The Pagan Tribes of Borneo
Charles Hose and William McDougall

Part 9 out of 11

suggestion is, then, that these two systems may have had a common
root; that, while the Aryans carried the system westward into Europe,
the Indonesians, or some Caucasic people which has been merged in the
Indonesian stock, carried it eastward; and that the Kayans, with their
strongly conservative tendencies, their serious religious temperament,
and strong tribal organisation, have, of all the Indonesians, preserved
most faithfully this ancient religious system and have imparted it in
a more or less partial manner to the tribes to whom they have given
so much else of culture, custom, and belief.

It is perhaps not without significance in this connection that the
Karens, whom we regard as the nearest relatives of the Kayans, were
found to worship a Supreme Being, and have proved peculiarly apt
pupils of the Christian missionaries who have long laboured among them.

By way of crowning the indiscretion of the foregoing paragraphs,
we point out that there are certain faint indications of linguistic
support for this speculative suggestion. BALI, which, as we have
explained, is used by Kayans and Kenyahs to denote whatever is
sacred or is connected with religious practices, is undoubtedly a
word of Sanskrit derivation.[211] FLAKI, the name of the bird of
most importance in augury, bears a suggestive resemblance to the
German FALKE and the Latin FALCO. The Kayan word for omen is AMAN,
the resemblance of which to the Latin word is striking. Are these
resemblances merely accidental? If more of the words connected with
the religious beliefs and practices could be shown to exhibit equally
close resemblances, we should be justified in saying -- No.



In an earlier chapter we have sketched the history of government in
Borneo from the earliest times of which any record remains, up to the
time at which the whole island was brought under European control. In
this chapter we propose to describe the way in which the European
governments have extended their spheres of influence and have secured
the co-operation of the natives in the maintenance of peace and order
and freedom.

For some years after Mr. James Brooke became Rajah of Sarawak (1841),
his rule was confined to the territory then known as Sarawak. This
area, still known as Sarawak proper, is some 7000 square miles in
extent and comprises the basins of the following rivers: the Sarawak,
the Samarahan, the Sadong, and the Lundu. The Batang Lupar and Saribas
rivers, which enter the sea to the north of this area, were infested
by pirate bands under the leadership of Malay Serifs who, though
they professed allegiance to the Sultan of Bruni, were but little
controlled by him. The depredations of these unruly neighbours led Sir
James Brooke to undertake several expeditions against them. In the year
1849, Captain Sir Harry Keppel of H.M.S. DIDO lent his aid (not for the
first time), and the combined forces finally swept out those hornets'
nests and put an end to piracy in those regions. With the approval of
the Sultan of Bruni, Rajah Brooke established stations in the lower
waters of the Saribas and Skarang rivers, and a little later at Kanowit
on the Rejang River. This was the first of a series of similar steps
by which the area of the Raj has been successively extended, until
now it comprises about 60,000 square miles, more than eight times
its original extent. In each of these out-stations one or two English
officers were appointed to represent the Rajah's government. In each
station a small wooden fort was built, and in some cases the fort was
surrounded with a stockade. This served as residence for the officer,
or officers, and their small band of native police, generally some
ten or twelve Malays armed with rifles and a small cannon. The prime
duty of these officers, entitled Governors (or later, Residents), was
to protect the local population from the oppression and depredations
of the Serifs, and generally to discourage and punish bloodshed and
disorder. The general policy followed in all these new districts was
to elicit the co-operation of the local chiefs and headmen, and, when
the people had begun to appreciate the benefits of peace, including
the opening of the rivers to Malay and Chinese traders, to impose
a small poll-tax to defray the expenses of administration. The area
of control was then gradually extended farther into the interior by
securing the voluntary adhesion of communities and tribes settled in
the tributaries and higher waters of each river. This policy, steadily
pursued in one district after another, has invariably succeeded,
although the time required for complete pacification has, of course,
varied considerably; and it was only during the early years of this
century that the process seemed to reach its final stage among the
Sea Dayaks in the interiors of the Batang Lupar and Rejang districts.

The stability of the Rajah's government was seriously threatened in
1857 by the insurrection of Chinese gold-workers at Bau in Sarawak
proper. But this rebellion, in the course of which Sir James Brooke
narrowly escaped death at the hands of the rebels, was soon suppressed,
largely by the energy of the Tuan Muda (the present Rajah), who came
to the aid of Sir James with a strong force of Sea Dayaks and Malays.

The process of establishing order and good government in the new
territory was complicated by the intrigues of the Bruni nobles or
PANGIRANS and of the independent Malay chiefs, who, seeing their
power to oppress and misrule the coast districts seriously curtailed,
and indeed threatened with extinction, by the growing influence of
the Europeans in Borneo, conspired with others of similar status in
Dutch Borneo to rid the island of these unwelcome innovators. In the
year 1859 two English officers of the Sarawak government at Kanowit
on the lower Rejang (Messrs. Fox and Steele) were murdered by a gang
of Malanaus. There was good reason to believe that this incident,
together with several murders of Europeans in Dutch Borneo, was the
result of a loosely concerted action of the Malay chiefs, and that
the Kanowit murders were directly instigated by Serif Masahor and
Pangiran Dipa; the latter a Bruni noble who misruled Muka and the
surrounding area. Rajah Brooke visited the Sultan of Bruni and secured
his authorisation for the punishment of these and others concerned
in the murders; and in 1860 an expedition, led by his two nephews,
captured Muka and would have expelled the Serif and the Pangiran but
for the untimely interference of the British Consul at Bruni, who
seems to have been misinformed of the nature of the situation.[212]
In the following year the Rajah, visiting the Sultan at Bruni, found
him willing to cede Muka and the basins of the adjoining rivers,
the Oya, Tatau, and Bintulu, in return for a perpetual annual payment
of 16,000 dollars, an arrangement which was accepted and which still
holds good. Thus the intrigues of the Malay nobles, which for a time
had seriously threatened the stability of the Rajah's government,
resulted in the addition of an area of some 7000 square miles to the
Sarawak territory.

The basin of the Rejang, the largest river of Sarawak, was the next
region to be added to the Raj. Here Sir James Brooke's government
first came into contact with the Kayans (in the year 1863). The
reputation of the Kayans as a dominant tribe of warriors, whose
raids were feared even as far as Bruni, had rendered them proud
and self. confident- and unready to appreciate the benefits of the
Rajah's government. Their continued hostility rendered advisable a
demonstration of force. Accordingly in the year 1863 the Tuan Muda
(the present Rajah, H. H. Sir Charles Brooke) led an expedition of
some 10,000 or more native levies, consisting chiefly of Sea Dayaks and
Malays, up the Rejang as far as the mouth of the Baloi Peh, a spot some
250 miles from the mouth of the Rejang and in the edge of the Kayan
country. The Kayans could not withstand so large a force and retreated
farther up river after but little show of resistance. Several of their
long houses were destroyed, and a message demanding their submission to
the Rajah's government was sent by a captive to Oyong Hang, the most
influential of the Kayan chiefs. The messenger carried a cannon-ball
and the Sarawak flag, and was instructed to ask Oyang Hang which he
would choose; to which question the chief is said to have returned
the answer that he wanted neither. Although the expedition failed to
secure the submission of any large number of the Kayans and Kenyahs,
it established the Rajah's authority as far as it had penetrated;
for a number of Klemantan villages settled in the middle reaches of
the Rejang accepted the offer of peace, and a number of their chiefs
brought the Sarawak flag down river and celebrated the traditional
peace-making rites with the Rajah's representative. The Kayans have
never since attempted to raid the lower reaches of the river; but it
was not until the early eighties, during the Residency of the late
Mr. H. B. Low, that the bulk of the Kayans of the Rejang acknowledged
the Rajah's authority and began to co-operate in his administration,
a result achieved without any repetition of the large expedition of
1863. From that time (about 1885) the Baloi or Upper Rejang may be
regarded as having formed part of Sarawak.

In the year 1882 the northern boundary of Sarawak was again pushed
forward by the cession to the Rajah by the Sultan of Bruni of the
basin of the Baram, an area of some 10,000 square miles, on condition
of a perpetual annual payment of 6000 dollars. This was an area in
which, except along the coast, the Sultan's authority had never been
exercised, and which had been kept closed to trade and the depredations
of the Malays, by the fear of the Kayans. For the Kayans, who dominated
all the middle waters of the Baram, had in the past threatened even
Bruni. The Sultan was no doubt glad to see the Rajah undertake the task
of controlling his formidable neighbours, who, dwelling within striking
distance of his capital, were a perpetual menace to his power and even
to his personal safety. The Baram district has been brought completely
under the Rajah's rule without the introduction of any armed force from
outside; and as the process of establishing peace and order has there
followed a normal and undisturbed course, and is familiarly known to
us, we propose to describe it in some detail on a later page. Since
the date of the inclusion of the Baram, the Raj of Sarawak has been
again extended towards the north on three. occasions. The first of
these additions was the basin of the Trusan River. In this case the
Sultan offered to sell the territory for a lump sum, and his offer
was accepted by the Rajah, whose officers occupied it in the year
1885. In 1890, the people living on the Limbang River, whose basin
adjoins that of the Baram on its northern border, were in a state of
rebellion against the Sultan, and the region had for several years
been in a very disturbed state. The present Rajah therefore proposed
to annex the country in return for an annual payment. The British
Government was asked to approve this step and to fix the amount of the
sum to be paid to the Sultan. A favourable reply having been given
by the Foreign Office, and the annual sum of 6000 dollars having
been awarded as a fair return for the cession, the administration
of the country was peacefully entered upon by the Rajah's officers,
who where warmly welcomed by the greater part of the inhabitants.

The latest and presumably the final extension of the boundaries of
Sarawak was effected in 1905, when the basin of the small river Lawas
was bought from the British North Borneo Company.

In the opening year of this century a small part of Borneo still
remained under purely native control, namely, the town of Bruni and
an area about it of 1700 square miles, comprising the basins of the
small rivers Balait and Tutong. By agreement with the Sultan this
area was placed under the administration of a Resident representing
the British Government in the year 1906. Thus the European occupation
of Borneo was completed.

The history of the establishment of Dutch rule throughout the larger
part of Borneo has been similar to that of the acquisition of Sarawak
by its two English Rajahs. Dutch trading stations were established in
the south-west corner of Borneo as early as 1604. In the seventeenth
century stations were established in southern Borneo by both British
and Dutch traders; but the Dutch traders extended their influence more
rapidly than their rivals, and by the middle of the eighteenth century
had secured a practically exclusive influence in those parts. The
British held possession of all the Dutch East Indies during the
brief period (1811 -- 1816) which was terminated by the Congress of
Vienna. On the retirement of the British, the Dutch Government took
over all the rights acquired by the Dutch traders; and since that
time it has continued to consolidate its control and to extend the
area of its administration farther into the interior along the courses
of the great rivers. There were in the area that is now Dutch Borneo
several independent Malay Sultans, of which the principal had their
capitals at Pontianak, Banjermasin, and Kotei. In 1823 the Sultan
of Banjermasin ceded a large part of his territory to the Dutch
government; in 1844 the Sultan of Kotei accepted its protection;
and by similar steps by far the larger part of the island has been
marked out as the Dutch sphere of influence. The water parting from
which the principal rivers flow east and west has been agreed upon by
the Dutch and the Sarawak governments as the boundary between their
territories; and though the upper waters of the great rivers which
flow west and south through Dutch Borneo have up to the present
time hardly been explored, the authority of the Dutch Government
is well established over all the tribes of the coastal regions and,
especially in the south, extends far into the interior, but is still
little more than nominal in the head waters of the rivers. The system
of administration now practised by the Dutch closely resembles in most
essential respects that obtaining in Sarawak, and it has brought to the
natives of the greater part of Dutch Borneo the same great benefits,
peace, freedom, justice, and trade.

The northern extremity of Borneo, an area comprising some 31,000 square
miles and 200,000 inhabitants, is now administered by the British
North Borneo Company (chartered by the British Government in 1892),
which acquired it by purchase in successive instalments from the
Sultans of Bruni and Sulu. The Company has followed in the main an
administrative policy similar to that of Sarawak, and has appointed
as governors officers of large East Indian experience placed at
their disposal by the British Government. The Company has attempted
to achieve in a brief period a degree of commercial development
which in Sarawak and Dutch Borneo has been reached only gradually
in the course of several generations; and to this circumstance must
be attributed many of the difficulties which for a time caused it
"to get into the newspapers." But these difficulties have now been
overcome, and the whole territory placed in a condition of prosperity
and orderly progress.

