I decided to travel more in Borneo, but before undertaking this it was necessary for several reasons to go to Java. In Soerabaia I had my first experience of an earthquake. Shortly before two o'clock, while at luncheon in the hotel, a rather strong rocking movement was felt, and I looked at the ceiling to see if there were cracks which would make it advisable to leave the room. But it lasted only a few seconds, although the chandeliers continued to swing for a long time. At other places clocks stopped, and I read in the papers that the vibration passed from south to north, damaging native villages. In one town the tremors lasted three minutes and were the worst that had occurred in thirty-four years, but when the disturbance reached Soerabaia it was far less severe than one experienced in Los Angeles, California, in April, 1918.

As is well known, the government of the Dutch Indies expends millions in eradicating the plague, which is prevalent in portions of eastern Java. In addition to exterminating the rats, it is necessary to demolish the bamboo huts of the natives and move the inhabitants to new quarters. Houses of wood are erected, lumber for the purpose being imported from Borneo in great quantities. That the efforts have been crowned with success is indicated from the reports issued in 1916, showing that plague cases had been reduced seventy per cent.

Returning to Bandjermasin toward the end of October, I began to make arrangements for a journey to Lok Besar, in a hilly region of the Northeast at the source of the Riam Kiwa River. This kampong had recently been visited by the government's mining engineer, Mr. W. Krol, on one of his exploring expeditions. At first glance it might seem unpromising to make researches in a region so near to a stronghold of the Malays, but as he was the first and only European who had been in the upper country of that river, there was a fair chance that the natives might prove of considerable interest. It was a matter of five or six days by prahu from Bandjermasin, followed by a three days' march, and I decided to return by a different route, cross the mountain range, and emerge by Kandangan.

Accompanied by Mr. Loing, the surveyor, and the soldier-collector, I started from Bandjermasin on November 1. To travel by the canal to Martapura can hardly be regarded as a pleasure-trip, as mosquitoes and flies are troublesome. Half a year later I went by the road to the same place under more cheerful conditions, and though the day was overcast, the flooded country just north of the town presented a picturesque appearance. Rows of high-gabled Malay houses, with narrow bridges leading out to them, were reflected in the calm water, and beautiful blue morning-glories covered the small bushes growing in the water. Along the road were forests of melalevca leucodendron, of the family of myrtaceae, from which the famous cajuput-oil is obtained. It is a very useful, highly aromatic, and volatile product, chiefly manufactured in the Moluccas, and especially appreciated by the Malays, who employ it internally and externally for all ailments. They are as fond of cajuput-oil as cats are of valeriana.

Early in the afternoon the prahus landed us at Martapura, which is renowned for its diamonds and once was the seat of a powerful sultanate. The fields, which have been known for a long time, cover a large area, and the diamonds found in gravel, though mostly small and yellow, include some which are pronounced to be the finest known to the trade. There is always water beneath the surface, and natives in bands of twenty occupy themselves in searching for the precious stones, digging holes that serve besides as self-filling basins in which the gravel is panned. The government does not work the fields. In a factory owned by Arabs the diamonds are cut by primitive but evidently very efficient methods, since South African diamonds are sent here for treatment, because the work can be done much cheaper than in Amsterdam.

The controleur, Mr. J.C. Vergouwen, said that there were 700 Dayaks in his district. He was able to further my plans materially by calling a Malay official who was about to start in the same direction for the purpose of vaccinating the natives some distance up country. The kapala of the district, from Pengaron, who happened to be there, was also sent for, and both men were instructed to render me assistance. Next day the Malay coolies carried our baggage to the unattractive beach near the market-place, strewn with bones and refuse, loaded our goods in the prahus, and the journey began. The men were cheap and willing but slow, and it was near sunset when we arrived at the English rubber plantation near Bumirata.

The controleur had been friendly enough to send word to the manager that he had invited me to stay overnight at the estate. However, upon arrival there we were told that the manager had gone to Bandjermasin the day before, but was expected back at seven o'clock. It did not seem the proper thing to make ourselves at home in his absence, so we returned to the kampong, five minutes below by prahu, to make camp in a spacious, rather clean-looking, shed that formed the pasar or market-place.

