" When the land has been fully cleared it is left to dry. Sun and wind are now of almost vital consequence to the Sea Dyaks, for if they are unable to thoroughly burn this immense mass of timber, famine stares them in the face for the year to come. If it pour with rain day after day and week after week, and there is no promise of continued fine weather, they are apt to imagine that some impurity has defiled the tribe and that the face of the Great Spirit is hid from them. So the elders of the people get to work to find it out, and adjudicate on all cases of incest and bigamy, and purify the earth with the blood of pigs. Prayers are offered to Betara from one end of the country to the other ; for the space of three days the villages are tabued, and all labour is discontinued; the inhabitants remain at home, and strangers are not admitted. But if the weather is warm and dry the farms are ready in a very few days for the burning. They are set on fire from the windward side when the breeze is blowing, and soon the entire mass is seething with flames. It is a magnificent spectacle to behold when several of these farms are ablaze at once, and the hills are flaring like volcanoes. The heat at this season, caused by the universal burning, is almost insupportable ; for days not a glimpse is to be caught of the blue sky overhead ; the smoke hangs over the country like a heavy cloud, and the sun glows through the fog like a globe of molten copper." (Brooke Low.) Bishop Chambers mentions at Banting a house under tabu while praying for heat was being performed in consequence of continual wet weather. (Miss. Field, 1868, p. 253.)
In the Land Dyak operations of farming there are a variety of incidents more or less inimical, which can only be overcome by submitting to tabu. " If the basket in which the paddy is put as it is cut during harvesting be upset, that farm must rest for a day, and a fowl must be killed, or all their paddy will go rotten. If a tree falls across the farm-path, a fowl must be killed on the spot, and the path be disused for one day, or someone will meet with an accident upon it. On the farm-path, at no great distance from the village, rude wooden figures of a man and a women are placed, one on each side, opposite to each other, with short wooden spears in their mouths. They are called Tebudo, and are said to be inhabited by friendly Hantu, who keep the path clear of inimical spirits, and woe to the rash Dyak who wilfully insults these wonderful logs ! " (Chalmers in Grant.) "At full moon, and on the third day after it (called bubuk), no farm-work may be done, unless it is wished that the paddy should be devoured by blight and mildew7. In some tribes, the unlucky days are those of the new and full moon, and its first and third quarters." (ibid.)
According to Sir Sp. St. John tabu is practised "at the planting of rice, at harvest home, and c. . . . During this time they appear to remain in their houses, in order to eat, drink, and sleep ; but their eating must be BB
Kiniah Tukar Do, or Sun Dial.
"Length of sun's shadow determining farming operations." (Brooke Low Coll.)"Length of sun's shadow determining farming operations." (Brooke Low Coll.)