibooj 

propose to give here a short sketch of Flower • spathe," who lived 

the several portions, but a completer Chembong in Kembau, and tl 

version will be found in the Ap- ** ancient Jukrah " here mention 

pendix. on Gunong Berembun, near m 

* A Sungei Ujong Malay informed of Mr. T. H. Hill, 
me that in a Malay version of the same ' The posts, thatch, and floi 

story there were three brothers called the house were all to be of : 

Pedang Salei, or the ** Single Sword- and it was constructed by Jal 

'inde '' S<i.bentak Alang (?), and Sama- the order, apixarently, of Busa 1 


uefs of Johor. The village in question, with its seven 
etel-palms, seven betel-vine props, and betel scissors 
isade from a mouse-deer's eye-teeth,^ was deserted, it 
v^ould appear, in consequence of certain incidents 
elated in the tale. At the opening of the story 
!f ibong-palm's younger brother, Bujang Semangan, 
ft represented as urging him to don his best apparel, 
CI. order to pay a visit to the house " of certain people," 
lie reference being to an " aged Jukrah," the father of 
^ro princesses, one of whom Nibong-palm at the time 
Sfe^vidently desired to marry. Before he sets out on 
4e journey, however, he has to make an inspection 
^ the ** Five Times '* — in other words, he must divine, 
by astrological means, the most propitious moment 
Ebr his departure. This performance is, it may be 
presumed, satisfactorily completed, and he afterwards 
completes his attire, amongst which prominently figures 
a head-cloth of the finest silk, the value of which is 
expressly stated to be one hundred and ninety-five 
dollars,* as well as a sword called ** Sweeper of the 
Courtyard" (because he wore it trailing on the 
ground), and a kris or dagger called "Sweeper of 
River-reaches" (because it was stuck in the belt at 
his side).* The journey is then described, and half- 
way they meet with the two sister princesses, Princess 
Tepong (or '* Rice-flour ") and Princess Adah (the 
aged Jukrah's daughters), who are being escorted by 
the Mantri (a minor chief) on their way to the house 
of the aged Jukrah. 

* The regalia (** kabcsaran ") of at p. 291, ««/^. 

felebu is said to have been first dc- * This number points doubtless to 

ived from an old Jakun chief, and to Malay influences. 

xmsist of the eye-tooth of a mouse- 3 jhe first of these reasons is clear 

leer (** taring plandok"), together enough; the second is one that was 

vith several other magico • mystical also given me, but is not so ob- 

>bjects, a list of which will be found vious. 


The party now arrives at a place where then 
five cross-roads/ one of which leads to the Gard< 
Flowers, and another to the Island of Fruit (the J 
Paradise). Opposite the house of the a^ed Ji 
they find two different species of lime-trees gra 
and " by the hot ashes lies a savage dog," whi( 
the time (like the dog on the road to Paradise) 
tually bars further progress.* They escape from 
dilemma, however, by requesting the Mantri to 
them some " medicine " to harden the skin of 
hands, by which means they think to grasp the 
ing embers, and throw them at the dog so as tc 
it away. Their request is granted, the Manti 
viding them with certain stones called " dew-si 
(probably hail, which is occasionally, though 
seen in the country), by using which they are ; 
pick up the embers and dispose of their adverse 

In this way they get to the house of the "j 
Jukrah " and sleep there, Nibong-palm pairing c 
Princess Rice-flour, and Bujang Simangan presi 
with Princess Rice-flour*s younger sister. 

Next morning, however, desolation reigns su 

* In the usual version there are only ing to the Island of Fruit 

two, or at the most three, cross-roads, Island of Flowers ; it shom 

and it would be interesting to ascertain to the soub of the pious (*' 

whither these five roads were supposed but bites the wicked, who 

to lead. Moreover, the first part of to escape from it £3lI1 into 

the road takes the form of a bridge or water in the great coppe 

fallen log, which is said to be called and are killed (according 

Batang K^landan. accounts). I was told by 

I may add that this reference to the who knew the Besisi remarl 

Garden (lit. compound) of Flowers that on this account, whenc 

occurs elsewhere, and may point to their dogs dies, they wrap 

some further subdivisions of the Jakun shroud and bury him in a g 

*' Eden,*' as in some Irish myths — human being, and also 

the ** Island of Fruits," ** Island of people are dying all theii 

Flowers," etc, of Tennyson's poem, collected and brought close 

the ** Vogage of Maeldune." man, and are requested to 

^ There appears to be an allusion to recover. I have not, ho 

he"» to the dog which is believed to any chance either of confirn 

si ..' Vi* ->ar*inr «'' fh" wavs Wd- o*Tf»'**"wise. 


r in the early morning " Big Brother Nibong " is 
L&nd to have stolen away from his lady-love during 
•e night, and to have sailed away for ever, directing 
B course towards the Sea of the Burning Island. 
lie reason for this sudden desertion is not given, and 
l5s is perhaps the most obscure part of the story, but 
ak his way the faithless lover suffers shipwreck, his 
^ssel going aground on ** the island of KSdong,^ which 
' off the sea of Pahang." Like Dido, the princess 
► " left lamenting," and the tears she sheds are " as 
ig as the stones that support the cooking-pot." 

An Upas-tree Legend. 

In the Labu district (Selangor) I came across a 
>rm of the upas-tree legend now long regarded as a 
^ically daring attempt to ** gull " the home-staying 
iriton.* There were once two Jakun chiefs or Batins, 
ne of whom (Batin Gomok) was called the **One- 
!ocopalm Chief," and the other (Batin Mahabut) the 
One-Betelpalm Chief." The former took his name 
om a solitary coconut palm, which is still alleged to 
row in the depths of the forest on Bukit Galah (or 
loatpole Hill). It is described as possessing a 
lack stem, and its fruit is poisonous; indeed, it is 
elieved to exhale so poisonous an effluvium as to 
ill every green thing that grows within a radius 
f ten yards around it. Its nuts are so plentiful 
nd look so tempting that on one occasion a Jakun 
ersisted in eating one of them, in spite of all the 
^monstrances of his friends, the result being that 

1 ? •• p. Keban " or " Kaban," just almost sacrilege to suggest that it may 

r the Endau. possess some germ of foundation in 

* The Upas-tree Legend has ranked native experience ; see above, and 

long with the Sea-serpent and the vol. i. p. 263, for instance. 
iant Gooseberry that I feel it is 


before he had gone ten yards from the tree he droppdl 
down dead. There can be no doubt that the odxrl 
chief (Mahabut) derived his name from this s 
legend, but unfortunately I was unable to Qblaii| 
further information, except that his full namewi 
Batin Mahabut, and that he was still living (in iS^sM 
He had resided all by himself on Bukit Nuang,cw| 
since Batin Banggai abandoned it for Sepang KecU.] 
I may add that this legend came to me through a | 
Besisi source, and that for want of other evidence 1 ] 
have classed it as a Besisi tradition. 

Besisi Tradition of early Migrations. 

The following tradition of the early history of Ac 
Besisi was taken down by me from a young Jahn 
who was credited with knowing all the traditions dl 
his tribe, though this knowledge, on being put to 4e 
test, did not carry him very far : — 

** We came from a land at the edge of the sky 
in the country where the sun comes to life (*mata 
hari hidup *), beyond the country of Siam, at a dij 
tance of more than a man's lifetime ('mati bali 
hidup'). Thence we went south till we reache 
Johor, whence, however, we returned hither agai 
through fear of a cruel Malay Raja. At tl 
edge of the sky (* tepi langit ') stood one of o 
ancestors, who was a great giant, and whose du 
it was, by order of Tuhan Allah, to guard the pilla 
of the sky ('tongkat langit').^ By way of fo 
he devoured the clouds which kept falling do^ 
wards at the edge of the sky, cutting off the ovi 

^ But ** tongkat langit " {lit, pillar dialects also the name for the sun it 
^- ^^^^ ^f K^jf-,^«\ ;^ w TTijinf rtf ♦K-.c* possibly through some populArconlw 


ig ** Sprouts " with his knife/ In those days we 

taller than we are now, and slept in caves of the 

. The country then was a plain and was called 

ng Masah ; ^ it had no grass or trees growing on 

I no rain fell there and it contained no rivers. 

his country there lived besides the Head or 

phet* of our own Religion (Nabi M6laikat), the 

>phets' (Nabi) respectively of the White Man, 

Chinese, the Indian, and the Malay, but this 

J a very long time before Mohammed, and even 

ibre the founding of Mecca. In the sky there 

ire then to be seen no less than seven suns, 

iven moons, seven stars, and seven rainbows, but 

le seven rainbows were only the seven snake-souls 

^f the serpent called Naga M^laikat. This snake 

ies there with his head reaching to the gate of 

lleaven. There too were seven birds of the kind 

called Roc (*g6ruda*), and a solitary elephant of 

immense size. This latter, however, was not really 

alive, but only an elephant-soul. 

" The plain itself did not resemble earth, but shone 
like silver.' The 'prophets' of the different races 
could, in those days, still understand something of each 
other's language, and they all called the earth * mgnia.' 
The * prophets ' who got on best together were those 
of the White Man, the Malay, and the Jakun ; the 
White Man's 'prophet' (Nabi Isa) was the elder 
brother of the * prophet ' of the Jakun (Nabi M^laikat) 
and protected him accordingly as his younger brother. 
The Malays were sea-folk and came overseas from 
RQm and Stambul, Sham {i.e. Syria), and Mecca ! 

* Cp. the Mantra tradition given to Mohammedan tradition, is the new 

below, p. 319, which shows it to be a earth that b to be after the day 

•• Last -Day belief." of judgment. 

s Padang Masah. This, according ^ ? One of the salt plains of Central Asia. 


** The next place we came to was Padang Berimbun 
( = P. Bfirambun, * the plain of dew '), where the surface 
of the earth was covered with deep dew, which i» 
bitterly cold. Here also we slept in caves of Ac 
rocks. Next we reached the mountains of Kchfrl 
tong (which were very near the sky, and had do 
trees or grass growing on them). Here there woe I 
the souls of a sheep, a saddle-pony, and a *gapb 
mena,'^ as well as the dragon whose head lay atdK 
gate of Heaven and whose tail reached to Keluntoog, I 
a distance of about ten years' journey, reckoning like 
a Malay. All these animals had seven souls shaped' 
like themselves (Mai. * tujoh sSmangat '). From the 1 
mountains of Keluntong we next proceeded to the Mis 
of Kelantan and thence to the hills of the Gianis 
(Gunong Gasi-gasi), the Seven Hills (GunongMenm- 
joh), Bukit Saguntong Guntang, Ulu Pahang, aod 
finally Johor. And in Johor we first encountered the 

*' The titles of our chiefs (Batin, Jinang, Juknh) 
were first given among the seven hills (Gunong Mento- 
joh) which lie beyond the country of Siam. Before 
we came to Johor we passed Ayer Tawar, and there 
a Raja called Lumba-Lumba Putih ('The White 
Dolphin '), who came from Pagar Ruyong, drove out 
our Batin Siamang Putih ^ ('The White Ape*); 
wherefore our chief fled to Sungei Ujong, and there 
his daughter married and became the mother of the 
Toh Klana of Sungei Ujong. 

** From Sungei Ujong we continued our journey 
to Selangor, where we then settled and have evei 
since that time remained. 

^ Lit. a sea-elephant or leviathan. than Penghulu, and still used in Sii 

- " White Ape " is the title of an Meoanti and Negri Sembilan. So, 
rv.^ <«it«»i of lowor -pnk too, probably was *« White Dolphin.'' 

«r r.* 


• Our language and customs have not changed 
h. since we arrived here, but the Malay Peninsula 
greatly altered, the straits extending in old days 
sir inland as Ulu Klang ; Bukit Galah and Bukit 
luwang were both formerly on the sea-coast, and 
former took its name from a post to which a 
naman, named Si Pakong, made fast his boat 
ng a storm which occurred on his way to Riau. 
the same time there was dry land where the 
.its are now." 


Beliefs concerning Natural Phenomena. 

The Mantra have not, to any great extent, acquired 
of the Malayan ideas respecting the form of the 
th, motion of the sun, etc. The dark spots in the 
Dn they believe to be a tree, beneath which sits 
Moon-man, Moyang Bertang, who is the enemy 
•nankind, and who is constantly knotting strings 
2ther to make nooses wherewith to catch them, the 
7 reason for his not succeeding in doing so being 
fact that some pitying mice are no less diligently 
>loyed in biting through the strings.^ They do not 
•w how or whence the winds arise, but believe that 
Dugh their incantations tempests are made to sub- 
\. They do not, like the Malays and Chinese, 
eve that eclipses are caused by the attempt of a 
§[on to swallow the sun or the moon, as the case 
J be, but, like some of the Polynesians, that an 
spirit is devouring or destroying it. Many of 
m, however, have a different notion. They 
eve the sky to be a great pot suspended over the 
:h by a string. The earth around Its foot or edge 

* Cp. Malay Magic y p. 13. This is properly a " Last- Day " belief. 


(" kaki langit "), is constantly sending up sprouts 
which would join the sky and entirely close it inowr 
us if an old man did not cut and eat them. On die 
other hand, should the string by which the pot is » 
pended break, everything on the surface of the globe 
would be crushed.* The sun is a woman who istid 
by a string which her lord is always puUii^.* Tk 
moon is another woman who is named Kundui'and 
is the wife of Moyang Bertang,* who dwells in the 
moon and is the maker of the nooses for snaring man- 
kind. The stars are the children of the moon, and 
the sun had formerly as many. But since they feared 
that mankind could not support so much brightness and 
heat, they each agreed to devour their children. The 
moon, however, instead of eating her stars, hid then 
from the sight of the sun, who, believing them to beaO 
devoured, ate up her own.* No sooner had she done 
so, however, than the moon brought her own &mil]f 
out of their hiding-places, and the sun on seeing thei 
was filled with despair and rage, and gave chase to 
the moon in order to kill her. This chase has cofr 
tinued ever since, the sun sometimes succeeding in 
getting near enough to the moon to be able to bifc 
her, and thus causing an eclipse. The moon stiO 
hides all her children during the day when hff 
pursuer is near, and only brings them out at 
when she is distant.^ 

From another source we learn that, according lo 


» Cp. Malay Magic, ^, 13. » =Bcsisi "Gendui,"i.&"Gnfl«y.'' 

- For the *« sun-rope myth" among * Doubtless the same as Bfa- 

the Maori, v. F. L.J. vi. 106 ; and tang. 

Gill, Myths and Songs, p. 62. For * Identically the same myth ■ 

an analogous myth among the Bella found among the Hos and UrMOS^ 

Coola, V, Orig, MUt, der kgl, Mus, £// Chota Nagpore (Latham, il 4^! 

Berlin, 1 886, p. 1 70; cp. Tylor, Tr/i^wr'j A'<^m/, 1889, p. 75). 

IT/.../' fr-'ft n -K^o. ^ /, LA. vol. i. pp. 2S4, 285. 


>ld belief of the Mantra, the sun was once sur- 
ided by an army of stones, and when it had eaten 
n up, it took to pursuing the moon, which conceals 
hildren from the sun, but during eclipses runs the 
of being bitten by it,^ 

To this we may add that both fogs and clouds are 
sweat of the sea at flood-tide.^ 

The Future World, 

Unlike the Benua of Johor, who apparently have 
belief in the existence of the soul after death. 
Mantra possess a peculiarly positive faith in 
ther world. The sfimangat, or in other words the 
I {i.e. the unsubstantial but sensible body which 
)ermeated by the spirit, and which, according to 
le informants, may be preyed upon by demons), 
/es the gross earthly body at death, and is carried 
Bayang Lasa,* through the air to a place called 
angnari* or Pulau Buah (Fruit Island), which lies 
away in the region of the setting sun. There the 
Is (sSmangat) of all the dead dwell together in 
stant harmony and enjoyment, for the great island 
ill of trees, of which there are none that do not 
r pleasant fruits. There, too, the souls marry and 
e children, as in the present world, but pain, dis- 
e, and death are unknown.^ The souls of men 
) have died a bloody death do not, however, go to 
lu Buah, but to a place called Tanah Merah (Red 
id), which is a desolate place and barren, and 

\usland, 1 873, p. 534. on p. 322, infra^ and perhaps cp. 

\I.A, vol. i. p. 283. Vaughan - Stevens' "Tingha Howi " 

p. Besisi Nenek Kabayan or («V, ? ** Tengah Hari " or " Noon "), 

: 'Bayen, the Man (or rather for which see pp. 239, 240, ante. 

stor ") in the Moon. * /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 325*, 

robably the same as "Nyayek," 326*. 




thence the souls that inhabit it repair to the Fnik j 
Island to procure their food.* 

The Mantra Deities and Demons. 

The traditions of the Mantra (collected by Herwy) 
give Tuhan Dibawah, or the " Lord of the Under- 
world," as the name of the creator of the earth. Yk 
dwelling is, in fact, betieath the earth, and em 
below the " Land of Nyayek " (Tanah Nyayck),* 
which represents the underworld, and by his powff 
he (Tuhan Dibawah) supports everything above him. 

The first two men belonging to the human wot 
were Poyang Mertang and B'lo (or B^Io) his brodtf, 
and the former had so many children that he com- 
plained to their creator, who turned half of thei 
into trees. Later on, at B'lo's suggestion, whentli 
proved too mild a measure, Tuhan Dibawah instituta 
Death, to give some relief to overcrowded humanity. 

Borie says the Mantra recognise a Supreme God 
(Tuhan Allah), at whose command Raja Brahil [u 
** Gabriel "] created all living things, God himsdf 
creating the firmament. They have also a "day 
of judgment " belief, yet their religion is manly 

All diseases are believed to be caused either by 
spirits * or by the spells of men. Amongst the spirits 
or demons of disease (" Hantu PSnyakit") the most 
powerful are the Hantu Hamoran, Barah SisipdemoDi 
and Barah Terkilir demon.* These demons are those 

* It is the slain^ not the slayer, * It would be more conect to ^ 

who is excluded from Ngangnari ; for that all Diseases are believed to ft 

the pagan Mantra have no belief in Spirits. 

future rewards and punishments. ^ The Malay phrase *' banh flsp 

' Cp. p. 321, ante. means an '* abscess under the flhs' 

' 'l//"jr. Ess, rel. Ind^-China, sec. and "bara tirkilir** external ak* 

.1 : -,r, loP -^o- (which spread over the sur&oe). 


ause the greatest mortality. The Smallpox 
1 (Hantu Ka-tumbohan) is held in such dread 
e Mantra have a repugnance even to mention- 
by name. The Swelling Demon (Hantu 
>ng) haunts the abodes of men whom it afflicts 
lins in the stomach and the head. The ** Crav- 
sease " (Mai. ** Kfimpunan ") causes pains and 
Its to persons who have had a desire to eat of 
rticular article of food, and have not been able 
it. The Hantu Sa-buru/ or Demon Hunts- 
Iwells in lakes and river-pools. His body is 
and he has three dogs named Sokom, or 
nouth. When any one of these dogs passes a 
le inmates make a great noise, by beating 
of wood together, to frighten him away, and 
ildren are caught up and held tightly by their 
This Demon Huntsman causes his dogs to 
Tien in the forest, and, if the victims are run 
drinks their blood. At the upper extremity 
) of every stream dwells the Lofty Demon 
I Tinggi). In the ground lives the Hantu 
g who causes inflammation and swellings both 
hands and feet, so as to deprive his victims of 
•wer of locomotion. The Hantu Dondong 
in caves and the crevices of rocks, and kills 
nd wild hogs with the blowpipe, in order to 
leir blood. The Hantu Penyadin^ is a Water 
, with the head of a dog and the mouth of a 
le. It sucks blood from the thumbs and big 
human beings, thus causing death. From 

= V.-St.'s Hantu Sabuni, a night-bird named Berek-berek. 

V.-St.) ** was not told about Whenever it is seen near a house as 

V. B. G. A. xxviii. 307). much noise as possible is made, 
alays have a similar belief. ^ 5/V, ? **Penjadian" or Protean 

lem Sokom is preceded by Demon of the Malays. 


the time when it first leaves its watery abode, it 
wanders about incessantly in search of food, until it is 
at length satiated, when it returns home.* The Wood 
Demons (Hantu Kayu) frequent every spedesof 
tree, and afflict men with diseases. Some trees « 
specially noted for the malignity of their demoK 
The Hantu Dago'^ haunts graves, and assumes Ae 
shape of deer, and whenever any one happens to paa^ 
it calls to them. When a person is wounded, tic 
Hantu Pari fastens upon the wound and sudcstlc|i 
blood, and this is the cause of the blood's flowing 
Amongst the other demons are the Hantu Chih, 
(who produces yet more excruciating pains in tie 
abdomen than the Hantu Kgmbong), the Hantu Jimoi,' 
Hantu Salar, and Hantu Swen.'* To enumerate At 
remainder of the demons would be merely to convert 
the name of every species of disease known to the 
Mantra into that of a demon or Hantu. If any net 
disease appeared, it would be ascribed to a demoo I 
bearing the same name.^ ' 

The Malayan demons called " P'leset," '* Polong," 
** Bajang," " Pontianak," and Penanggalan," are not 
demons among the Mantra, although the latter, ftoa 
intercourse with the Malays, are in many cases 
acquainted with their names and attributes.* 

Animal Beliefs. 

The tigers are the slaves of the magician or 
Poyang. Although the Mantra believe in this, as well 
as in the immortality of tigers, they nevertheless dc 

* /. /. A. vol. i. p. 307. Vaughan -Stevens, p. 246, antt. 

2 = Vaughan - Stevens ** Hantu * Sic, ?**Sawen" (MaJ. "stwwTi 

^egup," vide Vaughan - Stevens ia convulsions. 

^ R. G, A, - ^viii. 307. * /. /. A. vol. L p. 308. 

>-.«i^ui ^.. 4« Hnnt" Tenoi,*' cp. • Ibid. p. 330*. 


scruple to kill and eat the cubs whenever they 

From Father Borie, Cameron learnt that the 
un (by whom M. Borie probably means the 
ntra) have a fixed and singular superstition con- tigers, ninety-nine men out of every hundred 
.eving it, even in the face of their Christian teach- 
They believe that a tiger in their paths is 
ariably a human being, who having sold himself 
the Evil Spirit, assumes by sorcery the shape of 

beast to execute his vengeance or malignity. 
ey assert that invariably before a tiger is met, a 
n has been or might have been seen to disappear 
the direction from which the animal springs.^ 


Much attention is paid to omens when a new 
aring is to be made, and charms are used for the 
)ulsion of evil spirits. The head of the family cut 
ittle of the new rice and after the feast of the 
lew Year's Day of Rice " each of the guests 
eived a little to take home.^ 

Higk Places of the Mantra, 

We now come to the sacred or ** high places " of 
Mantra, concerning which we are told in an 
ount from Logan, that there is a famous Wishing 
ck in Klang called Batu Tre, to which the Mantra 
re, from time immemorial, been in the habit of 
orting. A person going there must not carry fire 

* Logan in/. /. A. vol. i. p. 277. 
mcron. Our Tropual Possessions, p. 394. ^ q^^ supra^ vol. i. p. 365 sq. 


with him, because if a spark should fall upon the rod 
it would immediately take fire and be consumed ^ 

On the rock grows a flower called "chingkwi'lK 
{sic, ? '' chingkui ''), which is not found elsewheR;!^ 
and can only be gathered by women. WhocwK 
possesses even a little of this plant acquires gratV 
power, since if a woman, she is followed by vm\ 
and if a man, by women. It is carried in a snair 
bamboo vessel, which is kept in the ear lobe or 
fastened by a string round the waist. Ifanypersn 
wishes to obtain a portion he must sleep with dx 
woman who has it, and take it by stealth, and a 
the morning he must place eight or ten silver rinp 
upon her fingers. When she awakes and sees tk 
rings, she knows that the flower is lost beyon 
recovery. If the flower be carried to sea, its virtue i$ 
lost. It is much sought after by the Malays, who art 
greatly addicted to the use of aphrodisiac charms and 

There is also a Wishing Place on the summit of 
Gunong Berembun, which is much resorted to bf 
the Mantra in the neighbourhood. Other mountah 
summits are also Wishing Places, because each has 
its good spirit. When a person goes to a Wishing 
Place he carries with him a couple of white fowls, anc 
samples of various articles of food in use. The lattc 
he places in a sort of flat tray or basket * made o 
rattan, which he either suspends from a tree or place 
on the highest peak of the summit. He then Idll 
one of the fowls and deposits it in the tray, settii^th 
other free. He next silently addresses to the spir 
of the mountain the wishes that he has most at hear 

1/. /. A, vol. i. p. 319. 
''he •* anchak " or sacrificial tray o'" the Malays 'see Malay Magic, p. 4x4)- 


Lis done, he prepares and eats a meal upon the 
>t. If what he has desired at the Wishing Place 
es not come to pass, he revisits it a second and 
^n a third time ; after which, if his wish still remains 
Stratified, it is considered that the spirit is not 
X)urable to the wisher, and he therefore repairs to 
other mountain.^ 

The Mantra Magicians. 

The magicians (Poyangs), and a few others only, 
.^e the power of afflicting and destroying men by 
^Is. These latter are of various kinds, and operate 

different ways, in some cases rapidly, and in others 
owly. The most noted form of these is the Tuju 
' Pointing Ceremony.* The magician first takes a 
tie wax that has been found in an abandoned bees'- 
ist (** Lilin sambang "), and after muttering a spell 
er it awaits his opportunity to perform the ceremony 
mfinuju "), because to ensure its success he must not 
ly be able to see his intended victim, however 
jtant, but there must be a strong wind blowing in 
e direction of the latter's residence. When such a 
nd arises, the magician takes the wax, places a 
ssel of water, with a lighted candle or two, before 
Ti, mutters an incantation and fixes his eyes intently 

the water [until he discerns therein the image of 
; victim], after which he throws the wax into the air, 
d the wind instantaneously transports it to the 
:tim, who feels as if he were struck by something. 
:kness follows, which is either prolonged or induces 
sedy death, according to the exigency of the spell. 

But it is not upon every one that the spell will 

y. /. A. vol. i. pp. 319, 320. Cp. on Logan's account, to which it refers. 
c. Ess. rei. Indo-China^ sec. ser. * Mai. " tuja," ** menuju," literally, 

!• p. 301, which is clearly based to *• point." 


operate. Many persons, by supernatural skill, or 
counter-spells or charms, surround themselves wit! 
invisible fence or wall, which not only renders 
spell inoperative, but even prevents the magician 1 
seeing their image in the water. The use of inv 
tions and charms of this and other kinds to avert i 
and counteract evil powers, both natural and si 
natural, to nullify incantations, to inflict maladies 
calamities, and to excite love and regard, is com 
The first kind of these invocations consist, in gei 
of " Inwalling " charms (Mai. " pgndinding "), call 
the Malays ** Do'a pSndinding," or In walling praye 
from the Malay "dinding," a wall — which mu: 
repeated seven times at sunrise and seven tin 
sunset. Examples of these charms as used foi 
tection against the maleficence of various enemi( 
given below.- 

Fomts of Disease, Medicines, Drugs, Amulets, 

The fatal diseases most prevalent amonj 
Mantra are sickness from ** pointing" ("sakit 
di-tuju orang "), sickness from unsatisfied " cra\ 
(**sakit punan"), sickness from "barah sisip, 
sickness from " barah tfirkilir " (two kinds of abs 

Mineral medicines are unknown, and the 
animal substance used as a remedy is the oil 

Amulets are much used. They are compo 
pieces of turmeric (** kunyit ") or ** bunglei," and 
substances which are strung on a shred of arta 
(** t'rap ") bark, and worn round the neck, wrii 

1 The proper meaning is " the in- - /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 308, 3 

"-.iii^g intrr^cation ^r c>^irm/' Borie, U. » Ibid- p. 


They are regarded as prophylactics against 
ns, bad winds, and generally against all kinds of 

here are also spells which are believed to have 
)ower of rendering the person who uses them 
lerable, though the fortunate possessors are 
il not to impart them to others. There were 
[47) several men amongst the Mantra, e.g. Luit 
munyih. Pre at Beranang, Hambang at Lobo, 
Jatin at Klang, Tongging at Semantan, the 
hulu at Jibba, Kaka and Mempis at Pengawal, 
vere reputed to be ** invulnerable."^ 
he following are specimens of actual spells used 
antra magicians : — 

(I) iNWALLiNG Spell. 

G I O Horn, Shoot of Iron, offering of the wise to the forest in solitude.' 
am walled round with rock, I recline walled round by the earth with 
ny face downwards. Cover me, O Air ; may my enemies be ever as the 
>elaguri plant. Tear off the husk within. Hang a thick mist before the 
yes of him who looks at me. Come, thick mist, the concealer, and 
cnder me invisible to all enemies, opponents, and assailants. Thou 
hat art the true and holy instructor, descend, and pray that I may touch, 

.A. vol. i. p. 319. S^munyih beyond God, and an appeal to it for 

anang are in the Ulu Langat power which God has not granted to 

Lobo may be for Labu or for man. It is used in Javanese invoca- 

Batu, the old Malay name of tions, and a Javanese explains it to 

Klang and Semantan are mean Embryo of Being, Primeval 

>wn. There are no Mantra in Essence, so that Sir T. Raffles's con- 
jecture that it is the Hindu Om (Aum) 

:an here remarks: '^ Hong I is probably correct. " — History of Java, 

ly can explain the meaning of vol. ii. p. 369. 

d, further than that it is used Horn, Chula (instead of tandok) 

al Malayan invocations in the is the name given to hard horns or 

ly as the Arabic Bismillah in horn-like parts of animals, believed to 

lem or modified ones. It is possess magical or medicinal properties. 

a very unhallowed word, of The Malays cannot affix any definite 

wer, and so panas (hot), that if meaning to the first two lines. Instead 

uses a Hong invocation three of the rendering given above a better 

nhing that he undertakes /^r one would perhaps be "(magical) science 

will succeed, and he will live for protection when alone in the forest," 

and miserable, able to afflict or ** to make the offerer alone as when 

others, unable to help himself. surrounded by a forest." [The latter 

rs to be considered as a recog- is probably correct.] — -/. /. A. vol. i. 

an Essence or First Principle p. 309. 


by the invocation of invisibility, all the eyes of my cnrmifi, oppasoti 
and assailants. 

(2) In WALLING Spell. 

Ho, Iron, thou that art named Pisamin. I dwell within a fence of Aigth. 
eleven on my left. I dwell within a firaoe of Angels, eleven oo nj ri|)i 
I dwell within a fence of Angels, eleven behind me. I dweQ vidiit 
fence of Angels, eleven before me. If Muhammad be opprened, thail 
I be oppressed. If the sun, moon, and stars, be not o pp iesied, aql 
not be oppressed either. And if earth and heaven be not oppre>Kd,Hf 
I not be oppressed either. If the coqise within the grave be oppRMi, 
may I be oppressed also [but not otherwise], by virtue of the gniitii|rf 
the prayer of my religious instructor. Grant it, Muhammad ! Gnai il, 
royal Prophet of God ! and grant, too, that by Tirtne of my nsag iki 
prayer of a thousand lives, I may not be oppressed at all by anydusg te 
breathes within this world.' 

Charms to gain the affection or goodwill of the 
person charmed are also much used. They art 
termed "Pgngasih" (Mai. "kasih" = love or affec- 
tion). The following is a specimen : — 

Mantra Love-spell. 

Oil I stir and stir. I pour it out. May I stand erect like the nfil 
Umbrella. May I be greater as I walk than the sons of all msnkind, bf 
virtue of my using the prayer that causes affection ! Love (me) entneiy 
all mankind, who have two feet and are five-fingeied. Spesk not cf 
men, when even grass, twigs, and trees of all kinds, both of Euth lad 
Heaven, bow down in sheer affection. Let all so bow in aSectiai, bov 
in love, towards me.^ 

The '* PSmanis " (from " manis " = sweet) renders 
the person using it universally agreeable. 

Dulcifying Spell. 

Dulcifying shoots, dulcifying leaves, I cut, running the while. Evenislstt 
may I be exceedingly sweet ; as I stand may I be exceedingly Wi: 
sweet in the sight of all mankind, two-footed and five-fingered, Cfa tf 
the moon and sun together. Exceedingly sweet to look npoD be dK 
brightness of my face. Grant that I, through using this duld^fing spA 
may have a sweet lustre rise over my fiwe.' 

Subjugating Spell (»*PfiNUNDO'"). 

A nail, a low nail I deposit in this kerchief (** sibei "). Though I sit iDOB|tt 
many may I be counted among the greatest, O Prophet of God I Gitf 
me the good fortune to cut that which is called Mama.* When I m 

^J./.A, vol. i. pp. 309, 310. forwhichthiswouldbetheMantxtfan, 

- /bid, pp. 310, 311. and the stem of which, when miignvBii 

' Ibid, p. 3 1 1 . a particular manner, was credited ^ 

'^. ' sr-mprnKM •* 'Malacca cane), the most considerable w««gi<^l tin 


seated, may all manksiid who breathe bow in complete subjection. Make 
them bow, O God ! Make them bow, O Muhammad. Make them bow, 
O rojal Prophet of God ! Grant that I, by using this subjugating prayer, 
may cause to bow down all men, two-footed, five-fingered. Grant it, O 
God ! Grant it, O Muhammad ! Grant it, O royid Prophet of God ! 
Grant that I, through using this subjugating prayer, may stand and 
confront the living (ones) of all mankind, two-footed, five-fingered.^ 

Pacifying Spell ("Chucha"). 

S/lustf padang sHasa, 

My throwing-stick is of holy basiL 

May the heart that is angry be shut. 

May the heart that is kind be opened. 

AJe ej€ eche echo. 

As the young jungle-grass springs up in moist ground, 

Though I am wicked, may I be applauded. 

Though I do wrong, may I be reverenced. 

Speak not of mankind, 

Two-footed, five-fingered, 

When even the white elephant. 

The streaked elephant from b^ond the sea. 

Reverses its hair, reverses its tusks. 

Reverses its trunk, reverses its feet. 

Reverses its flesh, reverses its blood. 

Bows down reverentially to the little toe of my left foot. 

My oil is pressed out and runs down at the side of the door. 

Though the young hombill ' sit upon the topmost bamboo spray, 

May I yet hit it with my blowpipe. 

For the sun is lifted upon my eyebrows. 

And my tongue is as the swell of the ocean. 

And my lips are as ants pursuing each other. 

Abase them, O God ! abase them, O Muhammad ! 

Abase them, O royal Prophet of God ! ' 

Tongue-breaking Spell (**P£matah lidah"). 

Dry betel-nut, seed betel-nut, 

Split by the foot of an elephant. 

His heart's blood I lock, his bones I break, break. 

Hail, O God ! Hail, O Muhammad ! Hail, O royal Prophet of God ! 

May this tongue-breaking prayer be granted 

That I may break the tongues of my enemies, foes, and assailants. 

May they be soft, may I be hard. 

There is no god but God, by virtue of my use of the tongue-breaking prayer.* 

Mantra Hate-spell ("PRbinchi "). 

Shoots of the Hate -plant, leaves of the Hate -plant, I pluck seven stalks of 
you, seven leaves of you. I cut them seven times, and cut the heart of 

' y. I. A, vol. i. pp. 311, 312. be the meaning, as the tree here 

* Logan here hsis a note : ** This mentioned is a bamboo, which never 

d fircquents the upper branches of grows so high as to be beyond the 

highest trees, and is probably in reach of a blowpipe dart.] 

leral beyond the reach of the ^ J. I. A. vol. i. pp. 313, 314. 

wpipc." [This, however, can hardly * /bid, p. 314. 


the son of Somebody A Look upon that person as you would lookupoo 
ashes, as you would look upon a swamp. Sitting, bate! Sleepsf, 
hate ! Walking, hate ! Eating, hate ! Bathing, hate ! \>c^a^ 
hate ! Come, shadow of Somebody, Until three days are past, bie lo 
look upon Somebody, Look upon me alone as surpassingly sweet, » 3 
you saw that which shone brightly in my face. Twelve days, who tk 
sun descends, let your soul descend together with it, and when tlte m. 
rises, let the soul of Somebody rise together with it.' 

Another Hatb-charm. 

Shoots of Bcruwang intermix with leaves of the Hate-planL By fiuth oi 
sacrifice carry away the heart within with excessive hatred. Studng 
hate Somebody! Walking, hate Sonubody! Sleeping, hate ^mdm^f 
Speak not of mankind, when even grass, twigs, and trees altogether bte 
to look upon Somebody I May brightness descend upon my fiioe. If tk 
night brighten, then indeed shall the face of Somebody brighten. Bet 3 
the night do not brighten, then shall not brighten the £m» of SomAtei*. 
I make descend the oil of sweetness. I make to rise the invoanoi of 
hatred. Hate ! all ye people, all mankind ! Descend ! O Sweetnea flf 
Somebody! Rise ! O prayer of Hatred in the fiace of Somebody \ HMt 
entirely, all ye things that breathe, to look upon the feoe of Smu^, 
yea, to hear the voice of Somebody,^ 

Spell for driving out the Mischief. 

Hong ! Quake, O Mischief, quake ! I wish to cast down. I wish to oiib 
Swerve to the left. Swerve to the right. I cast out the Mischief, qoakt 
The Elephant murmurs. The Elephant wallows on the opposite side of 
the lake. The pot boils, the pan boils, on the opposite side of the point. 
Swerve to the left, swerve to the right, swerve to thy wallow, Misdoef rf 
this our Grandfather,^ I unloose the finger of my hand. 

Another exorcising Charm. 

