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MY LIFE IN SARAWAK
BY

THE RANEE OF SARAWAK

PREFACE BY

SIR

FRANK SWETTENHAM, G.GM.G.

GOVERNOR OF THE STRAITS COLONY HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR THE FEDERATED MALAY STATES AND LATE CONSUL-GENERAL FOX BORNEO

WITH TWENTY-SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP

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they are Malay family which is Archipelago. writer to the world something of their for they are a silent and exclusive people. customs. Malays and Dyaks. in the years she spent with these it simple people. way to get at them and That is the the hearts of a Malay people. superficial observers might think that Malays do not really care how they are governed. she must have proved won only their confidence by her sympathy. Sumatra. They do it. — — and language. differing widely in religion. to and though the native population of this section of Borneo is divided into at least two sections. and farther the still members over of the great spread the Malay any of Peninsula. To know Ranee is Brooke Life in know that. It is well for Malay race tell that they should find a sympathetic little lives. Java. and that it is a matter of . the islands of the afield.PREFACE IT and is well for the Malay races of Sarawak that they should find an advocate in their Ranee. not understand publicity. so long indeed. will feel that. and Sarawak will realize to those who read her this fact to the full. they do not want as they are fairly and justly treated . for she loves them. Borneo.

to organize and indifference to endeavour. give him admiraand show no sign of jealousy or impatience. lessening of the Malay's authority and the curtail- ment or ful abolition of his privileges. the white man retains in his man is there. own hands work the principal offices. and that of his fellow-countrymen. — foreign and irksome to him. as Lord reasonably.— viii SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE them whether they are treated well or ill. of method. Those who take the trouble to win his regard know that the Malay is as keenly interested in his own and his country's affairs as are those of other nationalities. privileges in our opinion. If one bears in mind. and the which is his burden. be the first to admit that they understand the business better. if properly approached and considerately handled by Europeans. and especially a power of continuous is application to work. to frame a scheme of righteous govern- ment and to ensue it. He is humble about his own capacity. that the growth of the white man's and the adoption of that advice which we say makes for good government. and loyal support. that they are more trustworthy in matters of justice and money. mean always the influence. the real power. the Malay will tion. Curzon of Kedleston and. justly. though the white said. gratitude. He will. which indeed well-nigh impossible fairly. and that they have a conception of duty. — —very often bad his it is surely rather wonder- and rather admirable that he should accept . Treat him remember that he represents the people of the country for whose benefit. as indeed one must.

but.'' Western people. being a fatalist. them of breach or even of little things like the neglect of your interests when they happen to clash with your controllers' wishes or ambitions . themselves. is necessary for our take trouble to inquire about his customs and other matters concerning him and his life . That being so. sometimes find in it humble or subordinate difficult to assert positions. though he disapproves. his way of life through all the generations. to the seek. often even a charming. can you complain of faith. one would imagine that every white man who comes into a position of authority amongst such a people. grace.' PREI^ACE ix fate with The and such a good. sometimes they are really indefensible. the benefit of " the people . will be doubly and trebly careful to remember that the greater his power. because that benefit. and how ? We sometimes learn his language. or enough of our customs. and his present to disabilities. to make himself heard effectively. the more need there is not only to be their rights . he accepts what comes because he knows there is no other way. we even but very. and therefore. Given his nature. He realizes this better than almost any other thing. how (is he do otherwise to ? When you have handed over to others the control of everything you once had. his traditions. Malay does not always approve of our methods. what is he to say? To whom is he to complain. so circumstanced. or what they believe to Malay it is impossible. with single purpose. very rarely does he learn either our language.

am not writing of the customs of what is . for any reason whatever. he undertakes the affairs of a people territory. in the firm belief that he safe in his blind trust of you. but think. and their children shall bless . I white Rajah of Sarawak. This is not the place to describe the first task set before the it is. To betray Malays. is like a mean advantage of a blind man who has is put his hand in yours. he described his objects in the following words " It is a grand experiment. To take advantage of I that trust should be unthinkable. tion. the opportunity to point the moral of an achievement which probably has no parallel. and success justifies all things. and suppressing piracy on its coasts. to administer who possess a possibly rich but are unskilled in the art of administra- That was the case of Sarawak when Sir James Brooke undertook its pacification and development in 1 84 1." but to champion their cause —when if he knows be to his is right —against all comers. will bestow a blessing on these poor children's people. called business.X SARAWAK AND it ITS PEOPLE of the country. if : it succeeds. which. James Brooke must have been a man for whom the soft life of cities had no attraction. and need taking own detriment. but he did not approach the problem of enforcing peace in a greatly disturbed province of Borneo as large as England. the dealing with the mission of the white man when. in the spirit of an adventurer. nor even of ways of rival powers for in both these cases the means employed are less regarded than the end to be I am only gained.

and he left to the country of his adoption the " stamp " of his heart's desire. and to that end he worked for twenty-six years with a success as remarkable as his own devotion and abnegation of James Brooke died in 1868 he left to his nephew and appointed successor. the present Rajah of Sarawak. and to raise the feeling of the people so that their rights can never in future be wantonly infringed. their interests. It is sufficient to say that Sarawak has been ruled by the Brookes " for the benefit of the . he established a precedent on which his successor has acted with unswerving consistency for the last forty-six years it is the stamp of Brooke rule. Much more than that. PREFACE me. their customs. have lived a life which emperors might envy. I cannot go into them. Interesting and successful as were the methods of administration introduced and established in Sarawak by Sir James Brooke and the present Rajah. to the If by dedicating myself task I am able to introduce better customs and settled laws. their and their happiness. a peaceful and contented country.. the hearts of whose people he had won by self-interest. I shall indeed be content and happy." Those were his intentions. If it XI please God to permit me to give a stamp to this country I shall which shall last after I am no more. When studying them. all will be well with Sarawak. and to them he gave his life and energy and everything he possessed. It was a remarkable achievement. and so long as it lasts peculiarities.

who was well qualified to form a sound judgment. such abundant indications of good government. can ensure the permanence good government in the State are the white man and not in the native control to . after spending two months in travelling up and down the coast and in the interior people of the country. in the same book. administrative With such knowledge in of systems the tropics as in may be gained by actual observation the British almost every part of Empire except the African Colonies. Alleyne Ireland. a land which neither the native nor the white man has pushed his views of life to their logical conclusion. but where each has been willing to yield to the other something of his extreme conviction. Mr. therefore. There has been here a of tacit understanding on both sides that those qualities which alone. al- though every opportunity natives and of benefiting taken of consulting the their intimate by knowledge . as are to be seen on every hand in Sarawak. wrote in 1905. Far Eastern Tropics." Again.: xii SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Mr. be found in remains. Ireland I wrote : " The impression of is the country which carry away with me that of a in land full of contentment and prosperity. I can say that in no country which I have ever visited are there to be observed so many signs of a wise and generous rule." and " I find myself unable to express the high opinion I have formed of the administration of the country without a fear that I shall lay myself open to the charge of exaggeration. in is and the final European hands.

That is high an experienced but not too high. That has been the admirable and unusual " stamp " of Brooke rule to live with the : people. that throughout the long years from 1841 to the present time. Sarawak. of which they were the absolute Rulers. mineral it agricultural many and would have seemed most Either of these courses natural to fill the place with Chinese or to grant concessions to Europeans would have meant a large accession of revenue. State to is rich in resources. and to devote to his own use revenues which he has spent for the benefit of Sarawak and its people. Ireland's sentence cannot be insisted upon too urgently when dealing with In the fact which is most and which must command the admiration of every man." critic. and the Malays. and no one would have thought it strange had the Ruler . whilst taking from the country. Nothing would have been easier certainly for the present Rajah than to live at ease in some pleasant Western land. striking last words of Mr. the two white Rajahs of Sarawak spent whole lives in this practically their remote corner of Asia. especially of those who have been associated intimately with the administration is of Eastern peoples and their lands. only the most modest income. with perhaps an occasional visit to — — Sarawak. The . and to refuse wealth at their expense. to make their happiness the first con- sideration. devoting their best energies to the prosperity and the happiness of their subjects.PREFACE of the country and of the praise from Xlll people.

honour to them for their high purpose. of personal' care of the affairs of Sarawak. should be continued and perpetuated must be the prayer of all who I love Malays. and sympathy of the present Rajah have moulded the country to the extraordinary state of tranquil prosperity which of it now enjoys. it would have made would have considered that difference. tolerance. That the tradition they have established by seventy-two years of devotion. had they thought otherwise. probably. the power of an unwise be admitted as or wicked ruler to throw the country back into a condition barbarism must a is. -for is no it not their habit to complain publicly of the doings of their Rulers. The advent of such a ruler however. in the highest degree improbable.xiv SARAWAK AND to ITS PEOPLE seemed of the country spent whatever proportion good him on himself. The Rajahs all of Sarawak have made " the benefit of the people of the country" the business of their lives. was perfecdy natural." Every one must hope that a departure from the Brooke tradition is impossible. make a : final quotation from Mr. and. Only the people of the it country would have suffered. necessary corollary. but they. It is this " Nothing could better serve to exhibit at once the strength and the weakness of a despotic form of government than the present condition of Sarawak. and as the matter is wholly within the discretion of the present Rajah. Ireland's book. who knows better than anyone else what is necessary to . for if it be true that the wisdom.

he will remember the words of the first Rajah Brooke stamp to : it please God to permit to give a I country which shall last after am no have lived a life which emperors might envy." and he will begin his rule with the knowledge that his predecessor spent his whole life in making more. " If this When me the time comes. there is no real reason to fear for the future of Sarawak. S. 22nd September 1913 . London. F.PREFACE confirmed and secured by his XV secure the objects set out by his predecessor. Any man would be proud to take up and help to per- petuate so great an inheritance. A. I shall good the promise of those words. and own rule.

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and 1806. It must be remembered that owing to the murders of English- men who attempted 1803.INTRODUCTION EVERY ONE He was my Borneo is has heard of Rajah husband's uncle. About forty years went by without . is situated on Until some four hundred years ago. Portuguese. the Admiralty issued a warning as to the dangers attendant upon English merchants engaging in commercial ventures with the Sultan of Brunei and his people. Dutch. and English have attempted to gain a footing in the island. and Sarawak. however. but ever since then. at various periods. the north-west. a group of Englishin the north. were the most successful. to trade with Brunei in 1788. with its five hundred miles of coast-line and its fifty thousand square miles of land. for a portion of this The it was only in 1839 that the English obtained a firm hold of much disputed land. and Brooke. one of the largest islands of the world. have established themselves almost unknown to Europe. at the time of Pigafetta's visit to Brunei. The how he became North Borneo Company. The Dutch occupy three parts of its territory. this is ruler of Sarawak. Borneo was British men. Dutch.

for both the Sultan and his Brunei nobles (many of whom were of Arabic descent). now belonging to the Whilst staying at Singapore. invalided home. and finally resigned his commission. in August 1839. world dates from that period of his father's At his death. and it is to be supposed that his interest in that part of the life. in the purchase of which he invested in a yacht of 140 tons. In those days. and it was due to his bold but vague designs that peace. He was seriously wounded during the Burmese war. for which he set sail in 1838 the Eastern Archipelago. As a very young man he had held a commission in the army of the British East India Company. the Sultan of Brunei of the island. the future white Rajah of Sarawak. and just government were subsequently established in a country hitherto torn with dissension and strife. James Brooke heard rumours of a rebellion by the Malays of Sarawak against their Sultan. When Brooke . he inherited a small fortune. had instituted a tyrannous and oppressive government against the people. appeared upon the scene. owned the extreme north tory stretched as far as and his terri- what Rajah. is called Cape Datu. and had seen active service in Burmah. in order to enrich themselves. James Brooke had always felt a great interest in those lands of the Malayan Archipelago. James Brooke. until one day. He then made two voyages to the Strait Settlements and to China.xvHi SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE English people making further attempts to trade in that part of the world. prosperity.

rebellion. Rajah Muda Hassim. determined not to back under the yoke of their former tyrants and oppressors.apparent.INTRODUCTION arrived in Sarawak. when Sultan con- firmed his as independent Rajah of Sarawak. They made friends. Rajah Muda Hassim was request. is interesting to realize that Rajah Muda Hassim was never in any sense Rajah of Sarawak. he xix made the acquaintance of the Sultan's Viceroy. Brooke consented. who was an uncle of the Sultan of Brunei. and the acknowledged Hence his title Rajah Muda and Sultan Muda. that country then not being a Raj. and the rebellion was fall soon at an end. it On the other hand. as representative of the Sultan. was the people themselves who insisted on Sarawak being independent of the Sultan's and his . signed a document resigning his title and authority to the Englishman. The rebels. for after all Rajah Muda Hassim but it did not abdicate in favour of Brooke. when the Malay Governor confided in Brooke and besought his help in quelling the heir to the Sultanate. able to the people's 1841 Brooke joicing of Sarawak amidst the repopulation. visited the potentate title Brunei. but a simple province misruled by Brunei Governors who never bore the title of Rajah. being desirous of obtaining of its was proclaimed Rajah from the Sultan himself an additional proof of his goodwill the towards his position in in Sarawak. meaning heir . implored Brooke to become and in their Rajah favour- and Governor. and in 1842 Brooke. Rajah Muda Hassim.

who was a direct descendant of Rajah Jarum. the The Sarawak Malay governed the State Datus or chiefs that James Brooke's accession to power. who led his people against the oppression of Brunei. held and died a few years ago in Kuching. Haji Bua Hassan. their sons or members of the same aristobefore cratic families (but always with the approval of the fill people) were. nobles. years. office the for Datu sixty Bandar. the establish founder of Sarawak. the area of his country known as Sarawak proper comprised some seven thousand square miles in extent. over one hundred years of age. and chose Brooke as first own Rajah. upright He and man . His son. It might be as well in to give a short account of the first manner which the white ruler of Sarawak organized his Government.minded in . and are. intelligent was a brave and wide . and who had been superseded and driven into rebellion by the Brunei nobles. sword his in hand. . chosen to the vacant places. The and first of these chiefs who helped to inaugurate gallant James Brooke's Government was a Malay gentleman called Datu Patinggi AH. fighting for and people's cause. When wak in 1 James Brooke became Rajah of Sara- 84 1. and found death by the side of his James Brooke. nobles died.XX SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE their emissaries' authority. were recalled by James Brooke and chosen to help in carrying out When in the course of years these his Government. thus regaining their former independence. the Sultan's emissaries.

is president of the Muhammadan Probate Divorce Court. whose menfiory I and I only words her were in my power to put into charming. The present Datu Bandar. These four great Malay officials are members of the Muhammad Kasim. but ranks next to the Bandar as peaceful member of the Council. was his wife. under the leadership of Brunei nobles. sympathetic personality. are the Supreme Council and assistant judges of the Supreme The Datu Bandar. Malay magistrate. Datu Hakim is adviser in Muhammadan Now that a very short account has been given as to the principal Malayan officials in Sarawak. to have dedicated wish this book. who. whilst the law.' INTRODUCTION Council. Muhammad Ali. The Datu Imaum is the religious head of the Muhammadan community. premier Datu and Court. no longer employed in that capacity. outside At that time the Sarawak were more northern infested by pirates. in her blameless useful a high standard of life. devastated The first Rajah. she set conduct amongst the Malay women of Kuching. it Datu Isa. we must turn back rivers to the year 1841 and take up the thread of our story. sons. title. backed by his loyal adjacent lands. The Datu Tumanggong's signifying that is of Commander-in-Chief or fighting Datu. xxi and a true friend of the Rajah's. and the Datu Imaum. of our and of mine. . and make it understood how. Haji sons of the late Datu Bandar and of Datu Isa.

its most salient feature being that from its very beginning the natives of the place were represented by their own people. many expeditions In 1849. authority by the and strength of the white Rajah's government became acknowledged. in represent Billian or iron wood forts were built each of these settlements. stations in in the mouths of the and each of these stations were officials to appointed one or two English the white ruler. Rajah Brooke laid the foundations of one of the most original and. came to his aid. when the combined forces of Malays and Dyaks. and an end was Little put to little their devastation in those regions. completely scoured out the nests of the redoubtable piratical hordes. and a small force of Malays. was . armed with muskets and small cannons. strengthened by the crew of Her Majesty's ship. realizing that after all honesty is the best policy.xxil SARAWAK AND made ITS PEOPLE against these subjects. commanded by Sir Harry Keppel. Brooke established principal rivers. willingly laid down their arms and clamoured to be enrolled white chief in the territory of the great Being monarch of tradition. so far as justice goes. and had the right to vote for and against any law that was made by their Government. successful Governments that perhaps has ever been known. unfettered by to the red-tapeism and owning no obedience of Europe. and the inhabitants of the more northern rivers. even by the ci-devant miscreants themselves. criminal tribes. all he surveyed. Her Majesty's ship Dido.

INTRODUCTION xxiii placed there in order to enforce obedience to the laws of the in its new Government and to inspire confidence supporters. putting its veto on what is dangerous or unjust. Muhammadan law and custom has been maintained whenever is it affects Muhammadanism. No favouritism and any white man infringing the laws of the country would be treated in exactly the same way as would be the natives of the soil. began his law codes in James Brooke respecting and maintaining in the whatever was not positively detrimental laws and customs as he found them. to this excellent policy of associating the natives with the government of their country. and so they must always remain. and to discourage The co-operation of local chiefs and was elicited to help in this good work. and headmen one cannot repeat too often that such native coadjutors have been the mainstay of the Rajah's Government. the present Rajah at the "A beginning of his reign wrote these words Government such as that of Sarawak may start from things as we find them. was from the tyranny of some of the higher classes of Malays. The duty of these officials. Instead of imposing European made laws upon the people. : is fair and equitable in the usages of the natives. The present Rajah and his uncle have strictly adhered disorder. and supporting what allowed. to prevent head-hunting. wait upon oc- and letting system and legislation . In the Sarawak Gazette of 1872. called to protect the people Governors or Residents.

the European districts." The Supreme officials. some seventy in number. Every three years a State Council meets at Kuching. the government of the discussed . spot than imported from abroad and. who come from the principality. under the presidency of the Rajah. SARAWAK AND When new ITS PEOPLE provides for wants are felt. European the Rajah presides over all its liberations. it examines and them by measures rather made on the . the members question relating to public and are told of the general progress achieved in the Government. of class is is gained for them before they The white man's so-called privilege made little of. and the rulers of government are framed with greater care for the interests of the majority who are not Europeans. The Malay members of the Council always its take an active and prominent part in decisions. Each member is formally sworn in and takes an oath of loyalty to the Rajah and his Govern- ment. Residents in charge of the more important the principal chiefs. It would be very tempting to anyone who is . than for those of the minority of superior race. interest as to the important districts of At this meeting questions of general country are are informed of any recent affairs. consisting of the members and of the Supreme native all Council. or of anything pertaining to the State since the Council's last meeting. to ensure that these shall not be contrary to native customs. the consent of the people are put in force.xxiv casion. Council consists of four Malay de- together with three or four of the principal officers .

peace and prosperity amongst the people. and his Malay chiefs their endeavours to promote in trade and commerce. Hose — occupied for years very important posts in the Rajah's Government.INTRODUCTION as interested as to give I xxv am in the prosperity of the country more details regarding the incessant it work required in order that each law as is made should it be satisfactory and meet the requirements of the whole of the Sarawak people are indefatigable in . and I can only hope that the very slight sketch given in the limited space at have my disposal of the past and present history of Sarawak may induce those whom it interests to seek further information in the many volumes subject. . membered that Mr. Bampfylde and Dr. It that have already been written on the might perhaps not be amiss to mention the two last books published on Sarawak. to I have only a short space which I speak of these more important matters. by Messrs. his English officers. Bampfylde and Baring-Gould. by those two well-known English scientists It must be reDr. McDougall. and on that account their experience of the people and the country must be invaluable. and The Pagan Tribes of Borneo. these being The White Rajahs of Sarawak. Hose and Mr. suffice to say that the Rajah.

Ima.... Europe 8 14 Part of Datu Bay. The Rajah of Sarawak The Author From a .. . ....... The Ranee Muda . Jimmie The Daiang Bungsu The Author and Kuching . ... in xxvl his little Son.H. Alfred Sotheby The Rajah's Arrival at Astana..... 62 Muda of Sarawak Tuan Bungsu of Sarawak with Brooke The Daiang Muda H. ... . .. . ..H.. near Santubong 1 A Room Datu in the Astana . 23 Isa and her Granddaughters 26 34 58 Sea-Dyaks in War Dress Sea-Dyak Woman weaving a Cotton Petticoat Mail Steamers' Wharf and Trading Vessels at Anchor near Embankment in Kuching Bazaar Tuan Muda of Sarawak H.. ... 102 the Morning Room at Astana.H. 136 ISO Sun setting behind the Mountain of Matang . after a Visit to ... . The Rajah .LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS H....... Frontispiece FACING PAGE * 2 Painting by Mrs.... .......

Batang Lupar River Panau.. and the Author Verandah . Maxwell... 200 with two Tanjong Attendants 254 Hut containing Eatables to refresh the God NESS. Kuching Malay Boy striking Fire from Dry Tinder Salleh..... playing on the Nose Flute... . Daiang Sahada's Daughter Inchi Bakar... Mrs. ... Daiang Sahada's House at Kuching .. . School Master..... of Sick 260 282 288 An Encampment up the Batang Lupar River Bachelor House at Munggo during our Stay Map . a Tanjong Chief..LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xxvii FACING PAGE Daiang Sahada. a Sea-Dyak Chief .. Bertram's Residence 298 Front Cover . 158 in 164 166 174 Daiang Lehut. Babi... Daiang Lehut..

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Victorian period I . Looking over the diaries I kept in those days. On his return to Borneo in the early seventies. I accompanied him as his wife. its remoteness. they throw little light upon the new surroundings in which I found myself. the dreamy loveliness of its landscape. his nephew and successor came to England and visited my mother. had been taught music. on the first death of the English Rajah of Sarawak. important things in of consequence to I life. I had received the limited education given to girls in that mid. dancing. was sea-sick almost the whole way from Mar- . never to leave again. How it happened that as a young English girl people of came into intimate contact with the I Sarawak is as follows: In 1868. I remember Sarawak. and could speak two or three European languages but as regards the . these had never been thought my education.MY LIFE IN SARAWAK I CHAPTER WHEN rulers. the I childlike confidence its people have in their long to take the it first ship back to it. who was his cousin.

the damp clammy I feel of those equatorial regions. and I do not think I had ever met kinder people. I and in then thought that should never find happiness such countries. I ITS PEOPLE at the when we stayed various on I our way out ill Penang. The Chief Justice and his wife. ful and lovely. asking us to spend a day with them at their country house This we did. the Singapore natives on these occasions. tasting like cotton wool dipped in vinegar — journey. first As I to the delights of I impressions in the tropics. interest was much too to take any remember that in Singapore we received invitations from the Governor and from the residents of the place to stay with them on our way to Sarawak but I felt ill. the Heartsease. hated the heat. barring the fact that I met none of them. Sir Benson and Lady Maxwell. were also charming to us. I must say did not share in those feelings. in — — Aden. dined with the Governor and his wife. Ceylon. It was at Singapore that I first tasted tropical fruits —mangoes. owing to the sop. Sir Harry and Lady Ord. After a few days spent in Singapore. under the distempered state of my mind. . we best to take up our quarters at an hotel.2 seilles to SARAWAK AND Singapore. I thought positively repulsive. mangosteens. and the Rajah and I thought it However. and it was all delightnear Singapore. a . so that ports etc. wooden gunboat of 250 tons. She was a and her admirers had . we embarked in the Rajah's yacht. fruit called the sour- and sugar also many other kinds all of which.

ALFKED SOTHEBY .THE AUTHOR FROM A PAINTING BY MRS.

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Cockroaches are much and tawny brown At the approach of rain they are particularly lively. a perpetual state of like black beetles. their habits are and as great offensive to human beings. spindly legs was a hateful experience. and these kept me larger. as I lay in my bunk trying to get to sleep. . flatter. arms and hands. and look around me at the scenery. alight They on fly or spring from victims. that my comfort.e river it brought with it that curious.SARAWAK AND told ITS PEOPLE 3 me she was as lively as a duck in the water. The tiny prick of their spiky. terror at night. Every one must be familiar with rats more or less at a distance. and their remember how they startled me by jumping on to my face. and as it swept across th. third morning after leaving I suddenly felt the ship moving in smooth waters. This encouraged me to absolutely crawl up on deck. floor of my cabin. This behaviour on her part was exceedingly annoying to me during the passage to Kuching. in colour. They glided. The tide It was the most beautiful I had ever seen. ease that I was on board the Heartsexperience of cockroaches in had my first and only rats. which did not add to was on the It Singapore. was on the turn. a journey It which took two days. I distances. up and down the sometimes scratching at my pillow. but the Heartsease's rats were discon- certingly friendly. and the morning mist was still hanging about the watery forests on the banks arrd about the high mountains of the interior. rain falls daily in this region.

made of dried palm leaves and all on poles. mountain of Santubong. as though giants had been three feet. a great expanse of sand. tethered to the shore held brown naked playing and baling out the water. was carrying us up the river at a swift pace. dotted the beach. a great green thousand covered to cliff high rising almost out of the water to a height of about its summit with At the foot of the mountain was luxuriant forests. sickly. They were and tucked under their armpits. Brown huts. long. At the back of grew groves of Casuarina trees (the natives call them "talking trees. me tide to distinguish their and the incoming there. small. black hair was drawn into huge knots at the nape of their necks. the people were too far off for features. for everything I could see the touched was dripping with dew. ITS PEOPLE and half- sweet. disturbed at a the sandy shore game of ninepins. over which enormous brown boulders were scattered. we met Chinamen the stern of swift. All this I saw as in a vision . I I half-aromatic making one think unaccountably of malaria. Here and standing in on our way up. the river-banks." from the sound they make when a breeze stirs their lace-like branches). and their straight.4 SARAWAK AND indefinable smell. looking as though the slightest puff might blow them built away in clouds of dark green smoke. narrow canoes. clinging garment. . little ands mall canoes children. Women folded were washing clothes on clothed in one long. remember that I felt very cold.

had the same almost bridgeless thick lips. which sometimes allowed the folds of turbans to be seen. My attention I was attracted by one very small canoe. I aged eighteen or could see no difference in them at all.SARAWAK AND of fish for the all ITS PEOPLE S propelling their boats gondolier fashion. naked. We passed its boats of sorts and from the small sampan scooped solitary paddler. and the lanky hair belonging to their Mongolian race. for saw. with cargoes Kuching market. I tried to make up to them in a feeble to way . that I made the acquaintance of the Malay crew of our yacht. paying no more . They all noses. sitting in amidships. wearing dirty white cotton drawers bows and jauntily placed conical hats. these showing that the wearers had been to Mecca. woman huddled up perfectly a cotton A tiny boy. an old scarf. It was on this morning also. wide nostrils. out of a single tree trunk. and were the usually propelled by old men sitting in cross-legged. sizes. but they only bent double as they passed. whilst he shouted insults to his poor old lady passenger as our steamer passed by. was bravely paddling her along. all Like first people suddenly finding themselves for the I time in the midst of an alien race. filled with women and children. that some were young and some were fifty. These wisre roofed in to shelter their inmates from the rain or sun. I looked at them and smiled as they went and fro. with to the larger house-boats belonging to Malays. sailors all thought the but whether looked alike. I elicited from the Rajah old. dark restless eyes.

whose glossy fronds swaying in the morning breeze looked like green and graceful diadems. wanted in know about the mangroves which grew in the mud. and from which forests of nipa palms. fringing I had been told in Singapore that sixteen different and most I useful products to commerce could be obtained. like gigantic hearse plumes. saw great things like logs of wood lying on the mud. I I thought they across. things had ever seen I moving apparently. and when these moved. They were . their work the gentlest did not suffer.6 SARAWAK AND my friendly ITS PEOPLE attention to advances than they did to yet my cane I chair. 1 and was gently made to understand that I had better find things out for myself. for was told that they were as efficient as any ordinary European crew. and went with a sickening flop into the I Then water. The Rajah was accompanied on the occasion by one of his officers who had come to meet us at Singapore. slender palms towering over the other vegetation farther inland. I were the saw the black at us and mobile between monkeys peering overhanging from water the branches the . first I had to find out for myself that they crocodiles of faces my of acquaintance. to wanted know the names of long. As we to three sat on deck. but satisfactory answer could obtained." the river-banks. the and which at high tide stand "knee-deep I wanted to know about those great flood. and wanted know about no I the asked be to questions. were the most I silent pair had ever come country.

the usual indifferent answer was given. and I remember my first meal in Sarawak. in silence for about two and . The quiet. brought to me by the Chinese steward. I was exceedingly lonely. I remember trying to make friends with the English eliciting officer from Sarawak. There were captain's biscuits. matter-of-fact way in which they in time look participated in this unpalatable meal surprised me. which the Rajah and his friend seemed to enjoy. some of the reaches were deserted and silent as the grave. might upon such things as mere At last. and the cup of Chinese tea. after steaming trifles. with the object of facts from him some about the place. in the midst of a lost and silent world. and felt as though I had fallen into a phantom land. but I thought that perhaps I. one boiled egg which had seen its best days. and to I any very interesting I soon found out that should have make my own discoveries about the country. innocent of milk. too.SARAWAK AND grimacing like angry old their solitude. But even in such out-of-the-way places pfeople have to be fed. Although here and there we met a few boats coming up the river. lumps of tinned butter slipping about the plate like oil. but which I thought extremely nasty. but my questions did not meet with responses. I and from that moment simply panted to understand the friends with the people Malay language and make belonging to the place. ITS PEOPLE 7 men at our intrusion into and to my inquiry as to what kind of monkeys they were.

with gables and green-and-white blinds. the sight of which comforted me. I was told that this was the house of the agent of the Borneo Company. roofed with wooden shingles. I saw the Astana. This house once out of we steamed on farther on. and. the capital. I come to saw four Malay chiefs. On the steps of the landing-stage at the bottom of the garden a great many people were standing. the past the Bazaar on the river's edge. at the outset of my book. Malay word meaning . and the principal merchants of the place his return. ing of guns return from heard the boom- —the salute fired to the Rajah on last his England —and rounding the I reach leading up to Kuching. its people.8 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE I a half hours up the Sarawak River. rather a homely looking house.^ composed of three long low bungalows. These were the Rajah on officials. This gives me an opportunity of acknowledging. containing the principal shops of the town. On the opposite bank to where the Fort was situated stood a bungalow. saw the Fort from which on the right-hand bank on a cropped grass. meet the and in the was told that they 1 were prominent members palace. and at the same time civilizing influence which this group of Scotchmen. the loyal. English and native. built on brick pillars with a castellated tower forming the entrance. ipembers of the firm. Ltd. I hill covered with closely flagstaff also saw the was flying the Sarawak flag. have always exerted in their dealings with Sarawak and sight. a little same side as the Fort.

o Pi H < <! H < J > 2 Pi < ffi <! vi .ft.

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noise and red —came I to the companion-ladder to take us on shore. the only European yellow ladies then resident in the place. long flowing robes of black or dark-coloured cloth opening on to white robes embroidered with gold. to fifteen minutes to shake hands with them all. covered with an awning and manned by about twenty Malays and Dyaks paddles black. in great folds ITS PEOPLE 9 They wore turbans twisted round their heads. As the Heartsease' s anchor was dropped. rowed us the short distance When we stepped on land. Their feet were shod with sandals. a large green barge. the people ^ The barge was presented by the King of Siam to the late Rajah in 1851. also dressed in white. all traders in the town. Dyak chiefs of neighbouring arms. and two ladies.SARAWAK AND Rajah's Government. in white uniforms faced with black. remember the rhythmical made by their paddles as they to the landing-stage. smiles. Thisre were also a few rivers. with their long pigtails.^ used on State occasions. fat. in their painted the Sarawak colours— yellow. comfortable-looking faces. dressed in blue silk jackets and wide black trousers. with beads and bangles on their legs and and gaily coloured waistcloths of red and I saw about eight or ten and white. almond- shaped eyes. who presented them to me. Then I saw Chinamen. and they carried long staves tipped with great golden knobs. . Europeans in white uniforms and helmets. all the ten came forward and shook hands with It took about Rajah.

and on to the verandah of the Astana. There we seated ourselves on cane followed officer present.lo SARAWAK AND Then a ITS PEOPLE I strange thing happened. taller A very picturesque old man. and across the broad gravel path. as a great position in I : learned. he occupied Bearer to Sarawak that of Umbrella the Rajah and Executioner to the State. the Datu Bandar. leading to the house. His name was Subu. his head enveloped in a handkerchief tied in a jaunty fashion. who carried river. chairs prepared for the occasion : the Rajah and myself in the middle of the company. came forward with a large yellow satin umbrella. lined with a guard of honour. rather in than the other Malays. leaning forward with his head on one side and an intent expression. with two ends standing up over his left ear. the umbrella held over The Rajah trudged him. the Rajah jumped up and . fringed all round. and. Then inquired. ?). up the steps from the landing-place. for which was not prepared. more silence suddenly. At the entrance the umbrella was folded up with great reverence by Subu. IT back I to ITS home the other side of the with the principal European and the other people who had met us came after us. up the path. dressed a jacket embroidered with gold. which he opened with great solemnity and held over the Rajah's head. For some : minutes we all looked at one another in dead silence then the oldest Malay chief present. forward. : (Rajah well "Tuan Rajah baik?" The Rajah nodded assent. black trousers with a gold band.

. the " Rajah standing by me." I said. in the place came meet you. I to the boats waiting to convey them stood on the verandah and watched them go. Three Malay as boat-boys sent us along their paddles struck the water were as rhythmic as a march tune." What is the use of my coming here if I am not to see place. where are they? mean the women of the — the women of the place. Where are the he answered. women ? " I " The only to I What women ? " I English ladies staying " Oh. "they do not matter. Every got up." In the evening the fortable boat for a turn Rajah took me in his comthey on the . why have they not come to meet me?" "Malay women. and departed down the steps and garden path to their homes." replied. its bars wooded sides and ravines . shook hands with the Rajah. "never accompany the men on public occasions. ITS PEOPLE ii held out his hand as a signal of dismissal. their custom. " you are their Rajah." the chiefs' wives and the Malay women. their roofs and walls so frail that " you might anywhere break Moving westwards them open with your finger " floated past the ! We we faced the great mountain called Matang. river." replied the Rajah.''" "Well. which the sunset. It is not " But.SARAWAK AND one took the hint. then with me. with a smile. I turned " to him. said. " we shall see things may be different by and by." said the Rajah. Malay portion of the town with its brown houses made of palm leaves.

The sunset behind in Kuching was Matang^on that first evening I spent a memorable one. background of crimson and rose and . The dark purple mass seemed palpitating with mystery.12 SARAWAK AND or ITS PEOPLE brilliant changing every moment of the day under the sunlight passing clouds. standing out as it did against a yellow.

which blows weather for prevails. cobalt blue between these river mountains hanging baseless between earth and sky. from whence the low and sandy coast runs . fairer making easier communication mouths and the rest of the world. . of trees. Mists. you enter a great crescent-shaped bay called Datu. your way to Steaming from Singapore on Kuching.CHAPTER II SARAWAK rivers of is a land of mountains. in an almost straight line as far as Brunei. this coast is lashed by the surf during the north-east wind from September to the end of March. Cascades born tear in the mountains. The most important Sarawak flow into this bay. the remainder of the year. is Tanjong Sirik. encircle their wooded later in peaks only to melt away at the first rays of the sun and return by daily to the land in refreshing showers the afternoon. rains. rising to a height of 700 feet and across sixty miles of sea in a northerly direction. fed down 13 their wooded ravines. white as snow-wreaths. you can see from the deck of a steamer. If you approach Sarawak in the early morning. almost opposite to this green cliff. and of water. At its southern end stands Tanjong Datu. Harbour- less and unprotected. During the south-west monsoon.

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and their tribes are supposed to have settle. Oya. Muka. and are the most civilized of the Rajah's subjects. ments right across from west to east of the northern nor must we forget the Chinese portion of Borneo . Malays and Milanoes have their settlements on or near the coast. Saribas. Sadong. The Bay rivers Lundu. when. are situated in the more northern portion of the territory. Sarawak. delta. and Rejang flow into the Lupar. immigrants who have settlements all over the princi- . they have a curious superstitious religion of their own.. The rivers Oya and Muka (from is which two rivers an important trade with sago carried on). They are Muhammadans. are expert fishermen. Owing to the perpetual strife between land and water. of Sarawak. Saribas. Bintulu and Baram. SARAWAK AND horizon. these rivers have bars is at their mouths. looking as though ITS it PEOPLE lifted 15 were high up in the air. Sea Dyaks frequent Kalaka. but the bar across the Baram the most formidable amongst the rivers of the country. between the line of verdure and the sea. hills Land Dyaks dwell amongst the mountains and the south of Kuching Batang Lupar. within reach of the tide. Though mosdy Muhammadans. and Bintulu. and the Rejang Rivers Kayans live more inland. Batang Kalaka. and are the sago workers of the country. appeared a space of light as though the trees stood on rays of silvery transparency. the river-banks of Milanoes inhabit the Rejang Matu. and excel in Malays boat building.

for Borneo its is known the best-watered countries in the world. one could imagine with the seeds a giant sower dipping into a bag of filled mankind and flinging it out haphazard by handfuls. The sound everywhere houses are built for the most part on .6 1 SARAWAK AND and who invade it ITS PEOPLE numbers with it pality. All these people are. some by the sea. Com- merce and trade. and almost unbridgeable rivers. these being of water is mounheard and water. thrive without the help of such accessories. duce of its jungles and forests find it seems to me that there are three : things one cannot escape from in Sarawak tains. Indeed. hills. sprinkled over the land. in increasing every succeeding year. must be remembered that there are very few roads in Sarawak. be one of and the proto an easy passage down the numberless canals and rivers which nature has provided through this watery land. trees. down railway lines would be a costly undertaking it in this country. as If were. intersected as is by marshes. hold themselves entirely aloof from one another one never meets vice with Dyaks residing in Malay settlements. nor do the Chinese build among people of an alien race. and as yet no railways for it can well be understood that road-making or laying It . and some by the inland rivers and forests. however. greatly adding to the prosperity of the country. The different tribes . mountains. it might give an idea of the manner in which the population of Sarawak is scattered over the country. . or versa.

even on journeys up the These scented currents are messages from unknown blossoms . at the I approach of the sun. 17 the banks of rivers or streams. give vent. sometimes star with flashes of colour the river-banks more inland ing in the but orchids. For instance. and convolvuli. called wah-wahs. and the noise of paddles for the people use the river as Europeans use their streets is never lacking. is seldom that flowers form are flowers in profusion. true there but they are mostly hidden purple in the hearts of virgin forests. which. made whenever trees in It me think of the Spirit of the rain pouring refreshing streams through the which these monkeys congregate. monkeys. is heard by day and night daily showers drip on to one's habitation. or in one's walks near the rivers. an important It is feature in the landscape of tropical countries. the cups of the allamanda. pitcher plants. — — Even the first the animals seem to in^itate the sound of water in their little morning and evening cries. these have be diligently sought for before a closer acquaintance can be made. . scarlet rhododendrons. One of the most ravishing experiences of Sarawak are the mysterious whiffs of perfumes meeting one unexpectedly forests. and flowerare parasites generally entangled and trees. to liquid sounds. and perfumed. yellow. heard them. everything to lovely. mauve and pink and white and .SARAWAK AND it ITS PEOPLE tide. so that the as swishes backwards and forwards. for. like hidden branches of forest delicate. The golden blossoms of the lagerstremia.

as that. paddling themselves in search of to be found fruits or vegetables on the banks of streams sometimes a If you happen to great distance from their village. as a the greater portion of the day.8 1 SARAWAK AND rare ITS PEOPLE g flowering unseen and unsoiled far from mankind. so like them. They love sweet scents and flowers. they are perpetually washing their clothes—rl have often thought I have seldom met cleaner people. in the course of years. above all. " Cesi une sensation de bien Hre qui est presque du bonheur. fond of the water as they are. . throw in your lot with these people. woman. and. and child swims about the streams near their homes in the same way as we take our walks in our gardens. they live Every man. river to cool themselves. and women are often seen alone in canoes. These and exquisite visitations always reminded me of the words of Maupassant. fact. and Moreover. Men and women alike manage boats with wonderful skill. they love the their strange neighbourhood of water. much as they plunge into the bathing. you find yourself after perpetually any exertion have recourse to a bath. in which." Now to my mind the people of Sarawak match and beautiful surroundings. you insensibly become.

at this in the time. and an abundant crop of hair forming a short curly fringe under his head-handkerchief. I did not know Malay. my husband took this man into his service. She left me soon after. a Sarawak Malay.CHAPTER III Rajah and I had only been a few weeks Kuching when he had to leave me and go on an expedition to the interior. the Rajah's butler. white trousers. which he folded round his head with consummate skill. as in THE she said. taller than most Malays. intelligent eyes. as There was. with dark. I Talip knew a few words great friends. a black moustache. for. He wore a white jacket. however. with no capacity for enjoying anything that was not European. and he walked about with bare feet. under which appeared the folds of his yellow-and black sarong. Astana with whom I could speak. who had been with At the Rajah's the first Rajah Brooke for some years. and he and became He was good-looking. With no one this solitary exception there was. and I was left alone in the Astana with a maid whom I had brought from England. He was a favourite with all . and very neat in appearance. death. He was called Talip (a name signifying light). she did not like living in such an outlandish place. of English. She was an ordinary sort of woman. He was a bit of a dandy.

my name. the wives. found out that the Datu Bandar. all had galore. " I want to see the Malay women of Kuching." I said " for them and make friends with them." I Talip answered. . in on the occasion and of the place.20 classes in SARAWAK AND Kuching. They must all be invited. life My and could accommodate about two hundred and I kept impressing on Talip that none of fifty guests. daughters. for Talip and I had a great many preparations to make and plans The dining-room of the Astana was to talk over. together with the two wives. Ask them to come here. the Datu Imaum. for his ITS PEOPLE years in the first many I Rajah's service had endeared him to the people. One day I said to him. the principal women now began to be interesting. the ministers' and chiefs' wives and After I daughters might be included in the invitation. Talip and I settled that should hold a reception —my first reception in Sarawak —and that he should be the chamberlain invite. During the Rajah's absence gol^ a great deal of information out of Talip." initiated I must know I was then by Talip into the proper manner of giving parties in Malayland. and grandchildren . talking the matter over. the ministers' and chiefs' lady relations should be forgotten. as it would never do to create jealousy on large. this I my first introduction to the women of the country. "Certainly. " Datu Temanggong. and the other chiefs sons. and the make himself understood in his way he managed to broken English was wonderful. play with you ! bring my two wives " I gently suggested that.

and cannot remember the bewildering quantity of cocoa-nuts and of various other ingredients he deemed necessary for making Malay cakes. with and that the place occupied by the myself in their midst. He informed me and that they were to be used fruit in for the various cakes the same way as we use silver dishes. Some days sitting-room before the party.^ A fortnight was occupied in the preparations. their furniture. however. saucers. These he judiciously parcelled out to the houses of the people I was going to invite. so that they could make the cakes with which I was to present them when they came to call. ungrudgingly lend their golden ornaments to each other.SARAWAK AND First of all. and many other things wanted for such an important occasion. and at last the day came to which I had been looking forward so 1 There is no greater pleasure one can give Malays than that of borrowing their things. Women. red lacquer boxes. saw a number of little boys staggering under the weight of numerous round. considered. These were very large. . etc. Talip invested in dozens and dozens I of eggs. pounds and pounds of sugar. plates. occasion Talip arranged that on this great all sit we should on the floor round the room. on looking out of my window towards the it landing-plade and I the path leading up from to our door. and I sent for Talip and asked him what they were. should be set out with piles of gorgeous cushions covered with gold brocade —also borrowed from the houses of or so my guests. and the same may be said of their crockery. chiefs' wives. their clothes. ITS PEOPLE 21 the question of refreshments had to be. Talip also borrowed from them cups.

pinered lacquer boxes The all made beautiful notes of colour round the room. ing. oranges. sides of Great the strips of white and red material. that I waved me ought not He made me understand show my- self before 5. glanced into the dining-room in the mornlaid out for and thought how pretty a meal looked ladies —very at much prettier than the in arrangements our dinner-parties England.22 SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE Malay table much. However. at angel the the gate Paradise. with 4 o'clock flaming show I was sword and like determined to go the of when Talip back. I going on outside afternoon my had heard a great deal of noise rooms since 2 o'clock in the silks. to again.30 on account of Malay etiquette. at equal distances on these strips. The red boxes were put of the country apples. becoming curious. etc. and went on to explain that the Rajah's subjects should . bought for the occasion in the Bazaar. draperies flitting about. and." dressed. time I came out. the rustle of bare feet pattering up and down the verandah. dressed myself in my 4 o'clock. he said to me. and between the boxes were dishes with the fruits —mangosteens. mangoes. were laid down both room with cross pieces at each end. "You must at out. best garments and was quite ready receive to enter the dining-room and my : guests. The tea-party I was supposed to begin at so accordingly. I looked over the partitions and saw women in silken But Talip was on guard. not yourself too soon. or even looked over the and every partitions.

A ROOM IN THE ASTANA .

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green. and. were to me quite entrancing. reminded me bed of brightly coloured flowers. of the opaque pale yellow kind. . their arched eyebrows. each placing one hand under my elbows and the other under my finger-tips. of an animated I with their silken brocades and gauzy veils of rose. and lilac. In his opinion. their lovely feet and hands. was a gentle forest. at 5. but considering have been preferable my impatience he would allow ! me to enter the dining-hall at half-past five I a half went by whilst acquaintance of So another hour and patiently waited to make the on account of inexorable anxious.SARAWAK AND await ITS PEOPLE 23 my pleasure. like the petals of a fading gardenia. felt Malay etiquette. I was quite taken aback by the charming sight that awaited me as I entered the dining-hall. led me to the seat preIsa chiefs. so took Marsden's Dictionary with me. 9 o'clock would for our meeting. and their quiet manners. and the sound of their rustling silks. and armed with the great volume. their magnificent black hair.30 made my entrance into the hall. for I my I guests. Datu Malay the wives of the principal pared for me against the wall. blue. a I little did not know a word punctually. all moving together. Their dark and eyelashes. of Malay. beautiful complexions noticed what most of these eyes women long had. came forward one on each side of me. As I came like into the room. wind sighing through the branches of a bamboo and Datu Siti. in the middle of a row . girls seated The rows floor of women and young on the round the room. Talip told them to get up.

Datu Isa. and have sent I that he would translate Daiangs. devoid of milk. made sweet It as syrup to suit the taste of my guests.^ It took some time to help us all. her eyes cast down. Talip told me to say something to my guests. Talip stood in " Makan the middle of the room and shouted out Minum la. . No. Datu Bandar the chief minister. . once again I gave way of to the conventions of Malaya. friends with have come to all. Jangan malu!" (Eat. high. the real business of the day began. Talip and his satellites appeared with huge jugs lukewarm coffee." said. but when each guest's cup was full. as by so doing they might get to resemble animals. . Drink." Therefore. bent the forward. I " Datus.! 24 of women. Talip translated my speech and when he had finished. . that could not Rajah Ranee must have three cushions more than the chiefs' wives. however. because know we shall love one another. ! . and I feel sure if women are friends to one another they can never feel lonely in any country. : . la. her hands palm downwife of * Some Malay women confided in me that they would not drink it. my words into Malay. . as the Malays of Sarawak are unaccustomed to the use of that liquid. After coffee. " I you have I because live here feel lonely without you. for my I friends. was. so I SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE was uncomfortably could not have two " My pile of cushions I : asked Talip whether pillows taken away. Don't be ashamed). I and to make you waited for this day with great impatience. but he said be." at great length.

. are sad you must come to me. our ITS PEOPLE 25 replied. Instead of saying " sons " I had used the words " baby boys " the old lady being After that. I consulted Marsden for the rest of the afternoon. how well all I remember that party that : it might have happened yesterday. and meant to inquire of Datu Isa how many sons she had. will Rajah Ranee. : There one thing you must not do the I have heard of Englishwomen taking hands of gentlemen by the roadside. as am the oldest is woman look after you. and smiled in response. I I thought account. for I felt I had found my friends. I away. so the Rajah will is we look upon you as our child. and when you I help to Talip translated this to me. we seventy. for a ripple of laughter went over the room. and got on beautifully with my — ! guests. and lighten your heart. no explanation is required became very friendly. From eventful day my home-sickness completely vanished. and are our father. and that you know nothing. " Rajah Ranee.SARAWAK AND wards on her knees. It is strange. you mother. This remark thawed the ice. I When here. you must not do that." I Now. even now. but don't forget that you are very young. or in the presence of strangers. But all the women kept that are shy gravity which never leaves Malays when they I or nervous. We intend to take care of you and to cherish you. would try a little conversation in on my own looked out some words Marsden's Dictionary. and our grandmother.

