A day or two later the kapala, evidently solicitous about our comfort, asked permission to perform for three consecutive nights certain rites for the purpose of curing several sick persons. The reason for his request was that they might be noisy and prove disturbing to our rest. The ceremonies consisted in singing and beating drums for three hours, in order to attract good spirits and drive away the evil ones that had caused the illness. One of the patients, who had malaria, told me later that he had been cured by the nightly service, which had cost him forty florins to the doctor.

Among the aborigines of Borneo whom I visited, with the possible exception of the Punan nomads, the belief in evil spirits and in good ones that counteract them, both called antoh, is universal, and to some extent has been adopted by the Malays. Though various tribes have their own designations (in the Duhoi (Ot-Danum) untu; Katingan, talum; Kapuas, telun; Kahayan, kambae), still the name antoh is recognised throughout Dutch Borneo. Apprehension of evil being predominant in human minds, the word is enough to cause a shudder even to some Malays. There are many kinds of both evil and good antohs; some are male, some female, and they are invisible, like the wind, but have power to manifest themselves when they desire to do so. Though sometimes appearing as an animal or bird, an antoh usually assumes the shape of a man, though much larger than an ordinary human being. Caves in the mountains are favourite haunts of evil antohs. In the great rivers, like the Barito and the Katingan, are many of huge size, larger than those in the mountains. Trees, animals, and even all lifeless objects, are possessed by antohs good or bad. According to the Katingans the sun is a benevolent masculine antoh which sleeps at night. The moon is a feminine antoh, also beneficent. Stars are the children of the sun and moon - some good, some bad.

To drive away malevolent antohs and attract benignant ones is the problem in the life philosophy of the Dayaks. The evil ones not only make him ill and cause his death, but they are at the bottom of all troubles in life. In order to attract the good ones sacrifices are made of a fowl, a pig, a water-buffalo, or, formerly, a slave. Hens' eggs may also be proffered, but usually as adjuncts to the sacrifice of an animal. If a child is ill the Katingan makes a vow that he will give Antoh from three to seven eggs or more if the child becomes well. If it fails to recover the offering is not made.

The blood is the more precious part, which the Bahau of the Mahakam, and other tribes, offer plain as well as mixed with uncooked rice. The people eat the meat themselves, but some of it is offered to the well-disposed antoh and to the other one as well, for the Dayaks are determined to leave no stone unturned in their purpose of defeating the latter. The Duhoi (Ot-Danums) told me: "When fowl or babi are sacrificed we never forget to throw the blood and rice mixture toward the sun, moon, and 'three of the planets.'" With the Katingans the blian (priest-doctor) always drinks a little of the blood when an animal is sacrificed.

Singing to the accompaniment of drums, gongs, or the blian's shield, and dancing to the sound of drums or gongs, are further inducements brought to bear on the friendly antohs, which are attracted thereby. According to the belief which prevails in their primitive minds, the music and dancing also have a deterrent effect upon the malicious ones. Both evil and good antohs are believed to congregate on such occasions, but the dancing and music have a terrifying effect on the former, while on the latter they act as an incentive to come nearer and take possession of the performers or of the beneficiary of the function by entering through the top of the head. A primitive jews'-harp, universally found among the tribes, is played to frighten away antohs, and so is the flute.

A kindly antoh may enter a man and become his guardian spirit, to whom he occasionally offers food, but it never remains long because that would make the man insane. One must not step over a person, because a benevolent antoh that may be in possession is liable to be frightened away, say the Katingans and other Dayaks. In dancing with masks, which is much practised on the Mahakam, the idea is that the antoh of the animal represented by the mask enters the dancer through the top of his head.

The Penihings and Long-Glats of the Mahakam have an interesting belief in the existence of a friendly antoh which reminded me of the superstition of the "Nokken" in the rivers of Norway. It lives in rivers, is very rarely beheld by mortals, and the one who sees it becomes rich beyond dreams of avarice. The Long-Glats call it sangiang, a survival of Hindu influence. An old man in Long Tujo is reported to have seen this antoh, and according to him it had the appearance of a woman sitting underneath the water. No doubt other tribes have the same belief.

The most famous of antohs is the nagah, which may be good or evil, according to the treatment received from mortals, and being very powerful its help and protection are sought in a manner later to be described in connection with my travels on the Mahakam. The nagah guards underneath as well as above the surface of water and earth, but the air is protected by three birds which are messengers, or mail carriers, so to speak. They are able to call the good antoh and carry food to him; they are also attendants of man and watch over him and his food. Fowls and pigs are sacrificed to them as payment. They are - the tingang (hornbill), the sankuvai (formerly on earth but now only in heaven), and the antang (red hawk). As these birds are called by the same names in the tribes of the Katingans, Ot-Danums, Kahayans, and others, it may be presumed that their worship is widely prevalent in Borneo.

