Feasts, Festivals, a/jd Dancing.
and their fantastic head dresses, all looked wonderfully striking and picturesque, as ever and anon the rays from the blazing wood struck and illuminated the Persons of the wearers, as they moved in slow but graceful measure round the male performers in their centre. The Dyak men dancing in their rich and gay coloured sarongs and jackets, bending and twisting their bodies now forwards, now backwards, keeping time to the music of the gongs, and occasionally giving utterance to an almost diabolical yell, added not a little to the effect all this created. The scene was heightened by the dense dark background of foliage of surrounding fruit-trees and palms, through which streamed the clear soft gleams of moonlight, contending with the fiery crimson flashes from the burning torches, in lighting up this extraordinary spectacle in its brightest and most vivid colours. Now and then some of the women and children, tired of dancing, would pause to rest at the corners of the verandah, where they would sing a quaint Dyak song, blending their choruses with the taud crashing of the gongs, the firing of guns and crackers, the shouts of the men who were drinking in the verandahs of the house, and the applause of
the spectators. I was sometimes confused and bewildered, although perfectly lighted, as reclining on my mat in front of the Orang Kaya's house I gazed all this, and it was very late before I wished the chief good-night to retire to my pillow in the head-house. The feast, however, was kept up till far into the small hours, and seemed to have been a perfect success to all concerned."
(Denison, ch. v. p. 58.) a .
At Sennah " a great feast was given in my honour. On my arrival a pig had been killed, and when I joined the festive gathering at night an old man aPproached me with some of its blood in a cup. He then made a speech, the Purport of which, I was informed, meant good luck, happiness, and prosperity to me and my followers. I was then asked to take a piece of bamboo, dip it ln the cup, covering it with blood, and with the bamboo in hand wishing the tribe the same compliment. This I did, and I had then to throw the stick as far as I could into the jungle. The distance thrown by me with the bamboo Speared to give general satisfaction, and we then settled down to the business Af the evening.