The Pagan Tribes of Borneo
by Charles Hose and William McDougall
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Similar fine decorative lashing is used by all the tribes for binding together the two halves of the sword sheath, and for binding the haft of knife or sword where it grips the metal blade, though brass wire is sometimes used for this purpose.

Closely allied to this lashing is the production of decorative knots. A considerable variety of knots are in common use; they are always well tied and practically effective, but some are elaborated for decorative purposes to form rosettes, especially by Kayans in making their sword sheaths.


We have stated above that the carved woodwork is often painted with black, red, and white pigments. It must be added that wooden surfaces are often painted on the flat, especially shields, the outer surfaces of walls of PADI huts, and tombs, also grave hats and the gunwales of boats, and decorative planks in the inner walls of the long gallery of the house. The Kenyahs and some of the Klemantans, especially the Skapans and Barawans, are most skilled in, and make most use of, this form of decoration; but it is probably practised in some degree by all the peoples.

The three pigments mentioned above — black, red, and white, made respectively from soot, iron oxide, and lime — are, so far as we know, the only native varieties; but at the present day these are sometimes supplemented with indigo and yellow pigments obtained from the bazaars. The pigment is generally laid on free-hand with the finger-tip, a few guiding points only being put in.

It may be mentioned here that individuals of all the tribes will occasionally amuse themselves by making rude drawings with charcoal on the plank wall of the gallery. The drawings usually depict human and animal figures, and scenes from the life of the people, and they generally illustrate the particular form of occupation in which the household is employed at the time, E.G. scenes from the PADI fields, a group of people weeding, the return of a war-party, the collection of honey, the capture of a large fish. These drawings are invariably very crude; their nature is sufficiently indicated by Pl. 128. There seem to be no noteworthy differences in this respect between the different peoples.

The Punans, having no houses and therefore no walls on which to draw pictures, have little opportunity to indulge any such tendency; but we have seen rude hunting scenes depicted by them on the walls of shallow caves; the technique consisted in scratching away the soft rotted surface of the limestone rock to produce outlines of the figures depicted.

The Malanaus, who live in the large limestone caves during the time of harvesting the edible nests of the swift, sometimes make rude drawings with charcoal on the walls of the cave.

The weaving of decorative designs on cloth is almost confined to the Sea Dayaks. Some account of the designs will be given below.


Shells (chiefly nassas and the flat bases of cone-shells) are sometimes applied by the Iban women to decorate their woven coats, by Kalabits (in concentric circles on their sunhats), and more rarely by other tribes in the decoration of baskets (Fig. 48). Fig. 49 represents a garment decorated in this fashion by Iban women, and worn by them when dancing with the heads of enemies in their hands.

The Decorative Designs

The Kayans make use in their decorative art of a large number of conventional designs. The principal applications of these designs are in tatu, beadwork, the production of panels of wood for the adornment of houses, tombs, boats, and PADI barns, the decoration of bamboo boxes, and the painting of hats, and the carving of highly ornate doors to the rooms. All these applications involve the covering of flat or curved surfaces with patterns either in low relief only or without relief; and many of the designs are applied in all these different ways, and all of them together form a natural group. Besides these surface designs, a considerable variety of designs is used in giving decorative form to solid objects such as the handles of swords and paddles, the ends of main roof-beams in the houses, posts used in various rites and in the construction of tombs, the figure-heads of war-boats. These, with the exception of those used in carving the sword handles, which are highly peculiar, form another group of relatives. The designs chased upon the blades of the swords constitute a fourth natural group distinct from the other two groups. A fifth small group of designs is carved in the form of fretwork. We propose to say a few words about the designs of each of these five groups.

(1) The designs of the first group are the most numerous and most widely applied. A large proportion of them obviously are conventionalised derivatives from animal forms. Of these animal forms the human figure, the dog, and the prawn have been the originals of the largest number of patterns; the macaque monkey and the large lizard (VARANUS) are also traceable. Some designs vaguely suggest a derivation from some animal form, but cannot confidently be assigned to any one origin.

A few seemed to be derived from vegetable forms; while some few, for example the hookpattern, seem to be derived from no animal or vegetable form. The hook-pattern seems to be symbolical of conjunction and acquisition in various spheres.

Of all the designs the derivatives from or variants of the dog are the most numerous and the most frequently applied. The name dog-pattern (KALANG ASU) is given to a very large number; and of these some obviously reproduce the form of the dog, while the derivation of the others from the same original can generally be made clear by the inspection of a number of intermediate forms, although some of them retain but very slight indications of the form or features of the dog. The unmistakable dog-patterns are illustrated by one of the panels shown in Pl. 124; and in Pls. 134 ET SEQ. we reproduce a number of dog-patterns of more or less conventionalised characters. It will be noticed that the eye is the most constant feature about which the rest of the pattern is commonly centred; but that the eye also disappears from some of the most conventionalised. It seems probable that, although the name KALANG ASU continues to be commonly used to denote all this group of allies, many of those who use the term, and even of those who carve or work the patterns, are not explicitly aware in doing so that the name and the patterns refer to the dog, or are in any way connected with it; that is to say, both the words and the pattern have ceased to suggest to their minds the meaning of the word dog, and mean to them simply the pattern appropriate to certain uses.

We have questioned men who have been accustomed to apply the dog-pattern as to the significance of the parts of the pattern, and have led them to recognise that the parts of the dog, eye, teeth, jaws, and so on, are represented; and this recognition has commonly been accompanied by expressions of enlightenment, as of one making an interesting discovery.[67] This ignorance of the origin of the pattern is naturally true only of the more conventionalised examples, whether of the dog or other natural forms. Probably a few who have specially interested themselves in the designs have traced out their connections pretty fully, but this is certainly quite exceptional. Most of the craftsmen simply copy the current forms, introducing perhaps now and then an additional scroll, or some other slight modification.

Some men are well known as experts in the production of designs, and such a man can produce a wonderful variety, all or most being well-known conventions. Their mode of working frequently implies that the artist is working to a pattern, mentally fixed and clearly visualised, rather than working out any new design. For he will work first on one part of the surface, then on another, producing disconnected fragments of the pattern, and uniting them later. Although the women use these patterns in beadwork and in tatuing, they rely in the main on the men for the patterns which they copy; these being drawn on wood or cloth for beadwork, or carved in low relief for tatuing. A Kayan expert may carry in mind a great variety of designs. One such expert produced for our benefit, during a ten days' halt of an expedition, forty-one patterns, drawn with pencil on paper; most of these are of considerable complexity and elaboration.

(2) The designs carved in the solid or in high relief are for the most part conventionalised copies of human and animal forms; but the conventionalising is not carried so far as in those of the first class, so that the carving generally constitutes an unmistakable representation of the original. The posts set up as altars to the gods are generally carved in the human form, and the degree of elaboration varies widely from the rudest possible indication of the head and limbs to a complete representation of all the parts. But in no case (with the possible exception of some of the figures carved by Malanaus) is the human form reproduced with any high degree of accuracy or artistic merit (Figs. 50 — 53)

The animal forms are used chiefly as the figureheads of war-boats and at the ends of the main roof-beams of the houses; and some of these are executed with a degree of artistry that must win our admiration, especially when we reflect that the timber used is generally one of the harder kinds (but not iron-wood) such as the mirabo (AFZELIA PALEMBANICA), and that the only tools used are the axe, sword, and knife. The animals most frequently represented are the dog, crocodile, monkey, hornbill, and bear (Pls. 122, 125, Figs. 45, 46, 54 — 57). Carved dogs, comparatively little conventionalised, are sometimes used as the supports of low platforms upon which the chiefs may sit on ceremonious occasions.

(3) The handles of the swords, generally of deer's antlers, but sometimes of wood, exhibit a group of highly peculiar closely allied designs. All these seem to be derived from the human form, although in many cases this can only be traced in the light of forms intermediate between the less and the more highly conventionalised (Pls. 129, 184). In examples in which the human form is most obvious, it has the following position and character: — The butt end of the blade is sunk in a piece (about six inches in length) of the main shaft of the antler at its distal or upper end. This piece constitutes the grip of the handle or hilt. The proximal or lowest point of the antler projecting at an angle of some 70[degree] from the grip is cut down to a length of some four inches, forming a spur standing in the plane of the blade and towards its cutting edge. The grip is lashed with fine strips of rattan. The spur and the thick end in which the spur and the grip unite are elaborately carved. If the sword is held horizontally, its point directed forwards and its cutting edge upwards, the butt end is presented with the spur vertically before the face of the observer. It will then be seen that the surface turned to the observer presents the principal features of the human figure, standing with arms akimbo face to face with the observer. The key to the puzzle Is the double row of teeth. Above this are the two eyes. Below the level of the mouth the elbows project laterally, and a little below these and nearer the middle line are the two hands; and below these again the two legs stand out, carved not merely in relief, but in the solid, and bent a little at the knee. The feet are indicated below and more laterally. From the crown of the head projects a ring of short hair made up of tufts white, black, and red in colour. Another short tuft projects from the region of the navel (? pubis), and a pair of tufts project laterally a little below the level of the mouth. The extremity of the main shaft of the antler projects a little beyond the feet of the human figure, and is carved in a form which is clearly an animal derivative — probably from the dog or possibly the crocodile. From its open jaws projects a long tuft of hair, and a pair of short tufts project laterally from the region of its ears. The whole of the carved part of the hilt thus represents a man standing upon the head of a dog (or crocodile). The interpretation of the whole is much obscured by the fact that the parts of the human figure named above are separated from one another by areas which are covered with a continuous scroll design in low relief, and by the fact that all the lateral parts of the carved area bear, scattered irregularly in relief, reduplications of the various features of the human figure, E.G. of the hands, elbows, knees, and even of the teeth, as well as many pairs of interlocking hooks. These last, which recur in other decorative designs, and which (as was said above) seem to symbolise the taking of heads, form an important and constant feature of the whole scheme of decoration. In the more elaborate examples they are carved out of the solid; and usually one hole (or more) about 5 mm. in diameter perforates the thickest part of the hilt, and contains in the middle plane a pair of these interlocking hooks.