My Grandfather's to me, mine to my Grandfather ; my smell [be only the] 
smell of water ; my smell [be only the] smell of leaf ; my smdl [be 
only the] smell of earth ; my smell [be only the] smell of mud ! Throo^ 
eating this areca-nut mixture, I close thy nose, O Grandfieither. If jw 
raise your hind foot, be your hind foot heavy ; if you raise your fore foot, 
be your fore foot heavy, as [heavy as] if it were a split rock ; suspended, 
as if it were a suspended water-jar. When this rock moves, then ud 
then only move thy feet, O Grandfather ! Move ye all tc^ether ! move, 
entrails ; receive the hand and fingers of thy grandchild, O Grandfither '.' 

Storm-quelling Charm. 

Rambong p&ango^an baiang! The Elephant gathers all in together. I> 
the Elephant should wallow, may it wallow on the opposite side of tbe 
sea ! Withdraw to the right, withdraw to the left ! I breik the 
hurricane ! * 

* Here the name ot the person •* Ibid, pp. 315, 316. 

"gainst whom the charm is directed * I.e, the Elephant, 

hould be mentioned by those who re- * /. /. A,, vol. i. pp. 316, 317. 

" * " T T J vol ; p. 315. e jifid, p. 317. 


Demon-quelling Charm ("Tangkal"). 

Swerve to the left, swerve to the right, all ye my enemies, opponents and 
assailants ! May your gaze be thrust aside away from me. May I walk alone. ^ 

Charm for exorcising the Wild Huntsman, 

For protection against the Hantu SSburu, or 
I>emon Huntsman, the following charm is repeated : — 

Spell for banishing the Wild Huntsman. 
What is your name, O dog ? Sokom is your name, O black dog, and your 
master's name is Water. Your master's name is Redang.' Your master's 
name is Forest. Begone, depart, and take away your dog. What do 
you hunt here ? There are no hogs, no deer. Your nostrils are shut, the 
smell of your nose have I charmed. My smell the wind carries away.^ 

Charms for exorcising Fever Demons^ etc. 
The Kapialu Demon and the KSmbong Demon 
are exorcised by means of the following spells : — 

Charm against Fever. 
Hong ! First of Fevers. Fever that fliest as I pluck out this b^luntok- 
shrub, may the counteracting charm be uttered. I cast this charm for 
Fever upon my head. I throw it upon my head. As the Fever is lost 
may it too be thrown away from above my head.^ 

Another Fever-charm. 
First essential life ! Primitive life ! The devil's life have I counteracted. 
The life that lodges have I counteracted. The life that is affected have I 
counteracted. I cast out the hard-souled (evil) life. Let your spirit, the 
spirit of your life, rise and be lifted up ; and may all the life in your 
belly, in your body, spring up, and be drawn out. Lo, I replace all 
your life [or, cast away all spirits].* 

When a Mantra becomes mad, his parents are 
obliged to kill him, in order to prevent him from 
killing other persons. A sharp sword of wood must 
be employed.^ 

Traditions of tlie Mantra, 
The Mantra do not appear to possess any more 

» /. /. A. vol. I p. 317. * Ibid. pp. 318, 319. Sic Logan. 

'^ Lit. *• swampy jungle." but **jiwa" (here trans. **life") prob 

s y. /. A. vol. i. p. 318. ably = Mai. "dewa" (an inferior deity 

♦ Ibid. The reading of the second or spirit), 
sentence is doubtful, v. Appendix. * Ibid. p. 255. 


precise traditions respecting their origin than other 
tribes such as the Besisi. They all believe, howcw, 
that they are the original occupants of the counoy. 
**You know," once said a Besisi, "that this is dke 
Great Island (* Pulau Besar*) which belongs tons, 
and not to the Malays, who have intruded into our 
country." The Mantra have the same noticm as 
the Besisi, and some of them add that the "Gitai 
Island " is of such vast size that in former ages their 
ancestors were for many generations employed m 
endeavouring to circumambulate it, but since each new 
generation met with a new country, the last of thdr I 
nomadic forefathers settled where the race now Uvci 
They were not now, therefore, in continual motion, 
but each generation, after advancing a considerabk 
distance, rested, and the succeeding one, when grown 
up, resumed the journey. 

The Mantra possess the following tradition respect- 
ing the origin of their Batins or great tribal chiefs. The 
first of all Batins, and indeed of all rulers, was Baun 
Changgei Bfisi, whose nails, as his name imports, were 
of iron. H e lived at a place called Guntong Penyarong^ 
in the Menangkabau district of Sumatra, and by him a 
Raja was placed over Menangkabau, a Bendahara o\'cr 
Pahang, and, at a later period, a Penghulu over 
Ulu Pahang. Bat in Iron-nails, in the course of time, 
died, leaving in his place his son Batin Krat Tiga, 
or Chief Cut-in-Three-Pieces, who derived his name 
from the following circumstances. The Bendahara 
of Pahang was greatly offended at the fact of a 
Penghulu having been placed in chaise of Ulu 
Pahang, but dared not show his resentment openly 
iuring Batin Iron -nails' lifetime. The latter was 

--.„ — !«a 'i» ^o ^^o.wThan-Ste-ons in K B. G, A, xxviiL 307. 


til aware, however, of his feelings, and on his death- 
c3 enjoined Batin Three- Pieces not to receive any 
rnplaints nor seek anything from him. The Benda- 
ara therefore, finding that Batin Three -Pieces, on 
cxeeding his father, was not disposed to afford him 
ty opportunity to open intercourse or provoke a 
larrel, resolved to take the initiative himself. He 
L^refore sent to the Batin some of his Penglimas 
* war-chiefs, and these having requested presents 
r various kinds from him, and having received a 
^sal, set upon him and cut him down. But every 
'ound which they inflicted immediately closed, and 
le Batin remained alive and scathless. The war- 
biefs therefore reported the circumstance to the 
lendahara of Pahang, who hastened to Menangkabau 
I person, and there ordered the war- chiefs, in his 
wn presence, to cut the Batin in three. This having 
een done, each piece as it was severed was carried 
) a little distance and there deposited. But no 
X)ner were they placed on the ground than they 
ew together and became reunited, whereupon the 
ving Batin stood before them uninjured as before, 
'he Bendahara therefore took counsel with the Raja, 
ut the latter advised him to desist from his attempts 
) molest the Batin. ^ 

The best aboriginal traditions yet published in 
lie Peninsula were those related to D. F. A. Hervey, 
)rmerly of the Straits Civil Service, by Batin Pa' 
nah, who claimed to be the head of all the Batins of 
le Mantra tribes. He had resided in Johol for 
fteen years or so. His original name was Koloi, 
id his native place was Tanah Tasek in Jelebu. 
*hey are given in the following pages. 

* /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 326*, 327*. 


7 lie Creation of Man. 

The Lord of the Underworld (Tuhan Di-baiak|| 
made the earth, and lives beneath it. The eardiisl 
supported by an iron staff, which is strengthened lif I 
iron cross-bars; and beneath these again is a pixel 
called the Land of Nyayek^ (Tanah Nyayek), whiij 
is inhabited by a race of fiends (Setan), whose diild»| 
are not born in the ordinary way, but pulled out of 
the pit of the stomach ! This interesting race ms 
visited by Mertang, the First Magician (Poyangu 
who brought back this account of them. 

The Lord of the Underworld (Tuhan Di-bafah)| 
dwells beneath the Land of Nyayek, and by Ms | 
power supports all above him. 

It was through Mertang, the first Poyai^, and' 
Bfilo (or B*lo), his younger brother, that the earth ws 
first peopled. Their mother was called " Handfiil of 
Earth" (Tanah Sa-kgpal), and their father " Drop of 
Water "(AyerSa-titik). 

They came from a place called " Rising Land* 
(Tanah Bangun) in the sky, and returned thither 
taking back with them, however, a house from tb 
sources of the Kenaboi river, on the further side c 
Jelebu, which flows into the Pahang. Bio havin 
died and been buried, a skink or grass-lizard (" mfinj 
karong ") approached the grave, and Mertang thre' 
his jungle-knife or parang at it and cut off its tai 
whereupon the skink ran away leaving its tail behini 
and B'lo came to life again forthwith, and left th 
grave and returned home to his own house,* 

When Mertang took his house away with hii 

1 Cp. Tanah Nangnari, p. 322. * Hervcy in Jottmal rf tJu R119 

vfAr»ang or Bertang is the Moon-man, Asiatic Society^ Straits Brwtci, K 
> 7«o. /?«/' 10, pp. 189. 190. 


i^ising Land," a dog, the first of the species, 
red on the spot where the house had formerly 
» but was prevented by Mertang's power from 
:ing mankind. Then a dog appeared at the 
: of B'lo; and from this dog came the tiger, 
I devours mankind as well as animals. We are 
old that when Mertang left the earth for ** Rising 
," he flew away, house and all, through the air. 
^hen B'lo went to ** Rising Land " he crossed 
ea on foot ; for he was so tall that the water 
just reached to his knees. 

riginally the sky was very low and near to the 
, but B'lo raised it with his hands, because he 

it stopped his pestle whenever he raised the 

in husking his rice. 

ertang took his youngest sister to wife, and 

them the Mantra are descended. B'lo married 

:her sister, but they had no offspring. 

I course of time the descendants of Mertang 

plied to such an extent that he was forced to 

the Lord of the Underworld and represent the 
to which things had come, and the Lord of the 
rworld remedied it by turning one-half mankind 

those days men did not die, but grew thin at 
aning of the moon, and waxed fat again as she 
d the full, and hence when their numbers had 

increased to an alarming extent, To' Entah, a 
r Mertang and the First of the Batins, brought 
latter to his father's notice. The latter wished 
5 to remain as they were, but B'lo said it would 
tter if they died off like the banana (** ptsang "), 
leaves its young shoots behind it, and die 
ig their children behind them, and the matter 

OL. II z 



was submitted to the Lord of the Underworld, iho 
decided in favour of the view held by Bio, so tbt 
ever since men have died and left their duUn e 
behind them as Bio proposed. b 

In the earliest times there used to be three Sub 
— husband, wife, and child — and hence there was w 
night, since there was always one Sun left in the^ 
when the others had set. In those days, too, people 
slept as they felt inclined, and there were no divisiooi |2 
of time. 

After a long time To' Entah * thought the bet 
was too great, and he devised a plan for reducing k, 
in pursuance of which he went to the Moon, wWi 
in those days gave no light, and told her to summoi 
Bintang Tunang, the Evening Star (her husband), 
and the other stars her children, and to put then 
into her mouth, but not to swallow them, and to I 
await his return. When she had carried out li I 
wishes, he then went to the Female Sun, andbf 
representing that the Moon had swallowed heron 
husband and children, induced her to swallow (a 
reality) her husband and child — the other two Sum 
— likewise. ** Lord-knows-who " having thus gmnei 
his end, returned to the Moon and told her that sh 
might now release her own husband and childra 
which she did by flinging them out into the skyag^ 

As soon as the sole remaining Sun discovcR 
the deception that had been practised upon her, d 
waxed very wroth and withdrew in dudgeon to tl 
other side of the heavens, declaring that when tl 
Moon came across her path she would devour h( 
a promise which she still performs at the season of s 

- ;► ' ^:o«>r » ^"^ V^r v ■^- " « Hervey 'm/.R.A,S,, S.B,, Na 10, p. I| 


!.t was from this period — this separation between 
Sun and the Moon — that the present division of 
r between day and night, and the rule of the 
Ml and the Stars over the latter first took place. 

Tke Origin of the Sea} 

Fill the time of Batin Lord-knows-who men never 
I to drink, no water was to be had, and the 
nation of thirst was quite unknown. It came about 
nis way. One day Lord-knows-who having shot a 
ikey with a blowpipe, made a fire, at which he 
<ed and ate it. Some time after he became sensible 
L desire to imbibe something, and went about in 
■ch of water, but found none, not even a water-giving 
a or monkey-rope (**akar"), for lianas did not 
iuce water at that time. At last, however, he 
e upon an old stump of a tree called ** j5l5tong," 

on listening at a hole in it heard the sound of 
IT trickling down below. He therefore fastened 
ma (of the kind called **rotan manau''^) to the 
of the tree outside, and by this means let himself 
n into the hole until he reached the water, where 
slaked his thirst. He then made his way out 
n by means of the creeper, and just as he was 
ing the spot saw a large white river-turtle (**lelabi'* 

labi-labi ") issue from the hole, accompanied by 

his is really a form of the J^'olklorey p. 367 sq.). Lough Shulin 

T - reservoir " myth, and not a {loc. cit. p. 394) was formed by the 

myth, or at most inter- waters of a well on which a woman 

;e between that and a deluge forgot to replace a flagstone. She 

Cp. Dawson, Australian fled from the deluge and was cut down 

Hrus. p. 106. For a deluge by a man, after she had run seven 

of this type, cp. Brett, Indian miles, in order that the water might 

of Guiana^ P- 37^ seq. Several advance no farther. 

and Irish lakes are said to ' '* Rotan manau " is a large rattan 

been formed by a cover being which is often used by the Malays as a 

f a spring or well (Rhys, Celtic sort of walking-stick. 


a vast body of water, and begin to chase him. Loii 
knows- who therefore ran for his life, and called to the 
elephant for help, but they were both driven back by 
the rush of water. Lord-knows- who then encountwd 
a tiger, whose help he likewise begged, and the tiger 
attacked the turtle's head, but failed to produce as; 
impression. Lord-knows- who therefore continued his 
flight until he met a wild bull (" sgladang "), whomte 
implored to come to his rescue, and the bull proceeded 
to trample upon the turtle, but all to no purpose. Lad- 
knows- who next begged the aid of the rhinoceros, but 
equally without effect, as both of them were compelled 
to fly from the turtle. At length Lord-knows-who 
was forced to apply for the intervention of a mous6 
deer (" kanchil "), which is the smallest of all the deer 
kind,^ and not so large as a hare — whereupon Ac 
mouse-deer said : ** What good can be done by small 
creatures like ourselves ? " Lord-knows-who said : "I 
have asked all the others and they have been able 
to do nothing." Then said the mouse-deer: "Very 
well, we will try ; do you therefore get to one side' 
But the mouse - deer forthwith called together an 
army of mouse-deer, in fact the entire race, and said: 
** If we do not kill the turtle, we all perish ; but if we 
kill him, all is well." 

Then they all jumped on to the turtle, which was 
of great size, and stamped on him with their tin] 
hoofs until they had driven holes through his heac 
and neck and back, and thus killed him. 

But meanwhile the body of water which accon 

1 llie mouse-deer or ** kanchil," a the Underwood. The " Brer Rabbit 

small chevrotin, is very prominent in of Uncle Remus cannot, of coune, \ 

many of the tales told by the Penin- a true rabbit, but either an Amend 

"far tribes. It is, in fact, a sort of hare, or, perhaps, as the late Mi 

- lirer Rabbit," and is called in Malay Mary Kingsley once suggested, t) 

if-ntrf viMicar »' of the Vizier of African tree-cony. 


nied the turtle had increased to a vast extent and 
•med what is now the sea. 

After the destruction of the turtle, the mouse-deer 
Iced Lord-knows-who what was to be his reward for 
c service he had performed, upon which he replied 
at he would take for his part the root of the sweet 
>tato (" kledek "), and the mouse-deer could have the 
aves for his share, wherefore they have ever since 
Ben the food of the mouse-deer.^ 

To' EntaKs Descendants. 

From the sources of the Kenaboi river Lord- 
lows-who proceeded to Pagar-Ruyong * (in Sumatra), 
id his son To' Terjeli came across again thence and 
ttled in Jelebu. 

To' Terjeli had eight sons — Batin Tunggang 
agah, who settled in Klang ; Batin Changgei Besi 
\x Iron-nails), who lived in Jelebu; Batin Alam, 
ho settled in Johor; Batin Perwel, who crossed the 
traits to Pagar-Ruyong ; Batin Siam, who went to 
iam ; Batin Minang, who crossed the Straits to 
[enangkabau ; Batin Pahang, who settled in Pahang ; 
atin Stambul, who went to Stambul (Constantinople); 
id Batin Raja, who ruled over Muar. 

Penghulus, or tribal chiefs, were first appointed 
^ To Terjeli, who placed one in charge of Beranang 
I the Klang {i.e. Selangor) country ; the To' Klana 
utra in charge of Sungei Ujong ; To' Aki Saman ^ 
I charge of Jelebu ; and in charge of Kuala Muar 
b' Mutan Jantan (Male Rambutan), a woman, whose 

1 J. R. A. S, No. 10, pp. 191, 192. Raja's palace was made {Areca 

* "Ruyong" was explained as nibotiff), 

Tiifying the "nibong" or hard palm ^ =** Akhir Zaman," a N. Sembilan 

K)d, of which the fence round the title? 


husband, Jauhan Pahlawan Lela Perkasa, he remcn 
to Johol. Hence, to preserve the memory of 
first female ruler of that state, the Dato' of Jc 
always wears his hair long, down to the waist 

The To' Klana Putra of Sungei Ujong establis 
the States of R^mbau and Naning, placing his i 
over them. 

Lukut was also established by the To' Klana. . 
the Dato' of Johol founded Terachi, Gunong P 
Gemencheh, Jempol, and Ayer Kuning. 
originally formed part of Johol, but afterwards b 
away from it.^ 

After the death of ** Male Rambutan," the fe 
ruler of Johol, the succession passed to her nepl 
and has since been held by males, though always 
ing through the female side, as in Naning. To' N 
Jantan was succeeded first by To' Ular Bisa (* 
Poisonous Snake "), then by To' Maharaja Garan( 
then by To' Tengah, To' Nari, To' Bunchit (" Th< 
bellied "), and the present Penghulu, To' Eta, 

The first Raja ever appointed was Sale 
Alam of Bukit Guntang Penyaring * (in the intei 
Menangkabau). The name Guntang Penyarin; 
said to be derived from "guntang," which 
explained as signifying the shaking of the " ja 
(or fowling-net), which was used to catch the f 
fox (" keluang ") for the feast at which Salengkar 
was proclaimed Raja.* After the feast they deso 
the hill (of Guntang Penyaring) and clearec 
settlements of Menangkabau for the Raja. Bl 

* Hervey in/. R, A,S., S.B,, No. merely popular. Guntang P 

^o, p. 192. is really a Malay legendary n 

2 Cp. ** Pulau Guntong Pinjarring," the "Sejarah Malayu," or 

..ontioned by Vaughan- Stevens. Annals, where we find Mo 

«•«» •»i ^r>r>\n€p^ tnnA'»- to W guntang Mahameru). Sec p. 21 


L^in Minang previously mentioned remained in the 

The Bamboo Princess. 

Khatib Malim Seleman, the son of Salengkar 
lam, once came over to Bukit Peraja (in Ulu 
sanpol) with a jungle -knife ("parang"), an adze 
* patil "), a chisel (" pahat "), and a pair of betel-nut 
assors (" kachip "), in pursuit of a beautiful princess, 
od after searching in vain for food, went to sleep 
eside an enormous bamboo whose stem measured a 
ithom in diameter. During the night the princess 
MT whom he was seeking appeared and cooked him 
mie food, and passed the night with him, but dis- 
>peared at dawn. 

The Khatib attempted in vain to cut open the 
unboo (in which the princess had told him he would 
id her), using each one of his implements in turn, 
he one that he last tried was the pair of betel-nut 
issors, which he used upon the topmost shoot of the 
tmboo with success, after which he was able to split 
downwards, whereupon the princess fell out of the 
em and he secured her. She did not disappear 
jain, but was escorted on horseback by many 
llowers in company with her husband to Bukit 
sraja, where, however, they both disappeared 
gether. And there they both live invisible to this 
ly, and their horses in full trappings are occasionally 
sible at certain favourable seasons. If their aid is 
voked by the burning of incense (** kSmnyan ") they 
11 come and perform whatever is required of them 
b€chara "), and then disappear again. The princess 
was added) was quite fair in complexion and her 
.if was white and measured seven fathoms in length. 


All the different tribes of aborigines were said ttl 
be merely subdivisions of an (assumed) (»ipal| 
Mantra stock, who were also allied to exist in tkj 
country of Menangkabau, unless (says the BatinjdKfj 
have possibly turned Malay .^ 

Another Version of the Creation of Man. 

According to another version of the creatioil 
(recorded by Borie), the Mantra were all descenddl 
from two white apes (" ungka putih "). These haviB|| 
reared their young ones, sent them forth into tke j 
plains, where for the most part they developed so \ 
rapidly that they and their descendants became nm 
Those, however, who returned to the mountains stl 
remained apes.* Others say that apes are d^radel 

Legend of the Peopling of the Peninsula, 

In an age gone by, of which they do not cw 
know the century, a Mantra chief, named Batin Ahi 
(" King of the Universe "), constructed a large ai 
beautiful vessel and set sail for {sic ? from) RQm (i 
Constantinople).* This ship not only sailed wi 
great rapidity but possessed the wonderful propei 
of propelling itself. It anchored, after several da; 
voyage, in what was then a small port (since nam 
Malacca). In this ship had been brought all the req 
site materials for founding a colony. The immigrai 

1 Hcrvey in/. R, A, S,, 5. ^., No. built by God, which was set fla 

lo, pp. 193, 194. Cp. p. 291, ante. on the waters of the earth. The 

" Horie (tr. Bourien), p. 73. sailed with fearful rapidity round 

3 Jilisc. Ess, rel, Indo-ChituLy sec. about the earth till it grounded on a 

ser. vol. i. p. 288. the mountains of the peninsula, « 

^ Of a ** Mantra tribe behind Mt. they declare it is still to be seen."— 

3phir " John Cameron writes : '* They Tropkal Possessions in Afaiaytm h 

>ay their fathers came originally from p. 1 1 3. A limestone cave leg 

ipa«f^p in <i i^i^re and niac[p«ficpn* ch»o Cp. Hervcy in ^P-*^, I904t 14. 


: divided into five parties ; one of which was 
:ted to the foot of Johol and Rembau; another 
nded the river Linggi to its source, and there 
ed ; and two others, penetrating still further into 
interior of the country, established themselves at 
ig and Jelebu respectively. 

latin Alam (with the fifth party) established him- 
upon the sea-coast, but reserved for himself the 
reign power, the chiefs of the other four parties 
g only his vassals. It may be remarked that the 
f Batin, when visited several years ago, still 
med to himself the rights of a suzerain. 
3atin Alam's ship was not destroyed, but still 
:s (they say) underneath one of the mountains of 
Peninsula. As long as Batin Alam lived, the 
tra remained in undisturbed possession of the 
itry. It was not till long afterwards that the 
ks came over from Sumatra and slaughtered and 
royed a great number of the Mantra. There 

however, among the latter a courageous chief 
succeeded in re-uniting his scattered countrymen. 
reat haste he constructed a ship, in which he em- 
ed with the remainder of his people. They made 
for Rum, where they arrived in a few days. The 
n, whose name was Merak Galang, here dis- 
arked his people in safety and started for Malacca 

more by himself. The news of his return to 
icca spread like lightning ; the Bataks gathered 
ther once again in great numbers, in order, as 

said, to roast the old man. The latter, how- 
•, had become invulnerable, and when Merak 
mg threw himself among them they were never 

to arrest him or wound him. Upon this he 
ed towards his enemies and said to them, ** Even 


your arms respect my person ; tie your weapoos 
together in bundles and throw them into the air, ami 
if they are able to fly, I will admit myself tobeyoor 
prisoner for ever. If, on the contrary, yourweapoB 
fall down upon the earth, and if mine only have 4c 
privilege of flying, you will obey the laws of yoor 
conqueror." This challenge by Merak Galangms 
accepted ; but as soon as they had put it to the test,k 
was found that his weapons alone could fly. They, how- 
ever, flew by themselves, felling the trees in the ndgb- 
bouring forests, and then returning to the astoniicd 
Bataks,^ whom the chief forthwith cut to piecei 
Indeed, all the invaders perished, with the solitary 
exception of one individual, who saved his life bj 
making his submission. Left in undisturbed possesskn 
of the country after the defeat of the Bataks, Baiiii 
Merak Galang returned to Rum, whence he returned 
with his people a short time afterwards. These ta 
divided, as Batin Alam had done, into five colonies, 
over each of which he appointed chiefs, on the unte- 
standing that they should continue his vassals. A 
long time after the death of Merak Galang the Bataks 
again invaded the Peninsula, and this time Badn 
Changgei Besi, or Iron-nails, who was thengoveraing 
was completely driven back, with all his following, intt 
the interior.^ 

Tradition of Lost Books. 

In addition to the foregoing, the Mantra possess; 
tradition relating to the loss of certain religious boob 
said to have been lost during the reign of Batin Alar 
or Merak Galang ; but most of the Mantra agre 

^ Might this be some faint txadition Compare Borie in Afisceiianetms Sat^ 
jf a lx>omerang ? re/. Indo-China^ sec ser. vol. L p| 

'' Pori. '♦- PonnVn^ DD 7'?-75. 288. 280. 


fragments existed in the time of Changgei 
ese, however, only served as a reminder, 
lat time they had forgotten how to read, 
ecord which then remained was the skin of 
i (" biawak "), on which there were certain 
written, which, however, nobody could 
It was Batin Changgei Besi who 
:his skin, and thus destroyed the religion of 
1,^ alleging as an excuse that that religion 
le incompatible with their mode of life, 
to other informants, however, Batin Iron- 
cted this monument, which was destroyed 
ne by a dog.* 

Mantra Doom-myth. 

lowing doom-myth is possibly of Christian 
he human race having ceased to live, a 

will rise, accompanied by rain, the waters 
d with rapidity, lightning will fill the space 
and the mountains sink down ; then a great 
jcceed. There will be no more night and 
n\\ wither like the grass in the field ; God 
come down, surrounded by an immense 
of flame ready to consume the universe, 
rill first assemble the souls of the sinners, 

for the first time, and weigh them, after 

IS, as already shown, only what they have picked up (not 

ood this name, which always perhaps very intelligently) from 

the Malay form Raja the Roman Catholic missionaries, of 

>rahil = Gabriel, ante^ whom M. Borie himself was one. 
638, «., and ibid. 641, * Borie (tr. Bourien), p. 83. Similar 

cen from Mohammedan traditions are current in various parts 

lid hardly be necessary of the Malay Peninsula and are not 

expression has nothing confined to the Mantra alone. See 

onnect it with the vol. i. pp. 378, 391, 536; and cp. the 

Isa (Jesus Christ), or Karen practiceofeating dogs in the hope 

lateverofthe Christian of regaining the lost knowledge. — See 

ich the Mantra know J. I. A. vol. v. p. 346; cp. vol. iv. p. 316. 


having collected their ashes by means of a piece of 
linen cloth. Those who will have thus passed tk 
first time through the furnace without having beei 
purified will be successively burned and weighed ir 
seven times, when all those souls which have beei 
purified will go to enjoy the happiness of heaven, al 
those that cannot be purified, that is to say the s(Mb 
of great sinners, such as homicides, and those dot 
have been guilty of rape, will be cast into hell, where 
they will suffer the torments of flames in compaif 
with devils — there will be tigers and serpents in hd 
to torment the damned. Lastly, God having takes i 
light from hell, will close the portals, and then setfiR 
to the earth.^ 


Benua-Jakun of Johor. — It is a curious iactdiA 
the fables relating to the personification * of the sdb, 
moon, and stars are identical amongst the Benuad 
Johor and the natives of Macassar and several otbff 
eastern races, as well as amongst the Kols of India.' 

Beliefs concerning Natural Phenomena. 

The Benua believe the world to be globular ii 
shape and enclosed in the sky. " The sun and moon,' 
once remarked a Benua, **move round the earth, s 
that now, whilst we are in darkness, it is light on th 
other side of the earth where the sun is shiniiq;. 
Clouds and rain they believe to be produced from d 
waves of the sea by the action of the wind. Whc 
thunder is heard to the north or south, the Benua sa; 

^ Cameron {Trap, Poss.\ p. 122. here, but of such a fact there b 

^ Logan uses the term deification trace whatever. 
' / /. A, vnl w. p. 333. 


7he North " (or South) " tree is sounding." ^ The 
ly explanation that they could give of this was that 
t:he extreme north and south were the two extremi- 
s of a great beam ; the northern extremity being 
enty days' journey beyond Boko, where there was a 
eat hill from which the north winds issued.^ 

Belief in a Deity. 

Speaking of the Benua belief in a deity, Logan 
marks that, so far as he had been able to ascertain,. 
« Berembun tribes had no idea of a Supreme 
eity, and he had taken it for granted that he would 
id the Benua equally atheistic. His surprise there- 
re was great when he discovered that they had a 
mple and, to a certain extent, rational theology, 
hey believed in the existence of one God, Firman^ 
10 made the world and everything that is visible ^ 
d at whose will all things continued to have their 
ing. This Pirman ^ dwells above the sky, and is 
v^isible. He is unapproachable, save through the 
sdiumship of Jewa-Jewa.* 

Intermediate between the human race and the 
lavenly powers are the Jin (or Genies), the most 
>werful of whom is the ** Jin Bumi," or Earth Genie, 
e minister of Pirman. He dwells on earth, and 
eds upon the lives of men and all other living things. 
is the Earth Genie who sends the various kinds of 
:kness and causes death ; but his power is entirely 

' "Bcrbunyipoko*Utara"(or **Sela- angin" = the body of the storm (or 

"y. **Poko*" = (i) main body or wind), /.^. cloud-rack. 

Qcipal part of anything, as in "poko* - /. /. A. vol. i. p. 283. 

ng" = ihe principal (of money laid ^ ** Pirman" was derived through 

; at interest) ; (2) especially as here in Malay from ** Firman " (the Decree or 

phrase **poko' ribut," tfr**poko' Word of God), Cp. ly^, ante, 
* /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 275, 276. 


derived from Pirman. Each species of tree has iis 
Genie. The rivers also have a spirit connected litk 
them, but this spirit is the Earth Genie, who hamb 
them with his power. The mountains are simiUf 
animated by him. He does not, therefore, appear lo 
be entirely a personification of the destructive pow 
of nature, but is, to some extent, identified with its 
living force also.^ 

The Soul. 

Although the Benua have a conception of the spiii 
(or rather the soul) of man as distinct from the body,- 
and their belief that the souls of their magicians are 
carried in music to heaven,' whilst their animate bodies 
remain beside them, even shows a high degree of ita- 
materiality in their conception of its nature,— djqf 
appear to be without any glimmering of faith or hope 
in its permanent indestructibility, or rather in iis 
retention of individuality. 

It is believed to be fashioned by Pirman of air, anl 
when the Earth Genie is commissioned to dissolve its 
union with the body, it relapses once more into the 
airy nothing from Whence it came.* ' 

The Magician. 
To avert death recourse is had in sickness to a 

1 /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 275, 276. It by most of the tribes of the lafa 

should be noted that though the word Archipelago. It is to prepsR dx 

**Jin" is of Arabic origin, the spirits traveller for this jouniey that ^ 

to which the name is applied by the weapons and cooking utensils used bf 

Jakun are almost certainly of native him in life, and a pittance of food,iR 

origin, in spite of their thin disguise. buried along with the corpse. T^ 

' Newbold, writing of the Benua, souls of the bad are to be devooed bf 

says : — '* The better informed of the spectres, who approach the gnvei far 

Hcnua have a confused idea that after that purpose on the seventh day ite 

leath the spirits of good men travel to- interment, on which fires axe kindled 

-"•"Is the west and are absorbed into to drive the evil spirits away" ^ 

■■' ^^ulgence of the setting sun, *the 389, 390). 

Hqv ' aft )P ip T^'^^ti'rtllly ff^mied ' J, /. A. V'*^ l. p. 279, 


35 X 

Poyang), no other person being supposed 
e right of imploring mercy from Pirman. 
ficians are an order of men combining the 
•>{ priest, physician, and sorcerer. The 
lo appear to be more superstitious than the 
ve a greater faith in the efficacy of the 
IS of these Poyangs, and a greater dread 
ipernatural power. They are believed not 
able to cure the most virulent maladies, but 
iisease and death upon an adversary,^ and 
J have recourse to them for both purposes.^ 
tigers are believed to be subject to them, 
magician has one in constant attendance 
^ When a man falls a victim to a tiger he 

f the Tuju (or Pointing 
le Poyangs are imagined 
the Tuju, or the art of 
ly, however distant, by 
ells, and by pointing a 
•itan in the direction of 
in performing the in- 
d Bersawai ('Besa^ye') 
*Chinderwye'), and in 
es and hidden treasures, 
led to be endowed with 
iring the most grievous 
ausing their familiars to 
nister to the sufferers, 
ns are carried on by 
ncense, together with 
roots of peculiar virtues 
"he Bersawai (ceremony) 
ling incense, muttering 
over a variety of herbs 
ng which are the Palas, 
mg, the Lebar, and the 
calling upon the spirit 
is. Should the process 
e spirit descends, throw- 
t into a trance, during 
owledge he wishes to 
ed" (Newbold, pp. 389, 

1. i. p. 275, 276. 

the account given by 

says that the soul of a 

Poyang after death is supposed to enter 
into the body of a tiger. This metem- 
psychosis is presumed to take place 
after the following fashion. The corpse 
of the Poyang is placed erect against 
the buttress or ** strut" at the root of 
a large tree in the depth of the forest, 
and carefully watched and supplied 
with rice and water for seven days 
and nights by the friends and relatives. 
During this period the transmigration 
(believed to be the result of an ancient 
compact made in olden times by the 
Poyang's ancestors with a tiger) is 
imagined to be in active operation. 
On the seventh day it is incumbent on 
the deceased Poyang*s son, should he 
be desirous of exercising similar super- 
natural powers, to take a censer and 
incense of Kemnyan wood, and to 
watch near the corpse alone ; when the 
deceased will shortly appear in the 
form of a tiger on the point of making 
a fatal spring upon him. At this 
crisis it is necessary not to betray the 
slightest symptom of alarm, but to cast 
with a bold heart and firm hand the 
incense on the fire ; the seeming tiger 
will then disappear. The spectres of 
two l)eautiful women will next present 
themselves, and the novice will be cast 
into a deep trance, during which the 


is supposed to have been sacrificed to the malevolence 
of some magician whom he has offended. When the 
aid of a magician is sought on behalf of the life of i 
sick person, presents are carried to him, and le 
repairs to the house where his patient lies, takoi 
with him a musical instrument named " gSlondaog." 
which consists of a long bamboo suspended in i 
horizontal position under the roof and stnick witk 
small sticks. When night comes on, the magioM 
commences to chant his incantations, at the sametiine 
waving a white cloth to and fro, whilst one of b 
attendants (frequently his wife), beats the " gSlondang," 
and another burns incense (benzoin). The chants aie 
invocations addressed to Jewa-Jewa,* who resides ii 
heaven, and through whom alone Pirman can be 
approached. They are chanted to different airs tlie 
whole night long, and sometimes for three or four 
nights in succession, until the magician is able to 
announce either that he has received medicine to cure 
the disease or that the deity is inexorable. The more 1 
powerful magicians do not need to prolong thrir 
invocation beyond one or two nights. The explanar 
tion given of the object of the invocations, and of the 
mode by which they reach the deity, is this. When- 
ever a person becomes sick, it is believed that Pinnan 
has ordered the Earth Genie to ** eat his life " (" makan 
dia-punya nyawa"), and that death will certainly ensue 
unless Pirman revoke his mandate. But as Pinnan is 

initiation is presumed to Ix: perfected. spirit of the deceased, it is belieid 

These aerial ladies thenceforward l)e- will re-enter for ever the body of A 

come his familiar spirits, * the slaves of tiger, and the mantle of endnntad 

the ring,' by whose invisible agency be irre^*ocabIy lost to the tribe" 

the secrets of nature, the hidden 387-389). 

treasures of the earth, are unfolded to ^ Sometimes pronounced Den 

him. Should the heir of the Poyang dei^-a. It is, of course, a //ww/, 60 

'.tnit to oi»serve this ceremonial, the the Sanskn* •« Ucva " (through Maltf 


xessible to mortals, Jewa-Jewa must be supplicated 
ntercede with him. The fumes of the incense rise 
he heavenly abode of Jewa-Jewa, who, pleased with 

fragrant smell, is disposed to welcome the spirit or 
I of the magician which ascends to him in the 
ric of the ** gSlondang." Jewa-Jewa inquires of 

magician's soul what his errand may be. The 
\r then informs the minister of heaven of the 
lition of the sick person, and solicits medicine.^ 
^irman pleases, Jewa-Jewa gives medicine to the 
:ician to cure the disease, e.g, the juice or root of 
ant, a flower, etc.^ The Malays outside the limits 
he country of the Benua, were not aware either 
the Benua believed in a God, or that the 
fician's power was considered to be derived from 
n and entirely dependent on His pleasure. On the 
trary, they declared that they had no religious belief, 
that the magicians cured diseases and inflicted 
imities by means of spirits which they kept.* 
The Benua (as has already been remarked) are 
ch less superstitious than the Malays, and the more 
sible among them even doubt whether the Poyangs 
he present day can really attain supernatural power 

\ /. A. vol. i. p. 276. decoction of Lawong-wood; if the 
>f Herbalism among the Benua, chest, the patient should drink a decoc- 
>old writes as follows: — •* The tion of Kayu tikar leaves. Such 
L are celebrated among Malays recipes as these, of which there is 
leir skill in medicines, and, it is abundance, are not, however, sup- 
know the use of venesection in posed to be fully efficacious without 
imatory disorders. The following the incantations of the Poyangs. 
:>ecimen of their rude receipts : A Guligas, stones extracted from the 
1 with sore eyes must use a heads and bodies of animals, particu- 
ium of the infusion of Niet-niet larly the porcupine, and the Rantei 
i for four days. For diarrhoea, Babi, which is imagined to be endowed 
•coction of the root of Kayu yet, with powers equivalent to those of the 
Kayni panamas ; for sciatica, celebrated Anguinum of the Druids of 
ered Sandal - wood (?) in water, Gaul and Britain, hold a high place in 
d on the loins ; for sores, the the Materia Medica of these rude 

Kambing. If the head be tribes " (ii. 408-41 1). 
•d, it must be washed with a ^ J- ^' -'^- ^"^'J- J. PP- 276, 277. 

