Next day we arrived at Kasungan, where we were offered quarters in a large room in the "onder's" house. There was no news of our steamer, the Selatan, and I remained about a week. The "onder," a Kahayan who had been here twenty-five years, had the intelligence and reliability that seems characteristic of the Dayaks of the Kahayan and Kapuas Rivers, and, as a matter of course, possessed extensive knowledge of the Katingan. He had lately been converted to Christianity. The kampong was quite large, and although it has been subject to the influence of Malay traders a long time and quite recently to that of a missionary, still the natives offered considerable of interest. It is only eight years since the communal house obtained. Before some of the houses stand grotesque kapatongs, and the majority of the population lives in the atmosphere of the long ago. I was still able to buy ethnological articles and implements which are becoming increasingly difficult to secure.

On entering a house the salutation is, Akko domo (I (akko) arrive). To this is answered, Munduk (Sit down). On leaving the visitor says, Akko buhao (I am going). To which is responded, Come again. On my way to visit a prominent Katingan I passed beneath a few cocoanut trees growing in front of the house, as is the custom, while a gentle breeze played with the stately leaves. "Better get away from there," my native guide suddenly said; "a cocoanut may fall," and we had scarcely arrived inside the house before one fell to the ground with a resounding thump half a metre from where I had been standing. Eighteen years previously a Katingan had been killed in this way as he descended the ladder. Eleven years later another was carrying his child on his back when a cocoanut of small size hit and killed the little one.

The man whose house I visited was rich, according to Dayak standard, not in money, but in certain wares that to him are of equal or greater value. Besides thirty gongs, rows of fine old valuable jars stood along the walls of his room. There are several varieties of these blangas, some of which are many hundred years old and come from China or Siam. This man possessed five of the expensive kind, estimated by the "onder" at a value of six thousand florins each. He consented to have one of the ordinary kind, called gutshi, taken outside to be photographed; to remove the real blanga, he said, would necessitate the sacrifice of a fowl. To the casual observer no great difference between them is apparent, their worth being enhanced by age. In 1880 Controleur Michielsen saw thirty blangas in one house on the Upper Katingan, among them several that in his estimation were priceless. Over them hung forty gongs, of which the biggest, unquestionably, had a diameter of one metre. Without exaggeration it represented, he says, a value of f. 15,000, and he was informed that the most valuable blangas were buried in the wilds at places known only to the owner. No European had been there since Schwaner, over thirty years previously, passed the river.

In front of another house was a group of very old-looking stones which are considered to be alive, though such is not the belief with reference to all stones, information in that regard being derived from dreams. Those on view here are regarded as slaves (or soldiers) of a raja, who is represented by a small kapatong which presides in a diminutive, half-tumbled-down house, and who is possessed by a good antoh that may appear in human shape at night. When the people of the kampong need rice or have any other wish, a fowl or pig is killed; the blood is smeared on the raja and on the slaves, and some of the meat is deposited in a jar standing next to him. When advised of what is wanted the raja gives the slaves orders to see that the people are supplied.

At each side of the base of a ladder, a little further on, stood a post with a carving of a tiger-cat grasping a human head and guarding the entrance. They are a protection to the owner of the house against evil antohs; it is as if they were saying: "Keep away, antoh! You see I slew a man, so you know what will happen to you!"

The bones of dead persons were kept at the back of at least one dwelling, inside the appropriate small house provided for the purpose, and some curious kapatongs of large size were to be seen, some of which had guarded the dead for more than a hundred years. One has the head of a good antoh, showing big corner teeth and out-hanging tongue, as he watches that no bad antohs come to injure the dead man's soul.

A woman carrying a betel box is believed to watch well because when chewing betel one does not sleep; but in her case there must always be a male kapatong near by, for a woman alone is not sufficient protection. Betel makes the mouth and lips beautiful in the estimation of the natives, therefore many kapatongs are seen with betel box in hand.

A very extraordinary guardian of the dead is a loving pair, the man's arm placed affectionately over the shoulder of his companion. Lovers do not sleep, hence they are good at watching, reasons the Dayak.