In the most elaborate examples of these carved sword hilts all obvious trace of the human figure is lost in a profusion of detail, which, however, is of the same general character as that of the examples described above, and seems to consist of the various features of the human and animal pattern combined in wild profusion with regard only to decorative effect, and not at all to the reproduction of the parent forms.

With the decorative designs of the hilt of the sword must be classed those of its sheath. The sheath consists of two slips of TAPANG wood firmly lashed together with finely plaited rattan strips, both strips being hollowed so that they fit closely to the blade. It is provided with a plaited cord, which buckles about the waist. The inner piece of the sheath is smooth inside and out. The outer surface of the outer piece is often elaborately decorated. The decoration consists in the main of designs carved in relief; and these are composed of the same elements as the design upon the sword hilt, namely, hooks, single and interlocking, elbows, teeth, etc., all woven about with a scroll design of relieved lines.

(4) The designs reproduced in fretwork are in the main adaptations of some of those used in decorating surfaces, especially of the dog pattern; but they are always conventionalised in a high degree (see Pl. 130). The hook pattern is frequently introduced to fill up odd corners. The human form is seldom or never traceable in work of this kind. Fretwork is chiefly used to adorn the tombs of chiefs.

(5) The designs chased on the surfaces of the blades of swords and knives and spear-heads form a distinctive group. They are flowing scroll patterns containing many spiral and S-shaped curves in which no animal or plant forms can be certainly traced, though suggestions of the KALANG ASU may be found. The lack of affinity between these patterns and those applied to other surfaces suggests that they may have been taken over from some other people together with the craft of the smith; but possibly the distinctive character is due only to the exigencies of the material. Some of the designs painted on hats and shields exhibit perhaps some affinity with these. This work is almost confined to the Kayans.

It is worthy of remark that the art work of the Kayans is in the main of a public character; for example, the decorative carving about the house is done by voluntary and co-operative effort in the public gallery and hardly at all in the private rooms; and ornamented hats and shields are hung in the gallery rather than in the private rooms; again, the war-boats, which are the common property of the household, are decorated more elaborately than those which are private property.

All these forms of art work are the products of distinctly amateur effort; that is to say that, although certain individuals attain special skill and reputation in particular forms of art, they do not make their living by the practice of them, but rather, like every one else, rely in the main upon the cultivation of PADI for the family support; they will exchange services of this kind, and definite payments are sometimes agreed upon, but a large amount of such work is done for one another without any material reward.

The Kenyahs, Klemantans, and Ibans

The Kenyahs make use of all, or most, of the patterns found among the Kayans, and there is little or nothing that distinguishes the decorative art of the one tribe from that of the other. They use the patterns based on the monkey rather more than the Kayans; and a decoration commonly found in their houses is a frieze running along the top of the main partition wall of the house, bearing in low relief an animal design, painted in red and black, which is called BALI SUNGEI (I.E. water-spirit) or Naga. The latter name is known to all the tribes, and is probably of foreign origin; and it seems possible that the design and this name are derived from the dragon forms so commonly used in Chinese decorative art.

The various Klemantan tribes make use of many decorative designs very similar to those of the Kayans. Different animal forms predominant among the different tribes, E.G. among the LONG POKUNS the form of the gibbon and of the sacred ape (SEMINOPITHECUS HOSEI) are chiefly used in house decoration. Among the Sebops and Barawans the human figure predominates; the Malanaus make especially elaborate crocodile images in solid wood. The tombs of some of the Klemantans are very massive and elaborately decorated. The Tanjongs and Kanowits and Kalabits, who excel in basket-work, introduce a variety of patterns in black, red, and white. The majority of these are simple geometrical designs which arise naturally out of the nature of the material; of more elaborate designs specially common are the hook-pattern (Fig. 58), the pigeon's eye (Fig. 59), and the caterpillar (Fig. 60).

In wealth of decorative designs the Ibans surpass all the other tribes. These designs are displayed most abundantly in the decoration of bamboo surfaces and in the dyeing of cloths. The designs on bamboo surfaces are largely foliate scrolls, especially the yam-leaf, but also occasionally animal derivatives.

The designs dyed upon the cloths (Fig. 61) are largely animal derivatives; but the artists themselves seldom are aware of the derivation, even when the pattern bears the name of its animal origin; and as to the names of all, except the most obvious animal derivatives, even experts will differ. The frog, the young bird, the human form, and the lizard are the originals most frequently claimed. Parts of the animal, such as the head or eye, are commonly repeated in serial fashion detached from the rest of its form. And in many cases it is, of course, impossible to identify the parts of the pattern, although it may show a general affinity with unmistakable animal patterns. One such pattern very commonly used in dyeing is named after AGI BULAN, the large shrew (GYMNURA); but we have not been able to trace the slightest resemblance to the animal in any of the various examples we have seen (Pls. 131, 132).

We are inclined to suppose that the Ibans have copied many of their cloth-patterns from the Malays together with the crafts of dyeing and weaving. For their technique is similar to that of the Malays all over the peninsula, and the same is true of some of their designs. Only in this way, we think, can we account for their possession of these crafts, which are practised by but very few of the other inland peoples. The fact that plant derivatives predominate greatly over animals in their designs, whereas the reverse is true of almost all other tribes, bears out this supposition, for the Malays are forbidden by their religion to represent animal forms, and make use largely of plant forms.


Tatuing is extensively practised among the tribes of Borneo. A great variety of patterns are used, and they are applied to many different parts of the body. A paper embodying most of the facts hitherto ascertained has been published by one of us (C. H.) in conjunction with Mr. R. Shelford, formerly curator of the Sarawak Museum, who has paid special attention to the subject; we therefore reproduce here the greater part of the substance of that paper,[68] with some slight modifications, and we desire to express our thanks to Mr. Shelford[69] for his kind permission to make use of the paper in this way.

The great diversity of tribes in Borneo involves, in a study of their tatu and tatuing methods, a good deal of research and much travel, if first-hand information on the subject is to be obtained. Between us we have covered a considerable area in Borneo and have closely crossquestioned members of nearly every tribe inhabiting Sarawak on their tatu, but we cannot claim to have exhausted the subject by any means; there are tribes in the interior of Dutch Borneo and in British North Borneo whom we have not visited, and concerning whom our knowledge is of the scantiest.

The practice of tatu is so widely spread throughout Borneo that it seems simpler to give a list of the tribes that do not tatu, than of those who do. We can divide such a list into two sections: the first including those tribes that originally did not tatu, though nowadays many individuals are met with whose bodies are decorated with designs copied from neighbouring tribes; the second including the tribes (mostly Klemantan) that have given up the practice of tatu owing to contact with Mohammedan and other influences.


1. Punan. 2. Maloh. 3. Land Dyak.


4. Malanau. 5. Miri. 6. Dali. 7. Narom. 8. Sigalang (down-river tribes of Ukit stock). 9. Siduan 10. Tutong. 11. Balait. 12. Bekiau (traces of a former practice of tatu occasionally found). 13. Bisaya. 14. Kadayans.

The patterns once employed by the tribes included in the second section of this list, most of which have adopted Malay dress and to some extent Malay customs, are lost beyond recall. The Land Dayaks display absolute ignorance of tatu, and aver that they never indulged in the practice. Maloh and Punan men ornamented with Kayan tatu designs we have often encountered; but they have no designs of their own, and attach no special significance to their borrowed designs.[70]

We may note here that the ornamentation of the body by means of raised scars and keloids is not known in Borneo. Both men and women of several tribes will test their bravery and indifference to pain by setting fire to a row of small pieces of tinder placed along the forearm, and the scars caused by these burns are often permanent, but should not be mistaken for decorative designs. Carl Bock (2, Pl. 16)[71] figures some Punan women with rows of keloids on the forearms, but states (p. 71) that these are due to a form of vaccination practised by these people.

