Alleged Native Writing in Borneo.
forthcoming. Nor does the Professor show any direct connection at all, between the people who are stated to have made use of the writing in past times and the present generation with their bambu marks, so that there is no evidence of any degeneration. An examination of the illustrations of the three writings as given below will at once convince every student that they are all by different peoples who have passed away and who have left us no proof that the present peoples now living in their respective districts are their blood descendants.
I sent Mr. Charles Praetorius (who has illustrated the greater portion of this work) to the India Office Museum, London, in order to copy the inscriptions on the bambu objectsabut these objects could not be found. So I wrote to the late Dr. Rost, formerly of the India Office, whose name is mentioned by the late Professor, sending him a copy of the " Beginnings of Writings," and this is his reply, dated 26th Aug., 1895 :
" It is just possible that Sir Henry Yule, with whom I was up to the time of his death in continuous literary intercourse, showed me the facsimile in question and even that we exchanged opinions about it. But I have no recollection whatever of the circumstances and am very sorry that my name should have been quoted by the Professor, who, I fear, was but too prone to draw inferences from facts not sufficiently established."
I then addressed myself to Dr. A. B. Meyer, regarding the vase,10 who answers under dates 29th Aug. and 6th Sept., 1895, thus: " I may have sent a facsimile to Col. Yule but I do not remember it and I cannot find an answer from him." Dr. Meyer also informs me that the inscription, if such it be, is An the bottom of the vase (see Fig. 1) and that the vase is decidedly of Chinese make. He writes that " it may represent remnants of a Dayak-writing, as we know that in Pigafetta's time the Sultan of Bruni had 10 Writers, who wrote on thin bark of trees,"11 but the learned Doctor carefully alds in his letter " this is only a supposition."
Whatever writers the Sultan may have had, it does not follow that they Were Dyaks or other natives (other than Malays Ar Chinese), any more than because the Emperor I J
China received the *---'
above mentioned ietter from Puni, that that letter was written by Dyaks.
the letter was trans-stable, it was probably written in Chinese.
. 10 The footnote No. 1 on p. 28 of Beginnings of Writings is misplaced and should be placed
"er the word Dresden, as it refers not to the bambus, but to the vase.
, . 11 " He has ten scribes, who write down his affairs on thin bark of trees and are called (p. u4.) Pigafetta, The First Voyage round the World, by Magellan. Hakluyt Soc.
01- "i., London, 1874.
Vol. 2.Vol. 2.