In these regions I gathered some information about the huge serpent of which one hears occasionally in Borneo, called sahua by the Malays, and which, according to accounts, may attain a length of seven or eight metres. It is able to remain long under water, moves slowly on land, and can climb trees. Deer and pigs are its usual food, but at times it attacks and eats natives. A few years previously this python devoured a Katingan, and as it remains at the same place for some time after a meal, two days later it was found and killed. These Dayaks kill it with knives, spears being ineffectual, and the meat is eaten. A very large lizard is also said to be a man-eater.

Crocodiles are numerous here, and at low water have been responsible for the disappearance of many Katingans. They are considered good antohs, but if one of the monsters devours a man arrangements are made to kill it, though otherwise the natives prefer not to do so and do not eat it. For the purpose of capture they use a piece of strong wood, about three centimetres thick, pointed at each end. A line of fibre a metre long is tied to the middle, and about half a metre above the surface of the water an ill-smelling monkey or dog is suspended from it as bait. When swallowed by the crocodile the stick usually becomes wedged in the mouth between the upper and lower jaws and he is hauled ashore.

A few years before my visit the brother of the kapala was eaten by a crocodile as he and two other Katingans were fishing with a casting-net. While sitting in the prahu he was attacked by the animal and dragged below the surface of the water. The entire kampong was incensed and believed that a bad antoh had ordered the crocodile to commit the evil deed. A babi was immediately killed and the blood sacrificed to induce a good antoh to come and help them; they also danced for the same purpose, while some of them prepared the material with which to catch the reptile. They have been fishing for crocodiles ever since, for their religion prohibits quitting until the bait is taken either by the large fish, tapa, or by the python, called sahua. When either of these huge animals swallows the bait, that event is regarded as a sign from a good antoh to the effect that their task is finished. Many years may elapse before the message comes and the kapala, who had caught fifty, must still continue, for twenty years if necessary, until the sign appears.

When preparing to kill crocodiles the magic use of rice is as essential as when the lives of men are to be taken, proceedings in both cases being identical. If a Katingan wants to get a head he must pay the blian to conjure with rice - a cupful is enough - and to dance. To have this done costs one or two florins. During incantations and dancing the blian throws the rice in the direction of the country where the man wants to operate. By the act of throwing the rice an antoh is called to assist and he causes the intended victim to become stupid and forgetful, therefore easily killed. From two to seven days later a start is made on the expedition, and when the head is cut the rice is sure to be found inside.

In earlier days the kampongs were ruled by hereditary rajas called bakas, who held their people in firm subjection, and they are reported to have fought much among themselves. According to the "onder" of the kampong, it was not an unusual occurrence to murder a rich man and take his goods as well as his head, and as murder could not be compensated with money, his relatives having to avenge the deed, a vendetta ensued which might last five or six years. A custom which required a debtor to become the slave of his creditor, even in the case of brothers, has been abolished.

Formerly when an enemy approached a curious message was sent from kampong to kampong. To the top of a spear was tied a tail feather of the rhinoceros hornbill, symbolising rapid movement, and also a woman's skirt of fibre with a bunch of odoriferous leaves attached. Women used to fasten these to the skirt in addition to those placed in the hair. This meant an urgent order for people to gather quickly for the fight, and in the event of failure to obey the call promptly the leaves and skirt signified unworthiness to wear masculine attire.

Two methods of fire-making were in use here, by drilling or by friction with a rope made of fibre or rattan across a block of wood. The Katingan does not know the art of doing inlaid work on the blade of the parang, in which Kenyahs and Kayans excel, and he makes no earthen ware. Hair that has been cut from the head must be placed in a tree. Their sacred number is seven, as is that of the Ot-Danum, Kapuas, and Kahayan. As usual with Dayaks, all members of the family eat at the same time as the men. Sons and daughters inherit equally, while brothers and sisters receive nothing unless the deceased was childless.

The father of a young man must arrange the payment for the bride, and probably receives remuneration himself for the service rendered. The son-in-law remains in the house of his father-in-law a year or more and assists him. A raja was privileged to have five or six wives.

During the period of pregnancy both wife and husband are subject to the following restrictions:

1. They must not split firewood, otherwise harelip will result, or a child with double thumbs.

2. The arms or legs must not be cut off from any animal caught, else the child will have stumps of arms or legs.

3. When fish has been caught the couple must not open the head themselves; if they do the child will be born without ears.

4. The husband must not make fish hooks, or the child will be born doubled up in a wrong position, perhaps causing the mother's death.

