Fire-tnaking in North Borneo.
appears to be on the under-side. The Borneo fire-drill is also mentioned in Latham's Pescrip. Ethn., i. 89. H. L. R. 5
This was a favourite method of fire-making by Pandeka, a Cagayan-sulu, and is quick and effective. There are two varieties of fire-saw, but in both the apparatus is alike and simple.
(a). In the first method two pieces of dry bamboo are taken, one of which may be called the saw, the other the horse.
The saw is a piece split from a large bamboo about nine inches long and one and a half inches wide. In the centre of the outside a fine notch is cut across the saw deep enough to just cut through the central part. The outside is then scraped into fine shavings which are put over the hole for tinder. A few larger shreds are roughly torn up from the inside, but not disconnected from the bainboo, and are bent over the tinder to hold it in place.
The horse is a similar piece of bamboo, somewhat longer than the The Fire-Saw.
saw, and having one edge sharpened.
To use it the operator sits on the ground, fixes the horse firmly in front of and sloping from him, and takes the saw in both hands, curved side down, tinder uppermost, one hand at each side.
Applying strong pressure he places the notch on the sharp edge of the horse, and steadily works the saw to and from him. In about ten strokes the tinder begins to smoke, the sawing becomes more and more rapid and finally very fast, and the tinder is aglow. Lifting the saw he blows through the hole from the curved side on to the tinder, wrhich is soon all smouldering, and fire is got in the usual wray. The usual time is under a minute. I have seen the operation completed in sixty strokes.
This is the common method in Cagayan-sulu.
(b). The second method, in use in Sulu and the native states, Perak, Selangore, and c., is simply a reversal of the process. The sharp-edged bamboo becomes the saw, the tinder-bearing bamboo the horse. The tinder-laden bamboo is fixed curved side uppermost, and the sharp-edged bamboo worked in the notch with a saw-like motion. It is equally effective with the other method, but, I think, not quite so rapid, as a greater pressure can be got with both hands than by one.
5 Mr. Taylor, in his book on New Zealand (Te Ika a Maui, p. 368), states : 11 The Dyaks, of Borneo, use a bow and string to cause a pointed stick to revolve on a piece of wood " for the purpose of obtaining fire, but he gives no authority for his statement.