SOCIAL LIFE OF THE SEA DAYAKS.
mother of the bridegroom usually gives the bride's relations a plate or a basin. The wedding takes place at the house of the girl, and the rite is called blah pinang, or the splitting of the prepared areca nut. It is divided into three portions, and the mother, after placing them in a little basket, and covering them over with a red cloth, sets them on a raised altar in front of the bride's house. The respective friends of the families then meet in conclave and enjoy the native luxury of prepared areca nut; and it is now determined what shall be the fine paid in case the husband should separate from his wife after she shall be declared pregnant, or after she has borne a child. This is a very necessary precaution, as I shall have presently to show.
I may notice that among these Dayaks there is great pride of birth, and that parents will seldom consent to their daughter's marrying a man of very inferior condition. Many lamentable occurrences have arisen from this among other causes, which I will mention when treating of love. As a general rule, if the bride be an only daughter, or of higher rank, the husband joins her familyaif he be of higher rank, or an only son, she follows him, and then she is conducted under a canopy of red cloth to the house of his parents. If they should be of equal condition and similarly circumstanced, they divide their time among their respective families, until they set up housekeeping on their own account.
There are three subjects of which I must now treat,aand they are the chastity of the women, love, and divorce. I find it difficult to reconcile the state-There are three subjects of which I must now treat,a and they are the chastity of the women, love, and divorce. I find it difficult to reconcile the state-