Project Canterbury

Borneo: The Land of River and Palm

By Eda Green

[no place:] Borneo Mission Association, no date [c. 1909]

Chapter II. The People and Their Customs

THE habits and manners of life of peoples so different in race, and of tribes, some living on the sea-board and up the rivers, others in the hills or among the jungle, present necessarily great diversity.

The Malays have the heritage of ruling blood and the present position of importance as giving members to the Rajah's Council. Some of them are wealthy and live luxuriously. Their national dress is rather magnificent: a turban edged with transparent gold lace or fringe, loose trousers of striped cotton or silk, and a white cotton or silk jacket. Round the waist they wear a sarong, a long scarf through which is hung the kris, their war-knife. The women wear bright-coloured clothes, sometimes of satin, and sarongs inwoven with gold thread, jackets covered with gold ornaments and fastened with gold brooches. Of course as Mohammedans they have strict rules as to their hours of prayer and as to food, and some of them go on pilgrimage to Mecca, but they are not as a rule very particular about their religion except, per haps, in regard to certain forms, and they are very ignorant. When Sir James Brooke undertook the government of Sarawak he promised to respect the religion of the country, therefore no mission work has been done among the Malays in Sarawak, nor, handicapped as the Church has been by the smallness of staff has it been possible to attempt any thing in Brunei, a purely native state untouched by Western rule. Through years of misrule and lawlessness the Malay character deteriorated, and the lower classes are said to be untrustworthy and dangerous, but they are apt to learn, and it is ours to set before them the vision of truth and righteousness.

In every undeveloped country the Chinese seem better adapted than any other race to bring out the wealth of nature, possessing just those qualities of diligence, ability and willingness to endure hardship which are needed. In some parts of Borneo, where they are employed in large numbers in mines, they form communities of their own, and keep their native customs. In Kuching most of the shops are kept by Chinamen; they have no glass windows, so the wares are open to the passers-by in the daytime, but at night they are shuttered. There are several joss-houses there; one old one is especially picturesque, its wide portico lit up by red-coloured lanterns which at night throw a rosy light on the trees around.

But we must leave these incomers and pass on to see the life of the aboriginal inhabitants.

There are a few tribes who have not attained to the art of building even the rudest dwellings, but crouch round the trunks of trees. By far the greater number of natives, however, live in the "long houses," of which the Land- and Sea-Dyaks' dwellings are examples. They are always raised on posts, four, eight, twelve or even twenty feet high, and so, in mid-air, in one building 400 or 500 feet long, is housed a population of perhaps 500 people. The largest house written of is 771 feet long. The following description is based upon one given by Mr. Brooke Low from observations of Mr. Crosland.

"A Sea-Dyak village is a terrace upon posts, varying in length according to the number of houses of which it is composed, and as the various houses are built according to a single scale and measurement and by a combination of labour, they rarely fail to present a uniform and regular appearance.

"There is always a ladder at either end of the terrace by which to ascend, and sometimes one or more towards the centre of the tanju or open-air platform. The roof is thatched throughout with the same material--shingles or palm leaves; if the latter the nzi5a leaves are used when procurable. The flooring in some villages is made of stems of palm-trees split into laths, and in other cases of cane, bamboo or even twigs. The laths or bamboos allow a delicious current of air to permeate the apartment. The outer walls are of plank or nipa leaves, the inner of bark. No nails are used, the beams or rafters are lashed together with rattan and secured by wooden pegs. The posts are innumerable and of hard wood. The village in time of war is surrounded at its base by a wooden palisade, which is itself protected by chevaux-de-frise of pointed bamboo. The village is divided by plank walling into two main portions, the front and the rear. The former partakes of the nature of a very wide verandah and is open throughout its entire length. The latter occupies the rear of the entire building and is sub divided into apartments, one for each family. Between the plank wall and the edge of the ruai is the tempuan or footway, a narrow passage running through the centre, so that a person may walk from one end of the village to the other without en countering many obstacles.

"Every family thus possesses a compact little residence to itself, comprising a bilik or room where they can enjoy privacy when they like, a tempuan or thoroughfare where they pound their rice and pile up their firewood, a ruai or verandah where they receive visitors, a tanjui or open-air platform where they dry their grain, air their things and lounge in the cool of the evening, and a sadau or loft where they keep their tools and store their paddy.