.I CHAPTER IV THEN began a very agreeable time. That mighty question of "chiffons. Datu Isa (who was. to laugh or smile. and in a few weeks I became more fluent. One day. in their strenuous endeavours to undersaid. to although them. admiring their beautiful and golden orna- ments. —expression — flit across their They were much too kind. satins. I stand what sometimes noticed a strained might almost say painful faces. however. or Little even to show a moment's impatience. such as usually comes with a new and interesting I think the Malay women as well friendship. my Malay must I have sounded strange Indeed. as myself were mutually interested in one another. by little matters mended. you remember." which is usually thought to belong only to European women- kind. I somehow managed to make myself understood. as I was silks. the lady who had undertaken absence) said to the care of in me during the Rajah's me a very ceremonious manner. seemed to in the minds of me to play quite as important a part my new friends. and I encouraged the frequent morning visits that one or another of the chieftains' lady relations paid to me.

DATU ISA AND HER GRAND-DAUGHTERS .

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SARAWAK AND " ITS PEOPLE 27 You are the wife of our Rajah. have thought a good deal as to whether. All down the sleeves of the jacket. fastening in front with a larger clasp. and had gold rosettes sewn over The collar of the jacket was edged with plaques it. Finally. shaped like outstretched wings. you ought to wear golden ornaments. obtained from Mecca. (the for a . It was woven in red-and-gold brocade. and made to cover my feet. was simply delighted. Datu Isa had a great many things to say as to the wearing of these garments. I "and . my right eye alone abroad. My jacket was of dark blue satin. being a married woman. because it is the custom in Rajah Ranee. and where the things should be made. and a wide wrap of green silk and gold brocade was flung over the left shoulder ready to cover my head and face when wearing the dress in my walks According to Datu Isa. The garment called "kain into the ladies joining together. were tiny bells." agreed. the matter resolved itself and insisting on providing me with the whole dress. and at once Lengthy discussions then took place as to what colours I should choose. covered my head. Malay tape woman's skirt) consists of a narrow sheath this was folded and tucked under my armpits. and you ought to I wear our dress." she said. " Malay name of gold. and I must say it was a beautiful one. buttons of gold that jingled like A gauzy scarf of white and gold. which were slashed up to the elbow. should peep forth from the golden wrap on such occasions. "You are my child.

28 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE our country for virgins only to be thus deqorated. but if tall English- woman sun. because the truth were told. accustomed as she is to freedom. at the The . exercise. to know the ideas Malay women entertain about the wearing of these clothes. I and we did not share loved wearing the dress. but as you are the wife of our Rajah." she answered. you of the day. Rajah Ranee. and the noiseless way they move about lends additional beauty to the European woman. I Malay dress should be as splendid as all agree that it will suit you well. because movement your clothes would fall off. She must have servants and subjects at her call every moment Now. mind. and somewhat abrupt movements. would not fasten it in very securely anywhere. but you No " she would sit slightest on cushions almost motionless. " Because." she would say. ordered by Datu Isa. It is interesting. and arranged by her so that it " Never should fall in folds draggling on the ground." in this opinion. and you must remember " But that the Rajah's wife never shows her feet. "you will get accustomed to it by and by. a it of its beauty. can possibly imitate with any degree of success the way in which they glide about and manipulate their silken and gauzy draperies. why ? dress. I was somewhat embarrassed with the length of my sarong. cannot expect to wear with the grace which belongs to those tiny frail-looking daughters of the They are all very small indeed. I think that your possible. is never supposed to walk about." " I said to Datu Isa. if you wear that dress properly.

SARAWAK AND tapes. Rajah Ranee. it must be remembered Datu was strictly conservative. Little if understand. we kind her.hat nearly all the women of Sarawak are capable of weaving. given the idea Sarawak was such an uncivilized country when the first Rajah went there. "You must she is know Datu and good and you must humour be too anxious she will all little." she would ." you to walk a But talking of these sarongs and the wonderful cloths manufactured by the women of Sarawak. how it was possible that the womenkind of the Malay population living in the place evolved the marvellous embroideries and brocades l. understand." ITS PEOPLE 29 wives of the Sultan of Brunei never secure their kain This was that all very well Isa . reassured I me when I felt little anxious as whether could play my part satisfactorily and not Isa derogate from the exalted position Datu was not always striving to put me in. who a about my own to age. for no kain tape worn by the better is Sarawak women considered quite correct unless the . and that its people were sunk in a state of barbarism. "We Isa . and will not mind to allow by you wear your kain tape so as yard or so. it always surprises that me when I consider. But Datu is daughter-in-law. Daiang Sahada. Her in ideas concerning ceremonial dress and deportment rigid as Sarawak were as were those of aristocratic Isa's old ladies in Early Victorian days. moreover. say. The patterns on these golden cloths are very classes of similar.

supposed by some to represent trees of life. This the dog-tooth design. although me much to learn the Malay methods of friend. Inside each tooth design is apparently to be met with is all over Malaya. all Nor matter. The loom to teach me how to weave these brocades. the making of these cloths at an easy the To help to amuse me and to while away Datu Isa and her maidens brought to the Astana a great loom prepared with golden and silk threads. SARAWAK AND powdered all ITS PEOPLE silk over its ground of red is with open rosettes made of gold thread. a descendant of the great Prophet himall Such descendants are numerous I over the the Archipelago. is Seripa.30 stuff. A shuttle in each hand threw the thread backin the usual wards and forwards manner. but the effort of keeping the thread tight with one's back and I feet was a somewhat fatiguing experience. in a series of divided by a in broad band of different pattern marked gold thread Vandyck-shaped lines. A sort of pad made of wood supported one's back and acted as a lever with planks at one's feet to keep the thread taut. was so large that one could sit inside it. but as their ' Arabic : and Sheripa. never quite made out I how many their Serips^ and Seripas^ met Sherif in Sarawak traced descent from the great founder of Islam. time. This lady was a that self. . to say. Datu Isa sometimes brought with her a whom I got to know well. reminding one of is an ornament. weaving them. I must confess never achieved interested it many inches of these cloths.

SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 31 countrymen and women accepted their great position. it must have been unassailable. Most Malay women. Datu come sq work for me and to the Astana to to teach me her craft. ! the Seripa was doing free-hand with a penknife I had prepared boxes of betel-nut and sirih for the refresh- ments of her my guests. their friends. She then folded them into about five layers. in this fashion. cutting notches here. although Serips may may marry whom they please. Seripa Madjena's husband was also a Serip. As she was a poor woman. and she prepared a mouthful of . without any preliminary lines to guide In fact. were seated round her to watch Isa suggested that she should many hours a day the proceedings. and with a sharp penknife began punching out the design through the top layer. and I never attempted to solve the mystery. and the lady Datus. The penknife went in and out. for female descendants of the Prophet not marry out of their rank. as I have said before. Datu Isa never moved without this sirih box. Datu Isa told me. and their methods My first lesson was conducted greatly interested me. The Seripa asked for pieces of which she cut into broad bands of about nine or ten inches wide and about a yard and a half in length. that Seripa Madjena could do most wonderful embroideries. The Seripa was seated in the middle of the floor of my sitting-room. and I. Serip Hussin was em- ployed as an overseer at one of the Rajah's coffee plantations not far from Kuching. foolscap. and I found out for myself. rounding it. are able to embroider. circles there.

the strip was laid satin stretched in length. smeared with a shell-lime. here and there on . little leaf of betel-vine. We all nodded assent. and shaking the pattern free from the cuttings of paper. and the punchings began afresh with the penknife. she said. laid one over the other. on a long. together with long-drawn sighs and invocations to She is working in earnest. Allah. but did my we best to appear as though When the ladies present had been sirih. stuck a small portion of the areca-nut on the the " wrapped and presented it to me. and watched the effect on me as I began munching at this Malay leaf into a bundle. whilst giving vent to little grunts of approval. rustling itself free from her fingers This improvised work over. layers of foolscap together. she laid to the floor. stuck them her prepared pattern on the top. as it is the colour of the Prophet. who suddenly gave a louder sigh than usual and a more lengthy invocation to Allah. we saw a delicate and flowing pattern of conventional leaves. I I did not like did. and the little scraps of paper lay like snow around the Seripa." said Datu Isa. of birds and of fishes. The punching went on. Bagus sekali " (very nice). presented with betel-nut and sat chewing in a silence only " broken by ejaculations from the Seripa. design was all When the over green cut out. The perforated pattern was stitched to and the Seripa worked gold thread backwards and forwards over the satin. about a yard We had chosen green. delicacy. it. delicacy for from her own store. wooden frame.32 SARAWAK AND me it ITS PEOPLE She took a lime.

. dating from the six- teenth century. until the design stood out from the background a compact mass of gold.SARAWAK AND satin ITS PEOPLE 33 the cardboard. certain recalling to I my mind knew medieval church embroideries of in Northern Italy.

to which apparently only birds can and These people. whose waters are deep enough for to float vessels 70 miles size. and schooners of moderate has ramifications in the smaller tributaries which run in various directions into mountainous districts. On in sometimes two or three thousand feet height. these hills. like eagles' nests clinging to lofty peaks.CHAPTER V THE Dyak expedition which had taken the Rajah interior into the he had to parts of his was only one among manyundertake in order that trade and in safety in commerce might be established kingdom. build houses which they can temporarily for protection) on the precipitous sides of mountains and hills. who dearly love their independence and to take feel the importance of being able to under- skirmishes (to on their own retire account. . the 1 Rejang. Dyaks. epidemics of the plague has head-hunting are apt to occur unexpectedly amongst tribes. soar. just of late years unaccountably broken out afresh in different parts of the world. One of the largest rivers in the country. .. as remote In Sarawak. however. climb like is monkeys their activity and when one of these tribes ensconces wonderful.

SEA DYAKS IN WAR DRESS .

.

named head of Lintong. It was nearly taken by surprise. had incurred Lintong's displeasure owing to severe sentences he had inflicted on one or two members of the tribe. manned by some three thousand men.^ had gathered round him a considerable force of followers. At the time of which I am writing. Mr. about a fortnight after my first arrival in the country. notwithstanding that they were on the look out for any ' or the His now. Harry Skelton. Skelton's Fort just before daybreak. was Mua-ari. . one of the Rajah's officers stationed at a place called Sibu. Lintong descended with his fleet of boats.SARAWAK AND itself ITS PEOPLE it 35 is in such inaccessible it places into difficult to dislodge and coerce moving to lower and more civilized portions of the territory. and one night. and attacked Mr. Face of Day. and the fleet came within earshot of it. one of these tribes had been particularly^ tiresome. who had been caught red-handed. no sound was heard by the sentries. where he had managed the to build a fleet of boats from the enormous forest trees which grew in the neighbourhood. he in- harassed and plundered the more law-abiding habitants of the delta. de guerre^ by which he was usually known. This made Lintong exceedingly angry. and although the Fort was built about twenty yards from the river. for Dyaks have a way of muffling the sound of their paddles. a fortified settlement sixty miles up from the mouth of the Rejang River. At head of his fleet. entrenched himself at the a stream. A Dyak chief.

with round their turbans twisted heads. of planks of iron-wood. and ends. being bullet proof. The stockade about twenty feet high. were amongst the lesser offenders in the Mutiny. magnificent-looking beings. They were tall. who had been exiled to Sarawak as punishment for the share they had These men. Mr.36 SARAWAK AND " ITS " PEOPLE his emergency. son of Sir Hugh Low. although taken in the Indian Mutiny. who was then cadet. and give air and light. Face of Day and men landed. great very and smartly conspicuous. an overhanging from the made detachable made of wooden wooden walls. roof. to made of the same iron-wood which roof. fierce. is between that and the a trellis-work divides shingles. and subsequently proved themselves to be Sarawak Government. Colonial /Secretary in Labuan. rebels. yells and threw showers of poisoned arrows and pointed bamboo all built Sarawak Forts are on the same pattern —square made is stockades with watch- towers at each corner. black beards carefully aggressively curled tended. moustaches with There were also staying in the Fort two or chiefs and a recently joined English Low. dashed up to the Fort with horrible spears at the building. throw lighted brands on the Sibu Fort was then garrisoned by thirteen Sikhs. These Sikhs were ci-devant Indian Sepoys. valuable servants to the under the command of Mr. which no native missile can penetrate. A few poisoned three Dyak . The shingles are to prevent fire when the enemy roof. Skelton.

etc. very the most of whom they knew They made unpleasant remarks about enemy's mothers. advisable to remain at Sibu for to restore peace He and deemed it in some weeks order and order in this part of his country. Skelton gave me when saw him afterwards of the manner in which the during the skirmish did nothing but peer insults Dyak chiefs behaved amused me very much. Skelton and one or two English officers led an expedition up the into the interior of the Rejang River country. and screaming whilst the battle It was this serious state of things at Sibu that had called the Rajah away from Kuching a few days after my arrival in Sarawak. leaving about a dozen dead and wounded companions under the wooden tong's son being walls. but no one was struck by these Fort missiles.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 37 arrows and barbed bamboo spears found their way through the trellis-work of the Fort. It themselves efforts terrific. and inquired whether the men belonged to the female sex. lasted. well. and with Mr. the attacking party yelling. as their feeble. . for they friendly through the lattice-work. at and shout Dyak the attacking party. in a short time their the rebels were repulsed and sent flying to boats on the beach. reduced the enemy to subjection. The account which Mr. He gathered round him other some seven thousand Dyaks belonging to friendly tribes. were so appears the noise was shouting. The and party in the made a brave resistance. Lin- I amongst the slain.

peace. telling three days. The Rajah's policy on : many similar occasions was always the same crushing the when he had succeeded in head-hunting ambitions of these tribes. About a month or the six Rajah's departure from weeks had elapsed since Kuching. make own themselves and build a new village the surveillance of the on the main river under Rajah's neighbouring Forts. Meanwhile Lintong and his people head-waters of remote streams in the neighbourhood and he and all his tribe became outcasts in the land. He it mentioned that he was bringing one of the chiefs from the interior with him. the thing theji to be done was to turn these people into decent subjects by making them understand that the benefits to be derived from trade and commerce were more satisfactory to their well-being than their methods of murdering and cutting off the heads of their often harmless neighbours. vanquished. because he thought would interest me to see him and make his acquaintance. me that he would be back to in He wanted me return with two or him to Sibu and stay for a month or so at the Fort. was interested in hearing the details of the . when one morning a dispatch boat from the scene of action arrived at our landing-place with a letter from the Rajah.38 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE were hiding in the . I I well remember the day of the Rajah's all return. The Rajah's object was to persuade these people to the error confess of their ways.

his toes were turned out. he sent for Apai Minggat. and a dirty He put out his hand from the folds of this garment to shake hands with the Rajah and with mc. He seemed to be tread- ing on eggshells. to carry his head by. and his body bent. in the my my story. who had often fought the Rajah's battles his side for and saved his life on more than one occasion. at Malay expressions let fall with great pride and a good deal of ostentation. in a spirit of true case his head were taken by an enemy. after dinner. with a considerable following of fighting men. "Why. he was a famous warrior. courtesy. the end of narrative At —and I must say I talked a you have become a good deal— I was rewarded by his saying. plertd would serve as a handle for He had on a waistcovered his shoulders. the chief who had accompanied him to ! Kuching. a middle-aged Sea Dyak by chieftain. when this lock them cloth. and I asked the to give vent to one of these sounds are taken by falsetto of gratification heard when any heads Dyaks without loss to themselves. think he was amused. which was clean-shaven. with the exception like all of a lock of hair hanging at the back of his neck this he had retained. whilst I ITS PEOPLE tell 39 had much I to him about I my new women course of friends. this We were sitting in the dining-room when individual entered.. SARAWAK AND expedition. in Sea Dyaks. A curious . was anxious Rajah to get him I to hear a war yell. A dingy handkerchief was twisted round his head. " real Malay That evening.

not wishing chief to sit by myself. against the when heard victory it in a chorus of yelling at once. however. fearing he was ill." I was rather shocked and thought he was maligning the old man. louder and louder. was not so terrible as I but the Rajah explained thousands of men. "He say he bad head at this idea of Talip's. He removed his headhandkerchief. This he seemed to enjoy. as he after had heard these sounds experience. with the old Dyak at my feet. was a most and froze the blood in one's veins. had imagined that all it must be. I made signs to the and took him with me into the drawing-room. Mr. rubbed his head. and claret left the . and then three it died down into this Two or times he repeated It performance.40 SARAWAK AND his ITS It PEOPLE went higher and sound issued from higher. crowing of a cock and the whistle of a steam-engine. and made signs to me as though he it . Talip. There I sat in one of the arm-chairs. happening to have a scent bottle in my hand filled —he wants with eau-de-Cologne. and gave vent to strange sounds and groans. which greatly interested me. Rajah and friend at their and cigars but. informed me. gin. and was our guest at dinner this over. When Talip had left the room. I up his custom demands. something between the a whisper. got Harry Skelton had as also returned with the : Rajah. of successful skirmishes terrifying pirates. lips. I sent for Talip. I poured some on my fingers and rubbed on poor Minggat's head.

to The moment again. and smelt of cocoa-nut I remember that I oil. my token of sympathy with the old ordered him out of the room. how can you expect me to keep of order?" told Mr. . he signed his it me go on on I I went rubbing head with eau-de-Cologne. Busily engaged as was. so left off. he me a such tokens sympathy from tactful Rajah's was not a very way of behaving in an Oriental country. I am Rajah was not at all pleased at chief. privately that wife." said to the Rajah. replied.SARAWAK AND found to it ITS PEOPLE I 41 soothing. " he has a bad head. I I and forthwith " Poor old man. Why should The Rajah. did not notice that the Rajah aijd Mr. not rub it with eau-de-Cologne?" with right on his side. in Skelton sorry had suddenly appeared to say that the the room. "If you encourage them them but in this in way. Skelton was much amused.

of course. For five hours. I was surprised to see . for everything now I interested across. we embarked on the Heartsease My journey down the river was very different from my voyage to Kuching two or three months before. until we got to the other side of the mouth of the Rejang. The heat was terrific. When we arrived at Sibu. and the natives and side. out to sea. and the smooth waters of the river on the other side soon put me right again. My Malay was not brilliant even then. I was helpless. such occasions —a mattress on the a bucket champagne to ward off the sea-sickness. I I next day for Sibu. wanted to talk to every native find out came wanted to what they thought and how they looked upon the things that we passed. at. We steamed past the Santubong Mountain. but still I could manage to make myself understood.CHAPTER VI THE me. my and a bottle of everything else faded from is my it mind. the minute we were bobbing over the waters of the bar (the sea was not rough) down I went by into the cabin and took laid my usual position on floor. Sea-sickness discomfort much laughed it. an end. and. but I know came of no to that equals However.

Harry Skelton was most kind and considerate.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 43 the extraordinary flatness of the land. who had accompanied me from Kuching. Skelton. and nothing could exceed hospitality. Mr. for there was milk. jasmine. Then. was a little bunch of flowers from his garden. a considerable settlement. in the middle of the tray. plumbago. Mr. the Rajah. the four Skelton had to Sikhs who were guard us during our constitutional with loaded muskets. My breakfast tray was brought in by my Malay maid. and gardenia. but the tea was delicious somehow he had managed to get some cows. As the sun set and the air became sent for cooler. I stayed in the Fort about six weeks. and even the tinned butter was washed and pretended to be fresh. and I set out for our walk. and stay : : . but not before Mr. in the middle of our four protectors. where the Chinese had. Mr. Skelton's kindness were carried in to breakfast. every morning these charming flower tokens of Mr. for there were usually characters about who were discontented some bad at the turn . The boiled ^^^ was new laid. He gave his up his rooms I it to us. We would sally forth round the settlement. Skelton had arranged the tray himself the captain's biscuits were there. me with my But what interested me more than anyThere was a Bazaar thing were our evening walks. well remember the first morning of my was all so different from the way things were managed on board the Heartsease. even in those days. tied in a ravishing effect of blue and white.

marshy land through which we travelled. I the idea. for. as I have said before. When we were inside. to my scant knowledge of the country. The sun had down hardly risen. There was a freshet coming the river. Two or three days afterwards we went up the some of the tribes. prepared as was for the intense heat with the advent of the sun. and must say I did not believe in the danger. I found that wire-netting had been stretched fore and aft the vessel. over I my white muslin dress. a fit of insanity. the effect of heavy rain of the day before in the mountains farther inland. One felt oneself important I being guarded by men with loaded muskets. On the other hand. Cocoa-nut and a few sago palms were planted on the banks. lift. . with villages Another dotted here and there along its banks. and we could see was bitterly cold. in not be some one hiding. It and I remember that I wrapped three or four railway rugs round my shoulders. surprise was in store for me when I went on board. might attempt our rather liked lives. and the wire-netting securely fastened all round us.44 affairs SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE certain had taken. the Rejang is a long river. Our speed did not exceed eight knots an hour. In a very short space of time the fog began to the flat. probably. and Mr. and there was a thick fog which hid the land. we must have looked like river to visit : animals in a cage ! We started early in the morning. Skelton was not very that in the long grass near by there might who. so as to secure it from any attack. owing.

but there were no Near the Fort the river is about twelve hundred yards wide. people had long since removed up the river to plant their paddy in its tributary streams. sites of cleared with creepers. Some its natives can lop off its branches without whilst others. ancient trees. certain persons. of jungle everywhere. and is used a good deal for making furniture by the carpenters in the Straits. in the distance. There were signs other signs of cultivation. former years these but the were Dyaks' farm grounds. the rice lands. resembling. green hills on the edge of the water. they merely touch or turn aside branches. The wood of this shrub is valuable.SARAWAK AND for the water here ITS PEOPLE 4$ was brackish. and can thus obtain shoots. small the soil. although its leaves are dark and shiny. they are more like laurels in shape with young shoots of brilliant red. Farther up. It has peculiar and disagreeable effects on . and coarse lalang virgin grass covering forests There were no In on the these banks. or are they but attempt such work. become and are sometimes absolutely in various other made uncomfortable even if ways its for hours. a hedge of clipped holly but on closer examination. if doing them the slightest harm. the banana and sago plants were replaced by the shrub called rengas. blinded. those who are immune from its effects can approach the plant with impunity. its illit On the other hand. swollen. young which make an excellent dish when boiled as a vegetable. After a time we could see nothing but low. hack about as they choose. .

a flower of predilection amongst the Sea Dyaks. Like all the rivers of Borneo the feasts. for they imagine that by so doing they will prevent the curses uttered by the victims in the next world from falling on their heads." Then. tinued for another hour or in. for this district was formally the haunt of the most redoubtable head-hunters. is only used for sacred purposfes or during head- saw the flowers they were growing amongst the lalang grass. when the banks began and we saw here and there bright vermilion patches about the green grass near the water. They are called by the Dyaks " Pemula Sumpah. we passed several tributary streams famous in Sarawak history for the many expeditions the Rajah and his officers have led there. These were made by clerodendron blossoms. so that They plant its whenever one sees these flowers on the banks. and behind these it was easy for the Dyaks to imagine themselves safe to indulge in their favourite pastime of head-hunting. allowed to cut the flower or injure it it No one is for in any way. it generally denotes that once the land was occupied by Sea Dyaks. I When first Rejang forms a succession of cataracts near its source. They have a kind of reverence regarding it : they decorate the with its heads of enemies taken in battle spiky blossoms.46 SARAWAK AND to the sea. ITS PEOPLE and everlasting masses of driftwood hurrying down on the freshet to close This kind of landscape conso. We had been stean>ing for hours. . and looked like great coral chandeliers set in a background of malachite. roots round their houses.

and sapphires had been melted together and poured over them moreover. that Messrs. highest point. They of rise to a height of 750 brushwood growing on the hills had been of recent date. river. This Singapore. shelving hills is We into man ended his days in exile now came to a series of little The formation of the water. and at the instigation of Serip Masahor. their long leaves are tinted with the most wonderful colours.SARAWAK AND when late in the afternoon ITS PEOPLE 47 the we passed Kanowit on It left-hand bank of the officers. . might be drawn its along their each hill touching the line at feet. with a few ancient it wooded forest with jungle at trees their line summit. one Sarawak at hills history. When the plants find a sheltered unmolested by gales of wind. for I have noticed the same bloom spread over ferns growing It might in dells and shady nooks of virgin forests. two of the first white Rajah's were murdered through the of the very few traitors in disaffection of a few natives. peculiar : these in somewhat all they are regular outline and. light in I think this beautiful effect depends on the which the plants are growing. a certain bloom rests on them. in 1859. and groves of wild bananas There was a kind whenever farming grew here and there. being of the same height and growth. see. like that seen on grapes and as though emeralds . Fox and Steele. would all seem as though a straight tops. plums. was at this spot. I think the long fronds of the banana plant are amongst the loveliest growing things one can position.

pestles. skeleton. These little creeks were barred across from bank to bank with were Sea Dyaks or Kanowits. I remember noticing men in boats fishing inside little creeks. softness. The look of such deserted farms is exceedingly pathetic as they stretch along hills. As we proceeded up the river. These people . over whose shrivelled remains the bright yellow blossoms of the allamanda flung a curtain of green and gold. turned to tinder. its juice extracted. small. rise when the fishes and thrown become that to the surface.. so the natives find and no difficulty in netting or spearing them. bamboo palisades to prevent the egress of fish into river. fibre. I was told. who. the banks of rivers or climb the sides of steep Here and partially there are trees. fruit being bright and hard. This root is pounded with into the river stupefied. their charred trunks standing brown and shrivelled from vegetation. These wild bananas thrive luxuriantly on recently abandoned paddy lands. once lofty and magnificent. until masses of other weeds grow up and choke them. for the the main streams had been^ poisoned with a root called tuba. out the green Sometimes they become draped with I remember one such charred parasites and creepers. its The plant possesses an excellent green. a method of fishing prevalent all over Borneo. their coolness. and purity possessing healing properties absent from ordinary poultices. 48 SARAWAK AND wounds ITS PEOPLE be as well to mention that Malays often use banana fronds to bind up . at low tide.

of from full out of nowhere a boat of Dyaks under our comlet in for panion ladder. about me. but. and were towed up the river while the chiefs held conversation with the Rajah. taking most things when apparently suddenly appeared with the Rajah. built hill on the top of a for river. their canoes drifting astern of our vessel. after our wire netting had been opened to allow them to enter. was our destination.SARAWAK AND were drawing up nets as is ITS PEOPLE we 49 full of fish as passed. . the companion down. little flotilla of canoes filled with dusky where A place called Ngmah was a Fort Sibu. the let engine was stopped. when they saw the vessel and the Rajah's flag flying at the main. thought. Our journey up had taken us two days to accomplish our usual life ten hours sufficed to float us back to our headquarters at Sibu. they shouted to us. tinguish whether the people were friends or enemies. their wont. the bunches of flowers. at Then Sibu began again little for another fortnight 4 — the breakfasts. as I I on the deck looking in. every one in the Skelton (both could dis- whom knew district). tide. We anchored beneath the a night and then returned to against the freshet and . excitedly inquiring where we had come from and sat where we were going. Before we got to the end of our journey. hill. our ship was towing along a warriors. When ladder friends. clamouring to be a few words The Rajah and Mr. The chieftains' followers re- mained where they were. and. and the chiefs came solemnly on board.

from the previous attack. Skelton imagined another disturbance was im- My room had be given up to two to who were posted with armed muskets defend that portion of the building. Low to look after me in the Fort. just as day was breaking. Skelton. as I did not then know how to manage a musket. just as was. I morning. never thinking sitting it strange that we I should be together in our night garments all. On this occasion left me with him. minent. Skelton. indeed. to Mr. for we all thought that at any moment we should hear the yell of the Dyaks rushing up to attack us. I recollect so well Mr. but he Mr. so SARAWAK AND at sunset ITS PEOPLE and the walks did not take round the settlement — when he the Rajah went up river again. when one was awakened from the I by the noise of two muskets being Fort. Low. The Rajah had not been gone a week. I fired got out of my mosquito curtains. and. Skelton. fortmen. Skelton on his way the warn to me that in semi-darkness preceding dawn. and Mr. out of the room. Skelton and Mr. tied a sarong over 'my nightgown. fussy and excited. that fact never entered our heads at suggested to Mr.. the Sikhs on the look out had noticed what seemed river. and myself congregated It in the sitting-room. to I and rushed met Mr. Mr. was an exciting time. be two long Dyak boats floating to down the They had not answered fresh' the challenge from the Fort. that I should sit behind the . fearing I should be but I was really rather enjoying all frightened : this commotion.

SARAWAK AND
cottage piano
as
it
I

ITS

PEOPLE

51

had brought with
for

me
way

from Kuching,
into the Fort.

would serve

a rampart against poisoned art-ows
ignominiously took

or spears that might find their

Mr. Skelton agreed, and
post behind the piano.
out,

I

my

We

were

all

on the look

our nerves strained to the utmost.
all

Daybreak

appeared and we could see
still
I

round the Fort, but

nothing happened.

I

hardly like to confess that

Every five minutes, Mr. some ham which he had just procured from England, and some sodawater, evidently thinking that these would have a soothing effect on my nerves We waited and waited, and at last I thought I might just as well Then a most delightful incident go back to bed. occurred. Our Chinese cook, whom we had brought from Kuching, anxious to show his zeal and valour,
was rather disappointed.
Skelton invited

me

to partake of

!

offered Mr. Skelton to take his post at
his

my

door with
Skelton
I

large

carving knife.
so, and,

Of

course

Mr.

allowed him to do
into
I

thus guarded,
sleep.

turned

my mosquito net

and had an hour's

When

awakened the sun was shining, and all fear of the It is a well-known thing that attack had passed. Dyaks always choose the hour just before dawn to I think Mr. Skelton was rather r^id any settlement.
annoyed
vexed
it

at his mistake.

When
at

the Rajah returned from his
place, for

trip,

he was

what had taken

he did not think
the Rejang

possible that another tribe of

Dyaks up

River would have dared another attack so soon after

52

SARAWAK AND
Moreover,
to
it

ITS

PEOPLE

the last one.
sible
for

would have been imposso,

them

have done

as

his

gunboat

Heartsease, with himself on board, was at the time

Rejang River. I fancy the real truth of the matter was, that Mr. Skelton and his fortmen had become over-anxious, and I imagine my presence on the occasion also had something to do with it. It was whispered afterwards that two enormous tree trunks, borne down past the Fort by the current (in the semi-darkness just before
stationed in the higher reaches of the

dawn when
distance),

it

is

difficult to

distinguish objects at a
this

were the harmless factors of
I

scare.

Nevertheless,
at the

must again
in

repeat,

I

was disappointed

tame manner

which the expected attack

fizzed out.

CHAPTER

VII

THE
hood are

Rejang River deserves a few words of
It is

explanation.

a magnificent roadway to

commerce

in the interior,

and once the headin
its

hunting propensities of the tribes
abolished,
it

neighbour-

promises to be a great centre

of activity and trade.

A

large

number of Kayans

and Kenyahs are to be found in its tributaries. These people are, next to the Sea Dyaks, the most
important and advanced of the tribes of Sarawak,

and are scattered about the country in various rivers. They have attained a fairly high degree of civilization,
whilst other tribes consist of primitive people called

Punans, Ukits, and Bukitans.
land,

but

rely

These do not cultivate on the wild fruits and game they
Curiously enough, however, as

find in the forests.

though to show they have descended from a higher
civilization,

they are able to manufacture the weapon

in use

we

call

amongst so many Bornean tribes that thing the blow-pipe.^ The Punans make their
shelters, in limestone

temporary homes under leafy
caves,

or

in

the buttresses of

huge

trees,
live in

called
houses

1 Nowadays Punans, Bukitans, and most of the Ukits and do some farming.

54

SARAWAK AND
afford

ITS

PEOPLE
to

Tapangs, which

shelter

whole

families.

When
spot,

they have exhausted the surrounding localities

of their fruits and game, they wander off to

some other
mats

where

their life begins afresh.

Notwithstanding
beautiful

their wild state, these people

weave

and baskets from palms gathered in the vicinity. They ornament such articles with patterns which must have been handed down to them from time immemorial

—another
is

proof of their probable degradation

from a higher form of existence.
of theirs

A favourite pattern
pattern.
fear,

the

Greek

"

key

"

They

are

very shy, and might perhaps
malice

—from

but not from

kill

a stranger wandering near their settle-

ments.
After remaining some weeks in the Rejang, and when peace had been restored amongst the disturbed people, who began to resume work on their
farms,
hosts,

the

Rajah and

I

left

Sibu and our kind
trip

Mr. Skelton and Mr. Low, for a

to the

Batang Lupar.

We

embarked once more on the

Heartsease, and steamed

down the

left-hand branch of

the Rejang, when, on leaving the mouth of the river,

we

due south, passing the mouths of the Kalakah and Saribas Rivers. We had, alas for me, about four hours of sea to negotiate before we found
steered

smooth water again, so that
the coast.

I

did not see

much

of

The

sea was supposed to be calm, but a

hateful swell drove
after

me

to the cabin.

I

went on deck
the

we had passed over
I

the bar of the Batang
it

Lupar.

could not believe

to

be a river

;

SARAWAK AND
shores were so far
off,

ITS

PEOPLE

55

with a stretch of four miles
all

of water between them, and this width continued

down

the straight reach as far as Lingga.

Lingga was a desolate place. Its Fort was built on a mud-bank. A small Malay village, its houses built on stilts, lined the banks, and were surrounded by cocoa-nut palms, which palms are said
to flourish in

brackish water.

The

present

Rajah

made

this place his

home

for

one year, moving from

thence in 1854.
district

He

resided in this Batang Lupar

for

about ten years, whence he led

punitive expeditions into the interior.
chief,

Rentap,

murdered so
settling

who committed so many people, and prevented peace from
land,

many The old pirate many crimes,
his mis-

on the
in

was entrenched with

creant tribe

neighbouring mountains, and was

repeatedly attacked by the present Rajah,

who

finally

dislodged him from his fastnesses, and rendered him

harmless by his

many

defeats.

It

was from the
to

banks of the Batang Lupar River that the Rajah's
friendly

Dyaks,

sometimes

numbering twelve

fourteen thousand men,

were gathered together to

follow their white chief in his

many

attacks against
is

the pirate's Fort.
said never to

For years the present Rajah
slept securely

have

on account of the

incessant alarms and attacks on innocent people by
this inveterate

head-hunting pirate, who, in spite of a

very advanced age, managed to work so much havoc
in the

neighbourhood.
not land at Lingga on this occasion, but

We did

5

6

SARAWAK AND

ITS

PEOPLE

went on

to a settlement near a place called Banting, for the Propagation of the

where the Society

Gospel

had charge dver a thriving community
in

of Christians,

Bishop Chambers, whose name can never be forgotten
the annals of Sarawak, here began his

work of

civilization as a missionary.

He

of the present Rajah, and for

many

was a great friend years, these two

men,

in their different

ways, worked unremittingly

good of the natives. This missionary settlement is about fifteen miles by river from Lingga, and it was here that I had my first experience of travelling
for the
in a

Dyak

war-boat.
vessels

These
in length.

are

comfortable

enough,

being

about seven feet wide amidships by about seventy feet
us along.
the canoe,

A crew, A roofed

numbering some fifty, paddled compartment in the middle of
mattresses and pillows,

furnished with

afforded us comfortable accommodation,

hanging from the roof kept
from the river
in the

off
;

and curtains the heat and glare

daytime

whilst the rhythmical

noise of the paddles, and occasional wild bursts of

songs from the crew helped to make the journey a
pleasant one.

As the crew shipped their paddles, I saw a long Dyak house, propped on stilts about forty feet high, planted some yards from the river-bank. As this place was situated within reach of the tide and we arrived at low water, a vast expanse of mud stretched
between us and dry land.
I

could see nothing in the

way

of a landing-stage to help our

way

to the house,

SARAWAK AND
across the mud, supported

ITS

PEOPLE

57

excepting a few poles dovetailing one another laid

by

trestles.

I

wondered

how
is

I

was

to

get across, but not liking to
I

make
;

inquiries of

an unpleasant nature,

said nothing

it

better in

any emergency

to let events take their

course with as little fuss as possible, so that

when our
cleverly

canoe was pushed by the side of the supported poles,
I

kept

silent,

I

remember noticing
in their efforts,

how

our

Dyak crew manoeuvred
all

our boat, plunging knee-

deep into the mud
quickly

and yet moving about
led

the time.

The Rajah
six or
village.
I

the

way and

walked along some
leading to the
in

seven yards of the poles

Dyak

admired the way
turn

which he kept his balance, never slipping once
journey.

during the

When my
of the

came,

four

Dyaks helped me out

boat.

My

progress
I

across the poles was not a graceful one, for

found

them to be as slippery as glass. My four supporters, two on each side of me, must have suffered severely, as I slid first on one side and then on the other. However, their kindly efforts prevented me from taking headers into the mud. But my troubles were
not yet over.
I

saw, leaning against the house at a
it

steep angle, another long pole with notches cut in
all

the

way up

to the door of the building.

I

saw the

Rajah hopping up

this small cylindrical stairway with

the agility of a gazelle.

No

explanation was given to

me, but the Dyaks signed to
the same, so
I

me

that

I

had
It

tried to climb the pole.

to do was only
will

about twenty inches in circumference, so

it

be


S8
realized

SARAWAK AND
that
this

ITS

PEOPLE
sight to

was a disconcerting
feats.
it

a

person unaccustomed to acrobatic
the Rajah seemed to take
I

as a

However, matter of coprse, and
difficulty

tried to

do the same, but the

of turning

one's feet out to the right angle
first.
I

was very trying at clasped the pole with great fervour as I went

up,

ankles, placing

and one of the Dyaks behind me took hold of my my feet on each notch with great care.
in front of

hand and with my right I clutched the bamboo pole, and thus, with a good deal of slipping and a great deal of fright, I managed to reach the verandah of the house. An extraordinary thing happened on this visit. In every Dyak house of note and this was the
held
left

A Dyak

me

my

residence of a great

Dyak
is

chief,

called

Banting

a portion of the building

assigned entirely to the

women
which
I

of the tribe.
I

On

this occasion, the
visit

women
room,

were anxious that
did.

should

them

in their

The room was a

large one and

was

simply crammed.

A

little

stool covered with yellow

calico and a fine Dyak mat were prepared for me, and the women and children squatted all round me

on the
the

floor.

They took hold
sleeves to see
if

of

my

hands and

pushed up

my

my

arms were white

way up. I had with me one of the Mission all people, who acted as interpreter. He told me that the women wanted me to give them medicine to make
their noses stand out

from their faces as mine did

;

they also wanted medicine to

make

their skin white.
I

Babies were brought to

me to

touch,

and

promised to

H O O H H K o H H O U 2. <1 o .

.

the dignity of the situation allowed him to do he came to where the accident had taken place and said to me. when suddenly we heard some ominous cracks underneath our feet.SARAWAK AND send them pills for their ITS PEOPLE 59 various ailments from Kuching. in the distance. and their paddles the —much in same way English women would show their collection of fans. as it were. and then showed me their mats which they make so cleverly. into the verandah and then everything will be quite safe. and before I knew where I was. and I. You had better come the room was overcrowded. the flooring had given way and the women and children. life. The conversation went on merrily. as though nothing out think he could see that the mats would way was happening. I and the Dyak chiefs told him it was evident that knew how to behave in emergencies. I there was no great danger and support When so. To make a long . sat imperturbably on. warriors sprang forward and helped me The women in all screamed. and I never heard such a noise of the my The Rajah. The women gave me a basket they had made for me. for the mats covering the floor walls. We hung in bags. were plunged about four feet through the floor. We then returned to our boats. us. " It is all right. their hats. were secured to the sides of the and these prevented us from dropping to the ground below. The Dyak into safety." He was pleased with the manner in which I had taken this catastrophe. the interpreter.

but wonderful how soon one very gets accustomed to anything out of the I ordinary run of things. .6o story short. We rejoined the Heartsease at Lingga and steamed to Kuching. which we reached the next morning. and went away from Banting in the first much delighted with my experience Dyak house I had visited. SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE found the return down the notched pole it is even more difficult than the going up.

by little. The extraordinary idea which English people enterI —and am not ashamed to — little tain as to an insuperable bar existing between the white and coloured races. they gave I me was suppose they saw how ready members to care for family. but instead of finding fault with them. my ways curious and strange. Here were these people. as it may seem. in Europe and memory. appeared to my me to be absurd and nonsensical. and the absence of anything like conventionality. all its ways were relegated as were to an almost imperceptible background my The charm of the people. much as when one develops photographic . the wonderful beauty of the country. little them and consider them as of my and as the country became more 6i familiar to me. Moreover. who came to me as though they were my own brothers and sisters. even in those days of youth. with hardly any ideas of the ways of Europeans. and became more of a mixture between a Dyak and a Malay. and every day that own it by little I lost some of my European ideas.CHAPTER first VIII since the had gone SOME months Kuching by odd arrival in day of my it and. the people were passed my own. They must have way to I thought some of in everything. all enchanted me. the spaciousness.

sarongs from Java. entirely Groceries of exotic kinds are laid out on tables near the pavement. Awnings from the shops and brick archways protect all purchasers from the sun. choice. How delighted in those many hours spent on the broad verandah of our house. and tiles and porcelain from all parts of the world. whilst across the road kinds of boats are anchored. much like those in small towns on the Italian Lakes. The Bazaar runs for some distance along the banks of the river. from . from the Dutch Settlement.62 plates. and overflowing into the street. with the exception of one The Chinese shops look very or two Hindoo shops. and this quarter of the town is inhabited almost by Chinese traders. bringing produce from the interior of Sarawak. SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE trait in their acter I some hitherto unperceived came out and charmed me. that it reminded me of a box of Bridge. Singapore. watching the life going on in the little town the other side of the river. laid out in picturesque confusion. from which purchasers make their silks At the Hindoo shops you can buy from India. I char- wish could give a description of our it home I in Kuching it as appeared to I me then and as think of now. have said before that at high tide the breadth of the river where it runs under the banks of our garden is as broad as the Thames at Westminster I think I town looked so neat and fresh and prosperous under the careful jurisdiction of the Rajah and his officers. tea from China. and from adjacent islands these boats are . little The painted toys kept scrupulously clean by a child.

SARAWAK AND
picturesque in the extreme.

ITS

PEOPLE

63

The Chinese junks were always a delight to me, with their orange and tawny sails drying in the sun, and the large "eyes" painted
in the

bows

to enable the vessels to see their

way

during their journeys. Dutch schooners with their hori-

and red are to be seen, and English, French, and Siamese flags also fluttered amongst the many masts carrying the Sarazontally striped flag of blue, white,

wak

colours.

The most

important portion of the

Bazaar lay behind the wharf, where the mail steamer

was moored, then bringing mails every ten days from
Singapore.

The' Chinese houses of the Bazaar are
;

decorated with coloured porcelains
dragons, pink lotuses,
little

one sees green
in

gods and goddesses
fronts.

grotesque attitudes,
are of red
rest

all

along their

The

roofs

tiles, some of these being higher than the and having the curious Chinese termination at

each end, thus breaking the
picturesque.
hills,

line

and making
rise

it

more
sur-

Behind the Bazaar

a succession of

on which are situated European bungalows
of flowers

and fruit. The houses with their white walls and green and white painted blinds make a charming accessory to the background of forest trees. Churches of the different
denominations stand out prominently
for all Faiths enjoy the
in the landscape,

rounded by pleasant gardens

same privileges and freedom One sees at the hands of the Sarawak Government. the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, Chinese temples marvellously decorated, Hindoo shrines, and

Muhammadan

mosques.

Right opposite to the Palace

64

SARAWAK AND

ITS

PEOPLE
The

stands the gaol and court-house, the latter a broad, low
building with a castellated tower at
its

entrance.

Malay town lies towards the west, along the banks of the river, and beyond the town stretch miles and
miles of
flat forest land.
I

When

was
life

in

Kuching,

it

seemed

to

me

that the

machinery of

was moved by clockwork, the Rajah

being the most punctual

man

alive.

At

five o'clock in

the morning, just before daybreak (we must

rememdiffer-

ber that in those latitudes there

is

scarcely

any

ence in the length of days), a gun was fired from the
Fort, at which signal the Rajah

jumped out of

bed.

Wishing to do the same as the Rajah, the Europeans,
Malays, Dyaks, and Chinese jumped out of bed too.

One had
At

to dress

one came out to
six o'clock,

and bathe by lamplight, and just as drink one's morning tea, the sun rose.

Kuching was fairly astir, and the Rajah and I used to go across in our boat (for there is no bridge anywhere over the river) to the landing-place below the court-house, where our horses were awaiting us. Mounting our animals was occasionally fraught with Our Syces (grooms) in Sarawak weremostly difficulty. recruited from the Buyan people of an island off Java,

who are
in

extraordinarily sympathetic in their treatment

of animals.

For

instance,

my pony

had been bought

Labuan, chosen from out a herd of wild ponies

which roam about the plains of that more northern
portion of Borneo.

The pony had never been broken
our European ideas of what

in properly, according to

a horse's perfect manners should be, and very often as

SARAWAK AND
I

ITS

PEOPLE

65

approached to mount the animal (he was only about

thirteen

and a

half

hands high) he would turn round

and round. I would say to the Syce, " Try and keep him still," whereupon the Syce would reply, "He doesn't want to keep still " Therefore so long as it suited the pony to turn round and round, the Syce It generally took some turned round and round too.
!

time before the pony became amenable,
seize the
I

when

I

would

moment and scramble on
I

to his

back as best

could.

This kind of thing went on nearly every
started for

morning before

my

ride.

In those days,

with the exception of a few paths in and out of the
town^ there was only one well-made road extending

a mile and a half into the country. Up and down this road, the Rajah and I pounded on our horses for the necessary exercise which every one must
for about
take,

whether in or out of the
of

tropics.

On
Palace

coming home, we found the gateway
full
all

into the

sorts of people

and Chinese

— Malays,

Dyaks,

anxious to see the Rajah.

The Rajah

never refused to see any one, and after hearing their
complaints, he dismissed

of advice.

them kindly with a few words The motley morning crowd always reof pictures in the Bible stories of

minded

me

my

childhood, for there

were turbaned Hajis
draped
in

in

their

flowing robes,

women

dingy folds of cotton

from head to
little

foot, youths,

maidens, and sometimes

children, crawling, walking, running, or

jumping

down

the

path after their interviews, but whether

chieftains or beggars, Seripas or
5

women

of a lower

66
class,

SARAWAK AND
there

ITS

PEOPLE
to

was always an innate dignity belonging
;

these people

they could not look
try to

common
so.

or vulgar

however much they might

do

This business over, the Rajah issued forth from
the Astana with the yellow satin umbrella held over

him by the redoubtable Subu. Four Malay chiefs, dressed in flowing robes and holding their goldenknobbed sticks, accompanied him to the Court, where five days in the week the Rajah dispensed justice from 8 to 10.30, a.m. A retinue of young men and boys, who had paddled the chiefs to the Palace,
followed the procession.
I

used to watch the boats

crossing the river to the landing-place,

when Subu

once again held the umbrella over the Rajah's head
to the door of the Court.
furled,

There, the umbrella was
the

when Subu,

the umbrella,

his

miiiisters,

disappeared from

my

Rajah and view into the
usually found

building.
I

then went to

my

rooms, where

I

some Malay women waiting to see me. On one I was sitting with two or three Malay friends having coffee in the morning, when a young Chinese girl, in a cotton sarong and Malay jacket, dashed into the room, followed by one of the Guards. Her face was covered with scratches, her arms were one mass of bruises, and round her neck was a red mark as though she had been iialf strangled. She rushed up
occasion,
to me, caught hold of both

my

knees,

and

said

:

"

I

hope
place

in
I

you because you are the Rajah's

wife.

The

am

in is

a wicked one.