5. Neither of them may stretch up either arm to take food from the hanging trays of bamboo, called toyang. Should they do so the child will come into the world arm first, or probably not be born.

6. They must not nail up boxes or anything else (nails were formerly of wood), nor tie up anything, - for instance, a rattan for drying clothes, - nor lock a trunk, else the child will not be born and the mother will die.

7. In case of feeling hot, if he or she should take off their upper garments they must not be tied round the neck, or the child will be born dead, with the navel cord around its neck.

8. The work of tying split bamboo sticks into loose mats, for instance such as are used in the bottom of the prahu, must not be done, or the child will be born with two and two or all four fingers grown together.

9. They must not put the cork in a bottle or place the cover on a bamboo basket containing rice in order to close it for a considerable time, as in that case the child will be born blind in one or both eyes, or with one ear, one nostril, or the rectum closed, but the cover may be put back on a basket from which rice is taken for daily use.

10. For five months the work of putting a handle on a parang and fastening it with damar must not be done else both mother and child would die.

The name given the child when the umbilical cord is cut remains unchanged. Among names in vogue here for men are Bugis (black), Spear, Axe, Duhong (ancient knife), etc., Tingang and other names of birds, or names taken from animals, fish, trees, and fruit; many are called Peti, the Malay name for a steel trunk sold by traders. A person must not give his own name nor call by the name of his father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandfather or grandmother, whether they are alive or dead. If one of these names is given there will be no luck, for instance, in fishing or hunting.

There are many sorts of pali (sins) but all may be paid for in kind or by sacrifice. One of the most serious is that of a widow who marries before the second funeral of her husband has been solemnised. Although the rule does not apply to husband and wife, a man is forbidden to touch a woman's dress and vice versa, and transgression must be made good by sacrifice of a fowl or even a pig. In case a chavat or other article of clothing belonging to a man has been hung to dry after washing, and a woman other than his wife wishes to take the garment from the rattan line, she must use a stick for the purpose.

Every big tree is believed to have an antoh in possession of it, some being well disposed, others of evil disposition. When a man is killed by falling from a tree, members of his family come and proceed to hit it with darts blown from the sumpitan, cut it with parangs, spear it, and as final punishment it is felled. Many people gather, angry with the tree antoh, and a feast is made for the purpose of calling a good spirit to drive away or kill the bad one.

When a large tree falls no work is done for seven days. House building must cease and sacrificial offerings of pork and tuak are made to a good antoh to induce him to deal with the evil one that caused the mishap.

Travellers who encounter omen birds, or hear the cry of a rusa at noon, or similar omens, camp for three days and then proceed to the nearest kampong to buy fowl, a pig, and eggs, in order to sacrifice not only to the bird or animal that gave the omen, but also to the good antoh which sent it. Seven days afterward the journey is continued.

When a plandok (mouse-deer) appears underneath a house the owner is sure to die unless proper remedies are employed. If people succeed in catching the animal it is not killed, but smeared all over with cocoanut oil. Then they kill a dog, take its blood, which is mixed with rice and thrown to the plandok; also the blood of a fowl, with the same addition, is offered. The plandok's liao is given this to eat in order that he may not cause the occupant of the house to die; the animal is then carried into the utan, about an hour's walk, and set free. Three days afterward they sacrifice a pig, the blood of which, with the usual admixture, is given to the bad antoh who sent the plandok, with entreaties not to kill the man. For seven days the head of the house stays in the kampong, being free to bathe in the river and walk about, but he must not go outside the settlement.

The red monkey is an attendant of a bad antoh, and if he enters a house or comes on the roof or underneath the house it is considered very unfortunate. There is no remedy and the owner must move elsewhere; the house is demolished, the wooden material carried away and erected in another kampong. Should he remain at the same place there would be much strife between him and his neighbours. If a wah-wah climbs on a roof the house will burn down. There is no remedy for this either; the incumbent leaves and makes a new home.

On the other hand, should a scaly ant-eater enter a room it is a joyful event, indicating that the owner will become rich. The animal is caught, blood from a fowl is smeared over him, and he is carried back to the utan.

If it should so happen that a red-backed lizard, a timid animal rather common about kampongs, enters a house it also brings good luck. A good antoh gave it the order to come, and it means much paddi, a gutshi, and other good things. Three fowls must be sacrificed and the people also dance.