As we approached the kampong Kuala Braui, our next objective, the men in our prahus began yelling in time, in a manner surprisingly like a college yell. We were received at the landing float by the "onder" of the place, a nervous and shy but intelligent looking Duhoi. Pajamas graced his tall form as an outward sign that he was more than an ordinary Dayak, and he wore the same suit every day for a week without washing it. He spoke very few Malay words, which made intercourse with him difficult. Very gentle and retiring, by those unacquainted with the Dayaks he would be regarded as unlikely to possess head-hunting proclivities; nevertheless, twenty years previous to my visit, this same man avenged members of his family who had been deprived of their heads by Penyahbongs, killing two of the band and preserving their heads. Ten years before he had presented them to Controleur Baren on the Kayan River, thus depriving me of the chance I had hoped for on my arrival.

The small kampong on the river bank, which here is over twenty metres high and very steep, is new, and a primitive pasang grahan was in course of erection. Six men were much entertained by the novel work of putting up my tent and received tobacco as remuneration. The place lies near an affluent from the north, called Braui, which is more difficult of ascent than the Samba on account of its many kiams. The kapala of the kampong, with two prahus, had ascended it in twenty days. The Dayaks told me that if they wanted gold they were able to wash much in these rivers when the water is low.

I heard here of large congregations of wild pigs, up to 500 or 1,000. When the herds, called dundun, have eaten all the fruit at one place they move to another, feeding and marching, following one leader. They can be heard at a great distance, and there is time to seek safety by climbing a tree or running. When hunting pigs in the customary way, with dogs and spears, men have been killed by these animals, though the victims are never eaten. A fine rusa with large horns was killed one day when crossing the river, and I preserved the head. It seemed to me to have shorter hair on the back and sides than this deer usually has, and was larger. The flesh tasted extremely well, in fact much better than that of the ordinary variety. During our stay here, in December, a strong wind blew almost every day, late in the afternoon, not always bringing rain, and quite chilly after sunset.

When Schwaner made his memorable exploration in 1847 he did not come up the Samba, but ascended the Katingan River, returning to Western Borneo over the mountains that bear his name. Controleur Michielsen, in 1880, was the first European to visit the Samba River, and since then it has been ignored by explorers. It is part of a large region occupied by the Ot-Danums, a name which signifies people living at the sources (ot) of the rivers (danum = water, river). They are found chiefly around the headwaters of the Kapuas and the Kahayan, and on the Samba and Braui. Some also live on the upper tributaries to the Katingan, for instance on the Hiran. On all these rivers they may number as many as 5,000, about 1,200 of which should be located on the Samba and the Braui. The last figures are fairly correct, but the first ones are based only on information derived from native sources.

On the Samba, where I met the Ot-Danums, they are known as Duhoi, a name applied by themselves and other tribes. They are still in a primitive condition, though in outward appearance beginning to show the effect of foreign influence. While a few wear chavats and sometimes becoming rattan caps, nearly all cut their hair, and they no longer have sumpitans. Higher up the river is a Malay kampong consisting of settlers from the Western Division. Occasional traders also bring about inevitable changes, though as yet few of these Dayaks speak Malay.

The Kahayans who live to the east of them always liked to come to the Samba, often marrying Duhoi wives, and they also exert an influence. In intellect they are superior to the Duhoi as well as in knowledge of worldly affairs, in that respect resembling the Malays, though they have none of their objectionable qualities. One or two of them are generally present in a kampong, and I always found them useful because they speak Malay well besides being truthful and reliable. Some of these are converts to Christianity through the efforts of the Protestant mission on the Kahayan River, which has begun to extend its activity to the Samba by means of such Kahayans.

I prevailed on the "onder" to call the people from three kampongs above, promising presents of rice. He wrote the order himself in Arabic letters and sent it on, and late the following day twenty-five Duhoi arrived, among them four women and several children. Many showed indications of having had smallpox, not in a scarred face, but by the loss of an eye; one man was totally blind from the same cause. In order to induce them to dance I bought a domestic pig, which was brought from the ladang and in the customary way was left on the ground in the middle of the dancing place. Four men attended to the gongs which had unusually fine tones.

