SAKAI OF PERAK
The Tembeh (Temia or Tummiyor) in the intervals between the times for feeding them leave their children by themselves on the floor of their airy dwellings.
Very often, however, they deposit them in a hammock consisting of a stretched-Aut a saronga (Malay = cloth skirt, or wrapper) and sling them up under a screen of leaves, which can be completely constructed in about twenty minutes. This 1S partly done to set the mother free for cooking and preparing meals, but more so because such a position makes it pleasanter and more comfortable for the child, who is besides much better protected from the attacks of land-leeches, ants, centipedes, and scorpions. It is therefore prompted by care for the child, and is not due to any carelessness or neglect. At night the childas swinging cradle is never (even among the Orang Laut) suspended from a tree, for fear of leopards.
According to Vaughan-Stevens (iii. 102) the average number of children bor to a Tembeh cannot be put higher than two per man.
A Sakai (Blandas) sage-femme is, as might be anticipated, more reluctant to give information about her art than even the magician, although the latter is far more secretive than the ordinary tribesman, the getting of information from whom is in itself a sufficiently hard task. The following account is from Vaughan-Stevens:2a
The sage-femme's house is easily recognisable, since it is invariably built on a *evel with the ground, whereas all the other houses of the tribe are raised from 4 Jt. to 6 ft. (1.2 m. to 1.8 m.) above the soil.3 If she has a husband still living (which very seldom happens), she has two huts, one of the ordinary type in which she and her husband live together, and the other which serves as her medicine-hut and which is invariably built upon the ground. No man may on any pretence enter her medicine-hut or even approach it too closely, and even in passing it he J^ust do so at a little distance. Women, however, may enter it whenever they happen to be invited, but children again are forbidden to do so, for fear of their Aiflg some mischief.4
Nevertheless these huts are not intended solely for the sage-femme, since they a so serve as a special retreat for women at child-birth, and the latter are allowed to remain there for fourteen days after delivery. In the days when the Sakai Were more numerous, these medicine-huts were much larger.
* Z*f.E. xxviii. 201. in order to distinguish it from other
3 Ibid. p. 164-197. houses and so protect it from trespass.
. Ibid. p. 165. Various reasons were Vaughan-Stevens further remarks that
pven to Vaughan-Stevens for this, e.g. the door (in this class of hut alone)
'1) that the sage-femme was old and was lower than the head of a grown-
^eak; (2) that when the hut was built on up person, and that the walls and roof
e ground, the demons (ahantua) could were contracted in size and thick, to
IJ?t insinuate themselves under the floor. prevent men from seeing into it. ore probably, however, it was so built 4 Z. f. E. xxviii. 165.IJ?t insinuate themselves under the floor. prevent men from seeing into it. ore probably, however, it was so built 4 Z. f. E. xxviii. 165.