The Kayans are, with one or two exceptions, the most tatued race in Borneo, and perhaps the best tatued from an artistic point of view; the designs used in the tatu of the men have been widely imitated, and much ceremonial is connected with the tatu of the women, an account of which we give below. Generally speaking, the true Klemantan designs are quite simple, and it is noteworthy that although the Kenyah tribes most nearly akin to Kayans have borrowed the Kayan tatu patterns, the majority of Kenyah and Klemantan tribes employ quite simple designs, whilst the primitive Kenyahs of the Batang Kayan river hardly tatu at all. A remarkable exception to the general simplicity of the Klemantan patterns is furnished by the Ukits, Bakatan, and Biadjau, who tatu very extensively in the most complex designs; the Long Utan, an extinct tribe, probably of Klemantan stock, also used highly decorative and complex designs. Since so many tribes owe much of their knowledge of tatu and the majority of their designs to the Kayans, it will be well to commence with an account of the art of tatu as practised by these people.

Kayan Tatu.

Dr. Nieuwenhuis [9, p. 450] agrees with us in stating that amongst these people the men tatu chiefly for ornament, and that no special significance is attached to the majority of designs employed; nor is there any particular ceremonial or tabu connected with the process of tatuing the male sex. There is no fixed time of life at which a man can be tatued, but in most cases the practice is begun early in boyhood. Nieuwenhuis [9, p. 456] remarks that the chiefs of the Mendalam Kayans scarcely tatu at all.

Amongst the Sarawak Kayans, if a man has taken the head of an enemy he can have the backs of his hands and fingers covered with tatu (Pl. 141, Fig. 1), but, if he has only had a share in the slaughter, one finger only, and that generally the thumb, can be tatued. On the Mendalam river, the Kayan braves are tatued on the left thumb only, not on the carpals and backs of the fingers, and the thigh pattern is also reserved for head-taking heroes [9, p. 456]. Of the origin of tatu the Kayans relate the following story: — Long ago when the plumage of birds was dull and sober, the coucal (CENTROPUS SINENSIS) and the argus pheasant (ARGUSIANUS GRAYI) agreed to tatu each other; the coucal began on the pheasant first, and succeeded admirably, as the plumage of the pheasant bears witness at the present day; the pheasant then tried his hand on the coucal, but being a stupid bird he was soon in difficulties; fearing that he would fail miserably to complete the task, he told the coucal to sit in a bowl of SAMAK tan, and then poured the black dye over him, and flew off, remarking that the country was full of enemies and he could not stop; that is why the coucal to this day has a black head and neck with a tan-coloured body. Nieuwenhuis [9, p. 456] relates substantially the same story, the crow (CORONE MACRORHYNDYUS), however, being substituted for the coucal and the incident of the bowl of SAMAK tan omitted.

Among Kayans isolated designs are found on the following parts of the bodies of the men: — The outside of the wrist, the flexor surface of the forearm, high up on the outside of the thigh, on the breasts and on the points of the shoulders, and, as already stated, in the case of warriors on the backs of the hands and fingers. But not all the men are tatued on all these parts of the body. The design tatued on the wrist (Pl. 139, Figs. 8 — 10) is termed LUKUT, the name of an antique bead much valued by Kayans; the significance of this design is of some interest. When a man is ill, it is supposed that his soul has escaped from his body; and when he recovers it is supposed that his soul has returned to him; to prevent its departure on some future occasion the man will "tie it in" by fastening round his wrist a piece of string on which is threaded a LUKUT[72] or antique bead, some magic apparently being considered to reside in the bead. However, the string can get broken and the bead lost, wherefore it seems safer to tatu a representation of the bead on the part of the wrist which it would cover if actually worn. It is of interest also to note that the LUKUT, from having been a charm to prevent the second escape of the soul, has come to be regarded as a charm to ward off all disease; and the same applies to its tatued representation.

A design just below the biceps of a Punan tatued in the Kayan manner is shown on Pl. 142, Fig. 10, and we were informed by the Punan that this also was a LUKUT, an excellent example of the indifference paid to the significance of design by people with whom such design is not indigenous.

On the forearm and thigh the UDOH ASU or dog pattern is tatued, and four typical examples are shown on Pl. 136, Figs. 1, 2, 5, 6. Nieuwenhuis has figured a series of these designs [9, Pl. 82][73] showing a transition from a very elongate animal form to a rosette form; we have occasionally met with the former amongst Sarawak Kayans, but it is a common thigh design amongst the Mendalam Kayans; the forms numbered B and C are unusual in Sarawak. Of the four examples given in Pl. 136 — and it may be noted that these met with the high approval of expert tatu artists — Figs. 1, 2, and 5 may be considered as intermediate between Nieuwenhuis' very elongate example F and the truncated form E which is supposed to represent the head only of a dog. Fig. 2 is characteristic of the Uma Balubo Kayans, and is remarkable in that teeth are shown in both jaws; whilst, both in this example and in Fig. 5, the eye is represented as a disc, in Figs. 1 and 6 the eye is assuming a rosette-like appearance, which rosette, as Nieuwenhuis' series shows, is destined in some cases to increase in size until it swallows up the rest of the design. Fig. 6 may be compared with Nieuwenhuis, Fig. E, as it evidently represents little more than the head of a dog. Although a single figure of the dog is the most usual form of tatu, we have met with an example of a double figure; it is shown in Fig. 7; it will be observed that one of the dogs is reversed and the tails of the two figures interlock. Fig. 8 represents a dog with pups, TUANG NGANAK; A is supposed to be the young one.

The dog design figures very prominently in Kayan art, and the fact that the dog is regarded by these people and also by the Kenyahs with a certain degree of veneration may account for its general representation. The design has been copied by a whole host of tribes, with degradation and change of name (Fig. 62).

On the deltoid region of the shoulders and on the breast, a rosette or a star design is found (text, Figs. 63 and 64). As already stated, it seems in the highest degree probable that the rosette is derived from the eye in the dog pattern, and it is consequently of some interest to find that the name now given to the rosette pattern is that of the fruit of a plant which was introduced into Borneo certainly within the last fifty or sixty years. The plant is PLUKENETIA CORNICULATA, one of the Euphorbiaceae, and it is cultivated as a vegetable; its Kayan name is JALAUT. We have here a good example of the gradual degradation of a design leading to a loss of its original significance and even of its name, another name, which originated probably from some fancied resemblance between pattern and object, being applied at a subsequent date. IPA OLIM, I.E., open fruit of a species of MANGIFERA, is another name occasionally applied to the rosette pattern, but JALAUT is in more general use (cf. Pl. 140, Fig. 4, Pl. 141, Fig. 7, and Pl. 142, Fig. 9).

On Pl. 141, Fig. 1, is shown a hand tatued in the Kayan manner; the figures on the phalanges are known as TEGULUN,[74] representations of human figures or as SILONG, faces, and they are evidently anthropomorphic derivatives. The triangles on the carpal knuckles are termed SONG IRANG, shoots of bamboo, and the zigzag lines are IKOR, lines.

Kayan women are tatued in complicated serial[75] designs over the whole forearm, the backs of the hands, over the whole of the thighs and to below the knees, and on the metatarsal surfaces of the feet. The tatuing of a Kayan girl is a serious operation, not only because of the considerable amount of pain caused, but also on account of the elaborate ceremonial attached to this form of body ornamentation. The process is a long one, lasting sometimes as much as four years, since only a small piece can be done at a sitting, and several long intervals elapse between the various stages of the work. A girl when about ten years old will probably have had her fingers and the upper part of her feet tatued, and about a year later her forearms should have been completed; the thighs are partially tatued during the next year, and in the third or fourth year from the commencement, I.E. about puberty, the whole operation should have been accomplished.

A woman endeavours to have her tatu finished before she becomes pregnant, as it is considered immodest to be tatued after she has become a mother. If a woman has a severe illness after any portion of her body has been tatued, the work is not continued for some little time; moreover, according to Nieuwenhuis (9, p. 453), a woman cannot be tatued during seed time nor if a dead person is lying unburied in the house, since it is LALI to let blood at such times; bad dreams, such as a dream of floods, foretelling much blood-letting, will also interrupt the work. A tatued woman may not eat the flesh of the monitor lizard (VARANUS) or of the scaly manis (MANIS JAVANICA), and her husband also is included in the tabu until the pair have a male and a female child. If they have a daughter only they may not eat the flesh of the monitor until their child has been tatued; if they have a son only they cannot eat the monitor until they become grandparents. Should a girl have brothers, but no sisters, some of her tatu lines must not be joined together, but if she has brothers and sisters, or sisters only, all the lines can be joined.

Tatu amongst Kayan women is universal; they believe that the designs act as torches in the next world, and that without these to light them they would remain for ever in total darkness; one woman told Dr. Nieuwenhuis that after death she would be recognised by the impregnation of her bones with the tatu pigment. The operation of tatuing amongst Kayans is performed by women, never by men, and it is always the women who are the experts on the significance and quality of tatu designs, though the men actually carve the designs on the tatu blocks. Nieuwenhuis states (9, p. 452) that the office of tatuer is to a certain extent hereditary, and that the artists, like smiths and carvers, are under the protection of a tutelary spirit, who must be propitiated with sacrifices before each operation. As long as the children of the artist are of tender age she is debarred from the practice of her profession. The greater the number of sacrifices offered, or in other words, the greater the experience of the artist, the higher is the fee demanded. She is also debarred from eating certain food. It is supposed that if an artist disregards the prohibitions imposed upon her profession, the designs that she tatus will not appear clearly, and she herself may sicken and die.

