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, 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. 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.
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 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, 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. 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.
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. 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. 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, 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 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) 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.
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. [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 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.