SAKAI OF PERAK
darts and eaten) from the roof of the house.1 This is done in order to keep away the ape-demons, which cause epileptic fits. This form of madness (a gila a), as the Sakai call it (i.e. the grinning and showing of teeth that is seen in apes as they fall from the tree after being shot, and before the hunters kill them with the parang or chopper), is inflicted upon the hunter by the ape-demon, if the latter is not diverted from the object of its revenge.2
Dr. Luering of Perak writes me, that the spirits which most afflict the Sakai of Ulu Bertang are the following :aa Nyania manus,a the tiger spirit; a Nyania sarak,a the jungle or forest spirit; a Nyania tiu,a the river or water spirit. These three spirits can more or less be overcome by the skill of the Sakai, either by charms or medicine, but another spirit called a Nyania jehria,a .or the tree spirit, is so quick in working mischief that no help is possible. He comes down from the trees when no man knows, and before any one suspects it, has slain his victim.8
Dr. Luering inquired after the elephant spirit, which is so much feared by the Perak Malays, and which, the Malays believed, had quite recently killed one of the greatest chieftains of the state (the Datoa Penglima Kinta, who died of dropsy), but the Sakai knew nothing of any such spirit. Questioned as to small-pox (Mai. a champak a = Sak. a ginas a), they said that it was a a Nyania gop a or Malay spirit, which was very hostile to the Sakai, while it treated the Malays kindly. The chieftain of the Sahum tribe remarked that he used to estimate his tribe at about three
1 The Perak Sakai similarly suspend 21, p. 162. * Z.f.E. xxvi. 169. the (lower) jaws of civet-cats (amusanga) 3 For the offerings made in expelling
and other animals, as well as bunches of these spirits (the aBalei Nyania), v.
hornbill skulls.a-J.R.A.S., S.B., No. Fasc. Mai. p. 46.hornbill skulls.a -J.R.A.S., S.B., No. Fasc. Mai. p. 46.