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It has been widely recognised that Sarawak provides a most notable
example of beneficent administration of the affairs of a population
in a lowly state of culture by representatives of our Western
civilisation. Among all such administrative systems that of Sarawak
has been distinguished not only by the rapid establishment of peace,
order, and a modest prosperity, with a minimum output of armed force,
but especially by reason of the careful way in which the interests
of the native population have constantly been made the prime object
of the government's solicitude. The story of the success of the two
white Rajahs of Sarawak has several times been told in whole or in
part. But we think it is worth while to try to give some intimate
glimpses of the working of the system as it affects the daily lives of
the pagan tribes, taking our illustrations in the main from incidents
in which one of us has been personally concerned.

From the very inception of his rule, Sir James Brooke laid down
and strictly adhered to the principle of associating the natives
with himself and his European assistants in the government of
the country, and of respecting and maintaining whatever was not
positively objectionable in the laws and customs of the people. And
this policy has been as faithfully followed by the present Rajah.[213]
The Raj of which Sir James Brooke became the absolute ruler in the
way described in Chapter II. was a country in which the supreme
authority had been exercised for many generations by Malay rulers,
and in which the only generally recognised system of law was the
Mohammedan law administered by them. The two white Rajahs, instead
of imposing any system of European-made laws upon the people, as in
their Position of benevolent despot they might have been tempted
to do, have accepted the Mohammedan law and custom in all matters
affecting the population of the Mohammedan religion; and they have
gradually introduced improvements when and where the defects and
injustices of the system revealed themselves. In the work both of
administration and legislation the Rajahs have always sought and
enjoyed the advice and co-operation of Malays. They have maintained
the principal ministries of State, and have continued the tenure of
those offices by the Malay nobles who occupied them at the time of
Sir James Brooke's accession to power; and, as these have died or
retired in the natural course, they have chosen leading Malays of
the aristocratic class to fill the vacancies. Three of these Malay
officers, namely, the Datu Bandar, Datu Imaum, and the Datu Hakim,
have been members of the Supreme Council since its institution in
1855. The first of these offices may be best defined by likening it
to that of a Lord Mayor; or better, perhaps, to that of the salaried
Burgomaster of a German city; its occupant is understood to be the
leading citizen of the Malay community of Kuching, the capital town
of Sarawak. The Datu Imaum is the religious head of the Mohammedan
community, and the Datu Hakim the principal of the Malay judges.

The Supreme Council consists of the three Malay officers named above
together with three or four of the principal European officers, and the
Rajah, who presides over its deliberations. It meets at least once a
month to consider all matters referred to it by lower tribunals. It
embodies the absolute authority of the Rajah; from its decrees
there is no appeal. It decides questions of justice, administration,
and legislation; and it continually enriches and improves the law
by creating precedents, which serve to guide the local courts, by
deliberately revising and repealing laws, and by adding new laws to
the Statute Book. It is the sole legislative authority. The presence of
the Malay members at the meetings of the Council is by no means a mere
formality; they take an active part in its deliberations and decisions.

Beside the Supreme Council there exists a larger body whose functions
are purely advisory. It is called the Council NEGRI or State Council,
and consists of the Rajah and the members of the Supreme Council,
the Residents in charge of the more important districts, and the
principal "Native Officers" and PENGHULUS, some seventy members in
all. This Council meets at Kuching once in every three years under
the presidency of the Rajah, who provides the members with suitable
lodgings and entertains them at dinner. At the meeting of this
council topics of general interest are discussed, and the Rajah makes
some general review of the state of public affairs and the progress
achieved since the previous meeting. But the principal purpose of the
institution is the bringing together, under conditions favourable for
friendly intercourse, of the leading men of the whole country. Each
new member is formally sworn in, taking an oath of loyalty to the Rajah
and his government. The native chiefs return from these meetings with
an enhanced sense of the importance and dignity of their office and
with clearer notions of the whole system of government and of their
places in it.

Though Mohammedan law remains as the basis of the law administered
among the Malays, notable improvements have been introduced,
E.G. the death penalty for incest and corporal punishment for conjugal
infidelity have been abolished; slaveholding, though not made illegal,
has been discouraged throughout the country by rendering it easy for
slaves to secure their freedom; and the power of the master over his
slave has been greatly restricted. A man is not allowed to marry a
second or third wife, unless he can prove himself able to provide for
each of the women and her offspring; wilful murder is always punished
by death or long imprisonment, not merely by imposition of a fine as
in former times.

The development of commerce and industries has, of course, given rise
to legal questions for which the Mohammedan law provides no answers;
and to meet these necessities, laws modelled on the Indian code and
on English law have been enacted.

The presence of a large Chinese community (now comprising some
50,000 persons) has always been a source of legal and administrative
difficulties. These difficulties have been met in the past by securing
the presence of leading Chinese merchants on the judicial bench,
as assessors familiar with the language, customs, and circumstances
of their countrymen, whenever the latter have been involved in legal
proceedings. In the present year a special court for the trial of
Chinese civil cases has been instituted, consisting of seven of the
leading Chinese merchants, of whom all, save the president, who is
nominated by the Rajah, are elected by the Chinese community.

The government of the pagan population, comprising as it does so many
tribes of diverse customs, languages, and circumstances, has presented
a more varied and in many respects a more difficult problem. But the
same principles have been everywhere applied in their case also. The
backbone of the administrative and judicial system has been constituted
by the small staff of English officers carefully chosen by the Rajah,
and increased from time to time as the extension of the boundaries of
Sarawak opened new fields for their activities. During recent years
this administrative staff has counted some fifty to sixty English
members. Of these about a dozen are quartered in Kuching, namely,
the Resident of the first division, his assistant, a second-class
Resident, and the heads of the principal departments, the post office,
police and prisons, the treasury, the department of lands and surveys,
public works, education, and the rangers.

The Sarawak rangers are a body of some 400 men trained to the use of
fire-arms and under military discipline. The majority are Sea Dayaks,
the remainder Malays and Sikhs. Two white officers, the commandant
and the gunnery instructor, are supported by native non-commissioned
officers. The force is recruited by voluntary enlistment, the men
joining in the first place for five years' service. This force supplies
the garrisons of the small forts, one or more of which are maintained
in each district; and from it a small body of riflemen has commonly
been drawn to form the nucleus of any expeditionary force required
for punitive operations.

The whole territory of Sarawak is divided into four divisions, each of
which is again divided into two or more districts. The first division
coincides with Sarawak proper; the second includes the Batang Lupar,
Saribas, and Kelaka districts; the third comprises the Rejang, Oya,
Muka, Bintulu, and Matu districts; the fourth consists of the Baram,
Limbang, Trusan, and Lawas. The first, third, and fourth divisions
are administered by divisional Residents, which three officers rank
next to the Rajah in the official hierarchy. Each district is under
the immediate charge of an officer. These district officers are
of two ranks, namely Residents of the second class, and Assistant
Residents. In each district, with the exception of the smallest, the
Resident is assisted in his multifarious duties by a second white
officer of the rank of cadet or extra-officer, and has under his
direction a squad of ten to twenty-five rangers under the charge of a
sergeant; a sergeant of police in charge of about twelve policemen,
who are generally drawn from the locality; several Malay or Chinese
clerks; and generally some two or three "native officers." The last
are Malays of the aristocratic class resident in the district; they
are appointed by the Rajah on the recommendation of the Resident and
receive a regular salary. Their duties are to assist the Resident in
his police-court work, to hold special courts for the settlement of
purely Malay cases of a domestic nature, and to take charge of the
station in the absence of the Resident and his assistant.

The prime duty of the Resident is to preserve order in his district
and to punish crimes of violence. But he is responsible also for
every detail of administration, including the collection of taxes
and customs duties, the settlement of disputes, and the hearing of
complaints of all kinds, the furnishing of reports to the central
government on all matters of moment, the development of trade and the
protection of traders, especially the inoffensive Chinese; and above
all, in the newer districts, it is his duty to gain the confidence
of the chiefs of the wilder tribes, and to lead them to accept the
Sarawak flag and the benefits of the Rajah's government, in return
for the small poll-tax required of them. It is well recognised by
the Rajah and his officers that the success of a Resident depends
primarily upon his acquiring intimate knowledge of the people and
establishing and maintaining good relations with them; and with this
end in view every Resident is expected to be familiar not only with
the Malay language, which is the official language of the country, as
well as in some measure a common medium of communication between the
chiefs of the various tribes, but also with one or more of the other
languages spoken in his district. The headquarters of the Resident
are usually the fort, or a small residency built not far from it in
the lower reaches of the chief river of his district. Here a Chinese
bazaar, I.E. a compact village of Chinese traders and shopkeepers, and
a Malay Kampong, generally spring up under the shelter of the fort;
and thus the station becomes the headquarters of trade as well as of
administration. To this centre the workers of jungle produce bring
their stuff, floating down river on rafts of rattans or in their
canoes; from it the Malay and Chinese traders or pedlars set out in
their boats for long journeys among the up-river people; and to it
come occasional parties of the up-river tribesmen, to consult with
the Resident, to seek redress for wrongs, to report the movements of
tribes in the adjacent territories, or to obtain permission to go on
the war-path in order to punish offences committed against them.

Since the river is the one great high road, and since the Resident
and his assistants are seated generally near the point where it leaves
the district, the coming and going of all visitors can hardly escape
their observation. And, since the station sees every few days the
arrival of visitors or the return of parties of its own people from
up river, the Resident can keep himself pretty well informed of the
state of the country, and all news of importance will reach him after
no long delay, if only he is always accessible and willing to turn
a sympathetic ear to all comers.

But the successful administration of one of the larger and wilder
districts, such as the Rejang or the Baram, requires that the Resident
shall not be content with the zealous discharge of his many duties
at his headquarters. He can only establish intimate relations of
reciprocal knowledge and confidence with the chiefs of the many
scattered communities of his district by making long journeys up river
several times a year. And situations not infrequently arise which
urgently demand his presence in some outlying part of his district
and which serve as the occasions of such journeys.

Before describing such a journey, something must be said of the
place in the scheme of government occupied by the chiefs and headmen
of the various communities. Each of the Malay Kampongs and other
similar villages of the Malanaus and other coastwise peoples is
under the immediate charge of one of its more influential elders,
who bears the title of TUAH KAMPONG. He is appointed by the Rajah on
the recommendation of the Resident and receives a small salary. His
duties are to settle the minor disputes of his village, to collect
the tax, to keep order, and to report all breaches of the peace to
the Resident. He has authority to call in the police and to order
the arrest of any villager; in cases of dispute between villages he
represents his village in the Resident's court, and, where his own
people are concerned, he may sit on the bench with the Resident to
hear and advise upon the case. The Sarawak flag is the badge of his
office, and his position and duties are defined in a document bearing
the Rajah's signature.

From among the more influential chiefs of the up-river communities
the Rajah appoints, on the recommendation of the Resident, a certain
number in each district to the office of PENGHULU. In a district of
Mixed population such as the Baram, one PENGHULU (sometimes two) is
usually appointed for each of the principal tribes of the district,
E.G. in the Baram are, or recently were, two Kayans, one Kenyah, one
Sebop, and one Barawan holding the office. The principal PENGHULUS
are made members of the Council of State, and they are expected to
attend its triennial meetings. The status of the PENGHULUS is similar
to that of the TUAH KAMPONG, and he also is given the Sarawak flag,
which he will display on his boat on official journeys, and a document
signed by the Rajah recording his appointment and the duties of his
office; but many of them derive a considerably greater importance than
their fellows from the numerical strength and the warlike character
of their followings. The PENGHULU has authority not only over his
own house or village, but also over the chiefs or headmen of other
communities of the same tribe and region. He is expected to keep the
Resident informed of any local incident requiring his attention,
and to be present in the Resident's court when any of his people
are tried for any serious offence; he has authority to try minor
cases, both civil and criminal, among his own people. Perhaps his
most important service is the following. When an up-river man has
been charged with a serious offence, the summons of the Resident's
court is forwarded to the PENGHULU of his tribe and district with the
instruction that he shall send the man down river to headquarters. It
is generally possible for the PENGHULU to call the man to him, and,
by explaining to him the situation and the order of the Resident,
to secure his peaceful surrender. But in case of refusal to come, or
of active resistance, the PENGHULU is expected to apply such force
as may be necessary for effecting the arrest and the conveyance to
headquarters. In this way in a well-governed district the arrest of
evildoers is effected with remarkable sureness and with far less
risk of violence, bloodshed, and the arousal of angry passions,
than if the Resident should send his police or rangers to do the
work. The PENGHULU is in a much better position than the Resident for
obtaining accurate information upon, and a full understanding of, the
circumstances of any such up-river incidents; and his help is thus
often of the greatest value to the Resident. If he judges that the
accused man is innocent, and especially if the charge against him has
been made by a Chinaman, a Malay, or a member of any other than his
own tribe, he will usually accompany the prisoner to headquarters,
in, order to see that no injustice is done him. Another important
function of the PENGHULU is the preliminary investigation of breaches
of the peace among his people (see vol. ii. p. 219).