The women were persuaded to come forward with difficulty. As I expected, they were like bundles of cloth, exhibiting Malay innovations, and the dance was uninteresting, each woman keeping her position in a stationary circle. There was not much life in the dancing of the men either, each performing at his place in a similar circle, with some movements resembling the most common form of dancing hitherto described. Finally, one whose long hair and attire, an ancient short shirt, betrayed him as belonging to the old school, suddenly stepped forward, drew his parang, and began to perform a war dance, swinging himself gracefully in a circle. Another man was almost his equal, and these two danced well around the babi which was lying at the foot of two thin upright bamboo poles; to the top of one of these a striped cloth had been tied.

This meeting was followed by friendly dealings with the Dayaks of the kampongs above, who began to visit me. Silent and unobtrusive, they often seated themselves before my tent, closely observing my movements, especially at meal time, eager to get the tin that soon would be empty. A disagreeable feature, however, was that the natives often brought mosquitoes with them, and when they began to slap themselves on arms and legs their absence would have been more acceptable than their company. But each day they offered for sale objects of great interest and variety. Several beautifully engraved wah-wah (long armed monkey) bones, serving as handles for women's knives, are worthy of mention, one of which might be termed exquisite in delicate execution of design. Admirable mats were made by the tribe, but the designs proved perplexing to interpret, as knowledge on the subject seems to be lost. The difficulty about an interpreter was solved when the "onder's" clerk returned from a brief absence; he was an intelligent and trustworthy Kayan who spoke Malay well, had been a Christian for six years, but adopted Islam when he married a Bakompai wife. Compared with the retiring "onder," who, though a very good man, seemed to feel the limitations of his position, this Kahayan appeared more like a man of the world.

I made a large collection of kapatongs (in Kahayan, hapatong), which here, and in less degree on the Katingan, I found more abundant than in any region of Borneo visited. These interesting objects are carved representations of a good antoh, or of man, bird, or animal which good antohs have entered, and which, therefore, are believed to protect their owners. When the carving has been finished the blian invokes a beneficent antoh to take it in possession, by dancing and singing one or two nights and by smearing blood on it from the sacrifice of a fowl, pig, or a water-buffalo - formerly often taken from a slave. As with a person, so with a kapatong; nobody is permitted to step over it lest the good antoh which resides in it should become frightened and flee.

Kapatongs are made from ironwood; they are of various kinds and serve many purposes. The larger ones, which appear as crude statues in many kampongs of Southern Borneo, more rarely on the Mahakam, are supposed to be attendants on the souls of the dead and were briefly described in Chapter XII.

The smaller kapatongs are used for the protection of the living and all their earthly belongings or pursuits. These images and their pedestals are usually carved from one block, though the very small ones may be made to stand inside of an upright piece of bamboo. Some kapatongs are placed in the ladang to protect the crops, others in the storehouse or inside the baskets where rice or food is kept. The monkey, itself very predatory on the rice fields, is converted into an efficient watchman in the form of its image, which is considered an excellent guardian of boiled rice that may be kept over from one meal to the next.

For protection at night the family may have a number of images, preferably seven, placed upright and tied together, standing near the head of the bed; a representation of the tiger-cat is placed on top of it all, for he impersonates a strong, good antoh who guards man night and day. From the viewpoint of the Katingans the tiger-cat is even more powerful than the nagah. When cholera or smallpox is apprehended, some kapatongs of fair size are left standing outside the room or at the landing places of the prahus. Images representing omen birds guard the house, but may also be carried on a journey in a basket which is placed near the head when a man is sleeping in a prahu or on land. A kapatong of one particular omen bird is thus capable of allaying any fear if real omen birds or snakes should pass in front of the boat.

