i2o H. Ling Roth.aNatives of Sarawak and Brit. 7. Borneo.
practice. Sherif Sahib, and many others who visited that country, died suddenly, and the Malays assert it was from poison ; but of this I have no proof." (St. John i. 30.)
Referring to this statement, Mr. Burbidge remarks (p. 66) : " The nature of the poison used is not exactly known, but it is very generally supposed to be a peculiarly irritating fibre or spicul derived from some species of bamboo, the effect of which is to cause a chronic state of sickness and depression, followed by death. Whatever it may be, it is a mechanical rather than a chemical irritant."
Referring to the murder of a headman in 1886 Mr. F. O. Ricketts writes : " Orang Kaya Abai and his followers are what are known as main Muruts. . . . Abai has always been overbearing and defiant and consequently has been at enmity with most of the other inhabitants of the river, he also bears the character of being a poisoner, and it is said that many have met their death at his hand in that manner."
Eight years later the same Resident reports : " There is one tribe of Muruts which originally inhabited a small locality near the source of the Trusan, but few of them left ; there are one or two houses in the lower river ; these are known as the Main Muruts and bear a bad character, the others being afraid of them ; they have the reputation of being adepts in the art of poisoning and one of their ways of administering it is in arrack in the following manner: it is the usual custom in Muruts' houses for the hosts to drink first, this they do, but in handing the arrack to the person they want to poison they slide the thumb into the liquor, the poison being secreted under the thumb nail ; how far this is true it is impossible to sayamost Muruts are under the impression that it is done. The poison acts slowly, as the victim it is said does not die for some days. Many believe that they can be poisoned at a distance by charms at the hands of this tribe and consequently keep aloofaeven those who are on fairly good terms with them avoid having much to do with them. Personal experience has shown that there is something different about these people, who seem reserved and indisposed to become friendly." (S.G., No. 347, p. 214.)
Tools used in the preparation of Ipoh Poison in the Malay Peninsula.
Spatulas partially covered with Ipoh Poison.
The smallest is used to spread the poison on to the arrow tip, and the next size to ladle the sap from the bambu trough and spread it on the largest spatulas. Batang Padang.
(L. Wray, Kew Mus.) _(L. Wray, Kew Mus.) _