The PENGHULU is responsible also for the collection of the door-tax
from the chief of each house or village of his people and for
its delivery to the Resident. He is allowed to exercise a certain
discretion in the matter of remission of taxes to elderly or infirm
householders. He is responsible also for the transmission to the
Resident of all sums in payment of fines of more than five dollars,
imposed by himself or by his subordinate chiefs. On the happily
infrequent occasions on which it becomes necessary to organise a
punitive expedition, the PENGHULUS are expected to help in the raising
of the required force, and to accompany the expedition as commanders of
their own group of warriors, acting under the orders of the Resident.

A PENGHULU is punished for neglect of his duties by suspension from his
office for a definite period, or in more serious cases by dismissal
and the appointment of another chief Since the dignity and prestige
of the office are high, this punishment is deeply felt.

Among the Kayans and Kenyahs and most of the Klemantans, the PENGHULUS
exercise a very effective authority, and, since with few exceptions the
chiefs chosen to fill the office have been loyal, zealous, and capable,
they have rendered great services to the government. Among the Sea
Dayaks the lack of authority of the chiefs, which is a characteristic
feature of their social system, has rendered it impossible to secure
for their PENGHULUS the same high standing and large influence; the
result of which has been the creation of an unduly large number of
these officers and the consequent further depreciation of the dignity
of the office.

The PENGHULU is the link between the native system of government as
it obtained before the coming of the white man, and that established
and maintained by the Rajah and his white officers. The former
consisted of the exercise of authority by the several chiefs, each
over the people of his own village only, except in so far as a chief
might acquire some special prestige and influence over others through
his own reputation for wisdom and that of his people for success in
war. Among the Kayans and Kenyahs especially, the principal chiefs have
long aimed at extending their influence by marrying their relatives
to those of other powerful chiefs. In this way chiefs of exceptional
capacity, aided by good fortune, have achieved in certain instances
a very extended influence. Such a chief was Laki Avit, a Kenyah,
who, some twenty years before the Rajah's officers first entered
upon the task of administering the Baram, was recognised throughout
all the interior of the district as the leading chief, a position
which could only have been achieved by the consistent pursuit of a
wise policy of conciliation and just dealing between. Kenyahs and
Kayans. But the order and peace maintained by the influence of such
a chief depended wholly on his continued vigour, and they seldom or
never survived his death by more than a few years. In the case of Laki
Avit, for example, the Bruni Malays, jealous and afraid of the allied
Kayans and Kenyahs, soon succeeded by means of murderous intrigues
in bringing back the more normal condition of suspicious hostility
and frequent warfare. Thus, although several chiefs had endeavoured
to establish peace throughout wide areas, no one of them had achieved
any enduring success. For this end the unifying influence of a central
authority and superior power was necessary, and this was supplied by
the Rajah. We may liken the whole system of society as now established
to a conical structure consisting of a common apex from which lines of
authority descend to the base, branching as they go at three principal
levels. If we imagine the upper part of this structure cut away at
a horizontal plane just above the lowest level of branching, we have
a diagrammatic representation of the state of affairs preceding the
Rajah's advent -- a large number of small cones each representing
a village unified by the subordination of its members to its chief,
but each one remaining isolated without any bond of union with its
neighbours. At the present time the base of the cone remains almost
unchanged, but the Rajah's government binds together all its isolated
groups to form one harmonious whole, by means of the hierarchy of
officers whose authority proceeds from the Rajah himself, the apex
of the system.

The establishment of the Rajah's government has thus involved no
breaking up of the old forms of society, no attempt to recast it
after any foreign model, but has merely supplied the elements that
were lacking to the system, if it was to enable men to live at peace,
to prosper and multiply, and to enjoy the fruits of their labours. But
though we describe the society of Sarawak as being now a completed
structure, the simile is inadequate and might mislead. The structure
is not that of a rigid building, but of a living organisation; and
its efficiency and permanence depend upon the unceasing activities of
all its parts, each conscious of the whole and of its own essential
role in the life of the whole, and each animated by a common spirit
of unswerving devotion to, and untiring effort in the cause of, the
whole. The Rajah's power rests upon the broad base of the people's
willing co-operation; he in turn is for them the symbol of the whole,
by the aid of which they are enabled to think of the state as their
common country and common object of devotion; and from him there
descends through his officers the spirit which animates the whole,
a spirit of reciprocal confidence, justice, goodwill, and devotion to
duty. The system is in fact the realisation of the ideal of monarchy
or personal government; its successful working depends above all on
the character and intellect of the man who stands at the head of the
state; and the steady progress of all better aspects of civilisation
in Sarawak, a progress which has evoked the warm praise of many
experienced and independent observers,[214] has been due to the fact
that the resolution, the tact and sympathy, the wisdom and high
ideals which enabled the first of its English Rajahs to establish
his authority, have been unfailingly displayed in no less degree by
his successor throughout his long reign.

It is obvious that this permeation of the whole system of government
by the spirit of its head can only be perpetuated by constant personal
intercourse between him and his officers and between the officers of
the various grades. This has been a main principle observed by the
Rajah. He has frequently visited the district stations, to spend a
few days in consultation with his white officers, and to renew his
personal acquaintance with the local chiefs, who spontaneously assemble
to await his arrival. Such visits to any station have seldom been
made at greater intervals than one year; and these annual meetings
at the district stations between the Rajah and his officers of all
grades have been of the utmost value in preserving the profound and
personal respect with which he is regarded throughout the land and
which is in due measure reflected to his representatives, both white
and native. The Rajah has also kept himself in close touch with the
Residents and the affairs even of the remotest districts by encouraging
the Residents to write to him personally and fully on all important
matters, and by writing with his own hand full and prompt replies.

The foregoing brief account of the system of government will have
accentuated its essentially personal character; and it will have
made clear the necessity for constant personal intercourse between
the officers of various grades, and for the long excursions of the
Residents into the interior parts of their districts, one of which
we propose to describe as an illustration of the intimate working
of the administrative system. For in the larger and wilder districts
the Resident's station may be separated from populous villages by a
tract of wild jungle country, the return journey over which cannot
be accomplished in less than a month or even more.

The journey we are about to describe, as illustrative of the
administrative labours of the Resident of one of the wilder districts,
was made in the Baram in the year 1898 by one of us (C. H.) in the
course of his official duties and in part only by the joint-author
of this book. A slight sketch of the political history and condition
of the Baram is required to render intelligible the objects of the
journey and the course of events. The Baram was added to Sarawak
territory, under the circumstances described above (vol. ii. p. 261),
in the year 1882. At that time it enjoyed the reputation of a wild
and dangerous region, owing to the strength of the Kayans, who,
dwelling in all the middle parts of the rivers, had made a number
of bold raids as far as the coast and even to the neighbourhood of
Bruni. The Sea Dayaks had obtained no footing in the river, and the
Klemantans, who dwelt in the lower reaches, had proved quite incapable
of withstanding their formidable neighbours. The latter had driven them
out of the more desirable parts of the river, had made many slaves,
and had appropriated many of the valuable caves in which they had
gathered the edible nests of the swift. But considerable numbers of the
Klemantans remained in the lower reaches and in some of the tributary
rivers. The upper waters of the Baram were occupied mainly by Kenyah
communities; and about the watershed in which the Baram, the Rejang,
and the Batang Kayan have their sources (a mountainous highland,
geographically the very centre of the island, known as Usun Apo), were
the Madangs, a powerful sub-tribe of the Kenyahs, whose reputation as
warriors was second to none. In 1883 a fort was built at Marudi (now
officially known as Claudetown), a spot on the river-bank some sixty
miles from the sea, the first spot at which in ascending the river a
high bank suitable for a settlement is encountered. Here Mr. Claude
de Crespigny, assisted by two junior officers, a squad of some thirty
rangers, and a few native police, began the task of introducing law and
order into these 10,000 square miles of dense jungles, rushing rivers,
and high mountains, the scene for unknown ages of the hard perpetual
struggle of savage man with nature, and of the fierce conflict of
man with man. At first the interior tribes remained aloof, and the
little outpost of civilisation was frequently threatened by them
with extermination. But after some few years the Kayans of the lower
villages became reconciled to the new state of affairs, recognised
the authority of the Rajah and of the Resident, and consented to pay
the small annual door-tax amounting to two dollars per family or door.

These were the Kayans of villages that were readily accessible
because seated on reaches of the river navigable by the Resident's
steam-launch, that is, not more than seventy miles above Claudetown. It
was soon realised that the people of the remoter parts were only to
be brought under the Rajah's government by means of friendly visits
of the Resident to their villages. This policy was actively pursued
by Mr. Charles Hose, who had become assistant to the Resident in 1884,
officer in charge in 1888, and Resident in 1890; some four or five long
journeys were made each year, each occupying several weeks. During
these journeys, which were necessarily made in the native boats,
the Resident would spend the nights, whenever possible, in the native
houses, sometimes whiling away several days in friendly intercourse
with his hosts, and thus acquiring much useful information as well
as more intimate understanding of their characters, languages, and
customs. In this way the area of government control was extended step
by step, until about the year 1891 practically all the inhabitants of
the Baram had accepted the Rajah's government and acknowledged it by
the payment of some tax, however small. The chiefs of the Klemantans
and their people were for the most part very glad to place themselves
under the protection of this new government; but the Kayans and
Kenyahs, not feeling themselves to be in need of any such protection,
were less ready to accept the Resident's proposals. Two considerations
mainly induced them to take this course: first, they desired peace,
or at any rate less warfare, and it was possible to convince them that
this result might be achieved by pointing to other districts such as
the Rejang, with whose affairs they had some acquaintance. Secondly,
they found that a Chinese bazaar had sprung up at Claudetown, and that,
as soon as they accepted the Rajah's government, they would obtain
greatly increased facilities for driving the highly profitable trade
in jungle produce; for, before they had come under the government,
the Chinese and Malay traders had hardly ventured to penetrate to
their remote villages with their cloths and lucifer matches, hardware,
steel bars, and other much-coveted goods.

Several of the most influential chiefs who had early showed themselves
staunch friends of the government were made PENGHULUS, and have long
continued by their example and influence energetically to support the
Resident, notably the Kayan, Tama Usong, and the Kenyah, Tama Bulan
(see Pls. 49, 27). The latter especially, though not one of the first
to come in, exercised his great influence consistently, wisely, and
energetically, in support of the Resident and in the establishment
of peace and order throughout the district and even beyond its
boundaries. But he was only one of several chiefs who have displayed a
high degree of enlightenment and moral qualities of a very high order.

The hostility of the Kalabits on the north-eastern border, who
persistently raided those villages of their fellow-tribesmen that had
come under the government, had necessitated an expedition against
them in 1893. And Sea Dayak parties of jungle workers had on more
than one occasion stirred up serious trouble. But, in spite of these
difficulties, by the year 1898 all the inhabitants of the district
were paying the regular door-tax, crimes of violence had been almost
abolished, trade was everywhere increasing, and peace was assured,
save for the threat to it from one quarter, namely, the Madangs of Usun
Apo and the neighbouring powerful settlements of Kenyahs across the
water-parting in the head-waters of the Batang Kayan. It had always
been a weakness of the Rajah's government that it could assure to
the Baram people no protection against attack from those regions,
the latter of which, though nominally Dutch territory, was not yet
controlled by the Dutch government. In the year 1897 a numerous band
of Madangs had migrated into the extreme head of the Baram from the
corresponding and closely adjoining part of the Rejang, largely owing
to the pressure put upon them by the ever roving and meddlesome Sea
Dayaks. Neither these Madangs nor the Kenyahs of the Batang Kayan
had entered into friendly relations with the Sarawak government, and
they had preserved a hostile attitude towards the Baram tribes. The
Resident therefore determined to visit the Madangs, and to invite
Kenyah chiefs from the Batang Kayan to meet him on the extreme edge
of the Sarawak territory, in order to open friendly intercourse
with them, and to persuade them if possible to attend a general
peace-meeting at Claudetown, at which the outstanding feuds between
them and the Baram folk might be ceremonially washed out in the blood
of pigs. For, if this attempt could be carried to a successful issue,
it would go far to assure the peace of the whole district, and would
add considerably to the volume of trade descending the Baram River:
An additional feature of the programme was that the Resident should
take with him on his visit a number of the Baram chiefs, and should in
the course of the journey make arrangements with the largest possible
number of chiefs for their attendance at the proposed peace-making.