The tools used by a tatu artist are simple,[76] consisting of two or three prickers, ULANG or ULANG BRANG, and an iron striker, TUKUN or PEPAK, which are kept in a wooden case, BUNGAN. The pricker is a wooden rod with a short pointed head projecting at right angles at one end; to the point of the head is attached a lump of resin in which are embedded three or four short steel needles, their points alone projecting from the resinous mass (Fig. 68). The striker is merely a short iron rod, half of which is covered with a string lashing. The pigment is a mixture of soot, water, and sugar-cane juice, and it is kept in a double shallow cup of wood, UIT ULANG; it is supposed that the best soot is obtained from the bottom of a metal cooking-pot, but that derived from burning resin or dammar is also used. The tatu designs are carved in high relief on blocks of wood, KELINGE[77] (Fig. 62), which are smeared with the ink and then pressed on the part to be tatued, leaving an impression of the designs. As will be seen later, the designs tatued on women are in longitudinal rows or transverse bands, and the divisions between the rows or bands are marked by one or more zigzag lines termed IKOR.

The subject who is to be tatued lies on the floor, the artist and an assistant squatting on either side of her; the artist first dips a piece of fibre from the sugar-palm (ARENGA SACCHARIFERA) into the pigment and, pressing this on to the limb to be tatued, plots out the arrangement of the rows or bands of the design; along these straight lines the artist tatus the IKOR, then taking a tatu block carved with the required design, she smears it with pigment and presses it on to the limb between two lines. The tatuer or her assistant stretches with her feet the skin of the part to be tatued, and, dipping a pricker into the pigment, taps its handle with the striker, driving the needle points into the skin at each tap. The operation is painful, and the subject can rarely restrain her cries of anguish; but the artist is quite unmoved by such demonstrations of woe, and proceeds methodically with her task. As no antiseptic precautions are taken, a newly tatued part often ulcerates, much to the detriment of the tatu; but taking all things into consideration, it is wonderful how seldom one meets with a tatu pattern spoilt by scar tissues.

It is against custom to draw the blood of a friend (PESU DAHA), and therefore, when first blood is drawn in tatuing, it is customary to give a small present to the artist. The present takes the form of four antique beads, or of some other object worth about one dollar; it is termed LASAT MATA, for it is supposed that if it were omitted the artist would go blind, and some misfortune would happen to the parents and relations of the girl undergoing the operation of tatu.

When the half of one IKOR has been completed the tattier stops and asks for SELIVIT; this is a present of a few beads, well-to-do people paying eight yellow beads of the variety known as LAVANG, valued at one dollar apiece, whilst poor people give two beads. It is supposed that if SELIVIT was not paid the artist would be worried by the dogs and fowls that always roam about a Kayan house, so that the work would not be satisfactorily done; however, to make assurance doubly sure, a curtain is hung round the operator and her subject to keep off unwelcome intruders. After SELIVIT has been paid a cigarette is smoked, and then work recommences in earnest, there being no further interruptions for the rest of the day except for the purpose of taking food. The food of the artist must be cooked and brought to her, as she must not stop to do other work than tatuing, and her tools are only laid aside for a few minutes while she consumes a hurried meal. Fowls or a pig are killed for the artist by the parents of the girl who is being tatued. The fees paid to the artist are more or less fixed; for the forearms a gong, worth from eight to twenty dollars, according to the workmanship required; for the thighs a large TAWAK, worth as much as sixty dollars if the very best workmanship is demanded, from six to twenty dollars if only inferior workmanship is required.[78] For tatuing the fingers the operator receives a MALAT or short sword. Nieuwenhuis (8, p. 236) states that it is supposed that the artist will die within a year if her charges are excessive; but we have not met with this belief amongst the Kayans of the Rejang and Baram rivers.

The knee-cap is the last part to be tatued, and before this is touched the artist must be paid; as this part of the design is the keystone, as it were, of the whole, the required fee is always forthcoming. A narrow strip down the back of the thigh is always left untatued; it is supposed that mortification of the legs would ensue if this strip was not left open.

The time at which to begin tatuing a girl is about the ninth day after new moon, this lunar phase being known as BUTIT HALAP, the belly of the HALAP fish (BARBUS BRAMOIDES); as the skin of the girl being tatued quickly becomes very tender, it is often necessary to stop work for a few days, but it is a matter of indifference at what lunar phase work recommences, so long as it was originally begun at BUTIT HALAP.

A Kayan chief of the Mendalam river informed Dr. Nieuwenhuis [9, p. 4551 that in his youth only the wives and daughters of chiefs were permitted the thigh tatu, women of lower rank had to be content with tatu of the lower part of the shin and of the ankles and feet. The designs were in the form of quadrangular blotches divided by narrow untatued lines, and were known as TEDAK DANAU, lake tatu. The quadrangles were twelve in number, divided from each other by four longitudinal and two transverse untatued lines, 6 millimetres broad, two of the longitudinal lines running down each side of the front of the leg, and two down each side of the calf, approximately equidistant; the forearm was tatued in the same style. This manner of tatu is obsolete now, but Dr. Nieuwenhuis was fortunate in finding one very old woman so tatued.

Nowadays the class restrictions as regards tatu are not so closely observed, but it is always possible to distinguish between the designs of a chiefs daughter, an ordinary free-woman, and a slave, by the number of lines composing the figures of the designs, — the fewer these lines, the lower being the rank of the woman. Moreover, the designs of the lower-class women are not nearly so complex as those of the higher class, and they are generally tatued free-hand.

A very typical design for the forearm of a woman of high rank is shown on Pl. 140, Fig. 3; it is taken from a Kayan of the Uma Pliau sub-tribe dwelling on the Baram river, and may be compared with the somewhat similar designs of the Mendalam river Kayans figured by Nieuwenhuis [9, Pl. 85], one of which is a design for a chiefs daughter, the other for a slave. The zigzag lines bounding the pattern on both surfaces of the forearm are the IKOR, and these, as already stated, are marked out with a piece of fibre dipped in the tatu ink before the rest of the pattern is impressed by a wood-block or KLINGE. Taking the flexor surface of the forearm first, the units of the designs are: three bands of concentric circles (AAA) termed BELILING BULAN or full moons; a triangle (B) each, limb formed by several parallel lines, DULANG HAROK, the bows of a boat; spirals (CC) ULU TINGGANG, the head of the hornbill. On the supinator surface BELILING BULAN and ULU TINGGANG occur again, but instead of DULANG HAROK, there are two other elements, a bold transverse zigzag known as DAUN WI (D), rattan leaves, and at the proximal end of the pattern an interlacing design, TUSHUN TUVA (E), bundles of tuba root (DERRIS ELLIPTICA). The fingers are very simply tatued with a zigzag on the carpal knuckles and transverse lines across the joints; the thumb is decorated in a slightly different way. In Dr. Nieuwenhuis' designs cited above, we find much the same elements; in one of them the BELILING BULAN are more numerous and more closely set together, so that the concentric circles of one set have run into those of the next adjoining; the TUSHUN TUVA pattern is termed POESOENG, evidently the same as TUSHUN; the spirals are much degraded in one example and are called KROWIT, or hooks, whilst in the more elaborate example they are known as MANOK WAK, or eyes of the SCOPS owl; the PEDJAKO PATTERN is an addition, but the meaning of the word is not known; the pattern on the fingers is much more complex than in the Uma Pliau example, and is perhaps a degraded hornbill design.

Nieuwenhuis [8, Pl. XXIV.] figures the hand of a low-class woman tatued with triangular and quadrangular blotches, and with some rude designs that appear to have been worked in free-hand.

On Pl. 140, Fig. 1, is shown the design on the forearm of a high-class woman of the Uma Lekan Kayans of the Batang Kayan river, Dutch Borneo; in our opinion these elegant designs are quite in the front rank of the tatu designs of the world. In spite of the elaboration, it is quite possible to distinguish in these the same elements as in the Uma Pliau specimen, viz.: BELILING BULAN ULU TINGGANG DAUN WI and TUSHUN TUVA; but the DULANG HAROK is absent, and the SILONG or face pattern appears.

Nieuwenhuis [9, Pl. 93, b] figures the arm-tatu (supinator surface only) of a Kayan woman of the Blu-u river, a tributary of the Upper Mahakkam; the main design is evidently a hornbill derivative, the knuckles are tatued with quadrangular and rectangular blotches. The hornbill plays an important part in the decorative art of the Long Glat, a Klemantan tribe of the Mahakkam river, and we suspect that, if these Blu-u Kayans are of true Kayan stock, they have borrowed the hornbill design from their neighbours.