I

am

a servant to a

SARAWAK AND
Chinese

ITS

PEOPLE

6l

woman who is jealous of her husband. When her husband goes out, she locks me in a room and beats, scratches, and tortures me in every possible way, because she thinks her husband looks upon me with
favour,
I

will stay
I

with you always,

I

will

not leave

go back to those people the woman will kill me." The girl was very pretty, with a pale yellow skin and beautiful eyes, and I could quite understand that any woman might feel jealous of such an adjunct I sent the Guard away, and told the to her household. girl she might remain in a corner of my room until the
you, for
if

Rajah came back from the Court. Meanwhile, her employers, finding she had run away from their house, had straightway gone to the Court, where the Rajah

and an application was made for an The Rajah, order compelling the runaway to return. being told that the girl had gone to the Palace and

was then

sitting,

not knowing the rights of the story, sent some police
to bring her to
told that they

him over the

water.
girl

When

I

was

were below, the

took hold of

my
had

gown, and said that if she was to go across courthouse, I was to go too to protect her.
with

to the
I

me

at the time, the

wives of the three chief

ministers of the Rajah's Council, so
sion as to
side,

what was

to

be done.

we held a discusThey were all on my

and urged me not to let the girl accompany the I must say I felt rather police sent by the Rajah. " if our husbands " Never mind," they said nervous, make any difficulty, when they come home they shall know it. You do the same with the Rajah, and let us
:

68 save the

SARAWAK AND
girl if

ITS

PEOPLE
Moreover, when the
see

we

possibly can.

rights of the matter are

known and they

how

dreadful the girl looks, they too will not wish to send

the girl back to her employers, but will see the
justice of our decision,"

When

the Rajah

from the Court, and heard the
decided to keep the
girl at

details of

came back the story, he
Meanwhile,
fine of

the Palace.

the matter was inquired into, and the

woman who had
of

been so cruel was punished by having to pay a

money

to be given to the girl,

who became one

my
a,

servants,

and remained with

me some

time, until

kind English lady, then living in Kuching, took a fancy
to ber,

and with the Rajah's permission took her
of
unjustifiable
I

into

her service as lady's maid.
victim

In course of time this a

jealousy found

Chinese
living in

husband, and

believe the couple are

still

Kuching under comfortable circumstances. A day or two after this incident, a war-boat full of Dyaks, headed by their chief, arrived in Kuching and came to the Astana to see the Rajah. If I remember rightly, these Dyaks had been, until recently, enemies of the Sarawak Government, owing to the usual failing their love of head-taking. They had come to lay their submission before their ruler, and to

express contrition for their misdeeds, whilst promising
to

behave better

in the future.

The Rajah wished
chief's followers,

to

hear what

the chief

had

to say,

and gave him an audi-

ence in his private room.
fifty in

about number, who were not wanted at this interview,

The

were

left

on the verandah, and the Rajah asked

me

to

to their arms and moV^ed by hands in time to the music. noddings of heads intimated their approval of my per- As I went on. thinking so to them. them. and whilst I I These sounds apparently delighted made signs to them to sit on the floor Grunts of satisfaction and played that ordinary piece of music. in might prove of interest. the bounds higher and and I myself playing louder and louder. I wondered what would happen. . I They wandered about I a desultory way. and legs jerked spasmodically. in the midst of all this turmoil. to stop them. and felt apprehensive for the safety of the furniture and knick-knacks placed about the room in indeed. did not know how . They reminded me strings attached invisible of a number of marionettes with legs. one large palm tree standing a pot in a corner was nearly hurled to the ground. the noise As grew louder. the Rajah and the chief appeared in higher. Their bodies. and as could not speak to them (not knowing their language) opened the piano and struck a note or two. and before realized feet quite what was happening. when.SARAWAK AND keep ITS PEOPLE 69 them amused and occupied whilst he was engaged with the chief. yelling and waving I their arms in the throes of an animated war-dance. they all sprang to their and bounded about the room. the Danse Negre. As the Rajah and the chief disappeared I down the stairway leading to the study. made signs to the warriors to follow its furniture." me new into our drawing-room. by Ascher. formance. I arms. I noticed that the rhythm of the music acted on them somewhat strangely.

come in. felt that morning I had gained a success that Rubinstein himself might have envied. and they flopped down in squatting positions little on the floor. and the out of Rajah dismissed the company kindly. and the Dyaks then room and disappeared down the verandah. went on playing for a while after the Rajah had The chief said something to his followers. Rajah was amused and interested at the idea feet. . warriors stopped .70 SARAWAK AND The ITS PEOPLE suddenly and the doorway. whilst I The of my rhythmic piano tune having carried the people so completely off their at the effect of was rather pleased my playing on such a wild audience. looked rather sheepish some scratched themselves. all I while others cleared their throats. and although I realizing that my music does not rouse English people to the same frenzy of enthusiasm. the We all touched filed one another's hands.

but now I do not wonder I at my feelings of repulsion whenever saw these horrible pests feeding on me. mosquitoes.CHAPTER IX my rats. the the beat down on vegetation. the malaria. But we now also know that tropical life it these things obvious to our senses are not the sole or the whole cause of some of the worst in ailments. is For instance. now established that many variations. DESPITE One knows moisture stitutions. all these things must have a pernicious effect on the health of Europeans. there were comfort. namely. called disease capable of so due to the sting black-and-white of my arch-enemy. I first This discovery had not been made when visited the tropics. especially where the transi- excessive. are trying to European consun that of When one remembers the abrupt fierce rays of the tions from wet to dry. three great drawbacks to malaria. air. . and that the tropics. is my love for Sarawak. the striped mosquito. and water. but that these are due to the invisible teeming is earth. the exhalation myriads and myriads of leaves drawn up by the heat of the day and cast forth again in poisonous perfumes or evil odours into the atmosphere.

presses round your body. Now the ordinary malaria is known by almost all Europeans who live in the tropics. who was clever and intelligent. more prevalent amongst the natives. never . when life becomes unbearable. These attacks have two or three months. as were. for instance. of a sudden. Our English doctor in Sarawak. for you can neither hold yourself over. propped by pillows. My Its kind was symptoms are disconcerting to your friends. and there you remain is gasping for breath until the attack may an hour. was seized with a somewhat unusual form of malaria. you feel sick it nothing happens. complexion turns a bright yellow and your face covered with an ugly lasted off and on for rash. or continue for half a day. You can neither eat nor drink. The Rajah. becoming tighter tighter until and are you imagine that inside. more often at sunset. impending disaster takes are painless.72 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE I A short time after my arrival in the country. and get reduced to a shadow. but the way the pest attacked me was of a kind not often experienced by Europeans. suffers from this ordinary but very trying and sometimes dangerous kind of fever. for you feel very bad tempered. when returns the next afternoon at the same hour —the Your is attacks resembling those of angina pectoris. The palms feeling of of your hands get hot and hold dry. and a you. but a band of iron. It up nor move last half it any way. of all : These preliminaries Then. fingers retire of steel to twisting you up in You bed.

and shook her had brought some marvellous head. in during the first years of I Sarawak. I told her I remedies. became home. ANt) ITS PEOPLE 73 leeches. juice. and even port wine. and in although powerless to cure myself decided to try what I I such emergencies. and made her : ." The woman looked at me. with the that all these would-be remedies I made me very much worse. has come to see you. who knows of her arms said medicines that will make you well. Here were the symptoms I knew so well the bright yellow complexion and rash all over the face. my Malay me maid. known only to Europeans. He and prescribed fed me up with result champagne. brandy. disease. The woman was so weak she could hardly move. ma's friend. frightfully thin. I ma went up to her.— SARAWAK understood the cupping-glasses. and pushing open the dried palm-leaf door saw a woman rolling about on the floor in paroxysms of agony. rushed into my residence my room and owing well told that a friend of hers. took with me a box of a bottle of meat some milk and arrowroot. living in a house near her own. accompanied by I ma. and lifting her up in " Rajah Ranee. I could do to help pills. sallied forth to the sick woman's house. and. so that after nearly four years' residence in to take Sarawak the Rajah decided me in order to recover my health. One morning. ma. I could sympathize with the woman's sufferings. was lying at the point of death to continuous attacks of this disease. I climbed up the ladder that hencoop fashion led into her room. poultices.

Our visitor sentry was evidently trying to see me. carrying a net bag in which were a number old when an of crawling things. and forbade her to touch or eat anything besides what carried inside I had prescribed for I for her. recovered and remained quite The woman well whilst I finally stayed in Kuching. She was double next her mosquito curtains. selling fish which he netted ih in the river and also by doing odd jobs neighbouring pine-apple gardens. I I caught them in the nothing else to give. and for about a fortnight went She was very to see this woman nearly every day.74 take two SARAWAK AND pills ITS PEOPLE and a spoonful of Liebig. The morning. when for visited her. heard a fuss going on outside. I keep back a I who wished in. Cook make them . poor. deposited the bag at knees. and with garments dripping with mud and water. and gasping I breath. told ma to let the visitor whoever he might be. He ran up to me. came in. her well with her medicines and incantations. When her husband came in. sitting As house to I was writing inside my I mosquito in my morning-room. I told him to give her a little milk every hour. These shrimps are for Rajah Ranee. one day. bent as she was. without a jacket. said : my " and catching hold of both my Rajah Ranee pitied my wife. the attack had not lasted so long as that of I was delighted with the result of my doctoring. and wizened personage. river. the wife of a man who earned his living by the previous day. found her better. made feet.

the people I sent for me." Until the day of her death.SARAWAK AND into ITS PEOPLE 75 curry. greatly disturbed me. has a sad ending. and thanked him many I The sight of the shrimps crawling about in the net. rid of I therefore got I my grateful friend as left. it directly he had told I ma could not do myself. Dul. However. for cannot bear to see animals uncomfortable. with her medicines." I thought this touching on the part of the affectionate husband. and incantations. soon as (I could. begging that man's wife. a poor woman in the Malay town gave born with birth to twins. The morning of their arrival. . I should get over it. and. both children being hare-lips. for whenever there were serious cases I of illness. carrying I the net bag. enjoyed shrimp curry that evening. I watched her go down the garden path. and I know I must die. I question whether she did as I and her husband. her visits. I asked no questions "What the eye does not see rather think that she — the heart does not grieve over " ! This story of the sick for during woman illness. times. she never wearied extolling my medical skill. one of my absences from was again seized with the Sarawak she and died. however. but I hope no more now. I was : afterwards told that she often used to say "If Rajah Ranee were here. would cure them as did the fisher- On one occasion. for there was a blazing sun outside) to carry the shrimps back to the river whence they had come. and this cure of mine led to some embarrassing situations. but told her.

many medical men and women —unlike — I a good realized my limitations in certain cases Nothing one can say or write can give any idea of the tortures one undergoes by the actual biting of mosquitoes. a most pernicious pest. and I was ready for another onslaught. if I By day and the shelter night harassed all. and a towel. and . Now people imagine that these pests only begin to torment one at sunset. to care whether mosquitoes stung them or not indeed. the spot the remains of the mosquito disposed was washed. The results of their slaps were not pleasant to witness. me I so much that wanted to do anything at did had to retire behind of a mosquito house. a basin containing a weak solution of carbolic acid. or legs. was sorry to refuse. they seemed to enjoy the heavy slaps they administered on their faces. After a bite. however. Malay women were handker- not so particular. sponge. A great many for mosquitoes. of. me but and put the have to babies' go mouths to directly straight. close by. Their methods. striped A it certain is kind of black mosquito. My Malay friends not seem .! 76 I SARAWAK AND to ITS PEOPLE ma came me with an urgent message from the requesting father of the to their house I twins. they would rub chiefs. and when imitating their methods of slaughter. This is a mistaken idea. I always had. with white. for after killing a mosquito. off all traces with their coloured My paraphernalia of basin. in their attempts to kill the foe. hands. required a certain amount of skill.

with my Malay Ayah sitting against the wall in a I corner of my room. and getting better was lying on the bed inside my mosquito house half awake and half asleep. from a severe attack of malaria. and saw a large rat large as are Norwegian 6ggr> its rats —somehow ^^^ its — or other get hold of an ™1^ ov^'" °" back. told with variations all over the world. where believe this particular story is in the leafy wallI disappeared from sight. saw two or three long objects moving . but the most extraordinary thing ever saw regarding was a migration which took place one I was just evening at dusk through my bedroom. Suddenly. I now come to rats. She waited to see what would happen. some fowls' eggs she had laid by for cake-making. A Malay woman once rats. holding the four paws. TJ from them various They made funny Allah at noises in their throats and appealed to my extraordinary patience in taking these precautions. told me she had watched a detachment of trying to get at four or five in number. A great many these animals stories might be related of I rats. and in the dim light she saw these swift-gliding creatures hovering near the place where the eggs were stored. and by a it series of backward jerks dragged their companion to a hole ing of the store. &^^ firmly on stomach with when the other rats took hold of its tail. which were a far more serious business. She was inside her house (Malay houses are often rather dark).SARAWAK AND towel elicited ITS PEOPLE grunts.

At first I thought it was the result of malaria." she said " they are the rats. and screamed out to the Rajah. I watched these crawling creatures. and I remember the dull thud they made as they jumped hearing off his shoulder to the floor. As he came in. but in at when were joined by others coming going out of the other. their black bodies standing out against the pale yellow matting. who " Don't move. and. when the rats began It to diminish in left to number. making the rats me see things which did not exist. appears that such migrations are well known all . also appeared. of twenties. as little Some fortmen. the rats ran up one side of him. until there were only a few stragglers follow the main body. and thousands of rats This abnormal invasion lasted for about ten or fifteen minutes. so had to remain whilst thousands passed through my room. for the was one mass of moving objects. must have been hundreds. The Rajah told I me to make noise as possible. I called to the sat motionless the other side of the room. being only half awake. of sixties.78 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE across the middle of the room. wondered what they were." I I was too frightened not to move. who I knew was in the room next to mine. . then floor it one door and in numbers of tens. Ayah. and it will was easy for any animal to climb over the outer verandah and pass through the screened doors leading to the opposite verandah. my still screams. My room opened on one who houses is to verandahs from all sides (as every acquainted with the architecture of tropical understand).

for it appears that on this occasion my bedroom was my the human I habitation through which they went. Looking deeper into the matter. It is said by the natives that if any one should kill one of these rats. under the influence of some mysterious to ourselves. crafty-looking creatures. however. I Rats. one wonders why these creatures should so migrate. and where they go but this no one seems to know. Their area of operations only is a restricted one. The Ayah took up her position again and squatted by the wall without saying a word. the time the last rat passed through room.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 79 over Sarawak. and that people fear them because they are accompanied by a certain amount of danger. began to breathe freely again. enclosed in a lantern of glass. . one I never know. who wrote that when one thinks of the family life is some of creatures. nearly petrified with terror at what had happened. I pictured this mass of swiftly-moving. darkness lit had wick My room was by the dim light of a floating in a tumbler of cocoa-nut oil. his companions would attack the person in such large numbers that his body would be almost torn to pieces. one inclined to forget any repul- sion one may feel towards them. I rats visiting me on differ- don't will know whether they wanted way to make friends. often pitied the . By and come. of even the most loath- that great Frenchman. force unknown and remembered Cuvier. but they frightened the poor crea- me dreadfully. were a great trouble to me. have recognized individual ent occasions.

found that it had gnawed a hole through the muslin to get at some food placed on a table me to eat during the night. I On another occasion. and do not think nowadays. and when after they were only trying to keep their place in the world.8o tures all SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE killed. But think- ing on the matter many times since. I was curious to discover how the rat had got woke up feeling a sort of nip. rat sitting eyes in. poisoned. was fast asleep when I and saw a large I opened my on my arm. and it fell to the ground. were trapped. it. because have become more familiar with animals and their ways. I I have largely got over my I loathing for rats. . I shook it Being in my mosquito off. and lighting a for candle. ably took place when I was so perhaps it magnified the disgust I felt towards these creatures. house. just as we do. As luck would have these rat visitations invariill. should mind their migrating through I my room.

and on this account the them chik-chak. inhabited by one of these black chik-chak ensconced behind such safe and these giants of the by Malays. dojjvn the houses in in They are light grey-green colour. These are the walls of all lizards which run up and the tropics. They have the peculiar and rather disagreeable property of shedding their once or twice they have dropped these appendtails ages on to my head as they ran to and fro on the . I saw on . shelters. mentioned by with which we are always surrounded. I will come out from behind these have noticed that a great many rooms are retreats. " Rajah chiof an uncompli- same chak. a very large black chik-chak. but know very when little about these formidable insects I — if they are insects. very travellers." species are called One might I also make remarks mentary nature about centipedes and scorpions. It sometimes happens that if a picture or a is piece of furniture standing against a wall moved.CHAPTER X THERE little are certain animals in Sarawak. make a funny natives call little noise. noon. only remember on a certain after- getting up from my usual siesta. ceiling. about twice the size of an ordinary chik-chak.

are unknown in Sarawak. tigers. One afternoon. the Rajah ultimately dispatched As for snakes. my experience they are not nearly so deadly or so dangerous as people seem The most deadly snake hamadryad. the wall. called the Rajah. could never have believed what a is difficult thing it to kill it Its shell is apparently so thick that it takes a long time to give its death-blow. Whenever a hamadryad laying her eggs. and resents the presence of any human being within yards of where she has her nest. Although beasts of prey.feared comes from is Its dangerous character very virtues. such as etc. He I took hold of a spear leaning against kill it. and had not a Guard seen her danger and killed the snake. of its sting. it. so I was absolutely necesNeedless to say. panthers. are the in most beautiful creatures one can possibly to think. its in Sarawak is the much.82 SARAWAK AND my ITS PEOPLE the muslin walls of mosquito house a large black I thing looking like a miniature lobster. I hate seeing it anything killed (although on this occasion sary). They see. her mate looks after her safety. .. closely followed by one of these hamadryads. rushed out of the room. who at once recognized it as an enormous effects scorpion. one of our Malay servants came screaming up the steps leading from the garden to our verandah. the most dangerous is reptile in the country without doubt the crocodile. so as to well knowing the awful a scorpion. I am and not going to say a word against them. she must have been dead in three or four seconds.

The man had which served as a landing-stage. but that their certain. he died the next morning. and man and from the women folk were told that we sent to inquire the cause. for every one living in the country has known. tear off one of his legs. I have often. We the man had gone to bathe in the creek laid hold of the log near his house. and had been seized by a crocodile. The it experience not a pleasant one. destructive or has witnessed. although is seldom that the a canoe capable reptile is powerful enough to upset of carrying six or seven people. which only hold .banks in very small canoes. The danger to the inhabitants of Sarawak lies in the fact that they go about from one house to another on the river. you conclude you are being followed by a is crocodile. been followed reptiles. the I powers of these at dinner creatures. remember when we were one evening. and although our English doctor did all he could for him. in my excursions up and down the in our small river boat by these and generally the boat boys were the first to see the tiny conical roofs above their eyes the only portion to be seen above the water and as river. — — these that move swiftly towards the boat.SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE 83 do not think that any statistics have been taken of are numerous the loss to human life caused by these creatures in victims is Sarawak. a They came from of his house. we heard little the most terrible commotion in one of the streams running around our garden. and the crocodile had managed to He was taken to his house.

84 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Sometimes the canoe is so small you can hardly see its wooden sides. Although no one had actually witnessed it was certain the poor man had been This was his first taken by the monster. many it is years ago. and despite the tails fact that croco- knock the boats in the air. becoming anxious at the turn affairs were taking. a few yards from the bank. It was at night that the crocodile seized him. issued a proclamation offering a reward to any one who should succeed in catching . waters of these rivers. paddle in hand. and its solitary occupant appears as though he were sitting on the water. Our Malay quartermaster on board the Heartsease was seized by this monster as he was leaving the Rajah's yacht three or four —the rainy season to his go to his house. victim. some twenty feet length. before Kuching became as civilized as now. and when it had few steamers an enormous crocodile. and seize the occupants as they fall back into the river. but others followed in quick succession. the people seem quite diles often with a swish of their indifferent to the risks they run In these small canoes. The crocodile it is could be seen patrolling the river daily. but difficult to very catch or shoot such a creature. A great on the in river. was the terror of the neighbourhood for months during the north-east monsoon of the country. the calamity. the canoe being found empty the next morning. Both men and women are paddling himself along. in little canoe. very skilful in the management of any craft on the one person. At length handsome the Rajah.

. much importance The executioner. as in derision of the proclamation. These flattering remarks were made by the captors as they dragged the huge scaly thing to its doom. Sarawak reading and sent up and down the the proclamation at the landing-stages of Malay houses." etc.SARAWAK AND the as crocodile. but once it was safely in the presence of the Rajah. it was made a target for the most . and until was safely landed in the Rajah's garden. the most compliment- made to it: "You are a Rajah". A few yards behind the boat I imagined I could see. the it. water disturbed by some huge body following The or natives had noticed this too. ITS PEOPLE 85 This proclamation was made with as possible. and it was if absolutely proved that wherever the boat went up down the river. flag. You must come and see your brother " " You are the light of the day'' " You are the sun and moon ary speeches were " . As of it was being the towed a captive first to the place execution. through my opera glasses. A great deal of etiquette had to be observed after the capture of this crocodile. was given a large painted in the river manned by twenty colours. bearing the Sarawak boat. it it process to be ©bserved required that should be brought to -the Rajah. with the yellow umbrella of office folded inside and the proclamation from the Rajah being read. Looking from my window one morning. shining over the land. I saw the boat gaily decorated and looking very important on the river. the monster followed it. paddles. Subu.

we must not . with it should be presented to me. Therefore. ing the ring between his thumb and I many bows and ceremonious speeches. when human remains. and was very glad when Talip and the ring disappeared from view. the and zeal after what had taken Malays who had captured the crocodile set considered that the deceased quartermaster's silver ring. but thought the ring ought to belong to the victim's wife or daughter. was so sorry. thus proving our surmises correct. as one blow from it would have seriously injured anyone who near. and I I could not possibly touch the thing. I sent my thanks for the kind thought. the reptile was dragged off to be killed by having head cut off. together with the rings and clothes of our unfortunate quartermaster. were found. holdforefinger. went too its The Rajah having passed sentence. whose doings are even now spoken of in Sarawak. This done. brought to me for my acceptance. I ITS PEOPLE it saw the crocodile as tied lay helpless with its paws over its back in the Rajah's garden. As we are on the subject of animals. a:s to his death to be Full of excitement place. the body was opened. Talip. The Malays were its careful to keep out of reach of the switch of tail. feelings were too strong for am sorry to say that my me on the occasion. and told Talip that I I was grateful for such kindness.86 insulting SARAWAK AND language. So ended the history of the great crocodile. in which was a diamond of the country.

which the natives in the wah-wah it is the one which imitates the sound of running water the morning. wife of the pathetic little Datu Bandar. and black arms and legs. and I begged my Malay friends. and I one of these little was presented with animals by Datu Isa. A most delicious Gibbon call exists . its grey fur wig of a clown. soft almost as that of its the chinchilla but thicker and longer. took great care of I and kept but it it always with me when was in the house. went the way of beautiful Like most monkeys of little sensitive animals taken by kind ignorance into the company of beings. ITS PEOPLE 87 forget to talk about those very delightful creatures. quickly take to Wah-wahs human beings. The wah-wah cannot live in captivity. its fitting its round. really of a want of I made me it quite miserable. so affection. made it a beautiful little creature. I tried to it give it the food liked. even cocoa-nut. so helpless. It grief to me. wah-wah developed pneumonia a few had been given to me. when it clung to me as children do. which is fatal to them. beady. and head like the jet black face. . its human kind in captivity. in Sarawak. for it is the lack the poor months after was a great it of their creatures. so frightened. own natural food that will eat kills these delicate though they almost anything. and died. frightened eyes. its are easily tamed. not to give me any more such charming and yet such sorrowful presents. Datu Isa placed the animal in my arms. The care of this full little being. as kindly as I could.SARAWAK AND the monkeys.

the stables became unfit for habitation either for man or beast. the animals were housed In stables made of palm leaves. a Malay woman Malay town near our house. it whence with them." and it lived with her people some time. Natives. can do what they with them. but this them as though they were human. It must have died during one of my visits to England. The Rajah therefore ordered new stables to be built for the buffaloes and their keepers. and their keepers. they friends : are dangerous to meet. for I never heard of it again after I left Sarawak for the first time. who were Boyans. it was . possessed an Albino wah-wah. I asked my native women what had happened to it. apparently. It was considered a powerful " mascotte. but they were very reticent in giving me news of the little creature." Another interesting animal in Sarawak is the buffalo. At " It went to another world. talk to They never ill-treat the animals. was shipped to Kuching and Singapore. and we last they said would rather not talk about it any more. treatment making the beasts tame and easy In to manage. These animals are tiresome when they come into contact with Europeans. In course of time. should they be uncontrolled by like natives. When the new stables were finished and ready for their reception. near a where buffaloes were required to drag trucks of coal to and from the mines to the landingcoal-mine. stayed stage. one of our settlements. On my return.88 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE living in the A friend of mine. In fact.

hearing this. not wishing to incur the displeasure of their friends.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 89 noticed that neither the buffaloes nor their keepers made any use of them. In course of time the question was satisfactorily solved. preferred to stay in the leaky dwellings. when the overseer of the coal-mine. made inquiries. sent the Rajah a dispatch inform- him that the animals were so much annoyed and put out with their new quarters that they absolutely refused to occupy them. and therefore their keepers. for the Rajah being of a difficulties tactful nature. that may arise with any of men or buffaloes. usually surmounts his subjects. a native who wrote ing English. The Rajah. .

which resulted children. which the people took the funny little my children to their hearts jingling toys they . feel All this often returns to my mind. CHAPTER XI DURING Sarawak. met with a bad accident. affection those first four years of my stay in the advent of a still little girl and twin boys served to show more strongly the for their chief. chiefs and the four Malay . when I felt that they were even safer in their keeping made to than in my own. contradict the all ever. I some of the was very ill. more of a Malay than and makes me One sad incident I must mention. far-off rivers of the interior. and devotion of the people to that time. if only to are common of idea that Muhammadans are outside fanatics and incapable of sympathy towards the those religious feelings who their creed. amuse them when they were quite babies the solicitude they showed for their health the many times they invited them to their houses. When happened.. Once. being born dead. I fell down in one of my this a son. when returning from a journey with I the Rajah. the hold of a steamer. the Rajah had been called away by urgent business up Naturally. I Looking back cannot help remember- ing with pleasure the way in .

and covered it over with a grass mound. morning. But the chiefs thought differently. three o'clock." she said. Datu Isa headed a long procession of my friends. and in a few weeks I began to mend. carried They came them a that night to the Astana. and she said the event of my recovery must be marked by a thanksgiving ceremony. When they heard that the child had never lived. they went to the doctor and asked him where it was to be buried. When I was well enough. bringing with coffin and the little body to the consecrated ground on our side of the river. for which an "You must lie quiet afternoon had to be set apart. so that your mind may be serene. These chiefs dug the grave themselves. it who had no other alter- native but to decide that could not be buried in consecrated ground. who came to . Datu Isa sat with me daily." At not in the least know what she was going to do. according to her promise. The doctor naturally referred them to the Bishop. The Rajah returned to Kuching immediately he heard the news. where some of the Rajah's relatives are laid. I was much too ill at the time to know what was going on. I did will appear at three o'clock with my women. "and think all the I kind thoughts.SARAWAK AND of the Rajah's ITS PEOPLE 91 Council were anxious to show their sympathy with me. but this additional proof of those dear people's sympathy can never fade from my memory. I am sorry to say the tree died. but I was told afterwards that Datu Isa insisted on a tree of frangipani being planted over the spot. Rajah Ranee.

and in her other she held a ring of pure gold. their absence from our tiny English society was very much the As regards my relations with Malay women. She scattered a tiny pinch of gold dust on my hair." I was just going to speak. and she and her women departed. I feel sure that this quaint rite hastened my recovery. the . Datu Isa rubbed " something " two or three times. Before I close this chapter of the it first years of my I I stay in Sarawak. I ITS PEOPLE and was told not to speak. we were all as silent as the grave. almost all of them having come arrival there. would be ungrateful of me did not mention the tokens of affection and kindness received from the English ladies of the place. " Thanks be to Allah. Kemp. but she motioned me to be quite silent. then the wife of . . Kuching were always charming of one another. Resident of Sarawak Mrs. the Protestant Chaplain living in all the ladies then to me. and threw a handful of the yellow rice over me. the country.92 the door of SARAWAK AND my room. Rajah Ranee. to live in Kuching since my first Mrs. wife of the indeed. the ring against the and then traced signs over my forehead with the ring. One of her daughters had a basket containing grains of rice dyed with saffron. for you are well again. she carried in one hand a piece of something that looked like dried shark's skin. Being somewhat given to superstition. Crookshank. Rajah himself encouraged our friendship he approved . left We saw a great deal these ladies and whenever any of felt. Datu Isa opened the door of my mosquito house .

I . As we stepped into the Heartsease. and journeys here and there all good of the people. and sympathized with them most completely. expeditions. or ever hope to possess. I felt inclined to cry as I said goodbye to them all. had suffered quite his share of fever. So my four years of residence in it Sarawak passed away as a dream. with his incessant work. was also during Sarawak first that he wrote his first book and began his career as an author. he appointed my brother. Harry de Windt. first inspired the he took travelling passion in him and is led to his future achievements in the for many world-wide explorations. which (though he my brother) It I think I may rightly say his stay in he has become famous. and no need now send for them they might be too frightened to come of their own accord.SARAWAK AND of ITS PEOPLE 93 my methods regarding them. and had it not been for ill-health. until malaria and the climate was realized that made it impossible for me to remain in the country without a change to England. and the many expeditions on which he accompanied the Rajah. for he himself. my women to say friends congregated on the lawn of the Astana need now to to good-bye to me. the best friends I ever^had. my brother and I being devoted the place to one another. There they were. No ask where were the lest women. Owing to his desire to make more agreeable to me. his private secretary. I like to imagine that the interest in Sarawak. This was a great joy to me. Therefore the Rajah made up his mind to go home for the for a year or so.

and were buried in the Red Sea. this ITS PEOPLE think the idea of a journey to England would have been hateful It was during voyage that the taking first great sorrow since my arrival in Sarawak occurred.94 SARAWAK AND to me. . The three children we were home with us died within six days of one another.

from the standpoint of the man in the street. imagin- ing that the British Government would in time take the country under British its protection. thus hindering com- merce. Apparently the to increase its responsibilities Government was not anxious in the Far East. both for the British Government. One important fact to be remembered is that ever since the existed in Sarawak. for pirates was only in expeditions against who swept If those seas. temporarily. that British guns came to the assistance of the white Rajahs. the position was without doubt a one. When the Rajah Brooke undertook the government of the country. the position the Rajahs and their people occupied in that great concern we now know under the name of the British Empire. although these were the enemies of it the world at large.CHAPTER XII IT first might be interesting to explain. he did so. difficult and for the . shall we view the matter dispassionately we say. only in Brooke dynasty has very few instances. as he thought. so that for years his people the first Rajah struggled on protecting unsupported and alone. and. as briefly as possible. have Empire been required to help the two Rajahs and their Government against their the forces of the British ejfternal enemies.

— money for themselves. cruel. from the time of Cortes down to these days. and on this account they found it so difficult lo get proper recognition of their sovereignty from the British Government. different occasions for shorter or longer periods History teaches us that Europeans. Here was a country come suddenly into existence. the white Rajahs of Sarawak are classed with such adventurers. and . it is natural I should be the last to hear of the British public rulers. with its Ministers. have been enslaved and forced by nefarious. regardless of the welfare of their subjects —have over and over again been exploited by European adventurers. its Courts of Justice. the opinions of that portion unacquainted with the methods of these I but cannot help thinking that very probably then. with all the paraphernalia of a good Government. and even now.96 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Most of us are aware that vast lands of tropical countries many of them ill-governed by native princes who are only anxious to amass Rajahs themselves. Being so intimately associated with the Rajah and who claimed the his people. and tyrannical methods to give their very life's blood so that these land-grabbing aliens might become rich. like vultures on almost unknown tropical the treasuries of the various soil. have on swooped countries. have gained concessions. all its safety for life and commerce. the real owners of the land. in English hands. the money paid finding its way into princes and in this way the unfortunate inhabitants.

his On our first visit to England after our marriage. which was only an ordinary act of courtesy on his part. 7 in view . the Rajah was anxious to pay homage to Her Majesty. years after the appointment of the Consul. the answer given by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was somewhat disconcerting. subjects of the British Crown. The Rajahs were. whilst Lord Palmerston was Premier and Lord John Russell It was then that the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. despite of their belonging to an old and very much respected English family. considering his position as ruler in a portion of the Malayan Archipelago.SARAWAK AND owned by and ITS PEOPLE 97 private individuals. first English Consul was appointed to Sarawak as a formal acknowledgment of its independence. for it will be remembered that the present Rajah succeeded uncle in 1868. individually. Sarawak as an independent State by England occurred in 1863. they had few friends at the English Court to push forward their interests. so that within his own country the Rajah was acknowledged by the British Government The first Rajah died five as an independent ruler. and the real position of the rulers was only known to very few and inquiring minds amongst the ^lite of English-speaking their people people. attend one of When he requested leave to Her Majesty's levees as Rajah of Sara- wak. Communication was slow in those days. and. Warships calling at Kuching saluted the Rajah's flag with of The full recognition twenty-one guns.

but that he could attend a levee in the private capacity of an English gentleman. a most loyal servant of Her Majesty's.! 98 of SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Sarawak having been recognized as an independent State. Brooke. Owing in his to the to exigencies of his Government. The insisted that Rajah of Sarawak should be in placed in brackets. simply as " Mr. and to acknowledge him as yet here refusing their chief. obtained what the Government called the favour of being presented to officials Her Majesty as though as Mr. The difficulties when one remembers that the Rajah was governing Sarawak for the benefit of his people. The Rajah was informed that Her Majesty's Government did not see their way to present him to the Queen as Rajah of Sarawak. was to the British recognize the Government absolutely Rajah of Sarawak in several interviews England as After ruler of his own country much correspondence and with the heads of the different departments in power. Rajah had employ Englishmen home. Rajah's position ! apology for the Very few people even nowadays understand the . the British Government having recognized the country over which he ruled. these English gentlemen were bound to honour and obey him. owed no allegiance to the Foreign or Colonial Offices at . the Rajah. the to assist him work these gentlemen. To ensure success in the Rajah's endeavours. Brooke." of the position were obvious. being nominated by him and paid out of the Sarawak treasury.

< O < < Pi w X X X H O c s .

.

SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE and it is 99 difficult position of the Brookes in Sarawak. The visit present Rajah Muda was his this to England. and elicited letters. delightful from the people many kind and When the time came for our . by the Queen. Although I had nothing I to do with the politics of my adopted country. shared in my husband's wishes that the position of Sarawak might be protected. in spite of the scant personal recognition for many years to the Rajah by the British Govern- ment. and for enjoyed the English a very much. to drive into their heads that the Rajah's wish to be recognized as Rajah of Sarawak had nothing to do with his own personality. the country managed to flourish —an obvious testimony to his single-minded and statesmanlike political methods. arrival telegraphed to Sarawak. No one can gainsay the ruler fact that nothing is so dangerous to the prosperity of its a country as the anomalous position of its and Government. but never moment did I forget my I land of predilection the I other side of the world. and its ruler's position acknowledged people. Notwithstanding these purely tions. regained England was wholly my health. for was always looking beloved Malays and born during forward to the time when begin again the life should return there and amongst my Dyaks. preoccupa- the time I we spent quickly life in delightful. stability to its in order to give additional security and its Government and Howshown ever.

100 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE six months old. our son was he was to rejoin us in Sarawak. when return to our country. and owing to the sorrowful experience we had had of the dangers of a sea-voyage for young children. Bishop and Mrs. Our baby was to stay with them in England until he had completed his first year. we left him in charge of our good friends. . MacDougall.

CHAPTER XIII I WHEN were. /-He was an old man then. as usual. we returned to Sarawak. could see friends on its broad verandahs my Malay women possessor waiting for me. Such stories the old came about. who had not so much as hinted at the possibility of Malayan babies. for he was one of those who had been with the first Rajah Brooke when he was made Rajah of Sarawak. felt. adding an additional wife to their household. that I got to . Talip was also radiant at our return. and. although it I do not know just how know Subu better than I ever did before. nearing the end of his career. wrapped in the tight I swaddling clothes usual to was told that Datu Isa and the other chiefs' wives were delighted with the behaviour of their lords and masters during my absence. and these were duly presented to me. Datu Isa Vas the proud of four more grandchildren. We had lots of things to talk about. as was the redoubtand was able Subu. as it a giant refreshed. of malaria All symptoms had gone. in his executioner's uniform of gold It green satin shimmering with ornaments. splendid. present with the yellow umbrella. about this time. as we steamed I under the landing-place of the Astana.

"She will not listen to tell my wife No. me. of the difficulty he had with his wives. womanhood I of Malaya. were not brilliant specimens of the truthful. the No. 2. me They would come No. The youngest wife he had married not so long ago gave may seem to relate. It is my eldest wife's not the way young the people should behave to those themselves. however. and No. 3 wives always asked permission of the No. fights. 2 and the No." he would . to say that No. i These wife before they ventured on a remark." at Notwithstanding these domestic storms home. is She pretty. in who are older than lie old wives young ones are thoughtless. he had him a good deal of the exhortations of trouble. for even of time. so. to be quite preferred Subu's visits unaccompanied by these floor of dames. and me of many and hairbreadth escapes he had encountered in his His most interesting stories. . She is too wilful and arrogant in her youth.I02 SARAWAK AND to tell ITS PEOPLE man had as it of his encounters with pirates. i. Subu's wives always called on in strictly 3. and I am bound so long as they remained with me. on a mat events. sad embarked on three. prepared for him. true. unknowing. but she need not always be counting wrinkles. wisdom stupid. one less than the number allowed to good Muhammadans by the great Prophet himself. in their precedence. is "This it troubles my heart it makes me sick. and together. He used to sit on the tell my room. I. women. also for. howchequered career.

o P5 O <! D w H O Tl Is w K O <! P D O < P H S H .

SARAWAK AND
ever, related to the victims

ITS

PEOPLE

103

whom

he had dispatched
all

into

the

next world.

They almost

belonged to

the

same order of criminals. There were a few Chinese murderers, who had killed people through
;

avarice

Malays,

who had

slain
;

people on account of

jealousy, or through temper

but the greater number

of the evildoers were

Dyaks who had taken heads

on
as

their

own

account, just for the honour and glory

of possessing one of these ghastly trophies.

As

far

Dyak and Malay malefactors went, it appears the same scene was nearly always enacted, but I had
better say at once that no
in

man

has ever been executed

Sarawak without the Rajah's sanction, he alone having power over life and death throughout the country. Very often the trial of more serious crimes lasted some days, so thorough were the inquiries set on foot by the Rajah and his ministers. The trial for murder in Kuching is hedged around by the same precautions when a human life is at
stake as
it

is

in the

Courts of

Law

in

England.

A
is

jury consisting of the culprit's

own countrymen

usually empanelled, and the magistrate of the district

(an Englishman), the Rajah's ministers (generally three
in

number), and the Rajah himself, weigh the evidence

with the most minute care.

When the death
all
is

sentence

has to be passed,

it

is

only after

other resources
usually led

have

failed,

and the condemned man

out to his
passed.

doom the morning after the sentence is The criminals are executed by the kris,

with which weapon Subu was wonderfully expert.

I04

SARAWAK AND
is

ITS

PEOPLE
flat,

A kris

a curious-looking dagger, straight and
the

the blade double-edged, eighteen inches long, with a

sharp point.

It

is

inserted

in

cavity

of the

condemned man's right shoulder, and thrust diagonally across the body through the heart, causing instan" Do they never tremble ? " I would taneous death. ask Subu. "No," he said; "they do not tremble. They smoke cigarettes while their grave is being dug, and sometimes they eat betel-nut and sirih. Then, when I tell them, they sit on the brink of their grave
as though they were sitting on the edge of their bed,

prepared to take their afternoon sleep.
parted good friends," said Subu,
talked

We

always

"and very

often

we

all the way to the place of execution," The condemned men never quite knew when their last moment had come, for they sat placidly

smoking until Subu approached from behind them, and with one blow of the kris sent them into
eternity.
trifles,

"

You

white people

fret

too

and that makes you frightened
say.

much about of death," Subu
to

would
lives.

"

We take

it

just as

it

comes, and consider

that Allah has chosen the best

moment
I

end our
to their

Many
I

such murderers have

sent

peace," he often said to me.

"I

am

an old

now, but

to kris ten

hope Allah in His mercy will more before He gathers me up
Just ten

man permit me
into

His

paradise.
I

more. Rajah
is

Ranee, and then

shall consider

my work

done."

Poor old Subu,
to children

in spite of his bloodthirsty words he pc/ssessed a

tender heart.

He

was gentle and kind

SARAWAK AND
and animals, indeed,
ofjpressed.

ITS

PEOPLE

105

to all

who were

desolate and

The
capital

people of Sarawak recognize the justice of
sentences
in

the
in

most wonderful way.

I

remember one case
battalion

point.

The Rajah has a

of

drilled

men,
from

number,
of

recruited

some five hundred in the Dyaks and Malays
a

Sarawak,

together

with

few

Sikhs,

who

voluntarily

come forward to join this paid force. The Commandant in charge of this battalion—called the Sarawak Rangers is nearly always a retired

officer

from

the

British

army,

and

the

Rajah

usually engages a retired

Gunner from one of His

Majesty's ships, as Instructor, to teach the

men
They

the

use of guns.

The men

are very apt at

drill,

and are as
all

active as cats in the manipulation of guns.

take great pride in their work, and particularly enjoy
the

management
drill

of field pieces.
;

Their uniform

is

of

white

with black facings

they wear fbrage caps,

and are armed with Snider carbines.
journeys up the
drilled
rivers,

Whenever

the
his

Rajah goes on expeditions, and sometimes on

a certain number of these

men form

his bodyguard.

They

also act as
build-

sentries in the Palace

and other Government

ings in Kuching.

One
gang of

day, one of these
his friends, all

Sarawak Rangers, with a young men, went on a holiday

excursion to

Kuching.
orchard,

some fruit gardens in the suburb of They came to a tempting-looking fruit
of ripe oranges, mangosteens, custard

full

io6

SARAWAK AND
etc.,

ITS

PEOPLE

apples, pine-apples,

fenced in by rotten railings
All fruit
is

and owned by an old Chinaman.
people.

dear to

native hearts, for they are essentially a fruit-eating

The

youths, seeing these tempting morsels,

demolished the palings, entered the garden, and began eating the fruit. The noise they made hacking
at the trees
built
in

brought the old
orchard.

man

out of his house

the

He

remonstrated with the

thieves,

he raised his voice in order to elicit the help of passers-by on the road. This so exasperated the youths, who were
notice, so
fruit,

who took no

bent on carrying off some of the old man's
in a
fit

that

of anger the

was what he had lowed by his
in mufti),

and

killed the

Ranger drew his parang^ (he Chinaman. Realizing
he
took
to

done,
friends,

his

heels,

fol-

leaving the

Chinaman
efficient

in

a

pool of blood under the fruit trees, where he was

found by the Rajah's police

—an

body of
officer.

Malays under the command of an English

The

crime -was brought

home

to the Ranger,

who

was brought to justice and condemned to death.

On
Rajah

the

morning of the
arranged
to
I

man's execution, the
for

had

go

a

visit

to

the

Batang Lupar River. and the guard chosen
to

was to go with him, accompany him happened include the brother of the man who was to
to

be executed that day.
of the

The

Instructor

in

charge

men informed

the Rajah that the prisoner's

brother was in a very excited state, and had been
^

A

sword.

SARAWAK AND
barracks.
I

ITS

PEOPLE

107

heard by the natives speaking rather wildly in the
believe

he even expressed himself as

ready to take vengeance on the Government which had condemned his brother to death. The Instructor

suggested to the Rajah that
safe
to

it

might not be quite
in

have

this

man
the

included

his

personal

bodyguard.
" for

"On
very

contrary,"
let

said

the

Rajah,

him come with us." man did accompany us and behaved himself perfectly, and by the time we returned to Kuching he had proved himself to be one of the most exemplary members of the
that

reason

Needless to say, the

Rajah's bodyguard.

Now

with regard to the police.

It

has often been

a matter of wonder to

me how efficient this body of Malays and Dyaks becomes under the charge of young Englishmen. The Sarawak officers are chosen in a very original way. Many of them fresh from some university have somehow heard of the methods of the Rajah and his Government, and very likely feeling an admiration
for the romantic story

which has led to the present state

of affairs in Sarawak, feel they would like to join the

Rajah's service. Often these men have had no particular
training for the
take,

work they are and yet they grow into

called
it,

upon
it

to under-

as

were.

The
of the
are,

heads of the
officers

Rajah's police (in

the person

whom
I

he has chosen) have been, and

capable of unravelling the most intricate and delicate
affairs.

cannot imagine what their methods

may

be,

but plots have been found out, organized by Chinese

io8

SARAWAK AND

ITS

PEOPLE
if

Secret Societies against the Government, which,

they had

been carried into execution, would have set

the capital in flames and killed every white person
living in Kuching.

Thanks

to the intelligence, zeal,

and unceasing vigilance of these officers, such calamities have been averted. This efiiciency says a good deal
for the loyalty

and devotion of the Rajah's Englishof the drawbacks of a
tropical

men who,
climate,

in spite

lack of amusement, upon no English society to fall back upon in moments of depression, and despite of their very modest salaries, have entered so whole-

of frequent illnesses,

dullness consequent

heartedly into their work.

If

only their exploits
in

were known and related as they deserve to be
all

their details, theise

English
heroes,

officers

would stand
to the little
affairs,

in

the

first

rank

of

even of those who

have won the Victoria Cross.
attention

Owing
its

given to

deeds
public,

will

Sarawak and never become known
although
they

their

to

the

British

and

themselves

will

not

reap the benefit of their unselfishness and loyalty
to
in

the

Rajah's country, the seed they have sown
security

Sarawak has borne fruit in the growing and contentment of its people.

CHAPTER XIV

WE

down to our ordinary at Kuching, when the news came of a tribe of Dyaks giving trouble in the
had hardly
settled
life

Batang Lupar
Simanggang.

district.

Mr. Frank Maxwell was in

charge of the place, and was living at Fort Alice at
It happened that the Rajah's yacht was then being docked in Singapore, so the Rajah decided to make his journey to Simanggang in a war-boat. As I was rather anxious for the Rajah's safety on this occasion, I thought I would like to accompany him and to stay at Simanggang while he went up country to quejl the rebellion. The Rajah did not like the idea of taking me, on account

of the long boat journey, but

I

insisted and, as usual,

got

my own

way.

We

started at midday,

and had
I

to

spend the

first

night of the journey anchored in our boat at the

mouth of the Sarawak River.
possible,

never shall forget
;

the sand-flies that tormented us on this occasion

if

more trying than mosThey attack one in swarms, and are almost invisible, so that the meshes of a mosquito
these insects are
quitoes.

net are useless in
face

keeping these pests from one's
heat was
J09

and hands.

The

stifling,

the ternpera-

and proved a valuable assistant on my journey. made by the chiefs' wives. were well acquainted with the banks of the Sarawak and knew of several pools of fresh water not far from the place where we had anchored. After spending a somewhat disturbed night. Our boat.— no face SARAWAK AND and hands included ITS I PEOPLE ture being from 90° to 95". Our boatmen. I ma brought my changes of clothes. could not be pulled level with the bank. and served as an umbrella. in the morning I had to think about getting a bath. I garments. my maid. I ma. I folded a cotton sarong. was with me. and in that manner passed the night A good deal of discomfort was obviated by my wearing need not say that my beautiful Malay dress. I I ma took the paddle and we wobbled held desperately to the sides of the boat. wrapped myself up in the boat. numbering some thirty. In countries hot as is Sarawak. Isa's and one Datu should injunctions that only conical the eye be visible). Over a shift of white silk. so a very small canoe was brought alongside. — in the folds of a silk sarong. and took with me dozens silk of scarf cotton sarongs. (not forgetting right cotton jackets. River. I perpetual changes of garments are necessary. to the shore. being of great size. and luckily only a few strokes were required to bring us to land. A large straw hat effectually shaded my face from the sun. and wore a long Malay cotton jacket over that. were discarded on this occasion. and directed . into which I ma and I established ourselves.

in. laid were in on the shore and on the floor the Fort. and slept the next night at Lingga Fort. morning dip.SARAWAK AND me to ITS It PEOPLE in a pool in the jungle. He would his make way to — — . The arrived next day. however. which were stretched across the boat for the Rajah's and carried my comfort during the voyage. made my way back who had also found a pool to bathe was awaiting me. and tying a sarong under my armpits stepped into the pool. and in this manner managed to obtain a fairly was a slimy-looking and here we had our enjoyable bath. as elsewhere. Our paraphernalia when travelling was very simple — the mattresses. place. mosquito curtains were then hung up. Maxwell by surprise. and with the help of a dipper made of palm leaves poured the water over my head repeatedly. Maxwell cheerfully gave me his rooms. I met with nothing but kindness. I dressed myself in a fresh to the sarong and jacket and boat. There. we taking Mr. 45 miles of paddling. Mr. he had not expected to see me as well. and thus we were provided with a comfortable shelter for the night. screened in by trees. We crossed the narrow strip of sea dividing us from the Batang Lupar River. and disappeared goodness knows where in some dim portion of the Fort. I had brought with me a piece of soap. where the Rajah. for although he knew that the Rajah would Simanggang immediately on receipt of his dispatch. at after Fort Alice.

been summoned to Simanggang by messengers to the districts bearing calling-out spears. for although the taxes of the people are very light— Dyaks pay- ing bne dollar per this annum for their whole family does not exempt them from military service. the remainder of the force might be compared to the English Reserves. and whenever the fight was a lawful one. hardly any of the Dyak male . the Rajah usually found himself at the head of a far too numerous body of men. and bodyguard). Each morning a of the tribe to off knot is taken out by the are chief whom the string has been sent. engaged under the leadership of the Rajah himself. every man and boy being always eager for a fight. Those Malays who pay an exemption tax of two dollars per annum per family are exempted from As a matter of fact. he thought a pleasure to have the benefit of my over company. that to marking the the number of days elapse before Rajah requires his trusty subjects to follow him. together with knotted strings. whenever the military service. The to next day great animation prevailed all the place. in who were had accompany the various Rajah his expedition. of Malays or Dyaks were required on exservices peditions. It might be as well to mention that. The loyal and friendly tribes. sentries.— 112 SARAWAK AND none it ITS PEOPLE and pretended have of my apologies. with the exception of the Rangers (the drilled force from which the Rajah chooses his fort-men.

