NATURAL RELIGION AND FOLK-LORE part iii
Kari retained his power of punishing mankind, wherefore Pie, who pitied them, went to the land of the Chinoi, the servants of Kari, on the other side of the world. These servants had the task of making hanging flower-ornaments, and Pie collected all the flowers and planted them near the mountains, and therefrom evolved the patterns which are now in use as charms against Diseases.
Simei helped him. She it was who invented the special set of designs which serve as charms against the sicknesses peculiar to her sex, and which are copied on their combs.
The Puttos copied the patterns on bamboo, and Pie then deposited them in a cave, and turned them to stone, so as to be always ready when wanted. The Puttos also prepared another set for each Sna-hut, whose duty it was to see that every man had the proper kind of charm that he required. At the same time the Puttos inscribed a set of charm-bamboos with the mythology of the Semang, and Pie turned these also to stone ; the Puttos alone knew where they were.
Of the leaves and blossom of the screw-pine (pandanus) worn on the head as a charm against falling trees, the following is related :a
Pie (in the form of an old man) and Simei would appear when called, and after helping, disappear, the former helping the men, the latter women. Ple used to ask for fruit and throw away the seeds, which grew up into trees and bore fruit in a single night. Thus, and thus only, the Semang knew that Pie had been present
Pie once met a man and woman carrying fruit, and asked for it. The woman denied having any, and as usual (when Pie caught a Semang lying) a tree fell upon her. As it was falling she shrieked to Pie (not knowing of his presence), and he threw some pandanus leaves upon her head, whereupon the tree returned to its erect position as soon as it touched them, leaving only an impression on the leaves where it fell. Pie subsequently ordered all women to wear leaves, thus marked, as charms against falling trees. The Puttos therefore designed patterns for various trees which easily fall. These leaves are stuck in the hair-combs of the women, but no pattern is used on the pandanus leaves if the wearer feels innocent, unless a twig falls on her head, when it is at once added.
Pie often appeared as a Semang, but with long thick bushy hair covering his body. Some say he returned to Kari with Simei, others that he sleeps in the Jelmol Mountains, and will yet return.1
To the foregoing may be added (from various portions of Vaughan-Stevensas account) the following allusions to the history of Pie :a
Like Kari, Pie appears to require blood-sacrifices. Thus in his account of the blood-throwing ceremony Vaughan-Stevens says2 that Pie uses the blood (thrown up to the skies to dispel the thunder) for making the red jungle fruit called Rambutan. And a little further on he says that Pie made white fruit of the storm charms which the Puttos threw into the air for a like reason. Vaughan-
could not die, and that when it was killed, and e.g. its head and legs removed, and its body left lying in the jungle, its mate would come and carry the body to Simei, who would give it a new head and legs. These birds were probably the messengers of Simei. The Eastern Semang will on no account kill them, but the half-blood Semang only stop short of eating them, which
they are afraid to do for fear of losing their virility. Formerly if a Semang man saw one of these birds, he would go out of its way, while a woman would sit down, since it was a sign that Simei was near (Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 110),
1 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 109-112. For Pieas relations with Kari, see the account of Kari (supra).
2 Ibid. pp. 107-109.2 Ibid. pp. 107-109.