With regard to the thigh patterns, it is usual to find the back of the thigh occupied with two strips of an intersecting line design, or some modification thereof; the simplest form is shown on Pl. 138, Fig. 1; it is known as IDA TELO, the three-line pattern, and is used by slaves; a more elaborate example from the Rejang river is shown in Fig. 3, and is used both by slaves and free-women. Pl. 138, Fig. 2, and Pl. 139, Fig. 6, are termed IDA PAT, the four-line pattern, and are for free-women, not for slaves. The latter figure is a combination of IDA PAT and IDA TELO. The wives and daughters of chiefs would employ similar designs with the addition of another line, when they are termed IDA LIMA, the five-line pattern, or else a design, known as IDA TUANG, the underside pattern, two examples of which are given on Pl. 139, Figs. 1 and 2. If these two latter designs are compared with the hornbill design of the Long Glat, a figure of which, taken from Nieuwenhuis [9, Pl. 86] is given (Pl. 139, Fig. 3) a certain similarity in the MOTIF of the designs can be recognised. It must be remembered that the Long Glat design is tatued in rows down the front and sides of the thigh, whilst these Kayan designs have been modified to form more or less of a sinuous line design for the back of the thigh; or, in other words, the hornbill elements in the Long Glat design, though they are serially repeated, are quite separate and distinct one from the other, whilst in the Kayan designs the hornbill elements are fused and modified to produce the sinuous line pattern that in one form or another is generally employed for the decoration of the back of the thigh. In this connection Pl. 139, Fig. 5, is instructive; it is taken from a tatu block which, together with those from which Figs. 1 and 2 are taken, was collected many years ago by Mr. Brooke Low, amongst the Kayans of the Upper Rejang; it also appears to be a doc, derivative, and no doubt was used for the tatu of the front of a woman's thigh,[79] being serially repeated in three or four rows as with the Long Glat. Yet it was unknown as a tatu design to some Kayans of the Baram river to whom it was shown recently; they informed us that the name of the design was TUANG BUVONG ASU, pattern of dog without tail, and they stated that a somewhat similar design was engraved by them on sword blades. Pl. 139, Fig. 4, is taken from a tatu-block of uncertain origin, and the same name was also applied to this by the Baram Kayans, though with some hesitation and uncertainty; the hornbill MOTIF is here quite obvious.

We have stated that an interlacing line design is generally employed for the back of the thigh; we figure, however, a remarkable exception from the Baloi river (Pl. 140, Fig. 5); this is known as KALONG KOWIT, hook pattern; A is a representation of an antique bead, BALALAT LUKUT, B is known as KOWIT, hooks. Between the two strips of line design at the back of the thigh runs a narrow line of untatued skin, the supposed object of which has been described above. The front and sides of the thigh in highclass women will be covered with three or more strips of pattern such as are shown on Pl. 138, Figs. 4 and 5; in the latter TUSHUN TUVA, DULANG HAROK, ULU TINGGANG and BELILING BULAN can again be recognised; the ULU TINGGANG in this example are less conventionalised than in the spirals of the forearm pattern, and a spiral form of TUSHUN TUVA IS shown in addition to the angular form. The other example exhibits IDA LIMA, TUSHUN TUVA JALAUT, KOWIT (the interlocking spirals) and ULU TINGGANG. All these strips of pattern are separated by the IKOR. The knee-cap is the last part of the leg to be tatued, and the design covering it is called the KALONG NANG, the important pattern, good examples of which are shown in Figs. 70, 71; Fig. 72 represents the design on the front and sides of the thigh of an Uma Semuka Kayan of the slave class, which also is termed TUSHUN TUVA.

The admirable Uma Lekan patterns (Pl. 140, Fig. 2) represent on the back of the thigh (AA) BELILING BULAN, on the front and sides (BB) SILONG, faces or SILONG LEJAU, tigers' faces; the latter is evidently an anthropomorph; the knee-cap design is particularly worthy of notice.[80] Nieuwenhuis [9, Pl. 83, and 8, Pl. XXVII.] figures the thigh tatu of a Mendalam woman of the PANJIN or free-woman class; the back of the thigh is occupied by two strips of the four line pattern, here termed KETONG PAT, and a somewhat crude anthropomorphic design, known as KOHONG KELUNAN, human head, covers the front and sides of the thigh (text Fig. 69); the centre of the knee-cap is occupied by a very similar anthropomorph, known however as NANG KLINGE, the important design, and extending in a semicircle round the upper part of it is a design made up of intersecting zigzags and known as KALANG NGIPA, the snake design; below the knee-cap is a transverse band of hour-glass shaped figures termed PEDJAKO. Nieuwenhuis also figures [9, Pl. 841 the thigh pattern of a chiefs daughter from the same river; this only differs from the preceding example in the greater elaboration of the KOHONG KELUNAN; the back of the thigh is covered by a form of the IDA PAT pattern not by the IDA LIMA pattern. Some of the tatu-blocks employed by the Mendalam Kayan women are figured in the same works [9, Pl. 82, and 8, Pl. XXVIII.].

A comparison of the figures here given lends strong support to the supposition that the tuba-root pattern is merely a degraded anthropomorph. Fig. 69 is a recognisable anthropomorph such as is tatued in rows on the thigh, and some such name as TEGULUN, SILONG, or KOHONG is applied to it. Fig. 70 is a knee-cap design, evidently anthropomorphic in nature, but termed NANG KLINGE, the important design, since it is the last part of all to be tatued. Fig.71 is termed TUSHUN TUVA, but a distinct face is visible in the centre of the pattern; the general similarity between this last design and the examples of TUSHUN TUVA shown in the designs on Pl. 138, Figs. 4 and 5, is quite obvious; the lower of the two TUSHUN TUVA designs in Fig. 5, Pl. 138, is Cornposed of angular lines, thus reverting to the angularity of the lines in text, Fig. 69; at E, Fig. 3, Pl. 140, the lines are partly angular, partly curved, and the bilateral symmetry is entirely lost; finally, in Fig. 72, the relationship of the TUSHUN TUVA design to an anthropomorph is entirely lost.

A typical form of tatu on the foot of a low-class woman is shown on Pl. 138, Fig. 6; a chiefs daughter would have some modification of the principal element of the thigh design tatued on this part.

Kenyah Tatu.

The culture of the Sarawak Kenyahs is closely allied to that of the Kayans, and their tatu may be considered separately from that of the Kenyah-Klemantan tribes whose tatu is much more original in design.

The men of such Kenyah tribes as the Lepu Jalan, Lepu Tau, Lepu Apong, etc., if tatued at all, are tatued in the Kayan manner, that is, with some form of dog design on the forearms and thighs, and with rosettes or stars on the shoulders and breasts. The dog design is usually known as USANG ORANG, the prawn pattern; the teeth of the dog are held to represent the notched border of the prominent rostrum characteristic of the prawns of the genus PALAEMAN, that occur so plentifully in the fresh-water streams of Borneo. An extreme modification of the dog design to form a prawn is shown in Pl. 137, Fig. 9; Pl. 136, Fig. 4, is a dog design, and is so termed. Pl. 136, Fig. 10, is known as TOYU, a crab; A is the mouth, BA; B the claw, KATIP; C the back, LIKUT; D the tail, IKONG. Pl. 136, Fig. 9, is termed LIPAN KATIP, jaws of the centipede. All these are tatued on the flexor surface of the forearm or on the outside of the thigh.[81] An example of a star design termed USONG DIAN, durian pattern, is shown in Pl. 141, Fig. 7. The women of these tribes tatu in the same way, and employ the same designs as the Kayans, except that they never tatu on the thighs. Amongst the Baram Kenyahs there appears to be very little ceremonial connected with the process of tatuing.

Kenyah-Klemantan[82] Tatu.

Amongst this rather heterogeneous assemblage of tribes considerable diversity of tatu design is found. The men are seldom tatued, but when they are it is in the Kayan manner. The Peng or Pnihing of the Koti basin have an elaborate system of male tatu, but it seems to be dying out; the only examples that we have met are shown on Pl. 141, Figs. 2 and 3. These represent the arms of Peng men; unfortunately we have no information as to the significance of the designs. The only other Peng design that we are acquainted with is a large disc tatued on the calf of the leg. Dr. Nieuwenhuis states that Peng women are tatued with isolated dog designs on the arms and legs like the men of Kayan tribes [9, p. 461].

The Kenyah women of the Baram district exhibit a very primitive style of tatu on the arms and hands (Pl. 141, Fig. 4); a broad band encircles the middle of the forearm, and a narrow band an inch or so distant of this also surrounds the arm; from this narrow band there run over the metacarpals to the base of the fingers eight narrow lines, the outermost on the radial side bifurcating; the design is known as BETIK ALLE or line tatu. No other part of the body is tatued.