At midnight I was awakened by the halting of an automobile and a Malay calling out, "Tuan! Tuan!" and I stepped from my bed to meet a friendly looking man in a mackintosh, who proved to be Mr. B. Massey, the manager. We talked together for an hour in the calm of a Bornean night. What he said about the irregularity of the climatic conditions interested me. Two years previously it had been so dry for a while that prahus could move only in canals made in the river-bed. His friends had thought him mad to come to Borneo, but he liked the climate better than that of Java. His kind invitation to breakfast I declined with regret, because when one is travelling it is very troublesome to change clothing, shave, and appear civilised.

We arrived at Pengaron at noon. The kapala of the district, a Malay with the title of kiai, lived in a comfortable house formerly occupied by a controleur, one room serving the purpose of a pasang-grahan. On our arrival he was at the mosque, but returned in an hour. The vaccinateur was already there, and by a lucky chance Ismail made his appearance, the kapala from Mandin, whom the controleur thought would be useful, as he had influence with Malays and Dayaks. The kiai, a remarkably genial man, was the most agreeable Malay I met. He behaved like an European, bathed in the bathroom, a la Dutch, dressed very neatly, and had horses and carriage. The hours were told by a bell from four o'clock in the morning, and two clocks could be heard striking, one an hour ahead of the other.

In the afternoon, Mr. Krol, the mining engineer, returned from a trip of a month's duration, wearing a pedometer around his neck. He had walked twenty miles in the jungle that day. A Dayak who had accompanied him from Pa-au, one day's march toward the east, gave me some information about the giant pig, known to exist in Southern Borneo from a single skull which at present is in the Agricultural High School Museum of Berlin. During my Bornean travels I constantly made inquiries in regard to this enormous pig, which is supposed to be as large as a Jersey cow. From information gathered, Pa-au appears to be the most likely place where a hunt for this animal, very desirable from a scientific point of view, might be started with prospect of success. An otherwise reliable old Malay once told me about a pig of extraordinary size which had been killed by the Dayaks many years ago, above Potosibau, in the Western Division. The Dayaks of Pa-au, judging from the one I saw and the information he gave, are Mohammedans, speak Malay, and have no weapons but spears.

The vaccinateur started in advance of us to prepare the people for our arrival. Our new paddlers, who were jolly and diligent men, brought their rice packed in palm-leaves, one parcel for the men of each prahu. They use leaves of the banana even more frequently for such purposes, as also do Javanese and Dayaks, and spread on the ground they form a neat and inviting setting for the food, serving the purpose of a fresh table-cloth. The men ate rapidly with their fingers and afterward drank water from the kali (river), throwing it into the mouth with the hand, as is the Malay custom. I did not notice that they brought dried fish, which is the usual complement to a meal. In this section of the country there is much admixture of blood between Dayaks and Malays, which accounts for the fact that the latter are more genial and agreeable than their lower classes usually are. At Pinang the small population turned out in full force, standing picturesquely near the mosque on an open space between the cocoanut-trees that grew on the high river-bank. It was evident that visitors are not often seen there.

At Belimbing the usually steep, high river-bank had been made accessible by short sticks so placed as to form steps that led up almost perpendicularly. Great was my surprise to find myself facing an attractive little pasang-grahan, lying on grassy, level ground at almost the same height as the tops of the cocoanut and pinang palms on the other side of the river. It was a lovely place and charmingly fresh and green. The house, neatly built of palm-leaves, contained two rooms and a small kitchen, with floors of bamboo. In the outer room was a table covered with a red cloth and a lamp hung above it, for the Malays love the accessories of civilisation. The kapala and the vaccinateur were there to receive us, and we were treated as if we were officials, two men sleeping in the house as guard. I was told there are no diseases here except mild cases of demum (malaria) and an itching disorder of the skin between the fingers.

On the fourth day from Martapura we arrived at the first Dayak habitation, Angkipi, where Bukits have a few small bamboo shanties consisting of one room each, which were the only indications of a kampong. The most prominent feature of the place was a house of worship, the so-called balei, a square bamboo structure, the roomy interior of which had in the centre a rectangular dancing-floor of bamboo sticks. A floor similarly constructed, but raised some twenty-five centimetres higher, covered about all the remaining space, and serves as temporary habitations for the people, many small stalls having been erected for the purpose. Our friend the vaccinateur was already busy inside the building, vaccinating some fifty Dayaks from the neighbouring hills and mountains who had responded to his call. When I entered, they showed timidity, but their fears were soon allayed, and I made myself at home on the raised floor, where I had a good camping-place.