VOL. II 2 A 


or aid. "Not one in a hundred reaches Jewa-]f 
said an old man. ** The only one I ever knew i 
so was a Poyang who died when I was young, 
spirit was seven days in heaven. I have never 
recourse to them in sickness, but always allow dis 
to take their course. If Pirman is determined t 
man shall die, he must die. If Pirman thinks; 
grant him an extension of his life, he must recove 

Treatment of Diseases. 

To ascertain whether fever exists, the patie 
directed to take ** Chuping "- leaves mixed with 
rub them together in the hand, and squeeze the 
into a cup. If it hardens, the patient is pronouns 
have fever. The most common of the remedies \ 
fever the leaves of the ** Sedingin,"* and for fev< 
ague the growing shoot (** umut ") of the " S€m2 
The ** Akar Butut " is used for jaundice in the ( 
young children, and the ** Akar Balaksini " for 
in the loins.* After child-birth a decoction of ** 

^ /. /. A. vol. i. p. 277. the tooth of a wild bull (" 

'^ Unidentified. —Bos gaurus) is grated \ 

' This is probably Bryophyllum upon a stone and applied to 

ailychtum, Salisb. (Crassu/acgo'). jart. 

* According to Vaughan - Stevens, For cuts a fruit called •• 1 

** on the breaking of an arm or a leg, is used in the same way. 
the Benua magicians are in the habit of For diarrhcea, benzoin (**] 

killing a * large black bird with brown is scattered on a fire, and th 

wings ' (whose name was not given). the stomach fiimigated with 
The patient is fed with some of the For indigestion the fruit < 

boiled flesh; and one of its bones is rattan called **J^mang" o 

then moistened and grated upon a Blood {Calamus draco) is 

stone, and the liquid applied to the the liquor drunk. Or the 

injured part." porcupine is grated with wj 

The gall-bladder of snakes {e.g. of stone and applied to the re 

the python) is worn round the neck in stomach, 
order to heal fever. Also the wood of For abscesses the bark 

certain trees (^.^. the *• Peradang") or called "Samung" is boile 

orchids {e.g. the Dipodium palti- infusion rubbed on the ini 

fosum) is boiled and the fluid drunk. by means of a piece of bark 

" »e« a thorn hp<5 entered the flesh, a brush. 


dministered to the child, the mother being 
:h an infusion of various kinds of ** Mgrian," 
Igrian api," ** Marian padi," '' Mgrian batu," 
ian igi." ^ 

)rang Laut believe that small-pox is a 
lalignant spirit which moves about from 

to another, and those of the tribe that 
ed on the east side of the island (Pulau 
osed all the paths that led to the western 
IS and bushes, for, as they said, he (the 

get along a clean pathway, but he cannot 
or pass through the barrier that we have 

Traditions of the Benua-Jakun? 

igin of the country and race of the Benua 
•elated : ** The ground on which we stand 

sm the painful j>art is supernatural powers ; such, for instance, 

1 bees'-wax. as the Pikats of Java, who are said to 

Iry roots of Citronella dwell on the summits of hills, and to 

;/ //<2r<///i) arc laid upon intermarry with the Siamangs ; the 

e smoke used for fumi- Pangans and the cannibal Benangs, 

se ( V. B. G. A. xxiv. who, like beasts, cohabit with their 
nearest relatives ; the malignant Mawa 

ildren (in general) the that mocks the laugh of a human 

Kcmunting" [Khodo- being, with its iron arm and body 

sa) are br)ile(i, and the covered with shaggy hair ; and the 

over with the infusion. treacherous B'lian that watches over 

acs the nx)is of the the tigers, and which is supposed on 

*) or " Tongkatali '' and rainy nights to visit the alx)des of men, 

" *• Perugas " are use<l; and under the pretext of asking for 

<1 when the sun has fire, to seize and tear them into pieces 

ian. [The Tongkat ali with its enormous claws " (ii. 416). 

ailed " Rumput Tong- Elsewhere we are told by Newbold 

'ci4m SarmctUosum, or that "in the beginning of the world a 

'ci, or perhaps a fern. — white Ungka and a white Siamang 
dwelt on a lofty mountain ; they co- 

i. J). 277. habited and had four children, who 

.p. 141. descended from the mountain into the 

o Newbold, " there are {)Uiin, and became mankind. From 

current among Malays them sprang four tribes. In after 

:e in the woods and times the heads of these tribes, Nenek 

malignant races, half Tukol, Nenek I^ndasan, Nenek Jelan- 

ikeys, endowed with dong, and Nenek Karah, were invested 


is not solid — it is merely the skin of the earth (*1 
bumi'). In ancient times Pirman (the Deity) b 
up this skin, so that the world was destroyed 
overwhelmed with water. Afterwards he ca 
Gunong Lulumut, together with Chemundang 
Bechuak (hills in Johor), to rise out of the water 
low land which we now inhabit being formed 1 
These mountains in the south, together with M 
Ophir (Gunong Ledang), the mountains of 
(Gunong Kap), * Flute-pillar ' Hill (Gunong Tew 
Bangsi), and Gunong Tongkat Subang (lit. * Ea 
pillar' Hill) on the north, give a fixity to the e 
skin. The earth still depends entirely upon 
mountains for its steadiness. The Lulumut i 
tains are the oldest land. The summit of Tc 
Bangsi Hill is within a flute's-length (one foot) 
sky ; that of Tongkat Subang Hill is within a 
stud's length ; and that of the Hills of Kal 
contact with it. When Lulumut had already em 
a ship (* prahu *) of * pulai ' wood, completely o 
over and without any opening, was left floating 
waters. In this Pirman had enclosed a man 
woman whom he had created. After the la 
some time the vessel no longer progressed eith 
or against the current, and ceased to be driven 
fro. The man and woman therefore, feeling i 
motionless, nibbled their way through it, and sf 
upon the dry ground, beheld this our work 
first, however, everything was obscure. The 

by an ancienl king of Johor with the Balang ; the second aso 

honorary titles of To' Batin Kakanda Samawa or Linggi river, ai 

Unku, To' Batin Sa-ribu Jaya, To* Sungei Ujong ; the third pr 

Batin J ohan LelaPerkasa, and To' Batin the hill of lantei Kulit, an 

Karah. The first founded the state of the State of Johol ; and tb 

^Iflne- «"'' Dossessed tb** canoe Sampan Ulu Pahang " (ii. 376-378). 


tmther morning nor evening, because the sun had 

^X. yet been created. When it became light they saw 

^en small wild rhododendron ('Sendudo') shrubs, 

1^ seven clumps of the grass called * Sambau.* They 

•n remarked to each other, * In what a condition are 

left, lacking both children and grandchildren ! * 

icimetime afterwards, however, the woman conceived, 

however in her womb, but in the calves of her 

js. From the right leg came forth a male, and 

3m the left a female child. Hence it is that the 

je of the same womb cannot intermarry. All man- 

^■tind are the descendants of the two children of the 

^l^^t pair. When men had much increased, Pirman 

*^Doked down upon them and reckoned their numbers 

''^rith pleasure."^ 

In addition to the foregoing, Logan further re- 
^narks that in crossing the Lenggiu at the upper part 
of the ravine in which it rises, a long flat granitic slab 
covered with thickly-growing moss, and called ** Batu 
Bekachong," is pointed out as the first couch of the 
parents of the human race. 

They look upon the Gunong Lulumut group with 
a superstitious reverence, not only connecting it with 
the dawn of human life, but regarding it as possessed 
of animation itself Lulumut is the husband, Che- 
mundang his old wife, and Bechuak his young one. 
At first the three lived together in harmony, but one 
day Chemundang, in a fit of jealousy, cut off Bechuak's 
hair.* The young wife retaliated by kicking Chemun- 
dang*s head with such force as to force it out of its 
position. Lulumut, seeing his mistake, stepped in 

* J. /. A. vol. i. p. 278. own inquiries enable him to confirm 

' Hcrvcy in quoting this tradition Logan's account (v. J. R. A. 5"., S, B,^ 
verbatim from Logan, remarks that his No. 3, p. 105). 


with his huge body between them, and has ever since 
kept them separate.^ 

From an old Portuguese writer comes the follw- 
ing interesting passage : — 

** Queen Putri (** Putry '*), spouse of Permiom, 
founder of Malacca, was said to inhabit a cavern oo 
Mount Ophir (" Gunoledam "). Here the Bcna 
were said to learn magic. Without seeing any one 
they heard the magical qualities of plants revealed by 
mysterious voices. They drink a decoction of the £rfi 
vilca in order to put themselves into communicatioo 
with the evil spirit or with Putri, who was ssdd to 
take the form of beasts and birds. The Benua by the 
same spells and charms transformed themselves into 
tigers, lizards, crocodiles, and other animals ; they then 
became gifted with divination and communicated with 
persons at a distance. The Benua were said to come 
to Malacca at night in the form of tigers, and to IdB 
women and children." - 

** In the forests of that country [Johor] dwelt th< 
Benua, wild races who . . . lived on Mount * Guno 
ledam * (ix. Ophir, or Gunong Ledang), where reside 
a certain Queen Putri, a magical enchantress wh 
. . . collected herbs and plants possessing mediciiu 
virtues, and transformed herself from the human fon 
(of a woman) to that of a tigress, and of other anima 
and birds.""' "Putri" is the Fairy "Princess" < 
Mount Ophir legend. 

* /. /. A, vol. i. pp. 278, 279. called Saletes, inhabiting Mab 

^ Cloudinho do Eredia, p. 32<^. before the Malays. Of the Mali 

^ Ibid. p. II ; cp. Malaca^ IJ Inde he says: "The witches employ lu 

Meridionaleet Id Caihay^^l^, , . ,(\tij. roots, plants, trees, and animals 

de £., reproduit en facsimile et traduit their charms, and above all ipe 

par Leon Janssen. Bruxelles, 1 882. especially those who kill children bd 

Goudinho de Eredia wrote in 1613. baptism, on the fifth day after biidi, 

T^ nicocpeaL'«-'>f a «« cannibal "(!) race in some cases before birth. 1 



e Berembun tribes, like the Malays, attribute 
agician's power to his command over spirits 
possess and inspire him. The spirits of the 
(Hantu Sungei)are evil, inflicting diseases, and 
\ on the human soul (or "s2mangat"). On 
[ler hand, the spirits of the mountains (Hantu 
g) are harmless. Every magician has several 
*s who attend him when he visits a sick person. 
11 hut called ''sawai" is constructed near the 
and in this the incantations are performed, 
ody being excluded save the magician himself 
> disciples. Incense is burned, and invocations 
d to the accompaniment of music, until the 
an is possessed by the spirit, which answers 
h his mouth the questions put by the disciples 
:ing the mode of treating the disease. When 
• spirit enters a man and he begins to waste 
:hrough its evil influence, the magician has 
to exorcise it. The tigers are his slaves.^ 


Belief in a Deity, 
jreat part of the Jakun know and acknowledge 

^ard the fifth day after birth reason hostile to man. But they are 

, and keep watch with their rather demons, for they have their sides 

d relatives. open and inflamed." — Goudinho de 

: witches, pupils of the Benua Eredia, p. 38. 

/ems of Gunoledam, subdue ** At the equinox, especially the 

icwords crocodiles, elephants, autumnal, on the day called **divaly" 

I serpents. Others transform [jiV, evidently the S. Indian or Tamil 

s into lizards, etc., to do evil. feast called Thivali], trees, herbs, 

irds, V, p. 373, infra,\ plants talk and disclose the remedy for 

; is another kind of witch every malady. To hear them people 

>nteanas,' who usually reside hide in the forest." — Ibid, p. 38^. 
rees such as poplars and * J, /. A, vol. i. p. 277. " Sawai " 

People say they are women is the name of the ceremony, not of the 

in child-bed, and for this hut in which it is performed. 


the existence of a supreme being, whom theydli 
by the Malay name **Tuhan Allah," the LordGoiw 
Many of those in Johor also admit their belief in a j 
punishment for sin. With some of them itisool; 
a general admission, and they have no ideabyitaj 
means it is to be executed; but some few odwsj 
declare openly that sinners will be thrown afafl 
death into the fire of hell, though even these do Mtj 
know of any reward for good men and good woik 
Those of the Menangkabau States, probably oaj 
account of their more frequent communications withlk ] 
Malays, have more knowledge of religion, somcol' 
them speaking of God as the creator of everytKnj 
of Adam as the first man, of Abraham, Moses, David, 
Solomon, though very confusedly, and there wasnottD 
be found amongst them any real knowledge either d 
Christ or the Christian religion.^ The more leanid 
of them are called magicians or ** Pawang," and thos 
of Malacca are the most ignorant of religion. The 
do not worship the sun or the moon or any idols. 

Spirits and Demons. 

In demons (or "Hantu") the Jakun devou 
believe, but unfortunately little or nothing has be 
collected on the subject. Hervey's account of \ 
Jakun belief concerning the ** Hantu SSmambu" 
however, I think, worth quoting here. " The noi! 
he says, ** that a certain species (of cicada) makes 
almost unearthly and quite disagreeable. There 
only one other sound in the jungle at night -ti 
which, though otherwise different, resembles it 
this peculiar way — it is that made by the 'Ha 

^ Favre in/. /. A, vol. ii. p. 249L. Abraham, Moses, David, axMl Soli 
•Tp I'nown to all qood Moslems. 


Linbu/^ which is very weird, consisting of three 

ur long-drawn notes rising and falling slightly ; 

he effect it is impossible to describe. The Jakun 

bat it is a weather guide." ^ 

i/e are further told that some Jakun regard jelly- 

is human souls waiting to be born.' 

'he offerings of rice laid on graves to appease 

emons have already been mentioned/ 

The Magician, 

)f the paraphernalia used by a Jakun ** Poyang " 
lagician, Hervey writes that the ** Kayu kglon- 
" (or ** GSlondang," as it is also called), which 
nek by the magician's attendants when the latter 
ercising his skill on behalf of a sick man, must 
ig the Jakun of the Madek people be made of 
I from the MSrawan tree, and no other. Whilst 
ttendants are striking the instrument in question, 
lagician waves a spray of a tree called ** Chawak," 
It the same time proceeds with his incantations.^ 

Treat7nent of Diseases, 

'he knowledge of the Jakun in the art of physic 
y limited. They use very little medicine, and the 
lack almost every form of assistance, the sickness 
\ ordinarily abandoned to the ordinary course of 
•e. Notwithstanding, the Malays consider them 
r physicians, and in their stupidity believe them- 
s very fortunate when by giving them either 
iy or clothes they succeed in obtaining from them 
: medical prescriptions.^ Some of the Jakun, 

c noise is probably made by a * Cp. supra^ vol. ii. p. 105. 

og. ^ Hervey,/. R. A, S,, S, B., No. 8, 

R.A.S.y S.B., No. 8, p. III. pp. 119, 120. 

f. E. xxviii. 187. ^y. /. A, vol. ii. pp. 249-251. 


though not very many, and only those who are st]^ 
** Pawangs," pretend to some knowledge in physic 
as well as to a knowledge of the secrets of nature; 
but their actual acquisitions in that respect are not 
so great as is ordinarily reported, and in fact they w 
very little more clever than the others.^ 

We are also told that some "tribes" of Jakni 
refused to eat the flesh of elephants, alleging thalk 
would occasion sickness.^ 

The Malays believe that when a Jakun hates any 
one, he turns towards his victim's abode, and strikes 
two sticks together, one upon the other, and that in 
such a case, no matter how great the distance betweci 
them, his victim will fall sick, and even die, should he 
persevere in this performance for a few days.' 

H. W. Lake, in writing of two Jakun who W 
been brought in very badly mauled by a tiger, 
remarks that, according to their statement, they W 
been attacked whilst asleep on a sandbank sone 
distance up the river. One man's scalp -wouni 
appeared to be of a fatal nature ; the other, i 
youngster, was badly bitten in the fore-arm. Both 
refused to be treated by a European, and later in 
the day they could be seen lying in the blazing sun 
with their wounds well smeared with wood ashes and 
wrapped in leaves.* 


In addition to the foregoing, an account of cert 
menial fire - making among the Jakun is given i 
Vaughan-Stevens : — 

* Ix>gan iny. /. A, vol. ii. p. 251. imply totemism. Cp. p. 260, uM. 

'^ Ann, J\ F. xxii. 303. The word ' J. I. A. vol. iL p. 274. 

*• tribe " here doubtless merely signifies * H. W. I^ke in y. R, yf. 5,, 5^ i 

''>''al crrouD an<^ ♦he *''^ct does not No, 25, pp. 3, 4. 


a company (of Jakun) were on their travels and desired either to 
camp or to prepare for a longer stay there, a new camp-fire was 
ack " by an unmarried girl with a fire-drill. 

selected was usually the daughter of the man who happened to be 
eader of the company. Such a selection was regarded as specially 
; the leader's daughter could only be chosen if she were of an age 
)erty. And this custom is especially remarkable, since the Jakuns 
lerings always carry with them a smouldering rope-end of tree- 

^ever, we have a survival of an older custom. The fire is obtained 
the drill from a block of soft wood of the kind which the Jakun 
ig the handles of their choppers ("parang"). A small block of 
jenerally carried either on the person, or more especially inserted 
id of tree-bark, ** exactly like the charm on one of our own watch- 
/as shaped like the marine bivalve which they say their ancestors 
•re they had learned the use of iron to cut up their fish, as well as 
g the spot for their encampment when they happened to be upon a 

fire was about to be kindled the girl took this block of soft wood 
the ground, whilst her father or some other married man worked 
tiaft which served as the drill. When the spark appeared she 
flame either by blowing upon it or by whirling the block round in 
which purpose she surrounded the spark with a heap of shredded 
)sed it to a current of air.'-* 

fire thus kindled were lighted the other fires, for every successive 
it were ascribed good-luck in the matter of cooking, and a greater 
ing off wild beasts {e.g. the tiger) than was possessed by the first 
mpment when it was kindled by means of the smouldering rope- 
rk. At the same time there was no hard and fast rule that this 
nust be performed by a girl, since any person whatsoever, man, 
an (unless, in the case of the latter she were having her monthly 
ght do it if it happened to be more convenient.*^ 

Taboo Laftguages, 

igst other industries the collection of various 
gutta and camphor obtainable in the forests 
ninsula is practised by the Jakun, who, whilst 

len was sent with the women generally carried such shell- 

). shaped blocks about with them, there 

vo\. xxviii. pp. 168, 169. was no obligation for them to do so. 

re remarks that it is not From this passage it would appear 

e context whether it is that it was the shell - shaped block 

wood used for kindling that the girl used in this case for 

is shaped like a shell, fire - making. On the other hand, 

t has no special shape. Vaughan-Stevens says later that these 

Vaui;han - Stevens the shell - shaped blocks are of extreme 

Iter obtained the block rarity, and are now never carried for 

her father, for the blocks their original purpose, viz. that of 

le unmarried girls and fire-making, since the custom had long 

making have no special become obsolete.] 
although the men and ^ ^ j\ £ xxviii. p. 169. 



at work in this way, employ a peculiar dialect usuaJy 
called the Camphor (or Gutta) Taboo language* 
(** Pantang Kapur," etc.). As to the origin of tli 
dialect there has been a good deal of speculation, but 
whatever its origin, the Jakun attribute great efEcacf 
to its employment, as well as to certain strafe 
ceremonial practices. Logan, for instance, menriom 
the eating of earth as a concomitant of the uscrfl- 
the Camphor Taboo language, as well as complelt 
abstention during the prosecution of the scard 
both from bathing and washing. Without these 
accompaniments of the superstition the "PantaDj 
Kapur " would hardly be complete, and they wodi 
readily be suggested by the magicians themsdveSj 
to whose cunning and influence over the Malaji 
Logan bears striking testimony. As some proof d 
the complete confidence the Malays possess in thdr 
powers, it may be recorded that the Malays at Kiflt 
Madek, for instance, asserted of the Juru-krah tci 1 
dent there, that he used to walk round the village 
(or kampong) at night and drive away the tigcR 
without any weapons.* 

I may add that many restrictions as to diet (or 
*' food- taboos ") were observed by the parents in 4e 
months preceding a birth, and that divination was 
employed to determine the probable sex of an ex- 
pected child.^ 

The Jakun Tradituyns. 

The following is a Jakun tradition entertaine 
by several tribes, and formerly related by a Bali 
of Johol : — 

» This question of the Taboo * Hervey,/. ^. ^. 5"., 5. A, Na 

dialects will l>e fully treated of under p. 103. 

. '»npii'»«'« " 8 Cp, pp^ jT . 23, ante. 


d created in heaven, in former days, a man and 
an. They were Batins (that is, a king and a 
of course, but had no kingdom or subjects. 
y does not say how long this couple remained 
ven; but only that one day they descended 
:h and were discovered in the neighbourhood 
I river of Johor, in the southern part of 
minsula. There this celestial Batin and his 
t begat a numerous family, who peopled all 
ninsula. Those of them who embraced Islam* 
& now called Malays ; and those who remained 
1 to the manners and customs of their ancestors 
d the name of Jakun.^ 

other legend (collected by Hervey) is that of 
Penyabong, near Kelesa' Banyak. The legend 
; a cock-fighting match once took place here, 
:n Raja Chulan and another Raja of old times, 
le defeated bird flew away to his house at 
Bulan, whilst the victorious bird was turned 
tone and still remains a mute but faithful 
3 to mark the spot where the tremendous 
: took place. The Dato\ or chief of the 
stated to Hervey that he had himself seen 
ure on the top of Bukit Penyabong ; it was a 
leal above life-size, he said, and just like a cock 
e stone ; ^ he added that the top of the hill was 
id that a good view was to be had from it.* 
similar legend is told of a Jakun Batin whose 
igrated into a white cock. 
e ** Batu Hampar," or ** outcrop rock," which 

4. vol. ii. p. 271. known in the Peninsula. 

ey suggests that the hill it- ' Hervey in Journal of the Royal 

possibly have been lime- Asiatic Society^ Straits Branchy No. 

which case it would be 3, p. no; cp. Man^ 1904, 14, and 

t southerly limestone hill supra, p. 344, «. 3. 


gives its name to this place, is a shrine (" kramat \ iio 
a sacred rock in the river, on which the devout sprad 
the mat of prayer ; it owes its sanctity, according to4c 
legend, to the execution carried out upon it (by order 
of the Sultan of Kota Tinggi) of one Jit, a Jakua 
chief, who had been detected in necromantic practice! 
When they came after the execution with the burial 
garments to take away the body, it had disappeared. 
Three months after Jit was met by his son on thesame 
spot alive and well, which from that period onward 
he used to haunt. He was also said to assume ai 
times the form of a white cock ; and when met in 
human form he disappeared, and a white cock wassea 
vanishing in the distance.^ 

Tradition of Tribes with Great Feet, 

Finally it may perhaps be worth while toreferto 
the explanation given by Vaughan-Stevens^ofthehuge 
foot-prints attributed to certain of these jungle tribes, 
more especially the ** Eastern Jakun." Accordii^ 
to Vaughan-Stevens, the great size of the footsteps 
of these Jakun, at certain seasons, is due to their 
binding the leaves of the Bgrtam-palm upon thdr 
feet, in order to avoid sinking in the deep mangrove 
mud when they are forced to traverse it in search 
of jungle produce, etc., the bad land which requires 
this special provision to be made being said to extend 
in patches as far north as Pahang. There may be 
something in this explanation; on the other hand, it 
must not be forgotten that, as has already been 
pointed out, this legend of tribes with great feet is 
a widely spread Mohammedan legend, which is found 

^ Ilervcy mj, R, A, S.y S, /?., No. 3, p. 97. 
2 y./, E, xxix. 195 seqq. 


ther countries besides the Malay Peninsula, and 
is perhaps the more probable explanation. 

Orang Laut or Sea-Jakun. 

Principles of Religion. 

^rangr Laut, Sabimba. — The statement that the 
mba have no religion, believe in no demons 
antu ") or other supernatural beings, hardly any 
icines, and no magicians (** poyangs ") ^ can 
ly be accepted as final, even if the word 
igion " be confined to the narrow sense in 
:h it was, till recent years, so frequently em- 
ed. The converse statement would probably 
e nearer the truth. The present writer has on 
e than one occasion, without going out of his 
to look for them, met with a variety of demons 
charms believed in by the Orang Laut, and he 
ks there is very little doubt that when it is 
quately investigated the Sabimba religion will 
/e to be the old religion of the pagan (pre- 
hammedan Malays) which was most probably a 
1 of demonology or Shamanism, overlaid with a 
ht Hindu veneer. 


Dreams, we are informed, are greatly dreaded, and, 
:n bad, suffice to keep the dreamer in a state of 
asiness for several days. A Sabimba man of old is 
to have dreamed that he would be killed by a 
r, and within two days his dream was fulfilled.^ 
\gain, they declare that their ancestors were 

' /. /. A. vol. i. p. 298. Cp. also ibid. p. 348*. 
2 find. p. 298. 



warned in dreams that if the race took to 
they would be visited by tempests. Hence % t 
abstain as religiously from bathing as theydofai|^ 
eating the fowl. The only punishment whidi Ae 
Malays threaten them with, or ever inflict, is to 
duck them in water, and of this they have so gici 
a horror that they say they would prefer being IdlM 
at once.^ 

Sabimba Traditiofts. 

Before the Sabimba were transported to Johorbf 
the Temenggong of that State, they inhabited tint 
portion of the island of Battam which is traversed bj 
the stream called Sabimba and its tributaries. 

They are entirely a forest people, having no I 
clearings or cultivation of any kind, and also (ft I 
are told) no boats. They are therefore in a loitf 
plane of civilisation than the Benua. According to 
their own traditions, however, they have not always 
been so rude of habit. They declare that they arc 
of Malayan race, and give the following account d 
their arrival at Battam. Their forefathers lived i) 
the land of the Bugis {i.e. Celebes), and were, lik 
the Malays, of agricultural and maritime haKt 
In voyaging, however, from Celebes to the wes 
ward, a vessel containing a party of them and 
Bugis Raja was lost off the coast of Battam. Soi 
of them succeeded in reaching the shore, and havi 
no means of returning to their native country, i 
mained on the island. In the course of a f 
generations their numbers increased, and they li\ 
in comfort, making clearings in the forest a 
gradually regaining the easy condition in wh 

* /I /. A. vol. i. p. 297. 


ipwrecked ancestors had lived before they 
r native land. At this stage, however, they 
ately attracted the attention of pirates and 
tlements (" kampongs ") were ravaged. New 
3 were made and their houses rebuilt, but 
un they were visited by the pirates. They 
noved to another locality, but their merciless 
levering assailants yet again discovered thern^ 
inued to repeat their attacks every few years. 
when their settlements had been destroyed for 
nth time, they gave themselves up to despair, 
ed their ancient habits, and sought safety by 
ig in the forest and restricting themselves to 
k1 as it yields spontaneously. To prevent 
ire to return to the comforts of civilisation 
posing them again to plunder, slavery, or 
be whole tribe then and there made a vow 
y would never again form any clearings, live 
1 life, or even eat the domestic fowl, the 
of the cock having sometimes betrayed their 
s to the pirates. 

tever be the foundation of this tradition, it 
nly descriptive of the condition in which 
f live.^ 

lUt, Sletar. — To the impulses which govern 
ns of the Sletar, only a long acquaintance 
:ir prejudices and domestic feelings could 
:lue. Of a Creator they did not appear to 
I slightest comprehension, and even when 
:est care was taken over the investigation. 
It was still entirely negative. They neither 

I God nor Devil of the Christian or Moham- 
hough they confessed they had been told of 

* /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 295, 296. 

II 2 B 


such, nor any of the Hindu demigods, many of whom 
were recounted to them. In the three great epochs 
of their lives {i.e. at birth, marriage, and death), we 
consequently find no rites or ceremonies enacted 
Of the Pari, Dewa, Mambang, and other aerial 
spirits that are assigned to every mountain, rock, and 
tree in Malay mythology, they did not even know die 
names, nor had they anything to be afraid of (as thw 
themselves said), except the *• Gallang Pirates," wIm 
were men like themselves.^ 

0. Laut, Biduanda Kallang. — They have a Bomor or 
physician who chants in order to summon the demons 
to give them medicine. 

For swellings they bruise the leaves of the "Bam,"* 
and rub them over the affected part. Cuts or wounds 
are rubbed with the juice of the "Akar lale uraL' 
For pain in the bowels they employ ginger. For 
headache they drink the juice of a tree called 
** Kapielu {sic, ? Kapialu) angin."" 

0. Laut, Muka Kuning. — The Orang Muka Kuning 
have derived some obscure and distorted notions of 
a Creator from the Malays, but otherwise appear^ to 
have no religion or superstitions. Allah Ta*ala 
(the God of the Mohammedans) is the creator of aD 
living things, and Nabi Muhamad (the Prophet 
Mohammed) is his wife,* who destroys all living thingi 
They dwell together above the sky, and have tiw 
children, a male and a female, whose names and func- 
tions, however, are unknown. The Orang Mub 

J /. /. --/. vol. i. pp. 343, 344. Sabimba already mentioned. 

- ** liiinx'^ = I/idiscus fi/iaceuSf Linn. * This idea is perhaps die moB 

(A/a/Tmri£). striking proof that could be imagined of 

3 y. /. .^. vol. i. p. 300. that absolute superficiality of the ll» 

* The italics are mine. For the hanunedan element for which I bsR 

^rr.*. -^^nnorUc nr>r»iv r hcm as to tfac contendcd. 




uning have no idea of the soul as existing separately 

•m, or surviving the body. It is probable that their 

lief in a male creating and preserving, and a female 

stroying, deity was derived either from Hindus or 

indu Malays in the pre-Mohammedan era, and that 

e Muka Kuning have merely altered the names, a 

ictice which appears to be common in the Archi- 

^|>eIago, and one, indeed, of which the history of almost 

liftvery nation furnishes examples.^ 

0. Laut, Temiang. — A special form of arrow-release 
is said to be employed by the Orang Temiang in shoot- 
ing fire at the spirit of sickness. According to the 
description the bow is perforated in the centre (the 
•• handle " of the bow), and the arrow has a shoulder 
near the distal end, which prevents it passing through 
the hole, and the nock is fastened to the string,^ 

A ball of inflammate material is loosely placed on 
the end of the arrow, and when the arrow is released, 
it is suddenly checked by its shoulder striking the 

^ Logan here remarks, in a quaint 
note, that in the eastern parts of 
Bengal, which have a distinct ethno- 
logical connection with the Indo- 
Chinese peoples, instances of this kind 
occur. The successive changes that 
ihc religion of Europe has undergone 
were accompanied by a similar con- 
fnsion of names. "The memory of 
the pagan (classic) creed was not 
speedily eradicated in the extensive 
provinces through which it was once 
aniversally received ; and in many par- 
ticulars it continued long to mingle 
with, and influence, the original super- 
stitions of the Gothic nations. Hence 
we 6rKl the elves occasionally arrayed 
in the costume of Greece and Rome, 
and the Fairy Queen and her attendants 
transformed into Diana and her nymphs, 
and invested with their attributes and 
appropriate insignia " (Sir W. Scott's 
Introduction to the TaU of Tam/atu). 
•* Ciiristianity never succeeded m root- 

ing out the ancient creed ; it only 
changed many of the subjects, which 
maintained, and do still to this day 
maintain, their place among us. What 
had been religious observance subsists 
as popular superstition ; the cross of 
the Saviour only replaced the hammer 
of Thor, and the spells which had once 
contained the names of heathen gods 
were still used as effective, having been 
christitud by the addition of a little 
holy water, and the substitution of the 
names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
Tobit, St. Peter, and St. Paul" Q. M. 
Kemble's Introduction to the Anglo- 
Saxon Dialogut of Salomon at:d 
Saturn^ p. 7).—;/. /. A, vol. i. p. 


' Mr. L. Wray informs me that the 
form of bow here described is employed 
by Malay Pawangs, or magicans, in 
Perak, and that there arc several 
specimens of it (that came from Larut) 
in the Perak Museum. 

372 NATURAL REUGION AND folk-lore i 

bow, the fire-ball being projected into the air I 

To effect this "release" the first finger is{ 
above the string and under the arrow,* the l 
being straightened, and the arrow grasped be 
the thumb and finger.^ 

Traditions of the Orang Akik. 

0. Laut, Akik. — Dato' Klambu,' a man of 
power in former days, employed a number of 
in the building of an Astana or palace. He I 
only daughter, a young and beautiful damsel 
once upon a time observing the primitive cost 
one of her father's workmen, was seized with 
controllable fit of merriment. Thereupon d 
tated Jakun commenced the incantation " Chi 
and pursued their way to the forest, followed 
spellbound princess. Dato' Klambu despatchc 

^ Professor Morse adds, ** This is a * Kubur,' or tomb, of Date 

most awkward and inefHdent release. This was a Mohammedai 

and as the description of this and the considerable odour, who a 

previous release were given me by an from Achin to the Malay 

oKi man, it is possible that they may and who, during his 

have been incorrectly described." selected this spot for the i 

[The fact that these releases were of his remains. It is si 

described by an old man some years the summit of a steep rnooi 

ago is, however, rather in fisvour of bank of the river, and havi 

their being correctly (not incorrectly) stream winding round its i 

described. It is the younger (town- structure has nothing pecn 

bred) generation in the Peninsula that being built after the usual 

is the less reliable. Is it not possible, the Malayan Mussulmans ; : 

too, that the weakness and inefficiency of twenty yards long by two I 

the release may have been intentional, is visited by most Mussulma 

as a strong release could hardly up the river, who repeat a 

be required by the circumstances ? ] offer an oblation for the pe 

- Intemat. Archiv f. Ethn, vol. iv. Marhum. There is neithei 

p. 278. inscription on it, with the e: 

^ Lit. Mosquito-net Chief. " About a few sentences of the Kon 

two and a half miles up the Linggi, names of some of the derot 

''fter passing the mouth of Sungei have been rudely scrawled 

4*=.^, V. >»^^.r -—^v^ at rhe charco-1."— ^^bie, ppw 40Q 


gers to bring back his daughter, but she refused 
return, and eventually became the spouse of one of 
te Jakun chiefs. Dato' Klambu, on receiving intel- 
nce of this occurrence, dissembled his resentment, 
invited the whole tribe to a sumptuous entertain- 
^*ient on pretence of celebrating the nuptials. In the 
'^tiaidst of the feast he fired the palace in which the 
'^•^■^^vels were carried on, and the whole of the Jakun, 
; ""^^tcept a man and a woman, perished in the flames. 
* ^^ese two Jakun fled to Rawang, a marsh near the 
|^"^^ashore, and from them sprang the Ray at Laut, some- 
^ *iines termed Orang Rawang or Akik, who, not daring 
^*^ return into the interior, have ever since confined 
r ^^iiemselves to the coasts and islets. The truly char- 
; "^^cteristic tradition among the subjects of the sea 
themselves, is that their first parents were a white 
^ligator and a porpoise.^ 

Belief in Spirits. 

Orangr Laut (unspecified). — The Orang Laut, for 
instance, believe (we are told) that the flying lizard 
looks out for births and causes the soul to take up its 
abode in the new body. It is the subordinate of the 
mythical lizard, the guardian of the Stone [of Life], 
and can leave the earth to go to its master. If an 
Orang Laut killed one of these lizards, the others would 
refuse to bring the soul of his new-born child. The 
flying lizard can transform itself into a crocodile ; the 
crocodile and the shark are brothers and carry out the 
death sentence on a man whose Stone of Life is soiled 
and buried, if the lizard does not do so in person.'^ 

1 Newbold, ii. 412, 413 [cp. the tribe is not stated. For the belief in 
J. /. A. vol. ii. p. 278]. the power of the Jakun to change into 

* Z.f. E. xxviii. 187. The name of lizards, cp. p. 358, atite. 


Again, the time from birth to the cutting of tie 
umbilical cord is the critical period, and all present 
unite in shouting to drive away the evil spirits.^ 

The Orang Laut do not fear sharks. " They are 
our own brethren, they are Sea Pirates ('pfirompak 
laut ') like ourselves," said one of them to Thomson.- 

Use of Wooden Images, 

Before leaving the Orang Laut I must not omh 
to mention a valuable contribution to they. -ff.i4.1 
S.B., in No. 41 of the Society's Journal, by Dr. 
Abbott, who writes that in July 1903 he discovered 
among the Orang Mantong of Sanglar Island, two 
wooden images representing women, in a cave near 
the seashore, not far from Kampong Telok Lanua. 
Each image was about 3^ feet high, and one of them 
had three wooden horns about 6 inches long pro- 
jecting upwards from the head. These horns were 
serrated along one edge. This figure also had straight 
rudely-carved arms of soft wood much decayed. 

The teeth were represented by pieces of broken 
shell. A blackish line extended diagonally across the 
chest, meeting a horizontal one extending across just 
above the breasts. The region of the heart was 
marked by a blackish spot. The other figure was 
very rudely carved of soft white wood, and was with 
out arms. 