"The bilik or private apartment is furnished with a swinging door which opens outwards, and is closed by means of a heavy weight suspended by a thong to the inside. The door can be secured when required by means of a bar. There is no window such as we understand, but a portion of the roof is so constructed that it can be raised a foot or two by means of a stick to let out the smoke, or to admit the fresh air. If the neighbours are relations or intimate friends, as is often the case, a hole is cut in the wall which separates the rooms to avoid the necessity of a roundabout way into each other's apartments, and some villages are so arranged that one can traverse the entire length of the rear section of the building by means of these apartments with out appearing on the verandah at all. There is no furniture in the room, none in fact being required. The floor is the occupier's table, and they squat to their meals. But there are plenty of mats to sit upon, and baskets to pack their clothes in. Their cups and plates are hung in rows upon the walls as much for ornament as for use. Their valuables, such as old jars, gongs, etc., are ranged on three sides, so as to present the most imposing appearance of wealth. But the room is stuffy and untidy, and no wonder seeing that there is but one for each family, and this one is used as a kitchen as well as a messroom, as a nursery as well as a bedchamber. There can be no absolute privacy unless the door is barred to exclude the neighbours. Boys and girls keep running in and out, and the dogs are always on the watch in the tempuan to spring in whenever the door swings open. The floor is swept after a fashion, but the room is never dusted, and the roof is simply black with soot. In the more lofty houses the refuse is thrown into the piggery and poultry-yard, which occupies the area or waste place under the house, and the stench in most cases is better imagined than described. The dapur or fireplace is the only real piece of furniture in the room. It is built either to the right or to the left of the door, set up against the wall of the tempuan and resembles an open cupboard, the lowest shelf resting upon the floor, and the upper shelves being of lattice-work instead of plank. The former is boarded all round and filled with clay. This is the fireplace, and it is furnished with a few stones between which the pots are set. The shelf immediately above the fire is set apart for smoking fish, meat, etc. The shelves above this again are filled with firewood which, being thoroughly dried, is ready for use. The women, who do the cooking, have also to keep these shelves supplied from the pile in the tempuan. As the smoke from the wood fire is not conducted to the roof by means of a chimney it spreads itself through the loft, and blackens the beams and rafters until it finds its way out by the open window.

The tempuan or general thoroughfare is between the bilik and the ruai. It is three feet in width and is paved with wood. . . . The ruai or verandah is in front of the tempuan and is as nearly as possible the same size as the bilik, from which it differs principally in being open on all sides and without any partition. It is therefore a cooler and more agreeable place, and as such is frequented by both sexes for the purposes of conversation, discussion and indoor pursuits. Female visitors are usually received in the bilik, but male visitors are invariably received in the ruai and only enter the bilik when invited to do so to be introduced to the women and to share the meals. They sleep in the ruai along with the boys and bachelors, and sit there all day when they have nothing better to do, conversing with the head of the family and chewing betel. . . . Some ruais are provided with a pang gan or bedstead, with plank sides, in one corner of the space for the men to sleep in, but this is not always the case. If the head of the family has made it for his own use, and if he be a chief or rich man, he will fix his gongs of various kinds around it for the sake of show; his weapons will be within reach, and his war-dress will hang from the roof where it can be seen to the best advantage--a skull cap of wicker-work with its nodding plumes, and a skin jacket decorated with the tail feathers of the war-bird of his tribe. But by far the most valuable ornament in the ruai is of course the bunch of human heads which hangs over the fireplace like a bunch of fruits: these are the heads obtained on various war-paths by various members of the family, dead and living, and are handed down from father to son as the most precious heirlooms, more precious even than the ancient jars which they prize so highly.

"The tanju or open-air platform is in front of the ruai and is railed at the edge, but the rail is often so slight that it is unsafe to lean against it. The flooring is occasionally of ironwood to stand exposure to the weather. It is used as a lounge in the evening, the view from it being extensive and the breeze refreshing. While the sun is shining the paddy is put out to dry, as are the clothes and a variety of other things. The family whetstone and dye vat are kept here under the eaves of the roof."

The ladder leading up to the house is generally the trunk of a tree in which notches are cut for steps, and the same kind of ladder leads from the ruai to the sadau or loft above, in which the paddy, the agricultural implements and seed are stored away.

When the nipa palm is used for the roofs or partitions it is made into atap very cleverly arranged. The fronds of the palm have leaves from two to six feet long and three inches broad growing out of each side of the centre rib: these leaves are doubled over a stick, one row over1ap each other from right to left, the next from left to right, and they are then sewn down with rattan; in this way a kind of leaf-tile is formed impervious to rain and sun. When bamboo is used for the floors a long stem is split open, soaked in water and beaten out flat: this makes slabs eight to eighteen inches wide, and when stained by the tread and soot of years the floor might be taken for old and polished oak or walnut. Of tapang wood, black and polished too by use, are the seats of the chiefs, the only furniture which is valued and handed down for generations.