Nieuwenhuis figures [9, Pl. 95] a somewhat similar design employed by the Lepu Tau women of the Batang Kayan; but in this case, instead of eight longitudinal lines stopping short at the knuckles, there are five broad bands running to the finger nails, interrupted at the knuckles by a 2 cm.-broad strip of untatued skin. Moreover, with these people the front and sides of the thigh and the shin are tatued with primitive-looking designs made up of series of short transverse lines, curved lines, and broad bands; the names of the designs are not given; these designs are said to be characteristic of the slave-class, the higher-class women copying the more elaborate designs of the Uma Lekan.

Amongst the Batang Kayan Kenyahs tatuing cannot be executed in the communal house, but only in a hut built for the purpose. The males of the family, to which the girl undergoing the operation belongs, must dress in bark-cloth, and are confined to the house until the tatu is completed; should any of the male members be travelling in other parts of the island tatu cannot be commenced until they return. Amongst the Uma Tow (or Lepu Tau) the daughter of a chief must be tatued before any of the other females of the house; should the chiefs daughter (or daughters) die before she has been tatued, all the other women of the house are debarred from this embellishment (Nieuwenhuis [9, pp. 453, 454]).

Nieuwenhuis, in his great work on Borneo, which we have cited so often, gives a good account of the tatu of the Long Glat. According to this authority, girls when only eight years old have the backs of the fingers tatued, at the commencement of menstruation the tatu of the fingers is completed, and in the course of the following year the tatu is carried over the backs of the hand to the wrist; the feet are tatued synchronously with the hands. At the age of eighteen to twenty the front of the thigh is tatued, and later on in life the back of the thigh; unlike the Kayans it is not necessary that the tatu of the thighs should be finished before child-bearing. A Long Glat woman on each day that she is tatued must kill a black fowl as food for the artist. They believe that after death the completely tatued women will be allowed to bathe in the mythical river Telang Julan, and that consequently they will be able to pick up the pearls that are found in its bed; incompletely tatued women can only stand on the river bank, whilst the untatued will not be allowed to approach its shores at all. This belief appears to be universal amongst the Kenyah-Klemantan of the Upper Mahakam and Batang Kayan. On Pl. 86 of Nieuwenhuis' book [9] is figured the thigh tatu of a Long Glat woman; the front of the thigh is occupied with two rows of the hornbill MOTIF to which reference has already been made. The sides of the thigh are tatued with a beautiful design of circles and scrolls termed KERIP KWE, flight feathers of the Argus pheasant, and on the back of the thigh is a scroll design borrowed from the decoration of a grave and known as KALANG SONG SEPIT.[83] The knee is left untatued. Some other examples of the KERIP KWE design are given on Pl. 90, and of the SONG SEPIT on Pl. 91; some of the SONG SEPIT designs recall the KALANG KOWIT designs of the Baloi Kayans. Instead of a hornbill MOTIF, a dog's head MOTIF is sometimes tatued on the thigh, an example of which is figured on Pl. 87, Fig. A; it appears to be a composition of four heads, and in appearance is not unlike SILONG LEJAU of the Uma Lekan, figured by us. In the Long Glat thigh-tatu the bands of pattern are not separated by lines of IKOR, as with the Kayans. Round the ankles the Long Glat tatu sixteen lines, 3 mm. broad, known as TEDAK AKING; the foot is tatued much after the manner shown in our Fig. 6, Pl. 143. The supinator surface of the forearm and the backs of the hands are also tatued, but the design does not extend so far up the arm as with the Kayans [9, Pl. 92]; the forearm design is made up of a hornbill MOTIF, but that shown in Fig. A of the plate is termed BETIK KULE, leopard pattern, and is supposed to be a representation of the spots on the leopard's skin; it is stated to be taken from a Long Tepai tatu-block; the knuckles are tatued with a double row of wedges, the finger joints with quadrangles.

The Uma Luhat seem to have borrowed their tatu and designs very largely if not entirely from the Long Glat; with them the back of the thigh is tatued before the front, which is exceptional. Half of the knee is tatued. Their designs are modifications of the hornbill and dog's head designs of the Long Glat. Nieuwenhuis figures several examples [9, Pl. 87, Fig. B, Plate 88, Pl. 89, Pl. 93, Fig. A, Pl. 94], which should be consulted, as they are of the greatest interest.

The Long Wai seem to tatu in much the same way as the Uma Luhat [2, Pl., p. 189 and 7, p. 91].

Tatu of Muruts and Klemantans.

A number of tribes have adopted more or less the tatu of the Kayans. Thus the men of the following Sarawak tribes, Sibops, Lirongs, Tanjongs, Long Kiputs, Barawans, and Kanowits, are often, though not universally, tatued like Kayans. The shoulder pattern of the Barawans is distinctive, in that the rosette nearly always bears a scroll attached to it, a relic of the dog MOTIF, from which the design is derived (Pl. 138, Fig. 6). E. B. Haddon [4, Fig. 17] figures another form of the dog MOTIF, which is tatued on the thigh or forearm, and Ling Roth [7, p. 86] figures three rosette designs for the breast; we figure two modifications of the dog design on Pl. 137, Figs. 7 and 8. The women of these tribes very rarely tatu; we have seen a Tanjong woman with a circle of star-shaped figures round her wrist and one on the thumb. The Tring women of Dutch Borneo are tatued on the hands and thighs like Kayans; Carl Bock [2, Pl., p. 187] gives some figures of them. In our opinion all of these tribes owe their tatu entirely to foreign influences; for we have failed to find a single example of an original design; the practice is by no means universal, and great catholicity of taste is shown by those who do tatu. The men, moreover, do not tatu as a sign of bravery in battle or adventure, but merely from a desire to copy the more warlike Kayan.

We shall now treat of those tribes that have a distinctive and original tatu, but it is well to bear in mind, that amongst many of these people also the Kayan designs are coming into vogue more and more, ousting the old designs. No tatu-blocks are employed for the indigenous patterns, all the work being done free-hand.

(A) UMA LONG. — The Uma Long women of the Batang Kayan exhibit the most primitive form of tatu known in Borneo. It differs from every other form in that the tatued surface of the skin is not covered uniformly with the ink, but the design, such as it is, is merely stippled into the skin, producing an appearance of close-set irregular dots. Two aspects of the forearm of an Uma Long woman are shown on Pl. 142, Fig. 5. No other part of the body is tatued, and the practice is confined to the female sex.

(B) DUSUN. — The men only tatu. The design is simple, consisting of a band, two inches broad, curving from each shoulder and meeting its fellow on the abdomen, thence each band diverges to the hip and there ends; from the shoulder each band runs down the upper arm on its exterior aspect; the flexor surface of the forearm is decorated with short transverse stripes, and, according to one authority, each stripe marks an enemy slain [7, p. 90]. This form of tatu is found chiefly amongst the Idaan group of Dusuns; according to Whitehead [11, p. 106] the Dusuns living on the slopes of Mount Kina Balu tatu no more than the parallel transverse stripes on the forearm, but in this case no reference is made to the significance of the stripes as a head-tally. The Dusun women apparently do not tatu.

(C) MURUT. — The Muruts of the Trusan river, North Sarawak, tatu very little; the men occasionally have a small scroll design just above the knee-cap and a simple circle on the breast; the women have fine lines tatued from the knuckles to the elbows [7, p. 93]. The Muruts of British North Borneo appear to be more generally tatued; the men are tatued like Dusuns, though, according to Hatton, they have three parallel stripes running from the shoulders to the wrists and no transverse lines on the forearm.[84] Whitehead [11, p. 76] figures a Murut woman of the Lawas river tatued on the arms from the biceps to the knuckles with numerous fine longitudinal lines; a band of zigzag design encircles the arm just above the commencement of the longitudinal lines. The design on a man of the same tribe is given on page 73 [11], it resembles "a three-legged dog with a crocodile's head, one leg being turned over the back as if the animal was going to scratch its ear." The part of the body on which the design was tatued, is not specified and the sketch is rather inadequate, so that it is impossible to tell for certain whether the design was tatued in outline only or whether the outline was filled in uniformly; our impression is that the outline only was tatued on this individual, and that it was employed either as an experiment or from idle amusement. Zoomorphs are conspicuous by their absence from all forms of decorative art amongst the Lawas Muruts, and the particular zoomorph noted here gives every evidence of an unpractised hand.

St. John states [7, p. 92] that the Muruts of the Adang river, a tributary of the Limbang, are tatued about the arms and legs, but he gives no details.

(D) KALABIT. — This tribe, dwelling in the watershed of the Limbang and Baram rivers, is closely akin to Muruts, but its tatu is very different. The men tatu but rarely, and then with stripes down the arms. The women, however, are decorated with most striking geometrical designs, shown on Pl. 142, Figs. 1 — 4. On the forearm are tatued eight bold zigzag bands, one-eighth of an inch broad, which do not completely encircle the arm, but stop short of joining at points on the ulnar side of the middle line on the flexor surface. The series of lines is known as BETIK TISU, the hand pattern. In some cases two short transverse lines, called TIPALANG, cross-lines, spring from the most distal zigzag at the point where it touches the back of the wrist on the radial side; in other cases these lines are tatued across the middle of the back of the wrist and two lozenges are tatued on the metacarpals; these are known as TEPARAT (Pl. 142, Fig. 1). The legs are tatued on the back of the thigh, on the shin, and sometimes on the knee-cap. The designs can best be explained by a reference to Pl. 142, Figs. 2 — 4; the part of the design marked A is termed BETIK BUAH, fruit pattern; B, betik lawa, trunk pattern; and C, BETIK LULUD, shin pattern. In Fig. 4, A and C are as before; D is BETIK KARAWIN; E, UJAT BATU, hill-tops; F, BETIK KALANG (Fig. 3).

