Project Canterbury




The Land of River and Palm


















Chapter I. Borneo and Its Riches
Chapter II. The People and Their Customs
Chapter III. The People, Feuds, War, and Death
Chapter IV. Superstitions and Beliefs and their Effects
Chapter V. History
Chapter VI. Sixty Years of Missions
Chapter VII. Position of the Church in Borneo Now
Chapter VIII. Response of the Church at Home


THE condition of the Diocese of Labuan and Sarawak at the present time is due largely to the lack of men. Until we have a very large increase in our European staff I can see little or no hope of advance.

Why do men not come to Borneo?

I think we shall find that few people know much about us or our history, and consequently we are not mentioned much in missionary circles.

My predecessors have been content to work on here, making few visits to England, hoping that their cry for help would sooner or later meet with a response which, alas! has not come.

Men did not come because amid the loud cries from other fields they did not hear the call from this Land of River and Palm. Neither men nor money were forthcoming because people did not know.

I am full of gratitude, therefore, to Miss Eda Green for writing this little book about us and our wonderful country, that men and women at home may have some accurate account of us and of our needs, and may be moved to help us. The proofs have been read in Borneo by those who know the country, and we are all astonished that such a vivid and accurate picture should have been drawn by one who has never been here.

I commend this book then to all who are keen to extend the Kingdom of God in the dark places of the earth.

30th August, 1909.

Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak.


THE aim of this little book will be reached if it may be the means of stirring in any hearts the wish to do something to help the work in the Diocese of Labuan and Sarawak.

It is divided into eight chapters, with questions after each, and at the end of the book are some out line thoughts, in case it should be taken up by any class of readers studying the work of the Church in Borneo, but it makes no pretension to be a Study Circle Book, and is brought out in no connection whatever with the exhaustive books prepared by trained experts and published under the auspices of the Young People's Missionary Movement.

I wish to express my thanks to Dr. Hose, the late Bishop, to Archdeacon Sharp and to Mrs. Dexter Allen, for going through the MSS. and giving me the benefit of their corrections; also to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mr. Ling Roth for much information taken from his Natives of Sarawak, and to the Rev. W. Howell.

My sincere thanks are offered to His Highness the Rajah for permission to use his photograph and to Mrs. Bunyon for allowing me to have a hitherto unprinted portrait of Mrs. McDougall; also, for giving me the use of their copyright photographs, to the editor of S.P.G., to Miss Bunyon, to the British North Borneo Co., Messrs. Bassano, Messrs. Elliot & Fry, Mr. Albert Hester and The Illustrated London News.

To Dr. Charles Hose I owe much gratitude for his great kindness in permitting me to use his valuable photographs, and also to Mr. Ling Roth for most generously lending me many of his blocks, and for letting me reproduce his tribal map. Other illustrations are from photographs taken by Mr. Hewitt, late Curator of the Sarawak Museum, and the late Mr. Gregg, Headmaster of S. Thomas' School, Kuching.

Those mentioned, and many unmentioned friends who by their help in various ways have made it possible to complete this book, I thank most sincerely, knowing that the wish of one and all has been to render service to a forlorn outpost, and to aid, if our joint work may in any way be so used, the building up of the KINGDOM OF GOD in Borneo.


Project Canterbury