SAKAI OF PERAK
- The sage-femme possesses a special receptacle called a chit-net,a which serves at one and the same time for the purification of the child and its mother.
This a a chit-nat a is a segment of bamboo, which has had a piece amounting to about half its circumference cut away both at top and bottom. The remaining halves have in each case been left, forming projecting spouts, which are rounded Aff at their free ends, and have their straight edges atootheda or indented. One edge of each of these projections has six, and the other seven such indentations. The body of the tube is so chosen that the two dividing cuts are made next to (i.e. above and below) two adjacent nodes, one of which serves as the bottom of the tube, whilst the other (at the top) has been excised. The tube has a circumference of 22 cm., and a length of 56.5 cm. excluding, and a length of 76 cm. including, the two projections. These latter are decorated with two rows of zigzag lines, whilst two double longitudinal stripes run from end to end of the body of the tube. One pair of these double stripes is distinguished by horizontal cross-lines ; the other pair is connected by a zigzag line. Between the adjacent sides of two pairs of stripes further zigzag lines are introduced. The outlines are distinguished by black and white dots.1
A special kind of bamboo receptacle, which is equally decorated, is employed far filling the achit-neta with water (Fig. 11).
[Bartels remarks : aThis bamboo is only 29 cm. in length by 13.3 cm. in C1rcuinference. At the top it is cut horizontally through the node (abetween two adjacent internodes a), at the bottom just below the next adjacent node, so that the node forms the bottom of the receptacle. For half its circumference at the top it is cleanly cut, for the other half it is cut in sharp scallops. The upper portion (of the tube) is plain, the lower covered all round with black and white dots as big as peas. Vaughan-Stevens gives a description of the Pattern which he says he found on this achit-net,a but which, in fact, is not ! *A be found on it. He must have confused it with something else. His description, however, runs as follows: aThe figures on this a chit-net a are the adonga and abgtonga (?) rattans of the Tabong-story. Commencing at the ; APen end, the triangular figures are Tuhanas finger-prints. The flat (liegenden) j Crosses with the line bisecting them are the thorns of the arotan bgtonga
| (abutonga). This figure represents the arotan bAtong,a the spirals which run I along it representing the thorns, and the cross-lines combine the idea of a j quantity with that of a plant thus crossing itself Above this in the middle is a frAw of abStonga thorns, and below that the arotan riong.a The latteras | Pickles are naturally much shorter. Spirals of white and black (or red) dots Were scattered throughout the entire pattern, according to custom, but no explanation was obtainable.a a]
A very peculiar implement is employed by the Sakai (Sen-oi) for severing the umbilical cord. Three specimens in the Berlin Museum resemble what is ^lled a a fox-tailed a saw, only that they are much smaller, their length being ^a4 cm., 9.3 cm., and 9.2 cm. respectively. They are cut out of wood, and .nave an elegant handle, which diminishes down to a small a talonaa-like pro-Jection, united to a wooden blade, which is furnished on one side with rough saw-like teeth from 0.6 to 0.7 cm. deep. One of these knives has a double row 01 saw teeth. This implement is called asemikaa (asmee-kar a), and is also Used for decorating the achit-ndt,a as described above.2
The second of the two assistants now lays the patient upon a clean mat and en goes out jjer companion meanwhile takes the afterbirth, and (should the pnild prove to be a boy) ties it up in a cloth and suspends it upon a tree, where left. If, however, the child happens to be a girl, the afterbirth is buried somewhere without further ceremony in the neighbourhood of the house. The
1 Z. f. E. xxviii. 193.
2 Ibid. p. 191.2 Ibid. p. 191.