Although these Bukits, among whom I travelled thereafter, are able to speak Malay, or Bandjer, the dialect of Bandjermasin, they have preserved more of their primitive characteristics than I expected. As I learned later, at Angkipi especially, and during a couple more days of travel, they were less affected by Malay influence than the Dayaks elsewhere on my route. The kampong exists only in name, not in fact, the people living in the hills in scattered groups of two or three houses. Rice is planted but once a year, and quite recently the cultivation of peanuts, which I had not before observed in Borneo, had been introduced through the Malays. Bukits never remain longer than two years at the same house, usually only half that time, making ladang near by, and the next year they move to a new house and have a new ladang. For their religious feasts they gather in the balei, just as the ancient Mexicans made temporary habitations in and near their temples, and as the Huichols and other Indians of Mexico do to-day.

The natives of Angkipi are stocky, crude people. Several had eyes set obliquely, a la Mongol, in a very pronounced manner, with the nose depressed at the base and the point slightly turned upward. Among the individuals measured, two young women were splendid specimens, but there were difficulties in regard to having them photographed, as they were all timid and anxious to go home to their mountains.

Next day, marching through a somewhat hilly country, we arrived at the kampong Mandin on the River Lahanin. Here was the residence of Ismail, to whose influence probably was due the recent conversion to Islam of several families. The pasang-grahan, though small, was clean and there was room for all. Thanks to the efforts of the vaccinateur, the Dayaks, who were very friendly, submitted to the novel experience of the camera and kept me busy the day that we remained there. A great number of women whom I photographed in a group, as soon as I gave the signal that it was all over, rushed with one impulse to the river to cleanse themselves from the evil effects of the operation.

As the Bukits are not very strong in carrying burdens, we needed fifty carriers, and Ismail having assisted in solving the problem, the march was continued through a country very much cut up into gulches and small hills. Time and again we crossed the Riham Kiwa, and went down and up gullies continually. At a small kampong, where I took my midday meal sitting under a banana-tree, the kapala came and in a friendly way presented me with a basket of bananas, for these Dayaks are very hospitable, offering, according to custom, rice and fruit to the stranger. He told me that nearly all the children were ill, also two adults, but nobody had died from a disease which was raging, evidently measles.

At Ado a harvest-festival was in progress in the balei, which, there, was of rectangular shape. Within I found quite elaborate preparations, among which was prominently displayed a wooden image of the great hornbill. There was also a tall, ornamental stand resembling a candelabrum, made of wood and decorated with a profusion of long, slightly twisted strips of leaves from the sugar-palm, which hung down to the floor. From here nine men returned to our last camping-place, where they had left a similar feast in order to serve me. The harvest-festival is called bluput, which means that the people fulfil their promise to antoh. It lasts from five to seven days, and consists mostly of dancing at night. Neighbouring kampongs are invited and the guests are given boiled rice, and sometimes babi, also young bamboo shoots, which are in great favour and are eaten as a sayur. When the harvest is poor, no feast is made.

The balei was very stuffy, and little light or air could enter, so I continued my journey, arriving later in the afternoon at Beringan, where a tiny, but clean, pasang-grahan awaited us. It consisted mainly of four small bamboo stalls, in which there was room for all of us to sleep, but the confined air produced a disagreeable congestion in my head the next day. We now had to send for men to Lok Besar, which was our ultimate goal, and the following day we arrived there, passing through a country somewhat more hilly than hitherto. I put up my tent under some bananas, and felt comfortable to be by myself again, instead of sleeping in crowded pasang-grahans. There was not even such accommodation here, but the kapala put most of his little house at our disposal, reserving only a small room and the kitchen for himself and family. The boiling-point thermometer showed an elevation of 270 metres.

I had a meeting with the blians, who knew nothing worth mentioning. Almost everything had been forgotten, even the language, still it is remarkable how primitive these people remain, and there is scarcely any mixture of Malay apparent in the type. For two or three days the kind-hearted, simple people gathered in numbers at the middle kampong of the three which bear the same name, Lok Besar, upper, middle, and lower. The Dayaks call the upper one Darat, which means headwaters.

One man had a skin formation which at a superficial glance might be taken for a tail. It was about the size of a man's thumb, felt a little hard inside, and could be moved either way. On the outside of each thigh, over the head of the femur, was a similar but smaller formation. Another man had an excrescence on each thigh, similarly located, but very regular in shape, forming half a globe; I saw a Dayak on the Mahakam with the same phenomenon. One woman had such globular growths, though much smaller, in great numbers on the feet.

