When about to make a new ladang one fowl is sacrificed in the morning and the blood, with the usual addition of rice, is thrown up in the air by the husband or wife as a present to antoh, the meat being reserved for home consumption. On arrival at the selected place they carry the sharpening stone some distance into the utan where a portion of the same mixture is applied to it. A few weeks are devoted to cutting down the jungle, and then about a month must pass before the felled trees, bushes, and vines are dry enough to burn.

On the day chosen for burning the wood a winnowing tray, on which the outline of a human form has been crudely drawn with charcoal, is hung in the house. The picture represents a good antoh named Putjong and he is solicited to make the wind blow. When starting the fire every one yells "hoi," thereby calling the winds. One day, or even a shorter time, may suffice to burn the accumulations on the cleared space, and when the work is finished all the participants must bathe.

A simple house is then erected for occupancy while doing the necessary work incident to the raising of crops. The work of clearing the ground is immediately begun and completed in three or four weeks. Then comes planting of the paddi preceded by a sacrifice of pig or fowl. The blood, with the usual addition, is presented to antoh and also smeared on the seed, which may amount to ten baskets full. All the blood having been disposed of in this manner, the meat is put over the fire to cook, and at the noon-day meal is eaten with boiled rice.

In their agricultural pursuits people help each other, taking different fields in turn, and at planting time thirty men may be engaged making holes in the ground with long sticks, some of which may have rattles on one end, a relic of former times, but every one uses the kind he prefers. After them follow an equal number of women, each carrying a small basket of paddi which she drops with her fingers into the holes, where it remains uncovered. They do not plant when rain is falling. After planting is finished, usually in one day, they repair to the kampong, have their evening meal, and drink tuak until midnight.

In five months the paddi is ready for cutting - a very busy time for the people. There are perhaps fifty ladangs and all must be harvested. Husband, wife, and children all work, and the family may have to labour by themselves many weeks before helpers come. In the afternoon of the day previous to commencing harvest work the following ceremony is performed, to provide for which the owner and his wife have brought new rice from the ladang as well as the kapatongs, which in the number of two to five have been guarding the crop.

Inside the room a couple of winnowing trays are laid on the floor and on these are placed the kapatongs in recumbent position, axes, parangs, the small knives used for cutting paddi and other knives, spears for killing pigs as well as those for fish, fish-hooks and lines, the sharpening stone and the hammer used in making parangs and other iron utensils. The guardians of the ladang and the implements are to be regaled with new paddi.

Blood of pig and fowls mixed with new rice having been duly offered to antoh, the mixture is smeared on the kapatongs and implements and a small quantity is also placed on a plate near the trays. Here also stands a dish of boiled rice and meat, the same kind of food which is eaten later by the family. The owner with wife and children having concluded their meal, all others present and as many as care to come are welcome to partake of new rice and meat and to drink tuak.

On the following day they go to the ladang to cut paddi, but barely half the number that took part in the feast assist in the work. The first rice spear that is cut is preserved to be taken home and tied underneath the roof outside the door. This is done in order to prevent birds, monkeys, rusa, or babi from eating the paddi. At the ladang rice is boiled, and on this occasion the family and their guests eat at the same time. When the first baskets of new paddi arrive at the storehouse and the grain is poured out on the floor, a little blood from a fowl sacrificed is smeared on it after the necessary offering to antoh has been thrown up into the air.

Upon the death of a man who was well-to-do, the body is kept for a period of seven days in the coffin, within the family dwelling-house, but for a poor man one day and night is long enough. Many people gather for the funeral. There is little activity in the day time, but at night the work, as the natives call it, is performed, some weeping, others dancing. When the room is large the feast is held in the house, otherwise, outside. Fire is kept burning constantly during the night, but not in the daytime. Many antohs are supposed to arrive to feast on the dead man. People are afraid of these supernatural associations but not of the departed soul. Formerly, when erecting a funeral house for an important man, an attendant in the next life was provided for him by placing a slave, alive, in the hole dug for one of the upright posts, the end of the post being set directly over him.