When these Sea-Dyaks want to migrate the in habitants of the house are called to meet in council. The men sit in a circle on their mats, chewing betel and smoking, the women and children sit behind: the discussion is long, and it is often no easy matter for the chief to keep the peace. Dissentients may split off and join another "house," but if the move is decided on some of the oldest men are sent to search out the land: when they have chosen a place the birds must be consulted. The cry of a bird must be heard which foretells health and good fortune; then a piece of wood is hung up on the spot, and this Kaya burong guards the ground. If the omens are favourable the land is cleared and marked out; the jungle must be cut not burnt, for to a burnt clearing plagues and sicknesses will come. Then a bamboo is set up and filled with water, a spear and shield beside it warn off meddlers, and a rail protects it from animals. This is a practical way of testing the healthiness of the spot by the amount of evaporation, but besides people and wild beasts, the spirits must be kept from interfering, so watchers beat the tom-toms all night to prevent their coming.

If the water decrease much it forebodes continued famine, but if the result is satisfactory then the house may be begun. Each family must kill a pig or a fowl so that propitiatory blood may be sprinkled on the posts, or in some cases the post is driven into the ground through the live fowl. These posts, of which there are a great number, are from eight to eighteen inches in diameter, and, as we saw, from four to twenty feet high, and they must be of bilian or other hard wood: a hole four feet deep is made for each post, which is tilted into it by means of a roller. The Milanaus used always to have their houses raised forty feet for safety, but under the Rajah's rule Sarawak is now too peaceable to need such precautions. In a Sea-Dyak village where two Englishmen were murdered in 1857 the posts of the houses were also forty feet high, for the people said they were often attacked by the Kayans, who would draw one of their large war-boats on land; this they turned over, and the men getting under it carried it on their heads as a shield. They crashed through the frail palisades round the house, and getting beneath it hacked away at the posts under cover of their boat shield; the large hard posts were so strong that the dwellers above could sometimes drive off the enemy by letting down stones and beams to break through the boat, but the besiegers on terra firma held the vantage ground, and axe and fire generally won the day by the downfall of the house.

The Kenniah houses are much smaller, generally three in a row, and the Dusuns make a second storey in which they take refuge when the lower floor is under water.

The Land-Dyaks make many paths--straight up over the hills, through the jungle and across the rivers--paths which bring the unwary European to sudden falls. They are made of the stems of trees, generally three inches in diameter; the rough bark is cut off on the upper side, and a succession of single stems is laid on supports two feet, or even six feet above the ground. Sir Charles Brooke describes the paths as "An introduction to a new style of walking resembling tight-rope manoeuvring more than any other". Sometimes instead of trees bamboos are laid side by side; these paths are called batangs. The bridges are more picturesque than safe. A bamboo is slung from branches of a tree on one side of the river to those on the other, or if one bamboo is not long enough, two are tied together with rattan, others fastened from higher branches are crossed below them as supports, and to these a hand-rail is fastened; this exalted bridge is reached from the banks by sloping ladders made, like those leading to the houses, of notched tree trunks. In some places a single tree trunk, given to turning round, is laid from bank to bank across a river, and in others wood and bamboo are so cleverly fastened together as to form a suspension bridge 50 or 6o feet high across a river 100 feet in width.

These paths lead to Land-Dyak villages planted in lovely spots, often on a hill-side for protection, so that the houses being more difficult of access, there is no need for the massed population, and the houses are much smaller; near some stream too, whence water is brought close to the houses in bamboo aqueducts, carried like the batangs on high supports.

Each tribe has its own chief; but the method of election varies. Among these Land-Dyaks, the Orang Kaya is chosen by the votes of the married men. Each of the "houses" has its tuah or elder who is responsible for its order; his room is in the centre; near him are the richer people who are able to entertain visitors, and at the ends of the house are placed the bravest to defend it. All the tuahs form the Orang Kaya's council; they try and punish offenders, and for tribal matters have a Home Rule, independent of the Rajah's overlord ship, but the Orang Kaya's tenure of authority depends on his own personal influence. Many Orang Kayas are recognised by the Rajah and confirmed in their office by his appointment.

