chap. v SAVAGE MALAYS OF SELANGOR
or a Drumming upon (the floor of) the Tribal Hall,aafrom the use of the bamboo instruments described above.
The songs are not always merely chanted, but are often really acted (as well as sung), the dancer being frequently provided (as already mentioned) with a special head-dress, which differs for men and women.
I have also seen the dancer at the ceremonies of this same tribe carrying a curiously carved dance-wand, one of which I was fortunately able to purchase. I have never heard of any similar object being used by any other tribe, though Borie mentions the use of wooden swords (probably Malay fencing-sticks) in the dances of the Mantra, a kindred tribe.
According to the testimony volunteered by the Besisi themselves, these banquets used formerly to conclude with a drinking bout,1 which was followed by a kind of a game,a at which the men of the tribe were traditionally allowed, if they pleased, to exchange their wives. All performances of this kind are now, however, of very rare occurrence, though there is no doubt as to the earlier prevalence of the custom.
Words of the Songs.
The songs chanted on these occasions are generally rude improvisations, consisting of certain well-known and continually-recurring phrases. The tunes to which they are sung are very simple and quaint. These are generally mere chants, of three or four notes only, but
1 Traces of such drinking bouts are and Tributaries,a J. A\ A. S., S. B.y
to be found among the Malay races. 1882, No. 8, p. 16), where he gives
The wild people are not, however, ajoaoh*' as meaning ato drink,a and
as a rule, inclined to drink. This remarks that the same word is used
drinking festival is called by the Besisi in the taboo - language of camphor
a Main joaoh,a the meaning of which is (Pantang Kapor) with the same mean-
probably aDrinking gamea (vide D. ing (J.R.A.S., S. B., No. 3, p.
F. A. Herveyas paper on the a Endau 113).
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