On the Samba I found myself in close proximity to regions widely spoken of elsewhere in Borneo as being inhabited by particularly wild people, called Ulu-Ots: (ulu = men; ot = at the headwaters). Their habitats are the mountainous regions in which originate the greatest rivers of Borneo, the Barito, the Kapuas (western), and the Mahakam, and the mountains farther west, from whence flow the Katingan, the Sampit, and the Pembuang, are also persistently assigned to these ferocious natives. They are usually believed to have short tails and to sleep in trees. Old Malays may still be found who tell of fights they had forty or more years ago with these wild men. The Kahayans say that the Ulu-Ots are cannibals, and have been known to force old men and women to climb trees and hang by their hands to the branches until sufficiently exhausted to be shaken down and killed. The flesh is roasted before being eaten. They know nothing of agriculture and to them salt and lombok are non-existent. Few of them survive. On the authority of missionaries there are some three hundred such savages at the headwaters of the Kahayan, who are described as very Mongolian in appearance, with oblique eyes and prominent cheekbones, and who sleep in trees.

They are considered inveterate head-hunters, and the skulls of people killed by them are used as drinking-vessels. Controleur Michielsen, who in his report devotes two pages of hearsay to them, concludes thus: "In the Upper Katingan for a long time to come it will be necessary to exercise a certain vigilance at night against attacks of the Ulu-Ot head-hunters." A civilised Kahayan who, twelve years previous to my visit, came upon one unawares at the headwaters of the Samba, told me that the man carried in his right hand a sampit, in his left a shield, and his parang was very large. He wore a chavat made of fibre, and in his ear-lobes were inserted large wooden disks; his skin was rather light and showed no tatuing; the feet were unusually broad, the big toe turned inward, and he ran on his toes, the heels not touching the ground.

Without precluding the possibility, although remote, of some small, still unknown tribe, it seems safe to assume that Ulu-Ot is simply a collective name for several mountain tribes of Central Borneo with whom we already have made acquaintance - the Penyahbongs, Saputans, Bukits, and Punans. Of these the last two are nomads, the first named have recently been induced to become agriculturists, and the Saputans some fifty years ago were still in an unsettled state. The "onder" at Braui confirmed this opinion when telling me of the fight he and thirty other Duhoi once had with Penyahbongs from whom he captured two heads - for they are Ulu-Ots, he said.

Before all my things were cleared away from my camping-place and taken to the prahus, the kapala and three women, one of them his wife, came and seated themselves in a row close together in a squatting position. With the few words of Malay he knew he explained that the women wanted to say good-bye. No doubt it was their way, otherwise they have no greetings. At the landing float the "onder" and his Kahayan assistant were present to see us off. When leaving I was on the point of wishing I might return some day to the unsophisticated Duhoi.

On our arrival at Kuala Samba we found ourselves in a different atmosphere. The Bakompai, although affable, are inquisitive and aggressive, and do not inspire one with confidence. The cheerful old Kahayan who lived on board our big prahu to guard it had just one measure of rice left, and was promptly given more rations. On account of the low water and the difficulties attending my use of the Selatan it had long been evident that I should have to give up my tour to the head of the Katingan River, but before returning I desired to make the ascent as far as to the first renowned kiham in order to see more of the Upper Katingans.

My prahu leaked so badly that we had to bail it out constantly, and the men were the worst in my experience, lazy and very inefficient, only one of them being strong and agile. Not until eight o'clock in the evening did we reach our destination, the kampong Buntut Mangkikit. In beautiful moonlight I put up my tent on the clearing along the river bank in front of the houses, perhaps for the last time in a long period. The roar of the rapids nearly two kilometres distant was plainly audible and soothing to the nerves, reminding me of the subdued sound of remote waterfalls, familiar to those who have travelled in Norway. However, the kiham at this time was not formidable and comparatively few have perished there, but many in the one below, which, though lower in its fall and very long, is full of rocks. The nights here were surprisingly cool, almost cold, and the mornings very chilly.

A Kahayan was the only person about the place who could speak Malay. The kapala presented the unusual spectacle of a man leaning on a long stick when walking, disabled from wasting muscles of the legs. I have seen a Lower Katingan who for two years had suffered in this way, his legs having little flesh left, though he was able to move. The kapala was a truthful and intelligent man who commanded respect. His wife was the greatest of the four blians here, all women; male blians, as usual, being less in demand. Her eyes were sunk in their sockets and she looked as if she had spent too many nights awake singing, also as if she had been drinking too much tuak. She had a staring though not unpleasant expression, was devoted to her religious exercises, and possessed an interesting personality.