Among most if not all native races certain persons occupy themselves with religious services and at the same time cure disease. In Borneo, as far as my experience goes, these priest-doctors, whether male or female, are generally recognised by the name blian, or balian. Although some tribes have their own and different designations, for the sake of convenience I shall call them all blians.

While there are both male and female blians, the service of women is regarded as more valuable, therefore commands higher remuneration than that received by men. A Dayak explained to me: As there are two sexes among the antohs, so there are also male and female blians. He or she on occasion pretends to be possessed of helpful antohs, in some parts of Borneo called sangiangs. Besides assisting the blians in their work they enable them to give advice in regard to the future, illness, or the affairs of daily life. A blian may be possessed by as many as fifty good antohs, which do not remain long at a time. Although in the remote past men sometimes saw good or evil spirits, at present nobody is able to do so except blians, who also sing in a language that only they and the antohs understand.

The blian does not know how to take omens from birds and read the liver of the pig. There may be one expert along this line in the kampong and there may be none. The blians of the tribes visited by me can neither make rain nor afflict people with illness. Among the Long-Glats I saw them directing the great triennial feast tasa, at which they were the chief performers. The constant occupation of the blians, however, is to cure disease which is caused by a malicious antoh longing to eat human blood and desiring to drive away the human soul. When hungry an antoh makes somebody ill. The blian's rites, songs, dances, and sacrifices aim to induce a good antoh to chase away or kill the evil one which has taken possession of the patient, and thus make an opportunity for the frightened soul to return, which restores the man to health. This, without undue generalisation, is a short summary of the religious ideas which I found on the Mahakam and in Southern Borneo, more especially those of the Penihing, Katingan, and Murung. Further details will be found among descriptions of the different tribes.

Shortly afterward we all made an excursion up the river as far as Batu Boa, which, as is often the case, contains a Dayak as well as a Malay kampong. At the first one, a forlorn and desolate looking place, the kapala, who had an unusually large goitre, told me that eighteen men had been engaged by the captain for his journey northward from there, which definitely precluded any prospect of ours for an overland expedition, even if under other conditions it would have been possible. As for the Malays, I found them rather distant, and was glad to return to Tumbang Marowei.

Here a singular sight met us in a sculptured representation of a rhinoceros with a man on his back, entirely composed of red rubber, standing on a float and surrounded by a number of blocks made of the same material. White and red pieces of cloth tied to upright saplings on the float added a certain gaiety to the scene. Some of the kampong people had just returned from a rubber expedition, and part of the output had been cleverly turned into plastics in this way.

The rhino was about seventy-five centimetres high, strong and burly looking, and the posture of the young man on his back conveyed a vivid suggestion of action. They were now on their way to sell this to some Chinaman. The image was said to be worth from two to three hundred florins, and as there was considerable additional rubber, perhaps all of it approached a value of a thousand florins. Bringing this rubber from up country had occupied eighteen days, and it was the result of ten men's work for two or three months. Twice before during the last two years rubber had been brought here in the same manner.

First they considered it essential to make a feast for the badak (the Malay name for rhinoceros). When going out on their expedition they had promised to make a badak effigy if they found much rubber. As the man on its back represented the owner, there was the risk that one of the souls of the latter might enter his image, resulting in illness for the owner, to avoid which a pig would have to be killed and various ceremonies performed.

The festival was scheduled to take place in three days, but it had to be postponed one day on account of difficulties in procuring the pig. I presented them with three tins of rice and another half full of sugar, which they wanted to mix with water to serve as drink because there was no rice brandy. It required some exertion to bring the heavy image from the float up to the open space in front of the house where the rubber gatherers lived, but this had been done a day or two before the feast, the statue in the meantime having been covered with white cotton cloth. Several metres of the same material had also been raised on poles to form a half enclosure around the main object. The feast had many features in common with the one we had seen, as, for instance, dancing, and a good deal of Malay influence was evident in the clothing of the participants, also in the setting. Nevertheless, the ceremonies, which lasted only about two hours, were not devoid of interest.

The men, manifesting great spontaneity and enthusiasm, gathered quickly about and on the badak, and one of them took the rubber man by the hand. This was followed by pantomimic killing of the badak with a ceremonial spear as well as with parangs, which were struck against its neck. The man who was deputed to kill the pig with the spear missed the artery several times, and as blood was his first objective, he took no care to finish the unfortunate animal, which was still gasping fifteen minutes later.

