216 NATURAL RELIGION AND FOLK-LORE part iu
foetus has died. Some say these undeveloped souls go into another bird, and the woman who eats it becomes the mother of twins, just as if she had eaten a bird with its egg.1
An expectant mother visits the nearest tree which happens to be of the species of her own birth-tree and hangs it with fragrant leaves and flowers, or lays them beneath it (avoiding the place where, in her own tree, the after-birth was buried), a because her childas soul (embodied in the bird) will recognise the tree by it.a The bird which conveys the soul sits on the tree and is killed and eaten by the woman. The souls of first-born children are young birds newly hatched, the offspring of the motheras soul-bird.2
Fish-souls come from grasses, bird-souls from their eating certain fruits. Each species of animal has J a corresponding soul-plant. The a susu rimau a8 contains the soul of an unborn tiger cub. The tiger eats it, and thus the soul is conveyed. When the soul-bird (human) falls upon one of these fungi the souls fight and the child is crippled or dies. But in any case the human soul is victorious.
Souls of beasts noxious to men are conveyed by poisonous, and harmless by non - poisonous, fungi. Phosphorescent fungi convey souls of night-beasts. The idea of the soul-bird, however, is obsolete except among the Pangan. The Malays, Siamese, and Chinese are thought to have different birds, to convey their souls.
1 Vaughan-Stevens, iii. 116. This (Tuber Regium) of Rumph. (Herb.
can of course only refer to children of Amboin. vi.). It is largely used in
the same sex. 2 Supra, pp. 4-6. native medicine, e.g. for consumption,
3 The atigress-milkafungus, or asusu and was supposed by the Besisi to wax
rimau,a is the sclerotium or resting- and wane with the moon, so that it
stage of a fungus, which has been was thought best to gather it when the
identified by Ridley as Lentinus sp. moon was full.identified by Ridley as Lentinus sp. moon was full.