MANDAYAS: THEIR DWELLINGS
down to the River Salug. They are remarkable for their light colour, some having quite fair complexions. Their faces are wide, the cheek-bones being very prominent ; yet their appearance is not unpleasing, for they have large dark eyes shaded by long eye-lashes.
They are much respected by other tribes as an ancient and aristocratic race, and the war-like Manobos eagerly seek, by fair means or foul, to obtain Mandaya women for wives.
They usually shave off their beards, and also their eyebrows, wearing their hair long, tied in a knot at the back.
They are powerfully built, and of good stature. The men wear short drawers, and on grand occasions don an embroidered jacket. Both men and women wear large ear-ornaments. The women are clad in a bodice and patadion with ornaments of shells, beads, or small bells. The men are of a bold and warlike disposition, ready to fight against other villages of their tribe when not at war with the Manobos, the Guiangas, or the Manguangas, their neighbours. They have a language of their own which has a great affinity to the Visaya.
Their houses, four or five forming a village, are built on lofty piles thirty or forty, or even fifty feet above the ground. The floor is of thick planks and has a parapet all round pierced with loop-holes for defence. Above this parapet the house is open all round up to the eaves, but this space can be closed in by hanging shutters in bad weather. The construction of dwellings at such a height must involve an enormous amount of labour. Each group of houses forming a village is usually surrounded by a strong palisade of sharp-pointed posts, and further defended by pits lined with sharp stakes, which are lightly covered over with twigs and leaves.
Several families live in one house, after the custom of the Dayaks of Borneo, to provide a garrison for defence. An ample supply of arms is kept in the house, bows and arrows, spears, swords and knives. They are liable to be attacked in the night, either by the Manobos, the Moros, or by the scopes of some neighbouring datto, who shoot flaming arrows covered with resin into the roof to set it on fire, or covering themselves with their shields from the arrows of the defenders, make a determined attempt to cut down the piles so that the house will fall. The attacking party is most often victorious, and the defenders, driven out by fire, or bruised and entangled amongst the fallen timbers,