The figures were lying face downward on th< 
floor of the cave, and had evidently not been disturbei 
for months, as roots were growing over them, and th« 
wood was beginning to decay. 

No information in regard to the use of the image 
could be obtained. Everybody questioned by Di 

S*»^-v '3. ''6, ante, ^ J, I. A, vol. v. p. 144, 


Abbott denied the existence of such things, not know- 
ing that Dr. Abbott had already found them. 

No true Malays live on the island, and all the 
inhabitants eat pig. 

Dr. Abbott concludes, I think quite rightly, that 

^bese images cannot be regarded as true ** bfirhala " 

Or idols, and that most probably they are a form of 

^cape-goat (** sakat buang ") for use in sickness. Dr. 

''Vbbott adds that when an Orang Laut is ill, a wooden 

^[ure of a bird, snake, fish, or other animal is made, and 

^ soon as the medicine-man (** pawang " or ** bomor ") 

tias exorcised the demon (** hantu ") in the sick man, 

5and has driven it into the figure, the latter is then 

carried out to sea and thrown overboard. In the 

same locality (during the' previous year) Dr. Abbott 

picked up the floating image of a bird. Very likely 

(says Dr. Abbott) these human images were similarly 

used. They resemble the **adu-adu" of the Nias 


To this (already mentioned) testimony I may add 
my own, for I myself once picked up on the Kuala 
Langat coast, close to the regular haunts of the local 
group of Orang Laut or B^sisi, a large wooden figure 
representing a coconut -monkey or ** b'ro'." As in 
the case of Dr. Abbott's specimens every kind of 
information was rigidly withheld, but in view of these 
later discoveries, I have now little or no doubt that 
my own specimen should be explained in the same way. 
As somewhat analogous, I may add that at a shrine on 
the Bird's Nest Islands in the remarkable ** Inland 
Sea *' ( Tale Sap) of Singora, visited by the Cambridge 
expedition under my guidance in 1899, a (human) 
image of wood occupied a central position, between 
the skull of a rhinoceros and that of a crocodile (this, 


however, being the nearest approach to an idol that I 
have seen among the natives of the entire Peninsula, 
offerings of edible bird's-nests and broken clay images 
of animals, etc., being placed before it). During the 
same expedition, at a later date, I picked up on the 
river bank near Jambu in Jering (one of the seven 
modern subdivisions of Patani) a large woocb 
elephant (with mahout), which had been used, b 
place of the more usual "lanchang" or spirit-boat, 
during the ceremony of casting the spirits of evil out 
of the village in the preceding year. 


As is evident from the foregoing, the religions of 
these native tribes are made up of mixed elements, 
in which native notions greatly preponderate and fonn 
the basis, with details from Indian and Mohammedan 
sources superadded. (For the former see especially 
p. 176, ante.) Much of the Indian element seems to 
have been introduced direct, but some of it also 
appears to have come through an Indo-Chinese 
channel, though the exact manner of its introduction 
is still uncertain, in view of the vagueness of our 
knowledge of the early history of the Peninsula. 

A detailed comparison is outside the scope of the 
present work, but still it has to be largely kept in 
view in forming an estimate of the extent to whidi 
even these rude jungle tribes have been influenced 
by their more ** civilised " neighbours in the obscure 
twilight of their unrecorded past. 




Present State and Future Prospects. 

languages spoken by the aboriginal tribes of the 
Y Peninsula present various problems of un- 
ion interest as well as of exceptional difficulty. 

are split up into a large number of dialects, all 
lich are of course unwritten, as these tribes^ 
never attained to the level of civilisation which 
wledge of the art of writing implies ; and in the 
er part of the Peninsula each of these dialects 
ifined to a relatively small area, and it often 
ins that a little clan, or even a single family, 
a form of speech which, though more or less 
d to the dialects of its neighbours, is neverthe- 
lufficiently differentiated from them to be practi- 
unintelligible to all except the members of the 
community itself. 

necessary consequence of this state of things 
h itself results from the natural segregation of the 

into small clans nowadays to some extent cut 
)m one another and surrounded by settled Malay 
lunities ^) is that most of the aboriginal dialects 
ow, and have been for some generations past, in 

he neighbourhood of Malacca some of the Perak tribes write on 

iividuals have been taught to leaves, remains unconfirmed. 
write by the Roman Catholic - Cf. Clifford xn Journal of the Royal 

ries ; but Newbold's hearsay Asiatic Society^ Straits Branchy No. 24, 

it {op. cit. vol. ii. p. 417), that pp. 14-16. 



process of decay. Being of no use except for i 
very restricted intercourse for which they serve, di 
have hardly ever been thoroughly learnt either 
Europeans, Chinese, Malays, or even, it may 
supposed, by members of other tribes or clans: a 
nearly all communication between the aborigines! 
the outside world has therefore, for a consideia 
time past, been carried on in the general /m; 
fraiica of the Peninsula, that is to say, in Malay, m 
or less modified by the national and personal idios 
crasies of the speaker. 

Accordingly, in such parts of the Peninsula 
have been at all exposed to outside influences, 
dialects of the aborigines have for some general 
been maintaining a precarious existence in cons 
competition with the invading Malay language, 
in some parts they are now almost entirely supers* 
by it. All the dialects, so far as they are knowi 
us, contain a considerable, though very varying, 
portion of Malay loan-words, and the number oft 
is daily increasing. There can be no doubt that 
tendency has been accentuated of late years bj 
establishment of peace and order in the Penin 
The aborigines, who, in many districts, were fon 
hunted like wild beasts, and whose well-founded 
trust and fear of their Malay neighbours kept the 
the jungles, have now learnt that the existing go 
ment will protect them. The consequence is 
they now often visit Malay villages for purpos 
trade and barter, and naturally they learn to J 
Malay and imitate Malay customs.^ The nu 
of aborigines who are thus bilingual, having 1 
enough Malay to carry on a limited conversatic 

" I ,„»ri«e in r.R. ^ v., 6* ^., ^-^ 35. pp f^', 9^- 


inary subjects, must be increasing in most districts, 
tn where the tribes to which they belong are 
tionary or dwindling in numbers. 

The way is thus being prepared for the gradual 
sorption of these wild tribes by their more civilised 
^^bours, and it must not be forgotten that this 
ftcess is for them really a rise in the social scale, so 
i:t they are under a constant temptation to cast 
unselves adrift from all that is most characteristic 
their customs and language. Accordingly there is 
strong tendency for these dialects to die out and to 
: replaced by a Malay patois, differing little from 
dinary Malay. 

This process of assimilation, though accelerated in 
cent times, has been at work for several generations, 
\A in the extreme south of the Peninsula it has 
ached such a pitch that almost all the dialects of 
lat region are now practically obsolete. Already 
I the middle of the last century, when Logan ^ made 
is exploratory journey through Johor, he found that 
le Jakun aborigines of that State used Malay even 

speaking amongst themselves, and that the only 
aces left of their extinct dialects were a broad and 
.ther uncouth pronunciation of Malay, a few words 
hich appeared to be survivals of their older tongue, 
id a peculiar, half- artificial jargon used by them 
hile engaged in the search for certain jungle pro- 
icts (especially camphor), when the use of their 
dinary Malay vernacular was for the time being 

Miklucho-Maclay,^ Hervey,* Lake and Kelsall,^ 

^ J.l.A. vol. i. p. 289. No. 2, p. 2i8. 

* Ibid, p. 263. * Ibid. No. 8, pp. 99-101, 112, 120. 

»/. R. A. S., S. B., No. I, p. 39 ; * Ibid. No. 25, p. 3; No. 26, p. 40. 


and Machado/ who have since Logan's time reportd 
on these southern tribes, all agree with his account ol 
their condition in the matter of language. 

Similarly Emeric- states that the Sakai along tk 
Klau river in Pahang speak only Malay, with "afii< 
soiipfon of the guttural brogue that enables ooei 
recognise aborigines within earshot, even if dresHi 
like Malays and speaking Malay"; and Clifibrd,! 
his manuscript notes communicated to me, recdl 
having met a clan of Sakai between Tras and Bentoi| 
in the same part of Pahang, who spoke only Mafaf 
even amongst themselves, and explained it by dd» 
ing to be descended from a Rawa " Malay anccsm 
who, being invulnerable from his birth, could n«be 
circumcised and had therefore to go and live in tk 
jungle with the wild aborigines. No doubt the legal 
was invented to account for the fact of their spddi| 
only Malay, but curiously enough some members rf 
the clan were themselves circumcised, thoi^h itisnfli 
stated (and does not appear likely) that they w« 
converts to Islam. 

So too Lawder* in 1887 wrote, with reference ti 
Kuala Selangor, that the very few Sakai in thai 
district spoke only Malay ; and about the same time 
Turney ^ wrote of the Klang Sakai, that they thcifr 
selves asserted that their language was Mahy. | 
Similar statements have also been made as to the 
Ulu Selangor Sakai.^ 

Yet words have been recorded quite recently in 
the last-named district which prove that the old dialects 

^ J.R.A.S,, S.B,, No. 38, p. 31. situate about lat. o* 40' S., long. i«' 
- Calcutta Review^ January 1 904, £. (of Greenwich), adjoining the Ma- 
No. ccxxxv. p. 59. deling Batak country. 

3 I believe these Rawa people come * SeLJoum. vol. ill p. 224. 

rnm ap Jnij^nd rcgiou in Sumatra, * Ibid, • Ibid, vol. v. pL 39I 


lot entirely extinct there ; and the present writer 
/ouch for the fact that some at least of the Klang 
igines speak a dialect closely allied to, if not 
tical with, Besisi, for he obtained similar words 
e Malacca Besisi, which he knew, from a planter 
e acquaintance with Sakai was limited to a few 
s of the dialect of some of the aboriginal coolies 
Dyed on his estate near Klang. 
1 fact, the assertion that a particular clan of 
gines speaks Malay exclusively is often rashly 
: on evidence which really only goes to show 
the members of it all know Malay, but does not 
tive their having a special dialect of their own 
*11. The aborigines like to be thought civilised, 
are extremely shy of displaying any of their 
1 characteristics to an outsider who may be un- 
)athetic. Moreover, in the south of the Peninsula 
natter is complicated by the fact that there may 
I be some doubt whether what is spoken by the 
igines is really a roughly pronounced form of 
ly or a closely allied dialect of separate develop- 
t, influenced by, but not directly derived from, 
rivilised Malay language of the country, 
severtheless the process of decay which these 
cts are undergoing is now in most parts of the 
nsula advancing at such a rate as to justify the 
umption that in a few generations there will be 
or nothing left of them, except, possibly, in the 
or three remote tracts where at present bi- 
lalism has hardly begun to appear, 
t follows that any research that is to be made 
these peculiar forms of speech, must be made at 
: before the inevitable extinction with which they 
:hreatened makes all further collection of materials 


for ever impossible. These tribes, surrounded 
they are by men of different faiths and alien 
who despise them and regard them as litde 
than brute beasts, have no recorded history; baid|j 
a few allusions to their mere existence are to 
found in Malay literature, and practically ni 
whatever is on record that can throw any lig^ 
their origin and antecedents. It is to their pi 
structure, their customs, and above all to 
languages that we must turn if we would gain 
insight into their past.^ 

Such is the somewhat pathetic interest wU 
attaches to the languages of these forest-dwdlen;! 
and though the study of them is not likely to be i 
practical use to any living soul, .yet, embracing a 
they do the modes of speech of some of the km 
developed and most thoroughly wild and undvOisBl 
members of our race, it is perhaps natural that dKf 
should form a fascinating subject of inquiry. 

Apart from this, however, they are of considcrahk 
importance in relation to the study of langua^in 
general, and of the languages of South-eastern Ai 
in particular, for they are connected in a peculiarff 
intricate way with several groups of these languages^ 
some of which have hitherto been almost eniiidf 
neglected or at least very inadequately studiei 
Situated at the extreme end of a vast continent, these 
** aboriginal " tribes of the Malay Peninsula represent 
the disjecta membra of several distinct portions of the 
human race, and their languages are a curious blend 
of the most strangely amalgamated constituents. 

* Cf, Logan, y. /. A, voL i. pp. 290, 291. 


Cktssificaium and DtstriitUian. 

Mre, however, dealing with this point, it will be 
le to explain how the different dialects are 
ited within the Peninsula, and to give some 
cimens of the differences which exist between 
The terms Semang, Sakai, and Jakun will not 
1 in this section of the work to indicate merely 
guages spoken by the tribes which anthropo- 
\f fall under these respective divisions as 

in Part I. of this work, but will bear a more 
linguistic meaning. In arranging the materials 
ire embodied in the Comparative Vocabulary 
ed to this volume, it soon became evident that 
^as a typical Semang group of dialects, best 
nted by the speech of the aborigines in 

Kedah and the adjoining state of Raman, 
itrasting strongly with a typical Sakai group, 
:h the best specimens came from Southern 
smd the adjoining parts of Pahang.^ These 
>es clearly differed in some important points, 
li the most obvious were a considerable diver- 
1 phonology, and the existence in the Semang 
a whole series of quite common words which 
d to be entirely absent in the Sakai type. 

these strongly contrasted types have been 
i the intermediate and outlying dialects, and 
le dialects of the north and centre of the 

assification has been admir- pp. 528*537, which for the 6rst time 

>y Schmidt in his excellent established on purely linguistic grounds 

e Sprachen der Sakei und the existence of a Semang group 

if Malacca und ihr Ver- distinct from the Sakai group, 
en Mon-Khmer-Sprachen," The new material given in the 

tn tot (U TacU- Land- en present work confirms and justifies 

5r van Nederlandsch-Induly Schmidt's classification in its main lines, 

.\urt 8 (Part 52 of the whole), while extending it in some particulars. 

^11 2 C 


Peninsula have fallen more or less satisfe 
series of groups and subdivisions. 

In the south there are not the same 
tions ; for reasons which have already 
indicated, there is no such good represei 
Jakun type as still exist in the case 
Semang. Nevertheless, the remaining < 
Peninsula have been classified and will I 
as Jakun, both for convenience and beca 
be ultimately derived from a common s 
at any rate distinct from both the Sakai 

The pages of the Comparative Vc 
amply illustrate the leading difference 
between these types ; but for conveni 
some indication of the divergences w 
here subjoin a short list of words which 
a specimen.^ 



Jakun (I) 



































£ngkuh 2bu 









1 It must be understood that 

: these 

Jakun dialects ; wl 

words are selected, in some 


series of words, 1 

from a number of variants, for which 

distinct families < 


can be made to the 


more or less throi 


Vocabulary. The J 

iist is 

These will be discu 


to be typical, but 

by no 

short list merely U 

means exhaustive. Further, it 


verbal differences 


that the " Sakai " 


In view of th 

appears (generally with some modifica- 

diversity of the Ja 

»on of foTn\ in a number of Semang and 

represented by tm 



matter of fact, the relations which exist 
;hese different types are exceedingly com- 
cannot be satisfactorily discussed without 
to the other families of speech in South- 
sia with which the dialects of the Peninsula 
:ted, or by which they have been modified, 
e entering into the consideration of these 
roblems, it is desirable to explain the geo- 
distribution of the dialects, and to indicate 
me time the subdivisions into which they 
lese subdivisions, though based on linguistic 
n fact agree to a considerable extent with 
>rial arrangement and geographical relations 
eral tribes. 

ily speaking, then, the dialects fall into groups 
respond, though not accurately, with the 
)gical varieties of the aboriginal races. In 
of the Peninsula are the Semang dialects 
I the eastern side of the main mountain 
the name of Pangan) ; in the centre the 
d in the south the very mixed and broken- 
sets which are here grouped as Jakun.^ 
f. — The Semang dialects, including those 
igan tribes, are spoken in an irregular tract 
from at least as far north as lat. 6° 30'^ to 
5° 5' on the western side of the Perak river, 
: lat. 4^ 45' on the eastern side of the main 
he States of Kelantan and Trengganu ; and 
veen longs. 100'' 40' (though a century ago 

t to the map here given outside these lines, while within them 

the relative position of some of the recorded dialects may have 

The lx)undary lines become extinct. 

map merely indicate - Except where otherwise stated, 

limits as evidenced by all latitudes are north. All longi- 

a of dialects recorded. tudes are east of the Greenwich 

ssible that others exist meridian. 


the limit was near the actual coast-line, about kig: Ipt. i 
i(xf 20') and 102° 45'. Outlying members o( 4 Isai ' 
group have been recorded beyond these linis: I Ti 
Miklucho-Maclay ^ heard of Negritos, presumalii lir i 
Semang- speaking ones, though nothing is sasdoDWC 
that point, as far north as the mountains of Patalia| I 
(probably about lat. 7"* 35', long. 99** 45'), and he ah ^ 
saw two captured boys of that race in the house oi : 
the Raja Muda of Singgora. Again, Warringtoi 
Smyth ^ states that a small tribe of about four hundred 
Negritos inhabit the district of Chaiya (lat. 9* 20', long. 
99"), but he too says nothing as to their language; 
on the other hand, Clifford records the presence of a 
single Semang-speaking family, apparently not of puie 
Negrito stock, as far south as Sadang (lat. 4"" 30^,loog. 
100" 53'), and in Pahang, though no specimens of 
their dialects have been recorded, it is probable that 
a few Pangans wander at least as far south as this, if 
not farther.'* 

Throughout almost the whole of its very extended 
range, the Semang language is curiously uniform as 
compared with the Sakai. This may with mudi 
probability be ascribed to the relatively more nomadic 
life of the Negritos, which leads them over a con- 
siderable tract of country, keeps up communicaticm 
among the several clans, and checks the process of 
local differentiation. There is no clear linguistic line 
of demarcation between Semang and Pangan ; in fact, 
the Semang speech of Central Kedah and the Pangan 
of Southern Kelantan, though more than 120 miles 

i/.A'..-/..V., .V./>*., No. I, p. 207. they go as far as Pulau Tawar (ht 

He calls Patalung " Madelon." 3* 51', long. loa** 27'), and a pSi- 

"^ Five years in Siam, vol. ii. pp. 76, ghulu informed Emeric that they w«e 

77. to be found on the tributaries of the 

3 Ei^'*ric reports, on the authority Semantan (about lat. 3** 30' or 3* 40^»I 

^'- v--^^, Vcf riot oft;/;er. Pekan, that presume) ; but this awaits coofiraatipa 


iu-t, resemble one another more closely than do some 
Icai dialects which are near neighbours. 

The following short list, which could be consider- 
ily amplified if necessary, will suffice to illustrate 
is close resemblance ; — 

Semang of Kedah, 

Pangan of Keiantan, 
























On the other hand, the Semang and Pangan 
ialects have a long border-line where they march 
ith members of the neighbouring Sakai group, and 
a both sides of that line there has been some inter- 
lixture and mutual influence. While all Semang 
ialects, so far as at present recorded, have many 
ords in common with Sakai, several of the Semang 
ialects near the Sakai border, especially the dialects 
f the Plus and Galas valleys, contain a few Sakai 
^ords and forms which do not occur in the more 
epical Semang further to the north. But this is only 
^hat might have been expected, and it does not 
mount to much. 

In a few instances the Pangan dialects seem to 
refer a different word from the Semang ; but in such 
ises it usually happens that one or both synonyms 
ccur also in Sakai : — 

Semang. Pangan. Sakai. 

Cold hangit tengked sengat, dekat 

Female mabe yalu 

Hot pedih bakud bekat 

Water betcu, ho, gel torn teu, hong 

The following short list of words will suffice to 


show that the Semang dialect of the Plus is distal 
from the Sakai dialect of the same valley : — 

To give 

Even when, as in the last instance, the Sema 
and Sakai languages use the same word, there are,; 
a rule, characteristic differences of form which she 
that the phonetic tendencies of the two races divo] 
considerably. The following are a few instances:- 

Semang of Plus. 









































Low-country Semang. — A more substantial 
ception to the general uniformity of the Sen 
language consists in a small group of dialects, 
probably extinct, but formerly spoken in the exti 
south of Kedah and in the upper part of the valle 
the Krian, the boundary river between the Stati 
Kedah and Perak. This little subdivision seen 
correspond with the Semang Paya, or low-cov 
Semang, of Anderson and others ; and, in spite c 
probably very limited range, it appears to have 
stituted a distinct subdivision of the Semang fai 
for it sometimes differs from the other dialects < 
when these agree with one another. It appeal 

^ Perhaps this should be chttA. 


e more words in common with Sakai than the 
ical Semang has ; thus for ** hand," it uses tang, 
^ai tok", instead of the typical Semang chas ; and 
it occasionally has a different term where most of 
other Semang dialects have a word corresponding 
h the Sakai equivalent, e.g. ** ear," pol {pul, pun) 
compared with the usual Semang (Sntong {inteng, 
Hng), Sakai kentok i^ntdky etc.). Sometimes, though 
)as the same term, it differs somewhat in form, e.g. 
) eat," chio\ as against the usual Semang cht, 
kai chd ; ** shoulder," kapueh [kapweh), as against 
peh {klapoh), Sakai g^lpduly etc. 
Pangan-speaklngr Sakai. — Included among the more 
ically Semang dialects are two, collected by Clifford 
the Lebir valley in Kelantan, and the Kerbat in 
mgganu respectively, which are spoken by tribes 
)m the collector, a careful observer, describes as 
ig physically Sakai. If that is so, it is clear that 
se tribes must have adopted the speech of their 
yrito neighbours, or they may have been originally 
yritos whose physical type has been modified by 
ising with a Sakai strain. 

Sakai-speaking Negritos. — Conversely, the Negritos 
he region of Kenderong, Kenering, Sungei Piah, 
Temongoh (or between lats. 5° 25' and 5° 5', and 
ys. loi*' and lor 20') in Northern Perak speak 
ects which, though containing a few Semang words, 
5t nevertheless be classed as Sakai. In tBis dis- 
t it is evident that the Sakai speech has en- 
iched at the expense of Semang, a view supported 
Semang tradition, which, according to Clifford, 
» claim to Mt. Korbu (lat. 4° 41', long. loi"* 20'), 
)eing part of the old Semang territory. 
It will be noticed that, with slight exceptions in 


Perak (and formerly Province Wellesley), all 
Semang dialects hitherto recorded are compr 
within the States politically subject to the Siao 
suzerainty; that is to say, Kedah, Raman, ]; 
Teluban (or Sai), Ligeh, Kelantan, and Trenggai 

Sakai. — The Sakai group occupies the ce 
mountain tract of the Peninsula, with the headw: 
of its principal rivers, and extends, approxinu 
from long. ioi° in Perak to long. 103** in Pahai^, 
on the western side of the main range, in Non 
Perak, from lat. 5° 25', and, on the eastern side c 
range, from lat. 4*" 50', to lat. 2** 25', approxim 
where it ends in a few outlying and obsole 
dialects on the Pahang-Johor border. Almos 
whole of the group is comprised within the liir 
the Federated Malay States under British protec 
that is to say, Perak, Pahang, Selangor, and the 

With such a wide range it is not surprisinj 
this group of dialects should be characterised h 
siderable internal diversity, especially when 
borne in mind that the tribes which speak th< 
for the most part broken up into small clans ii 
ing the upper parts of valleys in a mount 
country, and to some extent confined each to i 
little district. Unlike the Semang tribes, the ( 
part of the Sakai clans are no longer engaged r 
or even mainly, in hunting and in gathering wih 
They tend to settle down into small tem 
villages, and to practise a rude kind of agrici 

* The only exceptions I know of waters of the Dungun rivt 

are the Sakai of the Nenggiri valley in same state, a few Besisi in 

Kelantan, a straggling tribe in the and the above-mentioned tri 

Ketiar valley in Trengganu, another the northern frontier of Johor 
v*»ir>i rkr:ra«»'^noii" r*»co»^5 to the head- 


d. though they do, from time to time, change the 
^aition of their clearings, it is probable that they 
«^y ever shift into a valley inhabited by another 
^M\} for such an act would be regarded as a form 
trespass ; nor are they always on perfectly friendly 
K^ns with their neighbours.^ 

Apart from this, the Sakai group borders on two 
tig frontier lines with the Semang and Jakun groups, 
>th of which, especially the latter, it overlaps and 
Is probably encroached on, so that it is in part 
i^e up of dialects which have retained or absorbed 
ements derived from one or both of these two alien 

It is only, therefore, in a relatively small tract, 
pproximately between lats. 4° 30' and 4*", and longs. 
>!** 15' and 102°, that the really typical Sakai is 
x>ken ; while just to the north of this is another 
igion, extending to the Semang - Sakai frontier, 
here the dialects, besides differing in some other 
tspects from their southern neighbours, are evidently 
imewhat affected by Semang,^ and appear to be 
K>ken by tribes of mixed descent, with a consider- 
>le though varying percentage of Negrito blood. 

The map here given shows with sufificient precise- 

* Leech in/. R, A. 6'., S. /?., No. 4, their vocabulary ; but they have a few 
29, says : **The common idea that special words (which do not seem to 

ey wander at large all over the hills occur in Central Sakai) in common 

certainly a mistake ; each particular with Semang, e.g. ** alive," goish^ 

be keeps exclusively to its own Tembi ; gdsh^ Sakai of Korbu ; 

Jlcy . . . their habits are migratory ** arrow," /j7/]f, Sakai of Plus ;** bow," 

their own districts, but . . . they ag^ Sakai of Plus ; ** pig," fuipagt 

Idem leave their own valley." Semang (so-called, but really Sakai) of 

' Leech, he. cit. , speaks of them Kenering ; for which compare the 

being frequently at feud with their Pangan }^(is ; Semang loig (and loyd)^ 

ighbours on either side. I do not <^, and tidpeg. This last appears to 

ink, however, that actual fighting be a typically Semang word, being 

curs nowadays, if it ever did. recorded only in dialects that are un* 

* The Semang influence is more doubtedly Semang and two others 
iceable in their phonology than in that adjoin the Semang area. 

ness the localities where the chief Sakai dialects li 





S. Korbu i 

SAKAI teAube 

Ounong Korbu J^ 



8. Raya 

Ulu Ktnta 



(Lriic^uatt) I 

oBatu o 

%Qum>ng "f 


Ulu Kampar 
Koala Dipang « Ulu Bertmg 

8. Kampar ^B 



S E N I 


S. Chandwiattg 

S.Batang Padang 



8.BI4or Ulu Otlang 

Ulu Sungkal 


Slim % 

— * — 


S,8unghai s.8llm\ 


Approximate boundary between Northern and Central Sakal^ , . , , 
Approximate poaftion of Perak frontier and main mountain rumgo^. 
S.^'MaL Sungal ("river") 

Sketch Map of Principal Sakai Districts. 

been recorded in the central region where thes 
ciiKHn/iQ-'onc qH^nin. This is described by Cliflfi 


tm^ one true Sakai district of the Peninsula, the 

Ely permanent inhabitants being all of aboriginal 
ce, and comprises the headwaters of the rivers Jelai, 
pTdom and Serau in Pahang, Batang Padang, Bidor, 
KLampar and Plus in Perak, and Galas ^ and Nenggiri 
WMX Kelantan. 

\ Northern and Central Sakai. — I shall call the two 

^ktabdivisions of the Sakai group which are represented 

^**^ this region by the names Northern and Central 

Sakai, which correspond respectively to the T6m-be' 

•nd S6n-oi of Clifford, who was the first to point out 

/''^e distinction between them.^ They are separated 

^y a line* drawn from the neighbourhood of Blanja 

\*^t. 4^^ 30', long. 100° 55') on the Perak River, in the 

^^rection of east by a little north, passing between 

*poh and Gopeng, then north of the Sungai Raya 

^5dley but south of Tanjong Rambutan, Ulu Kinta, 

^^d Mt. Korbu (and probably of Mt. Chabang) to the 

^erau valley in Pahang, across which it seems to run 

^mewhere about lat. 4° 35'. According to Clifford, 

the line continues to Kuala Nenggiri, lat. 4° 45', long. 

lor 53', but I have no data as to the nature of the 

dialect spoken by the relatively numerous Sakai 

population of the Nenggiri valley ; probably it falls 

into the northern subdivision of the Sakai group. 

The dialects of Blanja, Sungai Raya, and the 
Serau valley are border dialects falling into the 
central subdivision ; those of Tanjong Rambutan, 
Ulu Kinta, Korbu, and the dialect specifically called 
Tembe* (or Tembi) are their immediate neighbours 

* Part at least of the (iaias valley modified, and with additional detail 

is inhabited by Semang - speaking supplied from more recent data. It is 

aborigines. noticeable that this line cuts straight 

' y. R, A, S. , S, B., No. 24, pp. across the main mountain range of the 

14-16. Peninsula and has no relation to any 

^ This is Clifford's line, slightly jwlitical or physiographical frontier. 



on the north ; and it is certain that Northern Saloi is 1^ ^ 
unintelligible to the clans speaking the oeotnl 1^'^^* 
dialects,* just as Semang is unintelligible to tbe 1^ ^ 
Northern Sakai. 1^ 

To the south the Central Sakai extends coo- 1=^- 
tinuously as far as the Slim valley in Southern Penk, 1^ ' 
probably about lat. 3' 50^ after which there is a gap ■'?? 
in the record, the only other known specimen to 4e if "^ 
southward being the dialect of the Orang Tanjoag, j^ 
or ** men of the river reaches," in the Ulu Langat 
district of Selangor, about lat. 3^ 10', long, lof 5c/. 
As to this outlying clan, one can only wonder howk 1* 
got so far away from the main body to whidi il 
belongs and from which it is now separated by tribes 
speaking dialects of a different type. 

Southern Sakai. — The tract of country extending 
from lat. 3" 15' or thereabouts to about lat. 2' 25', and 
between longs. 101° 20' and 103° 15', is pre-eminently 
a mixed district inhabited by a motley crowd of tribes, 
some of Sakai and others of Jakun speech. Some 
aborigines in this region {e.g. the Besisi) speak Sakai, 
but are physically Jakun, and vice versa some (f/. 
the Belandas) appear to be of Sakai origin, though 
they do not speak Sakai dialects. This puzzle may 
perhaps be in part explained by the habit which these 
clans have of seeking their wives from a stock different 
from their own ; anyhow, it is a very mixed district 

With the exception of the Ulu Langat dialea 
mentioned above, the Sakai dialects here spoken 
constitute a distinct southern subdivision which is more 
allied to the Central than to the Northern Sakai, but 
is quite distinguishable from both. They are best 
represented by the Besisi of Southern Selangor and 

» T i.-rinjT, f,R J v., S.B., No. 35, D. 92 ; Clifibrd, /.r. 


Negri Sembilan (especially Sungei Ujong), a 
ttered tribe speaking a relatively uniform dialect, 
I. extending even into the British territory of 
Uacca. Other cognate dialects have been re- 
dded in the Serting valley of the Negri Sembilan. 
i Bera valley in South Pahang ; and also on the 
:>per Palong and Endau (or Indau) in Northern 
hor, where, however, they are obsolescent, if not 

This southern subdivision of Sakai can be further 
lit up into two subgroups, a south-western and a 
uth-eastem one, the former comprising, in addition 
Besisi, the dialect of the Orang Bukit (** hill men ") 

Ulu Langat and the somewhat mixed dialect 
lected somewhere in Selangor by Daly, the latter 
bgroup including the remaining dialects just men- 
ned, and perhaps also the so-called Beduanda 
Ject of Chiong in Johol, which, despite a consider- 
ie Jakun element, seems to have a larger percentage 
words in common with Sakai than with the Jakun 
ilects with which its name would incline one to 
Lssify it. Of the occasional differences that justify 
is division of Southern Sakai into two subgroups 
e following words (not all of which are really of 
nuine Sakai origin) may serve as specimens : — 

South-western South-eastern Subgroup. 


^'''"' Chiang, '^"'^'"^- ^''^- Indau, 

ianana hcntok kentok tiok ... diok » 

Jelly eot lepon lepiH leput lopot 


mit man mot muat mot 

rlouse dong 

dol dol dol "^ 

kVater doc" dak dak dak dak 3 

N'xit gado tempun kcmpun kempung kompotn 

"fi^isi collected at Nyalas(Malacca) •' Also in Ulu Palong. The Ulu 

y^j^^ Indau dialect also has diau ; Orang 

' Also in Ulu Palong. Hutan of (Northern) Johor, diac. 


Occasionally the south-eastern subgroup has (dtds 
more nearly akin to those of the other Sakai sub- 
divisions than the Besisi equivalents: e^. "big," 
Serting thai, Senoi ^ntoi, but Besisi kadut; "nail," 
Serting chords, Korbu cheros, Orang Tanjong of Uh 
Langat chinros, Besisi kok&t (a Malayan word comnn 
in the Jakun dialects). But, as a general nile^tk 
two subgroups agree pretty closely together. 

Probably all the tribes of this southern subdivisin 
know Malay and speak it pretty frequently, and that 
dialects have been much mixed with Malay aal 
Jakun elements. Dealing, as we often havetodoi 
with mere lists of words without specimens ci 
sentences or grammatical information, it is imposabk 
to draw a hard-and-fast line here between Sabi 
dialects and Jakun, as the two seem to have b- 
fluenced each other to a considerable extent, anl 
many mixed vocabularies are recorded. 

Eastern Sakai. — Returning now to the northwari, 
we find in Pahang, to the east of the central sub 
division, a number of dialects scattered over a tnfl 
extending between lats. 4° 40' and 3'' 30', and longs 
102° and 103° approximately. The dialects here tt 
corded, which I have classed, somewhat tentativd] 
as the eastern subdivision of Sakai, fall into two sul 
groups, viz. an inner subgroup located in Centr 
Pahang, comprising the dialects spoken about Kua 
Tembeling, Pulau Guai, Kerdau, and the Kn 
valley ; ^ and an outer one, consisting of the speedi 
the Sakai tribes of Ulu Tembeling and Pulau Besar(wl 
also occupy or resort to Ulu Dungun in Trenggani 
and of the Sakai of Ulu Cheres in Ulu Kuantan. 

* A vagrant branch of the Krau valley in Trengganu, about Ut 5* 
♦ri'h*. .^c wandered to the Ketiar to 5*, long. 102" 35' to 102' 40'. 


Both these subgroups, though, having much in 
nmon with Central Sakai, occasionally favour the 
>rthern type. They both contain a sprinkling of 
■xiang words, which thus extend much further south 
rte eastern part of the Peninsula than they do on 
i western side of the main mountain range. It is 
rious, for instance, to note that whereas, for instance, 

Perak the word for ** sun '* is the Sakai madyis 
^-^it jlsh) as far north as lat. 5"* 25' at least, in 
tliang the Semang mat kHor {kHa probably) extends 

far south as the Krau valley in lat. 3° 40'.^ 

The outer subgroup also approximates in some 
LTticulars towards the Southern Sakai, e.g. ** belly," 
toch, Ulu Cheres ; cf. l^put, Bera ; lilpot, Serting ; 
tot^ Ulu Indau, as against the typical Sakai, kut\ 
sun," motbri, Ulu Tembeling ; cf. matbri, Ulu 
dong, as against the typical Sakai mat jlsh : 
tongue," /epeSy Ulu Tembeling ; l^peA, Ulu Cheres ; 

/^pUs, Serting ; /ipeSy Ulu Indau ; typical Sakai, 
^td^: **to climb," jv^/, Ulu Tembeling; Aza/, Ulu 
beres ; cf. ya/, Besisi and Serting ; typical Sakai, 
f/ : ** to go," sua^y Ulu Tembeling ; chuak, Ulu 
leres; cf swag, Ulu Indau; chok, Besisi; this word 
►parently occurs also in the other Sakai subdivisions, 
id in Semang and Pangan, but the typical Sakai 
Drk is chip. As the above instances indicate, the 
nnection is mainly with the south-eastern subgroup 
Southern Sakai, while some of the words also occur 

the Jakun dialects of the same region and possibly 

Perhaps this Semang element is Palong ; kukeau^ Semang : ** mouth,*' 

:eable even in the Southern sub- //«/, Ulu Indau ; j«w/, Orang Hutan of 

isioD of Sakai, but the instances are J ohor( 2nd list );//*««/', Semang: **nest," 

. numerous, and it is not quite gisum^ Besisi of Kuala Langat ; kisun^ 

tain that they are specifically Semang Bera ; sunty sam, Semang ; eftsobn^ Se- 

rds : e.g. "banana," keikei, Ulu mang (really Sakai) of Kuala Kenering. 


a few of them are Jakun loan-words, not originlf 
Sakai at all. 

With all this internal diversity, the two subgroofi 
have perhaps enough in common, and are suffidodf 
distinct from the other forms of Sakai, to justify tUr 
inclusion in a subdivision of their own. In spite i 
their foreign elements they are undoubtedly Saka 
dialects, though of a mixed and somewhat degenento 

I append a few words illustrating the sort d 
resemblances and differences which exist betvca 
the four subdivisions of the Sakai group : — 

Comparative List illustrating the Main Types of Sakai. 





















chap, chem 


chiWn, chim chem 


kuod, kon 





















mat, mot 

mat, mot 







tik, ting 

tokn, tak 

tih, ti 

tcng, ti 


daBng. deh 

dokn, dUk 

doling, ddl 









sinoi, mai 

mah, s£ma' 



biga, kupn 

j^oi, kopn 





















doo, dak 

t5, torn* 


—The Jakun^ group 

now to 

be conside 

* Cf. Scniang piflttm^ wofij,% A'^to\ 
baloy torn. 

'^ Occurs also in some Pangan dia- 
lects, e.jS[. nUnd^ Pangan of Belimbing. 

3 Perhaps a Jakun word. 

^ Occurs also in low-country Semang, 
€,sr- 'lo^ Se'T^anp of Juru. 

