At Long Pangian several days were spent in vain efforts to secure men and prahus to continue the journey up the Kayan River. The few Malays about, as usual, did not believe in work, but the posthouder finally succeeded in calling Kenyahs from the river above, and on the 1st of May we started with five prahus and twenty-four men. It was quite refreshing to hear again the joyous shouts of the paddlers, who worked eagerly and quickly against the strong current. A little over an hour brought us to some well-known rapids, or "kihams," as they usually are called in Borneo. Formerly this Kiham Raja had a bad reputation, Dayaks being killed here occasionally every year, but of late the government has blasted out rocks and made it more passable. However, even now it is no trifle to negotiate these rapids. Below them we halted and threw explosive Favier into the water in the hope of getting fish, and as soon as the upheaval of the water began the Kenyahs, as if by a given signal, hurried all the prahus out to the scene. With other natives than Dayaks this would have given me some anxiety, as the boats were heavily laden and contained valuable cameras and instruments. We secured quite a number of fish and the Kenyahs had a good time.

The traveller soon assumes a feeling of confidence in these experienced men as, according to circumstances, they paddle, pole, or drag the prahu by a long piece of rattan tied to the inside of the bow. In passing these rapids most of them got out and dragged us by the rattan, but as the shore consisted of big stones that sometimes were inaccessible, they would often throw themselves with the rope into the foaming water and manage to get foothold a little further up. Sometimes it looked as if they would not succeed, the prahu receding precariously, but they were so quick in their movements and the prahus followed each other so closely that it was possible to give mutual help.

Amban Klesau, the only son of the chief of Long Mahan, directed my prahu. He had taken part in an expedition to New Guinea and was an efficient and pleasant man who had seen something of the world, but his attire was fantastic, consisting of a long white nightshirt with a thin red girdle around the waist, to which was attached his parang adorned with many ornaments. He liked that shirt, for he did not take it off all day, notwithstanding the extreme heat. The dry season had set in, and though in our travels I took good care to place mats over the iron boxes in which cameras and plates were kept, still they became warm. When I photographed, perspiration fell like rain-drops. At Long Mahan (mahan = difficulties, or time spent) we found the pasang-grahan occupied by travelling Malays, two of whom were ill from a disease resembling cholera, so we moved on to a ladang a little higher up, where we found a camping-site.

Next day we stopped to photograph a beautiful funeral house on the bank of the river, in which rest the remains of a dead chief and his wife. This operation finished, the Dayaks prepared their midday meal consisting of rice alone, which they had brought in wicker bottles. A number of bamboo sticks were procured, which were filled with rice and water and placed in a row against a horizontal pole and a fire was kindled underneath. As soon as this cooking was finished the bamboos were handed to the chief, Amban Klesau, who in the usual way split one open with his parang to get at the contents. Having eaten, he distributed the rest of the bamboos. I was given one, and upon breaking it open a delicious smell met my olfactory sense. The rice, having been cooked with little water, clung together in a gelatinous mass which had a fine sweet taste, entirely lacking when cooked in the white man's way.

During my travels in Borneo I often procured such rice from the Dayaks. It is a very clean and convenient way of carrying one's lunch, inside of a bamboo, the open end closed with a bunch of leaves. Fish and meat are prepared in the same manner. With fish no water is used, nevertheless, when cooked it yields much juice, with no suggestion of the usual mud-flavoured varieties of Borneo. It will remain wholesome three days, and whenever necessary the bamboo is heated at the bottom. One who has tasted meat or cereals cooked between hot stones in earth mounds knows that, as regards palatable cooking, there is something to learn from the savages. It is a fact that Indians and Mexicans prepare green corn in a way superior to that employed by the best hotels in New York. There is no necessity of returning to the bamboo and hot stones as cooking utensils, but why not accept to a greater extent the underlying principle of these methods?

In the evening we arrived at Long Pelaban, a large Kenyah kampong, where for some time I made my headquarters. On the opposite bank of the river we cut the tall grass and jungle and made camp. Soon we were visited by many small boys who afterward came every day to look for tin cans. With few exceptions they were not prepossessing in appearance; nearly all were thin, and one was deaf and dumb, but they were inoffensive and well-behaved. During my travels among Dayaks I never saw boys or girls quarrel among themselves - in fact their customary behaviour is better than that of most white children. Both parents treat the child affectionately, the mother often kissing it.

The sumpitan (blow-pipe) is found in his room, but the Kenyah usually prefers to carry a spear when he goes hunting. In his almost daily trips to the ladang he also takes it along, because instinctively mindful of enemy attacks. The Kenyahs are physically superior to the Kayans and the other natives I met, and more free from skin disease. They are less reserved than the Kayans, who are a little heavy and slow. In none of these tribes is any distrust shown, and I never saw any one who appeared to be either angry or resentful. Though the so-called Dayaks have many traits in common, of them all the Kenyahs are the most attractive. They are intelligent and brave and do not break a contract; in fact, you can trust their word more completely than that of the majority of common white people. Neither men nor women are bashful or backward, but they are always busy, always on the move - to the ladang, into the jungle, building a house, etc. Murder by one of the same tribe is unknown and a lonely stranger is quite safe in the kampong, where they do not like to kill anybody.