Among the Bukits I observed two harelipped men, one hunchback, and an unusual number of persons with goitre. These natives drink water by the aid of a leaf folded into an improvised cup. Eight of the upper front teeth are cut. Suicide is not known. Their only weapon at present is the spear, which they buy very cheaply from the Malays, but formerly the sumpitan was also in use. To hunt pig they have to go some distance into the mountains; therefore, they seldom undertake it. Honey is gathered by climbing the tree in which the bees' nest is discovered. Bamboo pegs are inserted in the trunk at intervals and a rope made from a certain root is tied between them, thus forming a ladder upon which the natives ascend the tree at night. The women make rattan mats, and also habongs or receptacles in which to carry the mats when travelling.

Fire is extinguished for the night. These natives sleep on a single mat, made from either bamboo or rattan, and usually nothing is placed under the head, but sometimes small wooden blocks are used. In the morning when they arise they roll the mats, and the chamber-work is done. A young girl whom I measured had her hair fastened up with the quill of a porcupine; when asked to undo her hair, she put the quill under the top of her skirt. The Bukits possess one musical instrument, sarunai, a kind of clarinet, which does not sound badly. There are many blians, nearly all men. Several prominent members of the tribe asserted that head-hunting was never practised - at least there is no tradition concerning it.

A man may have one, two, or three wives. When a young man is poor, he pays two ringits or two sarongs to his bride's father, but half that amount is sufficient for a woman no longer youthful. The usual payment appears to be twelve ringits or twelve sarongs, which the blian at the wedding places on top of his head, while with his right hand he shakes two metal rings provided with rattles. On the Barito I noted the same kind of rattles used on a similar occasion. He asks Dewa not to make them ill, and a hen as well as boiled rice is sacrificed to this antobu. The dead are buried in the ground as deep as the height of a man. Formerly the corpse was placed in a small bamboo house which rested on six upright poles, and on the floor a mat was spread.

I was pleasantly surprised one day when a Dayak arrived at our kampong bringing a number of attractive new bamboo baskets which he had bought on the Tappin River, near by to the west. He was going to finish them off by doing additional work on the rims and then carry them to Kandangan, where they would fetch about one guilder each. All were of the same shape, but had different designs, and he knew the meaning of these - there was no doubt about it - so I bought his entire stock, thirteen in number. I learned that most of the people were able to interpret the basket designs, but the art of basket-making is limited, most of them being made by one or two women on the Tappin. A very good one, large and with a cover, came from the neighbouring lower kampong. An old blian sold it to me, and his wife softly reproved him for so doing, but when I gave her ten cents as a present she seemed very well satisfied.

For the interpretation of these designs I found an excellent teacher in a gentlewoman from the lower kampong. She had extensive knowledge concerning this matter, an impression later confirmed by submission of the baskets to another woman expert from the Tappin, of repute as a maker and for knowledge of the designs. I hope that in due time my informant will receive the photograph of herself and her boys which I shall send to her in grateful recognition of her valuable assistance. Her name was Dongiyak, while her good husband was called Nginging. She had two attractive and extremely well-behaved sons of twelve and fourteen years, who trusted implicitly in her and showed absolute obedience, while she was kindness itself coupled with intelligence. In fact their relations were ideal, and it seemed a pity that these fine boys should grow to manhood and die in dense ignorance.

I doubt whether any traveller, including the honest missionary, disagrees with the terse sentence of the great Wallace in The Malay Archipelago: "We may safely affirm that the better specimens of savages are much superior to the lower examples of civilised peoples." Revolting customs are found, to be sure, among native races, but there are also redeeming virtues. Is there a so-called Christian community of which it may be truly said that its members do not steal, as is the case with the majority of Dayak tribes? There are savage races who are truthful, and the North American Indians never broke a treaty.

In the morning, when beginning my return journey, I had to send more than once to the kampong below to ask the men to come, because of their reluctance to carry burdens. We had to proceed slowly, and early in the afternoon reached the summit of the watershed, which naturally is not at its highest here, the elevation ascertained by boiling-point thermometer being 815 metres. At a temperature of 85 F., among shady trees, a short rest was very acceptable, and to get down the range proved quick work as the woods were not dense. Afterward we followed a path through tall grass over fallen trunks, crossing numerous gullies and rivulets. As darkness approached, clouds gathered threateningly and rain began to fall. It was really a pleasure to have the kapala of Tumingki meet us a couple of kilometres before arriving there. A man whom I had sent ahead to the river Tappin for the purpose of securing more baskets and to bring a woman to interpret the designs, had evidently told him about us.