The Rajah and the and Mr. and is impossible to imagine the torrent of words that can pour out in a I hours together from the lips of these warriors." etc. Maxwell's fifty private sitting-room. their eyes on the ground. and talk interminably." I "He is brave. must prove trying to the . and in could only catch a word here and in a jerky Sea Dyaks speak of war sit councils fixed perfectly motionless. have chiefs been present at such meetings. They is talk about such men in eulogistic terms is : "He good. Maxwell sat on cane chairs. until the Rajah. Their language resembles Malay disconcerting way knowing Malay." "His mouth beautiful. When any matter required to be discussed. squatted in rows on the floor giving vent to long- winded and extraordinarily not fluent speeches. from the lengthy speeches made. but there. and think a great deal of anyone who can hold forth for hours without pausing for a word. capable of holding or sixty I people squatting comfortably on the often floor. SARAWAK AND homes. stops the speaker and orders another man are present to give his views on the subject. Dyaks born orators. I I supposed might understand what manner. ITS PEOPLE to 113 in population could be persuaded remain their A large number of hall of the Fort. chiefs assembled in the great rifles where were stacked the serious and arms. used to think such councils of war.. it I do for know the Dyak language. sifting the important matter from the flow of rhetoric. they said. these chiefs were bidden into Mr.

Some of the Simanggang Fort were more than all a hundred years expeditions old. this particular conclave. and make patience an ordinary accompaniment to life in those his officers." man said." The man gave a . but living Rajah and regions.114 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE amongst primitive people seems to change the temper. smiled. and we saw smoke issuing from the funnel of the blunderbuss and a the Dyak "and in crowd holding his head. Rajah. went into the hall where the arms were kept. sharp report rang out. and was handling the weapon un{Suddenly. the Rajah. it up. hit my off He took the handkerchief see it and held off. the and I. I well remember the morning of chiefs. touch those things . Maxwell was very angry. Maxwell. " I always to meddle with the arms. Mr. who was pulling his when anything out of the way " ! Strange he said." he head-handkerchief. having been taken in punitive from the houses of head-hunters. After the council of war. but Mr. a observed by the authorities present. Many obsolete weapons are to be found in nearly blunderbusses in Sarawak Forts.* " he said . when we could had been pierced by the charge gone and By in a wounded the that had so unexpectedly happy chance no person was crowded room. looking at the " man . The "Medicine gone from that gun. I felt disturbed looked at " the moustache as he does takes place. Why tell do you you not grunt. A Dyak present on this occasion took from a rack an old blunderbuss.

and Pangiran Matali. the paddles making a thundering and rhythmic noise It was as they churned up the waters of the river. their swords them proudly to the landingA regular place and stacked them in their boats. rattling as they carried of its male population. and I met and at breakfast. A prince of Brunei. All the able-bodied Malay men in the place followed the Rajah. solved.ys. the powder should be sufficiently dry to ignite a charge after so many The mystery was never had served d9. Maxwell. In a few arrangements were completed. a chief called Abang Aing. the matter it was discussed that at length. and the force started from mand of the Rajah. When the Rajah. flotilla of large war canoes followed the Rajah's boat. lying beyond the Chinese Bazaar. their shields bristling with horn-bills' plumes. in their Simanggang under the comIt was a picturesque sight. two other Malay brothers. exhilarating. Mr. so that the Malay village of Simanggang. and the conversation went on as though nothing unusual had happened. called chiefs from neighbouring rivers. Abang Chek and Abang Tek (whose . but the incident to bring out sharply a curious trait in the native mind. called who once had been a subject of the Sultan of that country but who had become a Sarawak subject. the and war caps and spears Dyaks cloths war dress. very splendid. was almost deserted. and picturesque. their flowing waist- of bright colours. was thought extraordinary years.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 115 but showed no other signs of disturbance.

for they seemed inseparable friends). appointed himself my . by the present Rajah through thick and and had on many occasions risked him. was a famous woman. called Tunku Ismael. dark He was always piercing eyes. a half-breed old Yorkshire toothless. their lives for loyalty. terrier. called Fury. . bent double with age. also accompanied the Rajah. Daiang Kota. The Rajah has often spoken to me of their and their courage. I knew all these people well. followers of the Prophet often wear. a descendant of the Prophet he was thin and taller than most Malays. and a hooked nose. a valiant little creature. for I always met him during my many visits to Simanggang. was left guard the Fort and me. A to wonderful being.ii6 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE names and curious personalities reminded me of Tweedledum and Tweedledee. He was g. Pangiran Matali and share in expeditions variably stood thin. and wore the white skull cap that dressed in white. Abang Aing's wife. was also left in the Fort. Maxwell's little dog. and an old Malay. and had beautiful ascetic features. Serip. Abang Aing always took their They inagainst head-hunters. a worthy helpmeet to her husband and a loyal subject of the Rajah's. called Sunok. instead of the more cumbrous turban. in helping also of their extraordinary aptitude him with advice in political matters referSarawak Government. and their ring to the memory can never fade from my heart. This charming old gentleman and I were friends. Mr. and brave as a lion and helpless as a mouse.

tea. orchards I Of course. then more visits from the natives until 5. Then I came in to have a cup of of the place. a hurried ex\t my mosquito curtains to escape from these Here. night-light from out the tumbler of cocoa-nut They ran away with side. the candles placed on chairs by to my bed- and were be seen in companies scurrying in and out of the guns placed bedroom. outside I My the days went by as regularly as clock5. ma was with me.m. plantations. ITS PEOPLE 117 He slept at my door. who had been left behind to attend on me. as elsewhere. almost nightly stole the wick of They my oil. when it was cool enough to go out women breakfast. From 12 to 2 I had my siesta. Then. Sometimes. the rats were numerous. whose name was Dalima (meaning pomegranate). served again with Sunok until 6. sat got up at on the terrace Fort to watch the sunrise.30. meal spent inside pests. in fighting with mosquitoes which I clouds on to my food. and receive the Malay After this I had my solitary by one of our Malay servants. etc. to come and help her wait on me.30 a. and she sent to the village for an old lady of her acquaintance.SARAWAK AND bodyguard.. as I in the port-holes of my was preparing for the . work. and accompanied me in my daily walks round the Malay village and fruit through plantations of sugar-cane and that lay around this settlement. —the made hour of sunset after a hasty fell more or in less all the year round. and with the paths and through Sunok went round and round sugar-cane bathe.

some of which were almost as big my toilet. by the candles and cocoa-nut oil. as over the world to satisfy the stupid vanity of ignorant and frivolous women —the Sarawak people call them. The attracted mattresses in the night. little before sunrise and at sunset. Although I my stay Simanggang was I rather had certain compensations which did not fancy entirely come from human companionship. or. and it required all my persuasion to prevent him from sallying forth on the warpath against the rats. paddy birds. all every one must have heard of those beautiful birds now being exterminated egrets. the rats upon the guns.— ii8 SARAWAK AND would sit ITS PEOPLE their night. inside the mosquito curtains. came in such numbers after a few days. she said. for the daily migration of these birds to and from their roostingplaces to the fishing grounds on the coast. in the country. because the enemy might attack the Fort ! and take us unawares during the night " to which remark I replied what was really very true that — — the rats frightened me much more in than could any Dyaks lonely. heads on one side. my room and keep me company during When first this measure was broached " I to Dalima. as though they were taking stock of Fury used to lie at my feet. I dreaded the poor little animal meeting some horrible fate in an encounter with these formid- able visitors. Simang . and brush their whiskers. as himself. I From a a terrace overlooking the river used to watch. quite understand your being frightened. that I asked I ma and Dalima to put their rats.

of seeing this could be certain. almost of white wings company in triangular battalions flying across the river. its For some minutes the noise of in great advent was noticeable from the Fort. across the disappearing like river. the water funnel. into a through which it rushes. and other impediments existing in this shallow river. Sometimes tiny . a fortnightly phenomenon. This vast volume of water progresses undisriver. Another wonderful sight on the shores of that Batang Lupar River was the Bore. The shafts of light breaking against their bodies in tints and rose made symphonies of colour as they formed and re-formed with the movements of orange of the birds. turbed for fifteen miles from the mouth of the when the channel narrows until at are only five Simanggang there hundred yards from bank to bank. beating against sand- banks. as I have said before. I fancied the beautiful things under- stood the pleasure they gave their great white wings over me as they flapped my head. forced. as it were. At is each flood-tide. in passed Simanggang. finally dots of glittering light in the morning and evening mists. is four miles in breadth at its mouth. when walls of white it foam it rounded the last reach before boats. and I every morning and evening to the minute. hurling itself against such obstructions with a noise like thunder which can be heard for miles away. across miles of forest. snags. rocks.SARAWAK AND gang is ITS PEOPLE 119 divided by about sixty miles from the sea. Now the Batang Lupar.

"All are dead. frightened and incoherent. shaking the boats moored to the banks near the Bazaar. tossed itself against snags. Then on it went in its furious course. who was then having his breakfast at his home in the village. and I go home. fighting. have charmed lives The children seem to on such occasions. for they can apparently play with the Bore often with impunity. I ma and Dalima were with me. I sent for Tunku Ismael. sometimes tearing one or two away from their moorings." I looked at the man and saw his complexion was of a pale greenish brown. the spray. was seated at breakfast one morning. dressed in a bark waist-cloth and wearing a dirty . been known to find their death As it pounded up the banks. the flocks weeks of egrets and first the Bore were the two great attractions of the place. the little canoes looking like on the surface of a whirlpool. it and of wrestling. and Dalima. "The Rajah is killed." he said. was lost to sight.I20 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE which were seated Malay children. For the my As stay in Simanggang. and I imagined he must be of an hysterical nature. and fell back in huge cataracts of water. found his way to my room and fell at my feet. translated the man's words to me. looked like a rain of precious stones. until growling. although men and women have in the flood. were borne along the swiftly-moving backs of flies the waves. like that of some people when terrified or ill. touched by the sunlight. a perspiring Dyak. The refugee sat on the floor. understanding I the Dyak language. tossing them hither and thither.

the Fort." he to this coward like that is better out of the Rajah's bala" (force). " Bohong benar" is (truly a the Tunku are a "It impossible such a thing could have happened and he the only survivor. he shook hands with me.SARAWAK AND to ITS PEOPLE I 121 cotton handkerchief round his head. all dead. but sat with his eyes cast down and ? hands palms downwards on his knees. man. and to my knowledge was story." Tunku Ismael assured me. and never let me see you again. a he not?" replied. said Tunku Ismael. he said. Tunku. and told me near the wall. The " Let him go in and peace. " Get out of this. is killed." liar." lies. " a force. who had become greener than left "You Another the force because you are afraid. "Tell me. move. When Tunku Ismael arrived. " the Rajah and the enemy will be here to-morrow." left With of. when he gave vent to remained speechless. turning to the ever. and we all . He liar)." he repeated. and once more turning to the man. man on "All " Dead. attention was paid rumour than soon forgot to the buzzing of a mosquito. and took his seat crosslegged on a sofa opposite him not sighs and grunts. I that the man slowly departed. " what is the meaning of this This man is says the Rajah and his followers are liar." grunt and contraction of the throat from the floor." I said. He did his not speak. No more about it." "You have the too. terrified never again seen or heard asked Tunku Ismael why the man should have told this Tunku thought he must have become run away from the added.

where the women and children were always on the look-out for me. Tunku me one morning walks with a grave face and said. for " there are I knew of none. along the row of Malay houses. across a plank of wood thrown over a ditch. sit in trees waiting to pounce on Now. "Oh yes. they . and if anything should happen to you during your long walks. the Fort a flotilla I I of saw through the lattice-work of some fifteen war-boats coming up the river. idea of danger. " Rajah you go out for long and seem to have no all round the settlement. we could never get you back again. There are people we call Peniamuns who dress in black. he said. Tunku Ismael to Tunku Ismael could not quite make them out. Rajah Ranee. my there was. Sunok is exceedingly old. One morning.122 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Ismael came to Shortly after this incident. and not go any farther. because. or that there might be bad spirits about. and passers-by." I listened politely to Tunku Ismael. for the Peniamuns are a real danger. but continued to take my customary walks down to the Bazaar. should one of these Peniamuns get hold of you. many dangers." he said. hastily sent for inquire what these boats were. so will you kindly walk up and down the terrace of the Fort. what could I do to protect you ? " I inquired what danger Ranee. you are under care. and then home by lonely orchards and sugar plantations. separating the Chinese Bazaar from the Malay settlement. cover their faces with black cloth. so more feared by the Tunku Ismael.

the tribe had made me. hear the Rajah has gone on the warto path." he "we are going on to-morrow. because I we wish was a to fight for the Rajah. neither could . and stern. he said. recognized by We Tama in the Paran. If allowed this force to go or after the Rajah. anchoring along the banks near the Bazaar. and pretend it was done on the Rajah's behalf. I said to the chief. take some heads." : said Tama know said . the Kayans might attack some unprotected village up the higher reaches of the Batang Lupar River. tried to look very "We Paran. Tunku Ismael as being a chief named who did not bear a very good character district. Rejang This chief came up to me. ITS PEOPLE 123 We watched the boats as they were paddled past the Fort. I asked him where they had come from. and to see we stepped outside saw a group of Kayans from the boats. carrying spears and swords. for brandishing his spear. and you do not exactly where he has gone. unless you return to your village." realized that this I serious state of things." The man did not look pleased. replied " the Rajah has been gone on the war-path this last month." I accompany him. with no responsible European Malay leader to keep it in check. You cannot accom" Yes. headed by a small man what was happening.boats. "You must not move from here until the Rajah comes back. and we have come " But. rushing up to the Fort. and carrying a basket which. He could not wait in Simanggang. he said.SARAWAK AND looked like war." pany him now to the scene of action.

that they wished very much those men would go rice. I came to the conclusion that if did not take my usual walk. might be disagreeable. I went along the Bazaar. the women and children of the settlement would feel nervous. Sunok. anchored near the Bazaar. delayed. but at any rate he consented to remain at Simanggang that evening. I. who told me. then held a council of We agreed it would never do to allow these would probably Kayans frighten to follow the Rajah. but after thinking I the matter well over. after all. for the consequences when the Rajah returned. in order the Rajah's return was long time.124 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Tunku Ismael he return home. as to I also felt a little apprehensive what my reception would be. accompanied by the trembling octogenarian. because he feared that these Kayans. at cooking their and were not The Kayans were all friendly. We could see the fleet from the Fort. not being accustomed to white Ranees. in Malay. but. They . and the Tunku estimated that the force numbered some six hundred men. and war. He owned it would be somewhat if difficult to keep them best. and the small dog Fury. and found the Chinamen standing outside their shops. as they endanger the safety of the country up river and its inhabitants. at the same we intended to do our Tunku Ismael warned me not to walk out that evening along the Bazaar. unlikely the for. it was Kayans would do me any harm. away. with Sunok present. I fear of there- fore sallied forth that evening feeling a bit nervous. as I passed.

I walked slowly across the plank until my chin (I was taller than the Kayan) nearly touched his forehead." as they would have done under ordithought. it my part. can't!" The in situation was ludicrous. his hair were ornahis hung over little neck. After a so I stood as immovable as he. and waited. I turned to Sunok. I my humble procession. " Remove : that man.SARAWAK AND made no attempt " to ITS PEOPLE 125 shake hands with me. and they rushed jap to me saying " Do take care. There he stood motionless. and might cut off all our heads before we know where . They looked rather impertinently. so I asked the man. There was nothing left for me but to press forward. almost daring me to pass. and he wore a straw crown and a waist-cloth of bark. his ears tusks. The Malay women had witnessed this incident from their gardens. at nary circumstances. cut square in the front. I saw a big burly Kayan standing the other side of the plank with his legs straddled. and say How do you do. Still he did not move. His arms and legs were mented with wild boar's tattooed. of my way. I but Sunok weakly replied " He too strong. and I went on my way. Rajah Ranee. few seconds the man skulked off. The Kayans are a terrible people. but he remained as though he had not heard me. and do not go out by : yourself like this. I got within two feet of the man. When I reached the end of the Bazaar and was about to cross the narrow plank of wood leading to the Malay settlement. would have shown fear on Malay. who gave a not very pleasant smile as Fury barked loudly. to get out Had I turned back." is I said.

frightening the shop-keepers and agriculturists into providing them with food. and we do not care what anyone says. very grave expression. when a bright I knew these people liked thought struck me." they unmanageable." Tunku Ismael and I hardly knew what to do. These Kayans were a great nuisance in Simanggang. sure I could do would have prevented Tunku Ismael said they feared me.126 SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE we are. and so putting on a etc. when they had been They went about in the neighbourhood for ten or twelve days. again told them I they were not to follow the Rajah and that not give them any money. they " became almost money. long speeches. until one afternoon. I said. discussions. as they said. although feeling somewhat finished and for my evening walk. and he was the course we were taking was the only one to prevent disturbances in the country." upset. requesting money and permission Personally. Every day the chiefs came on the same errand. " Tama Paran and you . The asked next day. move. laughed lightly. I was surprised they did not to move. that they provisions and follow the Rajah. We must have "and we must follow the Rajah. attached great importance to dreams . councils of war. said.. and the interviews between the intruders and myself became more and more stormy. in order. the situation was daily becoming more alarming. Indeed. because nothing them. two or three a sum of Kayan chiefs came and money which they knew was kept might buy should I at the Fort. flourishing their spears and swords.

I To-morrow I tell will tell * you about that dream. I last night had a dream.SARAWAK AND all ITS PEOPLE 127 who are his followers. I what will you do " inquired I And Tama the Paran. because the Rajah would not wish there is But as see a strong will among you I to do what you should . at any rate. so that think had I I seen any signs of their boats leaving the place. I should have lost prestige women and even I the chil- dren of Simanggang." think " But we do not I Tunku Ismael gently know how to fire the . You I are not to go up river. how have found means to fire the guns into their All that night I could not sleep." swamp every boat of With those words." " ? my reasons for wishing you to do as we go to-day. . I was wondering what on earth I them realize the force of could say to the intruders to make my arguments. a magorders." said. "that does not matter they " ! we know. in spite of my orders with the to the contrary. retired to bed earlier than usual. and you are not to have money. and if make you understand you. pointed to the guns —with. should have been so disgusted had the Kayans gone away. not do. and I I felt anxious. listen to my words. and after all that is the chief thing That evening I went for my walk unmolested. stay here over to-morrow for to- morrow having is a particular date have will fixed within myself. : remarked guns. it. after they had promised to come and hear my speech the next day. should somemidst. "If you disobey will my I medicine from those guns yours in the river. nificent gesture. hope. got up and dismissed them. "No.

question. when all was said and done. . and knew all would be safe because the Rajah was returning. however. then their paddles. I had quite enjoyed the novel experience. and.128 SARAWAK AND The I ITS PEOPLE itself. settled The very in next morning heard the yells of victorious I Dyaks the distance. The Rajah soon sent the Kayans back to their homes.

and embarked in our travelling boat to return to at Lingga. sent by the Rajah the day before. making a weird and . was awaiting our arrival on the bank. with gongs and sorts all of musical 9 instruments. I when we dead with was almost Serip Bagus. chief of Sibuyow. Kuching. where a messenger. and children. We arrived late in the evening at Sibuyow village. had been exceedingly hot during the journey. tending to break our journey at a place on the coast called Sibuyow. and arrived at our destination fatigue. another descendant of the Prophet. about fifty miles Simang- Two or three days after the Rajah's return we took leave of Mr. women. men. Maxwell. accompanied by the whole village.CHAPTER XV THE to Rajah's expedition had been successful. officials. villages The enemy's so farther and river rice farms were the destroyed as to compel people settle- move down the and form above ments under the supervision of the Lobok Antu Fort gang. had informed the people that we wished It to spend the night at the chiefs house. off We spent the night in- and started again the next day.

was filled with the village people. the chiefs wife took me by the hand and led me into a room. the rungs were from two to two and a half feet apart. managed the ascent without Serip Bagus and his wife. 1 : interminable speeches. had taken great pains to put their house in order for our arrival. There were so many people I to help me. side by side on the platform. the Seripa. The the mud.I30 SARAWAK AND lining ITS PEOPLE risen rhythmic noise. similar to those built in sit on. got more and more " I and at last "said to the SO' Rajah must go away. however." The Rajah begged me and . The trees mangroves of fire-flies. down the river were one mass reminding illuminated. made laid with across the customary difficulty. who had come to see the Rajah and I was very tired and listen to what he had to say. that mishap. The moon had the starlit and the palms and mangroves against all banks looked jet-black sky. at one end of which was a large raised platform. but did not Hke to say anything for fear of disappointing the people prepared this reception for us. on which were laid mats and embroidered cloths for the Rajah and myself to This audience-room. I who had so kindly The Rajah and I sat whilst the chiefs made tired. the pale. Following the Rajah. was for easy for me to negotiate. longed for rest. me of Christmas shore magnificently My passage not on at all was ladder. to try am tired. almost all Malay chiefs' houses.

in order that night. with a a good who grunted deal. it people or no people. the chiefs wife took me. dressed in silks. where. and gold ornaments. together with four of the most aged females it has ever been my lot to see alive. was a huge mosquito house. the curtain. regardless of any kind of etiquette. Seven pillows. and to the conversation ceasing. and below them was a knobbly gold-em- broidered bolster for me to rest chiefs wife took her position fan.SARAWAK AND keep up a little ITS PEOPLE 131 longer on account of the people. should not want for anything in the When them I daybreak came. my head on. she led me into the women's apartment. as she called to bed. must have woke owing and found the chief's wife bending over me. At length. was . occupying about a quarter of the room. She told me she would lead me to a room where a bed was prepared for me. to tell I knew I should have awake and wanted to get up. satins. stiff and gorgeous with gold embroidery. like hard bolsters. fast asleep. This was hung with valances Lifting of red-and-gold embroidery. wRilst the four old ladies. I could stand no longer. however. on the platform. two sirih of them holding I boxes and two paper fans. The at my feet. were piled one over the other at the head of the bed — these being the couches. laid fell I and going behind the Rajah full length on the floor. and taking my right hand. up a corner of it. seven pillows used on all Muhammadan hard. followed by her daughter. a young girl. each occupied a corner of the curtains.

his aunts. ancient and modern.132 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE All seeing they would not dare to speak. We partook of this meal in public. believe. came with me I into the garden. his female cousins. As I was in the throes of negotiating the slippery ladder at the landing-place. considered delicacies things. who was having tea. The chief's wife. eggs. too numerous by these people. nor was she allowed to to accompany me my morning bath. in case their souls should is thought dangerous to awaken anyone from sleep. where there was a pool of water. either guards or police. whether amongst Malays or Dyaks. and the Rajah's crew consisted of men from the village of Simanggang. this I filled repeatedly with water from a jar at the side of the pool Dressed. as I was. limes. the villagers bringing us baskets of mangosteens. oranges. I was one of the chief's servants. and many other to mention. and was handed a leaf bucket by the chiefs wife. be absent from their bodies I and never return again. his daughter. with great cere- mony . a very shabby and not overclean old lady. Malay costume. and the four old cronies with their sirih boxes and paper fans. over it Sarawak. I my bath joined the Rajah. rushed up . inside ma was not permitted my mosquito curtains. in a sarong. who. and bathing in change of clothes was easily effected. On this occasion if I we were without remember rightly. on my way to the boat. After his my and poured over my head. stepped into this.

and the thus disappoint the old dame. present it the boat or in fall and of lest should break out my hand. for in spite of our wetting we were none I of us the worse for the experience. and the boat began to rock badly. and by the time we entered the Sarawak River we were drenched. am never sea-sick in a small boat. and although I was perfectly unaware of the danger. It was lucky that at critical moments our crew could jump I out along that shallow part of the coast and turtle. keep the boat from turning Curiously enough. I think hours. the Rajah was a little anxious once or twice when. and as we hugged the shore would not have been safe to go very far out to sea) a storm came on. ma was that if very amusing.SARAWAK AND to I ITS PEOPLE 133 me and carried fear deposited in my hand little a solitary egg. great rollers dashed themselves against our palm-leaf awnings and threatened to the journey took about six overwhelm us. It was difficult to change one's clothing to view. in crossing the bar. and I suppose must be true. The danger on this occasion lay in the fact that to get into the Sarawak River we had to cross the mouths of the Sadong and Samarahan Rivers. to this touching trembling. so in the boat. as we were exposed best of it. we had to make the It is often said that sea water never gives this one cold. Our journey incident. manned by (it some thirty men. she kept the Rajah liked he could whispering to me . across sea was not without We were in a shallow canoe.

she supposed did not matter was very glad when we arrived at our comfortable Astana. sheets once more. .134 SARAWAK AND the to ITS PEOPLE but as he did not it make seem sea worry. and could sleep between linen very much. I behave better.

for the Rajah was always his of work in schemes the advancement of his country. and appeared to understand that they were his true friends. all the chiefs' wives. experienced English nurse had brought him remember so well the mail-boat arriving late in the afternoon. in white. .CHAPTER XVI A and I I WEEK coming after I our return to Kuching. I life has lasted all through these was not destined for to remain long in peace at full Kuching. and he was brought yelling and screaming to the landing-place. Datu all Isa heading the contingent. came to see the boy. It is a real happiness to me to know that the affection which he showed these people at the beginning of his years. unaccustomed as he was to such honours. carrying in her arms a baby in a blue sash. when from the verandah I saw through my glasses a short European lady. the Rajah and to had the great pleasure of wel- Sarawak our eldest son. am sorry to say that the salute from the guns of the Fort annoyed him exceedingly. in and nearly the women Kuching. and it took some time before we could soothe his shattered nerves. An out. He was very good with them. The next day.

so to speak. off the coast . when the present Rajah it inherited the country from his uncle rivers of extended as to the far as the Bintulu River. and Limbang now write the also form part of the Rajah's territory. The maladministration Sultan of Brunei's agents in the rivers of the Rejang. these rivers were annexed to the Sarawak Governso that ment. and Bintulu forced the people of these districts to seek for better government. although the people were discontented under his rule. his subjects. Trusan. at their very doors. Muka. Lawas. that time. and did he could to prevent the Rajah's influence extending to this district. just first It now to refer to the map When the Rajah began to reign. they found.136 SARAWAK AND requests ITS PEOPLE chiefs Many came to him from of rivers beyond our territory. The Baram River population. At Her Majesty's Government had a Reprelittle sentative in the island of Labuan. at the request of the first inhabitants. in order to be placed of his Government. territory stretching Sarawak consisted of the between Cape Datu to the Sadong of the River. it Turning again map. This. will be seen that the Baram. The Sultan of all Brunei was averse to the idea. In the space of fifteen years. but in the days of which I Baram River still belonged to the Sultan of Brunei. possesses a considerable Kayan and these people were anxious the Rajah should visit them in order to establish commerce and trade with Sarawak. begging to be allowed to become under the protection would perhaps be as well of Sarawak.

u X o c o g 6: O < o .

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ITS PEOPLE 137 Sometimes these Representatives were hostile to the Rajah's policy. and the Muka this people loved him.. remember our tour in a boat round the Muka township it was like most Malay settlements the houses are built on the river-banks on piles.SARAWAK AND of Borneo. a man whose name must be beloved for all time in Sarawak. Some one told me that more than one-half of the whole of the sago exported to England comes from Muka and its neighbourhood. Ltd. had then a sago factory I : — . district I do not know if this is so. Claude Champion de Crespigny. without perhaps knowing the intricacies of the case. he thought with him on this trip. which flourishes and forms a very important article of commerce in Sarawak. at Muka. in order not to appear as though he were em- barking on a hostile expedition against the Sultan's Government. Muka Fort on our way Muka was then in charge of the Mr. way from The Borneo Company. taking the Sultan's side. it advisable to take me We up the late stayed two days at coast. wide-minded.. I thought a sago manufactory the most evil-smelling thing in existence. but its it is certain that a this place great deal of sago does find to the English markets. The Rajah was and eager to go to Baram to ascertain for himself the position of affairs in the neighbourhood. He was sympathetic. chains. etc. made of almost unalloyed Sarawak gold. intelligent. : The people of Muka are Milanoes in they work the sago. Here I observed how my rings.

heads when they are tiny babies exists oddly enough. and were as hitherto they had had no experi- ence of Englishwomen. The Milanoe women me. their and they have the slanting eyes. Milanoes are not so refined in their diet as are the Sea Dyaks. and this fact reminds me of the opinion expressed by Mr. Wallace as to these people originally coming to Borneo from the north. and are very fond of grubs they also eat monkeys. It is supposed have then fished up. snakes. A great delicacy . and to their original was impossible them in colour so long as remained the atmosphere of this busy but unsavoury town. For instance. Milanoes prefer to eat uncooked fish cut up very fine. Sea Dyaks would never dream of eating do. . and other reptiles. I have been told that the religion of the Milanoes resembles that of the Cochin Chinese. is fairer than that of the other natives in They flatten their children's . flocked to ' the Fort to see they were not very talkative. the squat and thick lips of the Mongolian race. noses. but complexion Sarawak. the same custom amongst the American Indians inhabiting the Mosquito River. Their features are square. laden with the wriggling bodies of the worms. They soak a its large raft made it is of soft wood to in the river for fulfilled some weeks. with them is a sort of transparent white-wood worm. which they rear with as much care as do English people oysters. when purpose. for they consider oysters as we them living things. sharks. but rather shy.138 SARAWAK AND it ITS PEOPLE to restore I turned black.

undertook to make a chart. As we passed the Kayan houses. the people crowded on their verandahs to see the passage of the "fire ship. The Heartsease drew seven feet of water. This river has it very broad. paper and pencil in hand. as we steamed carefully by snags and sandbanks. ITS PEOPLE 139 River. did not like to . which was accompanying us on this The scenery very different in this more northern part of Borneo.SARAWAK AND After leaving Muka. called Siri Sarawak. who had been induced to leave his canoe at the mouth of the river to pilot our vessel to a It place called Batu Gading. we embarked trip. under the direction of a Kayan. It was very and we all pulled out white handkerchiefs and waved them stand at the people to make them underI we were peaceful visitors. we saw great plains of coarse lalang grass and stretches of sand. Instead of mangroves and nipa palms lining the banks. thirty-six hours' steaming brought us to reputation its . was ticklish work proceeding up this river. and a sandbank lying across mouth only permits of the passage of shallow ships. who had been an officer in the English Navy. for we were the only white people who had as yet entered its inhospitable borders in a vessel of any size. there being no chart. our destination. Mr. built on high poles near the banks. in the Borneo Company's is vessel. and sat on the bridge the whole day. and as we could not find any channel deep enough to float her across. its is we sailed for the Baram an evil and about mouth. de Crespigny." exciting.

the Rajah made it understood that the pamale were to . but me at the time whether these natives understood our signs. After the fourth or if day. Nipa. in the standing this drawback. were in the village and were preventing the people Notwith- from receiving us inside their houses. I We anchored had yet come in front of the Kayan house across. think it took us about ten days to reach the Gading (meaning rock of ivory. talked the matter over. (under and that the people of the village could not allow us to land because. so called from a white rock embedded in the bank. shining like a beacon up one of the reaches of the river). I have since found out that they I did. The Rajah. and it was here that the settlement of Batu Rajah intended longest to land. de Crespigny. and a messenger was Rajah. Abang a ban. always returning with fifth sent daily from the the same answer.I40 SARAWAK AND ITS it PEOPLE did occur to ask indiscreet questions. but the answer returned was that the " house was under what they called " pamale spiritual or otherwise). but we could see no signs of life in the village. our ship remained anchored middle of the stream. and a gentleman belonging to the Borneo Company.. under the circumstances. The Rajah sent his interpreter on shore to parley with the chief. it was impossible for them to receive visitors. Ltd. Batu Gading was then the most populous Kayan settlement up this waterway. and came to the conclusion (afterwards proved to be correct) that emissaries of the Sultan of Brunei. Mr. fearing a visit from the Rajah.

SARAWAK AND last ITS PEOPLE also. The Rajah and Mr. accompanied by four or five stalwart Kayans. entered the boat and were rowed to shore. thought it would be a good thing went I also. carrying muskets. Kayans' backs up. A dinghy was prepared. de Crespigny. The Rajah was followed by four or five of his guard." As the guards disappeared. Mr. asking him to pay them fixed for that very a visit. and the Rajah. They brought with them an invitation to the Rajah from the chief. but as they were about to step into a second boat the " There must be no Rajah waved them back." he said "for the slightest appearance of suspicion on our part might put the . 141 that he a year. futility At length the princes of Brunei saw the of preventing the Rajah from carrying out his intention. the English officers who had escorted the Rajah (my brother being amongst them). and perhaps make them dangerous. and the interview was afternoon. and one morning Abang Nipa's son. he would wait a year and all was determined to see the chief in spite of pamales. armed man in our party. but I was not seriously apprehensive. de Crespigny. I A discussion then followed as to whether xar should accompany the party on shore not. who knew the working of primitive people's minds better perhaps than any Europeans if I alive. was seen on his way to our steamer. I wondered how it would be. remember the visit as though it were yesterday. the Borneo Company's agent. this never shall forget getting up the pole into . and I.

All the way down. brown. white. where the chiefs apartments were situated. came forward and helped me up the must say. We walked as far as the centre of the house. There we found two stools. patterns.. chiefs son and two or three other Kayans. covered with yellow floor in calico. seeing my hesitation. in foot. serving as a ladder. I but these were higher than those of any house had previously seen. curtains The to was divided by stuffs made of mats or of Kayan of wonderful designs. The to go. and the notched pole. grass crowns round their flowing locks. I dare say it was my petticoats that made my ascent difficult. and holding themselves as though they were Greek gods. tattooed from head to with boar's tusks sticking out from their ears. SARAWAK AND As usual. and fine mats laid on the interior readiness for our reception. my helpers were most perilous way. the ITS PEOPLE built house was on stilts. and they took me up as though The other Europeans I were as brittle as egg shells. found it quite easy to mount this interminable present pole.142 house. as far as I could see. The Rajah and I and very deep seated ourselves on the . holding their lances in one hand. similar Celtic red. it was lined with It — rows of fighting men. blue. all their war dress. slanted at feet ! an angle of one in ten for about forty was no use worrying up this ladder I had The Rajah hopped up it like a bird. broad verandah was a wonderful sight. I gentle and charming. for women's clothes are much in the The entrance into the way on such occasions.

At last Mr. much feared and respected by her tribe. women. The Sultan's emissaries did not look pleasant. all silent. Her garment and on her head she wore a of white cotton hung fillet in folds from the waist to her right ankle. straw. where it was . de Crespigny suggested I should ask the chief if I might make the acquaintance of his wife and the I turned to the chief and other women of the tribe. whilst the other not look mission." I believe it is a fact that amongst uncivilized or barbaric tribes the absence of women and children is one of the signs of intended treachery. but said nothing. excepting at the hips. Mr. and we sat on. black hair flowed over her shoulders. We were quite silent. did stools. who at once disappeared behind the curtains. It was a pretty sight. looking at one another. through the opening. and made a sign to one of the men standing near him. In a few moments the man came back and held the curtains aside. de Crespigny said to me "There are no women or children here. falling almost to her knees. very promising for the success of our The Rajah pulled his moustache. We must get them in. Malay. headed the procession. The Her of a remarkable lady. which our interpreter asked the question in translated into Kayan.: SARAWAK AND little ITS PEOPLE 143 Englishmen took their places on the floor. but the chief seemed pleased. when. leaving her left side bare. and the presence of two of the Sultan's emissaries moving in and out of the crowd. whispering to the people. came a procession of chief's wife.

and off I vogue evil eye. cannot be certain whether they were those of admiration or not I had round my neck a gold chain from which in was suspended a red coral charm. The and followed as to the number of their children. and experienced a strange pang of . chief's wife. I my neck and put it round remember how it the little narrow gold chain looked as hair. I should give this to at once took the chain of gold hers. All the women following her. de Crespigny suggested the chiefs wife. From the ejaculations which followed. hung amongst the folds of her white cotton She was delighted with the ornament. After these had been duly admired.. I how their farms were progressing. then with me. lay against her mass of black and the blood-red coral charm Strange.! 144 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Her left fastened with strings of beads. old. we quite friendly. arm and leg were bare but tattooed. and seated them- selves in a group at my feet. My sleeves were pushed all became up to see whether my arms were white the I way up. They might have been Greek priestesses They shook hands usual conversation paying tribute to some god. and when we parted the Rajah and the people I had become good friends. young and wore the same costume. and looked as though they were encased in sheaths of dark blue velvet. see etc. said good-bye to the garment. first with the Rajah. then asked to some of the mats and cloths they had made. appeared as it extraordinarily yet picturesque. much amongst Neapolitans to ward against the Mr.

Mr. ceded the river to the Rajah. trading settlements sprang up as though all Forts and by magic Mr.SARAWAK AND regret. from a newly friend. This particular chiefs wife became. powerless to stem the will of the Kayans. who acknowledged her as the their Queen. undertook management of the and until the day of her death (which occurred not so long ago) her word was law to every man. a great force in the good Baram for River. woman. for on the death of her husband. of the Rajah's officers to take charge of the Baram district. later. It is extraordinary what important parts several of in the history of those these Kayan women have played far-off countries. and he did very valuable work out there before Dr. had a powerful influence good over a tribe of some thirty thousand people. and notwithstanding ill-health he most unselfishly and courageously remained at his . whole She tribe. whilst another chieftainess. Balu Lahai (meaning widow of Lahai). at Mr. and child in the village. de Crespigny was true to the Rajah's policy. Charles Hose de became Resident there some years Crespigny's death. To make to a long story short. and it is now one of the richest and most populous Crespigny was the rivers of the first country. the Rajah's visit the Baram River produced great results. 145 as I always a did when perhaps after a few minutes' conversation only. ITS PEOPLE parting. The Sultan of Brunei. de along its banks. made member of a tribe whom I might never see again.

and Malayan designs. someIt from China. worthy successor. for One has to pay as much as £(> or £"] one of these sarongs. and by his zeal. as regards the texture of their sarongs and jackets. Sumatran. we stayed a few days at Bintulu Fort. A sarong much favoured by the Bintulu women the is made of cotton with fine black threads all running through. fastens in front . forming a check pattern skirt. Over this black-and-white sheath.. is This is cotton material costly to so fine in texture that it as buy as some of the gold and silken brocades. and sympathy with the natives has managed to crown Mr. and security Dr. in the true civilization of the Baram On for our return journey to Kuching. SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE and by so doing gave additional impetus to the trade and commerce of Sarawak. Large round ear-rings. hard work. These people appear to prefer sombre tints to the bright colours worn by their Kuching sisters. and as regards their gold ornaments. with three huge knobs of gold. and small gold knobs are sewn all up the slashed sleeves. The Bintulu women manage it to obtain a gloss on the material making shiny like satin. 146 post. de Crespigny's work by the magnificent true . results he has achieved people. The dress of the women of Bintulu differs slightly from that of the Kuching Malays. these women wear imported a jacket of either black or dark blue satin. Hose became his to the life of its inhabitants. over without the dog-tooth stripe so conspicuous in Javanese.

who knew told of the dresses and habits of these people. me to look out for the ladies as they wound and their it way up the path leading to the Fort. They are pleasant-looking people. devoid of gold thread. and are ornamented with huge pointed rays of red. for Milanoes are sturdier in build. meeting towards the centre. but their hats are marvellous. winding slowly up the steep ascent. Europeans who know them particularly in well have their many interesting stories to relate regarding superstitions and incantations.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE shaped like 147 times very exquisite in design. but. open lotus flowers. conical in shape. so that no two women can walk near one another. Mr. Their scarfs are of quiet colours. pale faces and quantities of jet-black hair. when the beautiful blossom of the areca-nut palm plays an important part. and yellow. the case of illness. these Milanoes of Bintulu. they left their somewhere— never fathomed where — before they came into the reception-room. more sedentary habits. was indeed a curious sight to see two or three hundred of these discs. Their ankles and wrists are not perhaps quite so delicate as are those of the more southern people. owing is to their their complexion paler. times they are as Some- much as a yard across. . are thrust through the lobes of their ears. with their square. black. When hats the women I reached the Fort. one after the other. They are made of straw. They belong of to the same tribe as the sago workers Muka. apparently unsupported. de Crespigny.

led him out of the The Rajah he said. The three Kayans who had taken hold of the dancer had witnessed the gruesome scene. jumping with the most wonderful agility.148 SARAWAK AND On ITS PEOPLE the night of our arrival at the Fort. pulled his moustache. became multiplied and appeared like flashes of lightning. rather cat. become so excited in his dancing. before one could realize what was happening. Once or twice he came so near to where we were sitting that I fancied I the blade caused a draught over but. and screaming out his war-cry. it ? Kayans squatting on the floor sprang to their and taking hold of the man. and bounded about the At first he crouched down room like an animated frog. A large space was cleared in the middle of the reception-room. After a while he gradually straightened himself. had previously. His parang. native dances were the programme for the evening. a when a small. dividual. and bounded from one side of the space to the other. spinning round on one leg. in his rapid movements. active as a was ushered brandishing his parang. said nothing and sat on unmoved. and they realized that on this . and we were promised some new and original performances. A few Kayans from the far interior were present. who was a country outside a famous dancer. Kayan. my head. the Rajah's jurisdiction. " What ? is " " Why has the man been this in taken away " We were then informed that Kayan. that he had actually swept the head off one of his interested spectators. hall. three feet. plump inin.

somewhat late hour the Rajah dismissed his guests and we retired to bed.! SARAWAK AND occasion ITS PEOPLE 149 he was becoming over-excited. some sedate and slow. and came to the conclusion that he must have been an artist in his way . I thought a good deal about the little dancing man. The evening ended very and at a pleasantly. others and untamed. Other dances frenzied followed.

but I thought she looked We shook : hands.CHAPTER XVII arrival of ONE I morning. Lady Jervois. Many people know said to the great work of her life. She was not delightful. introducing Sarawak. young then. A few moments from European lady a messenger from the a brought me to a letter Singapore Governor's traveller wife. and went to meet her. Many and I of my English friends were devoted to her. whom Sarawak is a great and happy landmark in my life. was delighted at the idea of her coming to stay I watched our small river-boat fetching her from the steamer. and the first words she me were " How do you know if you will like me well enough to ask me to stay with From that moment began a friendship you?" which lasted until her death. I sent his Secretary on board with a pressing invitation to the lady. after. but had not had the Miss North's arrival in pleasure of meeting. and must have seen the . of had heard so much. The Rajah was away. noticed the figure of a standing on deck. with me. as I was watching the tall the mail-steamer from my verandah at Kuching. whose name was Marianne so I North.

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as she forests. stern . She look at me through her spectacles. strange perfume wafted from beyond." Miss North would say. "although you are so late from school! " She once asked me where pitcher-plants were to be found. were and miles of sat forest by the night in the an endless source of delight to her. Many first of these pictures were painted in Sarawak." she said. across the " river. for a row on the Matang was. The went evening of her stay in Kuching we river. and flowers. realize the beauty. the sudden storms. the perfumed air brought through miles breezes. solace. plants. Our boat-boys were for jungle plants. Sometimes as we forest on our verandah evening after dinner. But sometimes she was very She would she thought me young and stupid. for I loved her companionship. and water. of which I I many morning had never seen or even heard of. it was who first made me and delight found in trees. said. I must say. floated through our house The scent of unknown flowers. In the would take my work into Miss North's sit room and with her whilst she painted. and the sunset behind a revelation. the soft mists at evening. . a lands sweet.— SARAWAK AND gallery ITS PEOPLE she gave to 151 of her pictures which Kew Gardens. the wonderful sunshine and cloud. very kindly. you know nothing. " Why. That land of effect of mountains. sent on botanical expeditions and every morning and evening a great variety of things arrived at the Astana.

but a minute or two after our call it passage it resumed plant. them remember find distinctly the picture she was painting at the time a clump of sago palms growing in our garden. its normal shape. I " I many years. That curse I of agriculturists always felt a certain enjoyment in walking this shrinking stuff through the great patches of its with myriads of leaves closing at the slightest touch. where the sensitive plant lay like a carpet covering the ground." said Kong earth is marshy. a Sarawak Malay. can show you where they grow. left We a pathway behind us of apparently dying vegetation. " I don't think there are any in the country.plants. They grow where I He had been with Oh yes. got up early and crossed the river almost before sunrise. one of our boat-boys." replied. "and I if you like we will try and I together. told She me how I could describe pitcher-plants to the faithful Kong Kong. the Rajah for Kong. " have never heard of Miss North them. an odd and uncouth individual." One> morning as our Miss North and guide." But this is the land of pitcher-plants. " know. Malays laid tg Kong Kong then led Shy " the way over a swamp. We walked a little way along Rock Road. keep passers-by off Our progress across these logs was not an . and turned into a path leading through a kind of moor. and with Kong Kong the went for in search of the pitcher." said . with long hair flowing over his shoulders.— 1 52 SARAWAK AND I ITS I PEOPLE " Pitcher-plants. the " where logs of wood were the mud." sent for the boat-boy. delighted me.

and flinging themselves over dead trunks of trees. vases. I suppose there must have been thousands of these plants. too. forming a perfect bower. and many realize other things of whose existence had never dreamed. round. green yellow. that something life. and her friendship and the time we spent . heads. and brown. glossy green leaves. Their colour. the terminations of long. She was noble. Miss North was the one person who made the beauties of the world. me and kind. and narrow. silently looking We length all at them. narrow.SARAWAK AND easy matter. cups long. —a pale ground. " ! At Miss North remarked : " And you said yesterday there were no such things in the country Miss North remained with us about six weeks. creeping. and when I very sorrowfully accompanied her on I board the steamer on her return to England. splashed over with carmine. and I do not think anyone growing in the who has only seen pitcher-plants sedate way they do at Kew can have beautiful any idea of the when madness of their growth Here they were. 153 We went through a grove of suddenly. was perfectly exquisite rose. the little" lids to the cups daintily poised just above each pitcher. in a clearing. we came to the spot. others like small earthenware cooking-pots. wide. felt for she new and delightful had come into my had not only introduced me to pitcherto orchids. plants. some shaped like Etruscan in a wild state. twisting. I ferns. ITS PEOPLE trees. but palms. falling in cascades of colour above our stood still. intelligent.

dark. I She did not approve of the view I took of our Dyak and Kayan people. talk to Don't me of savages. She paint all day. "I hate . The world grew and the in the neighbourhood looked black against the sky as she put her last stroke into the picture. me. She liked to meet Malay ladies. thinking this must be bad I sometimes tried to get her away early in happiest memories." she would say . the afternoon for excursions." ! cannot with she said. because. I used to try and interest her in these people. but this she would never do. for I longed that she ^' should accompany us in some of our journeys into the interior. as we all know. still." 154 SARAWAK AND my to ITS PEOPLE together are amongst used for her. they have better manners than most Europeans. idea that I could never eradicate from her mind the they were savages. She sat on a palrfts the sun went behind the mountain. walk home with me to the when some moments she stood " I quite staring at the thread of red light disappearing behind the shoulder of the mountain. speak beauty or move. but she would never paint- leave her work until waning daylight ing impossible. She put up her to for palette^ folded her easel. I made remember how she painted a which painting she gave to overlooking the river until hill sunset behind Matang. but she could not bear the thought of either Dyaks or Kayans. " I am drunk But there was one thing that Miss North and did not agree upon. and. and was preparing Astana.