Accordingly, on the 9th of October 1898, we started from Claudetown
in the Resident's launch with a retinue of half a dozen Sea Dayak
rangers and two policemen, and towing some half a dozen boats,
including one for our own use up-river. After spending a day in
visiting villages in the lower Tinjar, the largest tributary of the
Baram, we resumed the journey up-river and reached the village of
Long Tamala. There we were joined by the chiefs of the two houses Tama
Aping Nipa and Tama Aping Kuleh, and were most hospitably entertained
by the former. On the following morning we again steamed up-river,
having added to our train these two Kenyah chiefs, each with a boat's
crew of fighting men, they having agreed to make the whole journey
with us. After stopping at several villages at which the Resident's
services were in request for the settlement of disputed questions,
in the afternoon we reached Long Tajin, a big Kayan village, and
were welcomed by Juman, the chief, and his wife Sulau, a woman of
strikingly handsome and refined features and graceful aristocratic
manner (Pl. 31). She is the daughter of the late Aban Jau, who was
for many years the most powerful chief of the Tinjar Sebops. He had
long resisted the advances of the Resident, and had submitted to the
Rajah's government only after a long course of patient persuasion. He
had regarded himself as the up-river Rajah, and had never ceased to
regret the old state of affairs. "I'm an old man now," he told the
Resident, "but if I were as salt as I used to be, the Rajah would not
have taken possession of the Baram without a struggle." Another of
his many picturesque sayings seems worth recording: "Your Rajah may
govern the down-river people; they are inside the Sultan's fence and
he had the right to hand them over. But over us he had no authority;
we are the tigers of the jungle and have never been tamed." He had
frequently threatened to attack the fort; and when he had sent to the
Resident a message to that effect in the usual symbolic language,
the latter's only reply had been to go up to his house with two or
three men only, and to spend five days there as Aban Jau's guest,
and to persuade him to come down to Claudetown to meet the Rajah.

The evening was spent in discussing the prospects of the expedition
with Juman and other chiefs, some of whom took a gloomy view. The
following morning the steam-launch was sent downriver, and we took to
the boats and paddled a short stage to Bawang Takun, another large
Kayan village, where we stayed over-night to give the people time
to prepare their boats and the Resident the opportunity for some
judicial inquiries. There was heavy rain throughout the night,
and in the morning the river, which in this part of its course
runs between limestone cliffs, was rushing so rapidly that we
could only make progress by repeatedly crossing the river to seek
the slack-water side of each reach. Failing to reach any village,
we passed the night in rude shelters on the bank. On the following
day the river was still in flood, but we reached Long Lawa, a Kayan
village, and decided to wait there until the river should subside to
a more normal condition. Here a party of Kenyahs met us, sent by Tama
Bulan to conduct us to his house some two or three days' journey up
the Pata tributary. On the morning of the 16th the river had fallen
ten feet, and starting at daybreak we reached the mouth of the Pata,
and camped on a KERANGAN or pebble-bed beautifully situated among
the forest-clad slopes a little way up the Pata. In the course of the
day a boatful of Kayans from the Apoh had joined us. On the 17th we
had an exciting day working up the rapids and waterfalls of the Pata,
and reached Long Lutin, a very large Kayan village of many long houses,
most pleasantly situated and surrounded by hills clothed with the rich
green of the young PADI crop. Here we spent the night in the house of
the principal chief, Laki Lah, a quaint old bachelor, whom we greatly
astonished by eating plum-pudding with burning brandy upon it.

Another day's journey over a long series of rapids brought us to the
house of Tama Bulan, at that time the most influential chief of the
Baram. We found there a number of Kenyah chiefs from the upper reaches
of the Pata awaiting our arrival. Tama Bulan, who was strongly in
favour of carrying through the Resident's plan, eloquently supported it
during the hospitable procedures of the evening, assuring the assembled
chiefs that the journey would finally resolve the troubles of the
Baram. As usual there was no lack of enterprise and "go" among the
Kenyahs, and they were all keen to make the venture; while the Kayans
on the other hand were, as always, more cautious, more inclined to
dwell on the possibilities of failure, and slower to take up the plan
and make it their own. The Kenyahs had not yet completed the taking
of omens for the expedition, and the following days were devoted to
this process (see vol. ii. p. 52), Tama Bulan and his people taking
omens for the whole of the Kenyah contingent, while Juman went on to
prepare the people of the Akar. In the course of the day Tama Bulan
accompanied us on visits to several neighbouring Kenyah villages
situated a little farther up the river. In the evening we had another
convivial meeting with great flow of oratory and rice-spirit. On the
third day, favourable omens having been observed, sacrifices of pigs
and fowls were offered before the altar-posts of the war-god, and the
various rites needful to complete the preparation for a long journey
were performed (see Pl. 157). In the afternoon the Resident inspected
the site for a bungalow or block-house which the Kenyahs proposed to
make (and have since erected) for the use of the government's officers.

On October 23rd we left Tama Bulan's house with a party of about one
hundred all told, in several boats. We were joined at Long Lutin by
Laki Lah and a boatful of his Kayans, made a rapid passage to Long
Pata (the spot where the Pata joins the Baram), and resumed the
toilsome ascent of the main river to reach the Akar. That evening
we reached a Kenyah village at Long Lawan, and as usual we were
hospitably entertained with the fatted pig and brimming cups of
rice-spirit. The weather was now brilliantly fine and the river of
only normal swiftness, and we passed the night in a Kenyah house in
the Akar. Here we spent two days awaiting the arrival of a party
of Kayans from the upper Akar. The Kayans having arrived, another
general discussion of the plan of operations was held; and on the
third day the expedition returned to the Baram, and after surmounting
the difficulties presented by many rapids and a narrow gorge at Batu
Pita, entered the Silat on the 28th. The Silat is the uppermost of the
large tributaries of the Baram (Pl. 200). It descends from the Madang
country, winding round the foot of the Batu Tujoh, a limestone mountain
of 5000 feet. All this country is at a considerable height above
sea-level (1000 feet and more), and the climate is much cooler and more
bracing than that of the lower levels. It is a land of many streams
and hills. All the lower slopes have been cleared and cultivated by
the Kenyahs, so that it presents a more open and smiling aspect than
the lower country, where the clearings are but tiny islands in the
vast ocean of gloomy forest. The river itself is even more beautiful
than the other tributaries of the Baram, lovely as all these are in
their upper reaches. This was not the first exploration of the Silat,
for the Resident had twice before journeyed up its lower reaches;
but on this occasion it was necessary to penetrate to its very head,
in order to reach the villages of the principal Madang chiefs, Saba
Irang and Tama Usun Tasi. So for five days the expedition toiled up
the Silat, and during these days Juman, Laki Lah, and most of the
Kayans turned back, their confidence being shaken by the unfamiliar
aspect of the country, by the neighbourhood of the hitherto hostile
Madangs, and by the bad dream of one of their chiefs and the illness
of another. On the fifth day the diminished fleet of boats entered the
Lata, a tributary coming down from the Mudong Alan and Saat mountains,
from the slopes of which the water runs also to the Rejang River and
the Batang Kayan. Here the boats were left behind and the expedition
went forward on foot, making but slow progress in the rocky river-bed.

Near the mouth of the Lata the expedition was met by a large party of
Kenyahs -- men, women, and children -- the whole population of a Kenyah
village of the Batang Kayan, Lepu Agas by name, who had just arrived
with the intention of making their home in that neighbourhood. These
people had been the greatest enemies of Tama Bulan, and the feud had
only been healed in the previous year.

A curious custom, which seems at the present time to be peculiar to the
Kenyahs and rapidly dying out among them, was observed by the Lepu Aga
people on this occasion. As the Resident's party approached the spot
where they awaited its arrival, they sent out three men to establish
the first contact. It was the function of these three men to make
sure of the friendly intentions of the approaching party (Pls. 201,
202). They wore large wooden masks elaborately carved, and bearing
great lateral projections like horns or antlers, in addition to full
war dress.[215] They advanced down a long pebblebank, keeping step and
making grotesque movements with heads and arms, which seemed to imply
a mixture of caution and curiosity. After dodging about for some time,
they came near and inquired: "Who are you? Whence do you come? What
is your business?" Having obtained satisfactory assurances, they
retreated, stepping backwards with the same grotesque gestures, and
returned to report the results of their investigations to their chief.

Before friendly intercourse between the parties could begin it was
still necessary, in view of the recent feud between them, that
they should engage in a sham fight (JAWA). When this boisterous
ceremony had been accomplished, the Resident presented to the Lepu
Agas a number of presents, calculated to whet their appetite for the
products of civilised industry to be found in the Baram bazaar. Very
soon all suspicion and reserve were overcome, and all the men of the
Resident's party turned to with hearty goodwill to help build a house
for their former enemies. So well did they work that between sunrise
and sunset a house of forty doors was hewn out of the forest, solidly
constructed, and roofed; so that when night fell the new-comers were
able to move in and to invite their helpers to a convivial meeting
in its long gallery. The Resident made a speech in native fashion,
saying that his party had ventured to build a rude hut in order
to provide a night's shelter for their new friends, and hoped that
they would find it sufficient for the moment. Tama Bulan also spoke,
saying how now the old troubles were over, never to come again. Aban
Jalong, the old chief of the Batang Kayan people, was so touched by
these unwonted demonstrations of goodwill, that he wept and could
with difficulty find words in which to express the gratitude of
himself and his people. Through these people messages of goodwill and
invitations to the proposed peace-making at Claudetown were sent to
their former neighbours in the Batang Kayan, and these in due time
bore good fruit. For in the course of the next few years several
communities followed the example of the Lepu Agas, and moved over from
the Batang Kayan to the Baram. It may be of interest to add that the
Lepu Agas still inhabit the house built under these extraordinary
circumstances. After some few more days of travelling up-river, we
were met by a party of Madangs who had been sent down to meet the
Resident; while awaiting his arrival they had hewed out a small boat,
and in this, which served almost as much the purposes of a sledge as
of a boat, they hauled him over rocks and rapids and still pools until,
having outpaced the rest of the party, they brought him, on the eighth
day from leaving the Silat, to their village at the foot of Mudong
Alan. It was a large village comprising nine long houses disposed in
a circle and containing probably not less than 2000 persons. Here he
was received on the bank of the stream by a large body of Madangs
headed by Tama Usun Tasi, who at once offered him the hospitality
of his roof. The incidents of the visit have been described by the
Resident, and passages from his account may here be transcribed: --

My Kenyah friends had not arrived yet, but I thought it best to go
with him (Tama Usun Tasi) at once; afterwards I congratulated myself
on my decision, when I found that, according to custom, Tama Bulan
and his followers (being unable to enter the house until all cases
of blood-money between his people and the Madangs had been settled)
were obliged to camp near the river for one night. The Madangs
assisted in making huts for my followers, gave them several pigs,
and sent down their women laden with baskets full of rice; so no
want of hospitality marred our reception. In the evening I took a
walk round the village, followed by a crowd of women and children,
who appeared greatly pleased to find that the white man was able to
converse with them in the Kenyah tongue. Then, as the crowd increased,
I sat down on a log and produced a few pounds of tobacco, and the
whole party was soon chatting and laughing as if they had known me
for years. I have often noticed that the women of the Kenyah tribe
in the interior are far more genial and less shy than those of other
communities, and I believe that the surest sign of the good faith of
natives such as these is that the women and children come out to greet
one unattended by the men. The sounds of our merriment soon attracted
the attention of the men, and as they strolled over and joined us in
gradually increasing numbers, the possibility of any disturbance taking
place between these people and mine quickly vanished from my mind.