^ Though for convenience I a 
whole of this mass of dialects \ 
name, I must point out that the 
Jakun is really properly applici 
the tribes ialling into thejiln 
division of the gronp, and «m 
repudiated by all the rest. 


»st difficult one to deal with ; the materials 
are far more fragmentary than those which 
the Semang and Sakai groups, and no 
attempt has ever been made to classify 
"he one certain thing about them is that, 
ley embody some words of the Sakai and 
types, they cannot as a whole be classified 
)f those groups. 

roup extends as far north as the neighbour- 
lasa in the Ulu Selangor district, lat. 3° 30', 
° 37^ but here, so far as our information 
:re is merely an outlying patch, perhaps 
of a single clan, severed from the main 
he next members of the group are met with 
2^ 50', long. loi^ 30', in the Kuala Langat 
the same State. From that point it extends 
ed communities known as Belandas, Bedu- 
itra, and Jakun (intermixed down to about 
with portions of the Southern Sakai sub- 
as far as lat. 2°, long. 103'' 45^ approxi- 
Johor. A separate subdivision, so strongly 
ited from all the rest that it ought perhaps 
ned into a distinct group by itself, is found 
il localities in the Negri Sembilan, but 
)y its name of Kenaboi would seem to 
its real home in Jelebu, in the valley of the 
or Kenabui river, lat. 3^ 10' to 3° 5', long. 
3 102° 8' or thereabouts, 
[akun group is thus characterised by con- 
internal diversity, so that much doubt must 
lether it can be considered as a unity at all. 

classification, excellent deal with Jakun, of which, however, 

;s) as regards the Sakai very scanty materials were at that 

jroups, fails entirely to author's disjx)sal. 

I 2 D 


In the mixed district north of lat. 2^ 25', being owr- 
lapped by Southern Sakai, the dialects of the jakm 
group are much mixed with that form of speedi;io 
the south of 2' 25' very few words appear that hm 
anything in common with the Sakai group. On the 
other hand, throughout its whole range, the jakn 
group has been so much mixed up with Malay that I 
is often impossible to say whether a particular diakct 
is to be described as Jakun much overlaid with Ililai^ 
elements, or Malay embodying a few remnants of 
Jakun. One consequence of this state of things a 
that collectors of vocabularies, on the search for die 
non- Malayan elements in these dialects, finding tb 
almost all words in ordinary use were obviously of 
Malay affinity, were driven to push their inquirb 
further afield, and sought for out-of-the-way woA 
such as the specific names of particular trees, the loi 
known animals, and the like. As they worked ia- 
dependently of one another, they naturally did not ai 
inquire about the same species, etc., and so it happens 
that they have left us for the most part very fiaf 
mentary, scrappy vocabularies, which offer singuMj 
few points for comparison.^ | 

South of latitude 2"^ (with one or two exceptioDi 1 
which will be mentioned hereafter) it is clear tte 
practically nothing specifically Jakun survives in tk 
speech of the Jakuns of the interior ;^ and almost the 
same is true of the dialects of the Orang Laut wbo 

* Someiimes the jungle - men in Sayong Jakun (lat. i* 45' to l* $fi 

rcsj)onse to a request for out-of-the- long. 103' 33' to 1 03" 43'), a mn ^ 

way words, have evidently given words great age (over eighty apptNtflh 

of thoir tal)00 jargon, which have thus J, A*. A. S,^ S. Z?., No. 3, p. lOl)^ 

to some slight extent crept into several no recollection of a dialect pecolivV 

of the lists. his own race (/, A\ A. 5., S.B,^ Kd i 

- Thus Ilervcy (in 1879) found that p. 108). Cf. Logan, /. /.^. ToLi 

rhe '^Id Rafin of »he Lcnggiu and p. 289. 


out in their boats among the little archipelago 
Is south of Singapore to about lat. i'' S. (where 
;o have a few settlements on the Sumatran 
and who resort from time to time at least as 
h as lat. 1° 50' on the west coast of Johor, 
amongst the islands to the east of Johor and 

if not farther. 

difficulty of dealing with the dialects of this 

increased by the fact that in part of the area 
I by them, inland of an irregular line running 

few miles' distance from the coast in South 
r, the Negri Sembilan, and Malacca, the 
peech by which they have been influenced is 
nangkabau dialect (from inland and western 
l), which differs considerably from ordinary 
md has never been thoroughly studied in the 
la. Sometimes where the Jakun dialects 
3m ordinary Malay, it is merely because they 
Dpted words or forms from the Menangkabau 
f their immediate Malay neighbours. 
t of the Jakun tribes, then, speak dialects 
n the face of them are Malayan : they contain 
dl residuary percentages of words peculiar to 
/es, and it is these small residues which offer 

basis of classification.^ 

boi subdivision. — Kenaboi is recorded only 
^ vocabularies, representing apparently two 

dialects, both collected by Hervey, the one 

re also Orang Laut, known them in a series, with the almost 
1 Billiton. They speak a entirely non- Malay Kenaboi at one 
:t, but are excluded from end, and the practically unmixed 
by reason of their geo- Malay of Southern Johor and the 
sition. Their name Sikah islands at the other ; but that would 
not connected with Sakai^ be no real classification. 
.1 form of Sttkti (with the ^ I neglect Vaughan-Stevens* scanty- 
Ian " or '* tribe "). contribution, as it contains nothing 
»uld, of course, arrange distinctive. 


numbering about 200 words, the other about to^ 
and amounting together (as the lists haveacoaum 
element) to a total of about 250 words. 

The specifically Kenaboi words common to k 
two lists include the important words of relati(»ii|i 
'* father," sangkat\ ** mother," hapet\ " child; flW; 
** elder brother/* mohdlok ; " younger brother," di*j 
** elder sister/* t(iniai\ ** younger sister," «^ 
** father-in-law/' lahik, lahik; and also the wonkfcr! 
** ear," ch^liah, ck^lwk ; ** gibbon " (monkey), ^ 
jing6n^ but hardly anything else. But as thi 
divergences are due in most cases to one of ttai 
using a Malay, Sakai, or other identifiable synony* 
these differences are not perhaps a sufficient rcasoi 
for refusing to classify the two lists together as aW 

Assuming, then, that they constitute a unity, « 
have about 250 Kenaboi words to classify; ando 
these I find that nearly half stand quite alonej 
least. I have not succeeded in tracing a connectt 
between them and any other language whatever. 

Of the remainder, excluding words of Ma 
affinity and a few that are related only to langua 
outside the Peninsula, a greater percentage appeal 
be connected with Sakai than with Jakun, whi 
small minority appear to point to Semang. 
Kenaboi is so thoroughly different in its general 
from both Sakai and Semang, of which two gr 
we have a large mass of materials availabk 
comparison, that it cannot possibly be classed 
either of them. On the other hand, the other J 
vocabularies are, as already stated, so fragmo 

* Excep^in^ the last one, these words have no certain paralleb in tl 


surprising that a large proportion of the 
enaboi list should be incapable of being 
n. Confining our attention to the fifty 
; where the materials available enable a 
o be made, I find that K enaboi agrees 
[lore of the remaining Jakun dialects in 
:h or a fifth of these cases and differs in 
n them all, even where some of them 

is no striking divergence in general type 
\y between Kenaboi and the other Jakun 
and as no grammatical information 
ivailable that would modify the position, 
iboi as a possible Jakun subdivision. It 
: before their decay, the other Jakun 
Tibled it more than they do now : para- 
may seem, Kenaboi must be regarded 
best specimen of Jakun recorded or else 
; Jakun at all ; and I doubt whether, on 
evidence, it is possible to be quite certain 
)f these two conclusions is the right one. 
i problem awaits further investigation on 
i collection of a few sentences and some 
)rds may perhaps solve it/ 
subdivision. — I give the name Beduanda 

iher possible su<^- taboo jargons, which show considerable 

at the Kenal>oi lists uniformity amongst themselves, and 

) a mere made-up (4) the fact that they were collected by 

thing in the nature a most careful observer, who would 

ge. This I reject, have recorded their taboo character if it 

)artial) congruity of had existed, go some way towards ex- 

ch were apparently eluding this hypothesis in its alternative 

y, (2) the evidently form. It must, however, be admitted 

the Sakai element that some of the Kenaboi words do 

to me to negative look like taboo words ; but then such 

It they are merely isolated cases also occur in Beduanda 

) their dissimilarity and other Jakun dialects, as already 

I specimens of the stated. 


to this subdivision of the Jakun group because, bes&i 
being the name under which two or three of tklen 
dialects have been actually recorded, it is claimed sIec 
of right by the Mentra as well.* I am not aware thlf^ 
the Belandas, who are included in this subdivisiQi,|vi: 
claim the title ; but they are closely connected lii 
the other members of this subdivision, which indufe 
besides the Belandas of Kuala Langat and Remln, 
the Beduanda of several unnamed localities of Ae 
Negri Sembilan, and the Mentra who are the leadinj 
aboriginal tribe of Malacca territory. 

The dialects of all these agree together suffidcndf 
well to warrant their inclusion in one subdivisiot 
They contain a variable percentage of Sakai work, 
but the Jakun element on the whole prepondera» 
Into this subdivision also falls the mixed diaks 
collected near Rasa, which (after excluding words d 
doubtful connection and words of Malayan origa 
consists for the most part of Jakun and Sakad in dc 
proportion of three to two approximately. The Sala 
element in this dialect is apparently related more a | 
less to all the Sakai subdivisions ; but in general tbt I 
Beduanda subdivision, when it agrees with Saka 
shows most affinity with the Southern Sakai spoktt 
in its neighbourhood. 

The following words will serve to illustrate this 
last point : — 

Jakun Group, Sou/hern Sakai. Centrtd Sakai. 





















* It is also the name of the leading and claimed by them in Tiitne d 

Malay tribe of **]and inheritors" their allied descent in the fevk 

•jVa/, wnris) of »he Menangkabau- line from the aborigiDal lords d A* 

-^-oii'in. iictp/«t( ■> ♦>iA i^enir^ula, «oil 



pend a short list of words showing the con- 
between several dialects of the Beduanda 
ion, and also illustrating the existence of 
:ly Jakun words in the Southern Sakai sub- 
which are not found in Central Sakai : — 




Southern Sakai. 

, elder geek 







m," timo' 




;ey {Mai, 
lother genoi 




ilder gau' 








. {Mai. 




1 subdivision. — The dialects specifically termed 
•e spoken by the tribes to whom this name 
belongs. With the exception of the Malacca 
which, though its most marked connections 
the other Jakun dialects, yet agrees occasion- 
i Kenaboi and Beduanda, besides having a 
ds apparently peculiar to itself, the Jakun 
ire found only in Johor, and are more closely 
;ogether than those of the Beduanda sub- 
greater uniformity is partly due to the Jakun 
laving fewer elements in common with Sakai 
i other two subdivisions in general have, 
ome of the Mentra dialects are also relatively 
I Sakai elements. 

is subdivision, on the slender evidence of two 
words," may be classed the remnants of the 

jntra claim lo be the Johor. The latter, on the jwint !)eing 

rigines par cxccllcnie, and put to them, did not dispute it. 

e Bcsisi l)elong properly ^ "Come here," ka-kiauy Orang 

Ijong, and the Jakun to I^ut of Galang ; kiyduy Barok ; kiyan^ 


dialects of the Orang Laut of Singapore and the 
islands to the southward. Here too, so far as ii 
embodies relics of the obsolescent Jakun diakds, 
falls the taboo language of the Johor Jakun, whkk 
is used apparently throughout the greater part of the 
interior of Johor, even by tribes that no longer xezok 
any trace of Jakun words in their ordinary speed' 
But this taboo language is a very mixed product, and 
cannot be classified among the ordinary dialects; it 
must be discussed separately. 

Much the same observation applies to the taboo 
language of the Mentra, of which, however, only very 
few words have been recorded. One or two of these 
correspond with Beduanda, to which subdivision i 
probably belongs : but the list is really too short to 
admit of classification. 

I append a list of words showing the connectioo 
of the subdivisions of the Jakun group amongst 
themselves, and with the Johor taboo language:— 

Comparison of the Jakun Vocabularies. 














scdek, siap=* sddek 


Come here 

intil\ mfichan 



kiah, kian 



iimun, kdtok 











(to away 
















Kalang ; kian^ Jakun of Kuala Le- traced by Hervey in the Upftf 

niakau ; kiani^ Jakun of Malacca ; but Lenggiu and Madek ; and by Lib 

chian J fhauy Belandas and Mentra. and Kelsall at Kuala Lemakin on the 

Similarly '*go there," '*far off," is Indau, on the Madek, and at Sinpa 

kiyuu^ kiyoh^ in Orang Laut and (UIu Batu Pahat, Sembrong). 

Jakun, the Beduanda subdivision ^ Benua of Newbold. 

having chiun or chun, ^ Cf. Sakai cho\ 

' lx>gan found the same taboo ^ Only in the short undaned ma- 

'anguage in use on the Sedili, Indau, bulary from Tanjong Sagenting, u * 

^A^ Kat" Pahnt nv#»rs. !♦ has been which see po. 4.11, 412, imfra. 

ip. I 





OF Jakun 

Vocabularies — coiuinued, 



















jeun, jing6n 

timo', temo 

' je»iin 



^^W* ungka) 

















kdtu * 





kctur » 


• •• 

puntu, joi 

puntu, sonoi sebuntu 
















tfiwowoh ^ 

tSwowoh • 


Summary of Classification and Distribution. 

The principal dialects and subdialects of the 
aborigines of the Peninsula, so far as represented in 
this work, may now be grouped under the main heads 
mentioned above. 

I. Semang Group. 

( I ) Main Semang and Pangan subdivision — 
Semang dialects of Kedah (Mt. Jerai, Yan, and 
Siong), Ulu Selama, Ijok, Jarum," Plus, and the 
Jehehr (or ** Sakai Tanjong ") of Temongoh ; Pangan 
dialects of Jalor, Sai, Ulu Patani, Teliang, Belimbing, 
Sam, Ulu Kelantan, Lebir, Galas, Kuala Aring, Ulu 
Aring, and Kerbat ; also the '* Hill Semang " dialect 
of the Maxwell MS., 29 of the Royal Asiatic Society's 

* Benua of New>>old. 

^ Cf. Semang tawAh^ Sakai of 
Serting tdwd\ cf. "spider." Is it so 
called because of its long and slender 

3 Besisi rot. 

* Perhaps cf. Sakai cluinggak. 

•'* Besisi kitur. 

^ Semang tatm\h. 

^ The Jarum dialect might with 
equal propriety have been called 


(2) Low-country Semang subdivtsian : — 
Semang dialect of Juru, Begbie's Semang, Sema!i| 

words in Newbold's Orang Benua list, and di 

•* Swamp Semang '' dialect of Ulu Krian of A 

Maxwell MS. 

Pupier's Semang words and those of the Semai 

of Sadang probably come into this subdivision, h 

are too few to admit of classification. 

II. Sakai Group. 

( 1 ) Northern Sakai subdivtsian — 

Sakai dialects of the ** Semang" of Kendero 
Grik, Kenering, and Sungai Piah, of the Po-Klo 
** Sakai Bukit ") of Temongoh, of the Sakai of P 
Korbu, Ulu Kinta, Tanjong Rambutan, and of 
Tembe* or Tembi. 

(2) Central Sakai subdivision — 

Sakai dialects of Blanja (Lengkuas), Sungzu R 
Ulu Bertang, Ulu Kampar, Mt. Berumban, J 
Serau, and the Senoi of Ulu* Pahang ; the S 
dialects of Chendariang, Tapah, Ulu Gedang, Sunj 
and Slim ; and the dialect of the Orang Tanjon 
Ulu Langat. 

(3) Southern Sakai subdivision — 
{a) South-western subgroup — 

Daly's Selangor Sakai, the dialects of the 
Bukit of Ulu Langat, and the Besisi of F 
Langat (Ayer Itam and Sepang), Negri Semi 
and Malacca. 

{b) South-eastern subgroup — 

Sakai dialects of the Bera, Serting, Ulu Pa 
and Ulu Indau (and perhaps also the mixed Bedi 
Hial^ct of Chiong, Johol). 


(4) Eastern Sakat subdivision — 

(a) Inner subgroup — 
Sakai dialects of Pulau Guai, Krau and Kuala 

^mbeling, of the Krau men of Ketiar (Trengganu), 
d of Kerdau. 

(b) Outer subgroup — 

Sakai dialects of the Ulu Tembeling and Ulu 

III. Jakun Group. 

(i) Kenaboi subdivision — 

Two Kenaboi dialects (of the Negri Sembilan). 

(2) Beduanda subdivision — 

Dialects of the aborigines of Rasa, Ulu Selangor, 
of the Belandas of the Kuala Langat district and 
Rembau, the Beduanda of the Negri Sembilan and 
the Mentra of the territory around Malacca ; to which 
may be added the Taboo language of the Mentra. 

(3) Jakun subdivision — 

Dialects of the Jakun of Malacca territory, Ulu 
Batu Pahat, Sembrong, Simpai, Kuala Lemakau, and 
Madek, Johor ; and of the Orang Laut of Singapore, 
Galang, Temiang, and Barok (of Singkep, Lingga) ; 
to which may be added the Camphor Taboo language 
of the Johor Jakun. 

Unclassed Dialects. 

There remain two unclassed dialects, spoken by 
the Orang Laut of Muh Island near Trang, lat. 
7 24', long. 99 25', and the Orang Rayat of Tanjong 
Sagenting, Johor, lat. T 48', long. 102° 54', respec- 
tively. These are recorded in two lists of about a 
dozen words each, and too short therefore for purposes 



of classification. The most that I can say of them 
here is that, judging from the specimens recorded, 
these are both Malayan languages in the wider scnst 
They are not merely Malay subdialects, nor do thcf 
fall under any of the subdivisions of the abori^ 
dialects of the Peninsula, though they have, of course, 
by virtue of their Malayan element, more in commGQ 
with the Jakun group than with the other two. The 
connection of the dialect of the Orang Laut of Trang 
with those of the Selungs of the Mergui Archipelago 
(who, as not being geographically appendant to the 
Malay Peninsula, are excluded from the scope of this 
work*) would be worth investigating, if a more 
extensive vocabulary of the Trang dialect could be 

Language Frontiers. 

It is impossible to say with any approach to 
accuracy of statement how many different dialects 
and subdialects are included in the classification that 
has been given above. The materials are in 
many cases too scanty, and in some too inaccurate, 
to serve such a purpose. Having given the main 
lines of classification, I think it safer to avoid prob- 
lematical subdivisions, and merely to point out that 
there are among the dialects of the Peninsula a 
number of striking instances of sharply defined 
linguistic frontiers between contiguous but mutually 
unintelligible forms of speech. 

Such, in the north of the Peninsula, are the border 
lines separating, e,g.{i) Semang from Northern Sakai, 

* See Anderson, Sclunf^ of the Prhncr (1846) mentioned ihid, pfk 
Mcr:^ui Archipelago (1890), especially 18, 36, of which a copy exists in the 
pp. ip-/*'' 9Xi^ thi* Se/ung ^Jm^^tage Tnjia Office Library. 


=^a) Pangan from the outer subgroup of Eastern Sakai, 

^^3) Northern Sakai from Central Sakai. 

" ^ In the south of the Peninsula the boundary lines 

^^fkre less definite but more numerous ; for instance, the 

*%bsolutely distinct dialects of the Central Sakai of the 

■^fOrang Tanjong of Ulu Langat, the Southern Sakai 

' |W the Orang Bukit of the same, the Belandas and, 

^iprobably, the Kenaboi, are crowded together in an 

^farea which can hardly be more than 50 miles long 

— and 35 broad. So, too, Besisi, Mentra, and Jakun 

3P jostle one another in the 660 square miles of Malacca 

*- territory ; and again between the Sakai dialects of the 

Upper Palong and Indau and the adjoining Jakun 

dialects of Johor there must have been a strong line 

of demarcation, which, however, is probably now 

obliterated by the almost total extinction of both sets 

of dialects. 

It is worth noting that nearly all the tribes still 
speaking peculiar dialects live at some distance from 
the coast and from the main navigable rivers. The 
only substantial exception in our own day, among the 
tribes whose dialects have been classified above, are the 
Besisi, who are in part coast-dwellers and even some- 
times go short distances by sea and have relations 
with the Orang Laut of the Johor coast. This state of 
things is probably more marked than it was about the 
beginning of the last century, when a Semang clan 
lived close to Kedah Peak and another came down 
into Province Wellesley (at that time a strip of land 
extending only four miles from the seashore). At 
the present day, however, nearly all the tribes are 
essentially landsmen, and are even more cut off from 
communicating with one another and the outside 
world by sea than they are by land. 

s? - 




The Camphor Taboo language of Johor has ofta 
been referred to. It was first dealt with by LogaiC 
after him by Miklucho-Maclay,^ then by Hervey/and 
lastly by Lake and Kelsall/ who have contributed dc 
greater part of the materials on which our knowledge 
of this curious form of speech is based. Hervey bs 
also published a few words of the taboo languap 
used by the Mentra of Malacca territory and the 
surrounding region when engaged in searchii^ for 
eaglewood and gold.^ 

Logan appears to have regarded the taboo 
language as a purely artificial production ; Mikludio* 
Maclay considered it to be a survival of the otherwise 
obsolete Jakun dialects, stimulated by the fact (whidi 
is in itself probable) that the more primitive and 
remote tribes of the interior of Johor would be the 
most likely both to preserve their old language and 
to retain an intimate knowledge of jungle-craft. His 
inference is that these expert camphor-gatherers found 
it to their pecuniary advantage to keep outside 
competitors at a distance by consciously setting up 

^ /. /. A. vol. i. pp. 263-266. * /did. No. 26, pp. 39-56. 

■-/.A'.^..y.,5'.^., No. I, pp. 39, 40. ^ Notes and Queries^ No. I, pp^ 

3 Ibid. No. 3, pp. 1 12-115; No. 8, 8, 9, issued with No. 14 of tk 

IP r-^^ -o? I f « . No. o- DP 167, 168. /. R. A. 5., .S: A 



ictitious connection between successful camphor- 
iting and their esoteric knowledge of the obsolescent 
lects, which thus became a sort of craft mystery 
sreon they deliberately traded. 
Hervey and Lake and Kelsall, while recognising 
partly artificial character of the language, agree 
to its probably embodying some relics of the old 
ects, and Hervey accepts Miklucho - Maclay's 
onalistic explanation of such partial survivals. 
While admitting that these views go some way 
ards explaining the Camphor Taboo language, I 
not consider them an adequate account of the 
)Ie matter. This taboo language does not stand 
le in the world ; in many places, especially in 
item Asia and the Indian Archipelago, there are 
logous modes of speech which throw light upon its 
iciples of construction. 

Linguistic Taboos in General. 

The Malays have several such taboo vocabularies 
ropriate to different purposes ; thus there is a list 
^ords which must be used in speaking to royalty 
under no other circumstances ; and there are 
;uistic taboos applicable to fishing, fowling, mining, 
fare, and other occupations, besides a ** spirit 
juage " used by magicians/ Closely resembling 
5e last in principle, is the Sasahara, a jargon used 
the Sangirese (of the islands north of Celebes) 
in at sea, to conceal their plans from the malice of 
water-spirits.- Somewhat less analogous are the 

Ikcat, Malay Magic^ passim : the spirit language are given on p. 646. 
references are collected in the ^ Adriani, Satigireesche Spraakkunsiy 

:, 5, V. Language, and specimens of pp. 7, 53-65. 


various forms, Krama ^ and Krama Inggil, (rf the ^ 
ceremonial, or rather "high chief,*' language of 4e 
Javanese,^ and the Basa Sangiang or sacred toope 
in which the Balian (priestesses and dancing-girlsjof 
the Dayaks of Borneo chant their invocations aJ 
legends;^ and there are no doubt many other more 
or less similar forms of speech elsewhere in tk 
Indian Archipelago/ 

I cannot therefore agree with Hervey*whenk 
says that the Jakun " may prima facie be assianrf 
to be unequal to the coinage of a special langu^' 
and consequently can only have turned their own oil 
dialects to account in the search for camphor by repre- 
senting to their Malay competitors in the trade dul 
without its use all search would be unavailing. On 4b 
contrary, if (as is almost certain) the Jakun are, t 
least in part, of Malayo - Polynesian ancestry, Ae 
presumption would be in favour of their having 
inherited the widespread and therefore certainly vaj 
ancient tendency of the Malayo- Polynesian races to ] 
specialise their language in particular cases of tli 
kind ; and it is by no means certain that in dns 
instance the process began only under the dfirctt 
impulse of Malay competition. It may have been 
going on from a very remote epoch, when the Jakun 

^ Pronounced Krama, in accordance English readers unacquainted liik 

with a rule of Javanese phonetics, Dutch. 

whereby iinal -c/, and a in a previous ^ Hardeland, Vernuk eintr GrVf 

open syllable of a word ending with -a, matik dcr DaJackscAen Spracki, p{i 

are sounded as «. 4-6. 

^ See especially Brandes, Bijdragc ^ Brandes points out the aisiao 

tot de Verqeiijkefuid Klankleer der of *' high words" in Balinese, )b 

iVcstirscJu Ajdeeling van de Maleisck' durese, Sundanese, and Bdaiag 

Polyncsische Taalfamiluy pp. 79- Mogondou. There are mlso in Slip 

95. Crawfurd in his Grammar and certain *' high words," besides A 

Dictionary of the Malay Ijingnaffi^ Sasahara. 

vol. i. pp. xxvii.-xxxv., gives some •'' _/. R, A, 5"., S, A, No. 8, pp. lOl 

s|y^«*»«ens vV\r\^ Tn«iv be of use to 102. 


jcts were still generally spoken ; or even before 
Malays had gained a permanent footing in the 
nsula at all, when they perhaps merely visited it 
>orarily as traders. The search for camphor has 
going on for many centuries ; it was known 
»st as early as the sixth century/ and though 
l>est known source of supply was North-west 
atra, it is mentioned as a product of Johor in the 
lese history of the Ming dynasty (a.d. 1368-1643),* 
may have been found there much earlier for 
It that is known to the contrary. If the taboo 
uage was used by the Jakun while their own 
5cts were still commonly spoken, it cannot in its 
inal form have been identical with their ordinary 
ch, but judging by the analogy of other taboo 
uages, it is pretty sure to have been some modi- 
ion of it. 

The root -idea in all these taboo languages is 
lie enough : it is merely the avoidance, in an 
terminate number of cases, of the ordinary every- 
word, and the substitution of something different 
out of the common. The primary motive is not 
niary gain or a desire to exclude possible corn- 
ers, but a respectful fear of the superior powers, 
m, natural, or supernatural, as the case may be, 
h creates and enforces as a matter of etiquette, 
inting almost to law, the use in their presence, 
sometimes even when referring to them, of a 
al honorific terminology.* In the case of the 

R,A.S.^ S.B.J No. 26, p. 36. Nicobar Islands, there is a converse 
ocncveldt, ** Notes on the Malay form of taboo which enjoins that the 
slago and Malacca " in A/is- names (or parts of the names) of high 
us Papers relating to Indo- chiefs, relations by marriage, or 
2nd series, vol. i. p. 254. deceased ancestors must not be pro- 
some parts of the world, e,g, nounced in common speech. This, in 
&ia, South Africa, and the some languages, from time to time 
VOL. II a E 


Jakun it is the Camphor-tree Spirit which has to lie 
propitiated ; and the use of the taboo jargon isd^ 
one part of the necessary ritual, which also includs 
abstinence from certain kinds of food, and fai 
washing and bathing, as well as the offering i 
portions of each meal to the spirit. Moreover, dun| 
the camphor hunts, the taboo language must beusd 
not only by the hunters absent in the jungle, butaisB 
by the men and women left behind in the villagcor 
settlement.^ All this points to its being a genuint 
traditional usage of ancient date. 

Methods of Formation. 

Speaking generally, the various devices by means 
of which these peculiar jargons seek to avoid tk 
forms of common speech may be classified under 
the following heads : — 

(i) Use of an archaic form of the ordinary wri, 
where such a ** doublet '* exists. 

(2) Deliberate modification of form, sometima 
according to a definite system, perhaps originaBy 
based on the analogy of some particular pair ol 
** doublets," and therefore in some cases not eadj 
distinguishable from (i). 

(3) Use of a rare or obsolescent synonym, entire! 
distinct in form and origin from the ordinary word. 

(4) Use of a synonym derived from a fordj 
language ; sometimes this is further modified by tl 
application of the method of (2). 

involves the temporary or permanent that it is ultimately based on the a 

abandonment of many ordinary words principle as the other viz. 

in favour of synonyms coined or deliberate severance of sacred th 

adapted to meet these exigencies. from things of ordinary everyday li 

With this form of taboo I am not ' J, A\ A.S,^ S. B,, Na 8, a I 

otherwise concerned than to point out No. 26, pp. 39, 40. 


{5) Metaphor : this again it is hard to keep quite 
inct from (3). 

(6) Descriptive periphrasis : a method closely 
d to (5). 

[y) Lastly, a secondary form of metaphor or trans- 
ace of meaning, sometimes adopted when a word, 
idy imported into the taboo language by one of 

preceding methods, has its application further 
:nded by some strained analogy to cover a number 
^w significations more or less allied to its primary 
>o signification. 

^o doubt Schmidt,^ when he complains of the 
Lay words and *' mystifications " contained in Lake 

Kelsall's Camphor Taboo vocabulary, is referring 
Licularly to the forms which may be classified 
Ler Nos. (5), (6), and (7) ; but this peculiar feature 
perfectly genuine characteristic of these ceremonial 
jons, and not due to any caprice or error on the 
t of the collectors or their native informants. It 
ves to show that we are not entitled to treat the 
mphor Taboo language as if it were an ordinary 
original dialect, to be judged by the same standards 
any other, for it belongs to a class apart from 
imon speech. 

Descriptive Periphrasis. 

If one may hazard a conjecture, it would seem that 
adoption of descriptive periphrasis is due to the 
It of other material and the poverty of invention ; 
.ny rate it is by far the most widely used method. 

* Die Sprachen der Sakei und Bijdragen tot <U Taal-^ Land- en 
,ng auf Malacca und ihr \'er- Volkeiikimde van Nedcrlandsch-lndic^ 
is zu den Mon-Khmer Sprachen," 6® Volgreeks, 8© Deel, p. 404. 


Thus, in the Camphor Taboo language, to giveafcr 
instances out of many, the ear is " the hearer," tir i 
eye " the seer,** the nose " the smeller," the wk 
" the chewer," fire " the heater," the wind is **tk 
blower," mat and umbrella are " the thing th 
unfolds," salt "the saline," pepper "the pungei 
thing," tapioca "the poison-wood" (some kinds, asii 
well known, contain a poisonous element whidi In 
to be washed out before they can be eaten), Ae 
scorpion is " the pincher," the pig is " short legs,"i 
medicine - man is "he who sees through (or sea 
straight)," the goat is " the be' animal," the bufib 
"the wong animal" (no doubt from their respeciiie 
noises), beans are " the fruit of the climbing rattao.' 
rice is " the fruit of grass," and so on. Similariyii 
the Mentra taboo language the snake is " the Iod| 
animal," the elephant "the big animal," and a fish is 
" the glistener of the sand." 

In these and many other cases the expressions aie 
perfectly intelligible, being derived from words i 
Malayan affinity (though not in all cases necessarilf 
from Malay itself). In other instances, as in plngajiL 
" the intoxicator," i.e. tobacco, piSmuntol^ " the white 
thing." i.e. silver, the root-words themselves are not 
obviously intelligible through the medium of Malay, 
but their primary sense is preserved in the Camphor 
Taboo language itself or in some other Jakun diaJect 
So too it is pretty clear that the sea is " the salt] 
water," honey " the water of the bees," and th 
elephant " big bones " (or " big and stout ") in Offl 
periphrasis and " the big thing " in another. Similarf 
" to weep " is " to have water in the seer," and thuiA 
is " the far-sounding noise in the sky." 

^^ other taboo jargons precisely the same methfl 


pjk^^ains : thus in Malay mining taboo the elephant is 

P'^lme tall one that turns himself about," the cat is 

l^liat which turns itself about in the kitchen/' and 

|kke:€allic tin is '' white stone " ; in fishing taboo the 

pBli are '' sea-rubbish " ; in war taboo a stockade is a 

!^ *3ra.iisverse log (or shed) " ; in the spirit language, as 

W^ ^he Camphor jargon, a pig is " short legs," fish, as 

fore, are " sea-rubbish," and the cat is " the kitchen 

fer." Similarly in Krama iron is " the hard thing," 

-cane " the thing with knots," the duck is ** that 

^t^ich floats," and the pig is "the black thing" or 

'^Ixe low thing" ; in Krama Inggil the grave is " the 

^'^ery place " (flowering shrubs being usually planted 

ire); and in Sasahara water is '*the cooler," the 

"the hunter" and "the barker," the pig "the 

ig-haired thing," the cat " the scratcher," the goat 

the bleater," teeth are " the flashers," hair is " that 

^'^Hich is combed," and so forth, the examples being 

^^ry numerous in this particular form of speech. 


Instances of the use of distinctly metaphorical 
i^nguage are less frequent. In the Camphor Taboo 
the scorpion is " the hoop," the snake " the climbing 
t^ttan," hair is " leaves," a coward " the intoxicated 
One," and " manner " or " conduct " is " a cutting," 
'Which is seemingly derived from the idea of a line 
cut through undergrowth or jungle, and hence a line 
of conduct or mode of procedure. Similarly in the 
Malay spirit language the eyes are " the stars," and 
betel-leaf is apparently " the soaring peacock " ; in the 
fowler's charms his nooses are called " King Solomon's 
necklaces and armlets," and all his apparatus is given 


similar fanciful names, while the birds themselvesv 
addressed as princesses ; in mining jargon thesnabi 
" the climbing rattan " or " the live rattan," A 
centipede is "turmeric," and tin-ore is "thefruki 
the grass" or "the flower of the grass"; m fiski 
jargon the fish are " tree -leaves," the snake is, 
before, "the climbing rattan" or "the live rata 
and the crocodile is a " tree-log " ; and in war lal 
a bullet is a " white beetle," the ball of a swivel-gm 
" black beetle," a cannon is a " trunk of bamboo 
of the cotton tree)," and a cannon-ball is a "cocom 
So too in Krama, it would seem that the teed 
royalty are spoken of as "steel," and the eyeofal 
is a " gem " ; while tobacco is " the cock" (whidi 
curious parallel to the " peacock " mentioned ab( 
Similarly in Krama Inggil, nasal mucus is ta 
" ivory." 

Secondary Metaphor. 

Instances of secondary metaphor are very nuir 
in the Camphor Taboo language ; thus a word i 
which apparently properly means " sick," has tod 
for " to hate," " angry," " tired," and perhaps al 
fight" {b^bmtok). Another -wordy p^nakdn, sen 
the allied meanings of " back," " afterwards," " 
" rudder," and " boat-pole." A third, bisatty 
for "woman," "bird," "the camphor-spirit," 5 
combination, for " cat," " mankind," " mai 
"fowl," "mother," "widow," "child," and "n 
ball," so that it is difficult to attach any more < 
meaning to it than " creature," with a te 
towards " female." On the other hand, in som 
where the primary meaning is distinctly tra 
Yhf> franqfprPipi-.e is also Very remote ; thus i 


tllow," is used for ** gold," which is an obviously 

riptive periphrasis, sometimes further modified in 

Xop(imuning or pdchen kuning, " the yellow thing." 

^^n, apparently, the word is transferred to the 

J- waning "debt" and "order," while its presumed 

^^*^vative muning means "to buy," and another 

P'^'^'vative b^rkuning " to swear " (perhaps originally 

^^> wager money"), and the River Mas (which in 

lay means " gold ") is naturally called p^nguning. 

the instances of this kind of secondary metaphor 

collected together under their several root-words 

^^ the Comparative Vocabulary, I need not further 

r^l^i^e on them here, the more so as in most cases 

^ is not possible to be quite sure what the primary 

^^^aning of these transferred words originally was. 

J^^e thing which is very noticeable is that the transfer 

^^ meaning is often accompanied by a differentiation 

^V means of Malayan formative prefixes and infixes, 

^^d, occasionally, suffixes. 

Archais7ns and Synonyms, 

The methods of which examples have been given 

Account for by far the greater part of the Camphor 

^Taboo language. Of the use of synonyms it is 

difficult to speak precisely. It would seem that the 

Malay Taboo languages resort occasionally to Arabic 

{e.g. kUlbu, "heart," for "life"), Sanskrit {eg. bayu, 

** wind "), and archaic Malay (e.g. hulu, " head " ; tohok, 

•* spear"). Krama and Krama Inggil depend largely 

on Sanskrit, and considerably on archaic Javanese, and 

perhaps also on Malay. The Basa Sangiang adds 

Malay words to its native archaisms, and the 

Sasahara contains archaic words that no longer occur 

in ordinary Sangirese. 