" enough listen to circumstances have take heads : " They that is for me. .SARAWAK AND them. But they are not savages." " " ITS PEOPLE I iSS reply. only would They are just like we made them different. and would no defence for that curious custom of theirs." she would add severely." are. I for which could find so many excuses.

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they trilled and quavered. began again. Sometimes they paused. monkey-gods. I could not follow ladies these stories very well. work!" "Her words come from ancient times!" " It is beautiful exceedingly ! " Meanwhile. of royal ga!rdens. and when embarrassed for a word. as Datu and her room. queens." Datu Isa would say after one of " She knows her these journeys to the window. the same Isa ejaculatioi>s of admiration came from us After one of these evening parties. we sat together in my private room with the reciter. when all. sometimes very shrill. perfumes. when they gleefully descended the scale. and such-like things. and bending double as she passed us as a sign of respect. I satellites were sitting*^ talking to all me in my suggested that we should is learn to read and write Malay. and spat through the window. poorly dressed in dark cotton clothes. which language written in Arabic . walked rapidly across the " She is full room. holding her draperies firmly round her. which generally took place in Clad satins. because these old Sometimes the voice was low. and poured forth further torrents of words. and stiff with gold brocade. until stopped again in the same way. flowers. and princesses . took her place once more in the centre of her admiring circle and began afresh. pouring out Wonderful stories of kings. of understanding. the window. sang every word. peacocks.iS8 SARAWAK AND our best silks and ITS in PEOPLE the evening. the left reciter. remaining on a very high note until they remembered how the story went.

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" that would never do. etc. good many months went by before I could Meanwhile I put my suggestion into execution.." said Datu Isa write Malay for ourselves. and one can make oneself understood by stringing together nouns and adjectives. but into my friends' lives. arts). Malay is easy enough to talk ungrammatically. a celebrity in the Kuching circles of those days. Writing amongst women is a bad habit. began to study on my own account. because Datu was a tremendous force in our social life in I was not altogether dismayed. prepositions. a pernicious custom. Rajah it Ranee." hope will never come This was rather crushing. I I ITS PEOPLE 159 set asked Datu Isa how we had best thought it to work. and undesirable men might come into contact with the daughters of our house. speak very good Malay. was a good Malay arid had taught a great many of the Rajah's ofificers Formerly he had in the intricacies of the language. spoken by some of the . with the idea. The natives of Sarawak. for would be good for the Malay women and myself to be able to read and " No. Malay girls would be writing love letters to clandestine lovers. been Malay writer to the late Rajah. A He was called a "Guru" (master of scholar. those' days. but to hear it it was deplorable. and to pass. and being anxious for this additional pleasure to come Isa Kuching. and sent for Inchi Sawal. although learning the language by in ear. I I do not agree. regardless of verbs. He knew Arabic. SARAWAK AND characters. I pondered on the subject.

genial. of course. his features rather thicker and his complexion darker Inchi Sawal than our Malays his . Inchi Sawal had a different appearance during each of his occupations. by whom he was looked upon as a cultured man in fact. and made delicious preserves with little half-ripe oranges growing in orchards round Malay houses in the town. I wanted to know how Accordingly. Inchi Sawal came to the it was made. they considered him the arbiter of Malay literature.i6o SARAWAK AND in is ITS PEOPLE The Rajah. and knew exactly what was required in the killing of bullocks for Muhammadan consumption. bobbing green balls. and as I liked it so much. as they simmered in the A number of invocations to Allah boiling syrup. his hair was curly. Astana to give me a lesson. one it of the Malay scholars Malaya. He was a Sumatran Malay. best however. and whole appearance was cheerful. It would take too long to tell of the methods he employed in the preparation of the fruit. was a great stickler for grammar. a Muhammadan. He was. secured a good result to his labours. in English people residing Kuching. . He was a butcher. His functions were numerous. and his face was rounder. He was a wonderful confectioner. moreover. but it seemed to me that a good deal of religion was mixed up with the cooking of those small. and is a real pleasure to hear his Malay speeches to his people. and had : friendly relations with all the Malay chiefs of Kuching. and kindly. He sent me some of this preserve as a present for New Year's Day.

it Think over the it." he he came into the room. At lessons he became urbane. " is I let a vowel pass without pronouncing "The beauty of reading. his victims. Sawal brought courtier-like. which great difficulty said after him. We wash our might do a . pupil. as our lessons.SARAWAK AND When seemed de rigueur as he ITS PEOPLE religious i6i cooking oranges. "and he quite agrees that we should together study the Koran. an adequate sound to the Arabic letter Europeans to pronounce. to look at a word you give Vent to its sound. a devil-me-care ex- pression spread over his countenance. Tuan. found in giving (aing)." will give your heart relief and One morning usual. I am did prove a very apt I My tutor I pronounced a word. as though in the slaughter of each beast he had to wrestle with a sanguinary foe. and although should take a year to master one word. and mild. well before letters. it when you have mastered comfort. " I Inchi Sawal was more solemn than have spoken to the Datu Imaum about said." he would say. if you do not its object. Inchi with him pens made from not the mid-ribs of palm leaves. in used by most Arabic scholars afraid I Malaya. a grave. aspect leant over the pot. When his teachings began. When talking of bullocks. characters with him. and it awkward for read Malay in these I annoyed him very much c it whenever properly. we will hands before we handle II leaves. I will bring the book wrapped in many cloths. and.

after some time. she relented so far as to allow her married daughters and daughters-in-law to join me in my studies. from the advent of the first white Rajah. thou hast been gracious . the most merciful. Isa's and. and of thee do we beg Direct us in the right way. not of those against thou art incensed. the king of the day of judgment. and played a prominent In her comfort- part in the education of her sisters. Daiang Sahada (Datu daughter-in-law) began to write almost better than the great Inchi Sawal himself. the Lord of all creatures . nor of those who have gone I . and reverently handled the pages of this marvellous book of wisdom. She commenced to describe the history of Sarawak. way of those to whom whom astray. in poetry. The Datu Imaum also little approves of your learning to read and will write. helped me in my efforts . Abang Kasim (now by institut- the Datu Bandar). in the assistance.. Thee do we worship." to improve minds and strengthen their Very gravely he unfolded the wrappings in which the Koran lay. We had great fun over our lessons. as he thinks it be a great incentive to the Malay their women hearts.— 1 62 of the SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Koran before we begin our Malay lessons. she and her husband.. able house. which will put us in the proper frame of mind for the things we have to learn. as we read together the first chapter : " Praise be to God." time went on and Datu Isa found could read As and write Malay.

so the Rajah instituted a school where Arabic was taught. being interested in this new impetus given to education by the built a school women of Kuching. but for very Dyak As the country developed. some years ago he was gathered in the little I and buried Muhammadan cemetery I know so well. had considerable proportions. and attained missionaries. paddling to the shores of his last resting- where grave had been dug by members of This school became known as Abang Kasim's school. and the Rajah. the Muhammadans (Malays) also longed for educational facilities on their own lines. 163 women and young In a short time the pupils were too numerous for the size of her house. organized by the Protestant Bishops of Sarawak. I regret to say that to his fathers. accompanying the canoe in which place. and now has a large attendance. I can fancy his weeping a sheet.SARAWAK AND ing a school for ITS PEOPLE boys. women wrapping him in Muhammadan custom. 1 his body was placed covered with a white his umbrella. subjects. . and installed Inchi Sawal as master. where Malay reading and writing were taught. according to the can also picture the little procession of boats. their chaplains. immense and were doing good amongst the Rajah's Chinese and good reasons the Muhammadans were never approached by Christian teachers.^ One must mention that even in those days the Mission schools. Writing of these educational matters recalls many / happy hours I spent in Inchi Sawal's company.

Head of the Customs. time I have sat on the broad and comfortable verandah of Inchi Bakar's house and witnessed Chinese plays enacted on narrow wooden tables. nor do think that Inchi Bakar an adept at cooking the fond. Com- passionate. perhaps. river. Whilst retaining his Arabic one can talk to him almost on any subject. Inchi Sawal the good Muhamup and be folded the bosom of Allah —the Merciful. at the bidding of the Angel in Azrail.1 64 Faith SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE three feet the deep. and them He is. together with other shall rise madans. Chinese music. Although the stage was narrow and there . from whence. at the resurrection. and house is a meeting-place for the more educated Malays of Kuching.Interpreter. The profession I of butcher fell into is other hands. the son of old Inchi Buyong. his little oranges of which I was so He is. — that to shallow followers grave about of allotted the Faithful. for he reads and writes English as well as most He was partial to Chinese society. culture. I He and his family are often paid great friends of mine. Another Malay school. with their feast of colour. however. and clashing of cymbals. also a Sumatran Malay. amongst the Chinese merchants of Kuching are to be Many a found enlightened and cultured gentlemen. on the opposite side of the was founded by Inchi Bakar. curious costumes. more a man of the world than was Inchi Sawal. for Englishmen. Inchi succeeded his father as Court. also the Bakar and was visits. a great light in his way.

o £ o P H < O w p < o 2. p .

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Malays are faithful friends. who were much impressed by their kind interest and sympathy. as often happens. a I sort of home-sickness comes over me. we could understand the intricacies of the drama better.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 165 was no scenery beyond curtains of scarlet and gold. at which these dramas were acted for their benefit. and it feel as though I I must take the next ship back to the land again. and she and Daiang Sahada were friends. groping about the letters . the friendship that exists between us is it was in the early days of our acquaintance. I am happy I to say that Inchi Bakar is still living. love so well. were frequent amongst the aristocrats in Kuching. but as it is not customary for Malay women to mingle with a crowd. and are now permanently established in the Chinese Bazaar. to draw special attejition to the part I should like played by these two Malay ladies in the education of the women in Kuching. I and often hear from him. when. pleasant days for us all. nor I absence blunt their friendship. solation derive great con- from that fact. perhaps. on which were embroidered rampant dragons. sometimes for years together. Although he and as strong as may be parted. Those were in our edtjcational group. never to leave In those days Inchi Bakar's wife was also included She was a relation of Datu Isa. never. from the fact that so much was left to our imagination. Chinese players often came to Sarawak. private parties. when he was a young his lad visiting me at the Astana with mother and does grandmother.

and their methods of picking the flowers were so refined. and economical. They often asked permission to take some of the flowers home.1 66 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE calli- of the Arabic alphabet. ." as in we thought Astana garden they said. the jasmine. After what we considered our recreation hours of hard work. tuberoses^ in and many other tropical plants beds on the closely mown lawns round our house. They are so high up. and trying to obtain graphic perfection. so that the sun began to into the was on most days. that they might pick as many as they liked without any devastation being noticeable in the beds after their passage. They used water in to ask me why we ordered " our gardeners to break off great branches of blossoms to put in our drawing-room. delight to them. . Those walks the our garden were a great the roses. gentle. They loved which grew the honeysuckle. we would go in order to " eat the air. "their perfume can never be thoroughly enjoyed. ideas. the plant. we could we must in it free ourselves realize it from the conventional entirely erroneous to is imagine that order to make a room beautiful we must dec6rate with long stems of flowers and buds." they would say." basins full Besides I it destroys So that in my rooms always had great of sweet-smelling stemless flowers floating on the surface of the water to please If only my friends. necessary. Malays never pick saucer^ filled flowers with their stems they only take the heads of flowers which they set floating in with water. as it got cooler and sink behind Matang.

DAIANG LEHUT—DAIANG SAHADA'S DAUGHTER .

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the mountain of Santubong could be seen from our garden towering on the horizon." Another source of joy on these occasions was the presence of a peahen we kept roaming about at liberty in our garden. the outline the miles of the mountain as it lies against the sky. and looking at ponds over which floats the lotus —just like the old stories. playing. " Here we claimed. they fashioned Santubong so that first white Rajah should never fade from the country.SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE taste in 167 think Malays have much better such matters. Viewed from Kuching. the image of the we stood The gods knew what as me they were about. " in the Rajah's gardens. because last just as flowers smell quite as sweet and long under the methods they employ of perfuming their houses. Our evening strolls through the Astana grounds are. more than the bird could The appearance of my Malay friends was the mysterious reason." they often ex- reminded fny friends of the legends related by the old lady reciters. ordinary resemblance to the first Sarawak. the for women some stand. the The Malays are aware of this and women have frequently said to " looking at the mountain. for it signal to single from out the group one unfortunate . smelling sweet perfumes. bearing an extrawhite Rajah of fact. pattering The naked feet of up and down the paths was. has the appearance of a human profile." Beyond and miles of forest land stretching to the north between Kuching and the sea.

it my Malay " ! friends called I peahen think I I was glad wore shoes." they said. six o'clock at the first my friends bade me good-night. his toes. Sometimes the party stayed until 6 p. that I had to call the sentry on guard at the door of the Astana. appeared very courageously at first to protect the woman from her feathered persecutor. more punctual than any clock.. I often watched them as they went the river away in their covered boats. when. little the peahen turned her attention to his whereupon musket was dropped. The half-amused and half-frightened at the pecks. The sentry (either a Malay or aristocrats. and the and figure of the sentry rushing hither frantic attempts to escape thither in his from the bird caused us "playing with the for I much merriment. member. would move quicker than is customary amongst Malay Sometimes the bird got so violent in its attacks. sound of to their this musical alarum. and This was a frequent occurrence. believe this came from a kind of cricket. on fine evenings. and were paddled homes. the paddles churning up the golden or flame-coloured waters of .m. stepped into their boats.1 68 SARAWAK AND it ITS PEOPLE and follow victim. musket until in hand. a Dyak). we heard a shrill trumpeting noise issuing I from the woods near the Astana. in his white uniform with black facings. when would rush at her toes her in and out the bushes on the lawn. and. do not should have enjoyed the bird's antics quite so much as they did. "It is the fly telling us to go home.

. seeing that kindness and sympathy are not confined to any region of the earth.SARAWAK AND tinted ITS PEOPLE how absurd it is 169 that by the sunset. or to any race of men. ar^d thought different coloured skins should be a bar to friendship between white and dark people.

the younger and I. Malays almost sing as they talk. people have a great reverence for Isa's still and Datu many more years apparently to endeared her generation at Kuching. together with frowns. Her conversation was always interesting. turned on to the Palace of her captor. or smiles. and their voices quaver. This personal reminiscence invariably served as the prelude to other interesting tales. had been liberated from captivity by the menacing guns of James Brooke's yacht. and also about the superstitions and legends of her country. Rajah Muda Hassim.CHAPTER XIX MALAY age. the words being interspersed with funny nasal noises. and I wish I could give an impression of her manner when relating these tales. was the one which perhaps thrilled us most. grandchildren. The story of the Pontianak ghost. were delighted Her children. she. Datu Isa silent for became a moment. who had intended to carry her off to Brunei for the Sultan's harem. together with several Malay women of Kuching. looked at us with knitted . for instance. when she would tell us about her early life. little When about to relate a dramatid incident. sighs. become loud or soft. or die off in a whisper. When sixteen years of age.

the father When a baby under is about be of born. his walking the flooring house hears low chuckle behind him. and sees a woman looking at him. uttering a giving vent to peals of laughter. we clamoured for more. or the babe about to no hope woman be born. Should the husband have neglected to bunch of onions. beautiful He turns round. signifying that she there is is a Pontianak. so that the Pontianak one of the most dreaded ghosts haunting Malay houses. when he sees between her shoulder blades the large gaping wound. her complexion her hair intensely waist. ITS PEOPLE us. 171 brows. The old lady loved to see . a while. Her face is is like like the moon. her mouth a half-open pomegranate. red. although she did not see so intent was a This is the story of the to Pontianak.SARAWAK AND she on her story. the woman stands there for some moments without sound. tuba the and other ingredients. for the After this apparition. is white. her hair flows straight like a comet's tail. set fire to the roots. her feet rise an inch or two from the ground. they are doomed to is die. By this time the that husband spell is so frightened to he can think of no After by which flies combat her evil intentions. and as she behind her swiftly past him. She wears a sarong round her and no jacket covers her shoulders. her eyes are like stars. As Datu all Isa finished the Pontianak story. Then she opens her mouth. smoke of which keeps evil spirits away.

You must put knives or pinang cutters near your babies. she becomes an alim " (a . until your babies can walk alone. Geruda. and put a torn fishing net on the top of their mosquito curtains. Dogan. children's heads. will come close to them and cause convulsions. : ITS PEOPLE our superstitions and went on telling us many other Unless you cover the heads of sleep- ing children with black cloth. and say out to King in of the Sky. rainbows if in other portions of the sky do not matter you know how to address them." 172 SARAWAK AND interest. the birds. Datu Isa would say "I hope you will never see the sun set under the fragment : of a rainbow. and Konieh (supposed to be eagles). and a rainthe heads off the and grandchildren are out bow more arches over the sky. during the fasting month of the " orang Muhammadans. During this time a guest must not be entertained for one they must stay two. this being a sure sign the father or mother will fall sick. we pluck : ' gaily coloured flowers and place them on the Hail. When a woman night only . for that is a certain although portent that the Rajah's wife must die. in the When my children garden. we have come clothes. and when walking out with them you must take these instruments with you. nor must her husband cut his hair or his nails. When a woman expects a baby. dies in childbirth. Then turning to me. Rajah Ranee. the roof of her house must not be mended.' It is meet you lie our finest unlucky for a child to on its face and kick up its legs.

I himself. I asked the Rajah to give agreed. difficulty in getting it it his reinstalment amongst brought It me a bangle made I was very small and had over my hand. it was forced over my hand. after some little trouble. and antus can never harm you. Notwithstanding these drawbacks. and he my walks the other side of begged me to use my influence with him taken back again. and. so the old it man put into boiling water to make more elastic. but as felt sorry for him." he said. trial. Shortly met the old man in a state of great depression during one of the river. watch him pulling up the weeds from the paths he would sit on his haunches. and she was anxious it. " Lightning. Datu Isa had great kind of faith in possessed. he was a grateful the and on the morning of Rajah's gardeners he of this black seaweed. snake bites. was dismissed.: SARAWAK AND good spirit). He was a I the Rajah and get he would behave better lazy old man. rest and take some minutes' soul. should take in this care not to break It was given me way some During the first years of my stay in Sarawak. and the him another The Rajah in garden in his man resumed work own desultory way. stare at the river. I the Astana often used to . promising in the future. an old in gardener employed at the Palace. having way misbehaved afterwards. "as long as you keep the bangle . after every weed he extracted. ITS PEOPLE 173 and all the sins she may have committed a bangle I are forgiven her. made of a black seaweed found I on the Sarawak coast.

but believe they are I now a thing of the past. a Malay woman from one of our out-stations brought me fruit a cocoa-nut. because the Rajah has his own methods of dealing with such superstitious and undesirable proceedings.174 SARAWAK AND wrist. Just before left for England. believe these huge cocoa- nuts are only to be found growing in the Seychelles Islands." me she had brought me this fruit on call it account of the luck brought its possessor. must tell one more curious I belief existing amongst Malays. bring you bad luck I " The bangle on my dread it lest anything should happen to I for should ever get broken. two or three owners of plantations in the suburbs of the town came to the Rajah and complained that some of their Malay neighbours had cut down all their fruit trees during the hurricane. Nowa- days these drastic measures to other people's property are seldom heard of. very much I larger than the ordinary of the Archipelago. but should ! ITS it PEOPLE ever break. in women friends. and would wrist it. It took some time to eradicate I these curious and unneighbourly customs. After a frightful gale. and the natives told The woman them "cocoa de mer. should feel just as nervous of the result as would any of my Malay Sarawak use somewhat disconcerting methods to frighten away evil spirits on the occasion of very bad storms. at the . is it round your now. accompanied by incessant lightning and thunder. that occurred in Kuching. Some of the Malays in order to propitiate the spirit of the storm.

KUCHING .INCHI BAKAR— SCHOOL MASTER.

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The fruit brought for my acceptance had been given to the woman by a captain of a Malay schooner. The dragons feed on the fruit. ideas of With our European wisdom. who had rescued it as it was bobbing up and down in the water under the keel of " I thought you would like to have it. I story. guarded by two dragons. ." The fruit now a prominent position in our drawing-room at Kuching. and is borne by the current into These enormous nuts are all parts of the world. or . as is tell it ITS PEOPLE 175 me its came from fairyland. known Rajah bought Ranee. occasionally met with by passing vessels.SARAWAK AND same time assuring me asked her to that." is spot. do not like seeing one table. magpie." she for love said. and when they have partaken too freely of it. his boat. we should not forget that a great many of us. causing them to be sea-sick thus the fruit finds its way into the ocean. and is a source of great interest to the natives. sit in we never walk under a ladder. a tree as on which Pau Jinggeh. " because it cannot be occupies nor money. these large cocoa-nuts grow. a room where and how about people one meets who assure us they have heard the scream three candles are burning . have fits of indigestion. we hate to see the we avoid dining thirteen at new moon through glass. when she informed me in the every one knows. middle of the world In this a place called "The navel of the sea. and in this manner some are brought to the different settlements in the Malayan Archipelago. we may be but inclined to smile superciliously at these beliefs.

superior culture .i. not so very superior to primitive races. foretelling the death of some being? these things together. I think either superstition Dyaks show much more than we Europeans do after all. although we imagine that on account of our we are fit to govern the world. we are Malays or .6 SARAWAK AND Putting all ITS PEOPLE human do not of a Banshee.

— — . Many devices were resorted I to by these people. picturesque. where it was launched on the waters of the river. set burning by the Chinese in order to mitigate the plague. where cholera was and where the atmosphere was impregnated with the smell of incense and joss-sticks. In order to allay panic as much rife as possible. the Chinese merchants and their humbler and poorer brethren giving ungrudgingly to their dollars and cents a sop make this vessel glorious. superstitious and otherwise. and advent is any who have nervous temperaments. and blue. I witnessed several epidemics of cholera. to be borne by the tide it was hoped to the sea. green. as to stay the ravages of the infuriated god. The procession accompanying this vessel was extremely Great banners. built regardless of expense. The junk was placed on wheels and dragged for three miles down a bad road to a place called Finding. on account of the superstitious practices of the Kuching. remember one magnificent junk. its alarming. scarlet. the Rajah and I drove or rode every morning through the Bazaar. On one of its visitations.CHAPTER XX DURING to my residence ia Sarawak. some Chinese residing in curious incidents occurred.

for himself the sharpness of its and having realized blades. His head from side to tongue protruded. shouting.178 SARAWAK AND carried ITS PEOPLE etc. cymbals. and the arms. turned out to be a man seated on a chair looking like an arm-chair. on which were embroidered golden dragons. boundhe must be ing about. the man Our in the chair was apparently immune from wounds. rolled The man was side.. and making a terrific noise. with the ex- ception of a loincloth and a head-handkerchief. their sharp edges forming the back. and had got off my I pony at the door of our stables across the a crowd of people coming clashing river. I could see that no one thing in crowd took notice of anybody or anytheir way." on coming nearer. and. and I only the whites of his eyes could be seen. but formed entirely of swords. beating gongs. he could not understand how the man could have escaped cutting himself to pieces. English doctor subsequently examined the chair. The mob following him was screeching. yelling. One morning. saw the in the distance along road. meanwhile. the seat. aloft. but one of our Syces told me the man was trying to allay the cholera. Nor was I this the only procession organized whilst its the cholera was at height. The procession went round the Chinese quarters of the town. As it swept close to where in the I stood. . and the clashing of cymbals made a most frightful noise. and bearing something This "something. his naked. were by Chinamen. thought mad or in a ^t. after had been riding round the settlement.

"The man is . the driving in one of the roads near the town. I remember seeing the Aline heave anchor and slowly take its position immediately in front of batter guns of the Aline on to their houses in the Bazaar. The if Rajah. and somehow managed to liber- ate the fanatic. The Rajah said the time. before daylight. It was an excitng time. sent for the principal shopkeepers in the Bazaar. and the man who sat in the chair was beginning to exercise an undesirable influence over the people in the Bazaar. appeared to have the Moreover. and\ informed them that the man was not restored to the prison before six o'clock that evening he would turn the and them down over their heads. a band of China- men encircled the gaol. fore ordered the procession to The Rajah Rajah and there- be suppressed. I The were day after the order -was given. The following morning. but it instead of allaying the scourge it.SARAWAK AND evening during the effect of increasing first ITS PEOPLE 179 This gruesome procession took place morning and weeks of the epidemic. the Bazaar. of At five o'clock that evening a deputation Chinamen asked to see the Rajah. but when we reached the Palace he sent a force of police under an English officer to arrest the sword-chair man and imprison him. the minds of the people were in danger of becoming unhinged by this daily spectacle. also This senseless proceeding to the became a serious obstacle more intelligent attempts to stamp out the disease. the forbidden procession with a following of still when we met more numerous nothing at Chinamen than hitherto. hearing of this matter.

shook hands with each member of the deputation. in This practice was once resorted to Kuching. The outbreak entirely to the of cholera did not confine It itself Chinese quarter. as in so many other cases. the considered a favourable one. and I realized again. " he any more.i8o SARAWAK AND in gaol. Kampong also my Datu Isa and her relations. suffered . Europeans are not able to to in Another practice of the Chinese. The it pepper and that these fire gambler gardens were established." The Rajah smiled genially at the news. over which two or three barefooted. is embark on some new commercial to -lay down burning charcoal for the space of several yards. when any straits or when about enterprise. and proved a great success. began picking of out victims here and there. There are many mysteries regarding these curious Eastern people which fathom. the Rajah's wisdom in dealing with his people. set certain Chinamen to gambol up and down the fiery path unscathed. One can only wonder how is people's bare skins appear to be impervious to and to sharp instruments." ITS will PEOPLE not trouble the town back they said . when a company of Chinese merchants. which initiated individuals are paid to If I walk they come through the ordeal un- am given to understand enterprise is is nearly always the result. The man who was the cause of the trouble was subsequently sent out of the country. and the friends. anxious to open up pepper and gambler gardens in Sarawak. scathed.

" . my Malay friends found their way to the Astana. Rajah Ranee. she had never tasted half a tumbler. Muhamfilled madan. being a before). mixed with it about twenty drops of chlorodyne. " You will I have cured her. I some hot and chlorodyne. a buxom lady of forty years. whilst we were talking quite happily and trying to keep our minds free from the all-absorbing topic of the sickness that was laying so many low mourning to so many houses in saw the Datu Tumanggong's wife. suddenly turn the ashy-green colour that reveals sickness amongst these people. fat and jolly in appear- and bringing I Kuching. The mixture and I told her to drink and she She was trembling and demur for one instant. water. ITS PEOPLE i8i Every morning. I is vexy ill." they said. other friends to see how they would take it. spirit gave the poor lady a strong dose of the (which certainly. and during one of these visits. and frightened. go home and leave her to finish her " We sleep. and looked at Datu Isa and my I had would feel all right. For one moment I thought killed her.SARAWAK AND severely. I I had recourse to heroic sent for a bottle of brandy. " Good heavens Datu " ! ! I thought. notwithstanding. She rubbed her chest : round and round. perhaps the sickness methods. but did not swallowed the draught. ance. she seized with cholera. immediately sank back on the floor and lay inanimate on the rugs in my room. and in her throat. Isa said to me. making an extraordinary gulp She gave me back the tumbler. and then exclaimed feel " Wallahi. " Wallahi.

One morning. as I That same was getting up after my afternoon nap. she always came to me for help in any ailment. wife could have said . was not so sure." " tell them " to pick what flowers they like." she said. I saw her colour becoming restored. and I sent for Ima. The lady lay like a log. You white people have I secrets that no. but I was delighted when I realized she was none the worse." He is not. and saw her escorted down the path to her boat by Ima and the boat-boys. Her attack and my remedy did not appear to do her any harm." . After some time. whom paid me a friendly call. for. We and I I knew and sat talked on the verandah. The Rajah was called away from Kuching during the epidemic. day. one else can know. " up and appeared to be perfectly Wallah. and in the space of two hours she well " sat again. very well. to we two stayed in the room await developments. and he went back to his house. and I was alone with the children at the Astana. a chief. some I flowers from our " Certainly.1 82 SARAWAK AND feel ITS PEOPLE I pretended to no anxiety. thought he had never full been so talkative or seemed so particular morning. But did not know Datu Mohammed was having a feast to-day. Rajah Ranee. although must say I did not feel very comfortable. and her pulse beat very fast." Personally. Talip came to my room and I asked whether Datu Mohammed's garden. of life as on that About eleven o'clock we shook hands. You do understand. from that day.

from Mecca Muhammadan was made great use of in cases of The rosary was placed in a illness in Kuching. to be Daiang Kho informed me that the cures performed by the rosary were wonderful. . called Daiang Kho. but. tumbler of cold water over night. whenever they have sorrowful or tragic news to impart. Grisek. death of a favourite cat would elicit sighs and groans. her rigorous all. The ings. always I suppose. and above her because she had achieved the great pilgrimage to Mecca. in some cases mind triumphs over the body. for Malays. Daiang Kho had a brought with rosary. in order. used as medicine. who was attention to religious beloved by the Malays of Kuching on account of her blameless duties. relations." This was said with a smile. and the liquid and this poured into various bottles the next morning. as we all know. and I was not therefore surprised at hearing that this innocuous drink had sometimes been successful in curing sufferers when attacked by the first symptoms of disease. "he died of cholera at three o'clock. Some to in combat the had curious methods in trying There was an old lady living Kampong life. smile. to mask their feelings.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 183 Talip replied. but in any sorrow they hide their tru6 feel- even from their nearest of the Malays disease.

district the Rejang agreeing with these plans. I had to make my home in England. journeys. whenever possible. I hurried over to pay visits to what is. to spend more time away from our country. part of which time the Rajah was obliged to be in England. my own of land. We then stayed there some months. became incumbent on me. and the Rajah. life I think one of the happiest periods Bertram went to my occurred just before Cambridge. after all. and it did not take us long to pick up again the threads of our life in Sarawak. a given to the youngest son of the Rajahs of boys were Sarawak. He is called Tuan Bungsu title (the youngest of a family).CHAPTER XXI my one DURING son Harry was youngest of visits to England our born. but. I should like to give an account of some journeys which Bertram and stations. visit I took I to some of the out- For instance. As it time went on and our growing up. on account of the education of our sons. when he accompanied me to Sarawak. gave us his yacht for our 184 . was anxious we should together. Bertram and I gave many receptions to our Malay friends. for obvious reasons.

well-educated Malay. sisters. and cousins sitting on the floor arrayed in silks and satins with gold bangles. all into. was anxious we should be amused during our to and. the more of the serious criminal cases are under the control his Council at Rajah When we Heidji arrived at the bungalow. This gentleman has. of the standing of Hadji Ahmad may occupy the office of magistrate. The chief of this village a kindly. with as thick a roof as possible. Bampfylde. at the mouth of the Sarawak River. wife. He offered to erect a fishing-shed for us. who had come with us from Europe. before. and are entitled to inquire try. been to Mecca. accompanied friend Mr. A. shelving . ministering the We stayed a day or two at the Httle village of Santubong.SARAWAK AND * ITS PEOPLE 185 We started one morning from Kuching. Hadji Ahmad stay. being an enthusiastic fisherman. and is thought a great deal of both by Europeans and settlements in At any of these small the Rajah's country. waiting for us. and the petty cases that occur even in such simple out-of-the-way and almost sinless communities. where the Rajah had of Europeans built a bungalow for the use air requiring change of is to the sea. Malay gentlemen natives. for a round of visits to our Dyak and Kayan friends. C. then ad- by our great Government in the Rajah's absence. he was eager show us a good day's sport. As and I think I have remarked Kuching. we found female Ahmad's aunts. on the shallow. Langmore. to protect us from the sun. named Hadji Ahmad. and Dr.

rung ladder. their position in The Malay and as us I had taken the boat for about an hour and a half before our arrival. built. stepped into the canoe they almost sent in overboard in their tender attempts to settle me down the most comfortable corner. stilts standing on in the middle of the risen tide. and mats and gold (the kinds of draperies Malay women of the hut. remarks. some twenty fathoms from the shore.1 86 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE bank of sand which at low tide lies uncovered for When the hut was miles on the Santubong shore. village) work of the were hung round the We made our way up the wide. We started off at ebbtide in a narrow canoe. ladies covered with white awnings. Hadji Ahmad's wife was a buxom dame of thirty years. The It fishing-hut looked like a bathing machine. through which the water shone . drawing attention to his swarthy complexion. some ten feet high. asked permission to bring his family to join in the expedition. Hadji Ahmad long. had been decorated with the embroidered in beautiful blossom all of the areca-nut palm. She and her five companions talked incessantly. his beard and moustache that sparsely covered his chin and lips (Malay men are seldom adorned with either beard or moustache). and one of the elder women kept us amused and the Malay women in a perpetual giggle. who was She was most personal in her our helmsman. but he took his sister's witticisms good-humouredly. at the manner in which she chaffed her brother.

came in. swung horizontally each side of the hut. were tied to these poles. who highly approved of the din. causing great delight to we entered the my female escort. which had conveyed ten or fifteen of the rhost experienced fishermen in the village. They were erected upon a series over the sea. the fishermen hung on to the poles the tide [ As at the back of the hut. A number of canoes. jelly-like fishermen in the Straits dread . The hut groaned and in creaked as our party. some fourteen their seats number. of stout timber poles 'disposed at the back of the leaf building in the shape of a boat's keel. for the net to be full of fish. when we saw a number of meshes. the excitement of the party grew intense. therefore. and the fishermen sang a dirge-like melody. twenty feet between which the nets were hung. according to Hadji Ahmad's idea.SARAWAK AND and glistened in the ITS PEOPLE 187 most alarming manner. inviting the fish into the net. it would only be good manners and loyalty on their part to pay their respects by being caught and eaten by them When sufficient time had elapsed. jutting out in front. took it on a small platform jutting out from The construction of these sheds was very ingenious. their weight swinging the wriggling in their ends on which the nets were tied out of the water. telling them the Rajah's wife and son were expecting their arrival. and that. acting as levers. those poisonous masses of white. Amongst the fish substances which all fish were two or three octopuses. A salvo of Chinese crackers were let off as hut. Four great poles.

upon which the figure of a woman is carved. The replied. so. had better explain that at the foot of this mountain .1 88 SARAWAK AND . at last inquired whether when Hadji Ahmad we were drifting in quite the wrong direction. One Hadji soon put us right. without asking any questions. had and Bertram was as amused as we were at the extreme politeness of our Malay entourage. I suppose we might even now be wandering about the maze of water. with Bertram at the helm. twisting channels for an hour or thinking the in and out of these numerous Dr." he we not inquired the way. were tossed back again into the sea. way rather long. On this occasion. After an enjoyable day. At length the stone was reached. we travelled in one of the Aline' s boats. our crew in order to having provided themselves with paddles make their in way through the aquatic vegetation which abounds the small streams. proceeded to steer us through a maze of nipa palms and mangroves. Langmore and I. and it was indeed a curious object. and. that informed us Rajah's son right until he asked us to do so. we went back to the house for tea. " But why did you not say so ? " "We could not set the I said to Hadji Ahmad. ITS PEOPLE their poisonous like the evil one himself. and started off again in the cool of the evening to visit a creek in the neighbourhood. on account of stings these. we were on the right track. Therefore. where lies a great boulder of sandstone. when captured. Bertram took his place at the helm.

and. The sandstone boulder with its was only discovered during quite late years by a gardener who was clearing the soil in preparaeffigy tion for a vegetable garden. in the alluvial soil washed down by the frequent rain of those tropical countries. Experts who have visited this spot are confident that a considerable number of people once lived here. golden ornaments. We landed in the midst of mud and on It fallen trees. rolled down from the mountain. traces of a former settlement. and broken pottery have been found lying here and there with the pebbles. in the shape of beads. Lower down. trestles. Bertram dis- covered the outline of a smaller figure in the same . and apparently represents a naked woman flung face a knot of hair stands some all downwards. on and I the right of the larger carving. with arms and legs extended. erected by the Rajah's orders to protect the carving from the effects of the weather. deserted the spot. and mud.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 189 of Santubong. Amongst some of the debris. Narrow planks of wood. clinging to the surface of the rock . The carved figure is about life-size. the remains of a glass factory and golden ornaments of Hindoo workmanship have been discovered. led us rests under a roof of iron-wood shingles. owing to some unknown cause. through a morass to the raised figure. inches from her head. gravel. and round the figure the stone is weather-beaten and worn. pletely This race of people has faded com- from the memory of the present inhabitants of Santubong.

They call these stones Batu Kudi (the stones of curses). at least all those with The I people of Sarawak. woman. in the beds of and elsewhere. met with race. be seen near by on the stone. The natives of Santubong have turned the place into a sort of shrine for pilgrimage. are thought by the people to guilty of such be the remnants of a human crimes. in the shape of temples buildings. There is no one nowadays in Kuching capable of fashioning such a thing. have been found in these gravel imagine somewhere on the mountain must be hidden more vestiges of a long-departed people. given and turned stone by an avenging Deity. so that I Morefretted fragments of stone. but how these legends took root and became so firmly implanted in the minds of Sarawak people remains a mystery to this day. This mysterious Santubong figure puzzles and interests me greatly. whom have come are under the impression that anyone guilty of injuring. in contact. SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE on its A is triangular mark. or laughing at animals is liable to be all turned into stone by an offended god. the tops of carved pillars. Hadji Ahmad told me to to that the figure to men and women of his village imagine the real have been that of a torturing animals for her amusement. with three loops to upper bar. look- ing like the head of an animal rudely scratched. ill-treating. When and maybe of other one remembers Angkor Wat and the manner in which that stupendous work of men's .I90 position. over. and nearly the stones or rocks to be fivers. and other beds.

and when stay* sion of their deserted homes. Ahmad was methods a proof of the manner in which these was anxious to know what was thought by the Santubong people about this stone. shroud of which more completely than desert sand ob- the works of humanity for a long while. . ing near the Santubong mountain. raised to their gods. literated ITS PEOPLE under its 191 for centuries. and I longed to know the fate of those who had gone before. Under the shade of in- numerable generations of altars trees. it. I only wish I could live long enough to see entrances and terrifies one. For reasons such as these. driven forth or killed. Then that " something " happens. with perhaps the quietude of endless previous centuries lulling them into factitious security. its mystery weighed on me. Those great forests of the tropics must hold many secrets. when the relentless growth of the tropics takes posses- and the trace of their existence is blotted out by leaves. The Hadji said some obvious things. Musing over the past history of semi-deserted countries. such as these. struggled and temples to live their lives. one can almost be certain that Santubong and its mysteries will be unveiled some day. such people are destroyed. it is a pity that some of the Europeans who come natives into touch with should do all they can to wipe out tales bearing call from their minds legends and origin of their race on the Hadji —yarns I they them. but when I affected him. helpless as thistledown blown about by puffs of wind.SARAWAK AND hands lay buried leaves. when. men and women have come and gone.

for he Sarawak might accuse him he preferred to keep what he I thought about the stone to himself. my Malay friend said "If you like go out by yourself. I my European have since come to the cona wonderful and beautiful occur again.192 SARAWAK AND afraid ITS PEOPLE pressed him further. might prove of inestimable value to science. made an exquisite As we stood : on the verandah. Within a few yards of the house a grove of of their frail casuarina trees were swaying in the evening breeze. The murmur sound to branches in the stillness of the night." I wish now I had gone out and listened. clusion that have lost experience which " I may never know a story about the mountain . but afraid of the night. refrained. and the mountain of Santubong looked black against the sky. for I am foolish enough to believe that the secrets told by those musical branches might have been worth listening to. if unveiled. Before closing this chapter. above I all. he begged was Englishmen . and stand under those trees at midnight. too often that cannot repeat such criticisms made by Europeans amongst to imaginative Eastern peoples whom they live are helping to suppress secrets which. of Santubong. conversation friends I I must recount a had with one of our beautiful my Santubong to the It evening before departure the Rejang. and. of the criticisms of I friends. Rajah Ranee. of the solitude. you will hear voices of unknown people telling you the secrets of the earth. was a moonlight night. in of telHng Hes therefore me not to do so.

Their intercourse ripened into love. at the mountain. and from thence had watched him admiringly on account One day she flew down into of his blameless life. that the blood of those who lead holy 13 lives is . " I should well like to hear. they were married. Haji Hassan and his spirit-wife lived for some years in this lofty region. lived on highest peak. lived in a house at the foot of He was a Haji. and the daughter of the Haji husband to her moon wafted her home beyond the clouds. his prayers were incessant.^ from the wound white as visited his He occasionally brothers and sisters living in Kuching." of long ago. " Say on. He read the Koran day and night. but he was never away from his solitary sea-shore for very long. entered his house. whose name this " was Hassan. and made friends with him. beautiful lady. and the name of Allah was ever on his lips. They were such good people that ^ it seemed as though nothing could ever happen idea entertained An by some Sarawak Malays white instead of red. ITS hear PEOPLE it ? 193 like to " said my friend." she began. the blood flowed milk. and whenever he cut himself with his parang whilst hewing down the trees to make into canoes. the valley. for he had been to Mecca. His soul was white and exceedingly clean." I "In the days a holy man. home by He of never suspected that a the Spirit Santubong its and the daughter of the moon. mountain. and wore a green turban and long flowing robes. the taking about half a day to accomplish the journey.SARAWAK AND Would Rajah Ranee as we stood looking replied .

moon " Meanwhile.' my life and light of my eyes. and sighed for a change. She called her servants and ordered them to prepare a boat to carry her husband to Kuching. forgive me am about to say. I want to go to Kuching them to see my brothers and sisters. Hassan was enjoying himself Kuching. " ' if only for a short space of time. and to stay with a A great sickness . she let return. and a great longing came over him to return. to the grosser pleasures of earth.194 to SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE mar their happiness. One day he spoke I these words to his wife : Delight of for what while. pledging him to return to her when a month had gone by. Haji with his friends at deal of . and of his other friends living there. of heart seized the him go. But as time went on. the good man grew weary of this unalloyed happiness. So the Haji departed. but week after week went by and his wife sat alone on her mountain peak. He was made a great bullocks were killed for his consumption at great banquets in the houses of his friends. and he could see the lights of the village near it twinkling in the darkness of nights. longing for his daughter of the nevertheless. in He thought of his brothers and sisters Kuching. and the days seemed long to the daughter of the moon. At length the Haji's time had expired. From his home on the mountain-top he could see the roof of his little palmthatched house. where he was the honoured guest. and always the one chosen to . where he had lived alone for so many years.

the highest peak of the Matang range. speedily to the foot of Santubong.SARAWAK AND admonish lionized his friends ITS PEOPLE in 195 and give them lessons In fact. when one morning. At this the Haji's heart grew sick and he shed bitter tears. " Some months had elapsed. He clambered to find its it steep sides and reached his home —only empty and desolate.' and quickly paddled off. where he was sitting. for the daughter of the moon had flown. Subsequently he heard news of her on Mount Serapi. He hastily summoned his servants. good conduct before the meal began. and paddled himself to the foot Mount Sipang. as the Haji was returning from the river-bank where he had bathed and prayed before beginning the day. constantly sighing for the presence of his wife. and. The Haji sprang into his canoe tied to the landing-place. and there became gloomy and silent. a man ' in a canoe passed by the landing-place. but on reaching the mountain-top . Eh. he looked towards the north and saw a great black cloud forming over the peak of the mountain then he suddenly remembered his wife. the tide and strenuous paddling of his crew bore him . He went back to his relations at Kuching. staring the river. that he forgot his he was so wife waiting for him amongst the clouds at the top of Santubong. Tuan Haji. He rushed up to its highest peak. 'your wife has been seen on the top of Mount loosed of Sipang.' the man called out. when the boat was made ready. but his wife was not there. units moorings. " One Haji's at evening.

" She walked away in the moonlight to her went to and I bed and dreamed about the Haji and his in the village below. and soon heart. whilst the talking trees outside told their secrets to the stars. He went back to Kuching. " I ask your leave to " I go. hope you will sleep well.196' SARAWAK AND to ITS PEOPLE he was again disappointed. but my friend went on to explain that is whenever the peak of the Santubong mountain bathed in moonlight the people imagine the daughter of the It moon is revisiting her old home. was almost midnight. . but the daughter of out of his life moon had vanished for ever." after died of a broken This was the end of the story. Thus from mountain disconsolate peak the mountain peak all the husband sought his wife over Borneo. Rajah Ranee." my Malay companion said. home moonshine.

and although the water is shallow on bourhood. We steamed . Groves of talking grew soil close to the sea. It is not so precipitous as is Santubong. It differs in the country called from most of the other settlements in Sarawak by the fact that a good deal of agriculture goes on in the neigh- and that the country is flat near the Government Bungalow. and tufts of coarse grass were dotted over the sands. It is height.CHAPTER XXII ONE is of my places of predilection Lundu. We embarked for this place in the Aline. one of the frontiers between the Dutch country and Sarawak. when river. the bar we managed feet to time our arrival at high tide. the nine necessary to float our yacht enabled us to steer our way comfortably into the the banks of which are sandy trees at the mouth. but not a living was to be seen on the sea-shore. the As the we proceeded nipa farther became muddy and palm forests appeared. forest trees growing thickly right up to the Fishing stakes were sti-etched across some at of the sandbanks soul mouth. We could feet in see mountain of Poe. three thousand towering inland. so that the Rajah and the Dutch Government each possess half of this mountain. and has the top.

accompanied by a number of Dyaks. crossed in every direction by little down to the main river. like green gloom of the jungle. which might unknown to science. and the thought of it haunted me. therefore. . When we arrived at Lundu. our friend Mr. for a distance. Douglas in the comfortable ^ This tree. it was not strange I formed the idea it might be unknown to science. these blossoms were. Seen it at it blossom. at the gorgeous blossoms. and is a creeper.198 SARAWAK AND streams travelling ITS PEOPLE through a broad morass. so we contented ourselves with looking through opera glasses. a tree a flaming torch in the of yellow blossoms.^ A little farther on were huts sitting built near the river. called Bauhinea. A Dyak chief styled the Orang Kaya Stia Rajah. It would have taken our sailors many hours to hew their way to it. Its leafy image persisted in my mind. I have now been informed that it is not unknown. was the only one of its kind I had seen . across a jungle of vegetation. with his wife and relations. came on board with Mr. which no one could tell me the name of at the time. Farther on we noticed. and at its No I one could tell me what the tree and obtain as yet be was deeply disappointed some of our inability to reach branches. and we could see men on the rungs of ladders leading from their open doors to the water. its appearance is like that of a tree in completely covers and perhaps smothers the tree — — upon which fastens itself. Resident of the place and living Government bungalow situated a few yards from the river. Bloomfield Douglas. although that did not help us to discover what the tree was. about twenty or thirty yards full from the banks. came to meet us at the wharf. and not a tree at all.

which he had been wise The enough to leave unpainted and unpapered. hanging pots in fragile and delicate cascades of colour against the dark background. were took hold of gently back followed suit. and were decorated with hanging baskets of orchids in full flower.SARAWAK AND to take us ITS PEOPLE 199 on shore. vandalowis. I on such occasions as though two little holes were placed on the back of my hand. the kind. Dyak women. white. pink. by my side and some of the Dyak men European These people never always felt kiss in fashion. but smell at the object of their affection or reverence. and it. even held out to touch our fingers. Both men and women wore the conical hats of the country. made of the finest A piece of light wood delicately carved to a point ornamented their tops. My at old friends. affectionate sniffed . On the day of our arrival. straw. —a mass of brown. some time in it was a great These greetings took the overpowering heat of midday. etc. yellow. of ferns were placed Rare and wonderful in my bedroom. They laid it my hand. which were made splendid with bright colours. and the people overhead and lined the way right up to the Resident's door. walls were made of the brown wood of the country. Douglas's pretty room. the sun was blazing it was fearfully hot. and relief when at last we reached Mr. and . philaenopsis. and mauve blooms. Our shadows were very short as we moved along. We hands had to touch everybody individually as we marched babies in arms had their little along.