On the following morning several parties of Madangs from other villages
came in, numbering in all about 600, and exchanged presents of weapons
with my people. It was necessary that the gods should be consulted as
to whether the meeting was really in the interests of peace or not. So
a pig was caught and tied by the legs, and when all the Madangs were
assembled in Tama Usun Tasi's house, the pig was brought in and placed
in front of the chiefs. Then one of the head men from a neighbouring
village took a lighted piece of wood and singed a few of the bristles
of the pig, giving it a poke with his hand at the same time, as if
to attract its attention, and calling in a loud voice to the supreme
being, "Bali Penyalong." Then, talking at a great rate and hardly
stopping for a moment to take breath, he asked that, if any one
had evil intentions, the truth might be revealed before the evilly
disposed one was allowed to enter the Madang houses, and that, if any
Madang, whether related to him or not, wished to disturb the peace
which was about to be made with the Baram people, his designs should
be revealed. The old man stood waving his hands as if to sweep within
the circle of his influence the whole of the assembled crowd, and then,
jumping into the air with great violence, brought both feet down on the
plank floor with a resounding thump; then, spinning round on one foot
with his arm extended, he quickly altered the tone of his voice to a
more gentle pitch, and, quivering with excitement, quietly sank down
into his place amid a dead silence. The speech was a stirring one,
and created an impression. Others spoke a few words to the pig, and
it was then taken to one side and stabbed in the throat with a spear,
after which the liver was taken out and examined. I should mention that
a pig intended to serve the same purpose was provided by the Madangs
for our people, who were still waiting to be invited to the house.

Having years before studied the beliefs of the natives with regard to
divination by pigs' livers, and knowing the great importance attached
to it, I was as anxious as any one to see the liver. I saw at a glance
that the omen was good, and seized the opportunity to make the most
of it. I quickly called the chiefs' attention to all the good points
before they had given their own opinion, and at once saw that their
interpretation was the same as my own, and that they were somewhat
surprised to find it so.

Thereupon two messengers were sent backwards and forwards to discuss
the number of people killed on either side from time to time,
and big gongs, shields, and weapons of all kinds changed hands
as blood-money. When all had been settled, notice was given to our
people that the Madangs were ready to receive them into their houses,
and the Baram people sent a message back that they were prepared to
accept the invitation. When Kayans and Kenyahs who have been at feud
desire to meet peaceably, it is necessary to go through a sort of
sham fight, called JAWA, so that both parties can, as it were, blow
off steam. As this ceremony is generally executed with much vigour by
fully armed parties, it often happens that some people are badly hurt;
and I was half afraid that such an accident might check the progress of
our negotiations. But the omens had been favourable, and the implicit
belief in such omens goes far to prevent bad feeling. About midday
Tama Bulan and his followers, in full war costume, announced their
intention of moving by bursting into the war-cry, a tremendous roar
which was immediately answered by the people in the houses. The noise
and excitement increased as the Baram people neared the house of Tama
Usun Tasi, and guns with blank charges were fired. On came the Baram
people, stamping, shouting, and waving their weapons in defiance, the
Madangs in the houses keeping up a continuous roar. When the Baram
people first attempted to enter the house, they were driven back,
and a tremendous clashing of shields and weapons took place; then the
Madangs retreated from the entrance in order to allow their visitors
to come in, stamping and making the most deafening noise. When the
Baram people had all entered, the Madangs once more rushed at them,
and for some two minutes a rough-and-tumble fight continued, in which
many hard blows were given. No one received a cut, however, except
one man who, running against a spear, was wounded in the thigh;
but the affair was quickly settled by the payment of a pig and a
small spear to the wounded person; so the ceremony may be said to
have ended without a mishap. When quiet had been restored, we all sat
down and rice-spirit was produced, healths drunk, and speeches made;
food was brought out and given to the visitors in the long verandah,
as, on first being received, visitors are not allowed to enter the
rooms; and the convivialities were prolonged far into the night.

In the evening of the following day the Madangs prepared a feast for
all present, and afterwards a great deal of rice-spirit was drunk
and some very good speeches made, former troubles and difficulties
being explained and discussed in the most open manner. Each chief
spoke in turn, and concluded his speech by offering drink to another
and singing a few phrases in his praise, the whole assembly joining
in a very impressive chorus after each phrase and ending up with a
tremendous roar as the bamboo cup was emptied.

The following day the Madangs collected a quantity of rubber for their
first payment of tribute to the government, namely, $2.00 per family,
and as we had no means of weighing it except by guesswork, it was
decided that Tama Bulan and two Madang headmen should act as assessors,
and decide whether the piece of rubber brought by each person was
sufficiently large to produce $2.00. It took these men the whole day
to receive it all, and much counting was done on the fingers and toes.

On taking our departure from the Madang country, most of the women
presented us with a small quantity of rice for food on our homeward
journey, but as each little lot was emptied into a large basket, the
giver took back a few grains so as not to offend the omen-birds, who
had bestowed on them a bounteous harvest, by giving the whole away to
strangers. Presents of considerable value were given on both sides,
and all parted the best of friends. The two principal Madang chiefs
accompanied us for a day's journey, their followers carrying the whole
of our baggage. On parting I promised to arrange a similar peace-making
at Claudetown, at which most of the Baram chiefs would be present.

We add an account of the peace-making previously published by one
of us.[216]

The peace-making that I am going to describe was organised in order to
bring together on neutral ground, and in presence of an overwhelming
force of the tribes loyal to the government, all those tribes whose
allegiance was still doubtful, and all those that were still actively
hostile to one another, and to induce them to swear to support the
government in keeping the peace, and to go through the formalities
necessary to put an end to old blood-feuds. At the same time the
Resident had suggested to the tribes that they should all compete
in a grand race of war canoes, as well as in other races on land
and water. For he wisely held that in order to suppress fighting
and head-hunting, hitherto the natural avenues to fame for restless
tribes and ambitious young men, it is necessary to replace them by
some other form of violent competition that may in some degree serve
as a vent for high spirits and superfluous energy; and he hoped
to establish an annual gathering for boat racing and other sports,
in which all the tribes should take part, a gathering on the lines
of the Olympic games in fact. The idea Was taken up eagerly by the
people, and months before the appointed day they were felling the
giants of the forest and carving out from them the great war canoes
that were to be put to this novel use, and reports were passing from
village to village of the many fathoms length of this or that canoe,
and the fineness of the timber and workmanship of another.

In order to make clear the course of events, I must explain that
two large rivers, the Baram and the Tinjar, meet about one hundred
miles from the sea to form the main Baram river. Between the peoples
living on the banks of these two rivers and their tributaries there
is a traditional hostility which just at this time had been raised to
a high pitch by the occurrence of a blood-feud between the Kenyahs,
a leading tribe of the Baram, and the Lirongs, an equally powerful
tribe of the Tinjar. In addition to these two groups we expected a
large party of Madangs, a famous tribe of fighting men of the central
highlands whose hand had hitherto been against every other tribe,
and a large number of Sea Dayaks, who, more than all the rest, are
always spoiling for a fight, and who are so passionately devoted
to head-hunting that often they do not scruple to pursue it in an
unsportsmanlike fashion. So it will be understood that the bringing
together in one place of large parties of fully armed warriors of all
these different groups was a distinctly interesting and speculative
experiment in peace-making.

The place of meeting was Marudi (Claudetown), the headquarters of the
government of the district. There the river, still nearly a hundred
miles from the sea, winds round the foot of a low flat-topped hill, on
which stand the small wooden fort and court-house and the Resident's
bungalow. Some days before that fixed for the great meeting by the
tokens we had sent out, parties of men began to arrive, floating down
in the long war canoes roofed with palm leaves for the journey. On the
appointed day some five thousand of the Baram people and the Madangs
were encamped very comfortably in leaf and mat shelters on the open
ground between our bungalow and the fort, while the Sea Dayaks had
taken up their quarters in the long row of Chinamen's shops that form
the Marudi bazaar, the commercial centre of the district. But as yet no
Tinjar folk had put in an appearance, and men began to wonder what had
kept them -- Were the tokens sent them at fault? Or had they received
friendly warnings of danger from some of the many sacred birds, without
whose favourable omens no journey can be undertaken? Or had they,
perhaps, taken the opportunity to ascend the Baram and sack and burn
the Kenyah houses now well nigh empty of defenders? We spent the time
in foot-racing, preliminary boat-racing, and in seeing the wonders
of the white man. For many of these people had not travelled so far
downriver before, and their delight in the piano was only equalled by
their admiration for that most wonderful of all things, the big boat
that goes up stream without paddles, the Resident's fast steam-launch.

At last one evening, while we were all looking on at a most exciting
practice-race between three of the canoes, the Lirongs, with the main
mass of the Tinjar people, came down the broad straight reach. It
was that most beautiful half-hour of the tropical day, between the
setting of the sun and the fall of darkness -- the great forest stood
black and formless, while the sky and the smooth river were luminous
with delicate green and golden light. The Lirongs were in full war
dress, with feathered coats of leopard skin and plumed caps plaited
of tough rattan, and very effective they were as they came swiftly
on over the shining water, sixty to seventy warriors in each canoe
raising their tremendous battle-cry, a deep-chested chorus of rising
and falling cadences. The mass of men on the bank and on the hill
took up the cry, answering shout for shout; and the forest across
the river echoed it, until the whole place was filled with a hoarse
roar. The Kenyahs ran hastily to their huts for their weapons, and by
the time they had grouped themselves on the crest of the hill, armed
with sword and shield and spear and deadly blowpipe, the Lirongs had
landed on the bank below and were rushing up the hill to the attack. A
few seconds more and they met with clash of sword and shield and a
great shouting, and in the semi-darkness a noisy battle raged. After
some minutes the Lirongs drew off and rushed back to their boats as
wildly as they had come; and, strange to say, no blood was flowing,
no heads were rolling on the ground, no ghastly wounds were gaping,
in fact no one seemed any the worse. For it seems that this attack
was merely a well understood formality, a put-up job, so to say. When
two tribes, between whom there is a blood-feud not formally settled,
meet together to make peace, it is the custom for the injured party,
that is the tribe which has last suffered a loss of heads, to make an
attack on the other party but using only the butt ends of their spears
and the blunt edges of their swords. This achieves two useful ends-it
lets off superabundant high spirits, which, if too much bottled up,
would be dangerous; and it "saves the face" of the injured party by
showing how properly wrathful and bellicose its feelings are. So when
this formality had been duly observed everybody seemed to feel that
matters were going on well; they all settled down quietly enough for
the night, the Resident taking the precaution to send the Lirongs to
camp below the fort; and the great peace-conference was announced to
be held the following morning.

Soon after daybreak the people began to assemble beneath the great
roof of palm-leaf mats that we had built for a conference hall. The
Baram chiefs sat on a low platform along one side of the hall, and
in their midst was Tama Bulan, the most famous of them all, a really
great man who has made his name and influence felt throughout a very
large part of Borneo. When all except the Tinjar men were assembled,
of course without arms, the latter, also unarmed, came up the hill
in a compact mass, to take their places in the hall. As they entered,
the sight of their old enemies, the chiefs of the Baram, all sitting
quietly together, was too much for their self-control; with one
accord they made a mad rush at them and attempted to drag them from
the platform. Fortunately we white men had placed ourselves with a
few of the more reliable Dayak fortmen between the two parties, and
partly by force and partly by eloquence we succeeded in beating off
the attack, which seemed to be made in the spirit of a school "rag"
rather than with bloody intent. But just as peace seemed restored,
a great shout went up from the Baram men, "Tama Bulan is wounded";
and sure enough there he stood with blood flowing freely over his
face. The sight of blood seemed to send them all mad together; the
Tinjar people turned as one man and tore furiously down the hill to
seize their weapons, while the Baram men ran to their huts and in a
few seconds were prancing madly to and fro on the crest of the hill,
thirsting for the onset of the bloody battle that now seemed a matter
of a few seconds only. At the same time the Dayaks were swarming out
of the bazaar seeking something to kill, like the typical Englishman,
though not knowing which side to take. The Resident hastened after
the Tinjars, threw himself before them, and appealed and threatened,
pointing to the two guns at the fort now trained upon them; and Tama
Bulan showed his true greatness by haranguing his people, saying his
wound was purely accidental and unintended, that it was a mere scratch,
and commanding them to stand their ground. Several of the older and
steadier chiefs followed his example and ran to and fro holding back
their men, exhorting them to be quiet.

The crisis passed, the sudden gust of passion slowly died away,
and peace was patched up with interchange of messages and presents
between the two camps. The great boat race was announced to take
place on the morrow, and the rest of the day was spent in making
ready the war canoes, stripping them of their leaf roofs and all
other superfluous gear.