The difficulty in the case of the Camphor Tain 
language is that we know too little of the ordmif 
Jakun dialects to identify with certainty the c 
where an archaic synonym may have been used in tk 
ceremonial vocabulary. While these dialects i 
still in common use it is possible that the Camfbl 
Taboo was eked out with synonyms borrowed tm 
Malay ; at any rate it seems to contain a few vdi 
like buah, ''fruit," and hadap anak, "a railing ti 
prevent children from falling down the ladders d 
houses'* (if these are really used in the taboi 
language), which have nothing to distinguish tha 
from ordinary Malay, while others, like lepen^ "dj^ 
are at any rate derived from a Malayan dialect C 
the other hand, when in any given Jakun tribe thc( 
dialect had begun to be superseded in everyday us2 
by Malay (or a Malayan dialect closely resembling 
any obsolescent Jakun word, of whatever origin, w( 
become qualified for admission into the special 
taboo jargon ; hence, doubtless, the acceptance in 
Camphor Taboo of such words as shtgkrat '*rl 
ceros " ; slap, '* cold " ; jokut^ " P^gi" and the 
which are reported to be still preserved among s 
of the Jakun tribes in their everyday speech. 1 
words are relatively few in number, and to this lin 
extent only can it safely be said that the t 
language represents the old Jakun dialects. 

In fact, however, it becomes at this point 
cessively difficult to draw a hard-and-fast line bet 
the Camphor Taboo and the obsolescent remnar 
the ordinary dialects. The circumstance, rema 
on by Hervey, that Miklucho-Maclay's vocabuk 
which purport to represent the old ordinary lang 
//)/ th*>i C^^mphor Taboo, nevertheless contain oi 


ideniably taboo periphrases, is to my mind not 
ce, as Hervey seems to have thought, that 
iboo language is a relic of the old ordinary 
ge,^ but rather that the two have become 
up, and that collectors in search of out-of-the- 
rords amongst a tribe which in modem times 
I its everyday life speaks only or mainly Malay, 
ibly pick up a mixed lot of samples containing 
taboo expressions. The taboo periphrases 
hmU, " ants' ^gs,'* for rice, in one of Hervey's 
nda vocabularies, and Miklucho-Maclay's/od&VijI^ 
ihUngok), "the seer," for eye, illustrate the 
clearly enough. As the old dialects dwindle 
nere relics, no longer in everyday use, they 
in fact, to become esoteric jargons and to be 
nded with the taboo language.' 

Doublets and Modification of Form. 

me little assistance towards unravelling these 
problems may perhaps be afforded by a 
uity which has been more than once noted in 
of the ceremonial jargons, namely, their use of 
which differ from their ordinary equivalents by 
definite modification of form. Sometimes this 
to the survival of a genuine old doublet, some- 
to the artificial creation of one according to 
)r less ascertainable rules. 

bave not thought it worth while to point out 
losely all the previously mentioned methods of 

A.S,, S, B., No. 8, p. a few specimens of what was evidently 

a "back -slang," e.^. ngilah^ "sky" 
Doe occasion when I was (from Mai. langit, quasi ngit-la)^ nati^ 
» collect Jakun words in ** earth" (from Mai. tattakf with a 
territory, I was at first given suggestion of the Besisi it). 


taboo usage correspond with phenomena obscml 
in European languages; how, for instance,^ 
want to avoid words which are considered too sac 
or too indecent for conversational use, we gel to 
them by a periphrasis, a metaphor or a Lada 
synonym. Sometimes, especially in oaths and expk 
epithets, we merely modify the form of the oriB 
word.^ Similarly in the Malayo-Polynesiancerem 
languages there is a system, carried out some 
more consistently than in Europe, of modifyia; 
form of common words to make them smtaW 
special occasions. In certain cases it would 
that there really existed two genuine forms 
same word, being either in different stages of d( 
ment, or dialectically differentiated, and one ha 
selected to serve for ceremonial purposes, wl 
other was left for everyday life. 

One set of these ** doublets" in Javai 
differentiated by the vowel sounds which 
ceremonial form are H — a, while in the comm< 
they are u — «, both being ultimately refera! 
more primitive ^ — H (or ^ — o). An instance 
word suruh, in Krama s^dak, which is equiv 
the Malay sirih, " betel." * Words of this da 
to have served as a basis for the analogous 
creation of others by heightening one or mor 
vowel sounds, in the order u, o, a, ^, tf, i\ bi 
origin this differentiation was, at any rate 
instances, quite unartificial. 

Whether the same can be said for certa 

> I need only instance the ex- - See Brandes, op. cii 

pressions ''by Jove," "by George," on which a good deid ofi 

"Great Scott," "the deuce," "the is based. 

Dickens," and the like in English, ^ Here the consonants 

and " diantre^^^ " morbleu^'^ and to differ, but they also oi 

.^*> -r*: " ;„ v'-*»«ch. differe'^t stages of natunl i 



^^thods of modification which involve a change or 
Wdition of consonants, I do not know. At any rate 
P^re are several such in Javanese. One only need, 
^'^'^^ever, be noted here. Its formula seems to be 
I given a word with an open penultimate syllable 
^<i a final syllable preferably open and generally 
^^ing in -a), to turn it into a Krama form, close 
^li syllables with a nasal (or the final one more 
fe^r^'^ly with a liquid), modify the initial consonant of 
■^T^^ final syllable to suit the nasal which now closes 
/^^^ penultimate, and change the vowel of the final 
^ ^Xlable (as a rule to ^, which, however, may become 
;^» i, or u). As this is probably not very intelligible, 
>ivill make it clearer by examples : — 

To think 







"^ifgant^n, being from the Sanskrit sagara, is a good 
illustration of the fact that this change is, at any 
l*ate in some cases, made quite consciously and 

But the curious thing is that in other Malayan 
languages similar forms occur, without, however, any 
ceremonial or specialised meaning. Thus in Sun- 
danese, danten, ** a hen that has not yet laid an egg,*' 
" a female buffalo that has not yet had a calf," corre- 
sponds with the Malay dara, ** virgin'*; and conversely 
it would seem that the Malay jantan, ** male,** is a 
quasi -Krama form of the Sundanese yii/w, while the 
Malay ^ords pantang, ** taboo,'* and />aniun, ** eclogue,** 
appear to be quasi- Krama forms of two words which 
appear elsewhere as p{em)ali and pali, and the same 
seems to be the explanation of such ** doublets** as 


the Malay antan and aluy '* pestle." Evidently, unkss 
these forms have been deliberately moulded on the 
Javanese Krama, which seems unlikely, this fonnubis 
either in its origin unartificial, like the method of void 
modification, or at any rate it is of very ancient datt 

The reason why I have mentioned, with perhaps 
too much detail, these two leading Javanese fonnsof 
doublet-formation is that both of them, the one iriih 
mere vowel change and the other with consonantal 
modification as well, are found in the aborigiml 
dialects of the Peninsula (including the taboo 
language). Thus in Besisi the polite {bSkasa Aoiu) 
word for " long " is yi?/(fl:*«^, and for "deep,"/?nii,rf 
which the vulgar {behasa kasar) forms ^re j^li^ng vA 
jcrok respectively, thus affording a precise paralld, 
both in form and meaning, to the Javanese Krama 
and Ngoko differentiation by vowel change. Similarly 
** black '* is presented by a double form hirafm and 
hiri/jn ; and though in this instance we are not told 
that the one is considered politer than the other, yet 
it may be presumed that there is a shade of difference 
in their use corresponding to the slight difference in 
form.^ Probably further inquiries would result in the 
discovery of additional doublets.* 

Of the differentiation by consonantal change 
examples also occur, but no specialised meanii^ has 
been distinctly recorded in connection with theffl. 
The following, however, are so closely analogous to 
the Krama forms that it seems worth while to draw 
particular attention to them. 

^ The word, moreover, is Malayo- has pointed out, probably * ^BBt 

Pc»;, being identical with the variant. 

Kawi hit'Mi^ (originally probably ^ Compare, for instance, the BeM 

hul^m)^ of which the Malay kitam gentah and Beduanda g^rintak^ wi* 

•f-^nl *« aIcIc^ kitim) is, as Kern the Malay .?««/«r, «* thunder." 


Wild cattle 





karambil, k^ramil 






(anjing), nyang 






g£ntal, g^ntal, 




The quasi-Krama form for " coconut " also appears 
iiilalay, whence it may therefore have been borrowed, 
; the other words in the third column are not 
ceptible of this explanation : even if nyang is the 
ae word as the ordinary Malay anjing, it cannot be 
ived from it. I imagine that both go back to a 
tn anjing or anyingy which may conceivably be 
med from asu} 

Although in the above cases nothing is definitely 
orded which would justify us in attaching a 
emonial meaning to these forms, there is one 
:umstance which tends in that direction. Most of the 
jer animals have a variety of names, some of which 
: evidently honorific synonyms, while others must 
: be used while the animals are supposed to be in 
\ neighbourhood, and especially while they are 
ing hunted ; the Comparative Vocabularly, particu- 
ly under the headings ** elephant," ** pig," ** rhino- 
•os," and ** tiger," illustrates the great variety of 
:h animal synonyms. It may safely be said that 
\ tiger must never be spoken of as ** tiger" when 
is supposed to be within earshot. Similarly the 
sntra word rlsim must not be used of the wild boar 
the hunters while engaged in tracking one. There 
therefore some inherent probability in the con- 
ture that the quasi-Krama formation of the names 

These are words of Sanskrit of the first one is sfgawon. 
in. The Javanese Kraraa form * See Brandes, /.r. p. 88. 


for " wild cattle," " wild dog," and " elephant," n 
had a ceremonial basis,^ and though their formatic 
not absolutely according to rule, it seems to 
sufficiently near to the Krama formation to illua 
the widespread tendency of this particular trid 
language amongst the Malayo- Polynesian races 
the tribes which have fallen under their influence. 
In a few instances it would appear that 
aboriginal dialects have retained forms which repre 
theoretical Ngoko {i.e. vulgar) equivalents of i 
which Malay possesses only in a quasi-Krama si 
I put forward this suggestion with some diffidi 
but it appears to me to be a possible explanatii 
such forms as e.g. kechd, k^choit, " small," siddlm 
little," and kochoi, ** to urinate," when compared 
the Malay equivalents khhil, s^dtkit, and khu 
This, however, is hardly more than a mere conje 

Poetic Forms. 

Too little is known of the poetic diction 
aborigines to enable us to make any very p 
statements on the subject, but it is asserted 1 
Semang,^ and I have heard it said of the Sale 
in their songs they use words and forms di 
from those of their colloquial dialects ; all these 
call for further inquiry. 

^ In the case of the ** crocodile," peculmrity takes a final -/ to « 

the close analogy to the Javanese with the final consonant of 

doublets hayn — haiul strongly supports The form has probably beei 

this hypothesis. meirt gratidy as in other 

^ Thus telelwil, in a Semang song, Clifford reports that among tl 

said to mean ** turns round and round," s)^'aking tribe of the Kerbi 

is probably an amplified form of tetivil^ Trengganu, the medicine-me 

'"om the root wil (in Sakai «;«/), ** to cases of sickness recite inci 

nm/' with the prefix ie-y which in the spirits in a tongue unkn 

.^-^-'innri- with a recognised Semang uninitiated. 


Che upshot of the whole matter appears to be 
: there are, throughout a great part of the 
aye - Polynesian area, traces of a tendency to 
ialise common everyday language to suit particular 
OSes. The aborigines of the Peninsula seem in 
5 degree to have inherited a similar tendency. 
le south it has taken the shape of a fairly elaborate 
>n, which has been preserved and enlarged owing 
s association with a special and more or less 
live employment. Elsewhere the tendency has 
been developed to the same extent, nor has it 
as carefully investigated, but traces of it appear 
cist especially in those dialects which bear other 
ence of Malayo- Polynesian influence; and in 
s cases the actual mode of specialisation is strik- 
er analogous to that of the Malayo- Polynesian 
uages. That it is a mere modern imitation of 
ay seems extremely improbable ; it is far more 
ly that the tendency, perhaps inherent more or 
in all races, has been fostered by the influence of 
primitive Malayo-Polynesian tribes whose early 
sence in the Peninsula is attested by so much 
er evidence. 



\Vk possess no data regarding the past history of tk 
aboriginal languages of the Malay Peninsula prior to 
the beginning of the last century, since which period 
they do not appear to have undergone any markd 
changes except in the way of further acquisition of 
foreign words and consequent gradual decay. We 
are unable, therefore, to compare their present cod- 
dition with any preceding stage of development, and 
are thrown back upon a comparative study of thek 
various dialects and an investigation into their I^ 
lations with other languages. 

Specifically Malay Element. \ 

A good deal has already been said as to thcff 
relations with the Malay language by which theyiR 
being superseded. There is internal evidence tbl 
this process has been going on for a consideraUs 
time : it has repeatedly been observed that many 
Malay loan-words in these dialects are pronouncd 
not as the Malays of the Peninsula pronounce thea 
to-day, either in the standard speech of educate 
people or the various local dialectic pronunciations, hi 
as they appear in the Malay written language, and a 
'> -"/^ijld seem, from comparison with other Malaya 


Liages, they must have been pronounced at the 
)d when Malay was first transcribed in the Arabic 
acters in which it is usually written. 
Thus the final -a, which in standard Malay is heard 
^ (or -o), something like the last syllable of the 
;lish word better, and the local pronunciation of 
:h varies from -a to -/, -^, and -i, is in the aboriginal 
sets almost invariably a pure -a', with the abrupt 
ing so frequent in final vowels in these dialects, 
ilarly the final Malay ending in -k (or -k ^), which 
le spoken language of the Peninsula has dwindled 
1 to the glottal check, is pronounced as a distinct 
1 the aboriginal dialects, as it must have been 
1 Malay orthography was first fixed, and still is 
iome places {e.g. Borneo) in spoken Malay, 
larly initial h-, often silent in spoken Malay, is 
nctly audible in the aboriginal dialects, 
n these cases there is no reason to doubt that 
an was right in considering the aboriginal pro- 
:iation to be a survival from the time when spoken 
ay still preserved the old sounds that are stereo- 
id in the written language.^ Clifford's rejection 
lis explanation, in favour of a supposed phonetic 
by which in these dialects final -^ (or -o) and the 
:al check are necessarily transmuted to -a and -k * 

in Arabic is pronounced further have rejjresented it by the hamzaJi, 

than /■. The adoption of the * J. I. A. vol. i. p. 289. 

, rather than the latter, letter to ^ y; ^». ^ ^;^ s. B., No. 24, pp. 28, 

•nt the Malay final -k points, 29. In 1887 Clifford had accepted 

s, to the probability that even Logan's explanation : see Notes and 

:enturies ago this final had no Queries^ No. 4, p. loi, issued with 

precisely the same force as a J. A\ A. S.^ S. B.^ No. 17, in which 

or initial k. Bui, as a matter of place he adds the interesting state- 

e spelling varies, in some words, ment that a Sakai, when talking 

n -/: and -J^ ; and anyhow, if Malay, drops these peculiarities, but 

il 'k in the spoken language had resumes them immediately when he 

become a mere glottal check, has to use a Malay word in the middle 

IS likely that the Arabs would of a Sakai sentence. 

VOL. II 2 F 


finds no support in their phonology, which frequentlf 
admits the supposed rejected finals in their owb 
native words. It is, too, surely more reasonable to 
believe that the original sounds have persisted (as 
old sounds often do persist in isolated dialects) rather 
than to assume that they have been reconstructei 
These dialects have retained much that is moit 
archaic, by hundreds of years, than their Malay Ichd- 
words, and it cannot therefore be considered vs\ 
remarkable that in some of these they should h»e 
preserved the pronunciation of a few centuries aga 

Of the Malay element in the dialects of the 
Peninsula it is not necessary to say more, save to 
point out that it is essentially foreign to them, and 
was originally foreign to the Peninsula itselt The 
Malay language has been introduced into the I 
Peninsula from Central Sumatra, where the Mahy- 
speaking tribes were trained under Indian influences 
into a more or less civilised condition before they 
sent out the successive swarms of colonists who 
made new homes for the race in the Peninsula. At 
what date this colonising process began is unascer- 
tained, except that it was before the final conversioB 
of the Malays to Mohammedanism (a process whidi 
appears to have begun in Sumatra early in th 
thirteenth century and to have been completed ii 
the Peninsula about two centuries later). The earf 
emigrations appear to have proceeded mainly froi 
the east coast of Central Sumatra. Subsequently I 
the complete establishment of Islam in the Peninsul 
there was a separate movement of colonisation froi 
the inland parts of the island (where the Menangkabs 
dialect of Malay is spoken), directed mainly towan 
^^ -orn'fnrJps just inland of Mala'^on -. but the infli 


ic^ of this later stream has remained very much 
local than that of the main stream from the 
S^uimatran coast districts, though both continue, in 
linr^inished volume, even to the present day. 
* Together with the genuine Malay words thus 
fenttircxluced into the aboriginal dialects of the Penin- 
there have, of course, come in a certain number 
"vrords of Sanskrit and Arabic origin which have 
lined a footing in the Malay language, under the 
-cessive influence of the Hindu and Mohammedan 

At the present day, as is obvious in almost every 
(e of the Comparative Vocabulary, Malay loan- 
^^>rds constitute a large part of the language spoken 
^ the wild tribes ; but it seems unnecessary to 
^**Vistrate them here, as they are after all relatively 
^**^ern accretions on the aboriginal dialects, and do 
^^t form an essential part of their structure. 

Generically Malayan Element. 

It must, however, be borne in mind that Malay is 
^nly one of the languages comprised in the vast 
^4alayo- Polynesian family, and it must not be assumed 
t:hat every word of Malayan ^ affinity found in |the 
aboriginal dialects of the Peninsula has come into 
"them from or through Malay. In a great number 

^ For the sake of brevity I shall use Elaster Island and from Formosa to 

this term instead of the somewhat New Zealand ; it is generally con- 

^umsy ** Malayo- Polynesian," when sidered to be subdivided into the 

iderring specially to the languages of (i) Malayan, (2) Micronesian, (3) 

the western subdivision of the family, Melanesian, and (4) Polynesian sub- 

which comprises Sumatra, Java, Borneo, divisions; but except as regards the 

Celebes, the Philippines, and a few first and last of these, this classifica- 

neighbouring smaller islands, as well as tion appears to be tentative and 

Madagascar. The Malayo- Polynesian provisional • rather than strictly estab- 

family extends from Madagascar to lished. 


of cases, where such words are as closely alike b 
form to their equivalents in a number of odxr 
Malayan tongues as they are to their Malay equn» 
lents, their immediate source of origin is, fortke 
present, doubtful.^ In a certain, more limited, number 
of instances, there is not the slightest doubt tht, 
though of Malayan affinity, they cannot have cook 
into the aboriginal dialects through Malay at alL 

The following are examples of such words :- 
*• bee," bani dahan ; ** belly." beting ; ** black," /bfP**: 
** blowpipe," s^put\ ** buffalo," katidung\ "dead," 
kcbus, mantai\ ** dog," asu \ "elephant," /mm; 
•* finished," tHas\ ••fowl," manuk\ " fruit," woA, W; 
••husband," sawa\ ••knee," tdot\ " monkey" (spec 
lotong), baseng] ••nail," kok&t\ "old," bakes \ ''mC 
lh^m\ ••rattan," awe \ "ripe," taseg\ "salt,"^; 
••spear," bubts, tarok\ •* to stool," inenih\ "weak," I 
Icntes ; *• yam," talis. I 

I have instanced only such words as, in my 
judgment, are certainly of Malayan affinity. A 
number of others, as to the origin of which there 
may be some doubt, are noted in the Comparadvt 
Vocabulary, and it is very likely that a more extended 
comparison with the numerous Malayan langu^[esQ[ 
the Indian Archipelago would lead to the discovery 
of a good many which have escaped my notice. 

These words appear to me to suggest the solutka 
of a peculiarly interesting problem. While every part 
of the western division of the Archipelago has iu 
local Malayan languages, varying in number inverse!] 
with the state of civilisation of the people, from tin 

^ A Malayan origin independent of ** father"; re»id^ ••low"; simfi 
Malav may reasonably be suspected for '* narrow," where the Malay equinkH 
.-» orr«. ,. *,^i; - rhiUi " ; ^fl/fl/, arc anak^ bapa^ rifndah^ UmfU. 


three) languages of the highly civilised island 
to the numerous dialects of Borneo and 
*n Celebes, the Peninsula, though situated 
the area of this language family, seemed to 
A exception, as its only known Malayan 
e, viz. Malay, was a foreign importation, not 
growth. It would seem, however, that the 
»n is more apparent than real, 
e words, which are Malayan but not M^day, 
appear to be referable to any one of the 
languages of the Archipelago ; ^ while their 
; are mainly with the Sumatran languages, 
ly Achinese, they sometimes differ from these 
le closer to the dialects of Borneo, and even 
ally to more distant branches of the family, 
Javanese, Madurese, and the mixed half- 
1 dialects of Southern Indo-China, of which 
J the typical representative.* Accordingly, I 
ley must be regarded as relics of a group of 
1 dialects locally differentiated in the Penin- 
5lf, for I do not think that their existence in 
riginal dialects can be accounted for by any 
of borrowing from casual strangers coming 
ree or four different islands. There is no 

existence in the aborigiDal are not Malayan, I have omitted in 

s apparently observed by the above short list a number of abori- 

speaks of Benua [i,e. ginal words which I have identified in 
Jakun) dialects containing these languages, but have not, as yet, 
)r vocables — mostly Suma- traced in other Malayan languages, 
(ome have remoter Indo- The following are some of them : 
ities" (/. i?. ^. 5., 5./?., ** blowpipe" (outer case), tagu\ "to 
6), but no particular atten- break," bikah ; " cloth," dbat^ ; 

to have been drawn to "cloud," sagub\ "quick," milagai % 

their peculiar importance " river-bank," tirbis\ "sand," atiiy \ 

1 out by the present writer "sleepy," libdd\ "tame," A^*; 
.v., S, B,^ No. 39, pp. 50, "very," tihet. Probably some of 

these will be identified as Malayan ; 

se and Cham being mixed but two or three of them are perhaps 

containing elements which of Mon-Annam origin. 


evidence of any intimate intercourse between sudi 
occasional immigrants and the wild tribes of the 
Peninsula; and nothing short of prolonged aai 
intimate relations could have given these words a 
footing in their different dialects. They point, in af 
opinion, to the presence in the Peninsula, long bdioR 
the Malay conquest, of primitive Malayan tribes (of 
whose existence there is other evidence) ; and a 
these Malayan words are found in all three laDguag^ 
groups, Semang, Sakai, and Jakun (though less ii 
the purer dialects of the second group than in dx 
other two), it seems a reasonable inference that thflc 
«arly Malayan tribes for the most part occupied dt 
coast-line, and that their influence diminished towaii 
the interior of the Peninsula. 

Owing to the fact that in a great number of cases 
it is impossible to decide whether a word of Malaji 
affinity has been introduced into the aborigid 
dialects from Malay or from this more ardii 
Malayan source, it is difficult to draw any inferences 
to the nature and extent of the influence exercised bj 
these primitive Malayan tribes upon their Sakai ai 
Semang neighbours. Perhaps the domestication rf 
the dog, the introduction of the domestic fowl, aai 
the use of salt and of spears, was in some parts of d* 
Peninsula due to them ; but the blowpipe, thoujji 
included in the instances given above, has (as vrillbe 
shown later) another and more usual name whidi is 
not of Malayan derivation at all; and the same is 
true of most of these words, which in almost every 
case have synonyms of non-Malayan origin.^ 

' The relative im})ortance of this which will have to be compucd ii4 

Malayan element can only be ascer- the several Malay dialects qwkeaii 

tained by a careful collection of new the Peninsula, most of which d 

mo»o,;a] f^^jp x\\^ -boriginal dialects, await systematic investigatioiL 


Mon-Annam Element. 

lore important element in the aboriginal 

the Peninsula is that which illustrates 

relation to the Mon-Annam^ family 

portant family has, until quite recently, 
entirely neglected, and the comparative 
s a whole is still in its very beginnings.^ 
in the first place, the now almost extinct 
Lower Burma, which is properly called 
generally known as Peguan, or by its 
:kname, Talaing ; Khmer, or Cambojan, 
je of the kingdom of Camboja; and 
he principal spoken language of Cochin 
m, and Tongking. All these are literary 
le two former being written in alphabets 
igin, the last in a script based on the 
ographic system. To these must be 
iless number of unwritten dialects spoken 
less uncivilised tribes inhabiting different 

Logan, who was, I ^ A Ijcginning was made by Forbes 

point out its sepa- {Comparative Grammar of the Ijinguages 

lore recent author- of Further India^ 1881), and Kuhn 

Dn the Continent, (Ucber Herkunft unci Sprachen der 

the name Mon- lyans^^aui^etischen Volker^ 1 883; Bet- 

t has the advantage, irdi^e zur Sprachenkunde Hinterindiens^ 

judicing the position 1889). The study is now being admir- 

h stands in a some- ably pursued by Schmidt {Die Sprachen 

lation towards the der Sakei Ufid Semang auf Malacca 

\ the family. As, undihr Verhdltnis zu den Mon- Khmer- 

'. of its abnormal Sprcuhen^ 1901 ; Gnttuiziige einer 

lamese cannot Ijc Lautlchre der Khasi-Sprache^ 1904 * 

other languages, it Gruttdziige einer Lautlehre der Mon- 

he old name might KJimer - Sprachen^ 1905). See also 

or the family as a Cabaton, Dix dialectes indo - chinois 

Khmer will serve to recueillis par Prosper Odencthal — 

iges, when, as often Etude liu^^uislique^ I905> and Grier- 

i to exclude Annam- son, Linguistic Survey of India^ 

ion. vol. ii. 







Sketch Map showing the pa 
of the Mon^ Annam dialects 
Eastern Indo- China. 


^ A(-AK 



itaui (OOIK) 


•™' LAVE > 








>f the forest country of Southern and Central 
^hina, especially along the borders of Annam, 
>ja, and Siam, the stretch of mountain country 
g east of the Mekong, mainly between latitudes 
id 12**, and elsewhere in scattered patches 
St the now dominant populations of the alien, 

Tai and Tibeto - Burman, races of these 

ken together, these languages constitute a 
listinct, and (with the exception of Annamese, 
has been much modified by direct Chinese 
ce) a relatively uniform group. In the early 
tes of our era, Mon and Khmer (with their 
dialects) were the dominant languages of 
1 and Southern Indo-China, long before the 
se and Siamese had come down from the 

while the Annamese were confined to the 
ing delta and its immediate neighbourhood, 
be south - eastern coastland, which is now 
\ and Cochin China, was occupied, under the 
of Champa, by a race called Cham, whose 
ge, already mentioned, was a mixture of 
Ihmer with Malayan elements.^ 
art from the special interest attaching to them 
ing been the earliest indigenous vehicles of 
r culture in Indo-China, the Mon-Annam 
ges are of unique importance in connection 
le past history of South-eastern Asia. They 
ated in various ways to Nicobarese, Khasi, and 
unda (or Kolarian) dialects of India on the 
md ; they present curious analogies with the 

interesting language, together dictionary of it by Aymonier and Caba- 

;w allied dialects of ruder ton (which, by the courtesy of the latter, 

ing tribes, still lingers on in I have been permitted to use in proof) 

im and part of Camboja. A is in the press, and will shortly appear. 





^o- Polynesian family on the other; and yet 
strangely they have a certain number of points 
fttact with the northern languages of the great 
Chinese conglomeration which includes the 
o-Burman, Kareng, Chinese, and Tai families.^ 
ow much of all this is genuine original relation- 
how much is due to mere historic contact or 
wings from some common source, it is, however, 
t impossible to say. So far as the connection 
Nicobarese and Khasi is concerned, it would 
that the relationship is vital, entering as it does 
he very structure of the languages. In the case 
5 Munda dialects this has not been proved ; and 
structure (especially their syntax) presents 
marked differences from the Mon-Annam.^ 

to the connection with Nico- 
•ee especially the grammar of 
sse by Temple, annexed to his 
1 the Census of 1901. 
best authority for Nicobarese 
Vlan, DUtiotiary of tfu Central 
'se Language y 1889. The con- 
with Khasi is dealt with by 
in his Grundziige einer Laut- 
" Kkasi-SpraLhey 1 904, where 
50 shown that the Palaung, 
Wa, and Riang dialects of 
and the Shan States are a 
ng link between Mon and 
on the one side, and Khasi on 
:r. For the connection with 
see Grierson, Linguistic Survey 
t, vol. iv. pt. i. (by Konow), 
y the courtesy of the editor I 
•n permitted to use in proof. 
a was called by the present 
1 J.R.A.S., S.B., No. 38, 
analogies with the Malayo- 
EUi group. The relation to tlie 
1 Indo-Chinese languages has 
en worked out, but see Korch- 
** Indo-Chinese Languages " 
Antiquary^ 1882). That there 
:ommon element in the vocabu- 
is perceived by Haswell, who 

in his Grammatical Notes and Vocabulary 
of the Peguan Language ^ p. 6, com- 
pares the Mon cha pung (pronounced 
chii pong), ** to eat rice," with the 
Amoy Chinese tstah png. See also 
that learned but not always quite 
accurate work, Terrien de Lacouperie's 
Languages of China before the Chinese, 
1887. It must, however, be borne in 
mind that in the case of languages which 
are monosyllabic or quasi-monosyllabic, 
the chances of accidental coincidence 
are much increased ; and, until careful 
investigations have established the exist- 
ence of regular laws of phonetic corre- 
spondence, no individual identification 
based on mere resemblance in sound 
and meaning can be safely accepted. 

'^ The sketch map here given indi- 
cates the relative position, io modem 
times, of the language -groups most 
clearly connected with the Mon-Annam 
family, and illustrates the importance 
of the Mon-Annam races as links in a 
broken chain that extends from the 
district of Nimar in the extreme west 
corner of the Central Provinces of 
India all the way to Johor, or from lat. 
22** long. 77°, to lat. 2^30' long. 103% 


Nevertheless it is certain that a considerable oo 
element runs through Munda, Khasi, and Nicot 
and this common element is identical with the 
constituents of the Mon-Annam family. Thi 
nection of the Mon- Khmer languages wit 
Malayo- Polynesian family is most mysterioi 
there appears to be a considerable resembk 
structure, accompanied (despite a certain num 
common words), by a very distinct diversity 
actual materials.^ Their relation to the Nc 
Indo-Chinese languages (including Chinese) 
seem to point to long contact and consit 
borrowing, but not to community of origin. 

These peculiarly complex relations may [ 
be explained by the former geographical posil 
these various races. In Indo-China there has 
great shifting of populations to the southw: 
would seem that some two or three thousan 
ago the southern coast-line was occupied by 1 
tribes, and the interior by tribes speaking 
Khmer languages.^ To the north of tl 
Southern China and the adjoining regions, d 

^ The syntax is almost identical, and a mixture of Gaulish and 

there is a remarkable likeness in some English a blend of British 

of the prefixes and infixes in use in the ^ The Chams are sufitc 

two families. The Malayan languages of this former state of thi 

also use suffixes, whereas the Mon- the south-eastern part of 1 

Annam lang^uages do not ; but, curi- concerned. As to the pn 

ously enough, Nicobarese also to a the centre of dispersion of 

limited extent uses them. When, Polynesian languages wa: 

however, De Lanessan {Eticyclopadia on the coast of Indo-Chii 

firitannica, vol. xxvi. p. 513, 1 902) Taalknndi^ gejpezfens ter 

styles Khmer a blend of Malayan and ket Stamland d^r Ma/eisck 

Chinese, he goes completely astray. fW/t^;/, 1889. The island 

There are in Khmer certain words of Tenasserim up to abou 

which it has in common with Chinese to this day occupied by a 1 

and certain others which it shares with the Selungs. But as th 

the Malayan languages, but the main sea-gypsies, their presen 

substance of it is neither Chinese nor not help us much to del 

i/f-iiavnn o — nr^ifriit o^ y^-^\\ Q<y\\ Krench early location. 


^stors of the Tai and Tibeto-Burman races, which the last fifteen centuries or so have flooded 
^- China with successive swarms of conquering 
-migrants, who after receiving through Mon and 
inner channels a varnish of Indian civilisation, broke 
^he political organisation of the older races, and 
Bited their various fragments from one another. 
The Annamese, unlike their relatives, fell some 
^ thousand years ago within the sphere of Chinese 
itical and cultural influence, and, thus strengthened, 
t'y have taken part in this conquest, the eastern 
ijstlands, which constituted the old Hinduised 
^gdom of Champa, having fallen to their lot. 

It would seem probable, therefore, that for ages 
gether the Mon-Annam races occupied a central 
sition between the Northern Indo-Chinese in the 
irth and the Malayan races in the south. But it is 
30 a fairly safe assumption that all three families 
d their original locations still further to the north, 
d probably outside Indo-China altogether. As 
ch in turn sent out colonising swarms to the 
uthward, it may well have left a remnant behind 
lich was absorbed by the next group of races, and 
LIS each family would be influenced to some extent 

the one that had preceded it in its southward 
irch. We know that this has actually happened in 
me parts of Indo-China, and we cannot at present 
>f from how far north a similar process may have 
en going on in remoter ages. 

Such an hypothesis would not, I believe, be in- 
nsistent with ascertained facts, and might perhaps 
rve to explain the curiously complicated entangle- 
ent of languages which South-eastern Asia presents. 
5 attempt to] discuss it here would, however, be 


entirely out of place. I have only mentioned tie 
matter in order to draw attention to the SfsA 
importance of the hitherto much neglected M» 
Annam family of languages, and must confine mjxl 
here to its relations with the aboriginal dialects of tk 

Mon-Khmer Structure. 

The structure of the Mon-Khmer languages^ » 
sists, to put it briefly, in a system of monosylhli 
root- words, to which can be added prefixes anl 
infixes for the purpose of expressing modificatiois dI 
the original idea. This system is best represented k 
Khmer, and may be illustrated by the followia| 
example : - — 


to cat 



kumnat (kunat) 




tamk&t (tikat) 



to cut off 




to cut, to divide. 

Here, if all these words are related, the roottt 
is modified by the prefixes /-, ^-, and /-, and At 
infixes -;/- (-«-, -ng-^ and -w- and their combinations; 
and, besides these, other prefixes (such as k-y ck- (/■), 
/- and r-) and infixes (such as -/-, -r-, and -/-) occur ia 
some of these languages. 

All this contrasts with the Malayan system ol 
structure, notably in the fact that in the latter 
although the system of prefixes and infixes is some 
what analogous, the root- words are dissyllables ; am 

^ In Annamese the structure is ticular tone, just as in Chinese. 
strictly monosyllabic, and the meaning ^ From Schmidt, Du Sprtdim i> 

V ..^^Ar u \r^t^rA .^^> ^-j^ ^^jg pg^, So^n ufn/ S^^ion^^ p. 568. 


h in some cases it seems to be possible to 
n in them an original monosyllabic root, yet 
oes not stand out as clearly as in the Mon- 
\r languages ; it is no longer (as a rule) capable 
ependent existence, and the normal type of the 
age is dissyllabic. If it was originally mono- 
ic, it has long since passed out of that stage, 
ts dissyllabic words are now treated as inde- 
nt roots for all purposes of composition by means 
: addition of prefixes, infixes, and suffixes.^ 
le point, however, which mainly concerns us, is 
great part of the constituents of the Sakai and 
ng dialects agree closely with the Mon- Khmer 
ages both in the monosyllabic character of their 
vords and in the method of composition by 
es and infixes.^ When we exclude the Malay 
ther Malayan elements, we find that the words 
are common to Sakai and Semang are in the 
monosyllabic, or capable of being reduced to 
syllabic roots. Thus, in Sakai, from the root 
[Semang chi), ** to eat," we get the verbal 
tions dm-chuy en-cha\ ka-cha! (and in Semang 
z**), and the substantival dncha (Semang inchi) 
hana\ '* food " ^ ; from yuty ** to return," i.e. to go 
the transitives tytU and tengyut, **to return," 
give back, and so on, quite in accordance with 
Khmer methods. 

o the probability of an earlier Tagalen und Madagassen, pp. 48-57, 

>f monosyllabic roots in the 1 902. 

languages, see especially ^ g^g especially Schmidt, op. cit., 

1, •* Over de Wortelwoorden in where this fact was first pxjinted out. 

schcTaal,"and Vreede, "Over Skeat (in the Seiaugor Journal) had 

telwoorden in de Javaanschc already drawn attention to the prefixes 

n AcUs du Sixi^me Congrh in Besisi. 

imtal des Orientalistcs tcmt en ^ Probably an infix formation ( = 

Leidcy 1885, and Brandstetter, ch-an-a'). 



Ordinary Mon-Annam Words. 

But not merely is there this close correspondei 
in structure : there is a very large common elcn 
in the vocabulary itself. The number of worfs 
Sakai and Semang which can be traced in the Mi 
Annam languages (and in some cases also ia Ni 
barese, Khasi, and Munda) is very considerable, J 
includes many of the most important words of evt 
day life. It would be impracticable to set them 
here at length ; and I have illustrated this connca 
as fully as circumstances permitted, in the Corap 
tive Vocabulary. But the following list of the na 
of the principal parts of the body will serve 2 
specimen of the extent to which this common elen 
runs through the ordinary speech of these tribes: 








kern, k:nok 










Breast (female) 







pol, empong. 

'ntong 'ntik 

































'mp*k, pang 











lentak, l^pes 




Th#» above list is not exhaustive, but include 



1 words of this category that can be safely 
to a Mon-Annam origin. Besides these, a 
of quite common words such as ** sun,'* 
" " darkness," " rain," ** water," " fire," ** earth," 
• ** forest," ** tree," ** wood," *' flower," "fruit," 
*' thorn," '* rattan," *' banana," "centipede," 
louse," " mosquito," " spider," " leech," " fish," 
** egg," " rat," " tiger," " elephant," etc., and a 
of adjectives and verbs (as well as some other 
if speech) have one or more identifiable 
mts in the Mon-Annam languages ; though 
them also have synonyms, which have not, as 
n traced to that source. 