Among the Kenyahs and Kayans and many other tribes are found distinct social strata, upper, middle, and low. The first class ranks as a sort of nobility and until recent times had slaves, who were kindly treated. The members of the second class have less property, but they are active in blacksmithing, making prahus, determining the seasons by astronomical observations, etc. These well-bred Dayaks are truthful and do not steal. In their conception a thief will have to carry around the stolen goods on his head or back in the next life, forever exposed to scorn and ridicule. Third-class people are descendants of slaves and, according to the posthouder at Long Pangian, himself a Dayak, they are the more numerous on the Kayan River. These may tell lies, and ten per cent of them are apt to appropriate small articles, but they never steal money.

The Kenyah woman is most independent, and may travel unaccompanied by another woman with a party of men for days, sleeping aside, separate from the men. She and her husband both bring wood to the house and she does the cooking. No man has ever been known to beat or kill his wife. If dissatisfied, either may leave the other. The daughter of the chief at Long Mahan had had three husbands. Abortive plants are used, but the men do not know what they are.

Every day I went to the kampong, and it was a pleasure to visit these still primitive natives. Women, as usual, were timid about being photographed, for it is a universal belief that such an operation prevents women from bearing children. However, by giving money, cloth, sugar, or the like, which would enable them to offer some little sacrifice to protecting spirits, I usually succeeded. But if a woman is pregnant or has care of a small child, no inducements are of any avail, as an exposure to the camera would give the child bad luck or a disease that might kill it.

The women here had the teeth of the upper jaw in front filed off, but not the men, who make plugs from yellow metal wire, procured in Tandjong Selor, with which they adorn their front teeth, drilling holes in them for the purpose. The plug is made with a round flat head, which is the ornamental part of it, and without apparent rule appears in one, two, or three incisors, usually in the upper jaw, sometimes in both. One of my men took his out to show to me.

The women are cleanly, combing their hair frequently and bathing three times daily. The men bathe even oftener; still all of them have more or less parasites in their hair and frequently apply lime juice in order to kill them. A young woman, whom I remembered as one of two who had danced for the kinematograph, had considerable charm of manner and personal attraction; it was a trifle disconcerting to find my belle a little later hunting the fauna of her lover's head. Her nimble fingers were deftly expert in the work and her beloved was visibly elated over the demonstration of her affection.

These natives do not tolerate hair on the body and pull it out or shave it off. The men even remove the hair at the edge of the scalp all around the head, letting the remainder attain a growth of about sixty centimetres, and this is tucked up in a coil under the cap. The hair of eyebrows and eyelids is removed with great care. The women perform this operation, and tweezers made for the purpose are usually seen among the ornaments that hang from the tops of their hats. I was told that people careful about their appearance have their eyes treated in this manner every ten or even every five days. It is a service which a young man's "best girl" is glad to perform and a couple thus engaged may often be seen. Truly the wiles of Cupid are many.

The Dayaks are fond of ornaments and the Kenyahs are no exception. The extraordinary number of large tin or brass rings worn in the vastly distended ear-lobe is well known and is the striking feature in the appearance of most tribes. I was told that among the Kenyahs the ear-lobes of children are pierced when the infant is seven days old. Especially the women of this and many other tribes carry this fashion to extremes, the lobe being so elongated that it may be twisted twice around the ear. The heavy weight of rings sometimes breaks the thin band to which the lobe has been stretched. The men may also wear rings, though they remove them when going into the utan or to the ladang, and, although in this regard the males make less display than the females, in the wearing of valuable necklaces they excel them.

Necklaces of beads are worn by men, women, and children. When money is obtained by selling rubber to the Chinese, or by taking part in an expedition to New Guinea, there is much display of such ornaments, many of which are manufactured in Europe. But the Dayaks are extremely particular about the kind they buy; therefore it is useless to take beads out to Borneo without knowing the prevalent fashion. On the Kayan River a favoured style of bead is tubular in form, light yellow in hue, and procured from Bugis traders who are said to obtain their stock in New Guinea. Others of similar shape, but brown in colour, come from Sumatra.

When children are small they are carried on the backs of their mothers in a kind of cradle, the outside of which is often elaborately adorned with beads. The chief in Long Pelaban had one, the value of which I computed to be two thousand florins. The choicest beads are very old and have been kept for centuries in Borneo. Some are thought to be of Venetian origin, while others resemble a Roman variety. It is very difficult to induce the Dayaks to sell any of these, which they guard as precious heirlooms and the value of which they fully realize. According to Hose and McDougall, the wife of a rich chief in Sarawak may possess old beads to the value of thousands of pounds.