Hydrophobia was raging at Long Pelaban, and during my stay one man and seven children were bitten. For religious reasons the Dayaks do not like to kill dogs, so in cases like this the canines that are ill are caught, their legs are tied together, and they are thrown into the water to die without being killed. Over forty were disposed of in this way. I saw one of the hydrophobia victims standing in the water as if alive, a little of the back showing above the surface.

The sounding of a gong one day signified the death of a woman. A party immediately went out to procure a suitable tree from which to make the coffin. Throughout the night we could hear without intermission the sounds produced by those who hollowed out the log and smoothed the exterior. Next day I was present at the obsequies of the dead woman. On the large gallery men were sitting in two long rows facing each other, smoking their green-hued native tobacco in huge cigarettes, the wrappers of which are supplied by large leaves from two species of trees. A jar of native brandy stood between them, of which but little was consumed. More alcohol is made here from sugar-cane than from rice. The latter is the better and sweeter, the former being sour.

At the end of the gallery stood the large, newly made casket, which was open, the corpse covered with cloth resting inside. It was an oblong, heavy box supposed to represent a rhinoceros, though nothing positively indicated this except the large head of this animal at one end, which, though rudely made, was cut with considerable artistic skill. The family sat around the casket, one man smoking tobacco, the women wailing and occasionally lifting the cover to look at the face of the corpse. One babi (pig) that had belonged to the deceased had been killed and was served with rice. In the afternoon, having partaken of food, a number of men carried the heavy burden on their shoulders down to the river, preceded by two women belonging to the family. It was placed on two prahus, which were lashed together, and then taken down the river to be buried. After the death of a relative women mourners cut off about two centimetres from the end of the hair; the men cut an equal portion from the front.

Later in the afternoon the gong announced another death, that of a child. On this account some sixty Malays who were camped here, bound for the utan higher up the river, in search of rubber and damar, delayed their departure as did some Kenyahs who were on their way to Apo Kayan, and the people of the kampong did not go to their ladangs. The following day the sound of the gong was again heard, but this time it was occasioned by the fact that an adept had taken augurs from the flight of the red hawk, and to him it was given that illness would cease.

It was difficult to hold the busy Dayaks in the kampong. At this time, the beginning of May, their attention was absorbed in harvesting the paddi. Every day they started up the river to their ladangs a few miles distant, returning in the evening with their crops. I decided to visit these fields, taking my cameras with me. In years gone by the kampong people have gradually cleared the jungle from a large tract of country, but part of this clearing was still covered by logs that had not been burned. Over these hundreds and hundreds of fallen trees, down steep little galleys and up again, a path led to the present fields higher up in the hills, very easy walking for bare feet, but difficult when they are encased in leather shoes. For over an hour and a half we balanced along the prostrate trunks, into some of which steps had been cut, but, arduous as was the ascent, we naturally found the descent in the evening a more hazardous undertaking; yet all emerged from the ordeal with sound limbs.

We arrived a little before noon and found some of the natives busy preparing their midday meal in and around a cool shed on top of a hill from where an extensive view was obtained of the past and present fields of the country. Near by was a watch-tower raised on top of upright logs. At one side of it four bamboos of different sizes were hanging horizontally over each other, which produced different notes when struck, and probably had been placed there for the purpose of frightening birds away.

The Kenyahs "take turns" helping each other to harvest, and on this occasion they were assisting their chief. It was a scene of much animation, as if it were a festival, which in reality the harvesting is to them. The long row of men and women in their best garments, with picturesque sun-shades, cut the spikes one by one, as the custom is, with small knives held in the hollow of their hands. Assuredly the food which they received was tempting to hungry souls. The rice, after being cooked, was wrapped in banana leaves, one parcel for each, forty-four in all, and as many more containing dried fish which also had been boiled. The people kindly acceded to my request to have them photographed. They then packed the harvested paddi in big baskets, which they carried on their backs to the storehouse in the kampong the same afternoon. From planting time till the end of the harvest - four or five months - a man is deputed to remain in the kampong to whom fish is forbidden, but who may eat all the rice he wants, with some salt, and as recompense for his services receives a new prahu or clothing.