At daybreak the racing-boats set off for the startingpost four miles
up river. The Resident had given strict orders that no spears or other
weapons were to be carried in the racing-boats, and as they started
up river we inspected the boats in turn, and in one or two cases
relieved them of a full complement of spears; and then we followed
them to the post in the steam-launch. There was a score of entries,
and since each boat carried from sixty to seventy men sitting two
abreast, more than a thousand men were taking part in the race. The
getting the boats into line across the broad river was a noisy and
exciting piece of work. We carried on the launch a large party of
elderly chiefs, most. of whom were obviously suffering from "the
needle," and during the working of the boats into line they hurled
commands at them in language that was terrific in both quality and
volume. At last something like a line was assumed, and on the sound
of the gun the twenty boats leaped through the water, almost lost
to sight in a cloud of spray as every one of those twelve hundred
men struck the water for all he was worth. There was no saving of
themselves; the rate of striking was about ninety to the minute, and
tended constantly to increase. Very soon two boats drew out in front,
and the rest of them, drawing together as they neared the first bend,
followed hotly after like a pack of hounds. This order was kept all
over the course. During the first burst our fast launch could not keep
up with the boats, but we drew up in time to see the finish. It was
a grand neck-and-neck race all through between the two leading boats,
and all of them rowed it out to the end. The winners were a crew of the
peaceful down-river folk, who have learnt the art of boat-making from
the Malays of the coast; and they owed their victory to their superior
skill in fashioning their boat, rather than to superior strength. When
they passed the post we had an anxious moment -- How would the losers
take their beating? Would the winners play the fool, openly exulting
and swaggering? If so, they would probably get their heads broken,
or perhaps lose them. But they behaved with modesty and discretion,
and we diverted attention from them by swinging the steamer round and
driving her through the main mass of the boats. Allowing as accurately
as possible for the rate of the current as compared with the rate of
the tide at Putney, we reckoned the pace of the winning boat to be
a little better than that of the 'Varsity eights in racing over the
full course.

The excitement of the crowds on the bank was great, but it was entirely
good-humoured -- they seemed to have forgotten their feuds in the
interest of the racing. So the Resident seized the opportunity to
summon every one to the conference hall once more. This time we settled
down comfortably enough and with great decorum, the chiefs all in one
group at one side of a central space, and the common people in serried
ranks all round about it. In the centre was a huge, gaily painted
effigy of a hornbill, one of the birds sacred to all the tribes,
and on it were hung thousands of cigarettes of home-grown tobacco
wrapped in dried banana leaf. Three enormous pigs were now brought
in and laid, bound as to their feet, before the chiefs, one for each
of the main divisions of the people, the Barams, the Tinjars, and
the hill-country folk. The greatest chiefs of each of these parties
then approached the pigs, and each in turn, standing beside the pig
assigned to his party, addressed the attentive multitude with great
flow of words and much violent and expressive action; for many of
these people are great orators. The purport of their speeches was
their desire for peace, their devotion to the Resident ("If harm come
to him, then may I fall too," said Tama Bulan), and their appreciation
of the trade and general intercourse and safety of life and property
brought them by the Rajah's government; and they hurled threats and
exhortations against unlicensed warfare and bloodshed.

As each chief ended his speech to the people he turned to the pig
at his feet, and, stooping over it, kept gently prodding it with
a smouldering fire-brand, while he addressed to it a prayer for
protection and guidance -- a prayer that the spirit of the pig,
soon to be set free by a skilful thrust of a spear into the beast's
heart, should carry up to the Supreme Being. The answer to these
prayers might then be read in the form and markings of the underside
of the livers. So the pigs were despatched, and their livers hastily
dragged forth and placed on platters before the group of chiefs. Then
was there much anxious peering over shoulders, and much shaking of
wise old heads, as the learned elders discussed the omens; until at
last the Resident was called upon to give his opinion, for he is an
acknowledged expert in augury. He was soon able to show that the only
true and rational reading of the livers was a guarantee of peace and
prosperity to all the tribes of the district; and the people, accepting
his learned interpretation, rejoiced with one accord. Then the Resident
made a telling speech, in which he dwelt upon the advantages of peace
and trade, and how it is good that a man should sleep without fear
that his house be burnt or his people slain; and he ended by seizing
the nearest chief by the hair of his head, as is their own fashion,
to show how, if a man break the peace, he shall lose his head.

This concluded the serious part of the conference, and it only
remained to smoke the cigarettes of good fellowship, taken from
the hornbill-effigy, and to drink long life and happiness to one
another. So great jars of "arack" were brought in and drinking
vessels, and each chief in turn, standing before some whilom enemy,
sang his praises in musical recitative before giving him the cup;
and after each phrase of the song the multitude joined in with a
long-drawn sonorous shout, which, while the drink flowed down, rose
to a mighty roar. This is a most effective way of drinking a man's
health, and combines the advantages of making a speech over him and
singing "For he's a jolly good fellow"; moreover, the drink goes to
the right party, as it does not with us. It should be adopted in this
country, I think. By many repetitions of this process we were soon
reduced to a state of boisterous conviviality; and many a hard-faced
old warrior, who but the day before had drawn his weapons against
his enemy, now sat with his arms lovingly thrown about that same
enemy. When this state of affairs was reached, our work seemed to be
accomplished, and we white men retired to lunch, leaving one chief in
the midst of a long-winded speech. As soon as the restraint of the
Resident's presence was removed, the orator began to utter remarks
of a nature to stir up the dying embers of resentment; at least so
it seemed to one wily old chief, a firm supporter of the government,
who bethought him to send one of his men to pull away the palm-leaf
mats from above the indiscreet orator, and so leave his verbosity
exposed to the rays of the mid-day sun. No sooner said than done,
and this was the beginning of the end; for others following suit made
a rush for the mats that would be so useful in making their camps
and boats more rain-proof. There was a mighty uproar that brought
us headlong to the scene, only to see the big hall melt away like
a snowflake as hundreds of hands seized upon the mats and bore them
away in triumph. So the great peace conference was brought to an end
amid much laughter and fun.

It only remained for the chiefs to pay in the taxes for the year --
the two dollars per family which it is their business to collect from
their people, and which is the only tax or tribute claimed by the
Rajah. This business was got through on the following morning; and
then we said many kind farewells, as the various parties set out one
after another in the great war canoes on their long up-stream journey;
some of them to battle for many days against the swiftly flowing river,
and after that again for many days to pole their boats through the
flashing rapids and over the lovely quiet reaches, where the rare
gleams of sunlight break through the overarching forest; until,
coming to their own upland country, where anxious wives and children
are waiting, they will spread even in the remotest highlands the news
of the white man's big boat that goes of itself against the stream,
of the great boat-race, and of how they came wellnigh to a fearful
slaughtering, and how they swore peace and goodwill to all men, and
how there should be now peace and prosperity through all the land,
for the great white man who had come to rule them had said it should
be so, and the gods had approved his words.

The foregoing account of the journey to the Madang country and
of the subsequent events would constitute the last chapter of any
history of the pacification of the Baram. Since the time of those
incidents, there has been no serious disturbance of the peace; and
there seems to be good reason to hope that, so long as the Rajah's
government continues to be conducted along the same lines, there
will be no recrudescence of savagery. The last case of fighting on
any considerable scale occurred in 1894, when Tama Bulan's people,
resenting the offensive conduct of bands of Sea Dayaks who had
penetrated to their neighbourhood in search of jungle-products,
turned out and took the heads of thirteen of the Dayaks. It was only
after prolonged negotiation that the Dayaks were persuaded to resign
their hopes of a bloody revenge and to accept a compensation of 3000
dollars, which was paid by the Kenyahs at the Rajah's order.

It has not always been possible to make peace prevail by wholly
peaceable procedures. The Baram was fortunate in that the Sea Dayaks
had not established themselves anywhere within its borders. In the
Rejang, on the other hand, large numbers of them were allowed to
settle, coming in from the Saribas and the Batang Lupar in the early
days of the Rajah's government. And since the Kayans and Kenyahs were
already in possession of the upper river and considered themselves
the dominant tribes and lords of the land, it was inevitable that
there should grow up a keen rivalry which could hardly fail to
lead occasionally to armed conflict. For the Sea Dayaks had been
accustomed to adopt a somewhat swaggering and domineering attitude
towards the Klemantan tribes, and could not easily learn to modify
it when they came in contact with the prouder and less submissive
Kayans and Kenyahs. This rivalry has been the source of most of the
troubles of the Rejang, where, since the big expedition of 1863, the
Rajah and his officers have on several occasions found it necessary
to subdue recalcitrant tribes or communities by leading armed forces
against them.

As an illustration of these sterner methods we add a brief account
of one such expedition led by one of us (C. H.) in the year 1904, in
his capacity of Divisional Resident of the several Rejang districts;
an expedition which, there is reason to hope, may prove to be the
last of the series. The purpose of this expedition was to reduce
to order a small community of Sea Dayaks that was established upon
Bukit Batu, an almost impregnable mountain which rises up almost
perpendicularly on all sides at the head of the Bali, one of the
eastern tributaries of the Rejang. This community had been formed in
the manner to which legend assigns the foundation of ancient Rome,
namely, by the gathering together in this strong place of various
outlaws and violent characters who for one reason or another had
quarrelled with and defied the government. The same spot had been
similarly occupied many years before; and though it had been forcibly
cleared of its defenders, its natural advantages had, in the course
of years, led to the growth of a new community of the same kind.

This band had raided the surrounding country, slaying and robbing
people of several tribes, and generally had been having a "gorgeous
time." They had repeatedly refused to yield even when threatened by
armed force. And when the Resident sent them a peremptory message,
commanding them to appear to surrender themselves at the nearest
government station within one month, they returned an impudent
answer, saying that they had so far accepted orders from no one,
and asking -- Who was he that they should obey him? Steps were at
once taken to enforce obedience. Since to storm the hill might well
cost many lives, it seemed preferable to try to lure its defenders
from their stronghold. The Resident, without giving the brigands
further warning, went up the Rejang with a single boat's crew to a
point about 150 miles above the mouth of the Bali, the tributary
that flows past Bukit Batu. At this point another tributary, the
Bukau, coming from near the opposite side of Bukit Batu, joins the
Rejang. Here he collected a force of some 200 Kayans and Klemantans,
and led them up to the head of the Bukau and then on foot through
the jungle to the neighbourhood of Bukit Batu. The route by which
the brigands usually passed to and from their fastness was at a spot
near the river, where rude ladders of wood and rattan had been fixed
to facilitate the ascent and descent of the precipitous foot of the
hill. Near this spot the force was divided into two parties, which
were stationed in the jungle at some little distance from the ladders,
right and left of the path to the river; and a party of ten active men
was detached, with instructions to hang about the foot of the ladders
and to retreat along the path to the river if they were attacked. On
the second day the Ibans on the mountain snapped at the bait. About
forty of them descended stealthily and then rushed upon the small
party, hoping to hunt down in the jungle all whom they could not
strike down on the spot, and thus to secure ten heads and enjoy the
frenzy of slaughter. The ten decoys fled swiftly down the path, and
the supporting parties, guided by the yells of the Ibans, closed in
from both sides and fell upon them. A few of the rebels were killed,
without any fatal casualties to the Resident's party. The rest fled
through the jungle and many of them were afterwards arrested. Those
who remained on the hill promptly drew up the ladders and hurled down
rocks. To have carried the hill by storm would still have been most
difficult and costly, and, as it proved, a needless feat. The Resident
therefore contented himself with destroying all the property of the
brigands that was within reach, including a number of valuable jars
and gongs which they had secreted in a cave at the foot of the hill,
and the fields of young PADI on which they were largely dependent
for their food-supply. For he well knew that this procedure would
render the spot hateful to the Ibans; for the scene of a disaster,
especially one where they have been worsted in fight, becomes an
object of superstitious dread. The Resident therefore led back
his party by the way they had come, dismissed them to their homes,
and returned down river to Sibu, after sending a command to those
remaining on the hill that they should present themselves forthwith
at Kapit. The order was obeyed; fines, pledges, and compensations to
relatives of their victims were paid in; and the principal men were
ordered to reside for a year in the neighbourhood of Sibu Fort and
afterwards to return to their native districts.

It should be added that these Ibans frankly acknowledged that the
Resident had been too clever for them, and that they bore him no
ill-will; and that some of them, accompanying him on later excursions,
proved themselves willing helpers and agreeable companions.

Other and larger expeditions of armed forces have in the past been
led against tribes or villages, generally on account of their having
refused to surrender to the government members guilty of taking heads
or of attacking other villages wantonly and without permission. In
all cases the government officers have relied almost exclusively
upon the services of bodies of natives under the immediate charge of
their own chiefs and armed only with their native weapons. In some
cases the offending parties have fled from their villages without
offering active resistance; and in these cases the government force
has usually been content to inflict punishment by burning down their
houses and taking what property was left in them.