In the evening ment. like miniature clusters In every corner or twist of the road we met until little groups of men and women waiting for us. rushed at retired once the backs of our hands. made them a charming picture fields in the landscape. These trained up poles. however remote. . by the bungalow and thickly covered with virgin forest. we took a walk round The many plantations of Liberian coffee trees looked beautiful weighed down with green and scarlet berries. with small green bunches of green and hanging down red grapes. The contrast of berries and flowers. with the glossy dark green of the leaves. They stood in the ditches by the side of the paths we came up to them. During the night I heard the Argus pheasant us. jasmine.200 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE and chimpakas the settle- quantities of roses. in response to distant thunder. when they jumped out. ful things. and across plantations of pepper vines. scented the whole place. These which roam about the hill of Gading. The sound they make is uncanny beautiful birds close is and sorrowful. Any calls sudden loud sound. gardenias. sniffed at crying in the woods. some branches still retaining their snowy blossoms. apparently an echo of terror from these birds. We went through latter are grace- planted with tapioca and sugar-cane. and more to the ditches without saying a word. in the sombre wilderness of innumerable to fathom the secrets of seeking an implacable world. as of a dead tree forth falling or the rumble of thunder. like the cry of lost souls wandering trees.

MALAY STRIKING FIRE FROM DRY TINDER .

.

Branches of sugargreat canes and the fronds of betel-nut palms decorated the poles of the verandah. as usual. with an air of pomp and majesty. Dr. Mr. Douglas. or Klings.SARAWAK AND The ITS PEOPLE 201 next evening the chief of the village invited us to a reception at his house. where was hung a canopy of golden embroideries and stiff brocades. far Dyaks who had Chinamen resident in the Malays from over the Dutch border. His manner was courtly and his costume His jacket and trousers were braided with gold. and the floor was covered Bertram. and the sarong round full his waist was fastened with a belt of beaten gold. few Hindoos. The chief. with fine white mats. and even a of people : and near. magnificent. whilst the rest of the floor. helped me up the narrow way as though it were the stairway of a palace. night. but. and I sat on guests squatted on mats laid on the The women and young girls sat near me. The house was come from place. were to be seen. Langmore. situated a short distance from the bungalow. It was a fine starlight and we walked there after dinner. The chief took us to the place prepared for us at the end of the verandah. one of . A broad verandah led into the living-rooms. chairs. the flooring being propped on innumer- able poles about thirty feet from the ground. A many lighted lamps hung from the roof. The house was built much in the same way as are other Sea Dyak houses. leaning at a steep angle against the verandah. we had to climb a slender pole with notches all the way up.

and lay in a coil at the nape of her neck it and as she carried her head very high.202 the latter. characteristic of her race. as she sat nursing her sister's baby. dark cotton was narrow and hardly reached her knees. beautiful and jacket. however. (a peculiarity I had never seen in Sarawak before) . its only article of clothing. lips wide and some- what Her hair was pulled tightly off her fore. around like whose old. Her hair. The high cheek-bones. and over this she wore a dark blue cotton neck with gold buttons as big Her eyes were dark. in spite of her nose being flat. fastened at the as small saucers. The little creature looked pathetic. a small cannon-ball. and her thick. and her straight eyebrows drooped a little at the outer corners. to prevent it from . gave her a certain air of refinement and delicacy. wrist was tied a black wooden rattle. SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE whose name was Madu (meaning honey). had one peculiarity seemed too heavy for her. some of the tribes shaving their children's heads from early infancy until they are seven years old. Hfer petticoat of coarse being very pretty indeed. and this made Madu unhappy. The baby was about two months to and appeared part be healthy. when I saw that the child's stomach had on its been rubbed over with turmeric. her nostrils broad. it was streaked with red. in order to avoid the possibility of such an occurrence. head. but a sudden kick removed a piece of calico. keenly intelligent. the great mass looked as though it dragged it backwards. for Malays and Dyaks do not like the slightest appearance of red hair.

These gongs are beaten by one skilfully individual. in quarters. each gong sounding a different note —a scale. and there were drums beaten at both ends with the musician's fingers. We had of cakes made grated cocoa-nut and of rice flour. also — — They fell down suddenly in front of us.SARAWAK AND being seized by the his ITS PEOPLE The it 203 chief told demon of disease. and mangosteens. were placed on one side of their heads. Glasses of to the much diluted with water. and sarongs and smoking-caps. the chief's native friends sitting floor. its daughter to leave the child to nurse. in fact. Other members of the orchestra played gongs hung singly on poles. intensely sweet. There were large trays of pumeloes. cut gin. called the Kromang. two young men got up after an immense amount of persuasion. When the band had finished the overture. fixed in a wooden frame. when a very old lady rushed forward and took glasses away. right and after refreshments a place was cleared down the room. together with oranges. their hands . The orchestra was placed on one side of the It consisted of a set of gongs. Refreshments were then handed round. These instruments played in concert and with remarkable rhythm were pleasant to listen to. ornamented with tassels. They were dressed in Malay clothes jackets. decreasing in size. on mats on the leaning against the walls. trousers. in seven or eight number. and walked shyly to the middle of the cleared space. of cocoa-nut milk. were handed male guests. hall. and when played they sound like running water. bananas.

One of the dancers held two flat pieces of wood in each hand. when the first their shyness vanished. Although the movements and at every a delightful for them to be ungracenew pose they managed to fall into arrangement of lines. giggled. was evidently the thing to do. . full although per- formed by Dyaks. for they were of restraint. interesting and pretty. the ITS PEOPLE till cksped and bowed their foreheads touched slowly. clicking them together like castanets. then on the to swayed other. keeping time to the orchestra by hitting the saucers with rings of gold which he wore on each forefinger. looked ful. He was as skilful as any juggler I had seen. for he twisted the saucers round and round. looked at floor.204 SARAWAK AND above their heads. couple were induced to come back. Then they got up one another. stiff". The other man danced with china saucers held in each hand. their bodies on one knee with the other leg outstretched before them. and fro. The dances were was impossible evidently inspired by Malay all artists. The dancers were never Their arms waved about. and walked of the house explained that they their away. they knelt first sometimes bending their bodies in a line with the floor- — the it castanets and the saucers being kept going the whole time. Other dances followed. his for rings hitting against them in time to the music with still wonderful accuracy. and the performance began. a second. for several other At last couples went through this same pantomime. The master were shy. and thought It conduct quite natural.

petticoats of gold brocade. hanging from almost to the under their armpits and reaching under which were dark blue feet." imagine that the noise made by clashing the cocoa-nut shells resembles the cry of plandoks (mouse-deer) in the forests. keeping exactly in line. the middle of the hall. in single file. pretty Madu. It would I be interesting to know the origin of such dances. and waved their hands slowly from the wrists. . cotton draperies hiding their The girls. whilst hopping in and out of the other cocoanuts. were floor. the women's turn came. cut in two. After the men had stiff finished. dancers picked up one in each hand. These wore floor. . they looked as though they were crucified against invisible crosses. They stretched out their arms in a line with their shoulders. this performance being called by the people " the for they mouse-deer dance. with their and followed Madu's I gestures so accurately that from where stood I could only see Madu as she headed the dancers.SARAWAK AND Sometimes empty cocoa-nut placed in patterns on the ITS PEOPLE The 205 shells. and wafted left down us. beating the hands. clashing them together like cymbals. When they approached they swayed their bodies to right and air gently and extended their arms. their eyes cast With their heads on one side and down. headed a procession of about thirty young women and who emerged from the open doorway at the other end of the room. with the red-streaked hair. Their sleeves were open and hung from the elbow weighted with rows upon rows of golden knobs.

if stiff skirts. about eleven or twelve years of age. Our hosts escorted us back to Mr. "for me to notice. if imagine the Hindoo element pervades them ballet. it was late when his left this The chief and daughters offered us more cocoa-nut milk. When one of these small wrestlers was defeated he never showed bad temper or appeared maliciously disposed towards his conqueror. and hospitable house. took the han6 of a friend of his. cakes. and the leave-taking took some time.2o6 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE all. We we all enjoyed ourselves. opening their mouths and without showing any other signs of excitement on their immovable faces. after which little wrestling matches took place between boys of the tribe. my hand and put it into another Sea Dyak. One old Sea Dyak. or pirouetting on one toe." hope I responded sympathetically. for he had bounded about and joined in the dances. my friends are "You make your friends. and after a while we managed to drag ourselves away. whom he particularly vvished friends. How surprised these so-called savages would be they were present at some with women in tights and short artistic. kicking their legs about. Douglas's . for these natives are innately kept away from the influence of European art and its execrable taste." I he said. and bananas. Each time a movement more graceful than the last was accomplished by these young women. the men evinced their approbation by yelling. The dances went on for some time. who had been very conspicuous during the evening.

palms and over carpets of lemon spikes beaten delightful over the path by the rain whose long gave a feet. for was not Rajah Ranee. and passed by Chinese houses. host. we went through avenues grass. and tribe. fragrance crushed by so little many We crossed a bridge over a bubbling stream. because they had become brothers. words were honour of Bertram and me. and white moon-flower bells hung wide open over the verandah. that quite settled the relationship. I ITS PEOPLE in 207 hand with the chief. whose inhabitants opened their windows to look at our midnight procession. were sorry to say good-bye to our kind . com- posed in our honour by the poet of the chief told its The as me the song was in " manah " (beautiful). and Bertram followed. could still hear the people singing on their way back full to the village.flowering jasmine was in bloom later. We Mr. I all over the garden. out of the window of Half an hour as I leaned my bedroom. We left Lundu next day with regret. his mother.SARAWAK AND bungalow. fireflies The trees in the garden were the of looking like stars entangled in the branches. the arbor or night. led the way. who kept assuring Bertram that he felt very happy. hand in hand with the chiefs son. A recent shower as had left the night fine and the of betel-nut air cool. tristis When we reached the bungalow. the people sang choruses to impromptu words. and as he was doing the same with her son. hand The orchestra followed us the whole way home. walking home hand in hand with his father.

am my not ashamed to own that after a visit in I any of the Sarawak settlements heart behind. and as steamed away I almost inclined to cry. and to the Dyaks of the place. Although I may be accused of being unduly emotional. always left a piece of .2o8 SARAWAK AND I felt ITS PEOPLE we Douglas.

His face was round and short he had a receding chin and a protruding upper lip. He Sibu with his schooner to the relations. Bampfylde sent for lived at him the next morning. and his complexion was rather darker than most Malays. being tanned by exposure trading made voyages and sea air. ijian's what alarming adventure with a wished to hear the tale As I from the own lips. way up the Rejang in he was much interested to tell the things I had life him about Sibu. Mr. and to Singapore. Bampfylde told me of a Haji who had experienced an interesting and somesea-serpent. to Rhio. He 14 told me that about two or three months . many before.. and was delighted in see the interest he took in the smallest details of my so first and most years interesting stay these later regions visit. and Dutch Settlements. During this Mr. shaded by a black and bristly moustache. The I early days of my to were lived over again. Haji Matahim was a typical Malay from Sambas. He possessed a small of about 200 tons. CHAPTER XXIII I WHEN all Bertram and stopped at Sibu for a few days on our to Kanowit. He was flat between the eyes.

" striped white and green. with which to preserve the eight in fish. the crew managed to haul them up with buckets and baskets. according to the Haji's .210 SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE was sailing before the time of which write he from Pontianak. an island One day he was becalmed not far from called Rhio. He rushed up to the Haji and told him what he had seen. Having no surrounded salt on board. to ascertain the depth at whereupon the Haji ordered the lead to be thrown over which this unlooked-for object lying. monstrous head rising out of the water. whereas that particular region the it is well known that in Then the Haji saw sea is about fifty fathoms deep. number. capturing them in enormous quantities. Hke that of a fish. cleaned them there and then on the vessel's deck. a place in Dutch Borneo. was a flat. the way. with a cargo for Singapore. some ten or twelve yards from the vessel. and threw the the sea. the rudder chain snapped. the crew. when a man in the stern saw a floating mass of " something. The Haji and his crew were busily discussing how best they could remedy the accident. lying motionless under the clear surface of the water. the schooner's The head was bows floating between its eyes. offal into Haji Matahim was standing in the bows looking at this extraordinary capture. As the fish swarmed round the ship. The lead gave only six fathoms. when his ship was suddenly by an extraordinary shoal of fishes. and. for it when suddenly This was nothing out of had previously been broken and mended with a piece of wire.

could not very well have remained motionless for the length of time as stated by the I give his tale as I took it from his own Mr. seven or eight inches long the time observation was for sufficient. coherent on the subject. Personally I the same am inclined to think that the creature. The Haji was and he told me at not very the time up trading voyages for the Subsequently he changed his mind in and continued his trading excursions schooner for some years afterwards. Bampfylde told me that he had taken the trouble to question separately. which they hung over the side of the ship. as the monster remained motionless about half an hour. but am not pre- pared to enter into the old controversy as to whether . his crew were too time move or but after a they collected their Wits together sufficiently to procure some tuba and garlic (stowed on board for cases of emergency). must have caused some motion it to their vessel. it was. could not find out from the Haji how much the water was troubled when the monstrous head plunged back again into the sea. whereupon the beast I slowly sank and disappeared. of the members of the crew and the struck tale told I every respect with by the Haji tallied in have related this story because it me as interesting. that he intended giving rest of his life.: SARAWAK AND at the ITS PEOPLE 211 account. but lips. for if it the beast had bpen of such extraordinary dimensions. some theirs. the eyes looked like two round balls stuck end of for spikes. whatever Haji. how- ever slowly went under. terrified to The Haji and speak.

Farther up the river the years that had passed by since my first visit to the district had brought peace. Great trunks of trees swirled and eddied round the ship at this spot. even the now keeping an open mind on I the question. and commerce . cleared his throat perpetually. we went on our solitary way.212 SARAWAK AND scientists are ITS It PEOPLE has been said that the sea-serpent exists or not. am going to do the same. he got over with the little difficulties with the greatest ease and waste of energy. and the danger over. Although the steersman handled the ropes very gently. the use of the Rajah's officers at Sibu. as though fearful of breaking them. As we forced our way round a somewhat difficult point. trade. make A day or two afterwards we embarked on the a small steamer of forty tons kept for Lucille. frowned. that the and I believe the Haji was firmly convinced tuba and garlic together were quite sufficient to the monster disappear. perhaps necessary to say that garlic plays a great part in the superstitious rites of some Malays. After this trifling incident. and started in the cold mists of morning for Kapit. after heavy rains during the night. through a mass of driftwood borne down by a freshet. our steam- launch the only living thing in this wilderness of wood and water. comfort. the mass of driftwood passed. and stared vacantly ahead until the corner was rounded. our vessel bumped against and heeled over a snag. It is Well. and the Malay at the wheel changed from one leg to the other.

near attended and productive of good results in the civilization of the people. being well up a school for girls. would take too long to them in full. and a footpath. also. their school. was . lining the bank. for the efficiency of their Dyak and Chinese A group of nuns have which is set by. who have cast away all thoughts of comfort in the world and elected to throw in their lots for ever amongst the aborigines. is remarkable scholars. missionaries were bearing splendid The mis- sionary fathers have built there a substantial and handsome church . made of wooden planks and supported on poles. It and one new at ments. where a small Fort stands on the top of one of the little hills shelving into the river. was interesting efforts notice Kanowit Catholic that the beneficent of our Roman fruit. and when believe we are gathered to our told. Along the road.SARAWAK AND to ITS or to PEOPLE two 213 settle- the river-side. Spiritually and materially their beneficent influence is felt throughout the land. but the blameless lives of these men and women. I ancestors and the tales of these rivers are it will be known that one of the principal factors in the spiritual wak is largely due to the advancement of Sarawork of Roman Catholic missionaries. called Song. cannot fail to impress the people amongst whom they live. Farther up the river. we passed another small settlement of recent growth. stood a row of Chinese houses. The Roman describe Catholic methods of teaching these native It children are excellent.

had nothing on but cotton drawers. yellow. steep banks lead up to its front door. About six in the evening we reached Kapit. blue.. No women like in were to be seen. were anchored to the banks. for wore waistcloths. and the wild Punans make the best mats. pigtails twisted round their heads. The Fort stands on a hill. waiting their turn to be unloaded. brought from the Mats. where we met company but that of hawks flying rather low overhead. At this spot. covered with bundles of rattans. for houses. Even the Chinamen. A great many boats. reach after reach was rounded. It stands some with no other forty feet above the level of ordinary tides. baskets. on their way to sell them to Chinamen. of brown moths so large that I mistook them for birds. cordage for ships. appearing here and there over the mud-banks in clusters of delicate colours.214 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE The banks were crowded with Dyaks and Chinamen. a desert of Having passed this spot of activity in leaves and water. and of butterflies. when heavier freshets than those in the . and steps cut out in the sharp. full of produce. The Tanjong people are about the best basket-makers of the country. and white. interior. where the trade in rattans is active. flooring etc. but in the rainy season. and the jumping or clambering men looked long brown-legged spiders. The little Bazaar was they only with their crowded with almost naked people. and out of the water. we saw up-river Dyaks hurrying up the steep banks with loads of rattan and gutta-percha. are usually made of rattans.

and was educated at the Protestant Mission at Kuching. Bampfylde's. . and Kayans. dark. ordered one another about. Mingo is well acquainted with the wild inhabitants in his district. exclaiming. and Bertram's portmanteaux were seized and borne to the Fort by Kayans with their hair streaming over their shoulders. Suddenly the crowd fell back. meet " Mingo " man came down the path to This was F. rushed from the Bazaar and helped to carry our luggage. With his burly figure. and hustling in the most good-humoured and merry fashion. As All these people talked at once. Domingo de Rosario (called by his friends). Mr. Mingo had come and is much beloved by above all. Some of the people carried my dressing-bag and rugs.SARAWAK AND fine ITS PEOPLE 215 season collect up the anchor river. was dropped near the wooden wharf. We had brought our Chinese cook with us. a Portuguese from Malacca. screaming. Langmore's. his dark. a crowd of Chinamen. the water has been known to reach several feet above the flooring of the Fort. his utter disregard to personal danger. as a rather middle-aged us. where he has remained ever since. Dr. Mingo was born in Sarawak. kindly face. and. and he struggled up the bank with cages full of cocks and hens which he had brought from Sibu. them. Tanjongs. to whom he was butler. and when old enough to join the Rajah's service he was sent to the Rejang district. Dyaks. and to His father was Sarawak during the reign of the first Rajah Brooke. stout. Commandant of Kapit Fort.

fought many battles. and we had to go through an interesting stretch of country lying . was attacked in a place called Ngmah. when life on the banks of the Rejang is comparatively free from danger. A constant stream of Dyaks and Kayans came from the countryside to see us. Bampfylde had made them aware of our intention to visit Bdaga. Bampfylde had suggested this trip to Bertram and myself. Mr. of him." one of their jolly war-gods. many years ago. he takes the change philosophically enough. Mingo is sometimes heard to regret the fine old times petual excitement. and on one occasion. for Mr. to whom he is much in attached. where a Fort had been erected. Mingo has been through strange adventures. situated at the head-waters of the Rejang visit — Belaga being the real object of our journey up this river. Dyaks often compare him to " Simpurei. a place some three weeks' journey by boat. In these quieter days. and the days passed quickly by. He is who takes great care and they have a daughter named Madu (meaning honey). Knowing my I intense wish to all the places possibly could. We settled down comfortably Kapit Fort. but which has long since l?een pulled down and dismantled. when his time was spent in per- Notwithstanding these drawbacks. The great charm of the undertaking lay in the fact that to get to Belaga innumer- able rapids had to be surmounted. married to a Tanjong woman.216 for the SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE the way he has of looking at life as a huge joke.

owing to members of his tribe taking heads of innocent people living in the remote well. his house burned down. Bampfylde to paddle my boat and accompany me to Belaga. On such expeditions. which lead into the interior. in the shape of tombs carved by the people containing the remains of their most famous chiefs. I Although the greetings received at the hands of these chiefs were usually hearty and affectionate. I thought on this occasion their manner was more and the reason came out before long. for only the year before a head-hunting craze had broken out in the neighbourhood. friendly than usual. and his possessions taken from him. who came to greet us on this occasion. and here and there the along the banks of those higher reaches of Rejang are to be seen interesting and wonderful monuments of Kayan industry.SARAWAK AND between Kapit and ally the land of ITS PEOPLE it is 217 essenti- this distant Fort. Having been summoned by Mr. all out to us with the utmost cordiality. . named Rawieng. and one of the most smiling chiefs. for Rawieng took his punishment he bore no malice. for Kayan people. up these difficult and sometimes dangerous chiefs like giant stairways. it is customary for the people of the country to paddle the boats in which the Rajah or his family make excursions cataracts. they imagined I intended going on the warpath. Many of the and people who came to Kapit were old friends of mine. and stretched his hand interior. whilst others were strangers. had been attacked by the Government.

and it seemed as though the bad weather would never come to an end. built their chief were on the banks opposite the were annoyed at the Dyaks from neighbouring to rivers laying down owing the law about matters in which they thought themselves more competent give an opinion. leafy branches. whose houses Fort. and even blossoms. heavy storms of after our arrival rain are rare. at for that time of the for we were then in which period. <iistrict. wondering whether or no it would be safe to face such The Sea Dyaks. berries. in the ordinary course of things. Mingo. in an unexpected manner July. Tubam and Salleh. But our cherished plans were doomed When all preparations were completed for our great voyage. Mr. The rapids in the neighbourhood were insurmountable. to their closer acquaintance with the rapids. and day after day the chiefs. for and many days and However. Bampfylde. were present at these discussions and gave vent to their opinions in endless streams of words. who were Tanjongs. and ourselves discussed the situation. were torn from the banks and swept along in the angry stream. and great was their disappointment when Mr. . Tree-trunks. fruits. The with near inhabitants of Kapit. the weather behaved year . and the water of the river almost flooded the banks on which it stood. Bampfylde informed them that my journey was quite a peaceful one. who thickly populate this torrents. heavy storms of rain thundered on the roof of the Fort. men. to failure.2i8 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE This idea pleased them much. the day nights.

in ITS PEOPLE 219 these discussions. his eyebrows and eyelashes.SARAWAK AND Therefore." Then he got excited. a speech. but it mattered much to him. Three lines of tattoo simulated a beard round his chin. and as old as the world These words argument with his would have clinched the own people. His black hair. Salleh was second in importance in the village. borne past his house just above the Fort. He and pink had plucked out lids. shrunken. and had offered to steer our . " which would fall on me and my tribe if such a thing were to happen in our river. his eyes looked like two little slits framed in the pupils being almost invisible. for they elicited nods and murmurs of approbation from Salleh and other members of his tribe. He was old. Tubam's appearance was not prepossessing. shame. He said he felt anxious about our going up the rapids with the river Only that morning he had seen on its surface flecks of foam from the great cataracts miles away. for are " ? you not of his my grandmother. hung in oily corkscrew ringlets from under his little Kayan crown of plaited straw. his thumbs pointing in the direction of the river. untouched with white. if either of them was drowned." he went on. who had had every frequently been Belaga." he " Think of the said. clenched his fists. "It would not matter much to Rajah Ranee. One day he made in its present state. and wrinkled. thought he right to assert himself. or to Tuan Muda. to Tubam. " And I forbid you to go.

birdlike action. But on in Dyaks were last persistent. picking his steps across the room. I asked Hovering Hawk news of his wife and family. purring with contentment. and he now confessed the Sea that he did not like the job unless the water were in a better condition. and a piece of sirih leaf fell out after the other. unfastened a small basket hanging at his side and emptied its contents on to a piece of rather dirty white calico he laid on the floor for the purpose. shreds of tobacco. collected the other ingredients together. and still the rain . He squatted himself by me. with this large pill swelling one side of his face. imagining he had got the best of the argument. . He talks too much. a little brass box one filled with lime. and he is a throat once or twice. sniffed. and a vexed subject was dropped. As day after day went by." 220 SARAWAK AND was the most skilful ITS PEOPLE boat on the occasion of our journey up the rapids. and Hovering Hawk (a title given him by his tribe on account of his exploits war) came up to me. Bits of betel-nut. They insisted having the word. " Don't mind what Tubam says he knows nothing about it. sat contentedly at my feet for the remainder of the interview. and. his mouth is very large. bumptious fellow ! Seeing that the Dyaks and the Tanjongs were of different opinions. Then Hovering Hawk. He steersman in the district. cleared his and whispered. He smeared the leaf over with lime. wrapped them in the leaf. and moving his legs with high.

seeing weather improved. and invited them to the Fort after dinner. Some of the Tanjong arts. Bampfylde. Salleh. and we thought of ways and means of diverting ourselves and our company whilst being kept prisoners in the Fort by the flood. This comforted us somewhat. . women and other warriors. and the Tanjong I women close could easily reach the Fort from their houses so by. Mr. Many all of the boats that had brought Dyaks from in parts of the neighbourhood were anchored the river below. willingness to give us a performance of the dances of their tribes on the we were able in spite of the bad weather and delay to pass the time very agreeably. competent in such their having expressed occasion. the cataract of a series up the Rejang River. Tubam. Mr. called at least take a shorter journey to a first Pelagus. my disappointment.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 221 showed no signs of abatement. we realized that it would be impossible for us to undertake the journey in the time at our disposal. Bampfylde and arranged an evening reception for our friends. suggested the better plan would until the be to stay on at Kapit when we could fapid.

Vivid flashes of lightning revealed patches of the surrounding country through the lattice-work of the room . and each vivid was succeeded by terrific peals of thunder almost oveAead. A thick grey of water streaked the landscape with silver bars. we could see little bits of the river-bank opposite. an entanglement exuberant in of creepers and parasites. giving out a flickering light. raging the rain poured on the roof with the noise of a hundred cataracts.CHAPTER XXIV ON intricate the evening fixed for the party a storm was . and here and there were placed tumblers of cocoa-nut oil in which floated lighted wicks. palms tossed about by the wind and into rain. Tubam had come at the head of the men and women of his village. the rank vegetation. . detail. blazing view. flowing behind. Their bodies were tattooed. making conversation impossible. The walls and flash ceiling of our rooms were of wood. It was a weird scene. like over-exposed veil photographic plates. the mats on the were dark. and covered with crowns of plaited straw. a lighted lamp hung frdm the centre floor of the ceiling. Kayans from the far interior were easily recognizable by their hair cut in a fringe over their foreheads.

Dyak women. that glistened at every movement. and in the semi-darkness looked like groups of brightly draped ghosts. seem to love the ceremony of touching hands. but their floor . when a storm is in progress. and bend their fingers in the shape of claws into these cavities you dip your fingertips. and seemed glad to see us again. women were draperies the first to come forward armlets their silken rustled. short petticoats of beadwork. of ivory and brass armlets. very short . silver waistbands. of silver bangles. over very armpits. and of . to give satisfaction. none of the hands or clammy. The Tanjong . noisier After them came the tread. their and heavier of and their with Amazon-like cuirasses. touched warm Our guests were very affectionate to Bertram and me.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 223 and two great fangs from some wild beast's jaw were thrust through their elongated ears. their tinkled. It is extraordinary how cool and dry the hands of Sarawak natives are or at night. I On this felt tempestuous either evening. The Sea Dyaks were very picturesque their young warriors wore a mass of fringes and beads. Dyaks and Kayans turn the palms of their hands upwards. naked feet moved noiselessly across the matted they swept along as though wafted by an invisible wind. of waving plumes. in Their women shone resplendent innumerable rows of brass rings twined under their reaching far below their waists. when the slightest touch on your part appears All natives .

so that all should hear but . equally terrifying and appropriate. I inquired in Malay who should begin the performance. and began to despair. and no one seemed inclined tion. as none of the performers appear to like figuring in a lever de rideau. and many other titles. Face of Day. the Cobra. Mingo translating my remarks in a loud voice. the men squatted motionless in various parts of the room. and the long procession with thin. glared round him for a second or so. On such occasions the arrange- ment of the programme is a matter of difficulty. told him to ask the ladies to open the nodded his head. we called for the dances to begin. There was nothing I for it — Mingo must Tanjong come to the rescue. The greetings having taken place. where the girls were sitting in a group. hold of two shrinking figures and dragged them resolutely under the of the ceiling.224 petticoats. to respond to the invitaI We waited a considerable time. SARAWAK AND When the ITS PEOPLE passed. ball. known and addressed by glorified titles won in exploits during their youthful days — Bald-Headed of swaggef. Hawk. He laid Mingo looked at me sternly. women had Then came finished Kayan of the Dyaks. the flower ci-devant piratical contingents still — spare old men. lamp swinging from the centre For a minute or two the girls re- . the women sat sullenly in their comer. These old gentlemen were full with a tremendous sense of their own importance. and then marched up to one of the corners of the room. warriors swaggered up. Torrent of Blood.

He stood in the middle of the room. all with imprisonment. 225 shrugging mained where he placed them. They pretended to be shy. meekest imaginable. He got hold their hair. were sitting there They were a their eyes cast pretty group. The music continued through the pantomime of refusal. their arms. Quick lightning. storming at the threatening them with fines. unless they commenced to manner of punishdance. Two of them pinched the strings of bamboo little guitars. their draperies. and pulled them back under the started. I must say Mingo's threats did not appear to have effect much on them. ITS PEOPLE giggling. anything that came lamp. 15 for they stood obstinate and immov- . Mingo was after them. over their and pulling the hem of their jackets mouths. close together. girls. thus bending her fingers back almost third The to her elbows. and even Mingo seemed about to lose his temper. and three young preparation. huddled down and their features expressionless. Meanwhile the music had A in clear space was left Tanjong in the girls centre of the room. and suddenly rushed back to their former places and flopped as of down in the midst of their friends. tinkles damsel beat the ends of a bamboo drum. to hand.SARAWAK AND their shoulders. the musicians taking no notice of what was going on. thereby producing the mildest. sliding their feet in and out of their trailing petticoats. and with ments. We began to think we should not see any dancing that night.

as tiny ancient and though moving from dream. to their collar-bones. bodies began to sway to and that at last the performance and we understood girls had begun. pretty. made yellower by a liberal amount of turmeric rubbed over their faces. for ITS PEOPLE their able. Their mouths were large. an expression of scorn appeared on their eyebrows were faces. We could almost admire the lobes of their ears. their heads to their bells. in a heavy eyelids were like over their eyes. their noses flat and broad. with pale yellow skins. in- They looked scrutable. and arms. came over these Their nervous giggling came that lifted was to an end. desses. a straight line might who are always Some people will have been drawn from the crown of Their costumes were their heels.2 26 SARAWAK AND But by and by. weighted with pieces of We remembered Sakhya Mouni's descendants depicted with very long ear-lobes. tell you this ear fashion is a sign of amongst Buddhist believers. fro. no apparent reason. and their half-drawn sphinxes. They were slim. hanging down lead. princely descent The girls stood and moved so well. so charm- ingly did the girls fit into their surroundings. young. necks. midst of ordinary an occult power. and fragile-look- ing. obedient to a Brahmin temple. but we scarcely noticed their departure from our European standards of beauty. black satin jackets. little fringed round with . their higher than usual. The change wonderful. torn They might have been Hindoo godoff the wall of rites practising strange in the mortals.

tender. ivory. lost up the itself folds of their garments. the dancers stood motionless before us. undulating. toes. since the ornaments hid the symmetry of their slender wrists. beating the ground in time to the music. their peeping in and out the to trailing folds. like the wings of a bird. though a ran upwards and the air above their heads. It The dance difficult to describe. when. As toes. were drawn up their full when they looked like empresses heads. revealing masses of shell. from up in whence it was gathered sweeps of darkness and tucked inside little of plaited crowns straw. Then putting their heels together. they slid along the floor. figures Sometimes the height. seductive. and the sleeves of their jackets were pushed above their elbows. in the sudden transition from an appearance of haughtiness to one of humility.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 227 reaching half-way to their knees. Knobs of beaten gold fastened their collars. was slow. as beginning in at their heels. I thought this a pity. in the regal pose of their Sometimes they hung their heads. and their long petticoats of fine dark red and blue tints sweeping over their feet. their draperies hung straight from slowly their chins to their their feet being they hidden in the folds of their petticoats. all brightened with beads. lifted When their arms. . an undulation wrinkled sigh. Their straight black hair hung as far ias their shoulder-blades. stretched out their arms and flapped their hands. cowrie shells and manner of glistening things. and silver armlets encircling their arms is .

biscuits made of sago. cocoa-nut milk. Meanwhile the storm continued and increased fury^ A vivid flash of lightning was followed by a rain through to terrific crash. and meek.friends. refilled them. and he rushed for refreshmerits Although these were of the simpkst description.! 228 SARAWAK AND head to I ITS PEOPLE I they looked charming. and a gust of wind blew the the lattice-work across the room. and diluted with a fair amount of water. our guests were mightily pleased when Mingo reappeared with a great black bottle of gin under his arm. bottle in hand. spirit The Mingo. They moved thought. girls The proud and and the giggling awkwardly. as they waddled back to their corner in the midst of lost in the where they were in shadows of the room. turned my listen to a remark Bertram made. . followed by a satellite bearing some water and two was measured out in the tumblers by Mingo with the most punctilious care. some of whom glanced wistfully at the black bottlq. when the tumblers went the round of the hall. each warrior drinking his share and passing the tumblers back to tumblers. and when looked again the dance was finished. and barred out the storm. pulled Mingo rushed them to. their. and other delicacies for the ladies. and I am not sure that we were not becoming a little bored. mysterious goddesses had vanished. I had reappeared. This unexpected douche appeared to silence the party conversation flagged. coffee. . There were cocoa-nut cakes. unhappy. who. Suddenly a luminous idea off" struck Mingo. the shutters.

owing to an atrocious murder committed on the main river by some of Rawieng's followers whom Mr. but it all had to be gone over again. It was interesting to notice how friendly were the relations existing between Rawieng and Mr. I . had already greeted one another in the general " shake- We hands" earlier in the evening. his smile I I was patronizing and his face I and although tnew could not remember his name. Only two or three years previously. who was standing at my elbow. and very brown old gentleman left and moved towards handkerchief was me with ponderous dignity. At this juncture. the old chief refused to give up to justice. Bampfylde. straight turned to Mingo. A twisted round his head. and a whisper from him soon put matters was glad to see that Rawieng. had mended his ways his presence at the between us. "Long I have not seen you." he said. Bampfylde (then Governor of the Rejang) . and he wore a cotton scarf held tightly across his bony shoulders. who only the year before had kept the district in a state of terror owing to the head-hunting propensities of his tribe. He fairly beamed friendly. as his hand shaped itself into the customary claw in which I dipped ray fingers. all spirit should be kept This diversion infused new and the hum of voices was soon a strongly his seat built heard over the hall. life ITS PEOPLE 229 and perhaps regretted that the into the party. on me .SARAWAK AND entirely for the men. party being an irrefutable proof of the purity of his future intentions.

—wild many game. in the and the only food they could obtain sufficient. Bampfylde and stored in the Fort as pledges and hostages for Rawieng's future good behaviour. Nor was and this result obtained without a good deal of risk difficulty to the attacking party. Rawieng's conduct at our party showed and that he did not bear malice. only to be reached after and marching a considerRawieng was a rich old man. attack his village. fruits. His had become weary of wandering as outcasts forests. though it was but a few their tribe weeks since he and his people had tendered submission to the Rajah's Government. The long line of jars ranged along the walls of his house (the chief glory of the village. and anything they might pick up not was Although there were warriors present who had lent it followed Mr. for owing to Rawieng's conservative ideas he had pitched his house on a precipitous able scaling innumerable rapids way inland.— 2 30 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Rawieng's was compelled to lead a fleet of boats into country. sitting over the spot where the precious jars were stored. There we were. as they were supposed to have been made by spirits and given by them to Rawieng's ancestors) were taken by Mr. the recent enemy I. a helping hand in punishing Rawieng's was amusing to hear the old man holding forth before these people as to the . and hill. Bampfylde's expedition and tribe. was heavily fined for the atrocious murders his tribe had committed. that evening. and burn his paddy.

fixed and in sound resembling bagpipes. The Cobra. and how thoroughly he and his people had been vanquished. that some of the Dyaks should now Three warriors came into the cleared space in the centre of the room. their black hair streaming man on a played the keluri. To the tune of the keluri these men danced the deer dance. The refreshments having again been handed round. The Torrent of Blood. different and sizes. and. Mingo decided entertain us. He could fight for the Rajah and punish evil-doers. ITS PEOPLE 231 (for so "Tuan Bampy he pronounced Mr. winding up with the head dance. Bampfylde's name) was a very pandi (clever) Tuan.SARAWAK AND completeness of his defeat. One a Kayan instrument. and other Rawieng and I were holding an animated conversation. although softer and more musical. Two performers wore their war dress for the occasion. above all. Then. this being considered the "clou" of the evening. The Bald-Headed Hawk. made lengths of bamboos gourd. and disliking being left out in the cold. dressed in bark waistcloths. and the mouse-deer dance." Imbued as all these people are with a veneration for courage. the monkey dance. joined us. of down their backs. Their arms were thrust . and other dances being in the programme. and thus turned the channel of old chiefs seeing that our talk into other directions. Rawieng expatiated at length as to the risks run by the white man's attacking force. he knew not what fear was.

but never thrust.232 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE upon rows In into sleeveless jackets. looking one to side and the other. and rushes at his opponent. staring eyes. This principal item. . They hack at one another. the head dance. begins. when his opponent seizes the advantage. narrow-pointed shields. contains a shadowy kind of meet in a forest plot. They wave their swords with such rapidity that it looks as though a number of steel Catherine wheels were flying about the room. over which hung patches of human In the other hand they held sharp swords. going on for some one of the performers becomes exhausted. A struggle and they appear to be in deadly earnest. which play a great part in such performances. who ready to receive him. One of the dancers suddenly his is full height. covered with rows of hornbill's feathers. kneels on his fallen body. From the first moment tion. therefore they are enemies. first they are supposed to catch sight of one another through the entanglement of tropical vegetathey crouch and to jump about then to like frogs. — painted in red and black. After this sort of thing has been time. from behind their springs shields. ornamented with a monstrous human face wide mouth with teeth sticking out —two round and a hair. one hand they grasped long. and falls to the ground. a stroke that served for the nose. Two men are supposed to they are unacquainted with one another. which stood out like the quills of a porcupine at every movement of the dancers. and pretends to . grips him by the throat.

these Dyak as dancers panthers. the real head he is supposed have cut He is then takes high jumps and rushes about the room in the exhilaration of his victory. he looks at the dead face and discovers the head to belong to his brother. after which the head dance is ended. are invariably graceful and noiseless . or however far their stride may be. is Through it all. As he about to hang the trophy to his by the lock of hair left for the purpose. who made a noise as though a number of dogs were baying at the moon. dragging his feet his eyes with his knuckles. the lightness of the dancers extraordinary. Another dance is gone waist-belt through. The man goes about he rubs even with bent knees. The brothers sabres. takes place. SARAWAK AND saw at ITS PEOPLE 233 the head until it is apparently separated from play. The head. the body. This part of the somewhat dis- agreeable to me. headless body.. for however high they jump. was received with yells of delight from the warriors present. are reunited. imploring this to return But tragedy ends happily. to victor then takes the cap from the fallen man's to represent off. the murderer fits its place between the shoulders of the corpse. when in a short time it is supposed to grow again on the body. advice A in friendly spirit passes by and whispers the bereaved brother's ear. it and fondles the to life. but now the steps denote dejection. and another dance of whirling of leaps and bounds. Acting upon the the head into spiritual counsel.

I was surprised to find my visitor an engaging little person.2 34 SARAWAK AND By this ITS PEOPLE late. I was anxious see and talk to an Ukit woman. fitted. and his daughters Remi and Remit. when I a nervous cough behind me made me start. so I suppose he did not see why he should not effect the introduction there and then. who had been too shy to come forward and speak to me before so many Having heard that morning that people at the party. as my private room. lay in a long chair. . to ask me if I could see an Ukit woman. and could see through one of the port-holes some of our guests returning to their boats. I called for lights. and th^ moon last quarter was struggling through the clouds. Salleh was the culprit on this occasion he had come with his wife Penus. to After all. I was surprised. the lighted torches they carried being reflected in the turbid waters of the river. this was a good opportunity. for natives are usually very tactful. Judging from what I had heard about the wild habits of the Ukit people. She was curious . and as Penus was present and understood her language. Only a I night-light was burning in my room. sitting on the floor against the saw a row of people wall. time hot. and when they were brought. she was in the neighbourhood. I told Salleh to bring her to me one day when I should be alone. and fancied myself alone. it was getting I the room was stuffy and so left the party as quietly as possible and went to the other side of the Fort. for the time being. in its I The rain had ceased.

gave the package to take the paper her hands. a good deal of this commodity with me) it was into off. and was evidently asking for something. Penus. fantastic appearance attracted me. The little thing soon lost her shyness. and I took a great interest in this creature of the woods. and she wore a little crown of black and yellow beads. Her hung down to her knees. She addressed some remarks to me. folded up its mauve wrapper with its tissue lining. I sent for a piece of soap (1 had brought . wrapped in mauve paper. She sniffed at the soap and handled it as though it were brittle. and raised in the outer corners. which were small. and there was Her figure absolute flatness between her eyes. told me she wanted some of the "sweet-smelling gutta" that white people rub over their skins when they wash themselves. interpreting her words. and her wrists and ankles delicate to a She usually wore a short petticoat of bark. lay ITS PEOPLE 235 An enormous breadth between her high cheek-bones. a head-dress usually worn by these people. Her weird. and stuffed both in her hair inside her crown. She had a pretty voice. made I glorious to such eyes as hers with gold letters. with a but Penus had evidently attempted to improve her appearance for the occasion by lengthening broad piece of red calico hair falling it over her feet. but not quite ugly. degree. and talked away quite unreservedly. was slight.SARAWAK AND looking. and showed her how She followed my instructions with great care. Her language sounded soft and guttural. and very nice manners. " Now . narrow.

and chewing betel-nut. as she wanted to have a parting Moreover. We wondered whether he were jealous of his attractive wife. round which was tied a piece of mouse-deer's bone to take away his sickness. as he had sprained his arm whilst cutting few days previously. The basket was a large cylinder. made for me. but told his wife to She obeyed meekly." she said. she had brought a basket she had word. He looked more like her grandfather than her husband. and belonged to another branch of this Ukit tribe. and moved crouch near the wall of my room. with the soap at her nose the whole time. won our hearts. and little creature. and the Tanjong . But she had a husband. and he had been looking for her. Mingo ushered him into my room. but Penus stayed behind. trees in the forest a He come did not remain long with us. whose soft and felt sorry for the charming manners had. He came up to me grumbling. for he was very old. and as fingers. down away. and she almost a child.2 36 I SARAWAK AND sweeten the air for ITS PEOPLE I shall a great space as off to walk along. and he followed her. scowling. thinking it would be useful in packing some of my things on my boat journeys. he pinched the tips of my He then showed me his wrist. and woven in intricate patterns of black and white. These kind of baskets are quite impervious to rain. made of palm-straw. with a domeshaped cover fitting into its top. I bade Salleh and his party good-night. He was a dirty old man too. I put out my hand. even in so short a time.

is I ITS PEOPLE 237 all other tribes in their manufor her thanked Penus kind present. beings. and Penus left me to join her As I fell asleep. because Antus never answer I human I If could speak to him would ask him the road by could follow which her. I heard the murmur of the people as they settled themselves for the night in their boats anchored in the river. Oh I no . . " Do you think the dead come back. When it gets dark. so that We friends." my dead daughter went. She had never spoken too.nd night is not yet come. made her more expansive than usual." " " Do you ever speak to him ? " I asked. he stays in the rafters of our room. and the spark from his <. who died last had been here the death of this Penus was very sad about daughter. and our parting of the next day. to our Oh yes. touched hands. " " a spirit often comes a. "It good to see I you here.igarette comes and goes in the darkness. but suppose the lateness of the hour." she said. But or if I asked her if (spirits). Rajah Ranee ? " I could not answer her. she had ever seen one. " and our hearts are glad. the night. ." she said house." I about her to me before. for I don't suppose I knew more about the matter than she she believed in Antus did. year.SARAWAK AND people exdel above facture. only wish my daughter.

when I. was steersman. A covering of palm leaves was stretched from one end of the boat to the other. for they are rigged on the side of the fixed instead of being on the stern. I lived in Sarawak. Dr.CHAPTER XXV THE We day had not risen when Mr. and Bertram and Dr Langmore another. Bertram. Langmore. vessel. Ima. Dyak dlite Our crew. numbered about forty. I. Bampfylde. to were followed down the steep steps leading the river by a great company of Kayans and Dyaks. Bampfylde. and inseparable attendant ma. and occupied one of the war- canoes. and was a splendid specimen of a war-boat. my Mr. amongst whom were the of the chiefs staying with us in Kapit Fort. Our boat was called Bujang Naga (Bachelor Dragon). and started from Kapit Fort two days after the floods had ceased and the river had resumed its normal aspect. Salleh the stern with half roof. according to British the pictures in the Museum. I and could see from where I sat some twenty-five naked . our Malay servants. like those The used by ancient Egyptians. I our Chinese cook. and stood at his body appearing above the rudders of these boats are his head protected from the sun by a large conical straw hat.

and their waist. and their appearance was homely. hour these after hour. Merum and Grasi. about twenty or thirty yards away. reaching beyond the boat's stern." scream again. not Hovering Hawk was wrapped in an to say dowdy." " Do " Ah-a-a. yelling and shouting. the chiefs had discarded their beautiful war accoutrements. Hovering Hawk and Flying Snake gave vent to ejaculations of not get slow. and I thought extraordinary that men could last so long without a break in their fatiguing labour. a shrill scream from the man sitting in the bows. cloths were bewilderingly bright.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 239 arms paddling as though for dear life. especially when the leader plunged his paddle into the water." " Don't get soft. old tartan petticoat or sarong. and asking them I whether they were asleep or awake. " Paddle. and when the rhythmic stroke of the paddles flagged. and their companions followed suit. instilled renewed vigour in the crew. Those seated nearest to us were Unggat. They appeared as though they enjoyed themselves. where. flung a comet-like spray. near the bank. it We paddled on. a crocodile lay motion- . and when his boat shot on ahead. all renowned warriors. passing a little remember stream. and who directed the speed of the boat. abusing our crew roundly." he would Sometimes our crew raced Bertram's boat. paddle. Our journey being a peaceful one. disgust. The Cobra had a loincloth as his only covering. But the younger warriors were very smart they had stuck alamanda and hibiscus blossoms in their head-handkerchiefs.

Being a lover of must explain that I have never. This feat of mine was much approved by the crew. who with grunts and ejaculations congratulated me on my exploit I do not know whether I killed the beast. which I did. wounding. I do not think a bullet from my rifle could really have ended its life. yet natives say that it if a bullet penetrates their thick hide. suggested I should try and shoot the crocodile. whilst they themselves. but a I them crocodile. people I and maiming people have known —made —many of whom being me I anxious to try and send one of these monsters to another world. with its hideous habits of killing. At mid-day we stopped on a sandbank and to give our crew an hour or two's to lunch. Hovering Hawk pointed it me. although I may have been the means of ridding the rivers of Sarawak from a dangerous pest. rest. whereupon the beast rose in a mighty cataract of water and flopped down again into the stream. before willingly killed any living creature. and the man in the bows stopped the My rifle lay loaded by my side— I cannot explain was there I suppose I thought it Mr.240 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE less flush with the water. that all animals. out to boat. The Dyaks had erected a little palm-leaf house to shelter us during the halt. for crocodiles are difficult it . I am not sure was right in doing so. ! why to destroy . leads to their death. or since. on account of filled the open wound becoming kill with maggots from the rivers. under the . Bampfylde sporting to carry a gun about. in time.