On head-hunting expeditions kapatongs were of prime importance. Smeared with blood, they were taken along for protection and guidance, and afterward were returned to the room. Some of them are very curious; a favourite one represents a pregnant woman, the idea being that a woman with a child is a good watcher, as the infant cries and keeps her awake. That the child is not yet born is of no consequence. In my possession is a kapatong of the head-hunters which represents a woman in the act of bearing a child. Among the Dayaks the woman is regarded as the more alert and watchful; at night it is she who perceives danger and thrusts her hand against her husband's side to arouse him.

When feasts occur kapatongs, etc., are taken outside the house to partake of blood from the animal or (formerly) the slave sacrificed. They are supposed to drink it and are smeared with it. When important they are never sold, but are transmitted as heirlooms from father to son. They passed in a circuit among brothers, remaining three to five years with each, and were the cause of much strife, brother having been known to kill brother if deprived of his kapatong.

Many of those which came into my possession showed distinct traces of the application of blood. Some had necklaces around the necks as a sign that they had received human blood. A few of these were later estimated by an intelligent Dayak to be two hundred years old. At the time of purchase I was struck with the fact that the Ot-Danums were parting with objects of great importance in their religious life. One reason is that the young generation no longer practises head-hunting, which necessitated the use of a great number of kapatongs. The people are gradually losing faith in them.

These Duhoi were curiously varying in their physical aspects; some were tall, like the "onder," others of medium size; some had hooked noses, others turned up noses. The wife of the "onder" had unusually light skin, but there was no indication of a mixture of white blood. Their temperament is peaceful and gentle, and, according to the Kahayan clerk, who had been here ten years, they are truthful. Most of those that were measured came from the kampongs above, one of which is only two or three hours away. Several men had their foreheads shaved in a manner similar to the Chinese, a straight line from ear to ear forming the hair limit. I observed the same fashion with the Upper Katingans, and in rare cases also with the Kayans and Kenyahs. They make fire by drilling one upright stick into another lying on the ground. Seven is their sacred number. Formerly the kampongs elected a kapala for an indefinite period. If he was satisfactory he might remain a long time. At present the native kapala of the district makes the appointment.

Among my friends here were the kapala of the kampong and his wife. She was an interesting woman, very intelligent, with a slender but splendid figure, and her face was curiously Mongolian. She had lost an eye by smallpox, but there was so much light and vivacity in the brown one she had left that the missing organ was forgotten. At first sternly refusing to face the camera, after receiving chocolate like the rest both she and her husband wanted to be photographed.

More than once I have seen the Dayak father here and elsewhere take the youngest baby to the river to bathe. As soon as the navel is healed, about eight days after birth, the infant is immersed, usually twice a day, before seven o'clock in the morning and at sunset. The temperature of the river water here in the morning was 72 F. It is astonishing how the helpless little nude being, who can neither walk nor talk, remains absolutely quiet while being dipped under the cold water again and again. The father holds it in a horizontal position for immersion, which lasts only a few moments, but which undoubtedly would evoke lusty cries from a white child. Between the plunges, which are repeated at least three times, with his hand he strokes water from the little body which after a few seconds is dipped again. It seems almost cruel, but not a dissenting voice is heard. The bath over he takes the child into his arms, ascends the ladder of the river bank and carries it home as silent as when it went forth. Sometimes one may hear children cry from being cross, but as a rule they are charming.

Monkeys, including the orang-utan, are eaten, but not the crocodile nor the tiger-cat. In accordance with the prevailing Dayak custom men and women eat at the same time. If they choose, women may accompany fishing or hunting expeditions if not far away, but when the game is wild ox or rhinoceros they are not allowed to take part. When there is an overflow of the river one cannot go hunting, nor if one should fall at the start, nor if the rattan bag should drop when the man slings it on his back, or if anybody sneezes when about to leave the house. If when going out on an errand one stubs his toe against the threshold, he must wait an hour. Having started on a fishing or hunting expedition nobody is permitted to go back home; should this be done the enterprise would be a failure for the others; nor should the dogs, on a pig hunt, be called in while on a ladang lest monkeys and deer eat the paddi. When about to undertake a journey of more than four or five days' duration one must abstain from eating snake or turtle, and if a pregnant woman eats these reptiles the child will look like them. Should she eat fruit that has fallen to the ground, the child will be still-born. The same prohibition applies to lizards.

