NATURAL RELIGION AND FOLK-LORE part m
a Hoya,a1 which extends to the regions of hell, it lets water from the nether deep through to the earth at Pieas command for the Semang to drink by pushing its head through the flat earth-crust, and thus causing springs of water (a met betiu a) to rise. The light drizzling rain that falls when a rainbow is visible is the sweat of the reptile, and if it happens to fall upon any one who is not wearing a particular kind of armlet, it causes the sickness called a lininka a (?).
Women wear by way of protection armlets of Palas (Licuala) leaf, and men wear armlets of the a Rock-vein a fungus (a temtom,a or Mai. a urat batu a) on the left wrist. These bands are called a chin-ing-neng.a2
During a storm of thunder and lightning the Semang draw a few drops of blood from the region of the shin-bone, mix it with a little water in a bamboo receptacle, and throw it up to the angry skies (according to the East Semang or Pangan, once up to the sky and once on the ground, saying aboa,a i.e. astopa). On my inquiring further, one of the women offered to show me how to do this, and drawing off a drop or two of blood into a bamboo vessel by tapping with a stick the point of a jungle-knife pressed against her shin-bone, she proceeded to perform this strange a libation a ceremony in the manner just described.
If a man is in the least degree too familiar with his mother-in-law, thunderbolts, said the Semang to me, will assuredly fall. For this reason (if for no
1 aJekoba = snake in the Semang dialect, and ahweaa a = rainbow.
2 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 126.2 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 126.