274 PAGAN TRIBES OF BORNEO CHAP.
alone. The same design appears two or three times on the arms, and even on the breast, though this part of the body as well as the shoulders is more usually decorated with several stars and rosettes. The backs of the hands are tatued, quite irrespective of bravery or experience in warfare; in fact we have frequently had occasion to note that a man with tatued hands is a wastrel or a conceited braggart, of no account with Europeans or with his own people. This wild and irresponsible system of tatu has been accompanied by an inevitable degradation of the designs. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that the Sea Dayaks have borrowed much in their
arts and crafts from tribes who have been longer established in Borneo ; but it must be confessed that in their decorative art they have often improved upon their models; their bamboo carvings and their woven cloth are indeed a things of beauty.a But their tatu involves, not an intelligent elaboration of the models, but a simplification and degradation, or at best an elaboration without significance. Figs. 1-6, PL 137, are examples of the Sea Dayaks tuang asu or dog design. The figures show the dog design run mad, and it is idle to attempt to interpret them, since in every case the artists have given their individual fancies free play. When the profession of the tatu-artist is hereditary, and when the practice has for its object the