T. Cook and son; J. H. de Bussy,
Text on page 135
KONINKLIJKE PAKETVAART MAATSCHAPPIJ.
generally extremely simple ; blue is the colour most commonly worn for "sarongs," head-gear, and "slendangs," both by men and women. The latter wear silver earrings of extraordinary size, so thick and heavy that they have to be fastened to their hair, and yet have stretched out their ear-laps to a tremendous length.
The campongs are generally dirty and poverty-stricken. Underneath the low houses, supported on tottering poles, pigs dig up the ground, as the Bataks, being heathen, are allowed to eat the flesh of these animals. An open "balei," or consultation house, serves also as a reception-room for strangers, You have to climb up to it along the steep trunk of a tree, in which steps have been cut.
In the vicinity of some campongs, houses for the dead are found, in which, however, only the trunk of the deceased is kept, the skull being kept apart, as it is looked upon as an object of great veneration.
The Bataks of the plateau around the lake of Toba, possess an excellent breed of horses, which, however, through want of care in breeding and the great demand from the inhabitants of Deli, threatens to degenerate.
A journey from Deli across the Batak plateau and to the northern bank of the Toba-lake, is at the present day neither dangerous nor difficult. The chief obstacle is the expense of such a journey.
Cheaper and easier is undoubtedly a trip to Poeloe Pinang, one of the islands belonging to the Straits-Settlements, under the coast of Malaka, celebrated for its beautiful scenery.
It consists principally of a mountain completely covered with vegetation, on the top of which "The Crag", a sanatorium of the Deli Company, is situated.
There, generally, one or more of their officials are staying to recover from the injurious effects which living in tropical, low-lying districts has upon many European constitutions. From the bungalow on the "Crag" we get a glorious view of Georgetown, with the roadstead in front of it, and the plains and hills of Malaka opposite it.
A BATAK CHIEF.A BATAK CHIEF.