Personal fashions are applied chiefly to the hair, teeth and ears. A pair of tweezers is an indispensable toilet article, and with these every hair is plucked out from the faces of both men and women, even to the eyebrows and eyelashes. Teeth are always stained black by coating them with a resinous liquid obtained by heating cocoa-nut or other woods; they are filed into various shapes, some times into sharp points, or even almost level with the gum, sometimes like a saw, or again into a succession of concavities; often they are drilled with holes into which an ornament of brass wire is fitted as a stud, but with all this manipulation the people hardly know what toothache is. Possibly the black gum, or the areca nut which they chew, preserves their teeth.

Except that in many tribes the lobes of the ears are slit and most horribly dragged down, the only actual deformity in vogue seems to be that of flattening the foreheads of the children by a board strapped on, which is practised by the Milanaus.

Dress ranges up a long gamut from the undressed tatu of the Kayans to the sumptuous materials and brilliant colouring affected by the Malays. The Dyaks tatu a little, but the Kayan women are covered on their arms, the back of their hands, and from the waist to below the knee; the designs are often very good, and so fine that at a distance the effect is that of dark clothing. Among the Kayan men the amount of tatu represents their record of courage. For bravery in battle or for head-taking, the backs of the hands are done, but if the owner has only been present at a fight and has not killed a person for himself, only one of his fingers may be adorned. Some tribes tatu the appearance of the beards and whiskers which they lack.

The Punans tatu their faces as well as the body and the Milanaus simulate bracelets, necklaces and armlets. A Murut was found with two square marks on his back, denoting that he had shown his back to the enemy and run away in a fight.

Rising to clothes, the most general dress for men is the chawat, a strip of black or dark blue cloth, one yard wide and six to fourteen yards long, which they twist round and round their waists, leaving one end hanging down over it in front, and the other hanging like a tail behind. The rest of their dress consists of a bead necklace, and a black or blue head-cloth, brass wire bracelets, from the wrist to the elbow, and above that armlets of rattan or silver. The women wear a tight petticoat, barely reaching the knees and edged sometimes with silver coins; over it, round the waist, are coils of rattan dyed black, and belts made of silver coins. They wear armlets of tapang wood or of shell above the elbow, and brass rings from the wrist to the elbow and from ankle to knee. Sometimes to these ornaments is added a loose jacket, this and the petticoats being made of material woven and dyed by themselves. They grow the cotton which they beat out into strips; it is then spun on a quaint kind of spinning wheel, and woven on primitive looms, one kind worked by hand, another by treadles as well. The designs and combinations of colour are extremely good; sometimes a pattern is worked on the cloth, or a worked piece put over the plain as a border or a yoke, but the women also make the design in a curious way as they weave. They sketch the pattern out on the web; they then pick up all over the loom the threads which are to be of certain colours, perhaps red and yellow, and cover them closely with vegetable fibre, leaving only threads which are to be blue exposed; the whole is then dipped into a blue dye; when it is dry the vegetable covering is cut off and the same process gone over with the other colours; after this it is woven with a light brown weft. The shuttles are beautifully ornamented, the white wood being stained a rich red in a pattern covering the whole shuttle. Instead of cotton, lengths of fibre which run along the under side of the limba leaf are much used for cloth as it is easier to weave.

The Dusun women wear larger petticoats dyed indigo; over them are coils of black and red rattan to support their petticoats, and hanging from these are rows of red beads and brass chains.

In many of the tribes the women wear a curious bodice arrangement called a saladan. This is made of bamboo split, pared thin, flattened and dyed black; it is fitted on to the body, and kept in position by brass wires about an inch apart; children are caged in this armour, which is only removed as they outgrow it. The Ulu Ai women have eight or ten rows of large brass rings threaded on rattan fixed on a cane framework round their bodies; it is secured down the front by a vertical bar, curved out wards on one side and inwards on the other to form a fastening; others again wear brass wires wound round them horizontally, continued from the waist right up under the arms, and the Land-Dyaks have brass wire "corsets" of the same kind but arranged perpendicularly. Thin hoops of crimson cane are worn by others.

Beads are very popular, and are worn by both men and women as necklaces, and by women strung in many rows as girdles and hip laces. Mixed with the beads are various stones of considerable value: one hip lace was valued at £35. Dresses of strings of shells, beads and polished stones are costly too, and make a sound as of bells as the wearer walks. Expensive also are the necklaces of bears' teeth, of which forty may be used for one person.

In one tribe both men and women wear rain mats folded up into a basket on their back, whence the rain mat is taken out and thrown over the head in wet weather.