Up to twenty years ago the Duhoi and the Katingans made head-hunting raids on each other. It was the custom to take a little flesh from the arm or leg of the victim, which was roasted and eaten. Before starting on such an expedition the man must sleep separate from his wife seven days; when going pig-hunting the separation is limited to one day. On the Upper Samba the custom still prevails of drinking tuak from human skulls. This was related to me by the "onder" of Kasungan, a trustworthy man who had himself seen it done.

A wide-awake kapala from one of the kampongs above was of excellent service in explaining the purposes of the ethnological objects I purchased. About articles used by women he was less certain, but he gave me much valuable information, though it was impossible to keep him as long as I desired because he felt anxious about the havoc rusa and monkeys might make with his paddi fields. At five o'clock of an afternoon I had finished, and in spite of a heavy shower the kapala left to look after his paddi, with a night journey of six hours before him. These people are satisfied with little, and he was happy to receive, besides rice and money, a quantity of cocoanut oil and some empty tin cans thrown in.

During this busy day the thought occurred to me that the night was Christmas eve, the great festival in Scandinavian countries, and I had made no preparation for a better meal, having neither time nor means. In fact, it so happened that I had rather less than usual. Nevertheless, the day had passed happily, as I accomplished much and acquired interesting information, for instance, about the flying prahu which I had secured. It was about half a metre long, and this and similar models seem to be quite an institution in the southern parts of Borneo. The Duhoi and the Katingans use the contrivance for curing disease, though not in the way we should expect, by carrying away the disorder, but by making a present of the prahu to a good antoh to facilitate his journey.

The name of the flying prahu is menama, in. Katingan, melambong. The more or less wavy carvings of the edge represent the beach. On board are several wooden images: The great hornbill which carries the prahu along and steers it; the tiger-cat, which guards it; the gong and two blanga (valuable urns), to which are added a modernism in the shape of a rifle - all are there ready to drive away the bad antoh which caused the illness. To a pole - or rather a combination of two poles - are tied two rudely made wooden figures, one above the other, representing, the one below, the djuragan or skipper (tihang); the one above, the master of the "sails" (unda).

When a Duhoi is very ill and able to pay the blian five florins, he promises a good antoh to give him a menama if he will make him well. The contrivance is then made and the necessary ceremonies performed to the end that its purpose shall be fulfilled. In the presence of many persons, the afflicted man lying on his mat, the blian dances in the room holding the prahu on his hands, the left at the bow, and swerving it to left and to right; he sings at the same time but there is no other music. On three consecutive nights this performance is continued for about an hour, near the door, with an eye to the ship's departure, and although it does not disappear it is believed to have accomplished its mission.

The Duhoi are polygamous, as are the Kahayans. According to a rough estimate, one-third of the people have one wife, one-third two, and one-third three. If a girl declines the suitor on whose behalf the father acts, she is not forced and the matter is closed. Should she agree, then the price must first be determined, and is paid in goods, gongs, cattle, domestic pigs, water-buffaloes, etc. Really poor people are not found here, and the least amount a man pays for his wife is two gongs, which are procured from the Malay trader.

About sunset people gather for the marriage ceremony. The couple sit on one gong. A water-buffalo, pig, or fowl having been sacrificed, the blian sings and smears blood on navel, chest, and forehead of the pair. On rising to go to their room the bridegroom beats seven times upon the gong on which they were sitting, and before he enters the door he strikes the upper lintel three times, shouting loudly with each blow. Food is brought there, and while the door is left open the newly wedded eat meat and a stew of nangka seasoned with red pepper and salt, the guests eating at the same time. After the meal the bridegroom gives everybody tuak, and people go home the same evening unless they become drunk, which often happens. The young married couple remain one year with the bride's parents.