Hose told me that on one of his travels up these inland streams. naturalist. and yet so loud that they can be heard for some reaches the river. By three o'clock in the afternoon the crew were ready to proceed. Dr. Great water. Presently the river became so shallow that poles had to be used instead of paddles. for I wish knew what those pebbles believe in these river-beds are to be found amethysts. growing on it rocks. rivals broken only by that bird whose sweet song I think are this bird's soft. like and waxy. . Hose. his war-boats floated over the dust of sapphires. As usual the noonday our nightingale. rosy. down Our famous Sarawak in the its . Very soon fires trees little began to spring up all over the sandy expanse. was difficult to understand how they could The river I became I quite clear. song most ravishing its trills velvety. white. silence of the tropics reigned. looking a smile upon the . and even sapphires. ripplihg over a pebbly bed. trees. who with is an expert sounds of note shrill birds. were. beg respectfully to differ an authority. overshadowed the where live. and bird (the of the country) still maintain that the name given to the bul-bul by the natives is among the sweetest songsters of the world. tourmalines. Dr.SARAWAK AND shade of scattered rocks. disagrees me he thinks I and sometimes from such alligator disagreeable. 16 An orchid branch drifted towards us. ITS PEOPLE 241 set their rice boiling in pots hanging from tripods made from branches of cut down in neighbouring forests.

as they pulled at the rattans with all their might. whilst the like cords on their safely necks and limbs. who must have been at least His crown of sixty-five years old. petuous. for SARAWAK AND One I ITS PEOPLE it of our Dyaks tried to get hold of I me. They might have been bronze tritons escaped from fountains. and the rocks of such a height. but prevented him. the water pouring over them in Sometimes the torrent was so imall directions. plaited straw lay over snow-white bristles. endowed with life. The great stairway of rock was before us. and of gravel under our boat's keel warned it the crunch us that the water could float no longer. that our boat was poised on the centre of a great boulder. The agility of an old Bukitan. Whenever our boat was the lodged on a rock. whilst his other cheek was bare. preferred to think of the flower dying in the fresh cool stream. He was . rather than see it fading in my hot hand. The men bounded over these impediments. in order to drag the boats up the many that lay in our way. its keel grating backwards muscles of our crew stood out and forwards. Some of the crew jumped overboard and made secure long barriers lengths of rattan.242 water. and we bumped and creaked as the rattan ropes dragged us up these enormous boulders. crew rested for a while and bathed in the deep pools of quiet water lying between the stones. and disporting themselves in these waters. amused me much. and a fine crop of snow-white hair ornamented one side of his cheek.

not so dangerous as Pelagus. At our island. and whenever he rested he stroked it continually. scarlet with blossom. helped we stepped along. Hovering Hawk. Bampfylde this spot me that at boats are swamped is and lives lost every year. After about an hour's such first we found ourselves above the ledge of rocks in this great cataract of Pelagus. wild red all hibiscus. feet the waters were divided by a in small. bounded from rock to pull the boats toil. hung over the water. ITS PEOPLE 243 in proud of his one whisker. alas. leafy this scrappy bits of soil. the water flows tranquilly along until the upper reaches of the Rejang are reached. pointed with his thumb to' the swirling water all flecked with foam. whilst masses of tiny flowers. and convolvuli of colours. A towel round his waist was his only covering. as made a mauve and in so carpet for our feet doing. vaguely remind- ing us of violets. We clambered up the rocky banks and stood on the edge of a great forest. lofty trees with branches. and before reaching Belaga. to rock. agile as a tiger cat he frequently held the rattan rope in his teeth in helping up. to spoil the picture. who was standing near me. and Mr. The water many frothed and foamed round informed impediment.SARAWAK AND his arduous work. and gutta-percha. rocky on which grew. As I stood looking at the whirlpool. We looked up a great reach of the torrent mounting straight and closing the horizon. . The old man . Rhododendrons. Then. beyond the horizon that of lay numberless rapids. Belaga is a great centre for rattans. camphor.

pulled his sword from out its wooden sheath. were entanglescarlet berries ments of red rhododendrons. whilst the remainder of the sat in their places in the boat. were quantities of wild sago palms." said. on the opposite bank. and he I berries flaming gift hearts —manah (beautiful). His somewhat impeded my progress as struggled down the slippery rocks to our boat. damp earth and and the sound of running water.244 " SARAWAK AND there. Salleh stood in the bows with a long pole. but I managed its to carry the branch in safety. and handed its it to me. with a pompous air. theirs who had found their deaths in the the perfumes of moss. drooping their metallic green fronds over smaller-leaved forest trees lower . for We rapids. like. The mystery. then embarked the return- — I looking eagerly for a new experience. " who knows how many " ! lie buried beneath that foam Beyond this foam. that of shooting the It was very great fun. waterfalls ." ITS PEQPLE eyes See he said. made us thoughtful. and one of leaves now rests of Assisi's Floweret between the pages of St. the groups of silent. until Face of Day. and two or three of the crew also took poles. cut flowers. down on the rocky banks. the unlike. then. Dyaks in no doubt rejoicing . so and yet so European about. a branch of leaves and berries from a shrub near by. " Its leaves are tongues. strangeness of the place. Francis book I always keep by me. of leaves. and sprinkled by the spray. Dyaks scattered grave and perhaps remembering comrades of whirlpool .

and mosses smelt sweet pale blue butterflies hovered over the banks. I fancy myself again in that I down the rapids like a bird. and a hawk hung motionless in the air above our heads. bounded over we were carried into pools. It was shady. though nothing could prevent our boats being dashed against them. leaves. When we had passed in safety the most dangerous part of the like cataract. an account it of the happiest time have ever would be foaming of those brief minutes when Salleh and his picked crew steered our boat waters. our crew sang their home-coming song. from whence we emerged by moment clever strokes of Salleh's pole against intervening rocks. flying if. for the impression was so intense that at times spot. a sounding something a Gregorian sort of dirge chant. think at the end of too my life. a before. down those . Bampfylde told for me it was a thanksgiving song to the gods having floated us safely over the dangers of the great Pelagus rapid. flowers. and rounded appeared as great stones which. SARAWAK AND having nothing to do. As I write. I I had to give spent. the crest of the waves ITS PEOPLE like corks 245 We . Mr. it all comes back to me as though it only happened yesterday. cool. and peaceful ..

and the perfumed millions of leaves of the forest trees. and told top in two. its meal of It moon .CHAPTER XXVI AFTERon night a short journey. standing Salleh pointed out in the middle of the stream. On our way. was very comfortable. Camp-fires were soon to boil their evening full lit here and there for the crew rice. about twenty feet high. and leafy branjches on its hung walls. we encamped still for the a gravel bank. we paddled it by a jagged to rock. and had strewn the floor with sweet-smelling leaves. me. ferns. covering the hills and valleys. all A large expanse of shingle lay round the hut. and our two boats were tethered to the shore just below. resting against its leaf walls for me to sleep on. some three feet wide. me that Kling (a hero of Dyak mythology) had with one blow from his biliong (axe) cut its On It the gravel bed a hut of fresh pale green palm fronds had been run up for sleep me to and bathe in. as though a shower of rain were falling. with a Salleh had bamboo bench. within sound of the cataract's roar. flowers. gave back to the 246 air in . the water rippled over was nearly gravelly bed and moved the sedges in the river with a musical Some palms in the neighbourhood rustled sound.

"When in heaven. musical and tender. the trees mists began to and in the forest near and white owl crying for the moon. rugs were spread on the pebbles for us to sit on. The Sarawak people call it Pung-Gok. This was the Httle black by we heard the moment some fylde said Mr. yes. Amban. Lubah. said to his brothers. and Umbar. the heart of the great god Patara grew sick He in sent two dragons. "How about the flood?" (I Bampfylde to Salleh. man and wife. think Mr. Our friends. Kagjup. for never in these years . to the earth. " I know all about the I "Oh flood. tails heaven and hang ate their all heads to the so that after They many up the paddy over the world. for our Dyak and Tanjong friends to tell us of their legends. and the sound of its two notes. the Dyak and Tanjong were invited to join us and have their coffee and cigarettes with us. all Niuka. . which were so large that they could hook their earth. At that time there seven Rajahs in the world. the world was very old and the people very wicked." replied It is story and will tell it you. Sinddit. Nugu. made us feel happy and yet sad. the eldest. they hoisted themselves back into heaven by their tails.) Salleh. — Rajahs Sinddit.SARAWAK AND day. chiefs. of the people died of starvation. kill Rajah 'We must these two dragons. ITS PEOPLE 247 mists the heat that had beaten on them during the After dinner. and were doing all this evil. Bampa true knew what was to come. The moon appeared above rise.

Patara sent rain which lasted for three years. The dragons effect. whilst others filled gourds with blood. brothers inquired ' he suggested killing these monsters. so that the waters covered the mountains and high places of the earth. work of devastation. and the people flew " As the waters of the rivers were not sufficient to flood the world. in the named Suki. rise. saucepans. So the brothers sent showers of poisoned arrows. After a long time. by the population from their and cut the dragons to pieces. When The the flesh began to the fat bubbled over and went into the rivers of the seven countries. waters immediately began to to the hills. each of the Rajahs cooked in according to his fancy. felt rather : and hoisted themselves back fell poison soon began to^ake all to heaven the and the beasts shook over and to earth. followed respective countries. sick. their Some portions in bamboos. who survived in a boat. the flood subsided.' he the dragons' next With arrows and they commenced be in readiness for making preparations so as visit. hitting the dragons every time. to " In a short time they saw from their hiding-place the two dragons letting themselves and beginning again their down from heaven. flesh. with the exception of one woman.248 SARAWAK AND I ITS PEOPLE how have been so hungry.' The said. Then the seven Rajahs came forward. and Suki was alone . and all the people in the world perished. poisoned with upas. Sonie took pieces of others portions from their breasts. others earthenware boil.

In time the brother and married. up and down great mountains. a fowl. where the army slept for the night. seeing her loneliness. until he arrived at a land of fields. When they became very drunk and began to speak in different languages. a deer. cooking and . Antu Ribut. and a her peril. for she had not to. and a Rajah of new population. they left all but when ran away and she was sorrowing. The Hindoos black. the Malays shaved and the Bukitans and Ukits tattooed . world. and sent the god of the storms. whose name was Gading. took pity on her. The next morning the people saw an enormous mushroom. cat. even the animals to speak " Patara. who had finished their provisions during their march. named Sinpang Tinpang. eating the pieces they they had eaten their fill. these being a dog. called Kulat Liman it was so big that it took seven days to walk round it.' collected an army and went to fight to the edge of the sky. The Rajah's army.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE had 249 also world. These remained with Suki during the waters retreated. but there were a few animals that escaped destruction. a pig. managed to obtain. and a daughter. He led his army through forests and valleys. who made her sister his wife. the directions. their the off Chinese shaved their heads. They had a son. so as to increase and replenish the After many years the people began to get this wicked again. waxed hungry at the sight and hacked at the mushroom. rolled about in charcoal and thus became ears in all Kayans pierced their every hair.

When he had finished making the tribe he moved down to the sea-coast to near the river ^gan a big . and speak in themselves. and made the lot tribe by killing daughter all and a of animals and pounding them live up together. as far as the Pelagus Sukat his rapid. he flung the spear. the Bessiong accordingly went up the river in a canoe to the farming ground. seeing a white pig rooting up the paddy. so that the army could not be it is led further. "Goa had a son-in-law. We lit all thanked him. and. and went his father-in-law. at ITS the to PEOPLE god of war. named Bessiong. down all Patara's the people command commenced to strange languages. He The giant Goa is the root of the Rejang tribe. home Goa was exceedingly wroth and sent him back to find the spear-head.— 2 so SARAWAK AND Then Kling. and as rice farm was much troubled with pigs. ." Salleh finished his tale quite abruptly. the animal running away with to tell the spear-head still sticking in its neck. and they all separated into different countries and the world became what now. so to we fresh and cleared his " composed ourselves throat and began listen. which struck the pig and broke in two. came confuse them. he was such his man that the water only came up to his knees. Bessiong could not follow the pig up. and his friend Merum told us that he knew a good cigarettes story about the Rejang. as he walked down the Rejang river. He lived up the river. he gave kill Bessiong a valuable spear and told him to animals.

"The his Rajah. and one day she took her husband . On looking at the wound. well again. They lived together for a year or two. grateful to Bessiong. he must first go outside cloth. they called out to him and asked him where he had come from. and Bessiong told asked permission if to enter the house. agreeing the Rajah's daughter was dying and none of their men could and make her save her. he saw the end of into it. he saw When these that the people were holding incantations over one of the inmates. gave him daughter in marriage. This they said he might do medicine to try he could doctor. in the bamboo. Looking into one of the houses. and returned time with a piece of girl's bamboo and a and slipped it He covered the head and neck over with the cloth. When the people. who. to obtain remedies in a short accordingly he went. he was was taken to see was suffering from a wound in the neck. from inside the saw the stranger. extracted the spear-head. He roamed about. them. and at last came to a great village inhabited by a strange people. but that . his father-in-law's spear sticking Bessiong said he could cure her. the patient. told. He girl then instructed the people to give her certain remedies. and in a short time the wound healed and the recovered.SARAWAK AND to track the pig ITS PEOPLE 251 " Bessiong returned to the rice farm and managed some way by the spots of blood. house. living in very large houses. as Bessiong. came to an end he looked up and found he had wandered into an unknown country.

She asked him to dip his leg into the pig well. " After these admonitions. it was changed into a pig's leg. She showed him two if and confessed that she and her people were a pig tribe. The ci-devant husband at once recognized for wealth and a longing took possession of him. he saw a herd of pigs swimming across the river. down She bathe. for it would be herself At the same time. his wife. His wife then warned kill him that if ever he met a herd of pigs swimming the across a river. she informed all him that she intended to swallow her jewels and turn into a pig. expedition with One his day. ripped her pig body open. and wished to return to his father-in-law's village. and found all her jewels. when he was on a hunting two dogs. He then dipped it into the other well. when his leg was immediately restored to its original shape. and when Bessiong did so.252 SARAWAK AND to ITS PEOPLE wells. He thereupon threw a spear at the middle pig and killed her just as she reached the shore. After a time. But no sooner had he the wealth within his grasp than he died himself as the proper punishment for his treachery. Bessiong became rather weary of the company of his pig wife. they were turned into pigs. if She cautioned he would die him that himself he did happen to kill her. told him that they bathed in one of these wells. he must be careful not to middle one. Thus it happens . and were restored to their human form by bathing in the other well. He ran to the place where she lay. he went back to Goa.

making themselves felt. and pieces. the the tribe which remnant being Bliens. reduced in Kejamans. all Kanowits. By and by. Dr. the moon itself was lost in the mist. Bampfylde went by hut. He had flown farther away in his search for higher branches of trees whence he could see his lady love. off to said good-night to I my friends and walked the hut with ma. But the little owl's voice was still heard crying for the moon. Goa manufactured fell to made up by Tanjongs. for the chiefs was evidently a listened to every word lady it of the legend as if they had never heard before." This of the pig favourite one. he said.SARAWAK AND that his tribe is ITS PEOPLE 253 scattered all over the country. story number. Rajah Ranee. Langmore. were the only sounds I we heard. and the roar It grew cold. they wreathed themselves round the tree-tops and formed into walls over the waters of the river. and the little bird lover's cry was silenced. although they appeared to know it so well whenever the other of the reciter paused for a second. etc. that. so that the distant hills became invisible. " I Oh him and hoped no. Sekarrangs. to sleep in the boats and Mr. shall just . I Salleh accompanied us to the and when he would sleep I said good-night to well. one or seated warriors round immediately prompted him. The mists were of the distant cataract. doze like a shall not sleep to-night.. when the ripple of the water over the pebbles. moored the river's side. whilst Bertram.

" Well thought.^ with one eye open. and was awakened by wild and very sweet sounds. They were like the silvery tones of pouring forth triplets of notes. I hand. so as to be on guard near your hut. so thought you would like I me to play it to you. it because at these hours brings tears to sounds so sweet that I ! my eyes. ." ? " said. replied. "it a tune play at it dawn and sunset. I some mists. in the minor key." A quarter of an ! hour had not elapsed before behind the thin walls of fell I heard Salleh's snores my leafy shelter Then I asleep. The half-light of dawn lay over the enwrapping the trees and lifted still hiding the river. a flute. " Is that you. Salleh. some long. short.2 54 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE Kijang. ready for any emergency. making is that sweet music I " Yes. I saw Salleh flute in standing there. As they branches " of a and rent themselves away from the bush growing near. up and opened got the leafy door. I am sorry for those people who imagine our Sarawak 1 natives to be no better than savages. The roebuck." he.

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and geliga or bezoar stones. mats. and kill The natives these animals with the blow-pipe. The camphor seekers in the forests of Sarawak go through a great many superstitious rites in order to find good supplies. Arriving there about sunthe Chinese Bazaar to we took a walk round to look at the shops and say good-bye some of our friends. jelu-merahs. and Sibu Bazaar for it one of the principal ddpdts in Sarawak. beads.CHAPTER XXVII ON the is our way down the Rejang we stayed one evening at Sibu. gutta-percha.). the latter being found keys in the stomach of three species of monjelu-jangkits. first The Chinese are supposed to have been people to discover camphor. having only salt and rice for their sustenance. but the price now risen to three all times that amount. ebony. beeswax. In early days camphor was purchased has for about $io a cattie (ij lb. —wah-wahs. The Rejang export : river is rich in many articles of indiarubber. Chinese merchants over Sarawak buy this commodity from the natives and send it to Singapore. set. Sometimes they stay in the forests for weeks together. and about seven out of every ten are said to contain these .

shingles. which the Chinese scrape they also boil the dung of these as a n^edicine. and give as a medicine for inflammation . ceros also exists and A small species of rhinofar roams about not from Kapit * Fort . and are. in consequence. all and day purchasers wandered about them in comfort long. The Chinaman Langmore was the old for was very glad interested to to see us. on this an old Chinese chemist. in with wooden front of which were wide verandahs with planks. and only turn The animals are upon human beings when evening at Sibu.2 56 SARAWAK AND at ITS PEOPLE valuable and rare stones. with balustrades. and Dr. called the Mountain of the Moon. Bezoar stones are also to be found in porcupines. meet a colleague. was settled himself wounded. but they are rarer. animals and use it not savage. highly prized by Chinamen. The creatures are hunted and killed by the natives for the sake of their horns. floored in where the shopkeepers sat the cool of the evening. into powder. He showed horn. the Rejang was given over to the white His shop was situated roofed in the middle of a row of houses. who had in the place first when Rajah. One to of our visits. to be man was supposed his one of the most skilful doctors in the neighbourhood. Dr. who buy them extremely high prices. these animals are to be met with near a lime- stone mountain. even dearer than those found in monkeys. mix with water. sheltered from sijn and rain. Langmore grated rhinoceros the powdered bezoar .

which he kept polished It it like a looking-glass. in the evening. the broth ITS PEOPLE 25. His dispensary was thronged from morning to night with patients suffering from all kinds of diseases. who take one pipe of just as an abstemious man enjoys his glass of whisky and water before going bed. Nor was our future. his He was ending days in peace and prosperity. however. in made from sharks' readiness for stomachic complaints. is can say with truth that opium curse to the country as in not in any way such a and over "fire are the spirits quantities all water" sold such large its the United Kingdom and colonies. or bilian. Going back to our bungalow near the Fort. was often put out in the warm. so that should be thoroughly well in case of emergency. : But to return to our old friend coffin with pride. From my own I experience amongst the people of Sarawak. low. was * so one imagines the old man's methods were beneficent. for old friend quite without coffin an eye to the he owned a beautiful made of iron-wood. so few restrictions. apparently. The old gentleman would sit on the edge of the after his day's coffin smoking his opium pipe opium to labour —that one solace of hard-working Chinamen. for he would point to his he did not dread the time when the would close over him and his place in the world know him no more. we lid 17 . and on one was a steaming bowl of tamarinds. of the counters fins. dry seasoned air. with. The death-rate Sibu. at nervous and otherwise.SARAWAK AND Stone.

These beads are made in Venice. and there found the bead. into stones worn queer shapes peculiar-looking seed covered with red was believed to be the hair spirit. covered with trees. ornamented with dabs of black. red. and yellow. sometimes as the of result of dreams. Kayans. to the who had of our house. dug under the tree. went to the spot. some opaque. are The true old beads regarded with great veneration by the Dyak and Kayan people. for they are a fair imitation of ancient beads these people dig up. sometimes by accident. which he carried round his waist in a little basket. Hose's recent book on Sarawak. he would find amongst its He accordingly roots a valuable bead called lukut. One of my Dyak friends told me that he dreamed if he went to a certain spot in a forest rather distant from his home. shaped like dumplings. We entered the Batang' Lupar River and steamed by two green mounds. and dug under a particular tree. named Antu Gergasi. by water. which . and a fluff.258 SARAWAK AND full ITS PEOPLE Bazaar : walked round the other shops in the these were white. which of a powerful and malignant Chinese apothecary and escorted us to the door We bade farewell to the bead-finder. and find ready purchasers amongst the poorer Dyaks. and an interesting account them may be seen in Dr. together with bits of rock crystal. It is curious how these ancient beads are found. of beads of dark blue transparent glass. our way to and the next morning we left Sibu on Simanggang. and Tanjongs.

intricate and delicate. held by mouth of the Rejang had been so smooth that it was impossible even The sun was setting. taking with them on each occasion costly silks and satins to lay in on her tomb. One its of these an island. A colour. then disappeared. like a fragment of a rainbow. of us the shoi'es of the Batang Lupar wer^ in front veiled with pink smoke. fragments of pale blue framed golden fluff with ragged edges of copper. whilst entanglements of gold and turquoise blue. who holy lived a great many coast. was seen for an instant close by the sea. covered the The sun dropping behind the clouds stood out . she was buried in this island as a special tribute to to her her memory. years ago in one of the little villages near the life and was honoured little for her and her incessant prayers to Allah. and for me to be sea-sick. showing this island is underneath. and thus is still show the reverence those which she life. Although a pilgrimage tomb requires a tedious journey across the channel dividing the island from the neighbouring coast. fitful who The passage from appreciate her holy lights in the western in sky. I saw the strange. called the Isle of Birds. and the Dyaks were burning their farms. sky. for it was now in September. where a landslip has up- rooted the great trees on the red soil precipitous side.SARAWAK AND Stand at its ITS PEOPLE is 259 entrance. the people in this part of the country pay frequent visits to her resting-place. When she died. On a tomb erected to a Muhammadan lady.

in a few moments was hidden behind the . a glorified until sea. for am able . for a great many years. and his world. Frank Maxwell that now write. Our dear friend. I But I it is of Mr. A about to the great sadness comes over this river. then Assistant. Sir Benson Maxwell. it — charge of the Fort. Frank Maxwell 4ived at Simanggang. Frank Maxwell and Mr. Bailey. and the day was done. Mr. who for several years had ruled the district with marked success. darkness came. SARAWAK AND like it ITS host PEOPLE .260 blood-red. and it is interest in the who takes an Malayan Archipelago how famous the name of Maxwell must for ever be in that part of the His father. in Simanggang.Resident in the happy time. Robert Maxwell. brothers. Bailey. Mr. In mentioning would be a great and very ungrateful omission were I not especially to mention these two men Mr. and Mr. Batang Lupar. Our arrival at Simanggang was a pleasant one. me now as I write visit for since Bertram's and my Batang Lupar two of the Rajah's most dis- tinguished officers have passed away. and where we spent a Kirkpatrick. Sir William and Mr. were at the wharf to meet us. are almost unnecessary to remind anyone well also known for the part they have played in civilizing those far-off Eastern lands. Bertram and I walked up that sweet-smelling avenue of angsana trees leading to the Fort and to the bungalow where we were to stay. A gleam of gold trembled on the water it vanished.

.HUT CONTAINING EATABLES TO REFRESH THE GOD OF BATANG LUPAR RIVER SICKNESS.

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Skelton. and once when an expedition was absolutely necessary he was lying crippled with an attack of acute rheumatism in Simanggang: Fort. Head-hunters were busy in those days in the inland country of the Batang Lupar. He joined the Rajah's service as a young man of twenty- two years of age. He was carried down to his boat and placed on that Mr. Skelton's death. and for years he toiled there for the benefit of the people. a mattress. who. alas.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 261 to speak with authority as to the affection in which all the people of the Batang Lupar hold his name. Now by him Maxwell has passed away. given charge of this district. gave immense trouble. was destined to die At Mr. and many were the expeditions led in order to restore peace and trade in the vicinity. and at one time menaced in a somewhat serious manner the inhabitants residing in the lower waters of the Batang Lupar River. Maxwell's health was never very good on account of constant malaria and rheumatism. thus establishing security and peace in the district. Mr. called Lang Endang. One of these expeditions comes back forcibly to my mind as I write. He first of all learned the methods of Sarawak policy under Mr. I do not fear his displeasure at pointing out the manner in which he drove these enemies of the Rajah back. During the arduous river journey he lay almost unable to move . Mr. A chief. another of the Rajah's loyal young. Maxwell was officers. from which he directed the operations necessary against the rebel force.

and only because have the pleasure of being dislike their friend.262 SARAWAK AND foot. his Dyaks back to the Fort — although and had still leisure in great pain — he I be ill in must have have felt repaid for his exertions by the grateful affection of the Malays and Dyaks. Fortunately still many it of the Rajah's is other officers are I alive. which into civilization. Mr. seems ingrained in their very bones. Harry Deshon. and 4cnow print. These two names which occur to me as I write are of those who have gone beyond the influence of either praise or blame. straining every nerve to bring the people them the benefits of good and to keep them as much as possible from the pernicious habit of head-hunting. who was content to live in the Fort situated up that green cliff overlooking the Batang Lupar River for years and years. to victory. admire other things courage and endurance. \ ITS PEOPLE and when he got to hand or he led comfort Notwithstanding these drawbacks. how much they would that I being dragged into all I refrain from saying as should like to say about such men Mr. Bampfylde. who. and others. Maxwell that learned the details of this expedition. but from the Simanggang people themselves. who have so nobly followed the example set before them by their chief. as above all said before. bereft of European society. The same devotion to the country distinguished Mr. Bailey. I It was not from Mr. to teach agriculture. . with the exception of the English ofificer under him.

Mrs. still died some years ago. and the one wish of the see women of the country is that they may them again. and many others were sympathetic endeavours to most successful in their know them care for well and to become realize their friends. ciate their work out there. The wife of the Bishop of Sarawak. Their other Englishwomen friends are often spoken of in Kuching and other places in Sarawak. Hose. Mrs. Maxwell. Buck. but her memory hearts lives in the of the women of Sarawak. Deshon.SARAWAK AND I ITS if PEOPLE I 263 know I shall be forgiven seize the present opportunity of mentioning the names of some of my Englishwomen tionate friends who have also taken an affec^ interest in the lives of the women of our country. J . all I wish these ladies could how much who Sarawak apprealas. Mrs. Mrs. Mrs. Hose. F.

bordered limes. A little distance up the path. me a message one morning to the effect that a number of Dyak women. falling decorated their huge coils of Their bodies were cased blue. . from which dangled fringes of each side of their faces below the hair. They wore quantities of anklets and bangles. There were about thirty or forty of these women. living a little distance in a village up the Batang Lupar. I was only too delighted that to receive the women. in innumerable coils of brass rings. and their throats were encircled with rows upon rows of beads and gold ornaments. so Bertram and I stood on the verandah in expectation of their arrival. silver. bearing aloft great round trays piled up with and cakes. and I noticed same curious. their eyes cast mysterious. and white. walking slowly. down. by betel-nut palms. Bailey sent Simanggang. High combs. sweet-smelling and other tropical their growth we saw a long in fruits file of women making silver way our direction. holding themselves very the 264 straight. had requested permission to send a deputation to welcome us to the country. brown.CHAPTER XXVIII WHILST we at were staying at the bungalow Mr. ears. and they wore short petticoats of cotton cloth.

and the few moments of silence required on such important occasions had passed. and that their long talk. propped on bamboo poles. This charming welcome was their way of showing pleasure at our arrival. plates. sickness had attacked some members of their community. jack fruit. surrounded by an orchard of bananas. spot. then followed us into our sitting-room to have a the little talk. was situated a few yards from the In order to appease the anger banks of the of the river. Accordingly. they had erected a little hut on the river-bank. passed Bertram and me. Bertram and I were conveyed a few reaches up the Batang Lupar by this were pleased with the picturesque crew. that afternoon. hung from the platform below were placed cooked roof. roofed in with palm leaves. Large rice. They told me that not many weeks before. durians. some chipped and broken.. and places. house. we began our and I asked them about their families and all the news of their village. and laid their gifts of fruits and cakes on the verandah at the back of our house. etc. squatting when they had taken their on the floor.SARAWAK AND archaic ITS PEOPLE as on 265 those of expression on their faces Tanjong dancers. their feet tucked under- neath them. I felt curious to see this hut. and on a pieces of salt . god of sickness. It They women did not take us long to reach the where we saw an open shed. They came to the bungalow. and asked them whether I might pay idea. it a visit and these forty suggested paddling me thither in one of their boats.

in We were paddled back to the bungalow the the same way as we had come. at which all the my old friends. her little flat nose and well-shaped mouth. happened to be amongst our guests. a Seripa. SARAWAK AND and other spirit of ITS PEOPLE gourd of water. girl. One of the Malays present. but the hut had been left there. graceful and her movements made her a striking personality at the party. pale yellow complexion. who sat next to me. A pretty whose name was Lada (meaning pepper). her great dark eyes fringed with eyelashes of wonderful length. instead of going further inland to procure his food off human flesh. whom I knew well amused me much. on his part. This conduct. a universal in one amongst some of the tribes Sarawak. in case the unwelcome visitor should return at any time for more victims. Malays and Dyaks. Kirkpatrick being the masters of ceremony on the occasion. edibles. so careful did she seem to be of Bertram's morals. I believe. however. in her younger days. and the women expressed themselves delighted with time we had spent together. a Dyak of Sekarrang and the daughter of a fortman. her her slim figure. The women assured me that the sickness was stayed by these methods. but in quite a fatherly manner.266 fish. Her magnificent hair. together with a to tempt the the plague to eat his meals there. Bailey and Mr. That evening we held a large reception in Fort. Mr. She . did not please the Seripa. This custom is. I must own Bertram thought the girl pretty and talked a good deal to her. were present.

flung over her locks. I never quite made out. therefore She told to me she was " my and (a competent teach Anak Rajah Rajah's child) in the ways he should go. poor Bertram was quite unconscious of the displeasure of the Seripa. I ma told me. I The next morning ma told me that the Seripa and one or two of her female retinue were prowling round the garden of the bungalow. in order to waylay Bertram as he went out for his morning walk. Meanevening. that the gist of was that she (the Seripa) was my friend. who could only understand about a quarter of all it she said. and her features were more European than were those of Malays generally. She was a curious-looking woman. What happened but. still made of gauzy material. . and was even then a picturesque figure in her draperies of dark blue and her dark purple scarf. stood on the verandah and watched the proceedings. and remonstrating with him on his conduct. of Arabian descent. however.SARAWAK AND considered an " orang kechil ITS PEOPLE 267 objected to his showing attention to a person she " (a little person of no friend. I warned by I ma that the couple had met. being at the interview. tried to pacify her. tinued She con- her ejaculations on the subject during the I and could only manage to do so by telling her that perhaps she might get an opportunity the following morning of seeing Bertram. " consequence). in profusion all untouched with grey. She had been good-looking. while. but curlipg over her head. The angry dame was pouring forth a torrent of words to Bertram.

I am sorry to say that Bertram did not at all appreciate the friendly inter- ference of the angry Seripa. but she forbade him to waste his compHments and attentions on people below his rank. friendship and interest on their part. shows remember It first with tenderness and affection the admonitions the dear people used to give me when I went amongst them in the days of my youth. . Bertram and the Seripa had become good friends. my loyal friend could was not of such serious import we left Simanggang. after By the time teaching others. as they were Seripas. " young people (it is is Baik sahya ajar I " well I should teach him) were the words was perpetually hearing from many Malays during my and I journeys with Bertram through Sarawak. Their one idea on approaching to " ajar " them. It must be remembered that the greatest pleasure to Malays who have passed their first youth is in herself that the matter all.268 SARAWAK AND that if it ITS PEOPLE and Bertram chose to pay attention to any would be quite the right thing for of her relations a Rajah's son to do. although when a few judge for days had elapsed.

since the Dyaks possess no literature. cannot say positively that the following . be remembered that none of these legends have been written down by I themselves. legends have not already appeared in print to my how mind. I found that the strange idea of people becoming by storms and tempests. and below the village the water rippled over pebbles under the shade of great a6g . help to unfold the secret of their origin. as inter- many natives. a great stay at Simanggang I I saw. in their way. and being It ested in the legends of the place. however. told me by my village called It friends.' CHAPTER XXIX DURING our usual. with the result that they vary in the telling. was universal amongst the petrified inhabitants of this district. through laughing or ill-treating animals. persuaded should my visitors to relate some of these to me. The following are two stories regarding this belief. Many Marup. and should. stood on the banks near its source. years ago there was a little far up the Batang Lupar River. lies in their slight every variation goes to show strongly these legends are embedded in the minds and lives of the people. their interest difference .

Then . was a happy poor to be attacked terrible by robbers. and they too began to laugh. The who were watching her prepare the meal joined in the laugh. or the men fished. She filled her basket with " Ikan Pasit. and out of the reach of the head-hunters living nearer the coast. the western and spread over the sky. " What are you doing ? " she said to the fish. and the were never known to time weaving cloths The women passed working made from the cotton growing in the on the trees round rice-fields. a great black hills. and as fish called she was preparing them for supper. It could be seen swimming and these the village boys caught little place. who worked them into mats or plaited them into baskets. rushed to see what was the matter. SARAWAK AND There were ITS PEOPLE and there deep fish pools here between the rocks. " Do you imagine that you are my husband people ? " and at this joke she laughed heartily. pall was seen to rise over." The girl by the people took them home. of fruit. whilst their dwellings.270 trees. too in their hands. the smallest fish jumped out of the cooking pot and touched her breast. The orchards rice-crops their round the village were full fail. Suddenly. which they brought home to their women. hunted. and the peals of laughter were so loud that the villagers. hearing the noise. or went long journeys in their canoes in search of certain palms. A mighty wind blew accompanied by flashes of lightning and detonations sounding like the fall of great hills. girl One day a young went down to the river with her net. where about.

but they could make no it impression whatever on her stone body or on her living head. man paddled by. she bore a charmed and was a doomed to remain alive. had like remained human and unchanged. its head and neck. were turned to stone and fell into the river with a loud crash. and the only traces of that once happy settlement were great boulders of rock lying in the bed of the stream. woman. and various other implements. for Thus she lived many years. also.SARAWAK AND tempest was in progress. When the storm subsided. girl The fish who had been the first to mock at the was only into partly petrified. One evening girl's cries. fallen the river. and his sword to put her fit out of her misery at length in a of impotent despair he seized hold of the spindle and struck her . the village until every man. a deep silence lay over the valley. but great hailstones beat pitilessly down on child. carrying of his canoe. and was embedded a rock in the middle of the stream. and and every animal. hacked at her head with axes. hail ITS PEOPLE 271 a stone-rain (hail-storm) began. and a Whenever a canoe paddled by she kill inmates to take their swords and her. and soon a terrible The torrents of rain night. swords. and although they life. with a living body of implored stone. for her head and neck She. for was too big. even the houses themselves. and were so dense that day turned to After a time the rain ceased. They could not move the rock. his wife's spindle in the bottom tried all He heard the and means possible with his axe .

He was indeed a great man when he consulted the birds. with his boats laden with heads. over the head with legend Suddenly her and her head and neck slowly turned is to stone. and valleys resounded with their shouts. : returned victorious. if I remember rightly. He his was given the title of " Torrent of Blood. and plunder of various kinds. This living known to a great many of the Dyaks up the Batang Lupar River. haughty man. When an expedition returned. sacks of paddy. the women and children stood" . This village was also little built on the banks of one of the streams flowing into the Batang Lupar River. and the group of rocks was pointed out to me when we passed by them.272 SARAWAK AND it. women. jars. rocks. Practice had made them perfect. and when he led his warriors to battle. Borneo could equal the noise made by his warriors when they gave vent to the terrible head yells. and The is other legend known supposed to have happened to a tribe who lived not far from the lady turned to stone by a spindle. ITS PEOPLE cries ceased. and the mountains. whose tribe numbered one thousand men. not far is from Lobok Antu. and children. as the Cat story. No tribe in by which they made known to the countryside that they were returning from some successful expedition. he always by splendid names. chief The was a proud. they were favourable to his wishes." whilst more famous warriors were also distinguished similarly His house was so large that it had seventy-eight doors (meaning seventy-eight families lived under the same long roof).

or in the "Begawai Antu" (head feast) given in honour of heads years before. according to the custom of these Dyaks. he remained the only slave of the were In- heaped upon him. such a misfortune entailed the whole of the culprit's family being enslaved. feeling thrown. he was looked upon with great contempt. and of the women and young husking . were a token of the wearer having captured in battle. in the costume of a dis- tinguished to Dyak warrior. heads of enemies But there was one poor individual who could take no part in either these warlike expeditions. in He sight carried the animal chiefs the open verandah of the for and elders who were 18 discussing plans a fresh exgirls pedition. he made friends with a cat belonging to the tribe. and their war-jackets were a mass of for they feathers. and made to live in dignities the last room of the village where the refuse was day. hornbill's plumes : in and a cap decorated with short. fire of enemies taken in their wars. to ofie and.SARAWAK AND on the banks to ITS PEOPLE 273 watch the arrival of the boats. He enticed the animal into his miserable it room and dressed up in a scarlet waistband. One more desolate than usual. None but renowned head- hunters were allowed to wear the hornbill's plumes. Some the poor man's parents had accidentally set of the houses in the village. helmets were de- The most distinguished warriors' corated with hornbill's plumes. a war-jacket made of panther's skin. died. One by one until the relations of the poor man had tribe.

There. and the scarlet waistband. and as it touched the ground it ran like a mad thing in and out of the crowd. He was nearly weeping and tears stood in his eyes. creature SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE all. and they and their houses were turned into those great rocks which anyone can see for himself if he will take the trouble involved in a journey up those River. and laughed loudly. dropping here and there the cap. before them the friendless hugged the cat and held it to his heart. its Hose has told me that Bukitans and Ukits also believe in the danger of laughing at animals. embedded in Dr. until it quite got to like the coat. . ^ When visiting Dr. and there he has remained ever since. the cat leapt out of the house and disappeared. but hard-hearted and scornful. Suddenly. he let the cat jump out of his arms. together with all his tribe. shelter in the general confusion. were hurled by Antu Ribut into the stream. Then a great storm arose and the stone-rain fell upon the people.274 the paddy. for he once had a baby maias^ which learnt to put its arms into the sleeves of a small coat. Hose at Orang-outang. for a bamboo growing near the house. The chief of the village. Freed from these trappings. the jacket. The warriors forgot about their war plans and the women about their paddy. the people pointed at him in derision for owning such a friend. a species of monkey. many reaches of the Batang Lupar The poor despised man found rest and he crept inside heart. in their keen enjoyment of the poor man's misery.

village When father the lad grew up. village. Not far from the mouth of the coast. but in their unselfishness they were only too glad he should go forth in the world outside their for himself. some miles up the to rocks standing on the shore and which.SARAWAK AND the Fort these people ITS PEOPLE 275 sometimes saw the creature coat. When Dr. how to fashion make nets in order to obtain a to large haul of fish : indeed. in lived. and their son once The parents were exceedingly fond of the boy and brought him up with especial taught him canoes. Hose asked them why they v^ere afraid to be and* turned seen laughing. visit his trading expedi- and returned his the place birth for to father and mother who had never a moment forgotten the boy so dear to them. they replied. for fear the animal should see them laughing at it. slowly putting faces on his when they hid their away their heads. and might cause a tempest." another legend about people being turned Here to is stone on account of ingratitude and disrespect to their parents. which a man. The parents regretfully with their child. " to laugh at It is ' mali ' (forbidden) an animal. little settlement and After many to years the make a name son managed to of his amass a considerable fortune from tions. how to and care. But. are Batang Lupar River. . he taught the boy all he knew. The father make schooners. were remains of an ancient his wife. he started from his in a on a trading expedition schooner built parted by his and himself. according my friends.

He spoke unkind words their the old couple. and climb Lingga Mountain. Every one living Simanggang knows the great mass of sandstone and forest. A young Dyak. when he and realized surroundings their position the world. and how a of country can be seen from its flat and difficult narrow top with the wide expanse of sea stretching from the shores of the Batang Lupar across the great bay of Sarawak to the mountains beyond the town of Kuching. where he would find the . once resided in a village at the foot of this mountain. after insulting arose. The Batang Lupar and in I district is rich in legends. and all those fortman's who have wife) travelled this at all (so said the fortman's have seen how high and great stretch Lingga Mountain and know it is to climb. them more than usual. mother. will tell yet another as related to me by a wife in Simanggang. life's blood to build who had almost given up his fortune. and told him he must next morning. A one night appeared to him rise early the in his dreams. before the trees on the banks of the river had emerged from the mists of night.276 so of SARAWAK AND the their ITS PEOPLE the poverty in story goes. his heart felt grew hard towards them. together with the whole of the inhabitants of the village and their houses. a great storm and son. and he their ashamed of to low estate. were tossed into the sea and turned into and father. the Spirit of the mountain. named Laja. called Lingga Mountain. One day. beautiful lady. stone.

he found the and carried it back to his village. proved failures.. whilst it cured some. its rose colour in the gleaming through the mist and melting away most wonderful moss-green hue. Laja Seeing the coloured knew at once that the Spirit of the mountain. for. diminutive After searching for some time. But the plant was capricious. others derived no benefit from it and died. The vision went on tribe. and more numerous than its every member of the tribe became anxious to procure a root for himself. Laja went his way. a king's daughter. until he reached the top. like a gigantic orchid painted in the sky. the fragment of a rainbow.SARAWAK AND a blessing to the ITS PEOPLE 2. When difficulty the colours had faded from the sky. although no one ventured to undertake the journey at the time as the farming season was in full swing. safflower (that blossom which has since become so great Dyak race) at the top. however. He had climbed half-way up the mountain when he saw. off grew was a long way . fragment. the villagers working hard at their paddy the place where the plant moreover. where he had some on account of its in finding the safflower size. sprains and orders of this beautiful lady and started off the next morning before dawn had broken over the land. Its root successes. just above the fog. more especially internal inflammation. necessitating . for to explain that this plant it would benefit Laja's Laja obeyed the could cure most illnesses. He then pounded it up and gave it to people who were sick. was about to descend by the rainbow to bathe in the mountain stream.

She threw the water over her head from a bucket of pure gold. a young man. he still went on. peered beautiful bathing in a pool. and. and seeing the youth. put with the beads.278 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE and the climb up the mountain was a somewhat perilous one. started off one day in search of the safflower. carried about with etc. . a great branch of foliage. As she sped away. hair when he saw a woman most divinely She was unclothed. pebbles. having forgotten the saf- flower in the excitement of this unexpected meeting. in the it bushes and was all left hanging like Simpurei saw left wet and glistening. Notwithstanding.. it and rolling the fragile thread up carefully. pushing aside through. its was perfect. When he reached arch hill half-way up the mountain he saw the rainbow glittering in the sky. both ends resting on the sides of a opposite the mountain. king's daughter . her falling down her back until it touched her feet. At the sound the girl looked up. which he He him as charms. after a cobweb on a branch a dewy night. one of her hairs became entangled there. pieces of wood. and as Simpurei stood staring at this beautiful vision. He heard the sound of water and rustling leaves close by. in his sirih bag. named Simpurei. Simpurei realized that the must be bathing in the neighbourhood nevertheless. fled to a great bed of safflowers near which her clothes were lying. hastened home. but instead of its being a fragment. one of the twigs in his hand broke off. without telling anyone of his intentions. seeds.

on which perched a milk-white paddy bird. thunder-storms and heavy he was watching snags and driftwood hurrying down the stream after heavy freshets. and is related by many of our people with certain variations. by a great tree torn up by its in a sandbank and swung and fro in the current with a portion of its roots above water. owing to which the upper river districts of the had been submerged and a number of people drowned in the flood. and showed their wisdom when they decided that his death was a just punishment sent him for had not by the Rajah. was hurrying to the sea. more leisurely. the Spirit of the Sun stood and gazed at his daughter when she Simpurei was unclothed ? Another legend. he paddled to the spot and took the plant home. for ITS PEOPLE 279 but he had scarcely reached his house H e lingered when he was for some hours. The man noticed a strange-looking plant roots. and unfastening It his canoe from the landing-place near by. was a delicate-looking thing . he had time before he died to house on hearing of his called in. relate his adventures to the to his whole of the village who had immediately come illness. followed. which I had from the fortman's wife.SARAWAK AND seized with violent illness. A snag. Medicine men were but their remedies were of no avail. One day. telling how the paddy was first brought to Borneo. after a succession of rains. This tree got caught to entangled in its roots. is a general one all over the country. Some generations ago a man dwelt alone by the side of a the elders of the tribe : — river in a small hut.

as they did not twinkle. without their help. his mosquito-net. The man then woke up and. put asleep. and as for they chose their own season tell appearing in the sky no one could for certain.2 8o SARAWAK AND he threw it. and planted when seven stars were shining together in the sky just before dawn. when the new plant was to be put in the ground. but remained in the heavens. There he left it. who seemed more like a spirit than a man. The friend. pulling his curtains aside. This phantom. and went to visit a friend living in the neighbourhood. all it of no in a corner of his hut and soon forgot about When up evening came on he unfolded his mat. to whom he related what had happened. but thinking use. his friend was a wise man and able to explain the meaning of his dream. a beautiful being appeared to him and spoke about the plant. revealed to him that the plant was necessary to the human race. and that the seven stars were quite different from other still stars. said that the plant found in the roots of the tree was paddy (rice). or spirits. but that it must be watched and cherished. and went on to say that the spirit of his dreams must be very stupid in telling him to look for seven stars when But there were always so many shining in the sky. ITS PEOPLE it with leaves of the tenderest green. being also versed in the law of antus. He told him that Patara himself had appeared to him. and that Patara had taken the trouble to say so himself. and was soon fast In his dreams. saw the plant lying in the corner of the hut shrivelled and brown. .

by Sea Dyaks) paddy fields. . I fancy. However. and care treat its delicate and I short with the utmost and reverence. tried to get a glimpse of this flower. officers. possesses a root of little this flower. and every paddy field belonging to the Dyaks of the Rejang. the paddy now flourishes over the country and the people of Sarawak have always enough to eat. the people plant the roots of a their lily called in Indu Padi (or wife of the Paddy.^ They build protecting huts over life it. Amongst some tribes. and also of the Land Dyaks near Kuching. where grew and so that The people in neighbouring villages also procured roots to plant in all their farms. in The it little plant was then put multiplied. the ground. and their mythical tales about the food-giving plant remind one of the relating to many legends all over the world Demeter and other earth-mother goddesses.SARAWAK AND After this ITS the it PEOPLE 281 explanation man went home. the man " noticed the " necklace of Pleiades appearing in the sky. of the Sadong. indeed. They treat this flower as though it were the most powerful goddess. a good many of the lived who have it some time in native and who have witnessed the people's harvest 1 I believe to be a species of Crinum. picked up the plant and put another dream should reveal for the seven stars. nearly all over Sarawak. Sarawak people have very beautiful ideas about paddy. of the Batang Lupar. away carefully until when he was to look out In due time. but have never succeeded. under Patara's guidance. have often Rajah's houses.

he was fond of talking. did not always catch the fortunate. SARAWAK AND have given it ITS PEOPLE it. chief A named Panau. often paid me visits in pur bungalow at for Simanggang. Let those who look upon other. and thought the manner in which I fired at the landscape and caught it in the box nothing short of miraculous. interested me. humility. thought to bode disaster to their tribe. as in he grasped his spear one hand and his shield in the took him into the dark room arranged for . smiling his conceit. He was greatly interested in my camera. face. like all I had known him years. and things. my I picture tremble with fear. his ^restless eyes." he said. a shrewd observer of men and reader of character. I and cracked jokes of which . and He was a anyone his when he swagger. They greatly fear it anything happening to the plant. for should shrivel it is die or up before the paddy is husked and garnered. jokes are sometimes Rabelaisian in character. and his kindness of always too. and. Dyaks. me a description of I have always thought such a beautiful superstition of theirs that of caring for £|. His dark. and nurturing the delicate petals of flower as though its fragile existence were a protec- tion to the well-being of their race. " He kept me waiting for some minutes adjusting a warlike pose I before pulled off the cap. as Dyak. trusted became his their loyal friend. who had a considerable following. He many sense had a sense humour.2 82 festivals. attired in his war-dress. One day this I was perhaps took his portrait.

PANAU— A SEA DYAK CHIEF .

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Vyner was finishing his education at Cambridge. and rushed out. know- how deeply my eldest son appreciates the natives. screamed out " Antu his " tore open the door. was pleasant to realize how much he was esteemed by them in return. At any ing it rate. I darevisited say Panau. When. I do not think it would be amiss to relate in this . I asked Vyner for details. had come to look upon it as true. and when he saw his likeness appear. the Chief was devoted to him. I He looked over my shoulder as the acid over the plate. Panau confided to me that he longed for the time to come when his Rajah Muda would be amongst his people again. prints. having so often related this imaginary adventure.SARAWAK AND me in ITS PEOPLE moved ! 283 our bungalow to see me develop the picture. fogged. on my return to England. On one occasion Panau informed me he had saved Vyner from being engulfed by the Bore. It appeared that Vyner had made many peaceful expeditions up the Batang Lupar River with Panau and his tribe. he gave a him. At the time of Bertram's and my stay in Sarawak. slamming the door behind On It that account picture is somewhat took some time before he recovered from but he eventually accepted one of the fright. who had Sarawak the previous year. he told me he did not remember the incident. and. Vyner. and thought it must have existed only in Panau's imagination. A great reason I had for enjoying Panau's company was his devotion to my eldest son. his yell.