Kalabit women are tatued when they are sixteen years old, whether they are married or unmarried, and the operation does not extend over a number of years as with the Long Glat and Kayans, nor is any elaborate ceremonial connected with the process.

(E) LONG UTAN. — An extinct Klemantan tribe, once dwelling on the Tinjar river, an affluent of the Baram. We owe our knowledge of their tatu to an aged Klemantan, who was well acquainted with the tribe before their disappearance; at our behest he carved on some wooden models of arms and legs the tatu designs of these people, but he was unable to supply any information of the names or significance of the designs. The men of the tribe apparently were not tatued, and the designs reproduced on Pl. 141, Figs. 5, 6, are those of the women. The essential features of the designs are spirals and portions of intersecting circles; the intersecting circles are frequently to be met with in the decorative art of Kenyahs, E.G. on the back of sword-handles, round the top of posts, on carved bamboos, etc., and in these cases the design is supposed to be a representation of the open fruit of a species of mango, MANGIFERA SP. It is not improbable that the design had the same significance amongst the Long Utan, for we have met with one or two representations of the same fruit amongst other Klemantan tribes.

(F) BIAJAU. — The Dutch author C. den Hamer [5, p. 451] includes under this heading the tribes living in the districts watered by the rivers Murung, Kahayan, Katingan, and Mentaja of South-west Borneo. Under this very elastic heading he would include the Ot-Danum, Siang, and Ulu Ajar of Nieuwenhuis, but we treat of these in the next section. The ethnology of the Barito, Kahayan, and Katingan river-basins sadly needs further investigation; nothing of importance has been published on this region since the appearance of Schwaner's book on Borneo more than fifty years ago. We know really very little of the distribution or constitution of the tribes dwelling in these districts, and Schwaner's account of their tatu is very meagre. Such as it is, it is given here, extracted from Ling Roth's TRANSLATION OF SCHWANER'S ETHNOGRAPHICAL NOTES [7, pp. cxci. cxciv.]: The men of Pulu Petak, the right-hand lower branch of the Barito or Banjermasin river, tatu the upper part of the body, the arms and calves of legs, with elegant interlacing designs and scrolls. The people of the Murung river are said to be most beautifully tatued, both men and women; this river is really the upper part of the Barito, and according to Hamer is inhabited by the Biajau (VIDE POSTEA), who appear to be distinct from the Ngaju of Schwaner, inhabiting the lower courses of the Barito and Kapuas rivers. The men of the lower left-hand branch of the Barito and of the midcourse of that river are often not tatued at all, but such tatu as was extant in 1850 was highly significant according to Schwaner's account; thus, a figure composed of two spiral lines interlacing each other and with stars at the extremities tatued on the shoulder signified that the man had taken several heads; two lines meeting each other at an acute angle behind the finger nails signified dexterity in wood-carving; a star on the temple was a sign of happiness in love. We have no reason to consider this information inaccurate, but we do consider it lamentable that more details concerning the most interesting forms of tatu in Borneo were not obtained, for it is only too probable that such information cannot be acquired now. The women of this tribe do not tatu. In the upper Teweh river, an upper tributary of the Barito the men are tatued a good deal, especially on parts of the face, such as the forehead, the cheeks, the upper lip. The only figures that Schwaner gives are reproduced by Ling Roth [7, p. 931, they represent two Ngajus; the tatu designs are drawn on too small a scale to be of much interest, and in any case we have no information concerning them. The two figures of 'Tatued Dyaks' (? Kayans) (after Professor Veth), on p. 95 of the above-cited work cannot be referred to any tribe known to us.

Hamer in his paper [5] gives a detailed account of Biajau tatu, but, unfortunately, without any illustrations; as abstracts of the paper have already been given by Ling Roth [7, pp. 93, 94] and by Hein [6, pp. 143 — 147], we will pass on to the next section.

(G) OT-DANUM, ULU AJAR, AND SIANG (Kapuas river, tributaries). — Concerning these tribes Nieuwenhuis says but little [9, p. 452], merely noting that the men are first tatued with discs on the calf and in the hollow of the knee and later over the arms, torso, and throat, whilst the women tatu the hands, knees, and shins. Two colours, red and blue, are used, and the designs are tatued free-hand, the instrument employed being a piece of copper or brass about four inches long and half an inch broad, with one end bent down at a right angle and sharpened to a point. Sometimes thread is wound round the end of the instrument just above the point, to regulate the depth of its penetration. Two specimens in the Leyden Museum are figured by Ling Roth [7, p. 85]. Hamer [5] says that the Ot-Danum women are tatued down the shin to the tarsus with two parallel lines, joined by numerous cross-lines, a modification of the Uma Tow design for the same part of the limb. On the thigh is tatued a design termed SOEWROE, said to resemble a neck ornament. A disc tatued on the calf of the leg is termed BOENTOER, and from it to the heel runs a barbed line called IKOEH BAJAN, tail of the monitor lizard; curiously enough, though this is the general name of the design, it is on the right leg also termed BARAREK, on the left DANDOE TJATJAH. Warriors are tatued on the elbowjoint with a DANDOE TJATJAH and a cross called SARAPANG MATA ANDAU.

A Maloh who had lived for many years amongst these people gave us the following information about their tatu: — There is with these people a great difference between the tatu of the high-class and that of the low-class individuals: amongst the former the designs are both extensive and complicated, too complicated for our informant to describe with any degree of accuracy, but they seem to be much the same as those described by Hamer. The low-class people have to be content with simpler designs; the men are tatued on the breast and stomach with two curved lines ending in curls, and on the outside of each arm with two lines also ending in curls (Pl. 142, Fig. 6); on the outside of the thigh a rather remarkable design, shown on Pl. 142, Fig. 7, is tatued; it is termed LINSAT, the flying squirrel, PTEROMYS NITIDUS, and on the back of the calf is tatued a disc termed KALANG BABOI, the wild pig pattern. The women are tatued as described by Hamer down the front of the shin with two parallel lines connected by transverse cross-bars; according to our informant the design was supposed to represent a flat fish, such as a sole. (Pl. 142, Fig. 8.)

Of these people, as of so many others, the melancholy tale of disappearance of tatu amongst the present generation and replacement of indigenous by Kayan designs was told, and it seems only too likely that within the next decade or two none will be left to illustrate a once flourishing and beautiful art.

Schwaner can add nothing to the facts that we have collected, except the statement that "the BILIANS (priestesses) have brought the art of tatuing to the present degree of perfection through learning the description of the pretty tatued bodies of the [mythical] Sangsangs."

(H) KAHAYAN. — Our figure (Pl. 141, Fig. 3), and Pl. 81 of Dr. Nieuwenhuis' book [9], is the extent of our knowledge of the tatu of the inhabitants of the Kahayan river. The latter illustration shows a man tatued with a characteristic check pattern over the torso, stomach, and arms, but there is no reference to the plate in the text. Our figure is copied from a drawing by Dr. H. Hiller, of Philadelphia.

(I) BAKATAN AND UKIT. — As Nieuwenhuis has pointed out [9, p. 451], the tatu of these tribes is distinctive, inasmuch as most of the designs are left in the natural colour of the skin against a background of tatu; that is to say in the phraseology of the photographer, whilst the tatu designs of Kayans, Kenyahs, etc., are POSITIVES, those of the Bakatans are NEGATIVES. The men were formerly most extensively tatued, and we figure the principal designs (Pl. 143), most of which were drawn from a Bakatan of the Rejang river. The chest is covered with a bold scroll design known as GEROWIT, hooks (Kayan, KOWIT) (Figs. 1, 2); across the back and shoulder blades stretches a double row of circles, KANAK, with small hooks interposed (Fig. 9); on the side of the shoulder a pattern known as AKIH, the lizard, PLYCHOZOON HOMALOCEPHALUM (Fam. Geckonidae), is tatued (Figs. 3, 4); this lizard is used as a haruspex by the Bakatan. Circles are tatued on the biceps, on the back of the thigh, and on the calf of the leg; a modification of the scroll design of the chest occurs on the flexor surface of the forearm. Another form of pattern for the calf of the leg is shown in Fig. 73, it is termed SELONG BOWANG, the horse-mango, MANGIFERA SP., the same fruit as that termed by Kayans IPA OLIM, and of which a representation forms the chief element in the Long Utan tatu. A series of short lines is tatued on the jaw, and is termed JA, lines, or KILANG, sword-pattern, and a GEROWIT design occurs under the jaw; the pattern on the throat is known also as GEROWIT (Fig. 10). On the forehead is sometimes tatued a star or rosette pattern called LUKUT, antique bead, and it appears that this is of the nature of a recognition mark. In jungle warfare, where a stealthy descent on an unprepared enemy constitutes the main principle of tactics, it not unfrequently happens that one body of the attacking force unwittingly stalks another, and the results might be disastrous if there was not some means of distinguishing friend from foe when at close quarters.[85] Kenyahs when on the warpath frequently tie a band of plaited palm fibre round the wrist for the same object. The tatu of the backs of the hands is avowedly copied from the Kayans, but has a different name applied to it — KUKUM. The metatarsus is tatued with broad bars, IWA, very like the foot tatu of Kayan women of the slave or of the middle class; lines known as JANGO encircle the ankle.