A few days later, the chief having early in the morning taken omens from a small bird, the inhabitants with few exceptions departed on a tuba-fishing expedition to the Pipa, a small tributary to the Kayan River farther north. The two kampongs, Long Pelaban and Long Mahan, combined forces, and as so many were going I experienced difficulty in arranging to join the excursion, but finally succeeded in securing prahus and men from the latter place.

We passed a small settlement of Punans, former nomads, who had adopted the Dayak mode of living, having learned to cultivate rice and to make prahus. We found the people of Long Pelaban camped on a stony beach in two long rows of rough shelters, each row containing many families under one common roof of bark. The Long Mahan people had gone farther and camped on a similar beach, and between the two I discovered a pleasant location in the jungle by ascending the high bank of the river. Hardly had we finished putting up our tents when a violent thunder-storm arose, which continued unabated for half an hour, and thereafter with diminished force throughout the night. Many of the Dayaks moved up to our position, and next day the river ran high, so we did not make a start.

In the morning, after a fine bath, as I was about to take breakfast, a large party of visitors from Long Mahan approached. They were unacquainted with the Malay tongue and showed obvious signs of embarrassment, but by distributing a little candy to the children and biscuits to the adults harmony was soon established. Two unusually attractive small girls wearing valuable bead necklaces, who at first had appeared takut (frightened), unconcernedly seated themselves on their heels in front of me. The others perched in a long row on two poles which they laid on the wet ground, all of them preparing to watch me eat breakfast. Among other things the menu included half a dozen small boiled potatoes brought from Tandjong Selor and obtained from Central Java; they usually keep for four or five weeks and are a valuable aid in maintaining good health in the tropics.

The Kenyahs had never seen potatoes before, and one man handed some of the peelings to his wife for inspection, whereupon I gave her a potato, which she peeled carefully, divided, and gave a piece to each of the two children, with whom, however, it did not find favour. I opened a can of milk and another of cream, for I was fresh from Europe and had plenty of provisions. After helping myself from the cans I gave them to the children, who greatly relished what was left in them, but they did not eat greedily, behaving like white children who have not learned from adults to eat hastily. The Kenyahs are very courteous. When a man passed my tent opening he generally called aloud, as if announcing his presence.

In visiting the camps I found the Kenyahs, even on an occasion like the present, busily engaged at some occupation, and seldom or never was anybody seen sitting idle. The men were splitting rattan into fine strings, later to be used for many purposes: for plaiting the sheath of the parang; for making bottle-shaped receptacles for rice; for securing the axe to the handle, etc. Women were doing the same work with bamboo, first drying the stalks by standing them upright before a fire. These fine bamboo strings are later used in making winnowing trays and for various kinds of beautifully plaited work. When employed in this way, or on other occasions, the women smoke big cigarettes as nonchalantly as the men.

Continuing the journey next day, we found it a laborious undertaking over many small rapids. The water had already subsided, so we had to wade most of the day, dragging the prahus, a task which we found rather fatiguing, as the stones are difficult to step on in the water and very hot out of it. The river was narrow, but here and there widened out into pools. Many "bring" were erected over the stream, and I noticed that they were smaller than those I had seen before, but the arrangements for beating the tuba were far more elaborate.

On the river bank, as we approached the main camping-place, piles of the light-brown root were often seen, resembling stacks of wood. The gathering of these roots, I learned, was accomplished in one day. Our men had helped in the work and they also put up a couple of "bring" near our camp for our own use. Early in the afternoon two rather solid structures, built like bridges across the small river, were erected; on these the beating of the tuba was to take place next morning. In the middle, lengthwise, was placed a long, narrow excavated log, longer than the bridge itself, for the use of the beaters.

In the evening a large tree crashed to earth not far from my camp, and at a later hour another, still nearer, thunderously broke with its fall the silence of night. At two o'clock in the morning the beating of tuba began, to the accompaniment of shouts and outcries, and though the noise was considerable and unusual I did not find it intolerable, but fell asleep again. I arose early, and after partaking of some excellent Dayak rice I walked down to view the proceedings, and found the scene engrossing. Men and women stood close together on each side of the long trough, crushing the tuba with sticks in a similar manner to that adopted when pounding rice. The trough had at one end a small compartment, open like the rest, but the sides had been smoothed with an axe and when beaten served the purpose of a gong. The bark was pounded into small pieces and then thrown to one side upon large palm leaves which covered the bridge.