An old woman then appeared on the scene who waved a bunch of five hens, to be sacrificed, whirling them over and among the performers who were then sitting or standing. The hens were killed in the usual way by cutting the artery of the neck, holding them until blood had been collected, and then leaving them to flap about on the ground until dead. Blood was now smeared on the foreheads of the principal participants, and a young woman danced a graceful solo.

Having ascertained, by sending to the kampong below, that I could obtain twenty men with prahus whenever I intended to move, I discharged with cheerful willingness most of the Puruk Tjahu Malays. Their departure was a relief also to the Murungs, who feared to be exploited by the Malays. As soon as the latter had departed in the morning, many Dayaks whom I had not seen before ventured to come up to the kitchen and my tent to ask for empty tin cans. The Malays had slept in the Dayak houses, and the last night one of them carried off the mat which had been hospitably offered him.

One day there were two weddings here, one in the morning and the other in the evening. A cloth was spread over two big gongs, which were standing close together on the floor and formed seats for the bride and bridegroom. She seemed to be about sixteen years old, and laughed heartily and frequently during the ceremony, which occupied but a few minutes. A man waved a young live hen over and around them, then went away and killed it in the usual manner, returning with the blood, which, with the help of a stick, he smeared on the forehead, chest, neck, hands, and feet of the bridal pair, following which the two mutually daubed each other's foreheads. The principal business connected with marriage had previously been arranged - that of settling how much the prospective bridegroom was to pay to the bride's parents. With most tribes visited I found the adjustment of the financial matter conclusive in itself without further ceremonies.

The officiating blian took hold of a hand of each, pulled them from their seats, and whisked them off as if to say: "Now you can go - you are married!" Outside the full moon bathed the country in the effulgence of its light, but being quite in zenith it looked rather small as it hung in the tropical sky.

The moist heat in the latter part of September and first half of October was more oppressive here than I experienced anywhere else in Borneo. When for a few days there was no rain the temperature was uncomfortable, though hardly rising above 90 F. As there was no wind Rajimin's skins would not dry and many spoiled. Flies, gnats, and other pests were troublesome and made it difficult even to take a bath. Itching was produced on the lower part of the legs, which if scratched would become sores that usually took weeks to heal, and though the application of iodine was of some avail, the wounds would often suppurate, and I have myself at times had fever as a result. The best remedy for these and like injuries on the legs is a compress, or wet bandage, covered with oiled silk, which is a real blessing in the tropics and the material for which any traveller is well advised in adding to his outfit.

Rain with the resultant cooling of the atmosphere seldom waited long, however, and when the river rose to within a metre of my tent, which I had pitched on the edge of the river bank, I had to abandon it temporarily for the house in which Mr. Demmini and Mr. Loing resided, a little back of the rest of the houses. Besides a kitchen, it contained a large room and a small one, which I appropriated. This house, which was five generations old and belonged to the brother of the kapala, had in its centre an upright pillar carved at the top which passed through the floor without reaching the roof. The house, as is the universal custom in Borneo, stands on piles, and in erecting it a slave who, according to ancient custom, was sacrificed, in that way to insure good luck, had been buried alive underneath the central post, which was more substantial than the others.

During rain it is conducive to a sense of comfort and security to be safely roofed and sheltered in a house, but usually I preferred my tent, and occupied it unless the river was too threatening. From the trees in its close proximity a species of small frog gave concerts every evening, and also occasionally favoured me with a visit. One morning they had left in my quarters a cluster of eggs as large as a fist, of a grey frothy matter, which the ants soon attacked and which later was eaten by the hens.

The fowls, coarse, powerful specimens of the poultry tribe, were a source of great annoyance on account of their number and audacity. As usual among the Malays, from whom the Dayaks originally acquired these domestic birds, interest centres in the males on account of the prevalent cock-fights, and the hens are in a very decided minority. For the night the feathered tribe settles on top of the houses or in the surrounding trees. Hens with small chickens are gathered together in the evening by the clever hands of the Dayak women, hen and brood being put into an incredibly small wicker bag, which is hung up on the gallery for the night. Otherwise carnivorous animals, prowling about, would make short work of them.

At dawn, having duly saluted the coming day, the numerous cocks descend from their high roosts and immediately begin their favourite sport of chasing the few females about. The crowing of these poorly bred but very powerful males creates pandemonium for a couple of hours, and it is like living in a poultry yard with nearly fifty brutal cocks crowing around one. During the remainder of the day sudden raids upon kitchen or tent by one or more of these cocks are of frequent occurrence, usually overturning or otherwise damaging something. Although repeatedly and easily frightened away, they return as soon as they see that the coast is clear again. This is the one nuisance to be encountered in all the kampongs, though rarely to the same extent as here.