Tatuing is forbidden in the house; it can only be performed on the warpath, and consequently men only are the tatu artists. The covering of the body with designs is a gradual process, and it is only the most seasoned and experienced warriors who exhibit on their persons all the different designs that we have just detailed. The tatu of the legs and feet is the last to be completed, and the lines round the ankles are denied to all but the bravest veterans.

All that has been written above applies equally well to the Ukits, or at least once did apply, for now the Ukits have to a great extent adopted the tatu of the Kayan, and it is only occasionally that an old man tatued in the original, Ukit manner is met. We give a figure of a design on the back of the thigh of such a relic of better days. (Pl. 143, Fig. 5).

The Bakatan and Ukit women tatu very little, only the forearm, on the metacarpals, and on the back of the wrist; characteristic designs for these parts are shown in Fig. 74, and Pl. 143, Figs. 7, 8. The central part of the forearm design is an anthropomorphic derivative, judging by the name TEGULUN; the lines are termed KILANG, and KANAK and GEROWIT are also conspicuous; GEROWIT IS also the name of the design for the metacarpals; the two stars joined by a line on the wrist are termed LUKUT, and it is possible that their significance is the same as that of the Kayan LUKUT tatued in the same place by men, but we have no evidence that this is the case.

Nieuwenhuis figures [9, Pl. 80] a Bakatan tatued on the chest in the typical manner.

The only other designs, apparently of Kalamantan origin, are those figured by Ling Roth [7, p. 87]. Three of these are after drawings by Rev. W. Crossland, and are labelled "tatu marks on arm of Kapuas Kayan captive woman." The designs are certainly not of Kayan origin; the woman had in all probability been brought captive to Sarawak, where Mr. Crossland saw her, and it is unfortunate that exact information concerning the tribe to which she belonged was not obtained. The designs, if accurately copied, are so extremely unlike all that are known to us that we are not able to hazard even a guess at their provenance or meaning. The other design figured on the same page is copied from Carl Bock; it occurred on the shoulder of a Punan, and is said by Mr. Crossland to be commonly used by the Sea Dayaks of the Undup. We met with a similar example of it (Pl. 138, Fig. 7) on an Ukit tatued in the Kayan manner, but could get no information concerning it, and suppose that it is not an Ukit design. Hein [6, Fig. 90] figures the same design, and Nieuwenhuis [8, p. 240] alludes to a similar. We may note here that the designs figured on page 89 of Ling Roth's book [7] as tatu designs are in our opinion very probably not tatu designs. They were collected by Dr. Wienecke in Dutch Borneo, and appear to be nothing but drawings by a native artist of such objects in daily use as hats, seat-mats, baby-slings, and so on. We communicated with Dr. J. D. E. Schmeltz of the Leyden Museum, where these "tatu" marks are deposited, and learnt from him that they are indeed actual drawings on paper; there are ninety-two of them, apparently all are different isolated designs, and they are evidently the work of one artist.[86] There is not a tribe in Borneo which can show such a variety of tatu design, and indeed we doubt if ninety-two distinct isolated tatu designs could be found throughout all the length and breadth of the island. Moreover, as can be seen by reference to the cited work, the designs are of a most complicated nature, not figures with the outlines merely filled in, as in all tatu designs known to us, but with the details drawn in fine lines and cross-hatching, which in tatu would be utterly lost unless executed on a very large scale.

Sea Dayak Tatu.

The Sea Dayaks at the present day are, as far as the men are concerned, the most extensively tatued tribe in Borneo, with the exception of the Bakatans, Ukits, Kahayans, and Biajau; nevertheless, from a long-continued and close study of their tatu, we are forced to the conclusion that the practice and the designs have been entirely borrowed from other tribes, but chiefly from the Kayans. For some time we believed that there were two characteristically Sea Dayak designs, namely, that which is tatued on the throat (Figs. 75 and 76) and that on the wrist (Pl. 143, Fig. 7), but when later we studied Bakatan tatu we met with the former in the GEROWIT pattern on the throat of men, and the latter in the LUKUT design on the wrist of the women. A Sea Dayak youth will simply plaster himself, so to speak, with numerous isolated designs; we have counted as many as five of the ASU design on one thigh alone. The same design appears two or three times on the arms, and even on the breast, though this part of the body as well as the shoulders is more usually decorated with several stars and rosettes. The backs of the hands are tatued, quite irrespective of bravery or experience in warfare; in fact we have frequently had occasion to note that a man with tatued hands is a wastrel or a conceited braggart, of no account with Europeans or with his own people. This wild and irresponsible system of tatu has been accompanied by an inevitable degradation of the designs. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that the Sea Dayaks have borrowed much in their arts and crafts from tribes who have been longer established in Borneo; but it must be confessed that in their decorative art they have often improved upon their models; their bamboo carvings and their woven cloth are indeed "things of beauty." But their tatu involves, not an intelligent elaboration of the models, but a simplification and degradation, or at best an elaboration without significance. Figs. 1 — 6, Pl. 137, are examples of the Sea Dayaks TUANG ASU or dog design. The figures show the dog design run mad, and it is idle to attempt to interpret them, since in every case the artists have given their individual fancies free play. When the profession of the tatu-artist is hereditary, and when the practice has for its object the embellishment of definite parts of the body for definite reasons, we naturally find a constancy of design; or, if there are varieties, there is a purpose in them, in the sense that the variations can be traced to pre-existing forms, and do not depart from the original so widely that their significance is altogether lost. With the borrowing of exogenous designs arises such an alteration in their forms that the original names and significance are lost. But when the very practice of tatu has no special meaning, when the tatu-artist may be any member of the tribe, and where no original tatu design is to be found in the tribe, then the borrowed practice and the borrowed designs, unbound by any sort of tradition, run complete riot, and any sort of fanciful name is applied to the degraded designs. Amongst the Kenyah tribes the modification and degradation of the dog design has not proceeded so far as amongst the Sea Dayaks, and this may be explained by their more restrained practice of tatu and by the constant intercourse between them and the Kayans, for they always have good models before them. Pl. 137, Fig. 3, illustrates the extreme limit of degradation of the dog design amongst Sea Dayaks; it is sometimes termed KALA, scorpion,[87] and it is noteworthy that the representation of the chelae and anterior end of the scorpion (A) was originally the posterior end of the dog, and the hooked ends of the posterior processes of this scorpion design (B), instead of facing one another as they did when they represented the open jaws of the dog, now look the same way; the rosette-like eye of the dog still persists, but of course it has no significance in the scorpion. A curious modification of this eye is seen in another Sea Dayak scorpion design figured by E. B. Haddon [4, Fig. 19]. Furness [3, p. 142] figures a couple of scorpion designs, but neither are quite as debased as that which we figure here. Furness also figures a scroll design, not unlike a Bakatan design, tatued on the forearm, and termed TAIA GASIENG, the thread of the spinning wheel; a similar one figured by Ling Roth [7, p. 88] is termed TRONG, the egg plant. On the breast and shoulders some forms of rosette or star design are tatued in considerable profusion; they are known variously as BUNGA TRONG, the egg plant flower, TANDAN BUAH, bunches of fruit, LUKUT, an antique bead, and RINGGIT SALILANG. A four-pointed star, such as that shown in Fig. 64, is termed BUAH ANDU, fruit of PLUKENETIA CORNICULATA; since this fruit is quadrate in shape with pointed angles, it is evident that the name has been applied to the pattern because of its resemblance to the fruit. Furness figures examples of these designs and also Ling Roth [7, p. 88]. We figure (Figs. 75, 76, 77) three designs for the throat known sometimes as KATAK, frogs, sometimes as TALI GASIENG, thread of the spinning wheel, and no doubt other meaningless names are applied to them. Two of the figures (Figs. 75, 77) are evidently modifications of the Bakatan GEROWIT design, but here they are represented with the tatu pigment, whilst with the Bakatans the design is in the natural colour of the skin against a background of pigment, I.E. the Dayak design is the positive of the Bakatan negative. Furness figures two examples of the throat design, one with a transverse row of stars cutting across it; the same authority also figures a design for the ribs known as TALI SABIT, waist chains, consisting of two stars joined by a double zigzag line. The same design is sometimes tatued on the wrist, when it is known as LUKUT, antique bead; it is also tatued on the throat [7, p. 88], and attention has already been drawn to the probable derivation of this design also from a Bakatan model.

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