Mon-Annam Culture Words. 

e interesting, perhaps, than the foregoing are 
tively few words which throw light on the 
development attained by the aboriginal tribes 
dently of any Malay influence : the following 
itative list of these is confined to such as 
o be of Mon-Annam affinity : — 



To bathe 


muh, hum 




Blowpipe dart 



To boil 






Cloth, clothes 




To cook 



To dance 







Cihost, spirit 














nd in Cham and Bahnar, this word may be of Malayan origin. 

.II 2 



















• •• 


To plant 


^P" ., 

Poison (for darts) 



• •• 


Rice (in husk) 



Rice (husked) 



Rice (boiled) 



Roof, ihatch 






Somewhat doubtfully identified are the 

Semang. Sakm, 




Areca nut 







choki*, weng 


Debt, price 








To plait 





Too much stress must not be laid on these wi 
the word for ** clothes " probably meant no more 
the wisp of bark-cloth which still constitutes the 
article of apparel among some of the wilder t 
the ** house " was no doubt always a small and n 
built hut, the **dog'* may conceivably (thoug 
probably) have been the wild, not the domesd 
variety, the word for " ivory " by no means ii 
that it was an object of traffic, the word for " p; 
is perhaps derived from the word for ''head 
may have been independently invented,* as mi 

* These primarily mean "food** ^ Pillows do not appear \ 

only. very common use : see st^ 

^ If rightly identified, this is a pp. 178, 180; and Martin, 

Sanskrit word which has passed stdmmt der malayiuken I 

iironeh a Mon-Khmer channel. 1905, p. 677. 


for '• flute/' which has a different prefix from its 
Khmer equivalents (some of which differ amongst 
;elves) and may have been newly formed from a 
lon verbal root. But nevertheless there is here 
:ent evidence that some at least of the aboriginal 
; of the Peninsula do not owe their primitive 
ilture and general semi-civilisation to Malay in- 
res exclusively, but must have retained them at 
from the time (now some eight or nine centuries 
if not more) when they were finally cut off from 
Nations with the Mon- Khmer civilisation of 
lem Indo-China. 

herefore I cannot agree with Martin when he 
^sts that the Sakai house on piles is borrowed 
the Malay style of architecture/ or that the 
ing of cereals, especially rice, is due to Malay 
nee.' The house on piles is the typical structure 
e greater part of Indo-China as well as of the 
n Archipelago, and even if the words for " rice " 
lally meant some other cereal, which I do not 
ny particular reason to believe, they are at any 
'vidence of some, however primitive, cultivation, 
\ in itself negatives the view that all planting on 
>art of these tribes is due to Malay influence, 
true inference, in my opinion, is that, like many of 
ider Mon-Khmer tribes, some of the wild tribes 
e Peninsula have from time immemorial planted 
n their jungle-clearings. But they have never 
the great advance to planting in irrigable 
p-land : that, in South-east Asia, is the Rubicon 
\ a barbarous tribe must cross before it can fulfil 
onditions precedent to real civilisation, first in 

> op, (it, p. 670. * fffid, p. 731. 


the material sense of the word, and ultimately in its 
social, moral, intellectual, and other connotations. 

The only possible alternative is that the aborignl 
tribes have in some past age lived in close oooUc 
with a more civilised Mon-Annam race, who did phi 
rice and so taught them the words if not the practkt 
But that view also does not find favour with Mani. . 
who cannot discover any evidence that they wal/ 

ever under such influence.* I; 


Do7tbl€ Relation with Mon-Annam Languages. 

This leads us to the question whether therelalioQ| 
of the Mon-Annam languages to the aborigifflJ 
dialects of the Peninsula has been one of root 
external influence or whether the latter can be | 
classified as true members of the family. Logan, fta] 
was the first to notice the presence of Mon-Annaij 
words in the aboriginal dialects,- propounded a vm ^ 
complicated theory of the relations of the Mon-Annw 
languages with the Malayan family, which it wouUbt 
out of place to discuss here, but apparently held thai 
their influence on the aboriginal dialects was extend 
His view was that a civilised Mon- Khmer net 
colonised the Peninsula in early days long before tk 
Malay immigration from Sumatra had begun, ani 
that during this Mon-Khmer era that people occupifi 
towards the aboriginal tribes the same position whic 
the Malays now occupy. ** The language of tl 
Mens and Kambojans/* he says, ** would become tl 
lingua franca of the districts round their colonies ai 
of the rivers on both sides of the Peninsula whii 
their praus' frequented for barter with the native 

' ')- ..- .. 099. ' /,I.A. vol. iv. p. 431. a /.r. ships. 


would ultimately, in a large measure, displace 
er dialects of the latter." * 
s view was again advanced by the present 
in a paper dealing with a number of, mainly 
analogies between the Mon-Annam languages 
t dialects of the Peninsula.^ The possibility 
ultimate genuine relationship was not excluded, 
t aside as not being proved by the evidence 
ider consideration. On the other hand, Kuhn, 
ry valuable paper on the relation of the Mon- 
languages with the Mun^a languages, Khasi, 
rese, and the aboriginal dialects of the Peninsula, 
eady, though only on similar evidence, inferred 
istence of a common substratum, but still did 
ite go the length of classifying these diverse 
5 in one family.* 

re recently Schmidt, in his excellent work 
referred to, has devoted a much more thorough 
l^ation to the question, and has arrived at the 
ion that the close correspondence in phonology, 
re, syntax, and a considerable percentage of 
K:abulary between the Semang and Sakai 
; and the Mon- Khmer languages cannot be 
:ed for except on the view that they are 
ally members of one family of speech.* 
s to be observed that these two views are not 
ly exclusive ; these dialects may well be distant 
\s of the Mon -Khmer languages separated 
hem in a remote prehistoric age, and long 
rds again influenced by renewed direct contact 
Mon-Khmer population. There may be two 

I. S, , S. B,, No. 7, pp. 85-87. HutteriHduHs, p. 22a 

Ho, 27, pp. 21-56. * Die Sprtuhen dir Sakei itnd 

jpr zur SprachetiA'ufuie ScMOfij^, p. 581. 



distinct Mon-Khmer sources, just as there have to 
two of Malayan origin, entering into their ca 

Sketch Map showing the Distribution of the Numeral Sm 

position. That this is really the case seems 
indicated by the diversity of the numeral sy 
which are found in the Peninsula.^ 

* In ilie i>kctch map here given, 
numerals of Malayan type are neglected : 
hey occur occasionally, especially on 
hr -^'iLskJ^ts of the area inhabited by 
.- 1/ A\.^ n,» iioun/jary lines 

between the four S3rsteiiis are 
less hypothetical. TheAnbic 
refer to the following dialects : 
I. Semang of Mount J< 
Semang of Ula Selama ; J. S 


5 often been remarked that the purer dialects 
entre of the Peninsula do not possess any 
jmerals for higher numbers than ** three " ; ^ 
wring short lists will therefore suffice for a 
omparison of the different types that exist : — 

//. ///. rv. 

nei {or ne) 






mui {or moi) 



(various) ' 

I. represents the Semang group of dialects; 
. the Northern Sakai and the inner sub- 
of the Eastern Sakai; Type III. is co- 
\ with the Central Sakai ; and Type IV. 
the Southern Sakai, one or two mixed Jakun 
and the outer subdivision of the Eastern 

it is clear that (with the exception of the 
leral of Type II. which it has in common 
pe I.) Types II. and III. are really one 

and this system cannot be derived from 
>r Type IV., nor can these be derived from it. 

;mang of Sadang ; 5. 27. Daly's Selangor Sakai ; 28. Drang 

u Patani ; 6. Semang of Bukit of Ulu Langat ; 29. Kenaboi ; 

<ai Jeram of Grik ; 8. 30. Sakai of Serting ; 31. Orang 

ang of Ulu Selama ; 9. Hutan of Ulu Palong ; 32. Orang 

uala Kenering; 10. l3e Hutan of Ulu Indau ; 33. Besisi of 

lang of Sungai Piah ; 1 1. Ayer Itam ; 34. Besisi of Sepang ; 35. 

^mongoh ; 1 2. Sakai of Besisi of Malacca ; 36. Sakai of Ulu 

>akai of Korbu ; 14. Chercs ; 37. Sakai of Ulu Tembe- 

Sakai of Pulau Guai ; ling. 

Krau (the emigrant Krau One or two dialects, of which the 

ir is not marked); 17. numerals are imperfectly recorded, have 

gai Kaya ; 1 8. Sakai of been omitted. 

; 19. Sakai of Ulu ^ For higher numbers some of the 

. CliiTord's Senoi ; 21. aborigines nowadays use the Malay 

i ; 22. Sakai of Tapah ; numerals. 

Sungkai ; 24. Sakai of ^ The various forms given are diut 

25. Sakai of Slim ; /a/, and tfmpong. Most of the typical 

anjong of Ulu T^ngat ; forms above have minor variants. 


We have therefore at least two, if not three/ differed 
systems of numerals to deal with. 

But Types II. and III., which on the feu:e of them 
are so closely allied, are also relatively central, wluic 
Types I. and IV., especially the latter, are distinctly 
peripheral in their geographical positions in die 
Peninsula. Prima facie, therefore, the true Sakai 
types, II. and III., have the best claim to represent 
the old Sakai numerals, while the rest may be 
suspected of having been due to outside in- 

Now Type IV. is the only genuine and authenti- 
cated non-Malayan numeral system in the abor^fid 
dialects of the Peninsula that extends to h^ 
numbers than "three" (or at most "four"), whidi 
fact in itself suggests its derivation from a more 
civilised race than the wild tribes of the Peninsub; 
and there is no shadow of doubt that it is of Moo- 
Khmer origin, as the following comparison wil 
show : ' — 

Type IV. Mqh, Suk. HuiL 


mui {fir moi) 


































1 It is doubtful whether the Semang from ** two," and probably mm 

equivalents for "two" and "three** "doable two." 

can be derived from the Mon-Annam * The geographical positioo of Mt 

type, though with the exception of the of the tribes which use numerals ctaff 

anomalous diu, "three," it seems resembling our Type IV. can be Mi 

likely enough. It is possible, how- from the maps which have bees pM 

ever, that they are of independent alx)ve. It is important as gpriig t 

origin. There is, unfortunately, no clue to the r^;ion from whidi tidi (■■ 

properly authenticated Semang word ticular influence proceeded. Tkis,sl 

or *'£our" except sa-bek in the conjectured iny.^.^.j*., 512?., NolI?. 

^pAtyyff dialert, wbirb is clearly derived was probably the Menam vaUqf; 













r «B- 






— ?-. 



























1^ 'b" 

— 1 


But the numeral systems of the languages of the 
-«^reat Mon-Annam-Munda-Khasi-Nicobarese alliance 
Jsaving only those of the mixed subfamily, best re- 
presented by Cham, which have numerals of Malayan 
a^itN'igin) are distinctly divisible into two different 

/ I. The Mon-Annam-Mui)da group (of which the 
^^nboye Mon type agreeing so closely with our Type 
JV. is one subdivision only).^ 

2. A group comprising {a) Khasi ; {b) the dialects, 
such as Palaung, Riang, Wa, and Lemet, which are 
itntermediate between Khasi and Mon -Khmer; and 
^e) Nicobarese. 

The following specimens will sufficiently illustrate 
the peculiarities of this second group : — 

' The first four numerals are 
practically identical in almost all the 
Mon - Annam languages ; at *' five " 
the diflferences begin, and the family, 
regarded from this point of view, 
splits up into a number of subdivisions, 
none of which, however, except the 
•ne of which Mon is typical, need 
concern us here. 

It is remarkable how closely the 
Mupda dialects (where they have not 
borrowed Aryan or Dravidian numerals) 
agree up to ** four ** with the general 
Mon -Annam type and differ from the 
intervening Khasi, thus : — 












See the Linguistic Survey of India, 
vol. iv. part i., especially pp. 12, 24, 
and 242-245. In the higher numbers 
(which, however, do not directly 
concern us) two of the Munda dialects, 
namely Kharia and Savara, agree 
closely with the Palaung, Wa, Lemct, 
and Khmu dialects of the second 
group ; a fact (first noticed, I think, 
by Konow in /. R. A. 5"., 1904, 
part iii. p. 429) which strongly 
supports the view that all th^e 
groups of languages are ultimately 



A'ioji (Standard). 











































Having regard to the geographical positii 
these languages and to their connection, as evid 
by a large common element in their vocabulai 
is impossible to believe that these resemblances 
numbers **two" and "three" are due to aod 
coincidence, while ** four " brings almost all d 
into close agreement with the Mon-Annam-1 
type. If, however, the words for " two " and " 
throughout this group are connected, they mi 
present originally identical roots, merely differei 
by different prefixes k-, r-, and /-. 

If that is so, we get back to something like 
** two *' and i for " three " as ultimate roots, anc 
will then explain not only the Mon-Annam- 
types b-ar and p-i, but also the Sakai n-ar s 

* As to Khasi, sec the Linguistic 
Surz'ey of India, vol. ii. \\ 38. The 
Lemet numerals are of the dialect of 
Jhieng Khong (about lat. 21" 30', 
ong. 1 GO** 30'), see / In'age d Exploration 
n Indo-Chitte ^871), vol. ii. p. 516. 

For the Nicobarese nma 
Man, Dictionaty of tk$ 
Nicobarese I^anguagt (1 889] 
241. For all the rest see th 
of Upper Burmah and ike S 
(1900), part L \-oI. L pp. 62 


^T' ^-e), the roots being in each case the same but 
tl^^ prefixes differing. A similar explanation would 
fcli^en attach the Mon-Annam m-wai and the Semang 
*— ^e (Sakai n-ei), " one," to the Khasi wet. 

The Eastern Sakai forms ni-weng, ni-u-e, nil-e^ 
^*^ci the Central Sakai nanu^ "one/* may perhaps 
^^^ the same nai (or net) with different numeral co- 
'^flficients welded on to them, as has happened to the 
^^'I^alay satu (from sa + watu, lit. **one stone "),^ and a 
^^^tiilar explanation may be given of the Central Sakai 
^^^riant nina, ** three." 

If the above explanation holds good, practically all 
^^^e properly authenticated numerals in the Peninsular 
^^lalects are accounted for; but it follows, as a con- 
sequence, that they derive from two distinct sources, 
.^oth (though not in the same degree of affinity) 
^'tognate to the Mon-Annam languages. This ex- 
"J^lanation of our Sakai Types II. and III. is ad- 
mittedly somewhat conjectural,' but finds some support 
tn the fact that in a certain number of cases where 
words closely allied to the typical Mon-Khmer forms 
occur in the outlying dialects (including those which 
have numerals of the Types I. and IV.), they are 
either not recorded at all in the dialects of the interior 
(which have numerals of the Types II. and III.) or 
else occur in them in forms differing more distinctly 
from the normal Mon-Khmer type. 

The following are representative instances : — 

* On the other hand, it is not im- for **onc"; this may either be an 

possible that these forms may better abbreviation of nanu or, if the above 

represent the supposed primitive /; -f- wet explanation is wrong, its root, 

(which may have been weng originally ^ It was first suggested by Schmidt 

and so connect with the Nicobar- in Die Sprouhen der SaJkei und Semang, 

ese heng). But this is a mere pp. 524, 580 ; and again in GrundzUge 

guess. einer Lautlehre der Khasi-Sprache^ pp. 

- A form noh is, however, reported 759, 760. 







ding, diii ' 


To bathe 





chharo, chhim 

mabam, hahom 



ti, tai 

ti, thi 




kejUt, kajok, 


bondm, manam 

kajoh, hcnjut 

benom, benum 

nyuh, nyfl 



long, delong 
doo, dak 


ten, tfi 

It would seem, therefore, that there are really t 
distinct strains of the Mon-Annam element, the ( 
ancient and remote, the other much more recent 
the composition of these dialects, or at least soou 
them ; and in view of the relative importance of 
element, which seems to run through their whole si 
ture, the Sakai and Semang languages in their pre 
stage of development, at any rate, may well be d 
fied as outlying members of that family. It muJ 
remembered that in the case of uninflected langu 
the problem of classification is necessarily very difi 
especially when, under the influence of alien toq 
the vocabularies have been much mixed. Su 
language as Cham, for instance, can from ce 
points of view be classified as Malayan, while ( 
aspects of it are distinctly Mon-Annam, and sdi 
have accordingly differed in their classification 
Much the same difiliculty besets the classification c 
languages of the Peninsula, with the additional 
plication that they are numerous and heterogen 
besides being very imperfectly known. 

Uninflected languages can pass, almost impe 


* In Khmer only. 


ly, from one family into another ; thus some of the 
lects of the Peninsula at the present day are being 
H« and more modified by the influence of Malay, 
d are being transformed into Malay dialects. 
Sien a language is in such a state of transition (or 
en when its condition is fixed but it is a hybrid 
Oduct), the classification of it will vary according 

the principles adopted: a hard and fast system 
"lich looks only to grammar and puts the vocabulary 
uirely aside can hardly meet the difficulty. What 
the grammar, which may mean nothing more than 
le order of words in the sentence, is similar in the 
ro languages of which the hybrid is made up i^ 
Fhat if a mixed dialect uses the vocabulary of one 
Qguage put in the syntactical order of another? 
classification according to grammar only would lead 

paradoxical results : the pidgin English of the 
lina ports and the Malay of the Singapore bazaar 
>uld have to be classed as Chinese dialects, although 
ere are very few Chinese words in either of them. 

Viewed in this light, the problem of the origin of 
ese languages does not, I venture to think, coincide 
ecisely with the question of their proper present 

The phonetic tendencies of the Semang race have 
:ercised a modifying influence over the Mon-Annam 
ements which their dialects have absorbed, soften- 
g their primitive consonantal hardness and moulding 
lem into a more vocalic form.^ The Sakai dialects, 
I the other hand, and especially the purer members of 
lat group, have better preserved the characteristic 
irshness of the Mon-Annam phonology ; in fact they 

1 A few instances of this have been found in the Comparative Vocabu- 
ren on p. 390 supra ; others will be lary. 


are sometimes more archaic than even the stereotype! 
forms of the Mon and Khmer written languages. 

In the Jakun group, so far as can be judged (n 
the fragmentary evidence available, the Mon-Amai 
element is present in a much smaller percentage dm 
in Sakai or even Semang, and is of merely secondarf 
importance. The Jakun dialects share it in sock 
degree with the Sakai dialects with which theyit 
intermixed,^ but there can be no doubt that it is oot 
an essential part of their composition ; and ezcqi \ 
that the forms in which it appears are somerimes 
modified by the peculiarities of Jakun phomAiB. 
which has perhaps also affected the neighbouriif 
Sakai subdivisions, it seems to require no sped 
notice here. 

Unidentified Elements. 

It is certain that the Semang dialects were at 
originally members of the Mon-Annam family. Thcj 
still embody a number of words, of a distinct type; 
which have not been, and I believe never willte 
traced to a Mon-Annam or Malayan source. Amfl? 
such words are many quite common ones, relating tt 
matters of everyday life. The following list BBf 
serve as a specimen: — ''bad," j^beg\ "bag,' 
chog, s^neng] ** bamboo," I3eh, g^niin\ •'banana,' 
kukeau ; *' bear," tilabas ; " beast." ab \ " betel-leaf 
bed', ''big," bdo\ **bird," kawdd\ "blind,"* 
•* blood," nyap ; ** body," ley ; ** brain," iKfai 
"broad," nien-ey\ ''calf" (leg), langtU; "cloud,"*'; 
** coconut," herpai] "day," k^to' \ **dog," ek, wok,9l\ 
"earth," kelyid\ "to eat," ya-gey; "egg," «*tf 

^ It '<: this element which has been Sakai element occurring in ttKlik* 
«0i-.^ *o r»p p, tnd mpra as the group. 


ails," ejued\ ** female," yalu ; ** fever," kengkam ; 
' begjag, ^^^yr j^long; -frog," kam^ " full," 
; •* girdle," tentam\^ ** good," bdded\ •* hand," 
"heart," k^langes \ ** lizard (big)," patiau\ 
;," beteg\ *' middle," tahll\ '' n?k^d:' J^ligun ] 
:," taiog\ **old," bedok, med\ "palm" (hand), 
"pig," ndpeg\ ** quiver," ^^^ ; ** seed," ^a/-^ti^/ ; 
vt^' j^kob\ "spear," ad\ "squirrel," wayd\ 
le," kula ; " tooth," jangkb\ nyus ; " water," tonty 

" yam," tdkob. 
he chief point about these words is that their use, 

as is known at present, is conjfined to tribes of 
Jegrito type. These words are therefore pre- 
)Iy remnants of the old original dialects of the 
sular Negritos, such as they were before they 
le modijfied and transformed by foreign in- 
es.'- A comparison of these specilfically Semang 
., with their equivalents in the dialects of the 
manese Negritos, is naturally indicated by the 
nstances of the case ; but so far as I have been 
to make it, it has proved inconclusive, although 
few cases I have ventured in the Comparative 
bulary to append the Andamanese equivalents, 
bat they are worth. Until, however, a much more 
ided series of comparisons reveals the existence 
me phonetic laws connecting the Semang with 
Vndamanese words, their relationship must be 
iered as hypothetical. The structures and 
mars of the languages at the present day are quite 
ent, and can give us no help in this matter, 
here are many words also in Sakai which have 

s probably really means the ' This was first pointed out by 

tring of which the girdle is Schmidt in Die Sprachen ikr Sakei 

and Semangy pp. 563, 583. 


not as yet been traced to any known source^aodi 
may still be regarded as an arguable question whetkr 
the Sakai dialects were originally cognate toik 
Mon-Annam languages. Both groups must benae 
minutely examined than has been possible up to ik 
present time before absolute certainty can beattaiiri 
as to their original relations. But there does M 
appear to be in Sakai, as there certainly is in Scnuf 
a substantial list of common words in everyday is 
which would betray an alien origin/ and, on ik 
whole, the evidence at present rather tends to ik 
conclusion that the Sakai dialects were from the iiat 
related to the Mon-Annam languages in the sa« 
way as is apparently the case with Nicobarese. KW 
and the Palaung. Riang, and Wa dialects. Sofars 
I know, there is nothing in their grammar or stnicat 
which would negative this conclusion. 

The Jakun group, after deducting thewordsiW 
can be accounted for as Malayan or Mon-Ana* 
leaves us a considerable residue, the origin of whiil I 
am unable to explain. Some of these have bed | 
mentioned already,- but it may be convenient iog« 
a few specimens here. The following are tyjAalfll 
Kenaboi, which contains the largest percentage i 
unidentified forms : — '* bird,** sdbu ; *• black," rfjil 
•* breast," rapang ; ** cloud," lingsa \ " croco&* 
toliol\ "dog," kmk\ ''fish," rayap\ "forclMal 
cliala\ "head," tahal \ *' moon," linta\ ** pig," sWi 
**root,">Vrfr: " tooth," fA<Vrf//. The following ai 

* If Sakai was virigiiuilly descended therefore, in Sakai vi som<^xick^ 

frtMii the same mother-tongue as the cannot be found in the Mob-Ab 

Mon-Aimain languages, it might never- languages does not cause any ditto 

theloss |X)ssess words which the others in view of the lai^ge |iercentige(iBSi 

had lost or which it had evolved since ±35 per cent) of important «vi 

the remote date of its separation from everyday use which it shares with lb 

tV^ oomi.« ^n «ou"*e The presence, ■ See p|>. 386, 404, 407-409 « 


i in various Jakun dialects, and some of them 
ar even in the neighbouring members of the 
i group: — •* ant," narit\ "brother" (elder). 
•* dog," dmun ; ** eyebrow," Uilis ; " face," rXman ; 
ndmother,"^<?«^' ; " house," ch^rdng, j^kot ; " pig," 
\ ; ** porcupine," puntu ; *' rhinoceros," resiki ; 
er" (elder), gau\ *' snake, " ///^^ ; ** tiger," maj'd, 
% m^ngkolom ; ** tired," kabo. 
4ore words of this kind will be found in the 
parative Vocabulary. A few of the words of 
lown origin in the Jakun group are also found in 
ang, but are not recorded in Sakai : ^ these words 
perhaps be relics of dialects formerly spoken by 
•itos of the south of the Peninsula and now 
•bed into the Jakun group, but they are hardly 
irous enough to support the view that the Jakun 
cts were originally allied to Semang. 
*he origin of the Jakun group is therefore still in 
►t. Very little is known as to its structure and 
imatical system, but apparently the latter, at least 
hose dialects which contain a strong Malayan 
lent, is of the Malayan type. It would seem that 
Jakun group, if it is a unity at all, was originally 
lien origin, but has been for centuries under the 
ence of Malayan dialects, with which it has been 
;d up, so that it may now be said to be mainly 
lyan in character and in process of becoming 
ely so. In their present state, the Jakun 
cts (with the exception of Kenaboi) may 
r be classed as mixed Malayan dialects : in fact, 
i of them have become mere subdialects of 


e, for instance, in the Comparative M 135, M 151, I* 76, P i56,aDdS 378, 
ilitfy parai^raphs C 267, L 1 19, and compare B 215 with B 217. 

VOL. II 2 H 


Language and Race, 

I shall not undertake to correlate the conpla 
facts of language here briefly sketched out with tk 
physical relationships which connect the wild tribesof 
the Peninsula with the various races of South-eastei 
Asia. It seems to me somewhat premature to do a 
until these races have been more thoroughly i 
vestigated and more accurately described But! 
must not be forgotten that in this r^ion thae 
are several originally distinct racial strata: first i 
stronger and dominant race, which thoii^h varpn 
materially in different localities, has the comav 
characteristic of being more or less Mongoloid it 
type, and, underlying it. fragments of two other wft 
which were both probably seated in this region eaifa 
than the race of Mongoloid type. One of these olte 
races seems to correspond with the Sakai type. Tk 
Mon-Annam languages are spoken to a great extril 
by communities of Mongoloid type, but also by wiftr 
non- Mongoloid tribes, and it is still a question tu 
which racial type this class of language or^naly 
belonged. It is somewhat significant that at thelK 
ends of the great Mon-Annam-Munda-Khasi-Nici 
barese alliance, viz. in the pure Sakai and the Mud 
region, the races should be of somewhat simil 
Dravidian or quasi-Dravidian, non-Mongoloid, typ 
It may be that the intervening populations have he 
modified by an intrusive Mongoloid strain, wh 
nevertheless retaining their original language: tl 
at present seems to be a tenable hypothesis.* T 

* This would appear to be Schmidt's tions of Mon-Annam s])eechafe, ins 

view ; sec Die Sprachen der Salrf umi of slight specific peculiarities, sofatt 

iemani;^ P- 5 8 1 , but he does not point out ally M ongoloid in type. This coostic 

>,« foof th"* thn pr-nr »-iHtof the popula- the main difficuVy of the problen. 


»€:her submerged race above referred to is the Semang 
W Negrito type, which is much more restricted in 
flne^a. than the quasi- Dravidian one. It is still doubtful 
pSn^tiher the Negrito type can really be traced else- 

ire in South-eastern Asia than in the Peninsula 
t:he Philippine and Andaman islands, and it seems 
^ have had very little influence in building up the 
•cr^s of this part of the world. 

Then there is the further complication that the 

l^or^goloid race speaks languages, of various different 

^•^^ilies of speech, which have not yet been satis- 

•^t^orily grouped under one head ; while on the other 

T^'^cl the Malayo-Polynesian language-family (like the 

P^Oxi-Annam) coincides with no racial group, but 

'J^^lxides several diverse types, Mongoloid and non- 

J^Ongoloid. In short, the question of the relation 

T^tween race and language in South-eastern Asia is 

^*^ extremely complex problem, and all these matters 

^"tSll call for much more extended and detailed in- 

^^^tigation before a really certain conclusion as to 

^lie early history of these races can be arrived at. 

Language and History. 

It would seem that fragments of these various 
races, probably in small numbers and in a very 
primitive stage of development, independently found 
their way into the Peninsula at various remote epochs. 
It may reasonably be supposed that the Sakai brought 
with them the habit of cultivating patches of ground 
roughly cleared on the hillsides, and so tended mainly 
to occupy the hilly country of the interior, while the 
more savage Semang hunted in the lower levels, and 
the Jakun tribes (or such of them, at least, as spoke 
Malayan dialects) settled along the coast-line. 


At some pericxi after the Mon- Khmer popubtbs 
of Southern Indo-China had become more or ka 
civilised through the medium of immigrants fron 
India, the central portion of them, inhabiting ik 
Menam valley, seems to have extended its influeooe 
to the southward and to have founded settlements b 
various parts of the Peninsula. This occupation, d 
which there is no distinct historical record/ is evidenad 
by the local tradition which assigns such a great pait 
in the past history of the Peninsula to the Siamcst 
Ancient mines and other workings, remains of ibrts 
and the like, are generally styled Siamese by the 
Malays ; in fact, '' Siam," in the local popular topO' 
graphy, plays the part which in England is shared 
between Caesar and the devil : it serves to expbii 
any ancient and striking landmark the real origin d 
which is unknown. As, however, there is not a tnce 
of anything really Siamese, i.e. Tai, in the dialects o( 
the aboriginal tribes or elsewhere in the Peninsuh,* 
and as the Siamese are relatively modem intruders in 
Southern Indo-China, it seems reasonable to suppose 
that these traditions refer to the Mon -Khmer race 

* It appears from Siamese sources sula from lat. 7* (or thereabouts) soU^ 

that the Mon race had occupied Ligor wards, that being the region vidii 

(lat. 8"* 24\ long. 99° 58') Ixffore the which the S{)eciineQs of abonsiai 

Siamese arrived there : see Low in dialects were collected. Kofth of tbri 

y. /. A. vol. V. pp. 518-521 ; Bastian, region there has been a, more orki 

Geschichtc der Indo-Chinesen^ p. 197. mixed, Siamese popuUtioo for fttco) 

Further south than this they have centuries ; south of that latitude tki 

not been positively traced : Sanskrit was, until quite modem times, do mi 

Buddhist inscriptions in alphabets of Siamese penetration or occupiD4 

South Indian origin have been found in but merely a traditional and pecsM 

Ketiah, but it has not l)een shown that claim to suzerainty over some of Ai 

these were the work of Mon settlers. Northern Malay States. It is oiit 

The arch.x'ological collections in the during the last hundred yens or t 

museums of the Peninsula have never that this purely external suzerainrf hi 

yet l>eon properly studied, and it is been transformed in some cases itf 

Dossiblc that they might throw some actual eflfective occupation, aceo* 

lew light on these matters. panied in a few districts by th 

■ To avoid misunderstandings, I settlement of a Siamese4petkii4 

n.irf irir Kof *»,;». ..nfArc »/> thc PcHin- populat'^H, 


nhabited Siam before the Tai came down from 
th of Indo-China. 

I hypothesis of such a Mon-Khmer occupation 
^eninsula is strongly supported by the linguistic 
e. If the above attempt to unravel the 

skein of language has proceeded on the 
nes, it seems clear that the numeral system 
[ have termed Type IV. was introduced into 
linsula by a Mon-Khmer race from the r^on 
Menam valley at a period which cannot have 
iry remote, inasmuch as these numerals have 
diverged at all from the type still current in 
icent parts of Indo-China. The precise date 
be determined, but possibly the Mon-Khmer 
ion, which may have lasted for hundreds of 
[>^;an about the fifth century a.Dm or even 

It may have come to an end nearly a 
d years ago.^ Since the last seven or eight 
IS (for here again the precise dates cannot be 
;he Malays from Sumatra have colonised and 
i the Peninsula, and except in the dialects of 
I tribes and in the popular traditions already 

to there is little trace left of its former 
i connection with Indo-China.^ 

ai conquest of the Menam Khmer source. If these words have 

> the precise date of which come direct into this jargon from a 

ertain information), and the Mon-Khmer language, this is evidence 

extension of the Tai race that the Malays of these northern 

thward finally cut off the States have been in contact with Mon- 

rom the Mon and Khmer Khmer-speaking individuals who had 
acquired the art of taming elephants 

appear to be a few words and imparted it to the Malays. The 

mer origin in the Malay latter do not appear to have learnt this 

edah, but the matter awaits craft in Sumatra, nor is it nowadays 

stigation. In the jargon practised in the south of the Peninsula, 

elephant drivers of Kedah This Malay elephant jargon, however, 

n speaking to their mounts also contains some undoubtedly Siamese 

few words which are al- words and may have come through a 

nly derived from a Mon- Siamese channel. 


Language and Culture. 

While the heterogeneous composition of tk 
languages of the Peninsula is evidence of the fat 
that the tribes which speak them, besides bdogiil 
several different races, have been subjected to varioB 
alien influences, the number and diversity of ik 
dialects into which the several languages fall is abo 
eloquent of much. One sees at once that dt 
Peninsula has not, in any period within our ken, bees 
the seat of a great unifying civilisation, and that is 
aboriginal inhabitants have lagged behind in dx 
progressive movement which has affected SoA 
eastern Asia generally. 

Here, as elsewhere, we seem to see the diiferot 
stages of social evolution mirrored in the phenomeni 
of language. First comes a stage of merely nonfldk 
hunting and fruit-gathering, during which it wodi 
appear that there is comparatively little tendency to 
development or differentiation of speech among die 
several fragments of a roaming race. Then tbe 
gradual beginnings of agriculture bring with thcB 
somewhat less temporary modes of habitation, and 
restrict the wanderings of the clan or tribe within the 
narrower area of a few miles around the huts it noi 
more regularly occupies. Its small patches of cuid 
vated ground shift, it is true, from season to seasoo 
but only within a strictly limited range. Thi 
necessarily results in local differentiation of diakc 
and consequent difficulty of intercourse with othc 
clans or tribes. Next, in the normal course, shoul 
come the practice of cultivating permanently occupio 
ireas, partly planted with fruit trees, partly irrigate 
^nr ^p-oHiVpllv sown and plan^^ed with rice. This,ii 


^uth-eastern Asia, is the most momentous step in 
'^ajice ; accompanied, or soon followed, by the 
lestication of the buffalo and ox, it allows of a 
increase and concentration of population in 
in favoured localities, and thus tribes begin to 
fer in numbers, wealth, and power, according to 
circumstances. Next come intertribal wars, 
ling generally in the predominance of the most 
*^^^>xierous and powerful tribe over its neighbours, and 
imposition of its language on the other tribes 
lin a considerable area, thus welding the whole 
- a new unity and laying the foundations of a truly 
^^^^ional existence. 

But by the aborigines of the Peninsula this stage 

never been attained : they never took the great 

■ *3ride from shifting cultivation to the permanent 

^^^cupation of land, and while they have remained a 

^*iigle of more or less savage clans, the coasts and 

*^Ver-valleys of their native land have been colonised 

^^ immigrant aliens, who in their own island home 

*^ad already passed this stage and gained the possession 

Of a common language and some of the other elements 

^hich go to the making of a nation. Thus the 

aborigines of the Peninsula find themselves to-day 

in the position of scattered fragments dependent on 

^ stronger and far more numerous race, in a distinctly 

higher state of culture. It requires no great stretch 

of imagination to foresee clearly enough that the 

only unity of speech they can ever attain will consist 

in the loss of their own and the adoption of a foreign 

tongue, while their other special characteristics will 

also soon disappear. 

Many of the districts in which aborigines were 
formerly to be found have, even in modern times, 


been deserted by them in their flight from their i 
civilised neighbours. In other districts they hue 
been absorbed into the Malay population, which ■ 
several of the States of the Peninsula has a strQi| 
strain of aboriginal blood. This process has bea 
going on for many generations, and will soon be 
complete. The tribes that have maintained tbdr 
separate existence down to the present time ait 
evidently mere remnants, which happen by favour rf 
local circumstances to have escaped extinction or 
absorption : and even these few survivals of a pu 
stage of human development will in no long dor 
become absorbed by their somewhat more advanod 



I ( 



Page 10. 

jcviii. 189-196, Vaughan-Sievens (ed. Bartels) describes some of the 

s of the Sakai (whom he calls Blandas). Incantations (wrongly 

ang " ^ by Vaughan-Stevens) are spoken over the sufferer, who is also 

>n an infusion of ** three plants called • merian ' (* mirian *)." ^ There 

ry special to note in the methods of manipulation, which are, how- 

ly described. 

y is, as a rule, very easy, and the death of the mother in child-birth 

e, although still-born children are not uncommon." 

:ase of protracted delivery, which is generally rare, a second charm 

r the sufferer and her body rubbed with the fat of the big python, 

m of whose fat is also given her to swallow." 

Thage and ruptured blood-vessels seldom occur, but where they do, 

must decide the result, since the Sakai know nothing of the art of 

lilar account of the manipulation employed by the Orang Laut, see 
i. 196. 

Sakai Love-charms. Page 67. 

Stevens (ed. Bartels) describes the use of a particular plant by any 
ho wishes to make his wife indifferent to himself in order to further 
;ue with some other woman. ^ This plant, which is laid under the 
is said by Ridley (who informs me that Vaughan-Stevens himself 
Decimen of it) to be Lasianthus. 

men are said to make use of cotton from a silk-cotton tree to secure 
I's fidelity.* 

Page 287. 

: Creatio.n Myths of the Tembeh (Orang Trmia). 

manuscripts of Hrolf Vaughan-Stevens, translated into German by 

Dr writes that in vol. Ixix. Nos. 8 and 9 of Globus^ this story of the 
ilready been mentioned, in part reproduced, and that on account of 
erest he now gives a translation of the whole of the original. His 
IS follows : — 

g," spelt ** powang " by the charms by which he works. 

