4A H. Ling Roth.aNatives of Sarawak and Brit. 2V. Borneo.
combine to labour collectively until the skeleton of the village is complete, f and then every family turns its attention to its own apartments. When the building is sufficiently advanced to receive them they pack up their valuables and convey them by water if practicable, halting on the way until they obtain a favourable omen, when they proceed rejoicing.5 Their valuables and cotton stuffs may not be moved into the house before themselves, they must be taken with them ; this is required by custom. Before the village can be occupied a pig must be killed and its entrails examined and if the reading be unsatisfactory it is abandoned. After everything is settled a cup of tuak (toddy) is passed round.
" When a family proposes to leave the village and remove elsewhere it must give an ensilan (propitiatory gift ?) or be responsible for the consequences if a death ensue ; a fowl, or a bit of iron, or a pig if the village be a large one is usually given."
The large Sibuyau habitation in Lundu has been thus described by Sir Jas. Brooke : "The common habitation, as rude as it is enormous, measures 594 feet in length, and the front room, or street, is the entire length of the building, and 21 feet broad. The back part is divided by mat partitions into the private apartments of the various families, and of these there are forty-five separate doors leading from the public apartment. The widowers and young unmarried men occupy the public room, as only those with wives are entitled to the advantage of separate rooms. This edifice is raised twelve feet from the ground, and the means of ascent is by the trunk of a tree with notches cut in itaa most difficult, steep, and awkward ladder. In front is a terrace fifty feet broad, running partially along the front of the building, formed, like the floors, of split bamboo. This platform, as well as the front room, besides the regular inhabitants, is the resort of pigs, dogs, birds, monkeys, and fowls, and
presents a glorious scene of confusion and bustle. Here the ordinary occupations of domestic labour are carried onapadi ground, mats made, and c., and c. There were 200 men, women, and children counted in the room and in front whilst we were there, in the middle of the day ; and, allowing for those abroad and those in their own rooms, the whole community cannot be reckoned at less than 400 souls. Overhead, about seven feet high, is a second crazy storey, on which is stowed their stores of food and their implements of labour and of war. Along the
Made out of natural forms with gutta. (Hose Coll.)
5 The old women carry the fire, the young ones rice boiled in bamboo. The old men carry their precious jars, the wives the clothes and mosquito curtains, the smaller fry whatever they can. (Crossland, ibid.)5 The old women carry the fire, the young ones rice boiled in bamboo. The old men carry their precious jars, the wives the clothes and mosquito curtains, the smaller fry whatever they can. (Crossland, ibid.)