i2o H. Ling Roth.aNatives of Sarawak and Brit. 7. Borneo.
In the Museum at Leiden there are a few good examples of designs, from the so-called Dyaklands in South Eastern Borneo, but there is no correspondence between these and the writings discovered at Koutie (Fig. 2) and decyphered by that eminent orientalist Dr. Kern, nor with the marks on the Chinese jar, nor with the writing (?) on the dagger from South Eastern Borneo of which I submit a facsimile (Fig. 3).1'2 If, however, we speak of writing in its broad anthropological sense of a general means of ocular communication of thought, we shall find the natives have some such methods. Mr. F. R. O. Maxwell, late chief Resident of the Raja of Sarawak, writes me : " Dyak and Kayan chiefs, when sending for their followers, use a spear, and should it be for a war expedition, a piece of red cloth is attached. I know of no nearer approach to writing. They mark days by knots in a piece of cord or rattan. Thus in sending to people to come in a certain number of days, say .30, they will send a piece of cord with 30 knots in it and the recipient cuts off one each day, and when the last knot is gone, he has to present himself. I have used this plan often and it is the only way I could keep Dyaks punctual." In Mr. Brooke Low's notes I find he mentions : " The natives have a kind of symbolic mode of communication by temuku tali, a knotted string."
In his Limbang Journal Sir Spencer St. John relates that at the mouth of the Salindong his party came upon a Kayan resting-place where he found marks, which proved that one party had returned. " In the hut was picked up a woman's jacket, with a small net, left behind in the hurry of departure, so it is probable they captured her while fishing on the banks of some rivulet. Though certain they had obtained captives, opinions were divided on the subject of heads. I could find no traces, and old Japer agreed with me that it was uncertain ; but it would only be accidentally that we could have discovered indications. They have left a mark, however, to show their countrymen that they had been up the Salindong : it was a long pole, ornamented with three tufts pointing up that stream. The three tufts were supposed by many to show that they had obtained three heads or captives; it might mean either. There were evidently two parties out." (ii. 68.)
12 [With respect to the handle and its form this dagger is especially different from the well known ancient Javanese daggers, being made with the handle all in one piece of iron. The ornamentation of one side is partly the same as that on another dagger blade from Bandjermassin, also in the Museum at Leiden. J. D. E. Schmeltz.]12 [With respect to the handle and its form this dagger is especially different from the well known ancient Javanese daggers, being made with the handle all in one piece of iron. The ornamentation of one side is partly the same as that on another dagger blade from Bandjermassin, also in the Museum at Leiden. J. D. E. Schmeltz.]