Boarding a prahu, I next visited Amban Klesau's bridge, a little lower down, which was larger and more pretentious, with tall poles erected on it, and from the top hung ornamental wood shavings. The end of the trough here had actually been carved into a semblance of the head of "an animal which lives in the ground," probably representing a supernatural being usually called nagah. The owner himself was beating it with a stick on both sides of the head, and this made more noise than the pounding of the fifty men and women who stood working at the trough. At times they walked in single file around it.

The pounding was finished in the forenoon, and all went a little farther down the river to take the fire omen at a place where the river widened out into a pool. A man with many tail-feathers from the rhinoceros hornbill (buceros rhinoceros) stuck into his rattan cap seated himself on a crude platform which had been built on upright poles over the water. Some long pieces of tuba-root were lying there, and he squatted on his heels facing the principal men who were sitting on the bank south of him.

A few minutes later the chief of Long Mahan made his way out to the platform over some logs which loosely bridged the space to the bank of the river, and attempted the fire-making, but after two unsuccessful attempts he retired. Several other prominent men came and tried, followed by the man with the tail-feathers in his cap, but he also failed; whereupon they all stepped ashore, taking the fire-making implements and some of the roots with them, in order to see whether they would have better luck on land. The brother of the chief now came forward and made two attempts, with no more success than the others. Urged to try again, he finally succeeded; the assemblage silently remained seated for a few minutes, when some men went forth and beat tuba with short sticks, then threw water upon it, and as a final procedure cast the bark into the river and again beat it. From the group of the most important people an old man then waded into the water and cast adrift burning wood shavings which floated down-stream.

In the meantime the Long Mahan people had gone to throw the bark into the river from their elaborate bridge, and those of Long Pelaban went to their establishments. The finely pounded bark soon began to float down the river from the bridges as it might were there a tannery in the neighbourhood. Presently white foam began to form in large sheets, in places twenty-five centimetres thick and looking much like snow, a peculiar sight between the dark walls of tropical jungle. Above the first little rapid, where the water was congested, a portion of the foam remained like snow-drift, while most of it continued to advance and spread itself over the first long pool. Here both men and women were busily engaged catching fish with hand-nets, some wading up to their necks, others constantly diving underneath and coming up covered with light foam.

The insignificant number of fish caught - nearly all of the same kind - was surprising and disappointing. Even small fish were eagerly sought. There was little animation, especially at the beginning of the sport, and no spears were used. Several tons of bark must have been utilized, at least eight or ten times as much as at the Isau River, and I regretted that they should have so little reward for their trouble. Five days were spent in travel, two days in making "bring" and gathering tuba, and they had pounded tuba for eight hours, since two o'clock in the morning. After all these exertions many prahus must have returned without fish. Possibly the fish had been practically exterminated by the tuba poisoning of former years. One man told me that many fish remain dead at the bottom, which partly accounts for the scanty result.

I was desirous of having Chonggat remain here for a week of collecting, but no Kenyah was willing to stay with him, all being deterred through fear of Punan head-hunters, who, on this river, not so long ago, had killed some rubber-gatherers from Sarawak. Besides, they also anticipated revenge on the part of Kayans, eleven of whom had been killed by the Kenyahs in Apo Kayan one and a half years previously. According to their own reports and that of the Chinese interpreter, the heads of six men and five women had been taken after a successful attack on the two prahus in which the Kayans (Oma-Lakan) travelled. The Kenyahs (Oma-Kulit) who had committed the outrage had been apprehended by the Company, as the government is called by the natives. The brother of the chief of Long Pelaban, who was with us fishing, three months previously had returned from Samarinda, where he had spent one year in prison for having been implicated in a minor way in this crime, while the main offenders were serving labor terms of six years in Sorabaia, Java.

This report was confirmed by a Dutch officer whom I met a month later and who came from Apo Kayan. The attacking Kenyahs were eighty in number, of whom ten were punished. The affair took place in 1912 at a distance of six hours, going down-stream, from Long Nawang. Though head-hunters are known to travel wide and far, and distant Apo Kayan is not too remote for them, nevertheless to me, as well as to Chonggat, the risks seemed unfounded; however, there remained no alternative but for all of us to return to Long Pelaban.