^ens, signifies a magician ^ For ** merian" see note to p. 10 

r" (the old-time *'con- of text. 

jst-country folklore), not ^ Z.f. E. xxviii. 184. * Ibid, 



** liefore the sun was created the earth was like a board ^ lyiagoo ihe^lj; 

1>cneaih which swarnied centi{)edes, scorpions, and ants, in a putnloeKHl|^ 

These creatures are similar to the demons which then lived in darknoL kil ' 

hole under the board lived Naing, while Sammor had his dwelling high ^^1^ 

the board. I 

** Sammor often came down on (to the board) to take a stroll. ThisdsU I 
Naing, who ordered the demons to sting and bite the feet of Sammor (nmkl^ 
now when we tread on ihcm). 1^ 

**One day Sammor got very angry and lifted the board uptosaKKii|l^ 
Then they Uith fought and tried to kill each other. Sammor got theBBti^l^ 
Naing ran away, crawled down into his hole and hid himself. Since SoH 
knew that Naing could nut hear the light, he determined to keep him ii fc 
hole. During the tight both of them had torn great pieces out of theooLi 
order to throw them at each other (hence originated the hills and moattii 
which we now see ui>on the earth). Sammor also sought the largest rods lU 
were to be found, and heape<l them on the hole, in order to prevent Nnf in 
coming out. Then Sammor went to his own dwelling-place, and took M 
6re out of it, and when he had rolled it into a boll with his handSi heictai 
to the scene of the strife. He threw the board up high into the urindfliBil 
it to stay there, and he commissioned the fire-ball (/.r. the sun) to {Hi At 
mountain-covered hole, so that Naing might never come out again. Tbtiidf 
the sun always goes round the mountain, watching it from all sido^ AV 
^aing has often tried to push away the mountain from the month of the biik»k 
is always obliged to let it fall again as soon as he has raised it slightly, beGHtrf 
his inability to bear the light. 

**Now the sun discovered that Naing was doing this on thatadecfit 
mountain where she herself was not. But Sammor had gone bd M )■ 
dwelling-place, and since the sun could not forsake her duty to oibtsn 
from Sammor, she kindled a fire at the place where Naing was ulatiii 
attempts to escape. She then continued on her way. 

'< Every time, as soon as the sun has passed b)', Naing stretches bimM 
of the cavern and attempts to smother the fire with earth. When theaa^ 
in the course of its motion, appears before the hole, Naing throvi it il > 
handful of earth, until he has at length quite extingui^ed it, and theaab 
then to kindle it once more. 

**The stars are the hot eml)ers which are scattered about by the fiitcRq 
time Naing throws a handful of earth at it. These embers are driven tonh 
the l>oard, where they remain burning. The sparks thrown oat from the aba 
are shcnning stars. Naing has often been seen in the act of drawing o«t i fo 
brand from the moon. 

« Thus has it always happened ever since. When Sammor hurled thebtff 
up into the air, it took the form of the heavens above us, and what we see ii < 
lower side. 

<* On the upper side of this board is the place (heaven) to which thegooda 
pass, but no one knows what sort of place it is, or what the souls do there. ^ 
only know that there is neither marriage, nor birth, nor death, nor change of a 
kind. Every one has there whatever he wishes. 

'* The place of Sammor lies far above this upper surface of the world. 

** Naing, being unable to come out of his hole, dug a great cavern ia! 
ground for himself and his demons. During the battle between Sammoii 

^ This comparison of the earth to a ** talam '*), which is described in )b 

l)oard or plank, which afterwards is folklore (r. JAi/s^ JAi^, p. 3) as be 

apparently transferred to the sky, looks representative of the original dimcBH 

to me somewhat like a confused recol- of the earth when first created, aoco 

-./»»ion of thr .so-c*ned «« tray" (Mai. ing to the account of Malay 1 


tliese demons had run away in a fright Some ran down into the hole 
d remained confined there with Naing. The greater number, however, 
DQselves behind the hills thrown up by the two combatants.^ They are 
parated from Naing, and still dwell in the same place that is inhabited by 

Kre follows the story of the creation of man. ) 

IHien Naing found that he himself was prevented from coming out, through 
ot watch maintained by the sun and moon, he tried to get the better of 
sy means of the demons which, at the covering of the hole, remained 
; on account of the superincumbent mountain. This failed, however, 
s the demons were not strong enough. Naing, therefore, created a great 
r of demons (the Tembeh could not explain how this was done) which, 
er, succeeded no better in stopping the watchful course of the sun and the 

>}aing then commanded the demons that dwelt outside, in a body, to heave 

the mountain from his place of captivity, so that he might come out 
: by night in order, if possible, to destroy the sun. All the demons then 

their forces, and with the help of the demons that dwelt underneath, and 
oog, they heaved the mountain slightly upwards and shook it But when 
lor noti^ the shaking of the mountain, he came back to see what was 
ning. When the demons saw him they immediately ran away and hid 
dves in the rocks, trees, and rivers. Thence it happens that the woods 
ierywhcre full of demons, and every tree, every rock, every river, has its 
lemon. The demons, however, escaped in a body from the mountain on 
I Sammor stood. In order to prevent the demons from repeating their 
pt, Sammor determined to create men so that they might fight against the 
OS. He therefore took some sparks of the sun-fire (stars), which Naing 
iroken off from the moon by throwing earth at it, and out of them made 

men. He then, however, reflected that the fire would never die, so he 
red the seven men thence, and afterwards made them into the seven guides 
ssengers who show the good souls the way to heaven. He then took seven 
1 which grew close by, and from them made men, whom he commanded to 

on the mountain, and to prevent the demons from moving it again. 
, however, went on increasing the number of demons, until it became 
sible for the seven men to fight with them all. At their request Sammor 
ed, removed them thence, and afterwards made them into the messengers 
ad to lead the wicked souls to hell (because the men made out of leaves 
rithin a fixed period, like the leaves from which they had been created). 
Then Sammor went back to his place and brought thence a man and a 
Q (no one knows of what material they were made), and placed them on 
loantain to guard it. This pair had at one birth three sons and three 
ters. When the children had grown up they were given names ; the eldest 
ok the name (and the emblem) of a leaf, the second that of a star, and the 
that of an ant. Each one married a sister. 

As the son who had taken the leaf-name was the eldest, he was chief over 
thers. Prom him are descended all the Tembeh Batins (chiefs) of the 

The second son, who had adopted the star emblem, was very clever in 
way and became a magician. All the Tembeh magicians are of this totem. 
The third son, who had taken the name of an ant, was the father of 
iry human beings. The ant-families have always been more numerous and 
prolific than either of the others. 
The families of the three sons and their wives increased with great rapidity, 

These mountains separating man the Caucasus, the **Kaf" Mountains of 
le demons from Naing are probably Malay legends. See Malay Magic ^ p. 2. 


so that, with the help of the incantations and magic given to the wn 
the sun, the moon, the stars, and by Sammor himself, the demoos i 
back to their hiding-places." 

(Since the first man was placed by Sanmior on the motmtain, di 
always prefer to live in the hills.) 

** When Naing discovered that men were guarding the mountain li 
by Sammor, and that he himself could not get out, he tried to build 
road up through some of the other mountains, which had been bem 
torn from the flat earth in the great battle. These attempts ht?e < 
huge caverns which are found in so many mountains. 

** Since there were not enough men to guard all these mouiitiini 
brought yet more and more men and women from his habitatioD and pi 
in \'arious localities. These men who appeared later differed somevin 
and appearance from the flrst-crcated Tembeh, hence it comes that in 
there are various races of men. 

** The seven men created from leaves watched at first very caidbl 
the course of time they became weary of the constant watching and pid 
down, and fell asleep. The demons soon discovered this, and slipp 
the trees, and hid in the brushwood, until they were again quite d 
mountain, when they began to push it away. When some ^ them bat 
the seven guardians were asleep, they divided themselves into kpcs 
in order to seize them and take them captive. The demons that fc 
selves among the attacking forces disguised themselves under the 
animals and insects — each party having a special form. The fen 
follows : millipedes, snakes, ants, tigers, leeches, and moaqoitoe 
fought with the seven men, and the noise of the battle and of the dei 
were trying to overthrow the mountain brought Sammor once again o 
of action. He drove the demons away, and condemned the seven { 
serve as guides to the souls journeying towards Nenek ^ (Hell) in the 

Page 289. Details of the Cholera Charm of the Tbm 

On leaving their tree-huts, they both painted themselves and help 
to paint themselves with their totem ^ emblems (leaf, star, and ant] 
and forehead. Three magicians were then chosen, who painted 
persons with white lines and devices, according to a prescribed pa) 
a screen of leafy branches erected to conceal them. In this s 
triangular opening formed by two converging uprights with 
horizontal bars fixed across them. Over these cross timbers were i 
leafy branch of a plant resembling a palm and another resembling 
The opening is supposed to represent the triangular figure in 
horizontal cross-lines that the Tembeh are said to employ as 
character" typifying ** night" or ** darkness," but which here lypii 
and the darkness dear to spirits.^ A screen that was erected on tlH 

1 There should be seven of these and so forth ; cp. voL i 

parties, one corresponding to each of text, 

the leaf-men. — W.S. ^ It need scarcely be r« 

- Or " Ni-nik." This is possibly since it has been insisted 

identical with the word that appears text, that there is no [ 

as the name of Hell or Purgatory in totemism among these trib 

the legends of other tribes, in various * P'or these mesaage c 

forms, such as ** Ngari," ** Nyayek," vol. i. p. 414 of this book. 


3n the west, except that the opening on the east formed a 
le, typifying "day" or "light," this figure being supposed to 
in rising behind the mountains. Behind the screen at the 
»d a post of about 4 metres high, stripped of its bark, and 
a a roughly built round roofless hut, quite 3 inches high, so that 
; in except by the door, in front of which hung a mat decorated 
blem plaited in red on a ground of yellow, the natural colour of 
s — a device the use of which was confined to the magicians. In 
r was a fire composed of three converging fire-logs.^ The plct 
; people stood was then measured off by the magician, beginning 
(t comer and proceeding westward. On its completion the 
ied to the round hut already described. Alter half an hour's 
1 fearful din in the hut by blowing into a bamboo of special 
Vt this sound the men, each with his jungle knife, hurried to a 
where some days before had been stuck a number of bamboos, 
sticking in the ground as though they grew there. Every one 
these bamboos and fashioned a spear from it. Meanwhile the 
e had begun wailing ** Ah-wah," " Ah-wah," as soon as the 
aimboo in the magician's hut had ceased. On completing their 
leapt forth brandishing their weapons, and looking in every 
igh they expected the attack of some enemy. The concealed 
lew three deep booming notes, when there suddenly appeared 
western leaf-screen the white-striped men who took the place of 
ans of the seventh class, that in former times represented the 
of them bore a long piece of liana,^ bent in the middle and 
the two loose ends being held together. With howls and yells 
> now turned round and took to running and proceeding first 
:, parallel to the southern boundary of the plot, and then from 
alongside the eastern boundary (along the line of the dotted 
intered the plot at the north-east comer and took up their 
s just within the plot's limits with their &ces turned outward and 
ait for the attack of the white-striped "demons." These last 
iirection as that in which the boundary line had been drawn, all 
md attempted at the same time to throw their liana lassos over 
of the men who were standing within the plot and using their 
t the lassos from falling over their heads, and for that alone, 
of the three would let go one end of his liana so that it fell to 
poked it to and fro over the boundary line in an attempt to touch 
gs of those who stood within. But as these latter leapt aside 
: pliant lianas with their spears, none of them were hit. Thb 
I, since any one so hit would soon after have been attacked by 
themselves, but accompanied by the fearful yells of the men, 
; women, shrieks of the children, and barking of the dogs, the 
ound and round the rectangular plot, until suddenly at the sound 
the magician who was in the hut the din ceased, except among 
dogs. One of the three *' demons*' had thrown himself on the 
\ and writhing as if he were in bodily pain. His two companions 
mas, ran to the magician's hut, and as they entered the magician 
e dress of the latter consisted of a bark loin-cloth, together with 
ind, girdle, anklets, and knee-bands, plaited from strips of tree 

cindled by these tribes tuang," as to which videnoXt to vol. i. 
of converging tire- p. 472 ante. 

'■'' Hy "liana" no doubt some kind 
* tuntong * or "tuang- of rattan (Calamus) is intended. 


fibre resembling grass.' The three burnt spots on bis forebead wen |Mi( 
white, and on his breast the totem emblem in white clay. In one hand \t Is 
a bamboo, presumably his staff, but this particular staff showed ndther diaip 
nor patterns. He held the staff with the lower part uppermost ; in tbe hob 
part, at its lower end smoked some fragrant tree-gumt* wldch, as I had notidid 
it before, the magician no doubt must have kindled at the fire in frontgflihi 
as he passed by. One of the three who had been lefl bdiind wat cfidak 
rehearsing a part for the first time, as he now quite simply asked the napa 
what more there was for him to do, and the magician had to poll bin nto it 
proper position with his hands. The magician slowly approadied tlKmto,ili 
kept rocking himself to and fro as though he had the colic ; he bent om ha 
squatted down, and applied his ear to the man's stomach. Next he kaoddtk 
burning tree-gum out of the end of his staff, so that it fell within the liinrf 
the plot. One of the men who happened to be there caught up t hnU i 
earth, collected the burning tree-<pim, pressed it quickly upon the euth, m 
then lx>re the whole round to his comrades, so that each ^ould get t link tfk 
smoke blown over him. Meanwhile the magician had been apparentlj aci^ 
ing to examine all over the inwards of the man lying on the ground Idi aft 
thing or other ; at last with one hand he applied the upper end of hii of* 
the mouth and nose of the man, and appeared by this means to bring pRH 
upon the thing in the man's inwards to come out at his month. Whs ki 
length had succeeded in this, he uttered a loud cry of joy, and at the me M 
the man who bore the earth and the tree-gum let this fidl into thehoflorfirtrf 
the l)amboo, right on to the cholera demon. The latter being induced voB 
out by reason of the challenge of the spears opposed to him, had, it Mk 
entered into the white-ringed belly of one of the assistant magicians, whsAi 
l>ctng unable, even with the aid of magic, to endure such an aocretioii, thnrlifr 
self on the ground and rolled to and fro, till the magician [of dan] N&I|A 
in consequence of this proceeding now knew where the demon was, av^ ^ 
latter and enclosed him in the hollow at the upper end of the staft what At 
** damar '* kept him imprisoned. The magician then went in company vilhdii 
other men (who up to then had remained within the marked-ont plot)* At 
magic hut, laid his staff within, and announced to all present that the ta 
would stay there a month, until he died of hunger and thirst HoueWi* 
anticipation of that desirable event, all persons able to walk would hare v hrt 
the encampment for that period, and in the meanwhile reside on thesntfti'i 
distant hill.^ 

> Doul)t1ess strips of the *< palas " > Globuiy vol Ixix. {\H\ f 

(or //t7//7/«i) palm. - Mai. «* damar." 137-141. 



MleriAls on which the study of these dialects must be based ave in some 
ti fiurly copious, but they ve heterogeneous, and the different portions of 
they consist are of very unequal value. 

r the most part they are confined to vocabularies, some of a few words 
itheis of respectable length running into several hundred words ; in a few 
Mily are there any sentences, and these are lor the most part very short 
• they are, these sentences (together with the songs and diarms contained 
Appendix to voL L of this work) are the only means we have of arriving 
pmdples of syntax on which these dialects proceed, 
e vocabularies and lists of words which have been embodied in the 
ntive Vocabulary represent the collections of many difierent investigatois, 
ms nationalities, including English, French, Russian, German, and, in a 
laes, Malay. Their modes of orthography di£fer very coosideraUy in 
iicnce, and it is only by checking them inter u that it is possible to airive 
ear idea of the sounds intended to be represented, for in most cases the 
on have omitted to give any key to their systems of orthography, and in 
tbey have evidently been somewhat inaccurate either in their observation 
idering of the sounds. Moreover, not unfinequently, they have evidently 
ind 1^ giving a wrong meaning to the woids they have collected. It 
)e remembered that, with hardly a single exception, the collectors had no 
lad knowledge of the aboriginal dialects, but had to work through Malay, a 
^ which was often imperfectly known both to themselves and the aborigines 
whom they attempted to converse. Sometimes the European collector 
rs to have been practically ignorant even of Malay, and to have gone to 
through one or more interpreters ; often, as in the case of Vaughan- 
is, his knowledge of Malay is obviously very imperfect Very seldom does 
car that a collector has even a fiur knowledge of the aboriginal dialect on 
be reports. Oiffoid is one of the rare exceptions to this state of things, 
though objections may be made to his rendering of certain sotmds, his 
ulary of the S^noi dialect is probably a very close approximation to absolute 

he material embodied in the Comparative Vocabulary resolves itself into 
parts, viz. : (i) publbhed matter, which has appeared in various books or 
ikals ; and (2) collections in manuscript and as yet unpublished. By &r 
ireater part of the Comparative Vocabulary is made up of hitherto un- 
shed matter, partly collected by the authors themselves, and partly con- 
ed by others, by whose courtesy the authors have been permitted to include 
heir collection. 

be earliest of our sources for the study of the aboriginal dialects is a short 
^ words of the **Jakong" or **Jokang" (f>. Jakun) language of Malacca 

VOL. II 4S1 2 I 


compiled by Sir Stamford Raffles, and published bj him, together wid 
matter, as a sort of appendix to an article on *' The Maritime Code of the M 
in the Asiatick Rtsearches (i8i6), vol. xii. p. 109. It was reprinted m Vii 
Miscellafuons Works (1834), p. 87, and again, but apparentlj iDdepco 
from the original MS., in the McUcuca Weekly Register in 184a A zcp 
the last-named version is given in No. 3 of Xh^ Journal of the Stndti ^ 
the Royal Asiatic Society (1879), pp. 6, 7. The versions differ sUgfathr a 
The list of words is of no particular importance except as oonfirni 
existence of the Jakun dialect in Malacca territory at the b^iniuf 1 
nineteenth century. About half the words (including all the nunieah 
identical with Malay. There are only about fifteen words that are not Mih 

The next vocabulary to be mentioned is contained in John Gml 
History of the Indian Archi/^elaqo (1 820), vol. ii. pp. I2S-I92 (wWji 
consist of a Comparative Vocabulary of some twenty languages or dbi 
compiled from various sources). The S^mang words in this coOeaia 
expressly stated to be a ''specimen of the language of the Simang om 
haired race of the mountains of the Malay peninsula,** collected for Cm 
** by the minister of the prince of Queda " {i,e. Kidah), *• a man of tot x^ 
mind,'* and correctetl by Major Maclnnes, who, according to Crtwfuid, «ii| " 
Marsden, among Europeans, perhaps the best Malayan scholar existingi" 
number alK>ut eighty-six, but a few of them are Malay loan wonis. b 
dissertation to vol. i. of his Grammar and Dictionary of the MaUj Im{ 
(1852), pp. clxxi. clxxii., Crawfurd repeats about twenty of these voidi 
slight differences), but adds to them the^numerals (all of which, ho«evB,c 
the first two, are merely Malay). On p. clxvi. of the same dissertatioi h 
gives a short list of seventeen words, most of which are conbuned in Is I 

Crawfurd's main object in adducing these specimens appears to htTt b 
support his pet theory that there was no such thing as a Makyufa 
languages by showing that inter alia the Simang did not belong to it 1 
list is a very good one for all that, and very accurate, as comparison lii 
sources, even the most recent, sufficiently shows ; and it does great oefl 
Malay official who compiled it. But as it was almost certainly taken ( 
the first instance in the Arabic character, which is ill adapted to the iq 
tion of the highly differentiated vowel system of these dialects, not mod 
can be attached to its rendering of these sounds, and it must be conti 
the more recent records made by Skeat in the adjacent region. 

In the Journal of the Indian Archipelago (1848), voL ii. p. 205, 
says that it was in 181 1 that he got the list from the minister of the 
*' Queda," and that it was a list of 176 words of the language of the S 
Mount J^rai {i.e. K6dah Peak, a mountain visible from Penang, w 
definitely enough the locality of the tribe speaking this dialect). He go 
to this list he added 2 1 words ^ from Marsden's Miscellaneous Works (I 
of the total 197 he finds that 156 are native, 15 Malay, 2 Javanese, 2 
to these two languages, and i word Sanskrit. The numerals, hen 
Malayan, which, however, is not the case with numbers **one*' and 
the list given in his Grammar. It seems evident that this list has 1: 
published as a whole, and the unpublished words are no doubt lost altc 

Adriano Balbi in his Atlas Ethnographique du Globe (1826), Ta 
No. 103, gives a dozen words avowedly derived from the list in ' 
History of the Indian Archipelago. No account has been taken of th 
Comparative Vocabulary. 

* Those arc the **Juru Semang'' list Kn \^i'& History. There 
words, of which, however, one is therefore to a different di 
•^npp»''»ntlv toi^^n frntn Crawfurd*s own the K€d*\h dialect. 


3Ch in Na 12 of the Journal Asiatiqus (1833), pp. 241-243, gives a 
ocabaUuy, which is for the most part a copy (with some omissions) 
rffird's longer list, but turned into the French spelling. That it is so 

shown by the &ct that he gives a Staang word tftos %s meaning 
«. *< without"; but in Crawfurd mos is given as meaning '* without" 
use opposite to <* within," as the Malay htar in the same column 
f shows. Moreover, for "gold" Klaproth gives as Staiang a word 
which does not occur in Crawfurd as a S^mang wofd, but under the 
maner as a Malagasy word in the line immedktely below where the 
ntiy would be if there were one. Obviously the oonpyvslt blundered, 
t was not Klaproth himself, for he adduces the Malagasy word, in another 
s a form to be compared with his fictitious Sdmang voletman^ which 
hardly perhaps have done with Crawfurd's Comparative Vocabulary 
n to refer to. Anyhow, the indebtedness to Crawfurd is not ac* 
id, and does not extend to the whole of Klaproth's words, some few 
(including some variant forms given in addition to those where the 

with Crawfurd is close) are derived from some other, unknown, 

hort lists of Kedah Sdmang in John Anderson's FolUical and Com^ 
msiderations relative to the Malayan Peninsula and the British Settle- 
the Straits of Malacca (1824), Appendix, pp. xliv.-xlvii. ; William 
Miscellaneous Works (1834), p. 113; Edmund Roberts' Embassy to 
-n Coasts of Cochtn-China^ Siam, etc, (1837), pp. 413-415 ; and T. J. 
I Political and Statistical Account of the British Settlements in the 
Malacca (1839), vol. ii. pp. 422-434, are confessedly drawn from the 
oe, viz. a vocabulary collected by Maclnnes, of the Steang dialect of 
fan, a village at the foot of K^dah peak), and are substantially identical 
NFfiird's materials, or perhaps merely extracts from the '* minister of 
original list. Anyhow, the evidence of these sources is not cumulative, 
mces between them are probably due mainly to printers' errors and to 
lese authors making slightly different selections firom the original source, 
however, professes merely to reprint Anderson's list; and Marsden 
Iges his indebtedness to Anderson, but several words appear in his list 
not occur in Anderson's book. Of the whole set of sources Crawfurd is 
and best representative. Taken together, and compared with quite 
lections, these old lists tend to show that Sdmang, though the language 
[primitive savage tribe, has not during the last century undei^ne the 
Iges to which savage languages are commonly supposed to be subject 
of ten S^mang numerals published on p. 113 of Marsden's already 
1 work, and there attributed to James Scott, is embodied in the 
ive Vocabulary ; but the numerals are utterly unlike anything collected 
ollectors, and the £act that they extend to ** ten " is in itself suspicious, 
ittle or no importance to them. 

ext set of sources goes back to Anderson's list (contained in his already 
, work) of some ninety words of the S^mang dialect of "Jooroo," 
the Company's territory (as it was in 1824) of Province Wellesley, 
by Mr. Mainp^y, the Resident of that territory. "Jooroo" is 
the Juru river in Province Wellesley, which territory now extends 
land than it did in Anderson's time. No S^mangs are to be found 
mywhere in Province Wellesley nowadays, and there were none even 
\ time, fifty years ago, nearer than Ulu Kdrian. Marsden and Roberts 
inted this list, like the previous one, with due acknowledgements to 
Newbold has drawn from the same source with acknowledgments 
ly, but omits some of the words that Anderson gives. Here again, 
Uiere is but one original, and differences are due mainly to misprints. 
Loberts and Newbold have corrected a few of the misprints in Anderson, 


hut they have, on the other hand, made a few new ones on tbcir oira acna, 
so that there is not much to choose between them. ComparisoD mf^arif 
with other sources is i^cnerally sufficient to show which is in therig^^ 
they diflfer. 

All these versions have l>een included in the Comparative Vocabolan, mi 
estimatin*; their value as evidence it roust be remembered that eachgroops^ 
one source, and that their weight is therefore not in any way increised If ik 
nunil)cr of the versions, wiiich have only l)een reproduced b)-ratooiifk 
variations which occur in them. 

A leiior written by the Rev. Father Pupier, dated Penang, the 2aid Oagh 
1825, and printed in the Annalts dc la PropagtUion de la Ftd (1826-, BKi 
P- 303, contains a few SOman^ words and phrases also, apparently, lat 
district in or near Province Wellesley, but collected independently DM k 
above materials and expressed in a French orthography. Thissoaice istfi 
(;rcai value, but lias never Ik'lMi noticed hitherto, so I have thongbt it ml 
while to mention it. A diligent search in other missionary records nuj pdf 
lead to the discovery of more such material. , 

P. J. liegbie, in his rather rare l>ook \^t. Malayan Penimula{\%'y^^ 
14-18, gives a list of about 160 S^mang words (including, ofcouncifa 
Malayan loan words) which was furnished him by an unnamed friend of his.' &i 
not stated where the dialect was compiled, but it is undoubtedly a Sta{ 
dialect,- and from a source quite inde^^endent of those already meotioBeill 
related more nearly to the Juru than to the Ian (or K^fdah) Sftniag. ft 
s]H:lling appears to l>c rather good, but the list has been badly printed, 9 diti 
ten c.-'.ses vowels are left out and represented by turned letters, thus *. Th 
however, is not due to IJei^bie's own printer, for Begbie apologises feiimj 
xvii., ai the end cjf the Krrata, and explains that these blanks occund c !■ 
orij^inal, which (having himself no knowledge of the aboriginal dialeci>|lK* 
unable to correct. It appears, therefore, that Regbie's list is founded a > 
printed source, which I have l>een unable to trace. 

The >ame list appears to have been reprinted in the Malacca (Wff»W|i>» 
article on the missionar\- journey of the Rev. Jacob Tomlin, mentioned in J.i 
^'ale^'s I itteratur dir (h-ammiUikm (2nd eil., by B, JUlg, 1 847), p. 537' "*' 
co]>y of this rej^rint is preserved in the Roj-al I«ibrary, Berlin. I hive Ml ■ 
access to if. but from the words extracted from it in Griinwedel's GkjsBiyi' 
Schmidt's work it is evident that it is identical with Begbie*s list; one 01 W 
minor dirteronces are noicil in the Comparative Vocabulary, but otheffi*" 
so-called '^Tomlin's SOmang" is not cmliodied in it. 

The next list to be considered is Newbold's Vocabulary, headed ''Ob^ 
Ik»nua," prinieil in his already mentioned work. This is a long list of ikrt 
450 forms (including some trifling variants) l^eing the equivalents of ilxat 9 
English words. In some c:ises there are as many as five synonyms, gofl^ 
there are two or three. 

In {K^int of fact this list is a heterogeneous s^lomeration of tt leist tiff 
distinct dialects belonging to three quite different groups. 

As .^^chmidt ix>ints out, one element in it is Simang, of a type so do^ 
allied to that of Begbie's list that it must Ije referred to the same or atle** 
neighbouring dialect ; but the spelling differs from Begbie's, and is %xf^ 
less accurate, so that perhaps Schmidt is right in concluding that thetio* 
not go liack to the same written source. On the other hand, in a fct a* 

' Prolxibly the Rev. C Thomsen, a Al>origines. 

missionary and scholar, of Malacca and - In No. 27 of the Stroiti Mi 

Singapore, to whom Hegbie in p. ix. of Journcd I wrongly expressed id«l* 

his Introiluction makes his acknowledg- on this point. Probably the diiltf 

nenis for a paper treating of the was recorded in Southern Kedab. 


in the Comparative Vocabnlaxy) Newtxdd appears to have based his 
» Begbie or Begbie's printed original, with its printer's errors, which 
led : so that it would seem that, at any imte in some words, Newbold's 
nents Begbie's unknown original with the q)eUing recast into the 
Eng^ style. 

her dement in Newbold's Bfoua list is B«sisi, and though Newbold's 
[being mostly the old-&shioned English spdling) differs (rom that of the 
ently collected specimens of B^Ssisi, a comparison shows that this part of 

1 fairly accurate and leaves no doubt as to its being really Bteisi. It 
Ably collected by Newbold himself, for he mentions that he interviewed 
id B£landas; the latter may perhaps be represented by the strong 

element in his list ; but this is quite uncertain. 

her element in his list is Jakun, which was collected for him by the 
'Abdullah bin *Abdulkader at Gunong Panchor, near Alor GajsJiy in 
territory, as related by 'Abdullah in his autobiography (pp. 381-391 of 
spore edition of 1887). 

Ittllah's account of the matter is worth summarising, as it throws some 
the manner in which the words were collected, and goes some way 
explaining the fiurt that a good many of them are quite unintelligible and 
r wrong. The worthy Malay was not favourably impressed with his 
of the jungle. Their squalor disgusted him, and their language in their 
don amongst themselves seemed to him " like the noise of squabbling 
the general effect of it being graphically rendered by him by the 
Kws (and meaningless) words, *' kakak • kaka)^ kang king chalra." 
rts the sound of it," says he, *< and I don't know what they were talking 
r I didn't understand it." The Jakuns were very much afraid of their 
especially of Newbold, who was wearing a red coat, which he had to 
in order to set them at their ease), but by dint of gifts of tobacco and 
and the persuasion of a tame Jakun boy who acted as guide and 
iary to the little expedition, their fears were got over. Then Newbold 
.\bdullah, in English, ** Go and sit with them here and write down their 
, numerals, and customs, and I will go and have something to eat," 
Newbold and Mr. Westerhout (the local official who had accompanied 
m Alor Gajah) went to their lunch, and the Jakuns appeared to be 
It their departure, and began to talk and laugh more freely amongst 
es. 'Abdullah, who had brought a vocabulary or list of words written 
dy for the occasion in a pocket-book, proceeded to examine the Jakuns 
Hr language, asking such questions as, ** What do you say for 'earth' 
' ? " and they answered him accordingly. Some of the words they gave 
! *< much the same as the Malay words, some were much the same as 
Be," which last astounding statement * Abdullah supports, however, only 
>rd Dius for '* God," whereon he proceeds to found a theory that the 
ere of Portuguese descent.* Then he got a good deal of information 
rm as to their customs in such matters as marriage, birth, bringing up of 
religion, property, the ipoh poison, the names of the different aboriginal 
eir dwellings, and their practice of magic and medicine. At 5 P.M. 
and Westerhout returned to 'Abdullah, who was still pursuing his 
and as they were in a hurry to get back to Alor Gajah he bundled up 
s, pen, and ink, and they all left. 

evident that Newbold himself took no part in collecting the Jakun 
kd was not even present when they were written down, and it seems 
that 'Abdullah noted them down in the Arabic character, which he 

e has a similar theory {Jour, hood of Malacca a stray ♦* Portuguese " 
rch. (1848), vol. ii. p. 243), and half-caste or two may have contributed 
x)6sible that in the neighbour- a new strain to the aboriginal stock. 


would naturally use as being the one most £imiliar to him, tbci^ !it « j 
ac([uaint(.'tl with the Roman alphabet as well. If that is so, it iniflxa%fl<^ 
imagined that when the words came to be transliterated into the Ka I ^j 
character, which may have happened some da}-s or even weeks bar, ^T 
'Alxiullali had probaMy quite forgotten what they sounded like,misiabi«l^' 
very likely to l)e made. The Arabic character is such that the pioaaf 1^*^ 
absence of a dot over a letter may make all the difference: lodNibil-* 
writing; hurriedly frequently put one rather large extended dot to tqM I ^ 
two dots over one letter, and habitually use one dot instead of thmcnfc I ^ 
letter / (a modification of the Arabic y*). As a rule, the}* do notrqmaticl' 
vowels at all. In fact, the Arabic character lends itself to emnofilMB* 
more readily even than shorthand or the Morse code of telegn^ gptt^i 
circumNinnce, I think, goes to explain the anomalies of the Jakim voritil 
Newbold's list, a li>t that includes some quite extraordinaiy foniB,theSkH 
which arc to be found nowhere else. I 

Trobably the strange forms l>cginning with /awar- and /am/. lepidat fc 1 
rough Jakun /--, which 'Alnlullah perhaps rendered by the Arabic lettes/iBir 1 
ra and j;;/iui ft + Aim, In sul)scquently reading these off he could eisilyBBfcl 
them for .'- w- r and /- w- / respectively. I 

The next set of sources are those contained in ^^^ Journal of tht Inii»A^ \ 
/t/('» a i>eriodical publication which was edited, very ably, by J. R. lip j 
between the years 1S47 and 1862, and of which he himself was the nairib]: ] 

In vol. i. pp. 263-266, api>ears a list of the words of the "Ca^ ' 
Langiiaj;e" of the Johor Jakuns, collected by L<^n himself from trifas* 
exce[)t in the search for camphor used the >Ialay language exdusivdy. fai 
of interest as l>eing the first recorded spiecimen of this ceremonial jargon. 

In vol. iv. is a short pajter by Colonel James Low on the Sakais of Beak, 
containing, on p. 431, a few words and sentences which hare diis ipeii 
interest, that they were the first si)ecimcns published of a Sakai dialect (tf4 
the Hesisi words of Ncwbold's BOnua lu^t), and that they were till qnie rbb 
times the only specimen available of the Central or purer Sakai group. 

It apix^ars from a statement in vol. v. p. 230, that Logan had a:his&pB 
specimens *.^i the dialects of the following tril^es : B^nua of Johor, B^sisi, )ttnbt 
South Sakai, Jakun, l-dai. North Sakai, and two dialects of StmaDg. TV 
two are, from the evidence of the few words he gives, pretty certainly the Sib 
and Juru dinleets, and no doubt from the sources already mentioned, theSoolhS 
is doubtless J. Low's tribe, and the North Sakai b presumably cognate to theS 
dialects t^f This and Kfrbu, of which we |X)sscss more recent records, theBi 
and Hesisi, and perhai>s also the Jakun and M£m£ra. represent in part Keib 
*' Bcnua '* list, in i)art probaI>ly other collections made in the same reguos 
Johor and the neighlK)urh(.x)d of Malacca. The Udai dialect is altogedw 
recordeil by other collectors. I-'rom other parts of the Jountai it appeus 
Ix)gan also had access to a few words of some other dialects, €.g, 5»»hi 
Heduanda, etc. 

l-nfurtunately, instead of publishing his materials in a full compt 
vocabulary or a series of separate lists, Logan as a rule merely gives indr 
words here and there throughout his numerous articles dealing with < 
graphical and philological matters, and in short comparative vocabi 
intermixed with other words of more or less similar meaning and font, < 
from all manner of distant and alien languages. The consequence is tl 
is imp<jssible, without sifting practically every page of his volumimoi 
([uisiiicins, ti> collect the specimens which are scattered in them, few ai 
l)etween as they are. I have been at great pains to gather as many ol 
as I Could recover, but the result was so incommensurate with the labour iw 
that I had to abandon the task, which I can recommend to some future ti 
.n,i/^..- v,i vMtv -imi>ior ^-tcyrc than myself. 


of Logan's manuscript collections may still be in existence, 
session of his descendants at Penang, or in the L(^;an Collec- 

Library at Singapore : if so, they would be worth publishing, 
abularies of the Malacca Mantra or M^ntdra, collected by Borie 
, call for no special remark. The first was first published in 

Mantra which appeared in the Tijdschrift voor Indische Taai- 
hiftdg (1 86 1), vol. X. pp. 413-443, and of which a revised 
ted in vol. i. of the second series of Miscdlaneous Papers 
China and the Indian Archipelago (1887), pp. 303, 304. I 
I revised version, but added the words contained in the earlier 
le two differed. De Castelnau's vocabulary appeared in the 
iV et d'' Ethnographie (1 876), vol. ii. pp. 142, 143. The ortho- 
kjrie and De Castelnau is somewhat influenced by the French 
two collectors. 

bout this period, I think, must be placed the two Sdmang 
lined in MS. No. 29 of the collection of Malay books bequeathed 
tic Society by the late Sir W. E. Maxwell. 
: of this manuscript was given by me in the Journal of that 
1902, pp. 557-566, and a further note (mainly by S. H. Ray) 
)ther than the two Sdmang vocabularies) will be found in the 
iry 1903, pp. 167-179. The M.S. is partly made up of paper 
jark dated 1850, and I conjecture that it was probably acquired 
:rak soon after 1S75. At any rate it is rather a curiosity, being 
\ the Arabic character, apparently by one or more Malays,^ and 
iparative vocabulary of Malay, two S^mang dialects, Madurese, 
ct of Amboyna in the Moluccas, and the Makua language of 
frica. I came across it in making a rough catalogue of the 
for the Royal Asiatic Society, and subsequently, by the courtesy 
f-as enabled to keep it for a considerable time with a view to de- 
)ying the two Sdmang lists for the purposes of the present work. 
g lists are mostly in pencil and rather badly written, but are 
laries ; they contain a great many repetitions, Malay l