The men wear mat-seats tied on behind, shaped like a shield, so that they always have a dry seat. They are made either of a bear's or panther's skin, or of cane woven in patterns with cowrie shells, buttons or beads introduced. Monkeys are used for food, and their skins are worn with the tail hanging down behind.

Pieces of black or blue cloth are twisted into head dresses, but the very beautiful plaiting of coloured rattans is used for caps and hats of all shapes and sizes, wonderful plumes of feathers standing up from the centre.

The ears are objects of much adornment. Fifteen to twenty ear-rings are worn in as many holes pierced along the rim of the ear, and are of great size and weight.

The bark of trees provides material for chawats and petticoats for many of the poorer Dyaks. Long, thin, round beaters, grooved at intervals, are used to beat out the bark till it is thin and soft enough to be fashioned, and it can be beaten so fine that mosquito curtains were formerly made of it.

All primitive races have primitive ways of obtaining fire, a universal necessity. The Dyaks used to get it by means of fire syringes. A cylinder of metal, lead and tin mixed, was cast in a bamboo mould, into this a bit of tinder, made from the stem of a palm, was driven down in the hollowed end of a wooden piston, and a smart knock on the piston set light to the tinder. There are also ruder forms of fire sticks, in which fire is obtained by friction; but a large number of Dyaks now use matches, bought by barter from the Chinese.

Two chief occupations of the women are to bring down from the loft, where it is piled up by the men, sufficient wood for the daily need, and to pound the paddy (or rice). Rice is the staple food of the people. Since there is no dearth of land, the Hill Dyaks generally plant one crop of rice, the next year sugar-cane, and then leave their land fallow for eight or ten years, while they move on to new ground. The seed is saved with great care, and sown in holes fifteen to eighteen inches apart; after a time the field is most carefully weeded with a sort of spud. In March or April the paddy be comes a rich gold colour which tells that the crop is ripe. Then a picturesque scene takes place. The men, with a basket tied on them in front, and holding a small, oddly shaped knife, go between the rows and cut off the heads one by one, for the whole does not ripen at once; these are worked to and fro over a square sieve of rattan fixed between four posts, and the paddy which falls through is stored in the roof of the houses. Part of the women's duty is to husk enough of this for the day; they have pestles five feet long and very thin; two women use each a pestle in one mortar, cut out of the trunk of a tree, till the rice is all freed from the husk and is quite white and ready for use. With the rice, fish, fowls, pork, venison, vegetables and fruit are used for food. Their cooking is cleanly, for, except for boiling rice, which is done in brass pots, they use cooking vessels made of bamboo, which are thrown away after using. At their meals leaves or plates hold the rice, but forks or spoons, or even chopsticks, are not the "mode," and every thing is eaten with the fingers.

The languages used by all the tribes seem to be long to the Malay family, and many words are taken directly from the Malay, but there are differences which render it impossible for one tribe to understand another. One peculiarity among some of the Dyaks is that they cannot pronounce the letter L, for which they use R.

A curious custom prevails as to personal names. Instead of the northern method of designating a son by his father's name, e.g., William John-son, the Dyaks reverse the order and the father takes the name of his son or grandson. So a man Jan, who has a son Laking, changes his name to Apai Laking (father of Laking), and if a grandchild is called Ngipa, the grandfather becomes Aki Ngipa.

Tribes do not intermarry much, and in the same tribe prohibited degrees are very carefully kept, marriage between first cousins not being allowed. Polygamy, though by some tribes not forbidden, is rarely practised, but a wife is often divorced, some times because the omen of the unlucky cry of a deer or a bird has been heard. The wedding feast takes place at the family house which the bride or the bridegroom is to leave; if the couple are to live with the man's people, the festivities are at the bride's house and vice versa. As a rule, daughters are considered more valuable than sons, because a father with several girls to marry can get so many sons-in-law to live in his house and to work for him, whereas the sons may be taken off to their brides' houses. Which side they shall live with is, however, a matter of arrangement.