It is perhaps too much to hope that no cases of taking heads or of
wanton attack on jungle parties or on weak villages will ever again
occur. But such incidents have become very infrequent and the offenders
have seldom escaped punishment; for, unlike our own population, many
thousands of whom live detached from all local bonds as isolated
floating units unknown to the government and to those among whom
they dwell, every man in Sarawak, with the partial exception of the
nomad jungle-dwellers, is a member of some local group which is held
responsible by the government for his good behaviour; thus in every
district every man is known, if not as an individual, at least as a
member of some community; and every stranger (or party of strangers)
is expected to be able to give a satisfying account of himself; and
any who wish to work in the jungle of any district other than their
own are required to have government permission. It is thus impossible
for any criminal to conceal himself for any length of time from the
government; and so sure is it of effecting arrest, when necessary,
that accused persons are frequently allowed to attend to their farms
and follow their ordinary occupations pending the time of their
trial. Even when a man accused of a serious offence flees across the
border to Dutch territory, he is generally apprehended by the Dutch
officers sooner or later and sent round to Kuching by sea.

The raising of the taxes from the people to defray the expenses of
government has raised no difficulties. The door-tax of two dollars[217]
per door (I.E. per family or household) is the only direct tax laid
on the tribes. When once the initial reluctance has been overcome,
this has been collected and regularly paid in by chiefs and PENGHULUS,
including the headmen of the nomad groups. In times of misfortune,
whether individual or collective, such as the loss of crops or of a
house by fire, the tax is remitted; and no tax is expected from men
over sixty years of age, from cripples or invalids, or from widows.

The Sea Dayaks alone pay a door-tax of one dollar only, it having been
understood from the early days, when they were the only fighting tribe
with which the Rajah was intimately acquainted, that they are liable
at any time to be called upon by the government to render assistance
in punitive expeditions or in other public works, such as procuring
timber for government buildings. But this holds good only for those
who remain in the districts in which they have long been settled.

The sum raised by direct taxation forms now but a small part of the
total revenue of the State of Sarawak; for the development of trade
and agriculture, especially the cultivation of pepper and sago and
rubber, and the growing capacity and facilities for the purchase of
imported goods by the people even of the remotest parts, enable the
government to raise a considerable revenue by indirect taxation in
the form of customs duties.

The minerals, worked in the main by the Borneo Company,[218]
principally gold, antimony, and mercury, have also been an important
source of revenue. The recent discovery of supplies of petroleum
promises to result in an important addition to the wealth of the
country.[219] But these various commercial and industrial developments
affect hardly at all the lives of the pagan tribes, So far as they
are concerned, the work of the government may be summed up by saying
that it has suppressed the chronic warfare which kept them all in a
state of armed hostility and uneasy distrust of one another; that it
has suppressed head-hunting and crimes of violence, has rendered life
and property secure, and has administered justice with a firm hand
and a strict regard to the customs and traditional sentiments of the
people; that it has wellnigh extinguished slavery; that it has opened
the whole country to trade, and, by thus improving the facilities for
sale of the jungle produce, has increased the purchasing power of the
people, while bringing within the reach of all of them the products of
civilised industry that they most value; and that while it has strictly
regulated the sale of those products, such as fire-arms and strong
liquor, which have proved detrimental to so many other peoples of the
lower culture, it has encouraged the people to cultivate a greater
variety of vegetable products, especially sago, coconuts, pepper, and
rubber, and to improve the methods of cultivation of PADI. Lastly,
the government has rendered possible the establishment of a number
of excellent mission schools in older stations, where considerable
numbers of children of the pagan tribes have been made Christians and
trained to fill subordinate posts in the administrative service, or
to return to leaven the native villages with a wider knowledge and a
better understanding of the principles which underlie the white man's
conduct and culture. The missionaries have exerted also among the Sea
Dayaks a strong influence making for peace and order; but they have
hardly yet come into contact with Kayans or Kenyahs. Mention must also
be made of the Malay schools which the government has instituted and
supported in the principal stations, and in which many young Malays
receive the elements of a useful education.

In all its undertakings the success of the government has only been
rendered possible by the high prestige that the white man everywhere
enjoys; and this in turn has been acquired and maintained, not so much
by his command of the mechanical resources of western civilisation,
as by the fact that, with very few exceptions, the white men with
whom the natives have had intercourse have been English gentlemen,
animated by the spirit and example of the two white Rajahs, and
keenly conscious of their individual and collective responsibility
as representatives of their race and country in a foreign land.[220]

We have dwelt at some length on the government of the Rajah of Sarawak
in its relation with the pagan tribes, and, if we dismiss in a few
words the administrative labours of the Dutch and of the British North
Borneo Company in their respective territories, it is not because we
regard those labours as of less interest and importance or as less
successful, but because in the main they have run on similar lines and
have achieved similar results to those of the government of Sarawak, of
which alone we have intimate knowledge. Dutch Borneo comprises roughly
two-thirds of the whole island, a very large territory which comprises
the basins of the largest rivers and hence, the rivers being the only
highways, the most inaccessible parts of the island. The Kapuas River,
for example, is estimated to be nearly 700 miles in length; and the
necessity of ascending these hundreds of miles of river-way, much of
it difficult and dangerous, has rendered the process of establishing
control over the tribes of the interior slow and laborious. For this
reason the process is not yet completed; although the Dutch have had
stations in Borneo since the early years of the seventeenth century,
when they expelled the Portuguese from Bruni and Sambas. But it was
not until 1785 that they came into possession of any considerable
territory, namely, the Sultanate of Banjermasin, and not till after the
return to them of their East Indian rights in 1816 that they extended
their territorial possessions to their present large proportions.

The Dutch settlement and possessions in Borneo were for many years
administered by traders and a trading company whose prime object was,
of course, profitable trade. The problems of native administration no
doubt seemed to them at first of minor importance and interest, and
they made many mistakes.[221] But, as with our own great company in
India, it became increasingly necessary, if only for the sake of trade,
to study the art and policy of administering the affairs of the native
population. This has now been done to good effect, and, stimulated
possibly by the example of wise paternal government afforded by the
Rajahs of Sarawak, the Dutch have established a system of Residents or
district officers who have successfully invoked the co-operation of
the native chiefs in a manner very similar to that practised in the
neighbouring state. And the Dutch officers have of late years shown
themselves willing and able effectively to co-operate with those of
Sarawak in all matters of common interest, especially in the settlement
of troubles on the boundary between their territories. The enlightened
interest of the Dutch Government in the welfare of the tribes of the
far interior and in the promotion of ethnographical knowledge has
been strikingly manifested in the opening years of this century by
the despatch of two successive expeditions, under the leadership of
Dr. Nieuwenhuis, to study the people, their customs and conditions,
and by its generous expenditure upon the publication of the handsome
volumes in which he has embodied his valuable reports.[222] On the
second journey this intrepid traveller penetrated to the head of the
Batang Kayan, and there made the acquaintance of the same Kenyahs
who had recently visited the Resident of the Baram. In this way the
spheres of Dutch and of British influence have been made to overlap
in these central highlands.

The Physical Characters of the Races and Peoples of Borneo

A. C. Haddon


The following sketch of the races and peoples of Borneo is based
upon the observations of the Cambridge Expedition to Sarawak in 1899
and those of Dr. A. W. Nieuwenhuis in his expeditions to Netherlands
Borneo in 1894, 1896 -- 1897, and 1898 -- 1900 (QUER DURCH BORNEO,
Leiden, vol. i., 1904, vol. ii., 1907).

It is generally acknowledged that in Borneo, as in other islands of
the East Indian Archipelago, the Malays inhabit the coasts and the
aborigines the interior, though in some these reach the coast while
Malayised tribes have pushed inland up the rivers, a sharp distinction
between the two being frequently obliterated where they overlap. The
condition, however, is much more complicated as we can now distinguish
at least two main races among the aborigines.

We have no evidence as to who were the primitive inhabitants of
Borneo. One would expect to find Negritos in the interior, as these
black, woolly-haired pygmies inhabit the Andamans, parts of the
Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, the Philippines, New Guinea, and possibly
Melanesia. No authoritative evidence of their occurrence in Borneo
is forthcoming, and one can confidently assert that there are no
Negritos in Sarawak. Nor are there any traces of Melanesians. It is
generally admitted that, assuming the Australians to be mainly of
that race, a Pre-Dravidian element should occur in the Archipelago,
and the cousins Sarasin have noted this strain among the Toalas of
Celebes and Moszkowski among the Batins of Sumatra; in this connection
it is of interest that Nieuwenhuis discovered ten Ulu Ayars and two
Punans with straight hair and a "black or blue-black" skin colour;
Kohlbrugge,[223] who records this observation, offers no explanation.

Dr. E. T. Hamy in 1877 recognised a primitive element in the Malay
Archipelago, for which he adopted the term Indonesian, a name
previously invented by Logan for the non-Malay population of the
East Indian Archipelago. De Quatrefages and Hamy further established
this stock in their CRANIA ETHNICA (1882), and de Quatrefages in
his HISTOIRE GENERALE DES RACES HUMAINES (1889) boldly states that
these high- and narrow-headed peoples are "un des rameaux de la
branche blanche allophyle" (L.C. pp. 515, 521). Keane terms the
Indonesians "the pre-Malay Caucasic element in Oceania" (MAN PAST
AND PRESENT, 1899, p. 231). Various investigators[224] have studied
skulls obtained from this region which prove the wide extension of
dolichocephaly. Kohlbrugge (1898), who investigated the Teriggerese,
Indonesian mountaineers of Java, says: "Les Indonesiens sont
dolichocephales, les Malais brachycephales ou hyperbrachycephales. Le
sang indonesien se decele donc par la longueur de la tete: plus
celle-ci se rapproche du type dolichocephale, plus pur est le sang
indonesien." Volz confirms Hagen's observations of the existence
among the Battak of North Sumatra of two types, a dolichocephalic
Indonesian and a brachycephalic type.

The term Indonesian may now be regarded as definitely restricted to
a dolichocephalic, and the term Proto-Malay to a brachycephalic race,
of which the true Malays (Orang Malayu) are a specialised branch.

The next point to discuss is the presence of these two races in
Borneo. The Dutch Expedition found three distinct types in the interior
of Netherlands Borneo, the Ulu Ayars (Ulu Ajar)[225] or Ot Danum of the
upper Kapuas, the Bahau-Kenyahs (Bahau-Kenja) of the middle or upper
Mahakam (or Kotei) and the upper waters of the rivers to the north,
and the Punans, nomadic hunters living in the highlands about the
head-waters of the great rivers. The first of these may be classed
as predominantly Indonesian and the others as mainly Proto-Malay in
origin. According to Nieuwenhuis the Bahaus and Kenyahs both remember
that they came from Apo Kayan at the headwaters of the Kayan river;
they were formerly known as the Pari tribes. In all the tribes of this
group the social organisation is in the main similar, and this affinity
is borne out by their material culture, thus they may be regarded as
originally one people. Tribes calling themselves Bahau now live along
the Mahakam above Mujub and include one Kayan group; on the upper
Rejang are Bahau tribes under the name of Kayan, and a small section
has advanced into the Kapuas area and settled on the Mendalam which
again includes Kayans and kindred tribes. All the tribes still in Apo
Kayan call themselves Kenyah, as also those of the eastward flowing
Tawang, Berau and Kayan (or Bulungan) rivers and those of the upper
Limbang and Baram flowing northwards. The Kenyahs of Apo Kayan live
along the Iwan, a tributary of the Kayan river (or Bulungan); to the
north-east is another tributary called the Bahau which seems to have
been the original home of the Bahau people since the tribes of Borneo
habitually take their names from the rivers along which they live.[226]

Nieuwenhuis came to the conclusion that the three chief tribes
measured by him represented three main groups of the population of
Central Borneo, physically and culturally. Mr. E. B. Haddon drew
attention (MAN, 1905 No. 13, p. 22) to the close similarity of the
results published by Kohlbrugge (1903) with those published by me
(1901). I recognised five main groups of peoples in Sarawak: Punan,
Klemantan (or, as Dr. Hose and I then spelled it, Kalamantan),
Kenyah-Kayan, Iban or Sea Dayak, and Malay. The Ibans are not
referred to by either of the Dutch ethnologists, who, like myself,
merely alluded to the Malay element. Kohlbrugge and I included the
Bakatan or Beketan and the Ukit or Bukat in the Punan group, and
also bracketed together the Kayans and Kenyahs. In Sarawak there
are numerous and often small tribes which it is frequently very
difficult or quite impossible to differentiate from one another,
although the extremes of the series can be distinguished; we therefore
decided to comprehend them under the non-committal term of Klemantan
(p. 42). I showed that they were of mixed origin, and stated that,
"It is possible that the Kalamantans were originally a dolichocephalic
people who mixed first with the indigenous brachycephals (Punan group)
and later with the immigrant brachycephals (Kenyah-Kayan group)
or the Kalamantans may have been a mixed people when they first
arrived in Borneo and subsequently increased their complexity by
mixing with these two groups" (L.C. p. 352). I also made it clear
that I regarded the dolichocephalic element as of Indonesian stock
and the brachycephalic of Proto-Malayan origin. It was with great
satisfaction that I found Kohlbrugge had come to similar conclusions
and that the Ulu Ayars exhibit such strong traces of an Indonesian
origin, stronger perhaps than those of any tribe in Sarawak, with the
possible exception of the scarcely studied Muruts and allied tribes.