For some unexplained reason. cholera broke out amongst the force just before it had reached the enemy's country. The expedition started from Simang- Harry Deshon in charge of a force of Dyaks and Malays numbering about eight thousand.2 84 SARAWAK AND years after ITS PEOPLE Batang Lupar The Rajah found a connection a subsequent adventure that befell Vyner some my stay at the River. led A chosen body by Malay chiefs. When the force reached the enemy's country. of men. the air was with the screams and groans of the stricken and dying. started on foot for the interior. The three white men had encamped on a gravel bed. and waiting. filled As the days wore on. up one of its tributaries. Bailey and Vyner accompanied gang. so that. It was impossible to turn back on account of the bad impression such a course would have made on the enemy. men daily. leaving the Englishmen and the body of the During those days of force to await their return. in spite of losing them. whilst Mr. himself obliged to send an expedition against tribe who had committed many murders in these inland rivers. and . about two thousand died of the plague. Panau was attacked with the a few hours. became most virulent. a land party was dispatched to the scene of action. with Mr. the expedition had to push on. Out of six or seven thousand men who remained encamped by the shores of the river. the epidemic the Dyak force remained in their boats close by. friend difed in and to Vyner's great grief and mine our old disease.

hurried to the place where the Rajah's force had been entheir camped. the attacking party returned to camp. Deshon and Mr. spread These people. Dyaks. Nothing apparently could be done to stop the disease. after having conquered the head-hunters.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE 285 Mr. Bailey have since told that Vyner's presence helped to keep discipline me and hope amongst the force during the awful time. for it victims to their detestable habit. The enemy. in case at any moment they might be carried off by the plague. proceeded to cut off^ heads and to carry them fell home. . subsequently hearing about the catastrophe. which disappeared as suddenly as it had come. they said. It appears that Vyner and his two friends used to sit on the gravel bed and with a grim humour point out to one another where they would like to be buried. and finding there so many dead bodies. but this calamitous epidemic destroyed nearly one-quarter of the population. for all along those many to miles of water. however. The to return journey to Simanggang in was terrible. they found the gravel bed strewn with the bodies of the dead and dying. with the result that was almost annihilated. and the little paths around Simanggang were littered with the corpses of Chinese. they caught the cholera and it amongst their tribe. A great stretch of country became infected. corpses had that be flung from the boats such numbers to leave there was nothing be done but them floating in the stream. and Malays. He was always cheerful. When.

us out of suspense. soon put I confirmed the report. read in an Italian in paper that the Rajah's son had died of cholera hurried to England with Sarawak. however. my younger son. and Dover. staying with at me at the time. placards at the station Telegrams. who was when we arrived Harry. .286 SARAWAK AND Happening to ITS PEOPLE I be in Italy at the time. but had spent a terrible day. as he was leading an expedition into the I interior.

river we saw pepper vines. called Sigobang. The are paths the vicinity of towns or villages always strewn with the vestiges of sugar-cane eaters. peel off thick and when bite into it. . yams. also 987 growing near the banks. We after left Kuching hours' in one of the Government launches about eleven o'clock in the morning. it looks like a stick of white its juice. Bertram and visit to I were anxious to pay a flying a place called Paku. who suck in the juice and go.. and a few steaming came to a Chinese settlement. our return to Kuching.CHAPTER XXX ON resides. into tubes. pineapples. where the land on the banks becomes a broad alluvial plain and where Chinese settlers grow its plantations of sugar. wood its you in suck and dispose of filaments in the most convenient way. it You piece of the stem. that beautiful cane with emerald green leaves and is golden stems. slice rind. and near by are antimony and quicksilver mines worked by the Borneo Company Limited. to Fresh sugar-cane a pleasant thing cut through a it? munch at in a desultory way. where one of the Rajah's magistrates The people in the neighbourhood are mostly Chinese. spit out the filaments as they As we steamed up etc.

The river now became narrower. was singing on the banks in the sunshine. and their wooden doors were ornamented with scarlet bands of paper over which were large black Chinese characters. clinging to the banks. the forests once more encroached on the land. their branches entangled with parasites and stag's-horn covered ferns. or bul-bul. Ducks and geese were swimming about in the river near these settlements.288 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE holding and Chinamen clad in short cotton drawers. in their gardens. They were built level with the ground. their other hand as they worked dogs. whilst the reflection of lagerstremias with purple spiked flowers. At this point the stream is . Black butterflies fluttered over the grass. Bamboo wheels stood under open — primitive machines for extracting the sugar juice from the cane. These Chinese houses appeared more substantial than were those of the poorer Malays. We reached six in Busu. and great trees hung over the water. umbrellas over their heads. at the evening. the landing-place for Paku. and an alligator bird. and using terriers. Clumps of bamboos grew here and there. the latter weed looking like green lace and shaking at the slightest current of air. known sheds to bark. Yellow out about the size of fox rushed from Chinese houses and yelped at us from doorways these were evidently Dyak dogs. who are never . These small villages being left behind us. The banks were covered with ferns and bamboo grass. stained the running water. and rocky banks replaced the mud.

l . . v.f ^4 Z: .> 2 -3- ft. !.>^. J - 1 ^i-' . ^ 9. ^ ^ Ir'' . •i|.-'. . i " t .

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devoid of orchards or gardens. and comfortably travelled over the four miles separating us from the bungalow. Awdry met us at the bottom of leading to her house. the hill Mrs. leading to the mines We found and a great Wharf. Awdry. jutting out from these houses. fetch water came out of one of these houses to from the river. led from the cottages to the river. On platforms of crazy planks. whence the antimony and quicksilver is shipped to Kuching and thence to Singapore and Europe. stood on poles amongst the weeds on the banks. officers landing-place. whilst others 19 . As we clambered to down from the truck. dovetailing into each other. as Malay men are supposed to leave water-carrying to the women of their household. A path made of single bamboos. A tramway starts from the some miles us inland. which was pretty high. A man on the bank. He was met with a storm of scornful remarks from our crew. shoulder- ing a bamboo.'s wharf. A little farther on was the Borneo Company Ltd. and waving banners. started beating their gongs. one of the Rajah's friend of ours.SARAWAK AND about twenty yards wide. dilapidated coxcombs planted in old kerosene tins struggled to live in their uncongenial surroundings. blowing into instruments sounding like bagpipes. where Malays husk their paddy. Mr. a con- course of Chinamen. awaiting at the We then got into a horse-truck kindly put at our disposal by the Manager of the Mines. who had come meet us. ITS PEOPLE 289 Malay houses. furnished with mattresses and pillows.

in the exuberance of their welcome. the whole of one of these Jambusan. With the exception of this to seemed be the centre of a sea of green waves. called Sebigi. with pursuers immediately behind me. Although called forest fires are unusual in Sarawak. and. of limestone sticking up singly here although. scarlet runners. as we headed the procession. but it was conjectured that the rubbing together of the bamboos in the wind during the dry weather had caused them to ignite. The to was but the people meant well. as well known. all along the road. viewed from Kuching. although short of breath from for their my exertions. until found myself racing a crowd of din up the fearful. droughts are rare. so that we were pushed forward I by our noisy welcomers. One of them.290 SARAWAK AND The ITS PEOPLE tripods. these people. they appear like a chain of mountains. water melons. the house we were the valleys were small Chinese gardens. hanging from iron hill was steep and. the orchestra and bannerbearers. Here were pumpkins. was a mass of burnt trees with the limestone showing through the charred stumps. Along in is charred hillock. followed closely at our heels. From hills the verandah of the house a great stretch of country could be seen. No one knew how the fire had occurred. stood out from' the plain like a great green thumb. set fire to piles of crackers. I managed I thank them kind reception as soon as reached the top. . being excellent agriculturists. incline like a panting hare. There were curious-shaped and there. for hills.

and secondly. however. English were grazing here and and the place looked prosperous and peaceful. coughed. inquiry. district The Chinese and Dyaks there. He was short his chin. they pleased the crocodiles. which floated pigs. a dirty white and a dark blue handkerchief was his cotton jacket. they made his hearing more acute. waters as a cure for rheumatism. the Chinese cultivating the flowers as food for their A hot spring bubbled up somewhere in the its ground near by. and a kind of native spinach There were small ponds on those beautiful pink and white lotuses. flat ITS PEOPLE 291 sweet potatoes. : were necessary to his comfort for firstly.SARAWAK AND growing magnificently. which. he said. He in was a Land Dyak and on the situated the steep slope of limestone mountains stout. passed the back . spat out of the verandah. taken hold of the my fing^prs. and a few white bristles sprouted over He wore Chinese drawers. his tribe were constantly fishing the main he felt sure that none of these monsters would attempt to eat any of them. He had wooden two reasons discs screwed into the rims of his ears. maize. before he had risen. twisted round head. bathed cattle in its temperature being about of the 100° Fahrenheit. In response to my he related the following story tips of — not. The day after our arrival at Paku an individual named Pa Baniak (meaning Father of plenty) came was and to see me. accompanied by two members of his village his tribe. He told us that although in he and river. neighbourhood.

because he tied a dog attached to a long piece of rattan which he fast to river. the Dyak did. more inland.' said the crocodile. "and white Rajah came to our country. things. the he snapped at the bait at He swallowed the dog and hook one gulp. . The Malay. A away from the Land member of Pa Baniak's for passing by in a canoe." he said. not much like the task. and the beast could neither swallow the hook nor spit it up. The crocodile begged the man to put his arm down his throat and wrench the hook away. but the beast was too quick him.— 292 of his SARAWAK AND hand across on the first ITS PEOPLE to his nostrils. and inquired what the crocodile would do for eat I promise never to attack or him in return. any member of your tribe. when the hook fixed as the Malay had intended. Thir^king it might be dangerous. ' . spite bird. noticed the crocodile's felt open jaw and sorry him. tribe. a many wicked In the time of long this to Malay caught a crocodile was treacherous a wooden hpok of him. in alligator of the warnings of his friend. and. crocodile. paddled for after it. and got country near the sea to the country of the Dyaks. they did ago. down the river. who swam joyfully to the spot. : and then returned his place floor "Malays before the are not good people. and therefore his jaw was prised open. seeing the loose end of the rattan floating itself in his throat. made leaving its loose end floating on the dog howled and attracted a hungry The a tree.

a young man had fruit been seized by a crocodile as he was taking market. and told him warn all people to wooden discs in the cartilage of their ears. the trees on tale. leaving the antus without either playground or shelter. man removed crocodile The thrust operation the to thanked his deliverer. after this ITS PEOPLE 293 a fair offer. from his orchard down the river to the Kuching With a was switch of air. and finding that the he threw him on shore disgust. man's flesh did not taste nice. and my tribe has made wooden images of men and women to keep them amused. and the compact the hook. for members Baniak our of some other tribe. the beast noticed the wooden discs. paddle the canoe up in the in hand. the top of Singghi mountain stood out distinctly that afternoon in the lurid light of an approaching thunderstorm. they would roam amongst .SARAWAK AND The man thought was made. If ever the trees on the top mountain. His thumbs pointing said. " in the direction of the live up there. and as its falling into formidable jaws." To arrival prove the that. and went away snorting with I Bertram and made ejaculations of approval at the end of this and Pa Baniak was mightily pleased at the effect he had produced. his which the over. so that crocodiles should not mistake them tale. Although four or five miles away. Pa Baniak Antus of Singghi are cut down. its tail its the animal sent occupant. truth of this Pa informed at me only a few days of his before tribe Paku.

"It will preserve you from lightning. followed by downstairs. each opening Chinese umbrellas to keep the rain off their naked bodies." little We listened to Pa Baniak's us talk for some for time. we became tired and allowed him to depart. and drops of rain were falling as the trio went out of the house. and antus. scratched himself under his armpits. bites. and gave it to me. He rose slowly. about terrible consequences of men eating the flesh of deer. which made them cowards one's relations of the importance of being burned instead of buried in tell the earth. way Thunder was growling distance. for most Sarawak natives imagine that rain falling on their skin We watched them as they went brings on malaria. grunted. snake said. . as instance. 294 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE the trees in the pjain and tease the people living there. in order that could by the direction of the smoke whether or no But at length the dead had started for Paradise. blotting them out from view. and he told the many things. his attendants. along the plain in single file then the rain came down in torrents.." he made in the Then. . took a little brass bell off the sirih basket hanging at he his his waist.

A few ragged flags of red. Awdry. white called by the natives "bungga bakong. and yellow. fluttered along the banks near Chinese houses. and the the poles supporting it stood on the mud whole construction was lashed together by rattans. started from Kuching launch on an expedition to settlement. On lilies. Malay house at a village called Gading. Land Up with the Sadong River we passed palm-leaf houses erected on poles and standing in the mud. accompanied by Mr. They looked like crowns of great white stars resting on green and glossy lance-like leaves." but by European scientists Crinum Northianum. had somehow got wind of our journey. Mr. Langmore. white.CHAPTER XXXI ONE Dyak Malay morning Bertram and I. The house was made of palm leaves. as no nail or peg is ever used by the poorer Malays Clean mats in building such humble dwellings. slept in a : We 395 . where fire women and for they children set to bunches of crackers. and Dr. on long thin sticks. Frank Maxwell. villages in a steam a Munggo Babi. the banks grew great. blue. because they were first made known to European botanists by Miss North's pictures. sweet-smelling.

moanings. I thought of crocodiles moving through the slime. pale yellow flowers clustered. At night. tained. hooted. and of that beautiful shrub with enormous deeply-indented as large as soup-plates. its its carmine-coloured buds. dawned.296 SARAWAK AND laid ITS PEOPLE I were upon the floor. were. the banks were full The river soon narrowed. and open pods revealing I seeds of a ravishing coral colour. of creatures. But to return to our journey. but I am not quite think the plant must be a species of there were screw pines growing Wormia. all heard as distinctly by resting outside in the mud right me as if I were amongst them. I lay on a mattress stretched nightbirds. insects. — cogitations. murmurings the . I heard the incoming tide gurgling. Then near the mud. as Frogs. sounding like the and rough jabbering of drunken men and there were hummings. bullet-shaped. and coughed. the sun came I felt and with its joyous advent that sense of security we none of us can account for at the dawn of day. Then morning out. whilst scattered about the floor were large water-jars and it cooking-pans. whistled. on the floor. and noticed that one portion of the roof was used as a storeroom. under my and shrill all sorts grotesque or beautiful. certain. We embarked on its the launch early. sensation of being bitten by a and almost welcomed the homely flea. so to speak. as pillow. leaves. until I felt terrified. from which strong fibre can be obtheir beautiful red fruits nestling in their . of spirits of the darkness and evil.

Malays. and was borne down the stream. of the other inhabitants of Sarawak. bringing with them canoes last stages of which we were to accomplish the noticed our journey. and the people in the neighbourhood are never tired of relating to be kind and good. out how he taught every one and how he spread abroad the I precepts of that holy book. He where distance from the lived many years ago. Some Land Dyaks to from Munggo Babi came in meet I us. . A large grey bird flew from out the lilies. noses. but the influence. their faces and were oval and longer than were the faces Their colour. according to the people. throttled and mauve. or Sea Dyaks. After passing directions in the Tana Mera. saw dark green small-leaved shrubs starred over with waxy sweet. snags stuck up in all bed of the river. rather like stephanotis. earth) We passed a place called Tana Mera (red at a little bank is the grave of an exceedingly righteous Malay gentleman whom the people called Datu Sumbang Kring. arched eyebrows. yellow.of his holy life still endures.smelling blossoms. They were tall and slender with well-shaped more pronounced chins. but instead of the bright.SARAWAK AND roots. ITS PEOPLE I 297 reminding one of gigantic strawberries. how long ago this righteous it life was lived. could not make but. however. was the same. alighted on a piece of driftwood. first was many years before the Rajah Brooke came to Sarawak. and pink convolvuli great trees in the entariglement of their embrace. the Koran. how different these Land Dyaks were to Kayans.

Dyaks climb them at night to obtain The ascent is made by means of bamboo into pegs driven the trunk is above the climber's and takes several are scared from their nests with a lighted torch. He we were added. but the Haji remonstrated with them. trees rise to a height of over one hundred in feet without a branch. same risks as though the day Tapang round. Their trunks are smooth and their and swarms of bees often hang branches. the wax. they wore an expression of profound melancholy. branches would be angry if the so that the crew did not stop yelling. The wax is sold at Kuching and forms one of the exports of the country. so that the ascent slow. after which the wax is taken with impunity. however. A great hindrance to the Dyaks who go in search of head. did not run the fine. hours to accomplish. Our canoes had to be pushed through labyrinths of snags and other impedi- ments barring our progress. A Malay Haji had come with them to meet us and to direct proceedings. When was accomplished. that the day being showery. bustling habits of the other people. The bees . and pointing to a Tapang its tree towering pver the jungle near the banks told them that the of bees at swarm clinging to noise. they began tall this to yell at their success.298 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE laughing. he feared the insects might attack us. journey the a At one part of the men in our canoe had to cut down snag before we could proceed further.

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In order to reach the village to leave our canoes at the landing-place so. or obtain them on their visits to the capital. yellow. owing to the way the wire sinks into the growing limb. but buy them from wandering Chinese traders. and proceed up a path for three miles or We found a crowd of young Dyaks drawn up on the banks to meet us. the elders having arranged to receive us These young men wore waist-cloths of bright colours. easily did my four carriers skip along. Most of the young girls wore wire rings round the upper part of their arms and also round their legs. when I preferred to trust to my own feet. as do the Sea Dyak women. although my . and eating the honey from these Two or three specimens of this animal are to be seen in the London Zoological Gardens. I might have been a thing of feathers so at the entrance of their village. and round their necks were rows of black. These women do not know how to weave their petticoat stuffs. excepting where the path grew steep. Four Dyaks carried me in a cane chair slung on poles nearly all the way. The women and girls were dressed in short petticoats with rows of silver dollars and silver chains for waistbelts. and red beads. apparently. or the way became difificult. impede the circulation and sometimes cause acute suffering.SARAWAK AND this ITS PEOPLE 299 commodity is the little honey bear that roams for it about the forests of Sarawak. Muhggo Babi we had lies at the foot of a mountain two thousand feet high. These rings all being. of the same size. of stealing is very fond hives.

although he was not a Malay another wore a red-and-yellbw head- . which had His belonged to the South Lancashire regiment. met us at this spot. These granaries were surrounded by groves of bread-fruit. was tucked up in a chignon under a like fillet round his forehead a crown. We crossed a stream by walking over large sandstone boulders scattered in its bed. mangosteens. standing on high ironwood posts round which were placed circular slabs of wood. well tended hair. as a protection against the rats. patterned over with flowers and birds. and he seemed very proud of His long enough to reach below his waist.300 SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE road led through weight was a respecta:ble one. He held a long slender twig from The elders which floated a diminutive Sarawak the petals of a drooping flower. legs and thighs were bare. The glades carpeted with various kinds of ferns. We passed three or four round houses neatly thatched with pointed roofs. these being the barns in which the tribe paddy of the was stored. some having a bright blue bloom on them as they greW in the shade. One of them wore a . mangoes. One of them was dressed in an old military coat. flag looking like His black beard was it. large turban. durians. lancat. and various other fruit trees. very large in diameter. made of calico bound The other old men wore long flowing robes of brightly coloured red or blue chintz. and a large piece of turkey twill was twisted round his waist and fell in folds front and back. round which the water rushed and foamed.

eat. almost toothless. My residence turned out to be the head-house of the village and the building of ceremony. leading to verandahs of planks. a Down a ravine on one side of fed by daily rain. The village lay in a green scooped out of the side of a hiH. These old men stood in the military jacket. and was portioned off for our Another house prepare our food. in which whilst one Chinese cook to dress. ITS PEOPLE 301 and two very old.SARAWAK AND handkerchief. which they when we appeared. I had to bathe. But to return to my . made a refreshing and gurgling sound day and night. of notched poles and narrow trunks of trees. slippery poles with no rails to steady our ascent and where the notches were extremely These poles were some twenty feet high. took hold of across a deep my hand muddy and led The oldest chief me over a series the village. whence the people obtained water for household purposes. Bamboo shoots led up the mountain-side to the uppermost houses on the hill. . When we we climbed up insignificant. and where little torrent. round room. It consisted of one large. in a row behind the leader agitated gently each holding long thin sticks with a flag at the end. part was prepared for the men of our party this house was called the " Bachelor House " because none but men were supposed to yse it. men wore their jaunty smoking-caps stuck at the side of bald heads. the village. and ditch leading to basin. sleep. they also bathed many times a day. arrived at the houses prepared for us.

propped on high poles. 1 This Borassus Gemuti palm plays a great part in the rural economy of the people in Sarawak. These were nothing more or less than a large bundle The Dyaks imagined that the of dried skulls. thus forming an improvised Just ceiling. over my bed hung the trophies of the tribe. SARAWAK AND Seen from ITS PEOPLE house looked like outside. where a of water always stood ready for large tub my it. stiff spines are made into pens. which quickly ferments.^ walls rocked and creaked at the slightest provocation like a ship in a heavy planks. used by the people who write on paper . The were made of windows. hair-like Between the trunk and the fronds for substance. The seeds are enveloped by a poisonous juice to which the Dutch people give the name of "hell water. use." is a horsecordage in shipping throughout the Tinder can be obtained from a fine cotton-like . Its strong. and out of the liquid. It has a sap obtained from the petals of its flowers. substance which the plant also yields. and lashed It together with the fibre of the Gemuti palm. and a great many of the primitive tribes of the interior/ make their arrows from these prickly I believe that the pith of the trunk furnishes a kind of sago. and is very rough and wild-looking. sea. the a large pigeon-cot. points. whilst the posts were wreathed round with smilax and the fronds of betel-nut palms.302 quarters. one of these recesses was my bed- room and another my bathroom. is made ^an intoxicating beverage. and small apertures served for Screens of dried palm leaves were placed in different parts of the room . The place screened off for my reception-room had a wooden all divan of thin planks round finished off with a wooden to valance. and had even stretched gold brocade across the top of the room. used as sugar by the natives. used Malayan Archipelago. It flourishes in the high upland of the interior. Our hosts had spared no trouble make the place habitable.

and informed Mr. placed here and there. and I asked Oh. or on the occasion of the Chinese insurrection. " that " the round objects was larger than the it. in the inequalities some ten of the soil by and there the side of the stream. when they rose up against the tyranny of the Brunei princes. questions about ously. I was told that . or twelve in a row. of course. I when a good many noticed that one of rest. behind which were covered verandahs." SARAWAK AND gaze. Our Chinese cook gave himself airs. but these were soon right." said the chief contemptu- one is only the head of a Chinaman. The houses were. From the window the way down the of my head-house I I could see village. Awdry that he could not possibly cook put decent food in such a wilderness of discomfort. After a good deal of talk between our kind hosts and the cook. noticed the houses were built in blocks. for they always have larger heads than we people of the country ! At little the commencement of our stay one or two hitches were experienced. Chinese heads were captured. which took place in the late Rajah Brooke's reign. were platforms made of split bamboos lashed together by rattans running down the fronts of these houses. a small outhouse was rigged up for him and all his saucepans. propped up by poles of different heights. but I ITS PEOPLE 303 searching brocade had hidden these trophies from my am sorry to say I cotild see through an tribe aperture some of the skulls which the had taken in their battles of long ago.

caught from under the pigs' snouts into the houses and threw here and there on to the verandahs. In the evening the elders of the tribe rested under the shade of a banyan tree conversing with one another. and. These Land Dyaks are very barring the time of retired for hospitable. etc. with shelves oil. and that the children's heads were not shaved. potted durians. and dogs ran in and out of doorways a tiny — speck of human and animal life surrounded by gigantic backgrounds of mysterious and unexplored forests and mountains. At sunset in the wooden girls of the village prepared food for A special little made of paddy husks mixed with water. also as village. I noticed that most of them parted their hair. used as a place to sit on when receiving one's friends. brew was poured into smaller basins arid kept which the girls fpr pigs. a sleeping-place when strangers came to the The women looked picturesque with their white shell armlets. the night.304 there SARAWAK AND was a it. above where water. salt fish. A raised platform was invariably erected at the end of each room. jars. and silver girdles shining against the dark background of the houses. verandahs the their pigs. at all my afternoon siestas or when I my room in the head-house with the dlite was filled times of the day . The girls then pushed the little food. were stored.. whilst with long poles they beat off the cocks and hens anxious to join in the feast. cocks and hens strutted about the roofs. ITS PEOPLE fireplace in each house. brass rings. whilst pigs grunted under the houses.

to chief of the tribe. were bamboos filled with cooked rice. Munggo The women came to fetch me from my me down the notched logs with Their airy abode. The long was decorated with yellow and red cloths. I was anew with the unUkeness of these people to the-"fest of our Sarawak tribes. for they had the same dreamy. so he gave a all which he invited the inhabitants of Babi. movements were greatly by the which tightness of the wire rings round their prevented them from bending their knees comfortably. should bless his was anxious that I house during my visit. As we entered the house. Mito. restricted legs. in festoons I saw the bones of pigs' jaws hanging the inner gallery all over the doors leading into room as trophies of the chase.SARAWAK AND of ITS PEOPLE the elders 305 the Dyak tribe. and side. on the floor. helping the greatest care. filled The chief came to me with a small basin. I could not help seated on the struck thinking they resembled the Cingalese. soft. and effeminate look. tasting uncooked rice. The feast. Whenever were wooden divan in front of me. with water. the people of the village were squatting in rows down each A seat covered with yellow cloth chairs to sit was prepared for me. into which he asked 20 me to place one of my . about twenty in number. Just in front of filled were round brass dishes with and two eggs were laid on the top Between the dishes. and the rest of our English party were given raised me. something like the rice puddings of our childhood. of qach dish. on. as well as those of a neighbouring village.

arms over the top of the wooden frames. and say. so that goodness might enter into the necklace to dip into the to water . Themusicians. . holding the necklace on high. may have many its sons that sickness may never enter it." to me. he then gave me a bead had basin. which had been left in front of my seat during the proceedings. and drummed at them with their fingers Two women. held the gongs. keeping time to the gongs whilst the little bells tied to their ankles tinkled. people may ^ive in peace and A I basin of yellow rice was then handed to when had go through the same ceremony blessing. " I wish this house cold and plenty. the gongs and instruments being hung in readiness against the wall. We ate the rice out many cakes and of the bamboos. their arms they began move about They put their feet close together and shuffled and slid from one side of the room to the other.3o6 SARAWAK AND its ITS PEOPLE gold rings. fruitful . together with a large box of eggs. hidden under masses of brass rings and white shell armlets. wish that the village paddy may be that the wives of this . and that prosperity. and repeat the same The contents of the brass dishes were then emptied into baskets and given to me. Then came their the dances. fruits partook of the us. provided for and drank tumblers of cocoa- nut milk. fingers. crept forward and touched the their tips of my Then drooping to heads and extending slowly. The party now began in earnest. with their arms completely with a will. after which I go up and down the whole I length of the gallery.

The sarongs over their crinolines billowed and swayed with their every movement. wheeled round one another. and very arched eyebrows. Under the folds of their sarongs they wore a circle of plaited rattans.SARAWAK AND ITS PEOPLE the 307 Hornbill's We were told that this was called dance. wound round They commenced floor. and well- made. the dances were over I we sat talking to the and asked a chief what he thought of our said that English people talking language. He was . The dancers were handsome men. All their movements were much more languid than those of the Sea Dyaks. when they swiftly retreated. with sleek and gerjtle faces. the performance by flapping their arms and gliding about without lifting their feet from the They then advanced and nearly touched one another. but theirs were so stained with betel-nut juice that in the dim light their mouths looked like large red wounds across their faces. two men wound in and out of the people squatting on the floor. to represent the flight air. and stood out from the handtheir heads. and stood before us. slim. When people. with pretty expressive eyes. and the dance gave one the impression of sweeping lines and of space. The women were very small. making them Their long hair was twisted up Cingalese kerchiefs fashion. After the women had danced. stand out like crinolines. their arms describing circles in the air. and rather thinner lips than those of the other women of Sarawak. was supposed of great hawks through the It and I thought it beautiful.

suddenly darted into the forest with on the edge of the path. whence he reappeared a branch of bamboo he had cut with his parang.30. and forming a procession about half a A chair had been provided for me. but the Chinese language was he hooting of antus. another two plates. canoes were awaiting one who had been an entertaining talker and had told us about the bamboo superstition. goes into the bamboo and their souls enter the bodies of unborn when they are born again into the world. He showed me the red sap within the . until our or which he luggage was walking in divided among one hundred people file. Before reaching us. of a superstition about bamboos.3o8 like SARAWAK AND the like ITS PEOPLE song of the birds. a fourth a handbag. said. Indian mile long. An enormous crowd was required for the purpose. a third two bottles of beer. Tlje next morning we were all ready to start on our way back at 7. carried with both hands. their flesh He then told us When people die. one man taking a saucepan. so. after severe reprimands chief and from the village authorities. came to assist us with our luggage. but the people carry our luggage who were to down to the landing-place wanted a good deal of rousing after their dissipation of the night before. the place of the where our chiefs. from their they However. children. (it but as the road was slippery the night before) I had been raining preferred walking the whole way back to the landing-place.

accompanied by nearly all the Malay women of the town. and preserve it amongst my treasures from Sarawak. " ITS . . came to the Astana to say good-bye. and two days after we embarked on the Rajah Brooke for England." " this is the burying- place of I some human after good-bye to the chiefs and all the carriers. and yet I may say with truth that absence from my for people has only increased my am love and affection them. Datu Isa and all her family. We reached Kuching after twenty-four hours' journey. As I stood watching them from the deck of I felt the steamer. I carried the bit said still of bamboo home." he said being. sure of finding there the very kindest best friends I- welcome from the have in the world. and wondered I how many years would elapse before should see them again.SARAWAK AND cane. congregated as they were near our landingplace. PEOPLE 309 See there. a tightening at my heart. It was a sad day for Bertram and I when we said good-bye to our Malay friends at Kuching. Bertram was really as much touched as I was at leaving them. and should to my hopes be I realized of one day returning Sarawak. Many years have gone by since that day. dear people from sight. which we got into the boat. The Rajah Brooke moved and slowly rounded the reach which hid the away.

at the time. and notice that beautiful smile of hers that seemed to illuminate every corner of the room. and being included in Her Majesty's Windsor. prevented invitation Sarawak. Some years later had the honour of being received at Windsor by Queen and of being of Sarawak. and I could think of nothing but the Queen's gracious words. which after was a compli- . knowing how appreciate all 310 much the Rajah would interest in Her Majesty's Sarawak. whilst the internal affairs of the country remained Rajah. However. it might be as well to give an idea of the position Sarawak rela- occupies with regard to its external In 1888 a treaty placing Sarawak under British protection. absent in his to The this Rajah was. was drawn up between the British I Government and the Victoria. closing these notes. I naturally felt nervous.CHAPTER XXXII BEFORE tions. presented to Her Majesty in as ^anee The Queen received me at one of the small apartments Windsor Castle. At first. but when the Queen inquired kindly about our Sarawak people my feeling of shyness vanished. immune from British intervention.

Our fit present King. aware of the manner Sarawak was governed. succession. We at have had recent and ample opportunities to half-civilized nations judge of the dangers which the run hands of exploiting commercialism. but his right in brothers. such a token of the Queen's sympathy. Our apparent. although heir- of the Rajah's sons. and after having made inquiries as to the prosperity and well-being of its inhabitants.SARAWAK AND ment to himself. That . where all concerned were much gratified at the throne. We all know that in hereditary properties the younger sons of the actual possessor are recognized as having a legal interest in the possible succession of their father. who have a certain the have not been allowed the same privi- lege at the English Court. how- while ago saw to confirm our eldest in son's title of Rajah Muda also England. the question stake becomes a important one. But even then difficulties arose regarding the'position eldest son. and our younger sons who are heirs-pre- sumptive. were not allowed to be presented at Court under their Sarawak ever. I ITS PEOPLE 311 telegraphed the news out to our country. His Majesty. When doubly one realizes that we are dealing with an hereditary at State. decreed that the Rajahs of Sarawak should be given precedence at the English Court immediately after that of the ruling Princes of India. a little titles. When King Edward came affairs of to the Sarawak and status of its ruler apparently interested him.

sought to strengthen the in position of his successor. determined as they were that the people contact without any of who placed themselves under their rule should have the benefit of European its often terrible drawbacks. It is therefore consonant with the wisdom of the present Sovereign that he should first have occurs. of in colonial of his two younger sons.312 SARAWAK AND hitherto ITS PEOPLE Sarawak should is have escaped such dangers to enrich themselves infinitely to the honour of the Borneo Company Ltd. who have never sought Sarawak people. to is the better will be for is success of his Public opinion a mighty lever when used or righteous cause. the precautions are the made known. Nor must we forget that immunity from companies of a less scrupulous character is due to the vigilance and to the detriment of firmness of the Rajahs of Sarawak. and. schemes. of two highly distinguished officials in the Sarawak service. that whatever steps future The Rajah is fully aware he may see fit to take for the more publicly such it safety of his people.. whenever a change sit in the succession by arranging for the assistance of a Consulta- tive Council who would London. We his brothers will consolidate a must therefore hope that the future Rajah and regime which has so admirably safeguarded the natives under their two White Rajahs. and it champion any honest with the help of public . and consisting possible. if an independent Englishman experienced government and in matters dealing with primitive people and their interests.

from the devastating grasp of money-grabbing syndicates. and. in so doing.— SARAWAK AND opinion that the Rajah ITS PEOPLE 313 may gain the necessary help in order to realize the fulfilment of his dearest wish that being to keep Sarawak for the benefit of its own people. .

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289 Apai Minggat. 241. 216. 229-31. 82-6 224. honey. 241. 238. 136 women. 143 Archipelago. 39-41 Apai Nipa. 188. 118. 53. 245. 3. 240. 97 3'5 Consul appointed to Sarawak. 99 public. 10 Nipa. 32 Bezoar. 209-12 8. 106. 8. 262. 139-40 Kudi. 221. Ltd. 243 Betel-nut. 82 Antimony. 262 Batu Gading. 143 Aline. 1 1 7-8 rhinoceros. 264. 140-1 wife of. 16 Borneo Co. 8i mice. 254 and note sand-flies. 298 Beeswax. 299 Bees. 136. 76. 15. 80. 119. 103 Bore. life Bodyguard. 298 Belaga. 197 Alligator bird (Bul-bul). 6. C. 256. 56. 179. §4-5.S. wild.. 200 ponies. 215-8. assistance by. III. 243. 15. 3 crocodiles. 25s Blunderbuss. 209. H. 95 . 71. 288 egrets. 299 bees. alligator bird. 115-6 Kasim. honey. 255-6 Bintulu River. 260.— INDEX Abang Aing. 211. 258. Mr. 97 Crown. 114 dogs. 81 chik-chak.H.. 287.. xxv. 146 Birds. 262 Banting. little. See Alligator bird centipedes. 137. xvii. 77-9. 81-2 monkeys. 164-5 Animal life Bald-Headed Hawk. Rajah's. 80. See Lizards ^ cockroaches. 253 paddy birds. 120 fire-flies. 295 Bailey. shrimps. 139 Batang Lupar River. 200 Astana. 255. 289. the. honey. See Egrets peahen. 87-8 mosquitoes. 258 Bears. 74. 162. 139. 109 scorpions. 123. 287.207 lizards. 256 rats.. 231 cane. scant recognition by. 253. 185. See under Animal Blessing house. 97 Government. 96 . Sir. 119-20 Borneo. 60 Baram River. 299 buffaloes. 284-5 Bakar. 312 British sea-serpent.. 261 roebuck (Kijang). 288 Awdrey. 305 Blow-pipe. 308 Bampfylde. A. 190 Bauhinea. 140 wife of. 130. swarm of. 15. 17. 274 6. 74 snakes. 82. 117 owl. Mr. 266. 198 note Beads. 71. Malayan. 288 Bamboo burying bears. 88-9 bul-bul. 167-8 pheasantrs. 64-5 porcupines. 289. 163 note Argus pheasants. Argus. Inchi.

165 Dalima. 97-9. 145. 221. 20. 290-1. 245 Chambers.-274 Clerodendrons. xxiv Camphor. 16 243. love of. 311 Brunei. 188 reserve. 29. 68. 38. xviii^xix.. 310. xx-xxi. Sir. 165. Bishop. 88-9 Bukitans. 4. 301. 183 swimming. 103. 255 Cape Datu. 63 Cholera. 39.97. xvii Sultan of. xiii. at Kapit. 177. 238. 241. the. 173. 103 Casuarina trees. Mr. Claude Champion de. 95. 309 temples. 217.215 Vyner (Rajah Muda). 46.' 158-9. 90. 256-7 coffin.78.. 84. 243. Bertram (Tuan Muda). 215-6. 283-6. 288 Customs head-hunting. 156. 135-7. 21 note oratory. x-xi. xxi. 133. 55. 19. 170 Buffaloes. 63 xxi. 56 Characteristics cleanliness. 156-7. 128-9. love of. 182. I. 91-2. 53. 20. 135. Canals. 102 Sir James Brooke's respect for.65-8. 223. 306-7 Dyak. 63 Roman Catholic. 48 Daiang Kho. 18 dignity. 242. 136 Capital punishment. 143-5.170. 51. 23-5. love of. xxi 5. 97 Council of war. 209.101. 183 Kota. 188-9. 18 tact. treatment war-yell. houses. 192 Cataracts. 239 Cockroaches. 180-1. 224. 116 Sahada.37-8.43. 165 garrulity. 107 superstitions.— . 136. 61. 82-6 legend concerning. 113 politeness. 309 no. 6. 9-1 1. xxiii. 147 Crocodiles. xxi. Sir. 34. 137. 65. 282 40 wounds. 27-32. xvii PEOPLE Chinese plays. 155 Milanoe. xxiii. 120 Dancing. 62. 24. 139-41. 224-8. 164-5 secret societies. 138 polygamy. 15-6. 88-93. 34.255 chemist. 103. xx Siti. 23 . Churches Protestant. 177-83. 1 1 3 Court of Justice. Mrs. 282 lending. 63 312-3 Harry (Tuan Bungsu). 69 Kayan. 164- Hakim. 288 junks. 179. 231-4 Lundu.54.41. 81 Chinese.70. 170-3. xvii-xxiii. 140. 162. 148 Datu Bandar. of. 99. 44-5 Bul-bul (Alligatoi)4)ird). 66-7 Crespigny. 106-7. xi. 136 humour. appointment -of. 184. 180 Brocades. 101. Mohammed." 174 Consul. 117-8. 87 Bay. i6i-2 Isa. 234 Chik-chak (lizards). 140-5. 257 cook. 201. 49-51. 303 gardens. English. 292-3 Crookshank. 46 Cobra. 162. 265. 102. 13 Cape. 182-3 Patinggi Ah. 203-6 Munggo Babi. 10. 29 Brooke. 87. ImEtum. 284-6 Charles Johnson. to Sarawak. 288 Busu. 43. — — ITS 3i6 British SARAWAK AND North Borneo Co.57-8. 3 " Cocoa de mer. 184 James. 92 Crops. 231. 113-6. 135. 66 frendliness.

48. women. 217. 221. 46. 178 Dogs. 115. 224 village. 284-5 Dictionary. native. legend of. 224. 139-47. 223. 201. 138. 220-1.M. 46. 20. Feast. 223 Heartsease. 304. 147. 213 Kanowits. 113 titles. 231 Hamadryads. 222.S. 223. 209-11 Hajis. 85 Flowers. 198-9. 5 3. 48. Hindoos. xiv Isle of birds. 291. 295 Garlic. 72. S3>ii3. 159-64 Indiarubber. H. 120. 136. 214. 84. 303-4 humour. 300 Kalaka river. 105. 290 Jarum. English. 287. 302 and note George. 239-40.202. 215. 123-8. 57 customs. mode of.297. 97 Sarawak.. 182. XX 43. 22. 238 205. 299 Hose.H. 220. 190-1 Haji Matahim. 198 crew. 297 Gutta-percha. 15. 54. 258. 23. ceremony of touching. Charles. 25 Doctor. 186 farming. 166. 274-5 Hose. 238 Kayans. 39. 223. 47-8. 263 145-6. 73. 163-4. AUeyne. Muhammadan. 206 chiefs. xii.154 Land. 304 Sea. xxi.205. 42-3. 185 Flags Rajah's. 273 dances. xxv. 54. 93. 31 1-2 Kanowit. 103 Deshon. 262. house. H. 82 Hands. 238. 255 Industries 299. 45. Harry. 104. 245 Munggo Babi.. Marsden's. Dr. Rajah (founder of Sarawak). 31-3. 189 Honey bears. 216-8. 57 Ima. 115. Hovering 243 Hawk. 20 Death sentence. 117-8. 259 Jambusan. 54 Gading. schools at. 60. 237 coal-mining. 243-4. Mr. 120 Execution. Mr Bloomfield.M. 267 Imaum. Mrs. 59 Face of Day. 132-3. 46. 265-6. 130. 103. Mr. Inchi Bakar. King. 305 Fire-flies. 231-4. 23. native. 264. 139 Malay crew. 175 — 317 God of Sickness. 201.26-30. 65 Dress. Baring. 207 Fishing shed. 9. 311 Egrets. 60. 103 199-200. 204-6. 288 Douglas. 255-6 furniture-making. 83. 282 language. 318. 15. 154. 259. xxv Grass. 106 74 Exports (Rejang river). 58. lalang. 139 Grave. 213 Kapit. 91. Chinese. 331-4 . 15. 75. 306 basket-making.— INDEX Datu Tumanggong. 15. boy wrestlers. 255 Hadji Ahmad. 48. 34. Datu. 65. 224. See under Animal life Insects. no. 288 feast. 199. 45 weaving. Jury. 288 Fruits. 164-5 Inchi Sawal. 243.. 266. 16. Ireland. 203. 206-8 Dragons. 299.68. 265 Gould. H. 241. 224 dances. King. 306-7 dogs. 62. 53 note fishing. 305-6 56. 53. vii. 299 Dyaks. 185. 118. 9. 17. 56. 88 embroidery. 161-2 war boat. 212 Gemuti palm. Edward. 29.

36. in. 215. 193-6 Daughter of the Sun. 260 Mr. Miss Marianne... 2. 145 Keluri. 117 Mountain of the Moon. 287 Malaria. 136 Lingga.exemption from. 148-9 Queen. Mr. 8. Matang.. 297 Muka. 15. (wah-wahs) 17. 301. 301-3 49. 185. Santubong. 11-2. 78. dancing-man. 170 Half-Petrified Girl. 136 Maxwell. Charles Mecca. 150-5 Madu. loi. 35-8 Lizards (chik-chak). graves of. 247-50 Gift of Petara. Monsoon. 260-6 language. Dr. See Hose. 215 Roman Catholic. Mr. 4. 300 head -house. 295 Kemp. 250-3 Pontianak Ghost. 175 Flood. 90 houses. Dr. 238. 188. 31. 15 295. 125. Lobok Antu Fort. 1 Munggo Babi. 71. See under respective titles. 256 Mountains. 71-5. 161-2. 166 Matu 62-4. 14. 93. Low. women. 81 Muhammadans. 259. 254 and note Kirkpatrick. 212 Lundu. 5. 137-8. Frank. 74. Sebigi. 26-7." 5eeRosario. Rajah. Island of. 289. 216 Nipa palms. 112 Kong Kong. 260-2. 163. 100 6. 295 Lawas River. 295 Paddy lily. 92 Kenyars. Sir Henry. 27 Mice. 112 Legends. 299 bachelor house. 54 steam launch. 130. 53 Keppel. 301 chief of. 84 Mosquitoes. Singghi Muda Hassim. 15. 281 Limbang river. South-west. 108 . 306 granaries at. 129 Lotus flowers. 305 dances at. Protestant. 87-8. 272-4 Crocodile story. 90 163. 82. Lingga.. 274 Milanoes. Kayans. 313 Monkeys.. 15. 253. fort. 289 Mangroves. 113-6. 76. 46. viz. Bishop. 50. 170-1 Ungrateful Son. 188.— SARAWAK AND 5 318 ITS PEOPLE vii-ix. 14. 256. 60. 15 Kromang gong. 202 Magistrates. 215 river.F. Domingo de Missions. 103-4 154. 185. 137-8 Muka river. Labuan. 376-9 Dragons and cocoa-nuts. 269 Cat story. 139 Lang Endang. MacDougall. 13 North-east. 275-6 Lilies Crinum Northianum. 213 schools. 20. Knotted string. 25 Matang. 151. 197 North. 129. (Bintulu) 147 Military service. Poe. 203 Kuching. 276 Lintong. 139. 157. 103 chiefs. Sir Benson. 158-62 11. the. 23. 56. 297 Kris. 231 Malayan Archipelago. 139. 152 Koran. loi Octopuses. 65. 157. 261 Langmore. 197-8 dances. 188 Marsden's Dictionary. mountain of. 295 M'^Dougall. 292-3 Daughter of the Moon. 109. 97 Malays. 203-6 River. 11 1. Ngmah. xxii Kijang (roebuck). 187 Officers. Mountain of the Moon. 66. 255 6. 80. Rajah's English. 136 Lalang grass. 129 mountain. 279-81 ' "Mingo. 269-72 Pig Lady. 55. 291 Lucille. 164. Mrs. 6.

136 flag of. 185 Sarawak apathy concerning. Kalaka. 44. mountain. founder of. Lawas. 229-31 Reciters. 120 River plants. 91. 244-5 Rats. Sadong. 209-12 Seaweed bangle. 67. 35. 107-8 Pontianak ghost. 107 Rangers. 295 Pau Jinggeh. 137 44. 312 Rapids. SafHower. legend of. 55 Rhinoceros. Baram. . mountain. 276-8 Saffron. 243 Peniamuns. 172 Rajah Brooke. xx heat of. 244-7. Porcupines. 69 Samaraham river. 197 Police. 109 Santubong. 4. 282-3 Pangiran Matali. 54. 253-4 on natives. See under respective titles. 122 Penus. Vyner Rajah's Council. effect of. 3. 217. 15. 215-6. 209. 105. Samarahani. S. 224-5. 92 Sago. 175 Peahen. 97 13 16 of. 15 Pa Baniak. 167-8 Pelagus Rapid. 238. superstition concerning. Screw pines. 65 Rosario. F. Lundu. See under Brooke. Muka. 296 192. 2 Owl. 221. 133 Pigafetta. Rejang. 173 Sebigi. 109-10. 216-7. 198 Ord. 53. 243 184. Salleh. 200 Piano. 71. 289 Rainbow. 15. 81-2 Sarawak river. 136. 16. Lord John. 151-3 Pleiades. Oya." 140 Panau. 281 Paddy birds (Egrets). 108 . 185 Rajahs. 168 Seripa Madjena. 170-1 village.. 42. xvii Pitcher plants. Batang Lupar.. 103. 97 Paku. 234-7 Pepper vines. 152 Sentries. stone figure. Rengas. 1 Sarawak. Argus. 256. tribes. 137 factory. 1 1 5-6 Sadong river. 117-8 Rattans. 228-9. 85 to. 287 Pheasants. 37. 157-8 Rejang. 163-4 Scorpions. 51-4. 133. 188 Sapphires. I. The White.S. 221. 193-6 . Matu. official. 133 Saribas river. 97 "Pamale. 118. 291-4 Paddy. palms. 290 Sensitive plant. 287. 241 . 197 . 218-9. river. 15. by England.— INDEX Opium. of. Saribas Roads. 54 Schools. 136. 15. 279. 231. no police. 214 Quicksilver. IS. 253 Oya river. scarcity of. 30-2. Domingo de. 2CX3. 256 Punans. shooting. Poe Mountain. 152 Salaries. 167. 80. Sir Harry. 45 Rentap. 261 Rice. 95-100. 42. 236 Russell. little. 243 Rawieng. Lord. 65 . 234. 296 Rivers. bay 8. 287-8 Palmerston. 108 British protection extended 310 extent of. 92 Sea-serpent. Bintulu. Sarawak. 112 recognition situation of. 214. viz. 281 Sand-flies. 309 Rajah Muda (Vyner). 5 319 Rajah. 77-9. institution of. 257 Orang Kaya Stia. Limbang.

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