At the marriage feast the company assemble on the ruai; betel-nut is provided for the general chewing, and besides this one or two nuts are split into eight pieces and placed on a plate with pieces of gum and lime; these represent the bridegroom's responsibilities. Seven other pieces of betel-nut are then placed on the same plate on the bride's side; the plate is left on the verandah covered over with a red cloth. Two pieces of bamboo are split, one into eight, the other into seven, tied together with red thread and hung up over the hearthstone in the verandah. After this a marriage contract is pronounced, setting forth that if either man or woman desert the other without sufficient cause they shall pay a fine, in jars, of such relative value as is agreed on. Two plates equal one irun, two iruns one menkul, two menkuls one jabir, two jabirs one pandung, two pandungs one alas; one of these is chosen as the value" according to the position of the people, and that, multiplied by the number of pieces of betel by which they are represented on the plate when it is uncovered, determines the fine to be paid. As the value of one plate is three or four pence an alas is worth 10 s. 8d., and the husband's highest fine would be the serious sum (in jars) of £4 5s. 8d. If the same number of pieces are found on the plate when it is uncovered as were put there, a life free from extremes of happiness or sorrow is to be fore told for the couple; if the antus have stolen away any pieces there will be sorrow, and if more pieces have been added it bodes great good fortune.

When the bride goes to visit her husband's house she is so heavily weighted with ornaments of brass rings, ear-rings, necklaces and silver coins and hawks-bells hanging from her skirts that she can hardly move. For three days and nights in one house, and then in the other, whichever the newly married pair are staying in, a deafening sound of drums and gongs is kept up, so that no evil omens may be heard. To each house they carry with them pulut (cooked rice) and cakes, of which they invite the inmates to partake. Live fowls are whirled seven times round the bride groom's head, then killed, and the blood sprinkled on the foreheads of the couple while a blessing is invoked.

Before a child is born a tabu is imposed on both the father and mother. Neither of them may handle cloth or cotton, or take hold of a chopper; they may no tie anything (e.g., as a. string round a post) nor let fall a stone. No plaiting of basket work or mat work may be begun, and no animal, wild or tame, be killed. Should the father kill any thing out hunting some one else must claim it as his, to avert the evil.

The Land-Dyaks have so much land to choose from that, with clearly defined boundaries, the land belongs to the tribe and there is little individual tenure, though for convenience some plots near to the village are allotted to certain families for paddy fields, and on the owner's death are divided equally between his children. Among the Sea-Dyaks the man who cleared a piece of land from its forest growth was held to be the owner of it, with power to sell or let it at a rent not exceeding one dollar, but now that the value of land is rising this rent is raised too.

Fruit, bamboo and other trees belong to individuals, but there are frequent disputes about fruit-tree rights, and fallen fruit is common property. It has been said that the Dyaks are so honest that they never think of gathering the fruit of a tree belonging to some one else.

These races of differing habits, customs, natures, what ideal is to be set before them, and what contribution shall they make to the great building of the Church?

The Malay, "Nature's gentleman" as he has been called, proud of his ancient race, polite, daring and adventurous, has sunk from his high estate. What shall he bring? Perhaps, through the faith of Islam, the consciousness and the open acknowledgment of God's Presence, and the courage in peril which should make him strong for Christ, but among these people the Church in Borneo can not work as yet; a field more than large enough lies outside them.

The Chinese, industrious, reliable, capable, have given no uncertain proof of the steadfastness they can show even unto death, of their wonderful power as evangelisers, of the practical surrender of their lives to be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and of their sense of the unity of the Church.

The Dyaks surely, in their tribal communities, must have been prepared to grasp very fully the doctrine of the corporate life of the Church. Races, childlike in their primitive conditions, ignorant perhaps of truth, but docile, gentle, pre-eminently honest as regards the property of others, they offer a splendid character as their contribution, a field prepared for the seed by their realisation of the unseen, a realisation now in the form of a world of good and evil spirits around them, but only waiting to be quickened by the breath of life into communion with Him whom we may declare unto them. Down-trodden and oppressed as they were for centuries, with what a revelation must it come to them that the great All-Father loves them and wants their love. Only the ideal that, weak as they are, yet He deems them worthy of His love, can raise them so that all may be one in Christ Jesus, that they may look up to Him as the Head of the Church, of which they all are members, Dyaks, Kayans, Muruts, Hakkas, Foo-kins, all baptised unto the one Body, all strengthened by the one Bread, all walking in the Spirit, through Whom they shall grow up into Him "from Whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love".


1. What do you know about the Malays?

2. Have the Chinese any particular qualities which fit them for opening out new tracts of land?

3. Describe a "village" of Sea-Dyaks.

4. What preliminaries are observed when they want to migrate to a new home?

5. What system of internal government is observed by the Land-Dyaks?

6. How do the women chiefly pass their time, and have they any particular modes of dress, or personal habits?

7. Have the Dyaks any marriage laws, or any peculiar wedding customs?

8. What is there worthy of being contributed to the building up of the Church in (a) the Malay character, (b) in the Chinese, (c) in the Dyak?

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