A majority of the women was disinclined to face the camera, one of them explaining that she was not ashamed but was afraid. However, an example in acquiescence was set by the blian and her family. She wore for the occasion an ancient Katingan bodice fitting snugly around the body, with tight sleeves, the material showing foreign influence but not the style of making. Another woman was dressed in the same way, and a big gold plate hung over the upper part of the chest, as is the prevailing mode among women and children. Gold is said to be found in the ground and the Katingans themselves make it into ornaments. Many of the men wore chavats.

Of the men that were measured, one was sombre brown, darker than the rest, and three harelips were observed. A man may have from one to three wives, who sometimes fight, but all ends well. In each family there are at least two children, and often as many as seven, while one woman had borne eleven, of whom only four survived. The feminine fashion in hair-dressing is the same as that followed by the Duhoi, which looks well, the hair folded over on each side with some locks tied over the middle. I saw here two implements called duhong, knives shaped like broad spear points, relics of ancient times, with which the owners would not part. The Katingans are probably the friendliest and best tempered Dayaks I met. The children are tender hearted: when the kapala's nude little son, about two and a half years old, approached my film box his father spoke harshly to him; the child immediately began to cry bitterly and his mother, the great blian, soothed and affectionately kissed him until he became calm.

The obliging kapala, in order to do his bit to induce the people to dance, offered to present one pig if I would give rice and salt. The dancing, which was performed around a blanga on a mat spread on the ground, was similar in character to what may be seen elsewhere in Borneo. Four men and four women performed one dance. In another only women took part, and they moved one behind another in a circle with unusually quick, short steps, signifying that good antohs had taken possession of them. The principal blian later sat down on a mat and sang; three women sitting near accompanied her by beating small oblong drums. They all became enthusiastic, for music attracts good antohs. In the Katingan language the word lauk means creature; an additional word, earth, water, or air, as the case may be, signifying whether an animal, a bird, or a fish is meant.

Having accomplished in a short time as much as could be expected, we returned to Kuala Samba, and from there, in the first week of January, started southward in our big prahu. The river was very low, and after half an hour we were compelled to take on board two Bakompai men as pilots among the sand banks. At Ball the coffin was found to be ready and was taken on board. It had been well-made, but the colours were mostly, if not all, obtained from the trader and came off easily, which was somewhat disappointing. It seemed smaller than the original, though the makers insisted that it was quite similar and challenged me to go and see the one they had copied, which was in the vicinity, behind the kampong.

Here I saw a new and somewhat striking arrangement for the disposition of the dead. A small white house contained several coffins guarded by seven kapatongs of medium size, which stood in a row outside, with the lower part of their legs and bodies wrapped in mats. The skull of a water-buffalo and many pigs' jaws hung near by. Two tall memorial staffs, called pantars, had been erected, but instead of the wooden image of the great hornbill which usually adorns the top, the Dutch flag presented itself to view. Appearing beautiful to the Dayaks it had been substituted for the bird. The all-important second funeral having been celebrated, the dead occupied their final resting place.

We spent the night at a large kampong where there was a fine, straightforward kapala who appeared at a disadvantage only when, with intent to please me, he wore clothes, but from whom I gained valuable information. He also had a sense of humour, and next day when our coffin was carried ashore, in order that I might be enlightened in regard to the significance of its decorations, he laughed heartily and exclaimed in astonishment at the sight. With the exception of the upper part of the back, few parts of his body were left uncovered with tatu marks. Over and below each knee he had extra designs to protect him from disease, he said, each of which represented a fish of ancient times.

At our next and last stopping-place the small pasang grahan, on very tall poles, was in poor condition and the roof was full of holes, but the kapala, an uncommonly satisfactory man - there was no Malay about him - saw to it that rough palm-leaf mats were placed above the ceiling to protect against possible rain, and two large rattan mats were spread on the shaky floor, so we had a good camping-place. There was an unusually pretty view of the majestic river from up there, including a wide bend just below. Experience modifies one's requirements, and I felt content as I took my bath at the outer corner of the shed, high above the still water on which the moon shone placidly.