Kohlbrugge states (1903, p. 2) that he has shown for the interior
of Sumatra, Java, and Celebes that there are mesaticephalic
peoples distinct in other respects from the coast peoples, but not
dolichocephalic. He concludes that the (Ulu Ayar) Dayaks, being the
only dolichocephals, are the only pure Indonesians, and the rest
(Kayans and Punans) are more or less mixed with Malays. The mean
cephalic index of 130 Tenggerese of the interior of Java is 79.7,
but the Ulu Ayars constitute a uniform group which ranges from 7 1
to 81.4, of which 9 are 74 or under and 9 are between 74.1 and 76
inclusive, the median of 26 adult males being 74.7.[227] [Although
the median Kalabit index in the living subject is somewhat higher,
that of the skulls, as well as the cranial index of Muruts and Trings
(Table C), is very similar in this respect to that of the Ulu Ayars.]

According to Nieuwenhuis' statistics, as given by Kohlbrugge, there is
in the brachycephalic group (Kayans and Punans) a greater range (75 to
93.3, and 1 Kayan woman reaches 97) than in the Ulu Ayars; most fall
between 78 and 85, the medians of both being just over 81. There are 8
dolichocephals[228] out of his 43 Kayan men and 4 out of his 25 women,
but only I Punan out of 14. In his curve of the Kayan indices there is
a drop at 82 [a curve of my data shows a similar drop]. "I leave it an
open question," he says (p. 13), "whether this break indicates mixture
of a dolichocephalic and brachycephalic group; this can only be decided
by the study of more abundant material, and requires confirmation from
the geographical and ethnographical standpoint. At all events it may
be assumed A priori that if long-headed and broadheaded peoples occur
in the interior of Borneo, then mixed peoples will also be met with,
and the Kayans might be such." [An examination of my data will show
that there is practically no difference between the Kayans and Kenyahs
in this respect.]

A comparison is also possible between the bi-zygomatic breadths made
by Nieuwenhuis and ourselves. The figures are those of the minimum,
median, and maximum. KAYANS (43 [male], N) 126,
139, 153 ; (25 [female], N) 125, 132, 141; (21
[male], H) 132, 141, 150. PUNANS (14 [ERROR:
unhandled ♂], N) 132, 138, 145; (19 [male],
H) 130, 142, 154. ULU AYARS (26 [male], N) 12 5,
136, 145. LAND DAYAKS (42 [male], S) 122, 136, 145.

Kohlbrugge points out that there seems to be no ground for dividing the
"Indonesians" into a taller and shorter group since the differences
are slight. If this distinction were drawn, the Ulu Ayars (av. 1.571
m., med. 1.551 m.) would belong to the shorter group as would the
Enganese (av. 1.570 m.). His 34 Kayan men (av. 1.584 m., med. 1.582
m.) and 14 Punan men (av. 1.583 m., med. 1.569 m.) and the Gorontalese
(1.584 m.) are intermediate between these and the Tenggerese (1.604
m.) and Battak (1.605). I also find this distinction untenable, as
our Kayans (av. 1.559 m., med. 1.550 m.) and Punans (av. 1.555 m.,
med. 1.550 m.) are of the same stature or even possibly shorter than
his Ulu Ayars, whereas our 16 Kenyah men (av. 1.597 m., med. 1.608)
are taller than his Kayans. He adds that the shorter "Indonesians"
live in the plains, the taller in the mountains, but he cannot say for
certain whether a mountain climate affects stature as many believe. It
is to be regretted that Kohlbrugge extends in this instance the term
Indonesian to the Kayans and Punans. Taking our measurements I find
that the Kenyahs and the Muruts (av. 1.601 m., med. 1.590 m.) are
the tallest groups, then come the Iban (av. 1.590 m., med. 1.585 m.),
the Kayan and Punan medians come about half-way between the tallest
Klemantans (Long Pokun, med. 1.590 m.) and the shortest (Lerong,
med. 1.520 m). The above figures refer to men only, the women are
markedly shorter.

Kohlbrugge gives the following information with regard to body
measurements: the Kayan women are 14 cm. shorter than the men, usually
the difference is 10 -- 12 cm. The span is greater than the stature,
the proportion is 105.2 : 100 in Kayans, 1034: 100 in Ulu Ayars and
106.5 : 100 in Punans and Tenggerese. In youths it is rather higher
than in men. The difference between Tenggerese and Ulu Ayars is due
to the latter having shorter arms, especially the upper arms, and
the chest of the Bornean peoples is 2 cm. narrower. Other Indonesian
peoples have a longer upper arm than the Ulu Ayars, who also have
the tibia shorter in proportion to the femur. Kayan and Ulu Ayar men
have a comparatively shorter femur than the Punan. The latter thus
resemble the Tenggerese, the others have the same relative length
as many other peoples of the Archipelago; there is no difference
between the Malays and Indonesians in this respect. The Kayan women
have relatively a much longer femur than the men. The shorter tibia
makes the whole leg of the Bornean peoples shorter than in others --
except that the Punans make it up with a longer femur. Women and young
people have longer legs than men. The Punans have the fattest calves
approximating to the Tenggerese, the other Bornean tribes are more
like the Gorontalese. The chest girth of Ulu Ayars and Tenggerese is
almost the same, despite the difference in the breadth of the chest,
in which the Ulu Ayars resemble the inhabitants of Atchin measured by
Lubbers. The proportion of the length of the foot to the stature is
16 : 100 in Kayans of both sexes, 154 : 100 in Ulu Ayars, and 15.2 in
Punans. But the Kayan feet are shorter than those of the Gorontalese,
who have the longest feet in the Archipelago. The other Bornean
peoples are the same as Indonesians who resemble the Malays in this
respect. The pelvic breadth of the Kayan men and women is equal (26
cm.), though men have the wider chest; the Punan pelvis is narrower
than in the other two tribes; but in all three the pelvis is broader
than in the Tenggerese.

We must now turn to the evidence of the crania, of which only a very
brief account need be presented here. Owing to the fact that the
people are head-hunters the skulls obtained by a traveller in any
house are necessarily those of another community, group, or tribe
than that to which the occupants of the house belong. Consequently
it is necessary for a traveller to learn from the inhabitants the
provenience of each cranium, and every one in the house knows it. It
is useless for analytical purposes to deal with skulls of which
the tribe is not accurately known; the information that a skull was
obtained in a certain village or on a particular river is, as a rule,
of very little value.

In Table C I give particulars of three head indices of 83 crania, of
which the history is known in each case. Fifty-eight of these have
been presented by Dr. Hose to the University of Cambridge. I have
added to these 5 Murut, 1 Lepu Potong, 1 Kalabit, 1 Tring, 1 Bisaya,
and 1 Orang Bukit, which Dr. Hose presented to the Royal College of
Surgeons, London, 1 Ukit skull in the same museum, 3 Dusun in the
British Museum, and 5 Murut, 3 Maloh, and 3 Kayan, which I measured
in Sarawak. I have chosen the cranial length-breadth, length-height,
and breadth-height indices, as these are more directly comparable with
the corresponding cephalic indices of Table A. A detailed account of
these crania must await a more suitable occasion.

The dolichocephalic crania are, as a rule, distinctly akrocephalic,
that is, the length-height index is superior to the length-breadth
index, but this is not the case with the brachycephals. I find the
average length-height index in the living subject of a dozen inland
tribes is 72.5 for 131 males and 78.2 for 40 females. That is, so far
as our measurements go, the women are more akrocephalic than the men,
which is unusual.

The conclusions to be drawn from a somatological investigation are
necessarily limited. In my introductory remarks I stated that one could
distinguish two main races among the principal groups of the peoples of
Sarawak, a dolichocephalic and a brachycephalic, and that the former
might be termed Indonesian and the latter Proto-Malay; further, no
one group is probably of pure race, though it appears that some may be
predominantly Indonesian and others Proto-Malay. I do not for a moment
suggest that there was one migration of pure Indonesians and another
of pure Proto-Malays which flooded Borneo and by various minglings
produced the numerous tribes of that island, though I do suggest that
there have been throughout the whole Archipelago various movements
of peoples, some of which may have been relatively pure communities
of these two races. There can be little doubt that we must look to
the neighbouring regions of the mainland of Asia for their immediate
point of departure southwards, for we now know that two similar races
have inhabited this area from a remote antiquity. The light- (or
light-brown) skinned dolichocephals of south-east Asia, assuming for
the present that they are all of one race, have frequently been termed
Caucasians -- for the present I prefer to speak of them as Indonesians
-- and of these there are doubtless several strains. The light- (or
light-brown) skinned brachycephals are usually grouped as Southern
Mongols. In the south-east corner of Asia there are probably several
strains of these brachycephals which hitherto have been insufficiently
studied. Even when an Indonesian element has been recognised in
the population of the Archipelago there has been too persistent a
practice of terming the brachycephalic element "Malay." The true Malay,
Orang Malayu, is merely a specialised branch of a stock for which I
prefer the non-committal name of Proto-Malay, even "Southern-Mongol"
is preferable to "Malay." The Proto-Malay race has its roots on the
mainland. It has yet to be shown how far the brachycephals of this
region belong to what is here termed the Proto-Malay race or to what
extent other, and doubtless allied, stocks are implicated. If, as is
very probable, there have been migrations of differentiated peoples
from the mainland into the islands, the Bornean peoples may be of more
complex origin than the earlier generalisations might suggest. The
dissecting out and the tracing of the migrations of these peoples
is the work of ethnography, somatology can be of little assistance;
all that I have done is to provide a certain amount of material for
the use of students in the future. It must also be remembered that
the immigrants from the mainland may have had at one time infusions
of Negrito or Pre-Dravidian (Sakai) blood, not to speak of Tibetan,
Chinese, or other mixtures. Similarly when the first migrations from
the mainland took place the fairer-skinned immigrants probably found
an indigenous population of Negritos, Pre-Dravidians, and possibly
to some extent of Papuans in various parts of the Archipelago. We
know that many of the islands, including Borneo, have been subject to
direct migrations from India and China, and there has doubtless been
a certain amount of movement of peoples from island to island. The
racial history of this region is therefore extremely complex.

Dr. Hose has suggested the following classification[229] of the
peoples of Sarawak (exclusive of the Malays), which I have followed
in arranging the descriptions given below. For the sake of comparison
I have recast the data published by Kohlbrugge concerning the three
types studied by Nieuwenhuis; it is unfortunate that our several
results cannot be more closely correlated.

A Classification of the Peoples of Sarawak

1. Murut Group:

Murut, Pandaruan, Tagal, Dusun;
Kalabit, Lepu Potong;
Adang, Tring.

II. Klemantan Group:

1. South-western Group:

Land Dayaks;
[Certain tribes of Netherlands Borneo];

2. Central Group:

A. Baram sub-group: Bisaya, Tabun, Orang Bukit,
Kadayan, Pliet, Long Pata, Long Akar.
B. Barawan sub-group: Murik, Long Julan, Long Ulai,
Batu Blah, Long Kiput, Lelak, Barawan, Sakapan,
C. Bakatan sub-group: Seping, Tanjong, Kanawit,
Bakatan, Lugat.

3. Sebop Group:

Malang, Tabalo, Long Pokun, Sebop, Lerong;
Milanau (including Narom and Miri).

III. Punan Group:

Punan, Ukit, Siduan, Sigalang.

IV. Kenyah Group:

Madang, Long Dallo, Apoh, Long Sinong, Long Lika Bulu,
Long Tikan.

V. Kayan Group.
VI. Iban Group: Iban (Sea Dayaks) and Sibuyau.

Descriptions of Peoples


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